It’s Official: Inflation Has Slammed the Camping Industry

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A man opening his wallet at a campground to pay extra due to inflation

You’re not alone if you feel like your money isn’t going nearly as far these days. It seems like everything has increased in price, including camping gear.

We’ve been doing a little shopping and noticed that our favorite camping and RVing gear prices have skyrocketed since we last purchased them. Don’t believe us? Keep reading and find out!

What Is Inflation?

Inflation is a consumer’s decline in purchase power due to increasing prices.

When inflation increases, consumers pay more for everything, from luxury products to grocery essentials. Practically nothing is exempt from rising inflation.

What Causes Inflation?

Inflation occurs for several reasons. One of the most common is demand-pull inflation, which is when there’s simply not enough of a specific product to keep up with demand.

If you’re familiar with supply and demand, you know that when the demand for a rare item increases, the price quickly increases. On the other hand, when the demand exceeds the supply, prices drop as the product loses its value.

Additionally, cost-push inflation is when the overall costs to produce an item increase, forcing the business to increase its prices. Some of these increases are beyond the business’s control. Thus, they get passed on to the consumer.

Finally, built-in inflation is a never-ending cycle due to the demand for higher wages from workers due to rising living costs. The business must increase its fees to pay its workers more, and consumers notice an increased cost. 

How Has Inflation Affected the Camping Industry?

Inflation has affected the camping industry over the past few years. We’re constantly telling friends, family, and fellow RVers about products we love.

However, the problem is that what we paid for some of these items when we first bought them is very different from what we see today. 

The price increases on some of these items are shocking. One important RV item that we purchased has increased by over 200%. Let’s take a look at some other examples.

Leveling Blocks

Was: $22

Now: $43

Leveling blocks are an essential piece of campaign gear if you’re RVing. You need to use these to help level your RV and reduce the distance between your leveling and stabilizer jacks and the ground.

We purchased several sets of these lightweight plastic blocks during our adventures and used them just about every time we parked our RV. 

We paid $22.81 when we ordered these leveling blocks from Amazon in November 2019.

However, if we wanted to buy another set of the same leveling blocks now, they’re $43. That’s a big increase for something as simple and basic as plastic leveling blocks.

Camco Fasten 2x2 Leveling Block for Single Tires-Interlocking Design Allows Stacking to Desired Height-Includes Secure T-Handle Carrying System-Yellow-10 Pack (21022)
  • Customizable Leveling: (10) interlocking blocks stack to the desired height for customizable leveling; Each block adds a...
  • Usage: Can be used with single wheels, double wheels, hydraulic jacks, tongue jacks, stabilizer jacks, 5th wheel jacks,...
Close up of leveling blocks that have gone up in price due to inflation in the camping industry

Portable Waste Tanks

Was: $136

Now: $182

A portable waste tank makes it easy to dump your tanks when you’re at a dry camping spot or a site without full hookups. We weren’t excited about paying $136 for our Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 28-gallon portable waste tank in 2019.

However, it was quite a surprise when we saw that the price had jumped so much since we purchased it. The same exact waste tank is now going for over $180. 

Camco Rhino Portable RV Tote Tank | Features Heavy-Duty No-Flat Wheels, Removable Steel Tow Adapter, and Built-In Gate Valve | 28 Gallons (39004)
  • Transports Waste from Your RV/Trailer: Allows you to transport waste from your RV or trailer to a dump station; Ideal...
  • Includes: (1) tote tank, (1) handle, (2) wheels, (1) tank rinser, (1) ladder hook, (1) gate valve, (1) 3’ sewer hose,...

Gray/Black Water Tank Clean-Out Hoses

Was: $10

Now: $15

A gray/black water tank clean-out hose is essential, so you don’t contaminate your potable drinking water hose. We purchased Camco’s 25-foot RhinoFLEX clean-out hose for $10 in 2019.

The same exact hose today was $15 the last time we checked. While this may only sound like a difference of a few bucks, it’s about a 50% increase in a matter of a few short years.

Keep in Mind: Should you turn off your water when you leave your RV? This simple task can help prevent expensive water damage to your RV!

Camco RhinoFLEX Gray/Black RV Water Tank Clean Out Hose, 5/8 Inch, Orange (22990)
  • RV Water Cleaning Hose: Ideal for flushing RV black water, gray water, or tote tanks
  • Durable Construction: RV black water hose is made of durable PVC; bright orange color ensures that you won't mix it up...

90-Degree Hose Elbow

Was: $4

Now: $13

We found it easier to connect our potable water hose to our RV by using these 90-degree elbows made from brass. They’re great and come in handy when a campsite’s water connection is in an awkward location.

We didn’t think twice about tossing a couple of these into our cart when they were only $4 each. However, the last time we checked, these tiny pieces of brass were going for upwards of $13 each. That’s a massive increase!

Camco 90-Degree Hose Elbow for RV Water Hose, Solid Brass (22505)
  • Protect Your Water Hose: Eliminates stress and strain on your RV hoses
  • Easy to Set Up: Thanks to an easy-grip connector, it's simple to protect your water hose with this 90-degree water hose...

Water Pressure Regulator

Was: $8

Now: $11

An RV’s water lines differ significantly from a home’s residential plumbing.

Using a water pressure regulator helps protect you from exposing these sensitive water lines to too much pressure, which can cause cracks and damage that could lead to water damage in your RV. 

However, the $8 inline water pressure regulator we purchased is now $11.

Camco (40055) RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator- Helps Protect RV Plumbing and Hoses from High-Pressure City Water
  • RV Pressure Regulator: RV water pressure regulator is designed to protect RV and boat appliances, plumbing fixtures, and...
  • Efficient Design: Camper water pressure regulator reduces water pressure to a safe and consistent 40-50 PSI

RV Sewer Hose Support

Was: $29

Now: $43

If you’re planning to spend time in RV parks and campsites with a full hookup sewer connection, you’ll need a sewer hose support. These plastic supports keep your hose up off the ground and help ensure the waste travels smoothly and safely through your sewer hose and into the sewer drain.

Some RV parks and campgrounds require anyone connecting to the sewer connection to use them, which is something we can understand.

However, something that we can’t understand is how the sewer hose support we paid $29 in 2019 increased to $43. That’s a whole lot of money to spend on plastic!

Camco Sidewinder RV Sewer Support | Made from Sturdy Lightweight Plastic | Curve Around Obstacles and Won't Creep Closed | 20 Feet | Black | (43051)
  • Protects and Supports Your RV Sewer Hose: Lifts and guides your sewer hose to help waste move downhill; Provides stable,...
  • Compatibility: Fits up to a 20-foot RV sewer hose; Works with all 3-inch diameter hoses

X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers

Was: $60

Now: $75

X-Chocks help stabilize your rig by taking some of the bounce out when you move around inside your rig.

While they don’t replace actual chocks for your RV, they’re effective at stabilizing multi-axle rigs. We love our X-Chock wheel stabilizers, but we loved them a whole lot more when they were $60 in 2019 and not $75 as they are now in 2022. 

X-Chock Wheel Stabilizer - Pair - One Handle - 28012
  • Provides added stabilization and prevents tire shifts by applying opposing force to tandem tire applications
  • As opposed to other chocks, the X-Chock works with the tires’ natural movement instead of against them
Close up of X-Chock Wheel Stabilizers that have gone up in price due to inflation in the camping industry

Campsites

Not only has inflation impacted camping gear but also the entire camping experience. Since consumers are paying more for just about everything, they’re looking to save a few bucks when they can.

As a result, many are turning to local campgrounds for short-term vacations. The increased demand for campsites is making it harder to make a reservation, and many campgrounds are raising their nightly fees.

Pro Tip: Save money on camping fees with a Thousand Trails membership! Learn about the benefits and how much a membership costs.

RVs

If you’ve tried buying an RV lately, you’ve likely noticed that the cost of both new and used RVs has increased tremendously.

This is largely because the demand for RVs has risen incredibly over the past several years. Many manufacturers simply couldn’t keep up with the demand, which skyrocketed the prices. 

Buyers who didn’t want to wait for months for an RV started turning to used RVs, which drove the prices up for quality used RVs.

Depending on the type of RV, it wasn’t uncommon to see 30% increases in value for rigs compared to the previous year.

RVs at an RV lot for sale with a higher price tag due to inflation in the camping industry

Is the End in Sight for Inflation and the Camping Industry?

Unfortunately, we have to be the bearer of bad news: These prices likely aren’t changing much any time soon.

As we see from gas prices, costs don’t tend to fall nearly as quickly as they rise. It will likely take some time before these prices level back out or we adjust our expectations and settle for them being the norm.

What camping and RV items have you noticed increasing in price lately?

Last update on 2023-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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