Record numbers of RVs are rolling down the highways of the Texas Panhandle.
That means local RV parks and resorts are getting just the economic boost they desperately need.
With gas prices $1.30 less than they were at this time last year, RV-going families are once again getting behind the wheel. Many of them are making a stop in Amarillo, and they're leaving more than just tire marks behind.
The managers at Amarillo Ranch RV Park rarely get a break these days. Manager Dave Shave says, "We have had nights here when we've been more than full." But they wouldn't have it any other way. "We're having a far better year than last year. In fact I think we're even running ahead of 2007."
Vacationers like Ruben Joe King are once again rolling in. "We went to Albuquerque, then to Branson, Missouri. We spent two months there and now we're on our way back to Edgewood."
It's a trip they weren't able to make last year. "We put the brakes on. We didn't go anywhere last year and when the gas prices, the fuel prices came down we decided to go back on the road this year."
Plus, in a time when every little bit counts, the New Mexico resident says the RV vacation is easy on his wallet. "We don't like the high prices of the and condominiums and things like that."
Shave says, "Our regular rate is $33 a night. The monthly rate here is $265 plus electric."
Shave says the surge this summer is not only making up for the park's losses last year, but it's giving the local economy just the boost it needs.
"I think they're spending a fair amount of money in the area. I really do. They come to see Palo Duro Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, the Panhandle Plains Museum, and when they come to see those things, they're spending money."