In About Schmidt, Jack Nicholson memorably plays a retired mid-level executive who, after his wife’s unexpected death, takes an RV on the road and experiences various adventures — including a hot tub encounter with Kathy Bates.
I thought of the Schmidt character, and the many retirees who are part of the American RV community, when I went to fill the tank this morning and saw that gas prices were above $4 a gallon. Even filling up my Acura cost just shy of $60. How much would it cost to top off one of those enormous houses on wheels? What kind of mileage do those behemoths get? And if you were a senior living on a fixed income who hoped to spend your retirement touring the countryside and hanging out at KOAs and Good Sam campsites across the fruited plain, how would you feel about the rising gas prices that are making your retirement dreams so much more difficult to afford?
Of course, summer is the peak RV driving season. Only time will tell how many RVs will be on the road this summer, and how many will be on blocks because of gas prices. My guess is that any disappointed seniors who are foregoing their tours of America’s highways and byways due to rising gas prices aren’t going to be happy about it — and they are probably pretty likely to vote, too.