Go Green in Your RV
Being green is only natural for RV travelers. A recent survey showed that more than two-thirds of RVers minimize water use on trips, almost half recycle more on RV vacations than on other types and nearly half turn off home utilities before they hit the road. In addition, 94% of all RVers travel with 2-7 people, meaning the vehicles get more people miles per gallon.
Did you know that 80% of RVs sold in the United States are actually non-motorized? And 30% of RV owners have a diesel tow vehicle or motorhome, promoting greater fuel efficiency. New ideas and technologies are being employed by the RV industry to create a growing market of products that are:
Lighter. New materials and eco-friendly space-age composites are making a difference in fuel efficiency.
Smaller. While there will always be big boys out there, manufacturers are starting to produce more small units with many desirable on-board amenities.
Hybrids. Chassis manufacturers have developed diesel/electric hybrid engines, boasting improved MPG of 40% over comparably sized gas motorhomes.
Aerodynamic. Manufacturers are making sleeker front ends to address wind resistance.
Eco-Friendly Components. RV manufacturers are making increased use of green textiles, power-saving LED light fixtures and eco-friendly sealants and components.
It’s not just RV manufacturers that are going green, but RVers as well. Right now, almost 20% of RVers say they use solar panels to power some of their on-board systems.
RVers have a responsibility to protect the environment. Help preserve the great outdoors for future generations by following these conservation tips:
- Keep your RV on roads that it is equipped to handle.
- Keep RV and tow vehicle engines well-tuned to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
- Always use marked RV campsites.
- Recycle as you travel. Take note of campground recycling categories; they may be different from those you use at home.
- Minimize the use of disposables. Mix your own cold drinks from powders, and assign a mug to each family member rather than using paper cups. Discard excess packaging at home.
- Keep campfires small to minimize the amount of ash and pollution. Don’t put anything into the fire pit that will not burn, such as plastics, foils and metals. Observe fire rules, which may change each day with weather conditions.
- Use nontoxic cleaning supplies and tank additives.
- Where pets are permitted, keep them indoors or use a screw-in stake. Tying them to trees can damage fragile bark.
- Work with nature. In hot weather, use natural shade, awnings and canvas covers. In cold weather, park where the RV will be protected from north and west winds.
- Leave the campground showers, dump station and campsite as clean as you found them.
- At the end of your trip, dispose of all trash properly.
RV vacations are more environmentally friendly than fly/drive/hotel vacations, according to a study comparing total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or carbon footprints. PKF Consulting, an internationally recognized consulting firm with expertise in travel and tourism, found that families of four taking RV vacations generate less CO2 than families traveling on a plane, renting a car and staying in a hotel.
With nearly one billion tourists crisscrossing the globe every year, it’s more important than ever for travelers to minimize their individual impact on the earth’s natural and cultural treasures. Taking a green approach to travel is important to protect the places you love to visit, not just for yourself but for those who come after you and for the people who live there long after you’ve gone home.