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RVing Gone Green

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Affiliate

RVing can be, and is, eco-friendly… I know, it seems like an oxymoron, but it’s true! Just like other forms of transportation, RVs are becoming more and more eco-friendly. There are hybrids in the works and new designs to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize your footprint. Aside from the advances in technology, there are several other ways to “green” up your RV and save you a little cash along the way.

  • Off the Cord Living– National Forest Lands and Bureau of Land Management both offer lots of free (we all like free) dry camping. The primitive camp areas are typically surrounded by nature and some locations are right outside of the most popular state and national parks. There are no hookups, but the beautiful surroundings and free camping are totally worth it! (Don’t forget to check out the “off the cord” communities like Quartzite and Slab City, too.)
  • Water Filtration– Invest in a good water filtration system. Not only will this save on the cost of bottled water, but it will reduce your plastic consumption!
  • LED Lights– Switching out your traditional bulbs for LED’s will not only save electricity, but allow you to dry camp for much longer without running down your house batteries!
  • Low Flow Faucets– Change out your kitchen and bathroom aerators. Look for 1.2-1.5 (gallons per minute) aerators at the hardware store. Switch out your showerhead for an eco option, look for anything under 2.5 gpm. This will conserve water, maintain great water pressure, and enable you to camp longer before needing to dump your grey water.
  • Solar Panels– A small array of solar panels will power most of your electronics. Having solar power also allows you to live “off the cord” much longer. This saves the environment and money!
  • Bio Diesel– Switching back and forth from diesel to bio-diesel blends like B-20 is no problem. So, when you come across a bio-blend supply, fill ‘er up! (You can always consult your engine manufacturer to make sure.)
  • Ditch Disposables– Many RVers use disposables because they make cleaning up easier, but it’s harder on the environment. Use non-disposable items like cloth napkins and real plates.
  • Grey/Black Tank Cleaners– Chemical-based cleaners and deodorizers contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. These chemicals have been shown to cause different kinds of cancers as well as pollute the soil and water. Why risk it? Buy the enzyme-based tank cleaners instead.
  • Recycling – Keep an extra trashcan or box in a storage compartment to hold your recyclables. If your campground doesn’t offer recycling, check out apps like “irecycle”.

According to PKF Consulting (a travel and tourism research firm), families of four taking RV vacations generate less carbon than families traveling on a plane, renting a car, and staying in a hotel.

Now that you are armed with green RVing knowledge, you can roll down the highway confident that you are treading a little lighter.