The Best Advice on the Eco-friendliness of Living in a RV
Is living in an RV environmentally friendly?
Ask yourself this question:Can you drive a 35-foot motorhome and still be conscious about the environment around you?
The Answer: YES!
To the non-RVing onlooker, though, traveling by RV equates to a gas-guzzling behemoth that is destroying the environment.
The biggest culprits related to energy consumption and environmental concerns are, of course, the fossil fuels burned getting from point A to point B in our RVs. But when compared to air travel, RVs â€” even at 7 to 10 miles per gallon â€” are the better choice environmentally.
In an edition of the weekly periodical The Nation, an article stated the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by jets during air travel are around 270 percent greater than those of average emissions caused by driving the same distance. George Monbiot, the author, went on to say that this makes air travel "one of the most destructive things we can do."
Advancements in RV ManufacturingEighty percent of RVs sold in the United States are nonmotorized, and 20% of RV owners have a diesel tow vehicle or motorhomes, promoting greater fuel efficiency. Check out the new ideas and technologies being employed by the RV industry to create a growing market of products that are more environmentally friendly:
Lighter: Aluminum, fiberglass, renewable bamboo and other eco-friendly space-age composites are used to build lighter RVs, making a difference in fuel efficiency and tow weights.
Smaller: While there will always be owners looking for the large models, manufacturers' creative floor plan designs efficiently work many desirable on-board amenities into smaller footprints without feeling cramped.
Efficient: The lighter building materials coupled with more fuel-efficient chassis production means compact RVs rival the MPGs of some large SUVs and pickups.
Aerodynamic: Manufacturers are designing stylish, sleek front-ends to address wind resistance.
Eco-Friendly: RV manufacturers are making increased use of green textiles, renewable woods, power-saving LED light fixtures and eco-friendly sealants and components. And not only are the RVs earth-friendlier, but manufacturers are employing green practices in the manufacturing process.
Environmentally Friendly RVing: Seven Ways to Reduce RV Fuel Consumption
Ways to improve RV fuel economyFor starters, slow down. Speeding and rapid acceleration reduce fuel economy from 5 to 33 percent, depending on your individual driving habits. Here are seven other simple ways to lower fuel consumption:
1. Check and adjust the tire pressure to the proper inflation. This may increase fuel economy by 3 percent. It can also prevent premature tire wear and failures or blowouts caused by overinflated or underinflated tires. Tires can look normal when they are seriously underinflated.
2. Use a clean air filter. It's simple, but may improve your fuel economy by up to 10 percent.
3. Use overdrive whenever you can. It will save fuel by decreasing the engine speed.
4. Use the cruise control whenever possible. This saves fuel because it keeps the vehicle at a constant speed rather than variable speeds. Note: This applies when you are driving on a relatively flat surface.
5. Keep the RV tuned up and in top running condition. A poorly tuned engine may lower fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent.
6. Poor emissions and/or a faulty oxygen sensor may cause a 40% reduction in fuel economy.
7. Added weight, which you don't need, reduces fuel economy significantly. We're all guilty of this one.
Water consumption: House vs. RVAfter arriving at your destination, the amount of energy consumed by a motorhome is far less than that of your home. By design, the RV is an environmentally friendly house. You have water-saving devices such as a 6- or 10-gallon water heater as compared to a 40- or 100-gallon water heater in a home. There is a water-saving toilet, and you aren't watering the lawn when you're RVing.
According to the American Water Works Association, the average U.S. residence uses about 110 gallons of water a day. An average RV family may probably use less than 40 gallons of water a day.
In addition to the built-in water-saving features of an RV, there are many other ways to lower the amount of water use. Here are a few ideas touted by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service:
- When brushing your teeth, don't let the water run. Instead, half fill a glass and use that water to wet your brush and rinse your mouth.
- When washing your hands or shaving, do not let the water run. Fill the basin and dip your hands or razor, as needed.
- Turn off the shower while shampooing your hair.
- Teach children water-saving techniques.
- Take short showers, not baths. Limit showers to five minutes or less.
- Install flow restrictors on individual water fixtures like shower heads and faucets. To automatically reduce flow and aerate the water.
Electricity use: Home vs. Motorhome
If your house uses LP-gas as an energy source for heat, cooking, and heating water, your home on wheels will use much less propane to do the same thing.
Renewable energy source: solar powerIf you are really interested in reducing the carbon footprint left behind in your RV, and going green, you can start by looking at renewable energy sources. America depends on fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal for everything we do. Fossil fuels are not renewable energy sources and cause pollution whenever they are burned.
Renewable energy, unlike fossil fuels, can never be used up and does not cause pollution.
For RVers the most logical renewable energy source comes by the way of the sun. Solar energy is produced by the sun's rays. By using solar panels, batteries, and inverters, we have a way to harness this renewable energy for use in our RV. Solar energy is clean energy that never can be used up, doesn't pollute and is almost always available at no charge.
A typical solar power system for an RV consist of solar panels, batteries, some type of charge controller and an inverter. The solar panels capture the sun's energy and produce direct current or DC power. This captured power is stored in the RV's auxiliary batteries. A charge controller makes sure the RV batteries are fully charged, but not overcharged. The power inverter converts the DC power stored in the batteries to alternating current, or AC power, to be used by the RV's appliances.
Many of the inverters found in RVs today are inverter/chargers. This means they are inverters, battery chargers and a transfer switch all in one.
It is possible to drive a 35-foot motorhome and still be conscious about the environment. We as a country, and even more so as RVers, can and should protect the environment and leave it in as good of, if not better, condition than we found it. We can all do our part, in some way, to be good stewards of the land we enjoy so much.
- Keep RV and tow vehicle engines well-tuned to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
- Always use marked RV campsites so as not to damage natural habitats.
- Recycle as you travel at the campgrounds or through community programs. Take note of local recycling categories; they may be different from those followed at home.
- Minimize the use of disposable dishes, cups, and utensils. As convenient as they seem, they create an abundance of trash.
- Keep campfires small to minimize the amount of ash and pollution. Don't put anything into the fire pit that will not burn.
- Observe fire rules, which may change daily 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 instead of the AC. In cold weather, park where the RV will be protected from north and west winds and warmed by sun exposure.
- 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.
Climate change has fast become a hot issue across the world and its effects can impact everyone. While everyone is doing their little bit to be just that little more environmentally friendly, big changes still need to be made to ensure the safety of our planet for future generations.
Everyone can help, whether it be recycling, switching off the beer fridge, or turning off the lights when not in use.
Another great way we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions is by making our vehicles more environmentally friendly, in particular, our RVs. To find out more how we can help you achieve this goal, visit one of our stores: http://lamesarv.com/locations-motorhome-dealer or call us: (800)496-8778