Living in an RV is not for everyone. It’s meant for people who love living on the open road, enjoy making new friends, and love the great outdoors. The camper van lifestyle is the perfect embodiment of West Coast living that we hold so dear in BC.
There are various aspects of RV living that show a profound respect for our natural resources – like being conscious about your water usage, driving to your destinations as opposed to flying, and occupying a smaller living space than a conventional home. Conversely, living in an RV isn’t intuitively synonymous with green living, especially when people think about all the fuel that’s burnt getting from A to B or the generators that are run when you can’t hook them up to a power source.
There are several things you can do to up your green game while living in your RV. Read on for our top tips.
If You’re Buying a New RV…
If you’re buying a brand-new RV – Congratulations! Smaller RVs tend to be the most affordable and environmentally friendly too! If you’re buying a larger one, then look for RVs that have functions that allow them to benefit the environment or otherwise offset the cost of carbon emissions from running the vehicle like the use of recycled materials, energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, or even electric.
For those of us who don’t have the luxury of investing in a motorhome that’s freshly out of a showroom (or if you simply love your existing one), a few modifications can make a huge difference.
Investing in solar panels takes a huge load off your generator when it comes to recharging your house battery and running your appliances. The more you reduce your RV’s dependency on fossil fuels, the lower its carbon footprint. Install enough solar panels and you can even consider switching some of your propane-fuelled appliances like your stove, oven, and water heater to electric.
Another big bonus when it comes to solar is that it’s not noisy like a generator.
The harder your air conditioning or heating system have to work, the more energy they consume. Making sure your RV is properly insulated will make sure you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter without taxing your air conditioning or heating systems.
Use Reflectix as a window covering by cutting it slightly larger than your windows to keep the warmth in in winters and use it in your south facing windows in summer to repel heat. Look for areas where air can leak in from and cover those to prevent cold air from leaking in. Park your RV strategically in summer and winter so you can make the most of shade and sunlight to keep cool or warm as the season demands.
Let LEDs Light Your Way
If you have an older RV, make sure you switch all your lighting to LED as opposed to incandescent bulbs. They last longer, use less electricity to provide equivalent light, and don’t emit as much heat, all of which makes a huge difference in the energy you consume.
Install Low Flow Faucets and Showers
Low flow showers and faucets should be mandatory whether you live in a motorhome or a mansion! Using low flow equipment can reduce your water consumption by up to 50% without losing the enjoyment of great water pressure. Apart from helping the environment, you’ll enjoy not having to worry about filling your freshwater tank as often.
Switch to Biofuel
If your vehicle runs on diesel, consider making the switch to biodiesel which emits less CO2 and particles than conventional fuel. Speak to your RV mechanic if you have any concerns.
Do Away with Disposables
While disposable plates and cutlery can help save the headache of washing up, they’re really bad for the environment. them out for reusable tableware and use washable dish cloths instead of paper towels to reduce waste. The low flow faucets you’re using should help keep your freshwater levels up despite the dishes.
Maintain Your RV
Make sure your RV is tuned-up properly and follow a maintenance checklist to make sure everything is working as it should be. Simple things like making sure your tires are inflated properly and travelling with empty grey, black and freshwater tanks as much as possible can make a huge difference to your fuel economy.
The experts at Trademasters Vehicle Solutions are always happy to help you find and install environmentally friendly solutions for your RV. Get in touch today!