The first step to sustainable travel is choosing an Eco-Friendly RV. If you’ve already bought an RV, then the next step is learning how to make your RV more Eco-Friendly!
One of the best parts of the van life is the freedom to explore nature and see all of the beauty that our mother earth has to offer. As nomads and travelers, we should see ourselves as stewards of this natural world. It’s our duty to do everything we can to make our travelling sustainable.
This blog is divided into two parts: first we’ll run over some of the most environmentally friendly RVs of 2021, and then we’ll provide some tips and tricks for making your existing RV more sustainable.
Most Eco-Friendly RVs of 2021
If you’re new to the Van Life, you might be searching for your first RV. We’re glad you’re here, looking to make the most sustainable choice.
This could be fortunate or unfortunate depending on what you’re looking for, but smaller-sized, towable RVs are the most environmentally friendly option. They’re also the most affordable! Our first three picks fall under this category.
But, we know that some of you are looking for more of a ‘house on wheels’ type deal, so we’ll also cover some of those as well.
Remember, there are lots of different sustainable RVs to choose from. These are just some of our favourites!
1. Airstream RVs
Photo sourced from: https://www.airstream.com/travel-trailers/
Airstream RVs are a sustainable option both from a consumer and manufacturing standpoint. For starters, Airstream’s facilities are fueled by 100% renewable energy. They’ve developed a comprehensive plan for recycling wasted materials during manufacturing, as well as reducing non-recyclable waste. Additionally, they’ve committed to planting enough trees in 2021 to offset the carbon emissions caused by each trailer’s first year of use (including manufacturing AND time on the road). According to the Airstream’s website, 70% of Airstreams ever built are still in use today—that means they’re built to last. Every Airstream is Certified Green, meaning they’ve met reputable standards for sustainability.
2. Luna Trailers
Luna Trailers by inTechRV are a compact, lightweight option for those who want to travel sustainably. Luna trailers are so light that they can be towed by most vehicles. You won’t even need a huge gas guzzler to travel with it!
3. Scamp Trailers
Photo sourced from: https://www.scamptrailers.com/
If you’d like a slightly larger trailer than the Luna, then Scamp Trailers might be for you. They’re another lightweight option that tow easily behind most cars.
4. Jayco 2022 Swift
Photo sourced from: https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2022-Jayco-Swift-20A-5017367879
Another company that commits to environmentally friendly production is Jayco. Their company is nearly 100% landfill-free after launching their EcoAdvantage Program.
Class B motorhomes are more efficient than class C or A, so our recommendation is their Class B 2022 Swift.
5. Dethleffs Solar Assisted Electric Motorhome
Dethleffs is a German company making leaps forward towards fossil fuel-free van life. The concept for their solar assisted e-home takes gas entirely out of the picture. It uses electricity as its primary source for power, with solar panels as a backup method of energy generation.
6. The Tribrid
Photo sourced from: https://www.motor1.com/news/306607/eco-explorer-camper-van/
Looking for fuel efficiency? Look no farther than the Tribrid Ecocamper. This van can get up to 1,000 miles per tank! Between its low emissions and endless electric energy, this has to be one of the most environmentally friendly motorhomes on the market.
How to Make Your RV More Eco-Friendly
There’s a range of changes you can make to reduce your environmental footprint. Some are bigger reno’s, some are small but conscious lifestyle choices. No matter the size, each of these changes make a difference.
1. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are a great way to make the ‘domestic’ aspects of your RVing more sustainable. Solar panels can help power your appliances, and will recharge your battery no matter where you are.
In addition to making your RV more eco-friendly, it’ll really make your RV feel more like a home. If you want to charge your phone or use your appliances out in the bush, you won’t need to worry about killing your battery (so long as you’re in the sunlight, of course).
And it gets better: they’re quiet and don’t stink like a propane generator.
Additionally, consider using a solar water heater for your cooking, showers, and sink. It’s the most environmentally conscious way to get hot water on the road.
You can take your RV to the experts, or DIY it. Interested in doing it yourself? Here’s a great video tutorial on installing solar panels for beginners.
2. Insulate Your RV
Insulating your RV is an effective, easy, and green way of staying warm (especially in those extra chilly winter months). Here are some ways you can warm your RV the green way:
- Using foam or materials like Reflectix, cut the shape of your windows (but just slightly larger). These can be used as window coverings during the night time to keep your van extra warm.
- Find any exterior areas of your vehicle that might let cold air leak in (such as your outdoor shower, storage, or any power lines) and insert pieces of styrofoam to add an extra layer of protection.
- Add styrofoam over your interior exhaust van
- Install skirting around the bottom of your trailer to prevent cold air from hitting the bottom of your trailer.
3. Fill Up With Green Fuel
If your RV or van takes diesel, consider switching to Biodiesel.
Biodiesel is made from natural, renewable components such as soybeans, algae, canola, and animal tallow. It emits less carbon dioxide and less particulate matter than regular diesel. Even better, biodiesel is nontoxic and biodegradable!
4. Switch to LED Lights
If you’ve got any incandescent lights in your vehicle, switch to LED asap. LED lights use less electricity and last way longer than their counterparts - which also saves you money. And lowers your risk of draining the battery.
They’re also cooler. Cooler as in *they’ll make you way cooler* as well as temperature-wise. They convert more energy to light than heat, and will emit less heat. That means keeping your van cooler too, and you might feel less compelled to turn on the AC.
5. Install Low Flow Faucets and Shower Heads
By installing low flow faucets and shower heads in your RV, you can reduce your water waste by up to 50%. You’ll also spend less time refilling your fresh water tank, which means more time spent enjoying your time on the road.
6. Make Purchases That Last
Because our levelers are extremely durable, they’re likely to last you for years. Whereas cheap plastic counterparts or wood break more often, meaning more plastic going to the landfill and more trees dying. Lynx Levelers have a 10 year warranty - that’s a whole decade (or more) on the road without replacing.
Cover all your RV leveling needs for just $97 with the Lynx Essential RV Leveling Pack.