A recent survey by Booking.com suggests that over half of travelers want to travel more sustainably in the future. But what exactly does that mean for the average traveler? With a rising number of options available for people to take vacations and countries becoming more accessible, the amount of people upping sticks and seeing more of the world has increased. This also means the average person’s carbon footprint has increased too.
Sustainable travel for the average person is taking more conscious steps to make positive changes to their traveling habits and using more sustainable methods of transport to reach destinations. While it might not be viable to travel completely without any environmental impact, being careful about who you travel with and what you use when doing so can help you to reduce or offset the increased carbon produced due to your travels.
But did you know RV travel is greener than you think? While driving around a vehicle that consumes copious amounts of gas might not at first glance seem a green option, it can be a sustainable choice for those wishing to take an extended vacation or live their life on the road for a period of time.
With “van life” becoming increasingly popular and social media accounts popping up to share the benefits of living life this way, it can be worthwhile looking into how living and traveling in an RV can be more eco-friendly to live more sustainably when on the road.
Sustainable RV Travel
Creating a sustainable RV experience is about looking at how you will use your RV, how you power it, and your actions when on the road. Put it this way; every action you make increases or decreases your carbon footprint, and travel is no different. A study by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) found that a family of four on a 10-day, 683-mile journey would create 2.61 tonnes of CO2 by taking a typical fly/drive/hotel vacation for this journey. This figure is reduced to 1.69 tonnes of CO2 produced if taken in a Class C motorhome. So far, so good, right?
With this in mind, read on to learn more about how RV travel can be more sustainable and how you can enjoy your travels without increasing your carbon footprint excessively.
A generator is a must-have for those wishing to spend long periods on the road. An RV generator allows you to power all of our equipment while on the go and keep you connected at all times, wherever you are. This can be for things such as generating hot water, powering electronics, cooking equipment, or keeping warm on colder nights.
RV generators can be in various sizes and powers and can be powered in different ways. They can also be portable or built-in. The most sustainable generator for your vehicle is a solar-powered option, as you can recharge it using the sun and avoid using more energy to keep it charged for when you need it. But how can you pick a more sustainable option?
When it comes to choosing your generator, first and foremost, you need to assess the amount of power you will be using and find the right voltage; is a 30-amp or 50-amp better for your vehicle, and can you find a quiet generator for rv that doesn’t disturb you when used overnight? Solar generators are typically made up of solar panels, batteries, inverters, and charge controllers and are fast becoming the generator of choice thanks to their low noise output and ability to be charged without using fossil fuels.
Avoid Single Use Plastic
Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid increasing your carbon footprint and live more sustainably is to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible. Single-use plastics are the scourge of the modern world, and packing your RV with lightweight, reusable items you can pull out time and time again, such as cups, dinnerware, cutlery, water bottles, and so on, can help you to reduce how much waste you produce, and increase your sustainability.
Increase Static Time
RV’s need to use fuel to keep them going; that is a must. But, just because you need to fill up on gas, it doesn’t mean you can’t reduce how much gas you use. While it can be tempting to up sticks and move to a new location each night, invariably, you will use more fuel and increase consumption as you travel around. Why not factor longer into your trip? Choose a site with plenty of amenities or places you can explore for a little while and pitch up for a few nights. This will reduce the amount of time spent driving and decrease your fuel consumption, saving you money and increased impact on the environment.
Plan Routes Carefully
While RV travel will always be more sustainable than other options, you can negate this by spending too much time driving around. Before you head off, plan your routes carefully and find the best routes possible to help you avoid excessive driving. Use GPS systems to plot routes and be strategic about your stops and the campground locations you choose. While going off the beaten track to find a nice secluded site to pitch up on can be a great way to enhance your tip, if it takes you miles off track there and back, it isn’t a sustainable choice. Instead, look for more accessible options to avoid you spending more time driving than required.
An RV is essentially a home-from-home. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pack everything from your home into your van. The heavier your RV, the more fuel it will take to get you where you need to be. While bigger, more modern RVs can handle full-time living, you still need to be mindful of how much weight it carries to allow you to use as little fuel as possible. You can expect to get around 7-13 miles per gallon depending on the size and class of motorhome you are driving. This can change massively if you are carrying heavier loads.
Sustainable RV travel is possible, and by making careful, more informed choices, you can reduce your impact when on the road and still enjoy your trip.