Study Shows RV Vacations Leave Smaller Carbon Footprint
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  1. #1
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    Talking Study Shows RV Vacations Leave Smaller Carbon Footprint

    Study Shows RV Vacations Leave Smaller Carbon Footprint

    Can you believe it! It's the one thing kind of felt bad about...all that gas! But if you RV instead of flying then, yep, it's better.

    We do have a small solar panel for charging the aux batteries. Eventually I want to add more portable type panels so when we're dry camping we don't need a generator.

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    Very interesting article!!

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm sure that's completely unbiased, coming from Affinity.

    I'd love to see 12 mpg or even 10 mpg with our motor home. Ours gets about 7, thereby boosting carbon output by at least 30% based on their figures. However, I'd much rather RV for a vacation than fly and stay at hotels for many, many reasons.

    I've seen other articles dealing with the issue that have included the cost and environmental impact of building/heating/cooling/etc hotels vs. campgrounds, impact on flying vs. driving (more in-depth than this article), impact of full-timers living in an RV vs. living in a house, etc. It really is very interesting and surprising how well RVs come off in comparison.

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    very interesting article, tanks for posting it. Something to think about.

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    I think my rig *might* get 10 mpg. I need to track it next time we take it out. Of course I really like to eventually get more solar panels for when we have to dry camp.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    A diesel pusher might get 10 mpg, I don't know. Ours is a gasser puller.

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I want to get a travel trailer. The article doesn't go in depth about campground cooking, waste water, campfires, etc. I guess when comparing fuel RVing has the advantage. I enjoyed reading the article, I found it interesting. It got me thinking.....

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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Carrie, campground cooking would be similar to cooking at home. Any cooking will have an environmental impact, except solar. At home you would tend to use more water for food prep, IMO, just because it's more convenient. Your oven is bigger, so you may use more fuel, either gas or electric, if you use that vs. a smaller RV oven or a Dutch oven over coals.

    Water usage is much lower, at least for us. We frequently don't fill our water tanks, especially if we're on a long trip with a lot of overnighters. Instead, we use gallon jugs. For a four-day trip, we would use less than ten gallons of water not counting showers. We tend to shower less while camping but of course our water usage is greater if we use the campground showers and toilets rather than the RVs' showers/toilet/Porta Potti. So water usage would be less than at home or at a hotel, for us anyway. We usually camp where there's no water hook-ups, so if we had water on-site that would probably make a difference.

    Using disposable dishes, paper towels, convenience foods, foods with excess packaging, etc would increase the carbon footprint somewhat. We use disposables when on the road or overnighting, but prefer to use real dishes when we're better able to clean up after a meal. It depends on your camping style.

    Campfire smoke does add carbon, so it would help to use properly dried wood and learn to make a fire so it's less smoky. Using the fire for cooking and heating water at times you would normally want a campfire would help offset that a little, because you wouldn't be burning fossil fuels to cook and clean up.

    Obviously, minimalist camping for four using a car with good gas mileage and a tenting set-up would have less of an impact than RV camping in any rig. For two, using a small lightweight rig that can be pulled by a small car, such as a Tab trailer, would be second best.

    It really is an interesting issue to consider. But selfishly, we're not willing to give up either our gas-hog moho or our oversized pop up and the gas-hog Astro van to pull it.
    Last edited by Spirit Deer; 03-22-2009 at 08:58 AM.

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I have a gas hog SUV. One day I'd like to have a travel trailer. So I know we'll be burning up some fossil fuels. I have flown, but I think you miss out on seeing our beautiful country when you fly. When you camp you really get a feel for the outdoors and how beautiful and wonderful nature really is. So keep on truckin' in your campers. The benefits are endless and I don't feel the environmental impact is that great. After all a 2 stroke powered leaf blower lets out more emissions than some rush hour traffic. As a side note I can't find the link to canoeing in the boundary waters, I thought I bookmarked it. Could you please give it to me again? I'd be forever greatfull.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I don't remember posting a link, but you can start at www.ely.org.

    I hate not traveling with an RV. Then we have to stay in hotels where who knows who did who knows what a million times on the sheets and we get to listen to who knows who do who knows what with who knows who in the next room, out in the hallway, or in the shower next door. Ew. That is the reality no matter how clean a place looks and how expensive it is.

    I contrast it with the trip we took to get our new pop up. We very un-frugally bought it on eBay and then had to drive from the arrowhead of Minnesota to Grand Rapids, Michigan to get it. In December, so we couldn't camp. We stayed at hotels and it was hard not to contrast waking up to the sights and sounds of the truck stops next door to the hotel vs. waking up in our pop up on another trip, to a spectacular sunrise over a badlands canyon, with a horse nickering softly nearby. There's just no comparison. We really like sleeping in our own beds and eating our own food, too. And traveling with an RV makes it so much easier to take our dogs.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Stupid double post, and I only clicked it once.
    Last edited by Spirit Deer; 03-22-2009 at 01:15 PM.

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