BY: PHILIPPE DE JOCAS
When you think of climate change, what immediate suspects come to mind? Coal mines and factories, certainly, but don’t forget trucks, heavy freight trains, and other diesel-fueled behemoths. They’ve all played a role in the global carbon game: whereas some machines these days are trying to downsize their carbon footprints, these culprits are strapping on the clown shoes and running amok. Chief among them – the recreational vehicle, denizen of trailer parks, scourge of environmentalists and hippies alike. We’ve all seen these giants lumbering down the highway, guzzling a dozen dead dinosaurs with every kilometre.
But the recreational vehicle presents an oxymoron. These monstrosities were designed, in some capacity, to let their drivers get close to nature. RV’ing through the wilderness remains one of North America’s most popular pastimes. From the redwood forests of California to the windswept cliffs of Nova Scotia, you can bet that some hard-bitten family of 1-percenters has RV’d there and lived to tell the tale of survival against all odds. How can we balance these two extremes together?
RV’s, camper vans, camping cars, and their ilk let us enjoy the wilderness without ever having to leave the comfort of home… but at the same time they can wreak havoc on the environment. Try these tips for your next RV sojourn to leave you feeling a little more positive about driving the great outdoors.
Solar panels have evolved while you weren’t looking. They’re powerful, portable, and perpetual power sources, drawing photons from the sun and turning them into clean energy. Installing a backup source of solar energy on your RV will be easier on both the planet and your wallet: bye-bye, grid.
What better way to cut back on emissions than changing your fuel? Since most RV’s run on regular gasoline, with a bit of tinkering and creativity you can, therefore, alter your engine to run off cleaner-burning sources like vegetable oil or biodiesel.
You’ll be spending most of your time inside your RV as you roam the highways of our nation. Redesigning your interiors isn’t just a fun exercise in personalization; it can also be an opportunity to improve the environmental friendlessness of your RV away from its unfriendly factory standards. Removing harmful chemicals like compound paints and installing water-saving measures like flood controllers on your shower keep things clean, conservative and energy friendly.
It happens. We all gotta go sometimes. If you’re camping in an RV, then you have some options outside of just making like a bear. Consider installing a composting toilet instead of the traditional hydraulically operated model: they use less water and some models use none at all. In addition, you’ll never have to worry about jammed pipes or pumping out the septic. It’s probably not as classy as your gold-plated shitter at home, but it’ll have to do.