With an ever growing number of retired or semi-retired baby boomers, the RV industry has seen its biggest resurgence in sales since the early 1990s. Unlike previous generations of frugal seniors from the “silent generation,” their children are now at an age where they are flush with disposable income and are not afraid to spend it.
The lure of the RVing lifestyle is enticing for many because it allows travelers freedom, flexibility and control over when, where and how long they stay, as well as how they spend that time. Baby boomers are also part of a generation educated on living a greener lifestyle and many take this into consideration when making their travel plans and purchases.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
When shopping for necessities try to buy non-toxic cleaning supplies and tank additives. Another thing to consider is to avoid purchasing items with lots of unnecessary packaging. Buying locally made, organic or natural products is also better for the environment and is always a great choice for your family. Crushing cans and plastic containers or breaking down cardboard boxes also helps to conserve space on your rig.
Minimize the use of disposable items with reusable ones such as plates and cutlery, water bottles, grocery bags, etc. This not only is great for the environment by creating less waste, but saves you money as well.
Recycling while you travel is not only important to the environment, but is a courtesy to the campground or RV resort that you’re traveling to. You’ll also want to take note of local recycling requirements that may vary from state to state.
The use of solar panels to power on-board systems is not only a more environmentally friendly option it’s also a money saving investment. Installing a couple of solar panels on the roof of an RV could eliminate 90 percent of normal generator use, and almost 20 percent of RVers say they utilize these money-saving panels.
The environmental and long-term cost saving benefits far outweigh the initial costs of installing this renewable energy source and is becoming a growing trend among those who have embraced the RVing lifestyle.
Greener RV Manufacturing
RV manufacturers are also making efforts to improve weight control, fuel efficiency and materials used in building new RV models. Lighter building materials, such as aluminum and fiberglass, coupled with more fuel efficient chassis production, and more aerodynamic designs mean that more compact RVs can rival the MPGs of some SUVs and pickups.
Manufacturers have also increased the use of eco-friendly materials on the interiors of RV rigs as well. Green textiles, renewable woods, LED light fixtures and eco-friendly sealants and components have gained in popularity, making the RV more earth-friendly and implementing greener practices in the manufacturing process.
Other Tips and Tricks
- Utilize awnings instead of air conditioners. You’ll still stay cool while helping the environment and saving money – a win-win!
- Considering a flex-fuel rig that runs on E-85 Ethanol-based fuel. This would work for rigs up to a medium size.
- Use the “pack it in, pack it out” ideology that what you take into the wilderness should come back with you. In a camping or RV resort this would mean cleaning up after yourself before leaving your site. A simple concept that, unfortunately, many don’t uphold. Be considerate to the people staying after you – no one wants to clean up someone else’s mess.
- Keep RV and tow vehicle engines in good working order to conserve on energy and help reduce emissions.
- If you’re in an area that allows campfires, keep them small to minimize the amount of ash and air pollution. You’ll also want to observe fire rules, which could change daily depending on weather conditions.