Hybrid RV?

Hybrid RV?

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Could it be? An RV that is an actual hybrid with good gas mileage, nah. Well, maybe. According to Auto Green Blog, it’s a possibility. I suppose if you’re in the market of an RV this is a good thing. Even the heavy duty RV makers that use Cummings engines are considering hybrid for fuel economy and environment. I’ve written about my camping experience, the dangers of RV camping and the fact they very well could be toxic and the alternatives, it is time to get down to business with fuel and emissions…another Eco issue.

With the cost of gas rising RVing and towing a camper with a pickup truck happens to be an issue. Then again, so is all types of travel even air.  If a family is towing a camper they might choose to buy a flex fueled vehicle and save buy using an alternative such as ethanol or biodisel. Seeing that I am far from an expert in this field, I don’t own an RV and have zero experience in this department I will defer you to a The Fun Times Guide that actually does use a flex fueled vehicle and has an RV but also writes on ways to green your RVing.

Another option is to chose a hybrid trailer camper or Eco light camper to pull behind your current vehicle. Just the other day I took my children 45 minutes north to shop for school clothes and on my trip I saw a total of 68 pull behind campers and mind you, this is just 35 miles!  Campers are heavy to pull and that means gas millage that isn’t so great. What does more gas mean? More fossil fuels being burned which in turn hurts the environment. If a family chooses to buy a lighter camper to tow they get better gas mileage, burn fewer fossil fuels and it is better for the environment and their wallet! Tad-Da!

Most of the models weigh less than 3,000 pounds and can be towed by most mid-sized vehicles. So you don’t have to have an SUV and you can even have a hybrid, probably! What I love about this camper is the variety of floor plans, all the accommodations of a big camper but a smaller space.  My husbands only response, “There are rainy days.” Okay, yes there are and a smaller camper means less run around room but you make due and see the sights around town or play in the rain!

If you’re patient and you want to spend a lot of money you might want to wait for the Volkswagen hybrid and electric caravan that is solar powered, has won design awards and is perfect for two children and two adults (my family)! Check out this sweet looking caravan/camper that will retail in the U.S. for only $69,0000!  I guess going green and camping isn’t just for hippies anymore!  This reminds me of Beth from When I Come Up for Air and her camping experience. The RV she restored, her parents drove and this new RV looks similar, minus the solar panels and hybrid part!

Now,  emissions happens to be an issue for any environmentally friendly person and thus many who travel regularly buy Terra Passes to offset their travel emissions. I turned to Simple Green Choices for a short second to see what they thought and yes it was true, RV’s give off the most emissions in comparison to cars, trains and airplanes. Then I looked to their report on carbon emissions per person and an RV was not listed. For a family of four driving an RV just might be more Eco-friendly?  There is no doubt an RV takes a lot of gas and therefore burns a lot of fossil fuel that hurts the environment. We have to look at the big picture and the use of the RV and what people are using in total for the burring of fossil fuels. If my family of four would use an RV for the Summer months to travel, even including the gas we would mostly likely use less energy and burning of fossil fuels then to cool and maintain our large 3000+ older home.  We would be consuming less, cooling a smaller area, using less energy overall and best of all making memories and enjoying the environment. The total package needs to be looked at. If we were to travel like this and still employ our same green principals (recycling, saving water, reusing, non-toxic products, etc) we could very well be RVing it green!

I cannot, even after all of my reading and research, say whether pulling a camper or using an RV is best. It really depends on each family, what they will be doing with the camper or RV and what they want out of the experience. A family that pulls a camper but drives all over the place after they park the camper might not be any better than the couple using an RV that simply parks it and enjoys where they are. Every situation is different but make the green choice for your family, your budget and the environment. Next I’ll explore how to green your camping regardless of what you choose to use and why my family is considering an RV.

Hi, I’m Sommer (@greenmom) and I’ve been calling this my blogging home for 9 years. I’m a juggler of life, a protective mama bear and I enjoy travel, wine, sunshine and good books. I’m passionate about inspiring others to live a little healthier and greener each day. I’m many things but above all I’m a believer in karma and the good in people. I’m a children’s book author, public speaker and consultant. My full-time gig is working as a Marketing Manager for Freshbaby.com and helping to encourage everyone to eat healthier. Check out my about me page for more details.


  • Mari

    Awesome post!! So glad you’re considering RVing.

    Hubby and I sold our big 2600 sq ft beach home in San Diego along with all our furniture in 7/07 and have been full time RVers ever since. I rather think we’re consuming less resources… though I’d much rather have a hybrid RV. And it certainly does depend on how much driving we do. We do strive to live a much simpler life… YET, the simple life can often be so much more complex!! LOL!


  • Great website! I just found you from twitter! We are going on our 3rd year of an open ended world tour mostly using an RV and living large on just 25K a year.

    The best way to go green with an RV is keep it small and do slow travel. We have traveled 4 continents and only taken 2 flights and surprisingly have used few miles despite going to 20 countries so far.

    Our RV is parked a lot and we use mass transit of every kind and have crossed 12 seas with ferries ( sometimes freight ferries). We have been based in Europe mostly so far, but when we feel complete here we will ship our RV to Africa and then onto South America where we will drive it back to Ca ( some shipping too probably).

    RVing is really a superb way to see the planet as a family and for the environment. We are mostly vegans and cook most of our own meals. Beans are cheap everywhere. lol! We also have few possessions and our monthly rental in the winter in Spain, helps keeps us from consuming. 😉

    We travel the world on MUCH less than we living at home and have a VERY small footprint.

    Soultravelers3s last blog post..Sahara Dream

  • RV

    The New Class B's are are good way for going green as they don't consume as much fuel. Dodge has come out with a nice model I am thinking of getting!

  • there are quite high expectations from RV's since it is use to carry heavy loads for trips…

  • yup it really is a hybrid…

  • solar panels for rvs

    I expect we will going to purchase a new 2009 MMH this fall.Later modules might include a circuit to automatically switch the hybrid drive system into neutral during closed-throttle coast down events/periods to avoid shortening the coast distance via regenerative braking.