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.

What do you have to lose?


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