Get a greener RV
by going for less, not more
To get a greener RV, the simple approach of "less is more" can get you a better RV. What do you really need in an RV? The minimum or the maximum?
Here are some things to consider. To be an effective RV, it:
- must move you where you want to go. And it must bring you back to the starting point or to wherever you will be dropping it off.
- must allow you to sleep. Presumably you want it to be a good and comfortable sleep. This could be a simple bed, a set of bunks or just an air mattress on the floor of a delivery van.
- allow you to cook and do general food preparation unless you are planning to eat out. It could just be a canister stove and a pot or two. Maybe a chopping board and a few utensils. Or the full gourmet kitchen with oven, dishwasher, microwave oven and outdoor barbecue.
- must allow you to clean your body and such: Do you need a toilet, a shower, a handbasin? These can be improvised, portable versions. Or you might want a proper bathroom with all of them in one room. Some RVs have split facilities - toilet and handbasin in one room, shower in another. There are even some RVs with a spa bath or a normal bath - motormansions.
- Dining can be at a table inside, outdoors (also called al fresco, which really makes for a greener RV) or on your lap in the driving and passenger seats.
Some of the above functions can be combined:
- A dinette is a dining table and two benches that convert to a double or single bed, depending on the size.
- Some dining tables can be moved out of doors.
- A set of chairs and a table can be used inside and out. They will need to be attached or stored safely when the RV is in motion so they don't fly around.
- If you want a bed that doesn't need to be made up each night, you can have:
- a dedicated bed (often over the driving cab in a motorhome)
- A bed that raises to sit under the roof and then drops down at bedtime, perhaps over the lounge or dining area
- A bed that folds up against the wall to free up the lounge or dining area and then folds down over the lounge or dining area when you want to sleep.
- A portable toilet (or portable potty) plus a hand-held shower plus a toilet tent makes a very effective outdoor bathroom. Add in the ability to heat your shower water and you can live like a king. There are gas and 12 v water heating and pumping systems that deliver heaps of hot water for showering and washing up. If you don't want the expense and weight of one of those, the water can be pumped by a battery pack, the RV battery or foot or hand power. Or you can use a shower bucket that hangs with the water in it and a shower rose under it. You can heat the water on the stove and tip it and some cold water into the shower bucket. If you shower outside, please ensure you minimise problems by using the least damaging shower products that you can. This means that you can have a greener RV, leave a greener patch where the shower water ran and do no significant damage to the environment with your RV.
So there are many ways to get a greener RV, particularly if you remember that less is more and being close to Nature can be better than being forced to depend on campgrounds for your accommodation.