RV Industry Goes Green—Just Kidding!


| 7/21/2009 9:49:07 AM



RVsIt’s hard to think of a consumer-product industry that’s less green than the one that makes recreational vehicles. Its very existence is predicated on using large amounts of fossil fuel to lug around small numbers of people and lots of luxuries, and signs of environmental enlightenment are scarce: Living simply and living large are inherently incompatible.

So I was intrigued to find a reference to “going green” on the industry website RVeNews. What could this mean? Had the manufacturers that gave us the Weekend Warrior, the Land Yacht, and the Tsunami suddenly seen the light? Perhaps they were ready to downsize their models, incorporate solar panels and worm composters in their designs, and pay reparations to Pachamama for past misdeeds?

Well, not exactly. Here’s how RVeNews blog contributor Carl Sconnely sets it up:

I’m sure everyone has noticed how many companies over the last five years have been jumping on the “Going Green” advertisement bandwagon. They change out a few light bulbs, drop a couple recycling bins around the office, and eliminate most of their paper use. 

Recently, however, appeal within the United States to “Go Green” has paled as concerns have shifted more toward economic stability. In a recent poll by Pew Research Center, only 41 percent of respondents considered protecting the environment to be a top-level issue, in comparison to 56 percent last year.



If “Going Green” isn’t making as big of a marketing statement as it once did, why should your dealership bother?

EugeneDean
4/3/2015 7:31:53 AM

Going green will be difficult for RV manufacturers, but at least they are trying. As electric motors improve, maybe that will become an option for some models. Of course, it will be impossible to find a power outlet in some of the places that RV owners like to take their vehicles. http://www.rvnorthwest.com


joseph_4
4/28/2010 11:19:51 PM

Hi We turn off all our utilities at our house in California (where we are a one-car family) and trade it in for two months in a 350-square foot RV. Contrary to what Mr. Goetzmann writes, while it may be living comfortably, it is not "living large." Given the limited space, conservation in all its forms is a way of life on the road, and we take that lesson home with us. joseph http://www.caravanmarket.com.aul=


Brad Herzog
7/30/2009 10:54:36 PM

I am an author whose latest children's book is about protecting the environment ("S is for Save the Planet: A How-to-be Green Alphabet.") For the past ten years, I have also been a spokesperson for the RV Industry Association (RVIA), traveling cross-country in an RV for two months each summer with my wife and two young sons. And I DO NOT find the two aspects of my life incompatible. Short-sighted critics tend to focus on fuel consumption, but that is a small part of the big picture. In fact, I find that traveling in a house on wheels allows me to teach myriad eco-friendly lessons to my sons. We turn off all our utilities at our house in California (where we are a one-car family) and trade it in for two months in a 350-square foot RV. Contrary to what Mr. Goetzmann writes, while it may be living comfortably, it is not "living large." Given the limited space, conservation in all its forms is a way of life on the road, and we take that lesson home with us. We eat locally often (i.e. farmers' markets). We visit natural wonders and teach our kids to appreciate them. We have room to save our recyclable materials until we find a place for them. And we drive fewer total miles than the typical family commuting to work and baseball games all summer. Studies (by international travel experts PFK Consulting) have shown that the typical airline-hotel-rental car vacation leaves roughtly twice the carbon footrpint of an RV journey to the same place over the same period of time. And for several years now, the industry has been incorporating more eco-friendly technologies -- lightweight towable vehicles (which make up about three-fourths of the RV market), motorhomes that get improved gas mileage (some get 14-19 mpg, comparable to SUVs), energy-efficient appliances, solar and wind power kits that one can adapt to the RV, eco-friendly chemical and cleaning products, etc. etc. And this year my family is driving a hybrid RV, a concept vehicle