We’re all making a push to use less energy. In an RV it can be tough because so much of the creature comforts of home are rooted in being hooked up to the electrical power supply. Not only can we make a difference in electrical consumption, we can also extend the life of our batteries by using less and not letting power go to waste. Here are a few tips I’ve pulled together that we do when we take our RV out for a trip.
Turn off your lights, radios, and televisions when you aren’t using them. This can save a ton of energy and and if you’re running off of your battery, it will eliminate battery drain.
Unplug your phone or computer chargers when not being used. Even if your computer or smartphone isn’t hooked up to it, it’s still pulling current from the wall outlet. Unplugging them from the wall will assure that you aren’t unnecessarily sending electricity to nothing. It’s also a good idea to unplug your chargers if the electronics are fully charged, this will extend the life of the battery in your computer or smartphone while also eliminating draining your RV power supply by charging battery that is fully charged.
Maximize your daylight hours. If you go to bed late and get up late, you’re wasting precious daylight and using powered lights to stay up.
Use rechargeable batteries for flashlights, reading lights and lanterns.
Monitor your RV batteries using a digital voltmeter and always recharge it at or before reaching 80 percent discharge. This will prolong the life of your battery.
Don’t use your appliances unless you really need to. Those appliances are an energy hog and the longer you run them, the quicker your battery is gone.
Invest in solar panels. They reduce our dependence on always being attached to an electrical outlet. Plus, we can boon-dock whenever we want to! If you’ve got a roof on your RV, you can put a solar panel on it and have it continuously charge your batteries.
What energy-saving tips have you learned out on the road?
April 22. Earth Day. I bet you’ve seen quite a bit on TV about Earth Day, the celebrations, the protests, the problems we face as well as the proposed solutions. If you watch TV the news is dire and grim, and the problems are overwhelming and the solutions mere drops in the bucket. So I thought today we’d stay positive and I’d like to chat with you about some things that are absolutely amazing about our planet.
Our planet breathes. Did you know that? Scientists estimate that there are more than three TRILLION trees on Earth. They also estimate our total human population to a number where there are 422 trees for each person! Each of those trees “breathes” in CO2, and “exhales” oxygen. I saw an amazing video on youtube that was put together by NASA that shows this phenomena.
Isn’t that amazing? Makes you want to go see for yourself! I have a friend who has traveled extensively and he told me a story once about standing on top of a tall hill in Africa and seeing no sign of man in any direction, and what a huge impact that had on him. Imagine…no power lines, no highways, no airliner contrails, no man made noise of any kind. Imagine how peaceful that must have been, how humbling. Imagine you’re standing on a rock and all you can see to the horizon is natural life…plants, and animals. For some people that quiet and solitude is terrifying, but for some it is liberating and reconnects you back to the natural…the way life was before engines and electricity and lights and noise.
The world is beautiful, go see as much of it as you can and don’t let the jabbering people on TV scare you into staying home. This place is amazing, and youtube does not do it justice. This planet is our home after all, wouldn’t it be a shame to live in a house and never visit the other rooms? Head out your front door some day and go see what people are like beyond the horizon. What language do they speak, what do they eat, how do they solve their problems? It is an endless journey, so get started!
Going green in your RV has, for many years, been a pipe dream. Expensive hardware and solar panels made it a tough pill to swallow, just to be less dependent on that electrical hook-up. Many boondocking vacations have been cut short due to running out of electricity, but now, you can convert your RV to solar and replace your old incandescent lights to LED lights for pennies on the dollar compared to just a few years ago.
Converting your RV to solar energy frees up your RV so you can travel anywhere, as long as the sun shines. That mean you can take a trip out to the desert and enjoy your ATV on the sand dunes and not have to worry about getting back to an electrical hook-up for a recharge. If you place a few solar panels on the roof of your RV, you could harness enough power to never have to plug in! I don’t know about you, but that sounds great to me! There are so many other places in the United States to visit that aren’t RV-friendly, so that just means you have to boondock it and I wouldn’t dream of spending a week away from an electric hook-up without solar energy backing me up.
Converting your old incandescent light bulbs in your RV to LED bulbs is a big help when you’re trying to reduce the electrical draw that your RV has. There are LED lights for just about every possible use, from book lights to overhead lights, that don’t require any type of conversion or new installation. Just remove your old bulbs and put in the new ones!
If you’re serious about going green in your RV when you’re out on vacation, installing solar panels and converting your old incandescent bulbs is a great start. Best of all, it’s cheaper than it’s ever been!
Have you installed solar panels or LED lights in your RV? How do you like them?
Going green is great thing. I try my hardest to use less electricity and produce as little waste as I can. That can be tough when you’re out on the road with limited resources. But I think I can help you make better choices and decrease your carbon footprint. Even if it’s just a small amount, it’s better than nothing. Here are a few ways I can think of off the top of my head.
Install Solar Panels
This is the quickest and easiest way to use less electricity. You can get solar panels that you can attach to the top of your RV, or you can just stand them up on the ground and it’ll charge your battery, even while you’re away. I don’t know why solar panels aren’t the standard nowadays.
If your RV still uses normal incandescent light bulbs, it’s time to switch over to some of the low drain LED light. You can purchase replacement bulbs for almost any receptacle and they can provide even more light than the ones you’re replacing!
Seek Out The Shade
This one may not sound like it’ll help you go green, but trust me, it will. If you’re in a shaded area, that means you’re keeping the temperature as low as you can so your air conditioner has to work less time to cool it down.
Use Reusable Plates
I know it’s tough to pack up your plates that you use for dinner when it’s so easy to buy a package of 100 plastic disposable plates. But, those disposable plates are littering our land and they aren’t going away anytime soon. You can always go to Wal-Mart and purchase washable plates for super cheap. They don’t have to be anything fancy.
No one likes a litterbug. If you clean up your campsite before you leave, be sure it all gets into the trash can and the wind doesn’t take it away. I also recommend keeping a box for recyclables in your truck or RV. If your RV campground doesn’t have a receptacle for recycling, you can always take it home and recycle it yourself.
What do you do to go green when you’re out on a campsite?
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!