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Old 08-10-2012, 07:59 AM   #1
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Custom RV. Built to be 'Eco'

My husband and I are just getting started planning our RV experience. We plan to buy a used, older model and just get on the road, but already we are dreaming of that 'perfect RV' for all of our dreams.
For my husband, this means alot of things, most of which I chalk up to 'man-things' lol, but one of the things he keeps insisting on is a self-sufficient unit that will allow us to drive anywhere and be self-sufficient (solar generator, water catches, filtered used cooking oil instead of gasoline, etc)
For me this means a bit more.
My friends tease me and call me a 'tree-hugging hippie that just happens to bathe' lol! I'm not sure what got me labeled a militant Eco-nut, but I don't mean to be. However, I do feel strongly that being conservative in my consumption of resources is not only an economically sound choice, but also a good lesson to teach my children.
So it came as a surprise to alot of my friends and family when we started talking about full-time RVing as an alternate to urban life. Gasps of "aren't you worried about the gas?" and "what about the damage to the Eco-systems, with you driving that heavy thing through the woods" etc were heard far and wide.
So when I dream of my 'perfect RV' it doesn't have extra slides, or a big screen tv and high tech cable system.
My perfect RV has a toilet that can
* handle sewage without dumping (I've always assumed this would be a composter or incinerator, but now I'm not sure which would work best. More research needed here)
*collect and purify the rainwater collected on RV, tow, and patio tent tops
*provide electricity via a system of solar generators
* allow me to travel up to 20,000 miles a year on less than 1000 gallons of gasoline (anyone know of a wind powered engine? Lol)

I'm sure time will add more dreams to this list, but for now this dream RV is already half built in my mind

Just curious if anyone else had dreams of a custom built RV that has some 'green' elements?
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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[QUOTE=Beckers;1272257]* allow me to travel up to 20,000 miles a year on less than 1000 gallons of gasoline (anyone know of a wind powered engine? Lol)


QUOTE]

Yes, I think they are called SAIL BOATS....

I think you are going to find that this approach is going to cost lots of $$$$$$.

And I do not know of a gasoline powered unit that will get 20 mpg. The small B and B+ rigs on the mercedes Sprinter chassis can approach 20 mpg...but I would not want one for full timiing.

Ken

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Old 08-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Boy oh Boy I got just what you need a nice water front RV site here in Az.

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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You'll find lots of folks who have solar on here. We have a 600 watt system that satisfies all our needs off the grid. Before you install a system spend time reading and learning about RV solar. Handy bob has a good site here
http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
And if you're interested I wrote a 4-part series about our experience here
http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/2010...overy-process/

Regarding toilets I've seen a few folks using composting toilets on the road. It's not common, but it does crop up. These gals are fulltimers and use one and you could probably contact them for more info
http://thegoodluckduck.wordpress.com...osting-toilet/

As for biofuel it's very early days for that in RVs but if you google around you'll find some info.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckers View Post
Gasps of "aren't you worried about the gas?" and "what about the damage to the Eco-systems, with you driving that heavy thing through the woods" etc were heard far and wide.
When I was working and commuting 60 miles a day to my job 6 days a week I used much more fuel then I do now. Just because you have the ability to move your house every day doesn't mean you have to.

As far as using bio fuel, be aware you must have a much older diesel engine (mechanical fuel injection) to be able to use it. Also you will pay for the fuel, no one gives it away for free anymore. It must be processed before you pour it into your tank.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Only thing green on a RV is paint or algae.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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I'm really just dreaming guys I know we won't be able to get a 'perfect' rv for a long time. But im a planner, so I don't see the harm in getting started a few years (decades) early.
I realize my goals for fuel consumption are a bit optimistic for today's technology, but I think in a few years it might be new to the market, but at least available. And even if it takes a whole lot of used cooking oil, I'd be willing to filter it to achieve that goal.
I mostly just wanted to know if other people think of these things
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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And even if it takes a whole lot of used cooking oil, I'd be willing to filter it to achieve that goal.
There's quite a bit more to using WVO (waste vegetable oil) as a diesel fuel than just filtering. HERE is a source worth reading - tab onto subjects on the left side of the page. Even at that, the newer HPCR diesels will be restricted in the percentage of biodiesel that they can utilize.

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Old 08-10-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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The closest I get to green is a good solar system and I run B20 when ever I can. I brew my own so I take about 20g on the road withe to mix with the pump fuel. And never leave home with out a full tank.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:47 AM   #10
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Concerning water -- Full-timing in an RV gives you the ability to choose your weather. I am in Seattle now, but will head south in 4-6 weeks so I can avoid the fall rain and gloom. Rather than collecting rainwater, RVers become extreme water rationers. I can wash and condition my hair using less than 1 gallon and make 50 gallons last a month.

Water is heavy and weight increases fuel consumpution. I carry less than 10 gallons when I am driving and stop to fill my fresh water tank just before parking when boondocking. I fear the equipment you would need to capture and filter rainwater would be too large and too heavy to be practical.

Sorry if I am raining on your parade. But keep dreaming. That is how innovations get started.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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Water conservation: I know someone that installed a PVC pipe from the shower to the fresh water tank. When taking a shower they use it to return all of initial cold water to the fresh water tank. Now that's conserving!

Well I guess they could shower in cold water and not need any heated water.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #12
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I fear the equipment you would need to capture and filter rainwater would be too large and too heavy to be practical.
Not to mention it is evidently illegal in some places Man jailed for 'stealing' rainwater | Sympatico.ca News
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #13
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If you boondock most of the time you will automatically become ultra-water-conservationists. We've managed to conserve all the way down to ~2 gallons/day (here's how we do it) and that's many magnitudes less than what the average home uses (which is more like 120 gallons/day). So, I actually think boondockers are some of the "greenest" folks around.

Your goals of going solar & installing a composting toilet are within reach right now. Conserving water will come naturally.
The rest you can look at down the road.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #14
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Not to mention it is evidently illegal in some places Man jailed for 'stealing' rainwater | Sympatico.ca News
In other countries revolutions have been fought over water rights. The above story is only about 1 man collecting rain water on his property in Oregon.

Hope nobody has the rights to the air we breathe yet. Between what we breathe and the air we need to run our vehicles, I would probably have to stop RVing.
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