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  • Writer's pictureOakley Executive RV & Boat Storage

Go green! Your Guide to Successful Energy-Efficient RV Living

RV with solar panels for energy efficient living photo

In a world increasingly aware of environmental concerns, many of us are taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. For those with a passion for travel, embracing a greener, more energy-efficient RV experience can help both the planet and our wallet.

You may ask, what are the benefits and cost-savings of going green with your RV? And what changes can you make to your vehicle to conserve energy?

With a few mindful tweaks to your RV, you can save on the energy you use to heat and light your space, cook food, and run appliances. Here are a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying the open road.

The Benefits of Having an Energy-Efficient RV

Using gasoline and plugging into the electrical grid both contribute to an increased consumption of fossil fuels. Additionally, propane and electricity can be costly to use. Fortunately, what’s good for the Earth can also be good for you. Having an energy-efficient RV makes your journey more enjoyable and wallet-friendly.

Here are a few key benefits you can enjoy by reducing energy consumption with your RV:

  • When your RV uses less energy, you spend less on fuel and electricity, saving you money in the long run.

  • Embracing energy-efficient practices can reduce your environmental impact.

  • Energy-efficient RVs can often go longer between refueling and recharging stops. This means more freedom and time to explore.

  • Peace of mind knowing that you’re using your energy wisely and helping the planet.

Owning and traveling with an RV also means you can avoid taking a flight, staying in a hotel, or eating out. All of this decreases carbon emissions, water, electricity, and waste you would have otherwise used with a different form of travel.

When you’re not on the road, Oakley Executive RV and Boat Storage offers convenient long-term RV storage near Brentwood.

Energy-Efficient RV Tips

Now let's dive into some easy tips to help you make your RV more eco and wallet-friendly. While these tips are simple, they can make a big difference.

Solar Power Systems

One of the biggest upgrades you can make to your RV to embrace energy-efficient practices is installing solar panels. Green living takes flight when you choose to use the free power of the sun over fossil fuels like propane, diesel, or gas.

RV solar panels sit on the roof of your vehicle, collecting energy from the sun and transferring that energy to your battery bank. These panels can either sit flat and flush with your rooftop or angled toward the sun, depending on how you choose to install them.

Here’s how you can make the most of your solar power:

  • With the many sizes and types of solar systems, be sure to pick one that fits your RV and energy needs.

  • Calculate your energy. Think about installing at least enough solar panels to replace some of your propane appliances with electrical ones.

  • Consider using a professional to help you find the right system.

  • Keep your solar panels clean and dirt-free so they continue to work efficiently and produce more power.

Ultimately, having solar panels saves energy and money. They also allow you to enjoy remote locations, as they work even when you’re off the grid.

Did you know that Oakley Executive RV and Boat Storage’s features and amenities support our commitment to clean energy solutions? Our facility uses a solar module roofing system that generates clean electricity back to the community power grid. We generate enough energy to power over 800 homes!

LED Lighting

Older RVs may not have LED lighting. If your RV has regular bulbs, consider switching them to LED bulbs. It's an easy and cost-effective upgrade. LED bulbs are also cool to the touch, making them safer in general.

When it comes to illuminating your RV, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Always turn off your lights if they’re not needed. While this may sound simple, choosing to flip the switch ensures you’re not using energy that you don’t need.

  • Consider other low-tech/off-grid lighting solutions like headlamps, candles, and hand-crank LED lanterns.

Remember that you do not need to necessarily rely on the interior lights of your RV when camping. By keeping lights off when not in use and choosing alternative methods, you can do your part to conserve energy.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Earlier we mentioned swapping out some of your propane appliances for electric ones. This allows you to use solar power methods to run your appliances rather than burning fossil fuels. Additionally, appliances can drain energy if not monitored correctly or left on and plugged in when they’re not needed.

To make your appliances even more sustainable and eco-friendly, here are a few things to look for:

  • When upgrading appliances, choose to purchase ones with the Energy Star label. These appliances use less energy but still work well.

  • Don’t leave appliances on if you don’t need them. Be sure to turn off and unplug appliances when they’re not in use.

  • Avoid purchasing and using unnecessary appliances or gadgets altogether. The fewer appliances you have, the less energy you’ll use.

  • Consider turning off your refrigerator on short travels. The insulation will keep items cool over a short period of time.

  • Research eco-friendly portable appliances like hand-crank radios or solar-powered cell phone charges.

While the energy used by small appliances may not seem like much, you can still conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint by practicing awareness.

Proper Insulation and Sealing

Keeping your RV cozy and well-insulated is a key part of saving energy. When heat and cool air escape through cracks in your windows, doors, or seals, this wastes energy. Here are a few ways to keep your RV sustainable and efficient:

  • Use weather stripping or caulk to seal drafts or leaks around windows, doors, or vents.

  • If you have an older RV, consider adding or improving the insulation.

  • In colder climates or seasons, cover your vents to prevent cold wind from entering your RV.

  • Invest in RV skirting to keep heat from escaping through the floor of your vehicle.

  • Bundle up with warmer clothes and bedding so you can keep your temperatures lower, allowing your heating system to work less.

Other Sustainable Practices for RVers

Solar panels, lighting, appliances, and proper insulation play a large role in creating an energy-efficient RV. There are other, smaller practices you can embrace in order to create sustainable RV living as well. Consider the following:

  • Travel slower and drive fewer miles.

  • Empty your black and gray tanks properly.

  • Avoid using plastic dishes or silverware.

  • Consider downsizing your RV to a smaller rig.

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated before every trip.

  • Travel with empty gray, black, and water tanks.

  • Don’t overpack.

  • Use energy-efficient cooking methods like the campfire or a solar oven.

Transforming your RV into an energy-efficient home on wheels is both rewarding and achievable. Creating an energy-efficient RV lifestyle can benefit both your wallet and the environment.

Safe, Secure and Eco-Friendly Covered RV Storage

When you’re not on the road, consider using Oakley Executive RV and Boat Storage. We’re your partner in safe and environmentally responsible RV storage. We’ll keep your vehicle protected with our secure and convenient options.

Take the first step toward a greener, more eco-conscious RV lifestyle by reserving your space today.

Click to reserve covered rv or boat storage


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