How To Make Your RV Eco-Friendly With An Airstream

For some, the phrase “eco-friendly” is code for “no fun.” Bio-diesel, composting toilets, and dumpster diving for free food all come to mind. We’re not here to knock anyone’s lifestyle, and if being a freegan is your thing, you go, girl! So let’s learn How To Make Your RV More Eco-Friendly!

Not everyone loves aged veggies with their burritos, though. Green-washing is rampant, with manufacturers simply trying to ride the trend. And eco-friendly RVing is more than just about virtue signaling.

Instead, it’s about real-life ways to reduce our impact and travel efficiently. 

Planning a trip is exciting, and minimizing waste is part of the adventure! We’re looking at some of the best ways to travel in an eco-friendly way. 

So, take a few minutes while we dig into the green travel trend!

Choose an Eco-Friendly RV

Choosing an eco-friendly RV is the best place to start this journey. Regular travelers may already have a rig, and that’s fine. There are plenty of ways to level up your existing vehicle.

However, we’re using TRA-Certified Green RVs as our standard for new purchases. And who knows? Your rig may already be on the list!

T.R. Arnold & Associates is the parent company of TRA, which supports the development of sustainable practices in manufacturing.

Manufacturers can opt-in to their certification program to achieve a bronze, silver, gold, or emerald rating.

Big names like Airstream, Coachmen, and Forest River use the system. 

Could you make the cut? Check out the TRA Green RVs site for more information. 

Outside of the certification process, smaller RVs are always a greener option over a luxury motorcoach. Look for Class C and Class B rigs for the most fuel economy and green features.

Especially if you’re just getting into the RV lifestyle, choose a vehicle that meets your needs but doesn’t go overboard.  

Reduce Waste and Practice Minimalism in Your RV

Smaller RVs mean you’ve got less space to bring everything and the kitchen sink, right? While some folks want all the comforts of home on the road, there’s another way.

Slim down your packing list to the essentials. Plan to do laundry when you stop and shop locally so you’re not carrying around extra weight. 

Reducing waste on the road is as easy as shopping in the bulk aisle at the grocery store. Bring some pest-resistant food containers with you and fill them when you shop.

Most are easy to stack too, which makes filling your pantry easier.

Minimalism can extend into your wardrobe too! Planning ahead means you don’t have to worry if you remembered enough socks and underwear.

Check out these tips from our friends over at Playing with Sticks. 

Water Conservation Tips for Your RV

One of those things you just can’t do without is water. Especially for a busy traveling family, you’ll need to cook and clean regularly.

How you do it is where things get interesting. 

Washing Dishes

We love to wash dishes using a couple of collapsable camp buckets. They don’t take up space when stored and are easy to clean.

Before you start putting dishes in water, scrape off any food residue that’s left behind.

Then wash, rinse, and dry your dishes with only as much water as you need to do the job. 

Before disposing of your dishwater, strain out any food particles that made it through. And make sure to use bio-degradable soap since household soap isn’t safe for the environment. 


Packing right makes all the difference when it comes to doing laundry on the road. Wash pieces separately at home so they don’t get mixed in with your regular clothes.

You can always use laundry facilities in a campground if you’re on the road longer than a week or two. 

And if you’re traveling solo, you can get away with rinsing and hanging pieces daily, so you’re never without your favorite tee.

We’ve even heard of folks who shower and wash clothes at the same time!


How To Make Your RV Eco-Friendly With A Composting Toilet

Restroom Needs

Short showers are a must when you’re on the road. Most RV toilets use very little water already, and it’s not worth playing around with sanitation to optimize.

Composting toilets work if you’re trying to dial in your water savings, but you’ll be ok with what’s already in your rig. 

Tips for Conserving Fuel in Your RV

RVs aren’t known for fuel efficiency, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of your rig. Simple things like tire pressure and vehicle maintenance make minor differences that add up! 

Other ways to conserve fuel include adjusting your driving speed to between 55 and 65 mph and changing air filters. Each of these tactics can increase your fuel economy by 10%!

You can also convert your RV to bio-diesel or E15/FlexFuel, but the infrastructure to support alternative fuels is limited. And don’t ask about a Tesla RV. It’s not happening anytime soon!

Check out the Winnebago eRV2 concept vehicle.  

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Electricity is something we take for granted. Plug it in, and it should work. But if you’re on the road, especially off the grid, you’ll need to pay attention to what you use.

Focusing on what you can change or add to your RV to decrease consumption is easy! 

Energy-Efficient Lighting Options for Your RV

Most RVs come with plenty of lighting inside and out. But what they don’t come with is energy-efficient LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs generate significant heat and consume more energy than their green cousins. 

And speaking of green, gone are the days when LEDs only put out blue-tinged light. These days you can get any color you want and even connect some to your Wi-Fi for hands-free mood lighting. 


How To Make Your RV Eco-Friendly With Solar Panel

Installing Solar Panels on Your RV Roof

Boondockers all know how important solar panels are for basic operations. Solar is one of the most eco-friendly options besides wind power.

You can use excess power for several days with the right battery setup. You’ll never have to worry on cloudy days; if your campsite goes dark, you’re prepared for anything.

Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Appliances in Your RV

Kitting out your RV with the latest appliances is a reliable way to reduce energy consumption. Look for the Energy Star symbol when shopping for the highest efficiency.

The most common appliances that drain your battery are the microwave, electric stove, and air conditioner.

Before you buy, measure the space. Buying the most efficient microwave doesn’t do you any good if it doesn’t fit. 

Composting and Recycling in Your RV

Recycling is relatively simple in an RV. Collect your clean recyclables in a bin until you’re at a campground or public recycling facility. Drop off, and repeat!

Composting is a bit trickier because it’s a time-intensive process by nature. Collect food scraps in a sealable container and drop them at a composting site when you stay over.

Another option is an indoor composter like this one from SCD Probiotics. An indoor composter works well if you’re off the grid for an extended period. 

Long-term parking provides the perfect place to apply your newly composted scraps. They’re great for gardens and flower beds!

Eco-Friendly RVs Are the Future

Green RVs are more than just environmentalist street cred; they’re the future. We’re seeing more and more manufacturers focus on reducing their carbon footprint.

It’s not enough to just recycle, either. Engineers are still working on the next big thing. In a few years, your new RV may be fully electric. 

We embrace the eco-friendly lifestyle, but you can keep your freegan burritos!

For more articles on RV travel and remote work check out these valuable resources

Eco-Friendly RVing Tips

Boondocking: Your Free Camping Guide

The Best Michigan Bucket List Destinations

Remote Work School