Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s Visa, Gulf Breeze and Streamlite towables, originally Certified Green to the Silver level, have upgraded their certification level to the Gold level.
By making some adjustments in the categories of Resource Efficiency and Water Efficiency, these towables were able to improve their level of green performance, according to a news release from Elkhart, Ind.-based TRA Certification Inc.
The Visa towables incorporate LED exterior lights and use a lightweight composite material for the walls and cabinets. These changes improve fuel economy.
Look for the “Certified Green” labels on RVs to ensure a healthier and more sustainable product
. For more information on Gulf Stream’s Visa, Gulf Breeze & Streamlite towables, visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com. For more information on green certification, visit www.tragreen.com or www.certifiedgreenrvs.com or contact Mandy Leazenby at (800) 398‐9282.
A survey over the weekend by RVtravel.com reveals that most RVers are unimpressed with RV parks that advertise “going green.”
Nearly three quarters of the more than 1,100 readers who responded to the survey said they would be no more inclined to stay at a park that promoted itself as “green” over a park that did not, according to a story posted today by the RV News Service. The survey question was:
“If an RV park advertises itself as ‘green’ (environmentally friendly), how does that affect your decision to stay there?”
Only about 7% of respondents said they would be “much more” inclined to stay at such a park, while 19% said they would be a “little more inclined” to stay.
Private campgrounds across the country are increasingly making investments in solar and wind power, as well as other energy, water and natural resource saving programs, according to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). Some parks, the group says, are making green investments on their own initiative, while others are doing so with active encouragement from the association, which launched a green parks initiative three years ago called “Plan-it Green.”
Comments to the survey indicated that at least some RVers believe going “green” is nothing more than a marketing ploy. “It is just a politically trendy catchword that makes people feel good without really thinking about what it means,” one RVer wrote.
“If the owners care enough to go green, then they must care more about their park in general — spaces, garbage removal, the overall cleanliness and appearance of their camp,” commented reader Jan Balzano.
“While there is little doubt that at least some RV parks are paying more attention to operating in more environmentally responsible ways, the perception of our readers appears to be that their efforts are more about hype than concern for the environment,” said RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of reports on the RV industry and the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show by WSBT-TV, South Bend, Ind. Today’s featured video is the station’s first report from the show.
Innovation. Experts say it’s the big key to a turnaround for the hard-hit RV industry. This year, many of those production shifts revolve around one word: “green.”
It’s more than just improving gas mileage. From fuel economy to fuel cells, solar panels to wind power, green technology is driving the RV industry.
Brian Brawdy is a nationally recognized conservationist who actually prefers the term “eco-nut.”
One look at his home office shows why.
“I hear people all the time talk about home offices. I have a home that’s towed by my office,” he said, referring to his RV.
It’s equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and wind turbines. There’s even a basin to catch rain water for drinking, all with one goal in mind: “To be able to survive off the energy of the sun and the wind.”
Brawdy admits not everything in his RV is practical for the typical traveler.
“I don’t know if everything as a package is practical. I’m a little Type A, (but) bits and pieces; 25% of the RVs manufactured now have solar panels,” he said.
That number is increasing every day, but there are also plenty of green ideas taking hold that people can’t see.
Manufacturers are using lighter weight composite materials. New pressure sensitive, flexible fabric weighs just a few ounces, but holds up like steel.
Dow Automotive contractor Mark Formentini says that helps cut down on fuel consumption.
New lines of Class A and C motorhomes are already using the technology.
“It makes them as much as 2,500 pounds lighter,” said Ron Fenech, Keystone RV Co. president and CEO.
It’s also helping them get upwards of 20 miles to the gallon.
Some motorhomes now run on bio-diesel, and almost all are using lighter weight materials inside the cabin, on everything from cabinets to flooring.
“If you take the weight out, you keep the price down,” said Bob Tiffin, president of Tiffin Motor Homes Inc.
In addition to helping the environment, it’s also attracting a new group of potential buyers.
“I think more and more companies are going, ‘OK, great! What can we do, holistically, to help the planet?’ But what can we do to help the RV community as well and cut back on some fuel costs?” Brawdy said.
The question now is how to pay for it. The answer will likely determine the RV industry’s short-term fate.
If credit becomes more readily available, inventory will likely continue to move off dealer lots. If frozen credit lines don’t thaw, it could be a while before these green innovations actually hit the road.