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Old 05-13-2005, 02:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Janet
One of my pet peeves is excess packaging materials.
In general, I agree that this is an annoyance as well. However, there are studies that show that those in the US generate LESS landfill waste than those in many less developed countries as the packaging tends to lessen spoilage and other wastage of the end product.

However, I too have some coping mechanisms. I pick up my fast food order at the counter and ask for it "here" as opposed to "to go". I then just pick up my order off the tray and walk out the door without the sack and all the junk they stick in there. I use "bottled water" on our outings - one gallon milk jugs we keep clean and on hand for the purpose, filled at home and frozen (to keep the refrigerator cold en route). We use and re-use and re-re-use small containers for leftovers rather than ziplock bags and celophane. After a three day weekend we usually have one Wal-Mart size plastic bag to leave in the dumpster.

My one conspicuous consumption item is the sacrificial nytril glove at the dump station.

Mark
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
..... My one conspicuous consumption item is the sacrificial nytril glove at the dump station.

Mark
No arguement there! Do those gloves come in an "elbow" length?
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:09 PM   #17
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3. Beer cans: loads of packaging- bring a keg - they are refillable. Share with friends.
janet

the only problem with a keg is that the hose on the tapper isn't long enough to reach into the cab of the truck!

i think mrs. HD wouldn't be happy if i had the half barrel of miller seatbelted into the front seat and she had to ride in the back!

canned beer for me for now....

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Old 05-13-2005, 08:47 PM   #18
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This is a fascinating subject. I also have a fiberglass trailer and belong to the fiberglassrv.com forums. This subject comes up very frequently there where folks tend to tow with much smaller vehicles and the typical fiberglass trailer weighs less than 2000 lbs. What's interesting though, is that regardless of the towed weight, if the towed weight approaches the max rated tow ability of the tow vehicle, it seems that regardless of the engine size, tow vehicle size, or towed load weight, the gas mileage seems to hover between 11 and 15 mpg. Pretty amazing. I get 12 mpg towing my 34' Airstream with my Excursion. I get 13 mpg towing my 17' Burro with my Toyota pickup. Hmmm.... I can get 16 or 17mpg out of my Excursion unladen, about 19 out of my Toyota. Hmmmm....

The bottom line? Size when towing a trailer really doesn't matter all that much for fuel economy if the tow vehicle is properly sized as well. The energy savings, as Rich originally pointed out, comes from driving a misermobile when you're NOT towing. Recycle. Buy wisely.

Where the real energy savings is is in manufacturing, and that seldom is addressed. Assuming that all trailers use about the same amount of energy per construction foot, then the real energy savings lies in buying a trailer with a fifty year useful lifespan rather than buying five trailers with a ten year lifespan each. THAT's savings!

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Old 05-13-2005, 09:08 PM   #19
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Interesting point. I wonder if anyone has done an energy use comparison Trailer vs staying home.....

We use 35 gals of fresh water in 3 days camping - I bet we use 20 times that much at home in that same time period - same for propane and electric. hmmm.
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:23 PM   #20
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I have thought about this also. It does seem like we are trading a hotel room for lots of gasoline, especially when filling at the pump ($$$). As mentioned earlier it depends on how far you are going.

But at least my Explorer/Airstream gets 12 mpg towing, while my previous Class C motorhome got 6 mpg! The Explorer gets 20 mpg solo on the highway, and about 15 mpg solo in town if you take it easy.

When at home I drive an older Audi S4 which gets 20+ mpg in town, and 30+ on the road. But the Explorer is handy when we need 7 seats, or hauling stuff.

I travel for work, and stay in nice hotels. But I get tired of hotels... and don't want to stay in them on vacation (especially the not-so-nice hotels that my cheapness would provide!). I like the trailer because we don't need to pack/unpack, we can eat in or out as we wish, the Park Service and Forest Service campgrounds are in spectacular locations, and the trailer is cleaner and nicer than the best of hotels.
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:46 PM   #21
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I am gratified by all the thoughtful comments on this thread. I've learned a few things.

My original post didn't really emphasize my major point adequately. I wanted to say that being "green" or conserving resources is about more than gas mileage. As several people recognized, our consumption of resources includes material objects we buy and throw away.

That includes our travel trailers or motorhomes. Roger made a good point: Buying long-lasting Airstreams is a "greener" option than buying a low-cost disposable "white box" RV that ends up being trash in ten years. Not only do they avoid becoming landfill as quickly, but Airstreams contain a lot of recyclable aluminum!

I think that RV'ers can consider themselves good stewards of the planet, if they choose to make choices that limit their impact. Yes, driving an RV at 10 MPG is not particularly low impact, but my original point was that the driving portion is only part of the overall equation. As Janet recognized, while you are camping you are usually consuming less than you would at home.

I think this leads us to an obvious conclusion. We should ALL camp more and longer! "Save The Planet -- Go Camping" <-- wouldn't that be a great bumpersticker?
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:11 PM   #22
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it's not easy being green

as a seasoned full-timer (for a whole 6 months now!), i'd like to add my 2 cents:

i think this is an important topic and as rich said, this is way more than a gas-consumption issue.

yes, my E350 is a gas hog and eats up a lot more gas than my honda civic BUT compared to my past life as a homeowner, I now a) use a lot less electricity; b) don't use any natural gas; c) generate way less garbage (including all that stuff you accumulate as a gardener, even an organic one - all those plastic pots!!); d) buy a helluva lot less because, well, frankly, i don't have the room to accumulate stuff; and e) use very little water (no more long baths or showers <boohoo>). i'm currently not working and so do very little driving; however, i am concerned about gas usage when i do start working...especially if i'm still living in a rural part of the country where i am doomed to commute at least 30 miles/day. which brings me to the vespa: a good idea if you're in a more urban setting; not too handy when you're living in a place where you have to drive on the freeway to even get to a small town but c'est la vie, i'm sure it'll come in handy, some day.

also, it's been quite a shock to go from environmentally/recycling-conscious oregon to arizona where, if you live in town, curbside recycling is pretty good but for the rest of us...well, let's just say i'm feeling really guilty about all the beer and wine bottles i've been accumulating
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:27 PM   #23
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Angry Green?

I'm fulltiming in a 22ft CCD. I definitely know I'm more green than I was in a huge 5 bedroom house that I didn't need and had long since stopped enjoying. I heat my whole place in 7 minutes. I run the vacuum about 6 minutes a week. I don't have a huge, mostly empty refrigerator, and my stove has ignitors, not pilot lights. Every flush doesn't take 1.5 gallons of water, either. My computer's flat screen is also my TV screen. No, it isn't a home theater experience, but it's big enough and I'd rather be out walking, bird watching or just chatting with my fellow campers.

I will have to break the habit of shopping at Sam's club! What does one do with nine rolls of paper towels? That's gonna be a year's supply. I promise I'll never buy a gallon jug of milk or juice again unless I'm having a party.

I'm learning to re-think "saving" stuff I might need later.

Come winter am I going to be an energy hog? Yes. But I'll be hogging enough to heat less than 1400 CUBIC feet. My old house wasn't well insulated, had 10 ft ceilings in 3000+ sqare feet - 30,000 cubic feet.

Angel, no. Perfect, no. Ideal, no. Green? Compared to my old life I'm chartreuse, kelly, forest, moss and PEA Green!

I could have gotten a bigger A/S. I certainly have a tow vehicle that would let me pull a 25 or 28 footer. I'm just trying to find out if "less is more" and if I can get away from it all... without hauling it ALL around with me. I'm getting over the "brand new hobby" stage, but basically the reality of being a full-timer seems far better than the reality of scrubbing moldy grout in three tiled bathrooms in my old house.

I'm almost embarassed to tell you how much GREEN $$ my scaled-back lifestyle is saving me. I'm having to start a new annuity because the INTEREST on the money might be significant in terms of tax bracket. Yes I've already loaded my Roth IRA for the year. I own a business with a partner. We struggled to build it for a long time and weren't able to save for retirement for many years. Now, outliving my money is becoming less and less likely.

I didn't set out to be green, or even to save so much money. I just wanted less to have to worry about. Perhaps a curious amalgaman of 60's hippy and new wave conspicuous consumer melded inside me - I bought a new AIRSTREAM, and an almost new tow vehicle. But I still simplified my whole life - everything else seems to be a side benefit.

I had a stunning realization right before I put my house on the market - I was watching one of those shopping channels and was nearly seduced into buying a lovely set of china I'd probably use once a year. ADVERTISING WORKS even when you think you know how to ignore it. Example: Kitchen contractors are overwhelmed with remodeling work that averages $70-$120K per job - and everyone has to have marble countertops. Why? Because we watch too much HG TV, that's why! You'll only love them until you find out that you've just installed a device that turns every drinking glass and bottle you own into flying shrapnel. You can't drop a plate 2 inches without shattering it on marble - the same drop on formica won't even chip it. And marble isn't maintenance free. Wait until one of your kids dumps her ice skates on the countertop (huge jagged scratch), or your son decides to walk on the counter to get something his sister hid on the top of the cabinets (snap!) Stay calm, killing the children or having a heart attack will cost even more than the new countertop that doesn't quite match the other ones!


Airstreaming doesn't make me feel like I'm living like a miser either. If I want to formally entertain I'll do it at a nice restaurant. I'll have the 'burb detailed if I'm not in the mood to wash it myself, though I'll do Tin Lizzie myself until I find someone who knows how to bathe an A/S. If I want to take friends out deep sea fishing, I can charter a boat, and I don't have to polish the bright work, clean the catch or even bait my own hook if it grosses me out.
And then there's the ripped, deeply tanned 19 year old deck hands! (Though I must admit that's kinda like fishing for a great white shark... Sure you want to try bring it on board, assuming you can hook it?).

And to paraphrase Scarlett O'hara, "As God is my witness I'll never mow a lawn again!

Now, some Moho owners confuse me. If you're a party animal it makes sense to have a moho. You or your guests puke on the infield at a Nascar race, pee in the pool or otherwise misbehave... it's like Vegas, what happens on the road, stays on the road. No complaints from the homeowners association and the police are just going to tell you to pull up your stabilizer jacks and leave, right? But what is up with the people who never leave their mohos once they set up the satellite dish? D'oh, why not stay HOME and be a couch potato?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:43 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Janet
No arguement there! Do those gloves come in an "elbow" length?
Janet,

Yup! I have a veterinary catalog and can get a box of 50 if you're interested .....I think they run about $10/box. Don't even ask where we use them!!

Jim
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
One of my pet peeves is excess packaging materials. Short-cut foods - the kind that rv'rs tend to gravitate to for convience sake, are usually over wrapped. Have you ever actually looked in the dumpster at a campground? But never fear - I have some recommendations to avoid over packaged materials.

1. Steaks and baked potatoes have almost no package - eat well!
2. Poptarts can be used as wheel chocks - re-use them - save money and waste!
3. Beer cans: loads of packaging- bring a keg - they are refillable. Share with friends.
4. Diapers - potty train ASAP!
5. Bottled water - use the faucet! (but not the one at the dump station)
My recommendation is to pre-prep meals at home before the camping trip and store the food in re-usable containers. This also has the added benefit of less time spent in the Airstream kitchen which equates to more time spent in other activities.
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:59 AM   #26
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Janet,

Yup! I have a veterinary catalog and can get a box of 50 if you're interested .....I think they run about $10/box. Don't even ask where we use them!!

Jim
Unless you are in the habit of sticking your arms into the sewer pipe, why on earth would you need elbow-length gloves for camping!?
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:38 AM   #27
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Exclamation Shoulder length gloves anyone??

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Originally Posted by yukionna
Unless you are in the habit of sticking your arms into the sewer pipe, why on earth would you need elbow-length gloves for camping!?
Maybe Janet can answer that question!.........and oh, they come in shoulder length.....not elbow length
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:19 AM   #28
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Maybe Janet can answer that question!.........and oh, they come in shoulder length.....not elbow length
Sorry, Rich, about the "sewer tunnel" this thread has taken! But what's camping without a black tank joke or two?
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