Tag Archives: water

Energy Efficiency Exploration

To begin an exploration of energy efficiencies, first two categories will be examined.
1. Water consumption
Water consumption consists of several factors including water heater, faucet usage, drinking water, etc.

Standard water heaters in most RV’s hold 6 gallons which is fine for weekends but not for much longer [1]. 10-gallon water heaters are better for longer distances, but the tankless water heater has several benefits that many are unaware of. Tankless water heaters use propane burners and sensors to power it, and they consume less fossil fuels. [1]
A typical home uses 40-100 gallon water heaters, and an average residence uses 110 gallons of water per day [2]. In my own calculation of my personal water consumption that I had to record for another science course, my daily consumption is 193 gallons. This was measured through calculating the flow rate of faucets, timing my water usage, and looking up manufacturers information for toilet, dishwasher, washer, etc.

A study was conducted in 2010 by Linda Powers Tomasso anaylzing sustainability at RV Parks [6]. Only 10% of RV owners use it as their primary residence, while 90% have fixed residences but use RV for other recreational excursions. RVer’s use 27 gallons of water per day, while a home uses 150 gallons per day [6].

2. Fuel Consumption
Fuel consumption consists of several factors including gas to power the vehicle, power for all appliances, etc.

Often times people discuss whether gas or diesel is more efficient for the use of RV’s. Gas-run engines are in the front of the vehicle and the maintenance is cheaper yet it is less fuel efficient for distances. Diesel-run engines are located in the rear and are quieter. The initial cost is more but this engine will last longer and is more efficient [3].

A recent comparison of Mercedes I-4 Turbodiesel engine to a V-6 explores the differences. Mercedes claims that their engine gets 18% better mileage than V-6 after 200 miles, but the results prove else wise [5]

I-4 V-6
Displacement: 2.1 L
Horsepower: 161
Torque: 266
Gears: 7
3.0 L
After about 200 miles = 17.4 MPG 16.5 MPG

Brian Brawdy is an advocate for the Green RV and in 2009 appeared on local news. It is stated that 25% of manufactured RVs have solar panels on them. Brawdy’s green RV is 91 square feet of living, has around $3000-worth of solar panels which is almost 500 watts of power, and also has a wind turbine and rainwater collector. Biofuel is using cooking oil/grease to power a vehicle, but some motor companies state in their Owner’s Manuel that you cannot put vegetable oil or else it will violate the warranty [4]. From this interview, Brawdy’s enthusiasm for green RV-ing is shown, which leads to further questions of how many RV-ers WANT to have a green RV? What population of residential vehicle owners care enough to want green technologies implemented? And why are motor companies hindering new green technology advancements?

Power of appliances used can be found here and here.


[1] http://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/2010/11/rv_tankless_water_heaters.php

[2] http://www.fmca.com/polks-top-7/3586-environmentally-friendly-rving-seven-ways-to-reduce-rv-fuel-consumption.html

[3] http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-diesel-or-gas

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqBvaVck8bc

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZbsrarewaI

[6] http://www.eplerwood.com/beta/images/Tomasso%20Grad%20Project_RV%20park%20sustainability_2010_XII.pdf