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What is a “Green Certified” RV?

December 6, 2010 by Mark Polk · 46 Comments  
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travel trailer evergreen element

I just returned from the 48th annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky. There was a good representation of exhibitors and manufacturers at the show and attendance was up from last year’s scaled down show. All good signs that the RV industry is on the rebound.

I put many miles on my walking shoes perusing all of the 2011 RV products that will soon be available to the RV consumer. As I walked through many of the manufacturer towable displays it was evident to me that light-weight trailers are filling a niche in the current RV market. Not that there was a shortage of larger and heavier towable trailers, but I could see there is definately a trend toward more light-weight trailers. This only makes sense when you consider the the direction the automobile industry is heading with vehicles capable of  towing trailers, especially moving forward.

Green Certified RV’s

Something else that caught my eye was the “Green Certified” label adorned by many of the new RV’s on display in Louisville. I asked a couple of the manufacturer reps what this green certification badge entailed, but I didn’t  get the response I was looking  for so I decided to look into it further.  The green certification labels posted on the RV’s indicated the RV was certified by TRA Certification. After some research I discovered TRA Certification Inc. is an independent third-party green certifier. Using well established consensus standards TRA analyzes, evaluates, measures and certifies RV manufacturers on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

In an attempt to “go green” some RV manufacturers started building RV’s to these consensus standards used in the modular and manufactured housing industries. When an RV gets the “Certified Green” badge it means that TRA certified the manufacturer is capable of building green, and uses their process, materials and components to assemble a green RV. The certification also involves verification of materials and components suppliers used in the production process of the RV.

Note: Another company involved with “green certification” for Recreation Vehicles is NTA Inc. The NTA approved green program is based upon recognized green practices and award points to Recreation Vehicle Manufacturers that demonstrate stewardship in these areas.

But, what does a green RV really mean?

Six key factors are taken into account when building and certyfing a green RV. These factors are:

1) Resource Efficiency

2)  Energy Eficiency

3)  Indoor Environmental Quality

4)  Water Efficiency

5)  Operation & Maintenance 

6) Innovative Practices.

For a better understaning of what each of these categories involve here is a TRA green certification label with more information on what goes into building and certifying a green RV.

green label

So, if you are interested in “Green” and are considering purchasing a new RV look for the “Certified Green” label before you buy.

If you are interested in learning about one particular aspect of using your RV be sure to check out our brand new RV Videos On Demand online E-Courses.

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101

RV University

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Comments

46 Responses to “What is a “Green Certified” RV?”

  1. butterbean carpenter on December 6th, 2010 6:58 pm

    Howdy Mark,
    Sounds like a bunch of ‘buzzwords’ to me!!! Think I’ll open a ‘green certification’
    corporation, maybe sell a few certified tags, collect a little ‘certification’ $$$$ from the manufacturers… When they start building aerodynamic vehicles that run on air
    I’ll believe in their ‘green’ ads!!!

  2. Jane on December 6th, 2010 7:28 pm

    Wooooo Hoooo I’m with you Howdy Mark…Jane

  3. G Shea on December 7th, 2010 6:02 am

    Hey Mark, as a bus driver who has been driving a very green bus for years, I suggest the industry could lead the whole USA to green vehicles by adopting CNG or Compressed Natural Gas. Massive numbers of bus fleets and taxi companies use this fuel for cost, mileage and air quality reasons. My company adopted it 12 years ago and it is a major reason that it is still running dispite traditional fuel costs. CNG is cheap, less than 1.00 per gallon, tons of it in USA, and VERY green fuel. Why isn’t the RV industry and our so called “green” leaders using it? I wonder every day I drive the bus.

    G Shea

  4. Ardis Almond on December 7th, 2010 8:34 am

    “What is a “Green Certified” RV?” It is a device designed to separate naive suckers from their money:)

  5. Thomas Becher on December 7th, 2010 10:08 am

    Low flow faucets mean “Green” but I still need a full sink of water to do dishes. Savings NOTHING. Low flow shower head. Takes more time and water to rinse out the soap in my hair Savings NOTHING. How about putting in thermopane windows and better insulation in right away. My unit has 6 windows and a light in the door. If I can buy for my stick house windows that are triple pane for190 each that would be $1140. How much would it be for an Upcharge for something decent. Maybe $400? And the insulation in my unit is about2″ thick. There is plenty of room for more. I figure that a proper amount would cost around $40. Than the Ac or furnace won’t have to run so much. Now that would really be GREEN.

  6. Don H. on December 7th, 2010 7:12 pm

    I’ll go Green when I buy a new Green P/u to tow my silver Airstream. Will I be Green then?

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