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Study Shows RV Vacations Leave Smaller Carbon Footprint

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

RV vacations are more environmentally friendly than fly/drive/hotel
vacations, according to a new study comparing total carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions or carbon footprints. PKF Consulting, an internationally
recognized consulting firm with expertise in travel and tourism, found
that families of four taking RV vacations generate less CO2 than
families traveling on a plane, renting a car and staying in a hotel.

“RV vacations are not only fun, affordable and comfortable for
families,” says Richard Coon, president of Recreation Vehicle Industry
Association, “this study shows that they’re also more green than
vacations including flying.”

PKF, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., analyzed the CO2
emissions (in tons) of vacations varying in length from three, seven, 10
and 14 days to destinations such as Orlando, Fla.; New Orleans, La.;
and Napa, Calif. The RV vacations analyzed included car/folding camping
trailer; SUV/travel trailer; Type C motorhome; and Type A motorhome
(diesel).

Using the carbon calculator methodology developed by
Conservation International, an organization that promotes biodiversity
conservation, PKF found that RV vacations, in all cases, had a softer
environmental impact than the typical airline/rental car/hotel
vacations.

For example, if the family of four was taking a 10-day trip
from Minneapolis, Minn., to Branson, Mo., the study showed that a
fly/drive/hotel vacation creates 1.81 more tons of carbon emissions than
a vacation using a car/folding camping trailer; 1.35 more tons than an
SUV/travel trailer trip; 0.92 more tons than a Type C motorhome trip;
and 1.26 more tons than a vacation by Type A motorhome (diesel).

In calculating the CO2 emissions, RV miles per gallon estimated
to be were 12.5 mpg for a Type A motorhome (diesel) and 10 mpg for a
Type C motorhome, based on industry averages supplied by RV
manufacturers. PKF used a conversion rate of 1.18 road miles to 1.00
airline mile in its calculations. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
is the national association representing more than 500 manufacturers
and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs
made in the United States. Visit www.GoRVing.com for more information about RVing and to get a free video on how to get started RVing.

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