RVing – the enviromentally-friendly travel option?

Recreational Vehicles: giant, gas-guzzling monsters, or eco-friendly transportation? Our friend Peter Greenberg recently analyzed a new travel trend: the “green RV.” The term may seem contradictory; after all, can a lumbering, fuel-thirsty behemoth really be labeled “green?” But Greenberg points out that “the RV industry is adjusting to the demands of a more environmentally conscious public.” And those adjustments don’t just include simply trying to improve fuel efficiency (though a sleeker, more aerodynamic design and lighter composites contribute considerably to better gas mileage).

Features of these new, more environmentally-conscious RVs include solar and wind turbines (for powering that gourmet kitchen), and hybrid models that run on both gas and batteries.

Greenberg also points out that many consumers are simply buying smaller vehicles, which reduce environmental impact by using less fuel and creating fewer emissions. Further, he notes that the self-contained nature of an RV reduces travelers’ carbon footprint, since folks are not flying, eating out, or staying in a hotel.

Still, even innovative hybrid models get around 12 miles to the gallon, which doesn’t seem too eco-friendly to me. What are your thoughts?