Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The future of RVing as many know it is doomed

Opinion by Tony Barthel
Somehow, whenever the future of RVing is being discussed, someone calls me or sends an email. While my own crystal ball may be no more polished than anyone else’s, I do have some perspective on what’s ahead for RV enthusiasts. 

I love trucks, cars, RVs and anything else with an engine. Perhaps that love comes from the fact that my family came to the U.S. so my dad could help with the engineering of the T3 automotive turbocharger. But I also recognize the challenges of the large vehicles we currently call recreational. 

The latest question I got was about the future of RVs in general and, more specifically, Class A diesel pushers. 

A history lesson 

There was a time of great optimism in the U.S. when we all got to drive cars whose design was dictated solely by stylists. After the styling department did their work, the engineering department then had to figure out how to bend sheet metal into fins and curvy swoops with bulging headlights. 

Aside from one rather dismal failure by the Chrysler Corporation in the Airflow series during the 1930s, aerodynamics wasn’t a consideration at all. 

Then came the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973 and the government decided to begin forcing automakers to make more efficient vehicles. As fuel efficiency standards increased, car design became more and more dictated by how to push that shape through the wind to the point where, today, design is very much dictated by a combination of aerodynamics and crash and other impact safety regulations. 

The forces of nature act upon all things the same way, so that’s why your car looks so much like the one in the next lane over. 

Electric RVs

So looking at how the government is regulating things, there’s no avoiding the drumbeat of zero-emissions vehicle discussion which, at the present time, is focused around electric vehicles. While there are other technologies in use, including hydrogen fuel cells in cars like the Toyota Mirai, most of the energy spent (see what I did there?) is going toward vehicles moved by electric motors. 

So what about RVs and, in particular, Class A motorhomes? 

Well, they’re doomed. At least in their present state. At least in my opinion. 

Class A diesel pushers are very inefficient


Class A diesel pushers are an absolute icon of inefficiency in just about every way possible.

First, aerodynamically they’re a complete disaster, since their shape is dictated by interior space. That means they’re not dictated by how efficiently they move through the air. Part of making a vehicle more aerodynamic includes reducing what is called the frontal area, or the part you have to shove through the air. A 12-foot-tall rectangular box is about the worst possible shape you can create for doing this. 

Second, motorhomes essentially spend a vast majority of their time sitting idle. The people who own them spend many tens of thousands of dollars on a resource that they barely use – a gigantic diesel engine. This is the kind of stuff that makes financial planners lose their minds. 

Third, most Class A diesel pushers are a litany of things that are there just in case. For example, does the owner of a Class A need 150 gallons of fresh water aboard when they predominantly stay at full-service RV parks? Nope. Do they need giant generators under the same circumstances? Nope. 

Of course, there are those who take full advantage of these capabilities and seek them out. They serve some owners very well, as do the large diesel engines that they utilize to travel this wonderful country. 

So, is it possible that the Class A motorhome is just doomed? Sort of. 

The future of RVs

I mentioned aerodynamics and I think the science of shoving things through the air is going to play an increasing role in the design of our RVs, just as it has with the automobile. Today we have big boxes that are poorly designed for travel but work nicely once parked. 

I am betting that we’re going to see travel trailers become designed more for travel as well as being great when parked. In fact, this technology already exists. 

TrailManor trailers

One of the few RVs that offer almost full function when parked but also travels well is the TrailManor travel trailer. This design sits inside the tow vehicle’s envelope when rolling down the road but then rises to full height when camped. Another benefit of this design is that it fits inside some garages and is light in weight. 

TrailManor owners report that the hit they take in fuel mileage is minimal. Again, this is due to a combination of the trailer’s being relatively light in weight but also not being so detrimental aerodynamically. 

However, TrailManor is only a small blip on the radar when it comes to travel trailer sales. What would it take to make them more successful? 

Perhaps greater adoption of this type of design. Another thing that would help would be more and more adoption of electric tow vehicles. And, if there is greater demand for trailers that tow more efficiently, other companies are going to adopt this type of design as well. 

In fact, there is one company that has specifically tested their trailers for aerodynamics: Safari and their Safari Condo Alto A2124’s odd shape comes specifically because it was designed to slice through the air. 

Back to the Class A

As you watch RV sales skyrocket, one of the areas that is not following that trend is the Class A diesel pusher. Class B vans have jumped a full 148% in sales, according to one study, and travel trailer sales are up by half. But Class A motorhomes showed just a relatively tiny blip in sales at a 13.6% increase. 

What would make sense is if Class A motorhomes came in two flavors: one that’s very much like today’s models that has all the ability to boondock, and others that were more park-friendly and had less on-board infrastructure but offered greater operating efficiency. 

Crazy, you say? But it’s been done before. In fact there was a Class A motorhome that was relatively aerodynamic, had a low profile and drove like a car. That was the GMC MotorHome of the 1970s. But even with the power of General Motors’ engineering, it still wasn’t the best example. 

Ultra Van

That honor, in my humble opinion, goes to the Ultra Van which was a Corvair-powered fully functional motorhome designed by an aircraft engineer. Surprisingly, it didn’t weigh that much more than the average Corvair of the time and offered everything you would need in an RV – including great fuel economy. 

Electric power

Another thing to think about is that big diesel engine which has a smaller version of itself up front as the generator. This is just dumb. 

As we move more and more into electric drive motors, what would make sense for the Class A market is some sort of onboard generator that can provide power to the batteries of a Class A that move it down the road, but also can serve to operate everything inside. 

Think of things like a fuel cell, which can operate on propane, as proved by Watt Fuel Cells. That means you could use the existing propane infrastructure, which follows us RVers around like a dog on a leash, but then also offers less maintenance. 

The fuel cell could operate in conjunction with the batteries and a solar system to charge the RV when it needs to move. It would also keep those same batteries in check when the rig is stationary. Cloudy day? No problem. Cross-country trip? Also no problem. Very low emissions? Check. Lots and lots of torque to cross the Rockies? Easy. 

“More and more governmental agencies are looking at the emissions of diesels and seeing how they can curtail these. One way of doing so is to kill them off altogether. “

This could be something to celebrate

So while some are bemoaning the potential loss of a diesel engine, if we thought a bit differently, this could actually be something to celebrate. Especially for those who like to breathe. 

It’s not inconceivable that you have 800 watts of solar on the roof of a big Class A motorhome. But then having an electric drive motor and a propane fuel cell also means the driveline takes less space and makes almost no sound. It is also very clean from an emissions standpoint. 

Smaller driveline, smaller rig, longer range. And fewer moving parts means you’re not going to need a $700 oil change ever again. 

Where is diesel going?

As someone who loves the grunt of a diesel engine and its associated torque, I realize there might be some who wish to hold onto their diesel engines. But the end of the line for diesel is on the horizon. 

I say this because more and more governmental agencies are looking at the emissions of diesels and seeing how they can curtail these. One way of doing so is to kill them off altogether. 

Freghtliner diesel chassis as seen at the Hershey RV Show

Diesel engines themselves are very, very efficient and diesel fuel has more energy than gasoline. Furthermore, diesel emissions have less carbon dioxide than a gasoline engine. However, diesel does have two big disadvantages: nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate emissions. Oh, and the numerous studies that show that diesel exhaust can be a carcinogen. 

As a society, we were doing fine with accepting some of this. Many European agencies were even encouraging people to drive diesel passenger cars, which were made more palatable by ever-improving emissions systems. 

Until Volkswagen screwed the pooch. Volkswagen figured out that their front-drive cars were being emissions tested when only the front wheels were turning and the rear wheels were stationary, such as during an emissions test. So some clever engineers figured that they could run the engines to optimize emissions during testing but optimize performance and fuel economy on the road. 

And then we found out. And heads rolled at VW as the company racked up almost $35 billion in fines, charges and penalties around the world. But, more than that, suddenly customers no longer wanted diesel passenger cars. 

Diesel sales are continually declining

Diesel sales went from as high as 85% in Italy to some 35% recently, with numbers continuing to decline. 

Government agencies, including our own federal government and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are sitting in rooms figuring out how to eliminate diesel engines altogether. 

Don’t believe me? This is why you see companies like Ford coming out with large gasoline V8s that rival their diesels for performance in heavy-duty vehicles. They talk to regulators and regulators are burning the midnight solar panels to kick diesel to the curb. 

In fact, recently CARB had planned to really crack down on diesels all around including motorhomes coming in from out of state – until the RV industry took note and fought them on it. But you almost lost your privilege to just casually visit California with your diesel motorhome. 

And don’t think the war is over. 

Another salvo is the government doing what it can to at least keep diesel engines in compliance, as witnessed by the actions against companies like EZ-Lynk. 

So now what? 

I think the RV space is going to change with a combination of technologies and governmental intrusion. With ever-increasing numbers of electric tow vehicles hitting the roads and on the horizon, we’re going to see demand for towable RVs that don’t put such a hit on the range of these vehicles. 

I also see the days of diesels in private hands going by the wayside. Not soon, but soon enough. 

Would I buy a diesel-anything today? As a friend of mine in the legislature told me, “Only as a short-term waste of your money.” Ouch. 

##RVT1002

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Dave Gray
10 days ago

I have been sounding the horn in recent years that RV manufacturers are stuck in a rut and appear unable to improve their trailer designs. Especially, the fifth wheel RVs could be built a lot lighter weight with today’s technological breakthroughs.

Richard Chabrajez
11 days ago

As I see it, the issue with most government officials is a total lack of qualification to solve these issues in a positive way. They don’t know how to motivate, only regulate. Offer a billion dollar incentive to solve the emissions vs. efficiency issue. Be productive about it. 10 years ago, we couldn’t land a rocket and re-use it.

volnavy007
12 days ago

“… some sort of onboard generator that can provide power to the batteries of a Class A that move it down the road, ….” Why not do what the railroads did; create a diesel that powers a generator that powers the motor that moves the vehicle. Railroad diesel locomotives are the most fuel efficient method of transporting goods.

Gary Reed
14 days ago

Tony, you talk about propane to run fuel cells, but did not mention that Diesel engines can run on propane and methane!
Diesel manufacturers have been providing propane conversions for Diesel engines for years. 15 years ago we ran bulldozers in California on methane conversions, using the methane gas by rotting garbage to power the bull dozers spreading the garbage. You under estimate the Diesel engine manufacturers engineering’s ability.

TadR
14 days ago

How bout we stop trying to take peoples’ freedoms away and let them decide what is best diesel or electric?

jimbo
12 days ago
Reply to  TadR

How bout we stop making 7 million people each year die from polluted air from burining fossil fuels? FACT!

mike
11 days ago
Reply to  jimbo

supply the “facts” that you allege

TomS
14 days ago

At my age our smaller DP (35ft) will last our lifetime. Even if I were to sell it I couldn’t afford a class B that’s anywhere as nice as our old rig.
Two related articles to consider:
https://thenextweb.com/news/cummins-technology-reduces-diesel-emissions-syndication
https://www.enginebuildermag.com/2021/05/diesel-exhaust-fluid-innovation/

Andy Ball
16 days ago

Tony, great article. I can’t wait for the electric haulers to arrive. I will buy the Tesla truck as soon as it arrives to replace my gas powered truck. I have owned a Tesla model S for 8 years and will probably still be driving it 20 years from now. No maintenance other than tires at 80, 000 miles and windshield wipers. The battery has a max range now of 254 down from 265 new so I think it will last over 1 million miles, probably longer than me. I can get anywhere in the US without worrying about recharging with the ubiquitous Tesla network and I can add a hundred miles in 10 minutes or 200 in 25. It’s done charging before I can finish lunch or dinner. I plan on charging the Tesla truck with the 680 watts of solar panels I have on my 21 foot Outdoors RV travel trailer which is set up for Boondocking and can carry 100 gals of fresh water and 40 lbs of propane and a 3500 watt propane fueled Onan generator which never gets used because we have so much solar.

chris
16 days ago
Reply to  Andy Ball

excellent. I’ve yet to hear a Tesla owner say he wished he had a gas car.

Nick
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy Ball

Andy,
Can you charge from your trailer solar to the Tesla truck while underway?

chris
16 days ago

Old men yelling at clouds.

Fort Maceo
17 days ago

One correction, and it’s a key one: electric vehicles are not “zero emissions”. They’re “remote emissions”. Most of the electricity used to charge these vehicles is still produced using fossil fuels, and the production of the vehicles, their batteries, and their chargers uses an insane amount of energy – again, produced mostly using fossil fuels.

Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  Fort Maceo

A fact usually overlooked by the majority of fans of ‘electric’ vehicles.

Kristin Mineah
16 days ago
Reply to  Fort Maceo

IMHO, the electric vehicle conversation is another case of human short-sightedness for exactly this reason. Where do all of the EV proponents think this electricity is coming from? At a time in human history when power grids are more vulnerable than ever due to failing infrastructure, declining resources due to climate change (ex: water used for hydro, wildfires preemptively shutting down grids, etc.), and, as we have recently seen, cyber attack, how does it make sense to create the enormous added burden on the grid of everyone constantly plugging in their cars? I am 100% in favor of finding petroleum-based alternatives for fueling our addiction to motorized vehicles, but don’t believe a planet of electric vehicles is a solution until technologies can be further developed to enable those EVs to be self-sustaining, whether through fuel cells, solar generators – maybe even incorporating a wind-driven charging system. There are so many possibilities, but plugging into the grid isn’t a viable, long- term solution.

Also, I think diesel gets a bad rap. You get so much more bang for your buck with a diesel engine, maybe working on cleaning up the emissions makes more sense than trying to replace a global fleet of trucks that are largely responsible for getting all the goods we need and desire into our hands…just a thought. Since we know the oil industry isn’t going to roll over on it’s belly and stop pumping oil until it has wrung the last possible $$ out of the earth, and positioned itself to profit off of any major shift away from fossil fuel energy production, I’d speculate that diesel (and gasoline) will be with us for a while yet. Cleaner petroleum powered vehicles are well within the ability of the auto industry to produce…if their hand is forced.

Bob Weithofer
11 days ago
Reply to  Fort Maceo

In 2020 the sources of electrical energy in the United States were
Natural Gas 40%
Coal 19%
Nuclear 20%
Renewables 20%
(8.4% wind, 7.3% hydro, 2.3% solar, 1.4% biomass, 0.4% geothermal)
Coal has been steadily decreasing, natural gas has been steadily increasing as has renewables and nuclear. The industry has been moving to less polluting sources since 2007. (Source: US Energy Information Administration)
I also have been moving into less polluting energy sources. I have a large solar array and lithium storage on my RV, our full time home. We use this source whenever possible even when in a campground. Most of the time I only use pedestal power when I need the air conditioners and during extended periods of heavy overcast.
Personally, I don’t see a problem moving to electrical vehicles. We are currently looking for a new toad and are exploring that option.

Heather Warner
17 days ago

I think you’re going to see a decline not because of the diesel but because of the expense these RVs. Why buy a massive RV when you can build a towable tiny home for half. I’m in the market in the next couple of years but I want something I can make my own. People are also not buying new, they are buying used and refurbishing then flipping…even old buses. I’d like to see companies sell the bare bones for people like me who are only traveling as singles or doubles with absolutely no need of extra sleep in space or gear. People like me who want to add our own furniture and finishing rather than overpriced particle board and veneer. I don’t want your banquet dining, flimsy tables, neon lighting, faux fireplaces or outdoor kitchens with big screen TV. Which is why people like me are continuously buying used and gutting. I’d rather spend 20k rebuilding a used RV than 200k plus on new. Companies need to get with recycling program…redo your old ones instead of constantly pushing out new.

Raymond Clark
17 days ago

Back when I was a Chevy parts man we had two women come into the shop with an ultra van who were touring the US

Just think when RVs go electric we can camp at the charger while it takes all night to recharge. That will really {bleeped} off the Tesla owners

Billy Jon
16 days ago
Reply to  Raymond Clark

I hate American Car Manufacturers and Owners too!! {Bleep} Tesla!! Buy Foreign!

jillie
17 days ago

Let me tell you the tale of Diesel coming from a school bus driver. There will always be a diesel pusher. Why? Because they now make a cleaner form of diesel. Let me take you back 16 years when I started driving a school bus aka diesel pusher. They smelled. And they smelled bad. No one wanted be behind a school bus. Now fast forward to 2010. Then new invention of something called a re gen. Meaning regeneration. It was new and confounded the mechanics to no end. But what it does is burn off the carbon that forms in the engine and goes out the back end of the bus. But what this fangled thing does is twice burns off the carbon in a fine mist, smells horrible when it burns it off but spits out the tail pipe making for cleaner emission. At my former district they got an electric bus. {bleeped} the problems they had with it. Flash forward to now. Some school buses are using propane. Yup. Propane. I won’t drive one them. No way. So the RV is not doomed. It is doomed to propane or electric.

jillie
17 days ago
Reply to  jillie

I have no idea why it bleeps when I say o my god in three letters. But what ever. So as an addendum? I truly believe it won’t be electric but propane if anything. But I do believe the diesel pushers of today? Will get that re gen thing and that will make for cleaner emissions. As for electric? Nope won’t happen. It does not have go go to tow or the energy that a gas engine has. And so if you see a green bluebird symbol on the bus? It is a propane bus. That I will never drive ever. I love my diesel pusher that drives my children to and from school every day. Next year is my last year. I am retiring. Happy Trails.

Lil John
17 days ago
Reply to  jillie

No propane? Are you allergic to your stove? I have driven propane trucks and they run sweet. As much as I like my diesel now, I know they are going to get phased into something new. Hopefully they will be the alternative to electric. Napa California has a tourist train (full -size) that was diesel, of course, and was converted to propane. Runs sweet.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
17 days ago
Reply to  jillie

Our built-in filter apparently has been programmed to put in “(bleeped)” when it sees “{bleeped}” [it just bleeped the 3 letters I put in 😆 ]. So just put O M G to get around that. (I didn’t just say that. 😆 ) When I bleep something, I’ll put “bleeped by Diane.” Have a good night. 😀 —Diane

Ed V Day
2 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Why not fix a filter that removes GOD.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 day ago
Reply to  Ed V Day

Well, that didn’t get bleeped, Ed. I’m not the one that sets the filter parameters, but it seems there’s a way around all of the words on the list. We’re just trying to stay out of religion and politics on here. There are too many people who disagree with other people’s beliefs and opinions and, being anonymous, they tend to give them a piece of their intolerant mind. We don’t want name-calling, derogatory remarks, etc., on our website. Things can get out of control very quickly. There are plenty of other social media sites to post that type of comment. Have a great day. 😀 —Diane

Kool Kat
17 days ago
Reply to  jillie

Yeah, school buses will be all electric within the decade

Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  Kool Kat

Do you suppose they will install seat belts as well?

jillie
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

No to seatbelts. Oregon does have them but from the safety stand point if you ever watch a school bus go up in smoke, check out the you tube videos. You don’t have minutes but seconds to get the children out. There was one that happened a few years ago, if there were seat belts? All would have died. So no to seat belts. Its like the tootsie pop. How many licks does it take to get the tootsie center? The debate will continue.

Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  jillie

Thank you jillie, I understand the thinking behind this, but it has always bugged me that we hear ALL DAY LONG that seatbelts save lives – and I totally agree. I’m here after being in several ‘accidents’ (none my fault) where my seatbelt definitely saved my life. But with kids just sitting there waiting for an emergency stop to happen, or some sort of front end crash to send them careening toward the front of the bus, it just doesn’t make sense to NOT have these kids buckled in. I would hazard to guess that more crashes happen than burning buses, but that’s just my guess.

jillie
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

If you take a look at how school bus seats were like say 20 or even 30 years ago, there was a metal bar that went above the seat. In crashes the children were hitting that bar and injuring their mouths to removing a few teeth. (the patridge family bus has them. Take a look at the inside of that bus)The seats of today are very well padded and go above their heads so if you have to slam on the brakes they hit a padded seat in front of them. It is a cushion of sorts to protect them. Preschoolers are buckled in no matter what because they cannot control their bodies yet. Meaning wobbly. This is from the Transportation dept that has redesigned the modern school bus. So no more metal bars. It is all padded. I have seen redesigns of buses over the years and I like what they have come out with in the past few years. But in accidents? The school bus is like a tank. Comes out with a few scratches but if you hit one? Ouch. Its hard to flip a school bus because the rear wheels have rockers. So you can take a corner and still come out upright. Take a look at one if you can. They are built.

Tommy Molnar
15 days ago
Reply to  jillie

Wow. Thanks, jillie. I grew up in Chicago (50’s) and we walked to school, so no school bus rides – except for an outing to a museum. Once out of school I never saw the inside of a school bus again. I just assumed everything was the same as ‘back then’. The outside of the buses still look pretty much the same except for a few geegaws.

The info about the back of the seats is HUGE. Sounds like someone actually did some thinking on this. Thank you for your time explaining this to me.

jillie
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

As I think about safety I remember reading about a hurricane that hit Maine back in the 30s. This bus driver thought a church would be the safest place for the children. So he took a handful at a time to the church and went back to get the rest. Ran out of time. The water came rushing and took the school bus down the river. As it was discovered and believe it or not the school bus survived and the children, injured survived. The church? Gone and so were the children. They did not blame the driver because he did what he did to protect them. He committed suicide years later because of the guilt. So I guess it goes with out saying. I would rather be on a bus in a hurricane then in a building. IMO But that was one tragic year in Maine.

Rery Ro
17 days ago

“…is focused around electric vehicles. While there are other technologies in use, including hydrogen fuel cells in cars like the Toyota Mirai, most of the energy spent (see what I did there?) is going toward vehicles moved by electric motors.”

This is nonsense. It’s one thing to compare battery-driven EVs to fuel cell-driven EVs. But to compare a hydrogen fuel cell car with a car “moved by electric motors”??? That’s nonsensical — hydrogen fuel cell cars ARE moved by electric motors!

Jeff Craig
17 days ago

All the people complaining about this article being ‘doom and gloom’ won’t have to live in the hotter, drier and crazier world that they are leaving their grandkids. That said, I’m still looking forward to getting a Diesel Super C or Pusher, because companies like Shell and Chevron now HAVE to reduce their TOTAL carbon output – which means the rise of ‘biodiesel’. There will be more and more businesses springing up to modify existing vehicles, and to convert them to handle new fuel standards. Our economy is going through the same flux that it did when the railroad crossed the continent and displaced a month-long steamship trip around South America – or the change from whale oil to petroleum – or the internet supplanting shopping at the mall. These changes bring great opportunity and innovation. Personally, I’m looking forward to a fossil-fuel free future!

Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

You might be right about this, Jeff, but you won’t live long enough to see it. Just sayin’.

Bob
17 days ago

Total EV is a long way off. Power plant emissions would rise astronomically. Replacing carbon fueled power plants would require millions of acres of solar cells and windmills, not to mention the number of batteries needed to store the power and the inverters to convert it into AC power.
As far as charging the EV’s, it takes one hour of normal charging for every 25 miles of travel at an 80% charge. That depends on the size and weight of the vehicle.
Super chargers require a 480 volt three phase source. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
The country does not have the infrastructure to handle this.
As far as the Ford 150 EV, it has a range of 230-300 miles. Add a large load,such as a a travel trailer weighing 6000lbs and mileage is greatly reduced.

Jeff Craig
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Hmmm…. if only there was leadership pushing an “Infrastructure Bill” to put American-made solar panels on homes, upgrading our power grid, replace a fleet of aging vehicles with electric powered ones and researching ways to improve all these technologies.

Duane R
16 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Yeah, Jeff, we will see how much of the budgeted $$ goes to improve the infrastructure, and how much goes into pockets, or special projects, of donors and other politicians. Our gas taxes are supposed to go into roads, but much of it is diverted to schools or other recipients.

Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  Duane R

And if what we see coming out of today’s schools is any indication of what our tax dollars do there, I say we just try to fix the roads and forget the schools.
I know, I know, what a terrible thing to say. Jump on me – I’ve got lots of coffee to drink here . . .

Mike Sokol
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob

My plan is to test an F-150 Lightning late summer to tow a GeoPro G-19FBTH toy hauler. I want to deal in facts, not guesses.

Carson Axtell
17 days ago

Another “thinking out of the box” solution to the problem of fuel-guzzling apartment sized mega-land yachts making a mad dash across several state lines, pausing for impromptu overnight stops at Walmarts along the way, only to be packed like sardines into RV parks for weeks or months at a time is…glamping. People didn’t used to NEED to bring all their own stuff with them, and the cost and convenience of renting a luxurious tent cabin, or even a “rustic” wooden one, would probably end up being more economical given the rising prices of RVs and RV parks these days. And for those who like to return every summer to the same locations, why not just buy a vacation cabin? The economics would probably be comparable and a cabin is more likely to appreciate in value rather than depreciate as soon as you put it to use…

The basic problem is that as long as we continue to think like the rest of the herd we’ll have to continue to run with them.

Last edited 17 days ago by Carson Axtell
Tommy Molnar
16 days ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

Not everyone buys an RV because they crave fuel mileage or economical accommodations. That was never (and still isn’t) a concern when deciding what to buy. I bought into the “RV lifestyle” because wifey and I could see we were going to love it. No more wondering who slept in ‘our’ bed last night. Not having to ‘camp’ overnight at a static location, but where we wanted to stay. Living out west we can stop and camp just about anywhere we want. I know this might be foreign to folks “back east” and I feel their pain
.
What you are talking about, Carson, is totally foreign to an RV’er. From your comments I would guess you don’t have a diesel pusher or even a gas MH. Do you have an RV of any kind or do you ‘camp’ at the Holiday Inn because it’s more ‘economical’? Just wondering.

brian
17 days ago

Diesel will still be the choice for moving freight across highways, rails and water for decades to come. Diesel emission control is still somewhat in it’s infancy (remember smog pumps?) and at the same time too complex and un-dependable but new technology is on the horizon. Google “Ducted Fuel Injection”, a new kind of injector design being perfected by scientists at Sandia, NM. Ford and Caterpillar have already invested in it.
I think that once a clean and dependable diesel engine is available for highway trucks and busses you will still have the class A motorhomes.

Dave Pellegrino
17 days ago

Doom and gloom…it sells. So tired of all the doom and gloom opinions and articles.

Kool Kat
17 days ago

Only if you view it that way. People that change the world look at it as opportunity.

Harry
17 days ago

I challenge you to buy a Watt fuel cell. Let us know if you get one.

Mike Sokol
17 days ago
Reply to  Harry

I’m in discussion with Watt Imperium about providing me a unit to experiment with and will report on their technology when I’ll able to.

Last edited 17 days ago by Mike Sokol
Harry
16 days ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Find out how long the catalyst lasts and how expensive it is to replace. Watt fuel cells were supposed to go on the market years ago. No one I know has one.

Harold lemon
17 days ago

The sky is falling!!!!

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