Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Mods: Recycling with a receiver hitch

By Jim Twamley
Recycling is good for the planet and for the pocketbook. The price of aluminum keeps going up (85 cents a pound in Phoenix in September 2017) and many folks cash in on the soda can redemption deposit by turning in uncrushed cans. But sometimes (and in some states) it’s just easier to crush your cans and turn them in by bulk weight.

I ran across a guy using a can crusher in his receiver hitch and tossing the cans in a bag hanging on the ladder of his Class C motorhome. As a money-making hobby he takes a walk, collects cans, and the nickels and dimes add up. When he gets back to his motorhome he runs the cans through the receiver hitch can crusher.

Just don’t get your fingers caught in it!

[Editor’s note: Prices vary widely across the country. We recently received the princely sum of 35 cents a pound in Washington. Crushing your cans makes great sense as a compact way to store them until you reach the higher-price payback states. Just Google “Aluminum recycle prices” and a state you plan to travel to.]


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Gene Bjerke (@guest_13692)
6 years ago

Who needs a can crusher? As an old sailor I realized that all you have to do is dent the sides in and they can easily be crushed under foot. (That’s why they have all that tight rigging on aluminum masts, to make sure the loads are all vertical. Get a dent in your mast and it’s bye-bye mast.)

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

I just place thumb and forefinger of each hand at right-angles to each other on the can, about 1/3 of the way in from each end, and squeeze (carefully — it can get sharp). Then just push in the ends with your hands like an accordion. Easier than having to bend down to pick it up from the floor. 😉 But I still think the can crusher on the receiver hitch is a nifty idea. —Diane at RVtravel.com

Margo Schabel (@guest_13594)
6 years ago

Want to be sure not to crush in some states like Michigan as they have a deposit of 10 cent on each bottle and can.

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