For many people, the appeal of camping lies in the chance to get back to nature. No computers, no cell phones, no microwaves. In our technology-driven world, an escape from the constant barrage of notifications certainly sounds attractive. And for the six out of 10 households that have a resident who has gone camping, pitching a tent out in the wilderness may also provide an opportunity to reduce energy consumption. After all, you can't use a whole lot of electric power in the woods. But those who choose to camp out in an RV or trailer may not end up decreasing their carbon footprint. That is, until now.
Those who have already answered the call to become more energy efficient may have invested in an electric vehicle. These EVs are predicted to make up 54% of new car sales worldwide by 2020, so it's pretty clear they aren't a passing fad. But when it comes to camping, EVs can't really do the trick. Not only are recharging stations a bit hard to come by when you're in the mountains or rural areas, but they may not hold everything you need for a successful camping trip.
There may be a solution on the horizon. In lieu of a gas-guzzling recreational vehicle, small electric trailers are poised to become popular. German camper manufacturer Dethleffs recently debuted the E.Home Coco, which boasts a floor-mounted lithium battery, a dual-motor axle, and rooftop solar panels. Most impressively, its electric motive power actually means that it can be towed by an electric vehicle. It's more lightweight and can basically spin its own wheels, which means the vehicle towing the camper wouldn't have to deal with as significant of a load. Instead of renting a truck that can handle a
And when you're back at home? The camper can supposedly function as energy storage and even power your house with solar electricity.
That said, the camper is merely a concept for now. More research has to be conducted to perfect the unit, but Dethleffs says roading testing will commence in 2019. It may not be too long before you can camp in comfort and feel secure in the knowledge that you aren't polluting the very planet you're trying to enjoy.
Of course, while you wait for an EV-friendly camper, there is another option for sustainable camping. Lace up your hiking boots, fill up your backpack, and explore Colorado's mountains using nothing but all natural foot power. Old fashioned backpacking may not be as glamorous as luxury yurts and gigantic RVs, but it's about as eco-friendly as it gets.