22 APR 2022
The Earth and nature are our treasured travel companions: let's find out together how to look after them through sustainable motorhome travel!
If you’ve chosen to spend your holidays on board your Ducato-based motorhome, it’s probably because you love living close to nature and being surrounded by it, at all times of the day or night.
That’s why we had the idea to celebrate World Earth Day with you avid motorhome owners and share some handy hints on how to prepare and spend your trip in the best and most sustainable way possible.
How to prepare for your trip Top tip: travel light!
Although travelling in a motorhome enables you to bring along items that you wouldn’t normally be able to take on any other kind of holiday, choose carefully what to load into the van and how to organise the available space before departure — this will help to improve the quality of your trip. Learning to travel with the bare essentials is part and parcel of living sustainably, because in addition to making your motorhome tidier, it will also free up space and reduce clutter.
If you are travelling with children, a good game would be to challenge them to fit all their toys, books and other travel items into one box each.
Sharing is caring!
If this will be your first motorhome travel experience, you may not have everything you need to tackle your adventure. No problem! As well as asking your friends to lend you some camping gear, there are various rental companies that hire out equipment for outdoor activities, so you don’t need to buy everything right away. Avoiding this kind of waste will help you to not only save money, but also to avoid collecting unused items that you will have to find storage space for.
Have you ever thought about equipping your motorhome with solar panels? Not only will it help increase your available power and even generate it as you travel, but it will also enable you to independently run small electrical appliances, besides recharging the leisure battery.
In addition, making small changes, such as installing a dual toilet flush push-button or flow-limiting nozzles, could save almost 50% on your water consumption.
During the trip
Eco-friendly cleaning and hygiene.
To avoid hording useless plastic and cans, during your trip we recommend using eco-friendly products for cleaning your motorhome surfaces or washing the dishes, as well as solid cosmetics for your daily hygiene.
Various natural products can be used for everyday cleaning: sodium bicarbonate is a strong sanitiser; lemon can be used to remove limescale; Marseille soap is great for washing clothes, and even washing floors and bathrooms if dissolved in boiling water; and tea tree oil is a well-known antibacterial.
As for daily ablutions, you can buy solid and biodegradable shampoo and shower gel from organic and cosmetics stores.
That way you can safely throw out water used for washing dishes or showering, without polluting or damaging the place where you are staying.
Travelling in a motorhome also means frequently changing stops. It means visiting different places and meeting different people. And it’s worth remembering that every city or place you visit has its own unique flavours and traditions that are passed down through generations, as well as through local small businesses. Sustainable tourism also means helping these businesses, by purchasing local products directly from them. This, in addition to financially supporting small sellers, contributes to limiting waste of food packaging materials and therefore also reduces water waste and pollution caused by transport.
Keep disposables off the table!
No more single-use plastic plates and cups! To keep your travel sustainable, we recommend equipping your Ducato-based motorhome with a dedicated set of plates, glasses, cutlery and cups made of melamine, which is easy to wash and, most importantly, impact resistant.
That way, you can reduce waste while making your motorhome more like a home, albeit one on four wheels.
In extreme cases and contingencies, such as having lunch with your motorhome neighbours, we recommend using disposable plates and cups that are biodegradable.
In the kitchen
Did you know that there is a way of cooking that saves electricity and gas? That’s right, it can be done using so-called haybox (fireless) cookers. These are typically wooden boxes lined with wool and felt, which are suitable for preparing dishes that take a long time to cook, such as legumes and beans. Once the dish is heated on the fire, it is transferred into these boxes, where it continues cooking.
Let there be light... as long as it’s the low-energy kind
If your trip will last several days, you’ll obviously need to illuminate your motorhome during the evening hours. To lower your power consumption, we recommend equipping your motorhome with LED or strip lights, or even rechargeable USB lights. These products will not only last longer, but will also lower your energy footprint.
After the trip
End of the line. Back to your home without wheels.
Once you have returned home, it is very important to bear in mind that your motorhome was your faithful travel companion for the whole time you spent on the road. So, just like you, it will need some TLC and minor maintenance to recover from the trip and rest up for the next adventure.
Don't forget to empty the water tank ready for the colder months, otherwise the water may freeze and rupture the pipes, which will then need to be replaced.
Also remember to empty the grey and black (waste) water tanks, in order to avoid stagnation, moisture build-up and the formation of mould, which could ruin the system.
Finally, to avoid wasting electricity, remember to disconnect the batteries by removing the cable from the positive pole.
We hope that our tips for more environmentally aware and sustainable travel in your Ducato-based motorhome have been useful to you.
Happy World Earth day to all of you avid motorhome owners!