Motorhomes have long been a source of irritation for impatient drivers who often complain that they take up too much space and travel too slowly on the road. Indeed, there have been many documented cases of motorhome drivers being subject to fist-waving and finger extensions, which could not be described as gestures of affection.
Now, motorhome owners can also sit back with a certain smugness, satisfied in the knowledge that the evidence is there that their choice of holiday-making has less of an impact on the environment than those who travel by car and stay at hotels and guest houses.
With the support of Fiat Professional, which provide the cabs and chassis for 75% of all campervans driven in Europe, a study has shown that four people on holiday in a motorhome create a much smaller carbon footprint than four occupants in a car using hotels and guest houses for their accommodation.
Headed up by Professor Paolo Fiamma, a Civil Engineer & Professor of Architectural Design at the School of Engineering at the University of Pisa in Italy, the results of a detailed experiment reveal that tourism with a Recreational Vehicle (RV) produces less CO2 emissions compared to ‘car + hotel’ vacations by a substantial distance.
As an example, data which was gathered on CO2 emissions during a trip of 1,000km by four people over eight days turned out to be 32% lower than the level of emissions achievable with car + hotel accommodation over a similar period. Looking at the various results it is clear from the figures produced that the levels of CO2 produced by RV’s, while variable according to the different type of living enclosure, remains comfortably lower than that produced by the combination of car and hotel accommodation.
Further comparisons of the two modes of tourism show a reduction of up to 56% in CO2 emissions was recorded in favour of the RV when the trip is extended to 15 days and as high as 69% if you increase the party size to six people. Gerry Murphy – Italy