Sustainability is the new top priority among auto manufacturers. Electric vehicle sales exploded in 2022 and 2023 for sedans, trucks, and SUVs.
Fully electric recreational vehicles are not yet available to the public, but you still have options.
Environmentally conscious consumers can buy an RV with energy-efficient amenities and impressive green certifications.
Let’s take a closer look at seven eco-friendly RVs that could change your traveling habits for the better in 2023:
Skip to What You Need
- 1 7 Best Eco-Friendly RVs to Consider in 2023
- 2 Electric EVs in Development
- 3 Final Thoughts on a New Generation of RVs
- 4 About the Author
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 References
7 Best Eco-Friendly RVs to Consider in 2023
These are the top sustainable RVs available in 2023:
1. Airstream Flying Cloud
Airstream is another manufacturer that’s famous for its eco-friendliness. Even some of its RVs made in the 1930s are still on the road, which is a testament to their durability. The famous chrome Flying Cloud is the brand’s crown jewel. The round, pod-like structure has agreeable aerodynamics, giving it a 20% greater towing efficiency than other campers.
The Airstream Flying Cloud has earned the Emerald level designation, the highest TRA certification rank. This distinction is in large part due to its versatility. Sizes range from 23 to 30 feet, and you have eight floorplans to choose from. You can also add or remove amenities to meet your needs. It even comes with an optional solar panel and battery if you want an alternative power source.
Although the exterior design has remained the same, the interior is more advanced than ever. The wooden floors and cabinets are stylish and sustainable. The cabin has a climate control system for fast heating and cooling. You’ll find a 12-volt TV, 110-volt charging outlets, and a powerful stereo system.
2. Forest River Work and Play
Forest River’s Work and Play boasts a gold rating from TRA, which is a notch below Emerald. It primarily consists of recycled materials and has several sustainable features. The rain drainage system is the most convenient, automatically collecting clean water for you. The kitchen, shower, and toilet have low-flow water usage, helping you conserve.
The Work and Play also has pre-installed awnings, energy-efficient appliances, and nitrogen-filled tires that can handle any terrain. The two skylights will reduce your reliance on its LED light fixtures. The advanced model has a 265-watt solar panel, too. All of these details have earned this RV the Gold level certification from TRA.
3. TAXA Mantis
TAXA’s Mantis is the latest model in TAXA’s line of eco-friendly RVs. All vehicles from this manufacturer are made with recyclable materials, including a formaldehyde-free foam core and birch wood cabinets. You’ll only find LED light fixtures and 12-volt USB outlets, allowing you to share multiple devices for each outlet.
The two-burner stove and exterior shower will help you cut down on energy and water consumption. Most impressively, the cabin has outstanding ventilation that will reduce your reliance on A/C in the warmer months. These features have earned the Mantis the prestigious TRA Green certification – the mark of a truly eco-friendly mobile home.
This video by TAXA Outdoors provides a quick walk-through of the Mantis 5.1:
The 2022 Mantis is also TAXA’s biggest model yet. It measures 19 feet long and has unmatched storage capabilities. You can find storage locations under the full-sized bed, on the rooftop, and in the storage tower.
Price for latest model: $57,874–$62,424
4. Lance 850 Truck Camper
Lance is the only manufacturer to earn a TRA Emerald rating for all of its makes and models. The Lance 850 truck camper is among the best. It’s loaded with eco-friendly features, including recycled building materials, solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, and dual skylights to illuminate the interior. The energy-efficient ducted HVAC system keeps the cabin comfortable all year.
The 850 has an aerodynamic design with a sleek front nose cap and lightweight fiberglass walls that make towing a breeze. It’s light enough for any F-250/2500 or equivalent truck. The kitchen is also more luxurious than most other RVs. The double sinks and stainless-steel stovetop will take your mobile cooking to the next level.
5. Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7
Jayco is a popular RV manufacturer known for its sleek camper designs. The company has changed its priorities in recent years, launching an EcoAdvantage program to clean up its manufacturing process. The Jay Flight SLX 7 is one of the best models in the new Green Lineup. It’s a 3,500-pound RV that gives your vehicle better fuel efficiency and offers a solar power package.
Some other eco-friendly features include LED light fixtures, fiberglass sidewalls, and a total water capacity of 60 gallons. Despite its lightweight design, it still measures 21 feet and has a roomy cabin with a queen bed, full kitchen, bathroom, and dining area. It’s the ideal compact travel trailer for buyers on a budget who are looking for something simple and sustainable. If you want a hand figuring out how much RV you can afford, you can use a loan rate calculator to better understand your options.
6. Coachmen Apex Ultra Lite
The Coachmen Apex Ultra Lite is another great budget-friendly RV for environmentally-conscious buyers. The smallest model is 25 feet long and weighs 6,500 pounds, which is super lightweight compared to similarly sized RVs. It has earned the coveted Emerald rating from TRA thanks to features such as the rainwater drainage system and all-natural poplar cabinetry.
Other eco-friendly amenities include the 100-watt solar panel, the 55-amp power center, and an impressive waste disposal system. You can choose from a dozen floor plans and add up to six sleeping options. The leak alarm, smoke alarm, and carbon monoxide detector also make it one of the safest campers around. It’s the perfect eco-friendly RV for active families.
7. The Living Vehicle 2023
This California-based company prides itself on sustainability. In early 2022, it released The Living Vehicle, one of the few eco-friendly RVs built for permanent occupation. The 29-footer has its own atmospheric water generator and produces enough solar energy to power an entire mobile office. It also has 100 gallons and 80 gallons of storage for water and propane, respectively.
The trailer has some unique luxurious features. The queen bed folds back to reveal a workplace with Apple products. You can relax on the fold-out patio deck or relax in the cabin’s lounging area with the 36″ 6K television. If you have company, the guest bunk bed and couches can sleep an additional four people.
Each Living Vehicle is custom-made. The LED light fixtures, kitchen and bathroom amenities, and sleeping arrangements are all adjustable. If you’re looking to take an extended road trip and have money to spend, this RV will give you the most independence possible.
Electric EVs in Development
The eco-friendly RVs discussed above might not be your only options in the near future. Two manufacturers are developing all-electric models that could become publicly available in 2023.
Check out this video by The Fit RV of Winnebago’s First ALL-ELECTRIC RV, The eRV:
Popular RV manufacturer Winnebago plans to release its first all-electric zero-emission motorhome in 2023. The concept vehicle currently has a 125-mile battery range, but CEO Michael Happe wants to reach 200. It has an impressive eco-friendly interior with recycled cork-rubber flooring and wall insulation.
We don’t know the eRV’s official release date yet, but you can expect an update in early 2023. Prices will start at $100,000, but that number might change as other auto manufacturers enter the electric campervan scene. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Rivian, and Thor Industries have all announced similar models.
Final Thoughts on a New Generation of RVs
Recreational vehicles aren’t traditionally sustainable, but this next generation of mobile homes will change that narrative. These seven eco-friendly RVs will enable you to travel longer and farther without overconsuming precious resources.
The all-electric models could also make waves in the RV scene, and 2023 is going to be a big year for motorhome manufacturers.
About the Author
Oscar Collins is the editor-in-chief at Modded, where he writes about cars, auto news, and similar topics. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!
Frequently Asked Questions
What role does the TRA play in mobile home certification?
The TRA is a third-party inspection organization with the most comprehensive green certification process for mobile homes and trailers. The acronym stands for "T.R. Arnold," the parent company's founder. It focuses on four criteria: Resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor air quality. Read the full guide to learn more about eco-friendly RVs and the best ones to consider.
What is considered the most eco-friendly RV manufacturers?
The manufacturers with the best reputations for sustainability are Airstream, Lance, and TAXA. Airstream has the longest track record, but Lance and TAXA have introduced more eco-friendly RVs in recent years. Read the full guide to learn more about the best sustainable RVs to consider.
How big of a trailer can my car tow?
The answer depends on many factors, including the powertrain, brakes, cooling system, and more. To get the exact answer, you must enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) into the auto dealer's service computer. Always play on the safe side when estimating your car's towing capacity. Read the full guide to learn more.
EcoWatch: 7 Tips to Make RV Travel More Eco-Friendly
Go RVing: RV Solar Panels: A Beginners Guide to Going Solar
Scientific American: Go RVing… The Green Way?
TRA Certification: RVs, Tiny Houses & Emergency Vehicles