10 essentials to make energy math work for your wallet—and the environment ever have nightmares involving a big math exam that you didn't study for? (Asking for a friend.) Well, fortunately, when you wake up, you take a deep breath and realize that high school is over. Your acne is gone. And Algebra II is just a bad dream. But. Maybe that quotient isn't so clean. Truth be told, a remainder of math still haunts us in the RV life. All the appliances we want to take and use on the road—that seem like no big deal when we're plugged into shore power—can add up at the campsite. Especially when you're boondocking or a few nights away from your next full hookup. Fortunately, the solution is to focus on something simple: your energy bill. Because that's where you
really want to see some subtraction. So, here are ten essentials to start making that happen and getting your stress to zero.
Addition + Retention Increasing and keeping your power.
FACTOR IN THE YELLOW STAR POWER AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT
Whether you're going green or just looking for a renewable power backup, solar is a clear choice. We'll talk a little more in a second about the symbiotic, power-saving relationship between solar and lithium batteries, but solar power savings can extend battery life by 50 percent. It may not do all your heavy energy lifting—looking at you, fridge, and AC—but it's often plenty to charge devices, run small appliances, and keep the lights on. Shop solar solutions at GoPowerSolar.com
SUBTRACT SOME SURFACE HEAT
YOUR WINDOWS ARE BLEEDING ENERGY RV window surfaces get brutalized by the sun in the Summer and by the cold in the Winter. That takes a severe energy toll on your climate control. MagneShade gives you 90 percent UV protection and helps you keep your energy, be that cool or heat. Shop MagneShade.com
IMPROVE THE ROOFING VARIABLE KEEP YOUR COOL SEALED IN THE CABIN UV protection and air retention are big factors that have a common denominator: your roof. RV roof replacement can significantly reduce temperature in your cabin—RV Roofing Solutions says about 10 percent. FlexArmor's patented formula and professional installation also come with some big guarantees: no leaks, no maintenance, and no more caulking. Explore options at RVRoof.com and RVRoofingSolutions.com.
ADD LITHIUM TO YOUR FORMULA
SOLAR POWER'S NATURAL PARTNER Lithium batteries give you numerous advantages that ultimately offset their higher price. They live longer. Are safer. But in terms of energy saving, they recharge faster and operate off partial charges, which makes them the ideal partner for maximizing solar power. Shop RELiONBattery.com for pricing.
MAKE BETTER AIRFLOW A CONSTANT
REDIRECT AIR TO WHERE IT'S INTENDED Think improving your airflow by 40 percent makes a difference in energy use? It does. Better airflow reduces your AC's energy consumption and, in turn, makes your unit faster and more efficient. (Which could eliminate an assumed need to purchase a second AC.) Shop at RVAirflow.com.
COOK WITH A SMARTER SURFACE
STREAMLINE YOUR ENERGY TRANSFER Furrion's double burner induction cooktop cooks food faster. It also channels heat directly into the cookware. That all equals less power in less time. $445.95 at lci1.com
ACCELERATE YOUR COOL-DOWN
A MORE EFFICIENT AC UNIT Getting your temp down faster means your AC unit can focus on maintaining a constant temp. If you doubt your AC can do that, it's probably time to upgrade to the Dometic FreshJet 3—with its 13 percent increased cooling capacity. $1,049.99 at Dometic.com
LIGHTEN THE KITCHEN HEAVYWEIGHT
WATCH THOSE POWER CALORIES, BIG GUY Fridges can steal your RV power like a schoolyard bully robbing a kid's lunch money. But smart fridges like the Polar N10DC compressor refrigerator can be huge energy savers—with digitally adjustable temperatures and a night mode that reduces compressor and fan speed to conserve battery charge. $1,559.99 MSRP
REPLACE A VARIABLE: GO LED
INSIDE, OUTSIDE, EVERYWHERE YOU CAN It sounds simple, but it makes a difference. Switching to low-energy LED bulbs when and where you can (inside and out) conserves energy. And it beats Dad turning off all the lights all the time. Shop LED lights at SalVinCo.com
Fractions That Add Up
SUSTAIN A TIGHT RADIUS: YOUR TIRES
PROPER INFLATION SAVES GAS MILEAGE If we're gonna talk about saving energy, let's mention saving gas. One sneaky smart (and extra-safe) way to do that is tire pressure. Maintaining recommended pressure can save you up to three percent on gas. So, that TPMS you're buying? It can pay for itself. Shop at TireMinder.com