Windy was our full time home on wheels February 2011 – December 2013
We are eco-conscious people and let’s face it, traveling in an RV doesn’t seem like the most eco-friendly way to go. But, Windy isn’t your grandparents’ gas guzzling 1980’s motorhome. Technology is changing and ever so very slowly…so is the RV industry.
Windy The RV
She is a 32ft 2011 Monaco Vesta. It’s a front-engine coach with a low center of gravity, air bag suspension and the first RV ever with wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamics which improved the fuel efficiency. We average around 11-13mpg (more on our fuel economy here), can run a Bio Diesel Blend of B20 (not always easy to find) without any conversions and is the most contemporary small class A we could find. So, it was an excellent start to a more eco-friendly home on the road.
It’s NOT a Contest – It’s Simple
We are experimenting in living more simply and sharing our findings. Mostly, because for us the simpler we make our lives, the more free we feel and the happier we seem to get. And then there is our planet. Oh yeah, we are selfish that way. The more we see of our amazing planet, the more we want to preserve it.
We’re not the most eco-friendly people on the planet, not even close to it, not trying to be. Shrinking our personal footprint isn’t going to save the world. Sure, our personal footprints are important but it’s not the big picture. We’re not pointing fingers at those that live differently, looking for a gold star or anything of the sort. We want to do our part to change the big picture. So that doing the right thing becomes the norm, not the gallant tree hugger exception.
Then there are those lovely unexpected bonuses of going green…like saving money and boondocking longer and more comfortably!
Here are some of the ways we have found to green up Windy and our lifestyle:
Solar Kit – A total of 600 Watts of Solar + 3000 Watt pure sine inverterGoPower Extreme Solar Kit (with PowerBoost – supercharges the batteries to 14.5 for overnight use)GoPower Portable 120 Watt Panel with 45ft of cable allows us to follow the sun for max solar input.
All American Sun Oven – Cooking with the sun keeps the heat out of the RV and requires no electricity or gas, just a sunny day!
All things USB – Solio makes a rad collection of solar lights and mini solar chargers perfect for hiking, in the car or carrying in your hand/man bag. This keeps our cell phones, cameras, tablets and etc. charged on the go. These are also perfect for over seas travel. You don’t have to worry about power adapters or burning up your gear if you bring your own power with you!
Solar Shower – a five gallon solar heated bladder with a shower nozzle. Perfect for rinsing off after a hike or washing dishes.
Separates the pee from the poo and turns waste into compost! Uses no water, no chemicals and we use Coco COIR because it’s more sustainable than Peat Moss.
We switched out over 40 bulbs! All LED lighting inside reduces electric consumption over 90% and produces zero heat vs. standard Halogen bulbs.
Water – Any Source
We have two goals with the investment in our RV water system: Create pure drinking water that tastes good so we never have to purchase bottled water, AND reduce the flow so we can conserve water every day. With our simple water purification system we can create great tasting clean water from any clear water source. This provides us with pure healthy drinking water whether we’re at a campground or living off the cord relying on lake or river water.
- Triple Water Filtration – A series of 3 Carbon based filters help reduce bacteria, chlorine, bad taste and odors.
- 45 PSI Water Regulator – Reduces water flow into fresh water tank to conserve water and reduce extreme pressure when connected to a standard water hose faucet.
- On The Go Portable Water Softener – Improves taste and odor, lengthens the life of appliances, prevents rust and scale buildup by reducing Calcium and other impurities in water.
- H2O Labs Tabletop Water Distiller – Heats water into vapor then condenses steam back into water to create clean healthy drinking water from any clear water source.
- Faucet Aerators, Oxygenics showerhead and shut off valve – All help to reduce water consumption for everyday use.
- SodaStream – Instead of purchasing typical sodas or even the natural/organic variety we make our own. We use our on-board organic herb garden plus fruits from the market to make simple tasty beverages and no wasted plastic bottles.
One Smart Toad
Convertible Smart Car is eco friendly and great MPG(about 40); 85% recyclable and 95% reclaimable.
It’s about more than just the RV
From growing herbs on board to sustainable clothing to supporting local breweries, restaurants and farmers markets to riding our bikes to explore nearby towns; we seek out the best eco-friendly options each town has to offer.Engine Horsepower Upgrade
Our 300HP upgrade has sparked quite the controversy on our website, on the forums, and so on and so on! So let us try and clear up some of the questions:
- Do you have the Engine Update?: The engine upgrade is installed on our Windy.
- What is the Engine Upgrade?: 40 more horsepower. The 2011 Monaco Vesta RVs were shipped with a 260 Horsepower International MaxxForce Front Engine Diesel. Our Vesta has been upgraded to 300 Horsepower to match the 2012 models.
- Is there a noticeable Performance Increase?: The increase in horsepower is great for off-the-line acceleration, it’s also a vast improvement for highway merging.
- Any change in Fuel Economy?: We track all the fuel economy in a series of updates called Real Fuel Economy of the Monaco Vesta. At this time we haven’t seen any real change in the fuel economy in relation to the extra horsepower.
- Can I get an Engine Brake on the Vesta?: At this time there is no Engine Brake compatible with the 2011 Vesta Maxxforce Engine. I don’t think there will ever be an Exhaust Brake upgrade offered because of the EGR style exhaust scrubbing.
- Can I Upgrade my Engine?: The upgrade is NOT available for any other 2011 Vesta. According to Monaco: if you want 300 horsepower you’ll need to either purchase our Windy, or a new 2013 Vesta.
I wish I had better news for all the Vesta owners out there, but this is one thing that helps our Windy stand out from the crowd, and was offered to us as a test from the factory.
If you have any questions at all please leave a comment (we do read every one).