So you want to live an eco-friendly camper life? It all starts with the type of campervan you choose and how you treat the environment when you travel. Here are some Sterling tips aimed at helping you buy an eco-friendly campervan and travel sustainably. Go electric for an eco-friendly camper The debate about the environmental effects of electric engine battery production rages unabated, but there is no doubt that an electric powertrain in your eco-friendly camper will cause less damage to the environment than its carbon fuelled counterparts. So, if you’re buying new and you’re buying with an eco conscience, you will have to buy electric. There are lots of options to choose from. VW’s classic-looking ID Buzz is as cool as they come while the Toyota Alphard Eco Camper is pretty stylish too. The battery life and accessibility of charging points may be a concern, but the performance of an electric campervan will shock you and the silent motor will ensure you have a clear head, no matter how long the journey. When you visit a place, leave no trace, and take your waste with you. Converting your van into an eco-friendly camper If you are not buying new but planning to take on your own van conversion, consider using salvaged or used materials wherever possible. Giving a new life to second-hand parts is a double boost for the environment, it reduces demand on manufacturers and prevents pre-used items from ending up in landfill sites. There are aesthetic reasons for using pre-used products too, older items often have more charm and character than new mass produced parts. If you’re using a specialist camper conversion company, stress that you would prefer the work to be done with recycled materials. You’re the customer, you’re the boss, demand the eco-friendly camper of your dreams. Chase the sun in your eco-friendly camper Some new eco-friendly campers will already have an option to fit a solar panel to facilitate fully off grid camping. If yours doesn’t, be it brand new or second hand, it’s well worth investing in. Solar panels are relatively inexpensive — in fact, over time they will pay for themselves — and pretty simple to fit and wire in. You may find it better to have a freestanding panel so it can be stored in the camper en route, reducing drag, and then plugged in and pointed towards the sun on arrival at your destination. Remember, the sun moves so you will have to repoint your panel regularly to get the best results. Slow down, drive less, linger longer The tribrid is the ultimate for an eco-friendly camper but might just be out of many people’s price brackets. If you drive a carbon fuelled camper you can reduce your impact on the environment by driving more slowly — most engines perform at their optimum efficiency at between 55 and 60mph. When you get to your destination give the van a rest. Put the ignition keys in your pocket and forget about them and enjoy your new surroundings until you really need to hit the road again. Wherever you go, linger a little longer. It’s madness to boot all the way to the Scottish Highlands for a weekend, if you’re making a long trip, stay a while longer! Stow bikes inside the camper during the journey and use them, instead of the van, for local excursions once you arrive at your destination. When you visit the place, leave no trace Plan ahead for the trip in your eco-friendly camper and try to take most of the things you will need with you. When you decide where to pitch up choose somewhere that is durable and will quickly bounce back into life once you and your camper leave. Dispose of your waste properly, in some cases, if there are no waste facilities, that may mean taking it home with you. Research the area you’re visiting before you travel and familiarise yourself with the local pick-your-owns, farm shops and farmers’ markets, rather than visiting the giant supermarket chains you normally do your weekly shop at. Respect the wildlife you may encounter and be considerate to other visitors and those who live and work in the area that you have chosen to visit in your eco-friendly campervan. Do some research before you travel and buy local produce whenever you can. Protecting your eco-friendly camper Whether your eco-friendly camper is a brand new VW ID Buzz or a DIY camper conversion in your faithful old Ford Transit, the team at Sterling will find a great insurance package to protect your holiday home on wheels. With campervan insurance prices starting from as little as £165 a year, and with a great selection of benefits and optional extras, you will find Sterling’s deals are very hard to beat. The best deals are only available over the phone so call 0344 381 9990 today.