Imagine driving down the highway and suddenly a bright silver streak goes whooshing by with a lingering aroma of Chinese food wafting from the tail pipe. No, that wasn’t a giant kitchen appliance that just passed you, it was the homemade solar powered RV affectionately referred to as “The Toaster.” It’s a cool little DIY rig with owners deeply dedicated to showing other RVers how to live life without fossil fuels.
This solar powered RV uses almost no fossil fuel!
The Toaster Treads Lightly on the Planet
Built by the eco-groovy couple, Ching and Jerud, this homemade solar powered RV has been rolling across America since March 2015, when the couple ditched their old jobs as a mechanical engineer and outdoor store employee. They left Asheville, North Carolina after turning a traditionally manufactured RV into the ultimate model of earth-conscious RV living.
You won’t smell formaldehyde in their green RV.
In their full-time RVing blog, Live Small Ride Free, Ching and Jerud explain that they didn’t always like RVs because they felt that RVs left too big of a carbon footprint on the planet. “But the more we talked about it the more we realized how much we could do with an RV if we remodeled it into a home that matches our priorities,” they write. “Choosing the right RV to suit our modifications and new lifestyle was an important consideration.”
They stripped the RV down to the studs!
The two began their solar powered RV rehab project in December 2013. “It took us a year to finish the project because we weren’t prepared for how much damage the RV had,” they explain. That’s because after purchasing the rig, this courageous couple discovered the RV had so much water damage that they had to strip out everything – from walls to roof – and down to the studs to rebuild from scratch.
Why the Toaster is Earth-Friendly
What exactly did Ching and Jerud do to make green RV living comfortable for them and their two dogs? For starters, they:
- Installed a foot pedal under the kitchen sink to better control water consumption
- Ripped out the old RV toilet and put in a water-saving composting toilet.
- Slapped 1220 watts of solar panels onto the roof.
- Doubled the insulation in the RV to help it stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
- Ditched the air conditioning and microwave, propane tanks and water heater to realize their ultimate goal of eliminating all fossil fuel consumption in the RV.
- Converted their Ford diesel pickup into a waste veggie oil (WVO) vehicle.
Water goes further with a composting toilet.
It hasn’t been a year just yet, but so far the happy roaming Toaster has taken Ching and Jerud on an exciting grease-powered journey across the USA with their two traveling canine companions, Tybee and Tyki. From the mountains to the desert and beyond, the couple enjoys sharing the ups and downs of living in a solar powered RV. Watch for their shiny toaster at a campground near you!