Clean Transport

Published on November 17th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Solar-Powered Eco Camper Lets You Take Sustainable Roadtrips

November 17th, 2008 by  

camper

Camping season is coming to an end, but you might want to start thinking about saving up cash for the $129,000 Verdier Solar-Powered Camper. The RV is based on the classic VW camper style, and contains a 4 cylinder hybrid engine, a 170 watt solar system, and a GPS system to orient the solar panels. If you’re stuck on a cloudy stretch of road, the RV can also use regular gasoline.

And just because the camper is environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean it lacks in luxury— the eco-RV comes with an on-board computer, a projector, 6 speaker surround sound, and a roll-down screen. It also comes with built-in trash containers, composting and recycling, and a refrigerator/freezer.

The RV isn’t for sale just yet, but Verdier is taking reservations for its summer 2009 release.

Photo Credit: Inhabitat





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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • For 129k I could build 6 Tiny houses on trailers that would be super insulated (R40 walls R50+ roof R-5.3 windows) meaning it would be 4 season proof. All with a composting toilet, 250 watt pv, solar hot water catchment and all the bells and whistles. I don’t find the value of this camper at 129k.

  • Bassman the Vanagon Man

    do we really need a 129k camper to make me feel good about Mother Earth?? I have a 84 Vanagon and a 86 Camper Vanagon 25 and 23 years old and still going strong…using regular gas getting 20 to 22 mpg…why would anyone want to spend 129k on this camper??

  • $129k? That’s just mad ridiculous – you could outfit an old Veedub van for a tenth of that and get more than what you’re getting here. Or, you could just buy a tent and suck it up when you go camping – after all, the whole point of camping is to get away from needless luxuries and reconnect with nature.

  • $129k? That’s just mad ridiculous – you could outfit an old Veedub van for a tenth of that and get more than what you’re getting here. Or, you could just buy a tent and suck it up when you go camping – after all, the whole point of camping is to get away from needless luxuries and reconnect with nature.

  • why does it cost so much? 129K seems like an AWEFUL lot…

    a huge amount of money actually…

  • why does it cost so much? 129K seems like an AWEFUL lot…

    a huge amount of money actually…

  • David,

    That makes sense if you live in a bungalow by the beach, where it’s like camping every day. (inside joke?)

    Jokes aside, I agree to a point. The question boils down to not only production emissions, but potential life span of the vehicle. Was it engineered with the goal of lasting 30-40 years or more, or is planned obsolescence part of the equation? I drive a ’69 VW camper, so I am all for this project if it will last that long while putting out a fraction of the emissions of my trusty old friend.

    Vince

  • David,

    That makes sense if you live in a bungalow by the beach, where it’s like camping every day. (inside joke?)

    Jokes aside, I agree to a point. The question boils down to not only production emissions, but potential life span of the vehicle. Was it engineered with the goal of lasting 30-40 years or more, or is planned obsolescence part of the equation? I drive a ’69 VW camper, so I am all for this project if it will last that long while putting out a fraction of the emissions of my trusty old friend.

    Vince

  • Stephen

    David – I don’t think anyone is saying this ‘particular’ vehicle is going to replace the current rental cars! Step in the right direction though.

    Think I’d prefer it if it was aimed less at the hippy market to be honest. The camper styling is a bit much for my liking!

    I think the GPS could be linked to the panels so they automatically adjust as you drive, not just so you can park facing the sun.

  • Stephen

    David – I don’t think anyone is saying this ‘particular’ vehicle is going to replace the current rental cars! Step in the right direction though.

    Think I’d prefer it if it was aimed less at the hippy market to be honest. The camper styling is a bit much for my liking!

    I think the GPS could be linked to the panels so they automatically adjust as you drive, not just so you can park facing the sun.

  • David

    I’m guessing that, after accounting for the production energy put into making this camper we’d find it to be about as bad as a regular camper. I’ll stick with my tent and rent a small vehicle (since my bike won’t cut it)… not only will these trips emit far less CO2 but I will also pay less.

    I’m all about sustainable products but we have to consider production emissions in addition to the emissions we see with our own eyes. Otherwise what’s the point?

  • David

    I’m guessing that, after accounting for the production energy put into making this camper we’d find it to be about as bad as a regular camper. I’ll stick with my tent and rent a small vehicle (since my bike won’t cut it)… not only will these trips emit far less CO2 but I will also pay less.

    I’m all about sustainable products but we have to consider production emissions in addition to the emissions we see with our own eyes. Otherwise what’s the point?

  • This ‘Eco-RV’ was recently featured along with 2 other ‘Environmental Pioneers’ in the industry in The New York Times. Check out more more information at http://www.wonderexplorebelieve.net

  • This ‘Eco-RV’ was recently featured along with 2 other ‘Environmental Pioneers’ in the industry in The New York Times. Check out more more information at http://www.wonderexplorebelieve.net

  • kt

    I want one!!!!!!

  • kt

    I want one!!!!!!

  • Ariel Schwartz

    @Jennifer – Totally. Maybe they’ll be available to rent one day…

  • Way cool.. It’s the ultimate hippie blogger vehicle!

  • Way cool.. It’s the ultimate hippie blogger vehicle!

  • Pingback: Solar-Powered Plane to Perform Test Flight : CleanTechnica()

  • KC

    That thing is badass. I could do some serious Tailgating in that van for sure. Or I could get all my friends high in that thing too! Im all about it. Sick van. GPS me to the moon!!

  • KC

    That thing is badass. I could do some serious Tailgating in that van for sure. Or I could get all my friends high in that thing too! Im all about it. Sick van. GPS me to the moon!!

  • nate

    Do you *really* need GPS to know which way is South? Is our culture that blind to the celestial sphere that finding the ecliptic is a challenge?

    Mind you, the GPS would be handy for avoiding wrong turns (and their associated wasted fuel), but why invent phony justification?

    Why not a compass? You could even have a sign: “Park facing East.”

  • nate

    Do you *really* need GPS to know which way is South? Is our culture that blind to the celestial sphere that finding the ecliptic is a challenge?

    Mind you, the GPS would be handy for avoiding wrong turns (and their associated wasted fuel), but why invent phony justification?

    Why not a compass? You could even have a sign: “Park facing East.”

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