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RV uses alternative energy

Category: RV
Source: The Truth, Elkhart, IN
Publish Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Summary: Brawdy loves his RV because it takes him to beautiful places, helps him meet interesting people and keeps him from having to sleep in a hotel.

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By: Marilyn Odendahl |

LOUISVILLE -- Punctuating a phone conversation with the single-word answers of "Groovy. Perfect. Perfect," bounding from one place to another and constantly greeting strangers as friends, Brian Brawdy probably has enough energy to power his recreational vehicle all by himself.

However, the former New York City police officer turned explorer relies on alternative energy devices to provide the juice to his Lance truck camper. The idea, he said, was to be able to enjoy nature in his RV without destroying the environment.

He also wants his "Green RV" to inspire others to think about ways they can conserve and protect the planet. As a part of his mission, he has parked his RV in the middle of the Lance display at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show. In an industry trying to incorporate green technology into its products, Brawdy may get manufacturers, suppliers and dealers thinking.

"I want folks to think about having an adventure but doing it in an environmentally-friendly way," he said.

Showing off his RV, dubbed the Mobile Base Camp, Brawdy deadpanned, "Now, I've done a little bit to it."

The exterior has been outfitted with six solar panels and a wind turbine which generates enough energy to power the appliances and computer equipment inside the camper as well as any power tools he has plug into outlets on the exterior of the unit.

Also, a rainwater harvesting system collects enough for his needs.

The diesel truck, which is the least green component of his RV, getting only about 11 miles to the gallon, can run on biodiesel and has a 60-gallon tank which enables Brawdy to really fill up when he finds a biodiesel station.

He turned to the wilderness for solace following his father's suicide and he began considering the benefits of the sun after he experienced the harm the sun can cause when he developed skin cancer.

Now he is focused on the environment and how even actions to save the earth can, in the long run, damage it. For example, he has found driving an extra 10 miles out of his way to get biodiesel is more detrimental than if he just stops and buys regular diesel. Lately he said he has been thinking about how much water is being wasted washing out the plastic jugs and aluminum cans before they are pitched into the recycling bin.

"It keeps you up at night," Brawdy admitted.

When he pulls into a campground, Brawdy can go to the remotest, most peaceful spot available since he does not need to connect to any utilities. Then he turns his attention to nature by hiking, climbing, or kayaking.

Brawdy loves his RV because it takes him to beautiful places, helps him meet interesting people and keeps him from having to sleep in a hotel.

"I'm having the time of my life," he said. "RVing is the coolest way to travel."

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