Are molded FG trailers 'green'? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2018, 10:39 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
So 26 miles per gallon towing a boxy 16' trailer? That's gotta be some kind of record.




We bought our Dodge Grand Caravan (2013) in 2015 as a passenger vehicle, so mileage was a consideration, as was being able to fit two dog crates and groceries in it.

It was getting 28-29 mpg when we bought it.

Only afterwards did we consider getting a trailer. After our 1740 mile loop trip around Oregon this spring we calculated we were getting just as said above, about 26 mpg. It's pretty good, compared, especially, to our old Get-Away-Van that got 8 mpg (or 8 gpm!).

But I don't think we get to claim any records for it. The van weighs 4500 - 6000 loaded, and the trailer only weighs 2,000 empty - 2600 loaded...and it's meant to roll and hold it's own weight up, so I don't think it's remarkable, exactly. We also drive 55 or less, fill up first thing in the AM, and all that jazz.

Paul uses the gasoline-saving feature on the freeways, but so far we don't turn the engine off when going downhill. (Kidding, folks! Though decades ago that did work. We came all the way down Mt. Hood to a gas station by coasting with the car turned off--but that was back when pterodactyls darkened the skies and you could do that with cars.)


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Old 09-23-2018, 12:06 PM   #82
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Fiberglass trailers are made of what the industry calls FRP
Or fiberglass reinforced plactic.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:16 PM   #83
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The only "green" RV IMHO is a tent. And better if you travel by bicycle.

Pretty hard to consider camping green when most of us have living quarters (apartment, house, whatever) back home that is already occupying a carbon footprint.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:20 PM   #84
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Worrying about all these things will not change anything but you!
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:56 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
Worrying about all these things will not change anything but you!

Well indeed.
But the original question was
"....My question is - Are Molded FG trailers greener than Stick-built trailers?..."

Are we any closer to answering that?

Jim
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:01 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by widgetwizard View Post
Well indeed.
But the original question was
"....My question is - Are Molded FG trailers greener than Stick-built trailers?..."

Are we any closer to answering that?

Jim

What shade of green?


We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away

When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:04 PM   #87
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Hi: All... "It's not easy being green".
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:54 AM   #88
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How about the manufacturing carbon footprint divided by the years of use? For the sake of generalization and ignoring aerodynamics etc. Towing 2,000 lbs. (907 Kg) is the same with a stick built vs. a FG molded trailer.

I think a FGRV tends to be in use for more years than stick built. Thus the manufacturing energy is spread out over more years of use. I seem to recall aluminum is a very energy intensive material to smelt and produce. Of course if the smelter is drawing off of hydro power while the FGRV is being manufactured with coal power would make a difference in carbon footprint and since those variable are specific to the manufacturer I don't think the "which is more" question can be answered accurately in a broad way.

Then too size is a factor. 19 ft. FGRV probably uses more fuel to tow than a 12 foot sitck built pop up. Or maybe one of the ultra lite models of stick built around 15 ft. Large percentage of FGRV's are smaller sizes. So again hard to do an apples to apples compare. Pretty sure a 16 ft. scamp tows with less fuel than a stick built 40 ft. 5th wheel with expand units.

So does one what the individual, for a given size compare and including manufacturing carbon foot print? Or fleet average? New vs. old where new adds to current carbon output but old has already been added. Way too many variables unless you were going to narrow it down to this model vs. that model AND know the manufacturing energy consumption for building a given unit.

Me I like scamps, mine has little green 3 tree decals so it is greener than the neighbors R-Pod that doesn't :-)
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:08 AM   #89
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The only time greenness is a factor is when it is made.
Used, second hand units have had the building part of the equation already "paid"
The rest of it depends on how you use it.
I always try to make the most economical and least foot print choices, hence a rebuilt small trailer towed by an economical (?) mini van.
Others make the choice to not care or change in any way their "footprint"
Their choice.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:16 AM   #90
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Nope, not necessarily any closer.

Aside from all the comments that can't seem to take the question at face value, and need to impart all sorts of value judgments on it or not take it seriously at all, I think that without someone who knows both industries well coming in and commenting, the best we've come up with is:

If they are more green, it is only because of their longevity, not because of anything to do with the manufacturing process or materials (other than the fact that the materials last longer).

The fact that you can't ask a simple question like this without politics and somehow the Prius getting brought into is sure a symptom of our times.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:38 AM   #91
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Actually I think it's a case of garbage in-garbage out. "Green" has no well-defined meaning, but all kinds of value-centered connotations.

The first task in scientific inquiry is asking clear, empirical questions.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:44 AM   #92
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JD: so those fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels they sell at Home Depot are the same thing? Or real close? Huh! Did not know that! Thanks.

Kathleen
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:47 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Me I like scamps, mine has little green 3 tree decals so it is greener than the neighbors R-Pod that doesn't :-)


Laugh-Out-Loud funny, thanks! Gotta get Peanut one-a-them stickers so we can be greener than those R-Pods, too!



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Old 09-24-2018, 11:51 AM   #94
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To quote a famous theological entity Kermit. "Its not easy being Green."

To the original question, the stick built trailer is definitely greener, It will be parked sooner because of lost love and then recycled sooner. We waste more water washing our trailers for 40 years than they do for 15 years.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:45 PM   #95
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JD: so those fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels they sell at Home Depot are the same thing? Or real close? Huh! Did not know that! Thanks.

Kathleen
"K"
Not quite the same. The "plastic" is different, but both are FRP.
The plastic in the Scamp is a polyester resin and I don't know what it is in the other panels, but I suspect a thermoplastic that is mixed with the fiberglass when hot and then rolled out in sheets.
To be more exact GRP is glass reinforced plastic and FRP is any type of fiber usually glass, but it could be wood or ?
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:07 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Actually I think it's a case of garbage in-garbage out. "Green" has no well-defined meaning, but all kinds of value-centered connotations.

The first task in scientific inquiry is asking clear, empirical questions.
It's a good point.

I just take his question to mean which process for building materials is less toxic. But of course that's just my take on the question...

And yeah, just like with the bias against Prius and lots of other things, it's not a bias against the product, it's a bias against a perception that the people who drive them feel a sense of superiority over everyone else. Which may be true in some cases, but not nearly all. It's a value judgement on what that person driving it thinks about themselves and others, not about the Prius itself (I hope. Would be weird to have a bias against efficiency).

And "green" has taken on a some value judgement, you're right. Though I'm sure some people would have put value judgement on the question no matter how it was asked.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:12 AM   #97
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Green: One who wastes natural resources and pollutes but can point out someone else who does it more.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:54 AM   #98
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Exactly the value judgement I was mentioning.

It ends conversations and starts arguments.

It's the reason I get weird looks from cashiers in my local grocery store when I use my canvas bags. They assume that because I won't use plastic bags, I'm judging everyone else including the store for having them. A lot of people just can't wrap their heads around the idea that conservation and efficiency are a worthy goal unto themselves, and judgement of others doesn't have to enter into it.

But I suppose one Prius driver with a superiority complex tarnishes them all. Oh well. And nobody is allowed to do anything good because it implies that everyone else who isn't doing it is bad. I guess it's time to just give up, eh Bruce?
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:56 AM   #99
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I drove a Prius because I am cheap, but "green" enters into it.
An argument can be made that any savings from fuel use and pollution is offset by the manufacturing emissions, but I am not smart enough to figure that out.
As an aside with my Prius 1 I got an average of probably 45 mpg, but my wife usually got about 36 so how you drive it makes a big difference.
She made short trips with a lead foot and I drove carefully, but probably 20 miles + to and from work.
Total savings has to be calculated (in my case) after you have replaced the battery (at 183K miles). I was able to find a battery to rebuild from a wrecked Prius with an almost new battery.
Again green in manufacture makes little or no difference in a second hand unit as the cost to the environment has already been paid along with the depreciation by the first buyer.
I try to walk leaving the least footprint as possible, partly because I am cheap and then because I prefer to have the environment left as good as possible.
By the way the clean coal crowd doesn't have to worry about at least one coal ash pond as it is now spread out down the river to the sea.
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Old 09-25-2018, 12:20 PM   #100
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By the way the clean coal crowd doesn't have to worry about at least one coal ash pond as it is now spread out down the river to the sea.
That's so terrible that it actually might be funny...
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