Terra Yachting

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January 6th, 2008
Environmentally Sound Land Yachting
By Dale Roethlisberger

There’s a relatively unheard revolution happening in the bus and motorcoach luxury conversion industry. Recently, there have been reports of major entertainers running their crew/band buses and motorhomes on alternative fuels.

In almost all bus conversions and motorhomes, a propane or gasoline powered generator is utilized to provide AC electricity to the vehicle in situations where direct connect to an electric utility is not feasible. There are a small, but growing number of manufacturers producing portable fuel cell generators. Fuel cells produce almost no emissions and almost no sound in operation. Furthermore, the prices of the fuel cell generators are slowly falling as the technology matures and are now in a not too onerous price range.

The interior lighting and outside indicator lamps should all be converted to light emitting diode (LED) technology. This may be a little pricey up front, but with lifetimes of 50,000 to 100,000 hours of operation and energy usage about a tenth for equivalent lumens (i.e. light output), the long term economics and environmental consequenses are a no-brainer.

One reason we don’t see solar panels on standard passenger car rooftops is the usually limited area available. This is not the case with bus and motorhome rooftops, even if many have air conditioning exhausts occupying some of the available area. Newer and lighter solar panels could be employed to enhance the usually separate interior battery system for charging during daylight hours.

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