Ah that “new RV” smell. The aroma of a brand-new trailer, motorhome or truck camper can be intoxicating during the buying process. Unfortunately the scent wafting from the toxic formaldehyde glues holding the units together can also be bad for our health. Today a new generation of eco-smart RV manufacturers are trying to limit our exposure to toxins in RVs. They’re going for the Green RV certification process and attracting more savvy, eco-conscious buyers in the process. Here’s how they do it.
The Basics of Green RV Certification
Airstream Class B coaches are TRA Green Certified.
RV manufacturers have often used less than eco-friendly materials to build their homes on wheels. Formaldehyde is the most well-known controversial RV material included in the fabrication process. This is a known carcinogen found in glues that hold wood products together. It’s also the key ingredient in that “new RV smell” and one of the reasons why RV manufacturers were thrust into bad press about it a few years ago. That’s when hundreds of Hurricane Katrina evacuees reported similar respiratory problems after moving into their temporary government-issued FEMA trailers. Over ten years later, the RV industry is striving to recover from this bad press by aiming for Green RV Certification from third-party evaluators like the Elkhart Indiana-based TRA Certification Incorporated.
The Four Components of a Green RV
TRA has certified green RVs for nearly a decade.
TRA Certification Incorporated is an independently owned organization that works with RV and modular/manufactured home producers who voluntarily strive to incorporate green practices into their business models. The organization assesses and assigns points to major manufacturing categories common to all RV makers’ facilities, procedures and practices. Within those categories, applicants can earn points in one of many areas such as:
Indoor Air Quality
Are the RV’s wood materials “CARB compliant”? The “CARB” acronym refers to a standard set by the California Air Resources