Eco friendly rv materials/ getting parents onboard - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-07-2011, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I cruise this board often but rarely post, however; our family is planning to live in an rv for a couple years to save up to purchase land and build debt free a little at a time.  I've done tons of research about making rv's eco friendly but what I really need is product referrals.  I want to eliminate as many VOC's as possible and rvs are notorious for off gassing formaldehyde.  I want to pull up the carpets and lay down natural flooring but not hardwood which is where I run into problems.  We live in a house with all hardwoods right now and while beautiful, I have a little toddler who gets hurt more times than you could imagine and has no interest in walking because it hurts too much to fall :).  His poor knees are always scrapped up and we have just come to realize that while we love hardwoods they might be best for later in life.  I can't find any affordable carpeting options though that are natural fibers and won't off gas formaldehyde.  The cheapest I found was 50.00 a square foot and we don't have that kind of money.  Any suggestions?


Second question, how do you get past parents that will not approve our your lifestyle?  I have always desired my parent's approval, I don't know how to turn that part of me "off".  We have told my husband's parents our plans to live in an rv and they are fine with it, though not crazy about it, but we have not told my parents because we are certain of their reactions.  They will tell us it is irresponsible parenting to raise children in such small living conditions.  They already think we are cruel parents because we keep telling them to stop buying our kids so many things because we don't have room for them in the house we are currently renting.  It is a three bedroom house and they think it isn't "quite making it" because it is small and in the country.  I don't plan on not living in the rv because of my parent's reactions I guess I am just looking for advice on how to move past hurting so much at their disapproval.  Anyone in this boat?  What helps?  They already take issue with us over homeschooling, not using birth control, cloth diapers, the food we don't let our kids eat, etc, etc.  To them, children not having their own private rooms and toys is abuse.  UGH!  Help?!


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#2 of 3 Old 02-07-2011, 12:32 PM
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Well as far as the parents go I just wouldn't worry about it. I'm mean though so I'd probably tell them that if they don't like it then they waste their money on renting a large house because I'm saving mine. I'm just that mean though LOL. 


For building materials I'm not sure what would be acceptable to you or how natural you are wanting it. If you really want to get natural fibers or materials then it most likely will be pretty pricey. If you are mostly concerned about the off gassing though I'd consider buying used materials that would have already outgassed most of the chemicals. I have seen rolls of second hand carpeting before that were $50 for the roll (I think usually enough for about a 10x10 room or so) and would probably be enough or close to enough for a camper. Being a camper depending on the layout (not sure what size you are getting???) There usually isn't much floor space. Our current rv only has about a 2 ft wide stretch around the bed and between the other living areas. The rv we're about to get is 32' with a slide and still only has about a 4-6' wide floor space for about 8' of the camper, the rest is just the small 2' or so stretch again. With it being such a small space and small stretches of flooring you may be able to find 'seconds' or scraps of carpet that would be enough to cover it. I'd look at some actual flooring places (not lowes or large suppliers) that will usually sell the left overs from a roll or other scraps cheap. That may be a good way to get the flooring and possibly even natural fiber carpeting cheap.


Good luck! We're full time in an rv traveling for dh's work with a 5yo, 3yo, one sweet cat, and another baby on the way. I'm sooo ready for our new rv to have more space but its not as bad as you'd think. We'll be remodeling too once we get the new place.


Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD and spending my days
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#3 of 3 Old 02-07-2011, 04:09 PM
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Look into Marmoleum.  It is very natural and very safe and comes in pretty colors.  In fact, my dh was looking at its MSDS and was shocked at how little toxicity there is.  You could practically eat the stuff.


As for your parents.  Smile...tell them you love them and ignore the negativity.  I spent my early childhood in a ti-pi in the woods. No one had a room...we had an outhouse etc.  I am not fact, I have lovely memories. 

::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

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