Several studies attest caravanning a good climate balance. Please see all environmental studies.

The ifeu institute for energy and environmental research, attests caravanning a good climate balance. In a new study, the Heidelberg researchers have analysed the greenhouse gas emissions of various forms of vacation. According to the study, vacationing with a caravan or motor caravan sets less climate damaging emissions free than air travels and hotel accommodations. Even rail travel does not necessarily have a much better climate balance. The ifeu confirms, thereby, the findings of earlier studies conducted by the Öko-Institut.

Travel is increasingly being viewed critically. And ever more vacationers think about the effects of their journeys on the environment and the climate. The ifeu examined the emission of climate damaging CO2 of different modes of vacation in a new study. Result: Caravaning has a comparatively good climate balance. Two studies by the Öko-Institut, a leading independent research organisation working for a sustainable future, had already come to similar conclusions in 2007 and 2013. In each case, the following components of a vacation trip were analysed: Arrival and departure, accommodation and meals as well as local mobility. The ifeu study additionally takes into account the production process (material balance, energy requirements for production, maintenance) and the disposal of the leisure vehicles.

Caravanning is more climate-friendly than air travel The renowned Heidelberg institute started by analysing the climate footprint of a trip abroad, specifically to the south of France. Among other aspects, the researchers compared the impact of flying and staying in a hotel. In terms of the climate footprint, caravanning is the clear winner. An overnight stay at a pitch is even more beneficial than staying at a campsite.

Less CO2 than taking your car and staying at a hotel A two-person trip to the Island of Rügen was used as the basis for quantifying the impact of domestic travel. In this comparison, a caravanning trip comes out with a better climate footprint than the option of travelling by car and staying in a hotel. This is due to lower carbon emissions associated with the accommodation – i.e. a campsite or motor caravan pitch – compared with hotels, where each person staying overnight is responsible for up to ten times as many CO2 equivalents. And the longer the stay, the greater the environmental benefits of caravanning.

Study: Climate footprint of travel with motor caravans and caravans

August 2020

Study: Comparative Climate Balance Sheet for Motor Caravan Travel

In the study “Comparative Climate Balance Sheet for Motor Caravan Travel”, which was commissioned by the German Caravanning Industry Association and published in February 2013, the Öko-Institut confirms the favourable climate balance sheet of caravanning holidays on motor caravan parking locations and camp grounds. It surpasses that of a cruise over a similar distance by a factor of 6.6. In addition, the studied holiday models, involving motor caravans on motor caravan parking locations and motor caravans on camp grounds, always performed better than cars and hotel or airplanes and hotel over the entire study. Depending on the distance, airplane emissions per passenger range from 47 to 288 percent above those for motor caravan travel. Taking travel trends into account, the Öko-Institut also concludes that vacation travel with motor caravans features a very positive climate balance sheet, particularly in view of the increasing incidence of long-distance travel and the boom in cruise travel.

Comparative carbon footprint of motorhome trips - today & tomorrow

February 2013

The first study from the Öko-Institut, published in September 2007 already came to the comclusion that “ … it is clear that with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, travel by motor caravan is not only economical because of the low cost of the actual overnight accommodation, but is also advantageous because travellers can visit travel destinations in Germany as well as in the neighbouring European countries, all with correspondingly lower emissions compared to the average of all other forms of travel.”

Comparative material flow analysis of travel by motor caravan

September 2007