Living Lightly in a Grease Powered RV

For the last few years, a discussion forum I visit almost daily, is Simple Living, an incredible resource for anyone contemplating ways in which they can simplify their lives.

A few months ago on SL, I read about Sara, Matt and their 3-year old daughter Bella, who were planning to travel around the country in a grease powered RV. It was great to see another young couple selling all their stuff, and hitting the road to teach others how to tread lightly on the planet!

Sara and I have been chatting back and forth as we each embarked on our respective journeys. We even crossed paths in Minnesota, but missed eachother by a day when we each went through Brainerd. Last week, we finally got to meet up in Albany over coffee. What a hoot!

Travel with Style, Live Large with Simplicity

Live Lightly Veggie Oil Powered RV InteriorSara and Matt are wonderful, fun people to hang out with. The four of us have so much in common, like our desire to demonstrate to others how you don’t need a whole lot of “stuff” to be happy. And, our willingness to live life with a little more risk (and less cash!) in order to experience more of this great big world.

Sara talked about how she forgets how “different” their choices are from the mainstream, until she spends time with people who live in stick houses, and watches them go about their weekly routines. Jim and I can relate.

Freedom From Fuel Bills
Live Lightly Veggie Oil Powered RVWe got to see their rig, which they call “The Big Blue Spaceship.” Their RV is a grease-powered ride that holds 90 gallons of straight veggie oil (SVO). That’s free veggie oil that they pick up on the road. Since they began fulltiming two months ago, they’ve only paid about $100 for diesel (needed to start the RV’s engine each time). When I heard that I wanted to scream! It kills me to think of what we spend on fuel in one month.

Someday when Jim and I plant ourselves, we’ll get the same SVO kit installed, by Golden Fuel Systems. And yes, the rig’s exhaust really does smell like a greasy fryer!

Eco-Friendly RV Interiors

The inside of their rig is right out of Dwell Magazine. As a graphic designer, Sara has the gift of style, and the rig is a masterpiece. The interior is not only fashionable, but the materials they used when renovating this 1994, 32′ rig are eco friendly, like;

  • Bamboo floors (bamboo is renewable)
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Countertops that are made out of sunflower seeds

Live Lightly Veggie Oil Powered RVI was so impressed that she was able to give their RV such a personal touch. I’m way too chicken to drill holes in the walls of ours, which leave us with that “showroom” look and no real touches of our own, except for Jim’s great corkboard bulletin board he made just before we split from Eureka.

Traveling Down Similar Roads

Our time spent with them was too short; they were on their way to Brattelboro, Vermont, to demo the rig at a school, and we had family commitments here in Troy. We are hoping to get together with them again, when all four of us fly south for the winter. Until then, we’ll keep chatting online, and tracking eachother’s own simple living journeys.

16 thoughts on “Living Lightly in a Grease Powered RV”

  1. Thanks so much for this! I’ll sign up to follow you and read more when I have time. When I got my diesel pusher, the RV community poo poohed my wanting to convert it to bio fuel because they said the smell would attract animals if I was camping in “nature”. Have you had any issues with that? Sorry for not having the time currently to pour through your blog to see if you have already addressed this question. And thanks in advance! You’ve got me excited!

  2. What a COOL RV. I would totally buy one of those. It was totally smart to put a king size bed in the back. The RV beds can be so tiny and if you are sharing it with a significant other, it can be tight. 🙂 Which may not sound bad, but does get old.
    It seems like the conversion was pretty easy. I always thought it was REALLY expensive to do the conversion. Where did you get your information on how to convert?

    Great video.

  3. I love this article. I would love to chat with Sara about some interior design stuff i’m going to do on my rig. I also have chosen to leave the big city, suit life behind for a simpler life. Very happy now, just less money!

    If anyone can send sara an e-mail for me that would be great. I’m not sure where to post my e-mail address so if you could direct me. I will receive your reply to this message.

    Thanks, and great article. I love her place.

  4. I wish I’d found out about you earlier, I live near Albany and would have loved to see both rigs. My dream is to tour in a green RV. If you have any advice or more info on how I can make it possible please let me know. I have been looking at RV’s but dealers are clueless when I say what I want. I will have to learn how to make it myself. I’m reading everything I can find about companies and people who “are” doing things the right way.

  5. Hi Jim and Rene!
    Thanks so much for putting that video together!! How fun. You guys are definitely multi-talented 🙂 I’m really impressed. I’m so glad we could catch up to each other. Let’s do it again down south!


  6. It’s always great to find kindred spirits online and even better to be able to meet them in person. Their setup sounds really interesting with the veggie oil thing. Simple living is something I’m interested in so thanks for that link!

  7. Hey nice job on that video Jim! I think you may have another area of untapped talent!! That RV is pretty cool. I am so for that. Every time I see a tractor equipment guy, I tel him that all this stuf should be on Biofuel. One guy told me it’s coming. Not soon enough.

    Hey how about that AL Gore??

    I heard on the news that the ethanol market is not growing nearly as fast as the suppliy is. The price of corn, which had shot up in the last two years, has dropped because they can’t sell the stuf (ethanol) as fast as they are making it. I think we need a stronger Biofuel Lobby in Washington.

    Anyway – see you in New Jersey!

  8. I saw your link to this post on the SL message board. Very cool! I’m impressed with your writing and your life on the road. Fascinating stuff, here.

    Thanks for showing Sara’s interior design work.

    Keep writing and posting the photos!


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