Tips for a More Eco-Friendly Conversion Van
Conversion vans have numerous benefits for drivers and their families. They’re roomy, comfortable, and often come packed with features to make the ride easier on everyone.
But they’re also known for not being the most eco-conscious vehicles on the road. Bigger bodies mean more gas-guzzling and a larger carbon footprint. Taking just a few small steps toward eco-friendliness, however, can set your van on the right path to becoming more fuel-efficient and better for the environment overall.
What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Van
Choosing a van with some eco-friendly features is the best way to get a jump-start on its reduced carbon footprint. Vans today generally come with more environmentally-friendly features than they used to, but some models are more focused on being green than others.
Unfortunately, it’s rare to find a conversion van with a manual transmission, which can save fuel and give you more control over the engine. But you can still find conversion vans with eco-conscious engine technology designed to make the engine more efficient.
You can also downsize your van to the smallest size to meet your needs, like choosing a 7-passenger van instead of a 9-passenger van. They still have lots of room and amenities, but the slight switch in size can lead to significant savings in gas and emissions.
How to Drive Your Van
Driving your van with a focus on keeping it more eco-conscious can help you get the most out of it. Many of the same rules for driving a regular passenger car can apply to driving your van to maximize its fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.
A significant contributor to excess gas usage is having too much weight in your van. Keeping it as light as possible by having fewer passengers than seats and keeping minimal cargo in tow can boost your fuel efficiency by preventing it from working so hard.
Speed is also an important factor. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel efficiency in most vehicles begins to drop quickly at speeds higher than 50 mph. You’ll notice that your gas meter goes down much faster on a 70-mph interstate than it does when you cruise along a 50-mph city highway.
The way you drive on the road will also affect your van’s environmental contributions. Aggressive driving with frequent accelerating and braking will eat away at your fuel mileage rapidly. Maintaining a safe driving distance keeps you at steady speeds and increases gas efficiency.
Finally, avoid idling if possible. When you keep your engine running without moving, you’re wasting its energy and emissions. If you have to wait in your vehicle, turn off the engine and consider using a portable fan/AC unit or heater to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
How to Maintain Its Eco-Friendliness
Finally, the best way to keep your conversion van as eco-friendly as possible is to maintain it properly. Make it a habit to get routine maintenance done on your van. It’s not a bad idea to have your van checked by a trusted mechanic annually no matter how often you drive, but make it a point to at least stick to a 30,000 – 60,000 – 90,000-mile maintenance routine.
These are the points in a vehicle when specific maintenance tasks become necessary, like changing the air and fuel filter around 30,000 miles and replacing the spark plugs around 90,000 miles. While your vehicle is in the shop, your mechanic can also inspect all your hoses, the brake system, fluids, and anything mechanical that could cause problems or decrease your fuel efficiency.
You can also do a lot of quick inspections yourself every month as a proactive measure. Look for corrosion, tears, or bulges in hoses or their connections. Make sure all fluid is topped off. Check your tires for uneven or high wear and proper pressure. And, of course, get your oil changed according to the schedule the manufacturer recommends.
Are you in the market for a new or used conversion van? Our team at Paul Sherry Conversion Vans is ready to help you find the right one for your family. We have a vast selection of new and used models, from 7-passenger to 15-passenger vans. We’ll even deliver your van to you if you find one you love while browsing our online inventory.