Does Your Campervan Support Your Health and Wellness?
Most people understand the value of getting out into nature. Venturing out into the natural environment makes us feel alive. It puts life into perspective. Nature has actually been proven to improve your physical health and mental well-being.
Many nature lovers opt to convert a camper van, mobile home, or RV as a practical, comfortable way to travel around and take in all that nature has to offer. Yet many don’t realize that their RV interior was made with harmful chemicals and toxic materials that are detrimental to their health! You know that classic “RV smell?” That is actually the smell of toxic materials.
The team at Zen Den Tiny Om in Santa Barbara, California knew they had to change the industry standard and give nature enthusiasts a safe, healthy, and sustainable way to travel. Zen Den’s founder, Elisa Garcia, is an expert in the field of wellness-design, the practice of designing interiors that promote physical and mental health.
So... how do you create custom RV interiors that promote health through wellness-design? Here are some ways to build custom RV interiors that are actually GOOD for you:
Formaldehyde-free and VOC-free materials that promote air purification
Be sure to select materials and furniture that are free of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Source natural, organic materials that ensure the air in your motorhome or campervan is pure and healthy for you to breathe!
You should also include plants in your design whenever possible, as plants also aid in air purification. Pro tip: Any plants you select for your RV should be able to withstand dramatic swings in temperature.
Healthy drinking water
Ever wonder why the water coming out of an RV faucet tastes like plastic? It's because the RV's fresh water tank is plastic. Even though it's "food-safe" and may even be one that is BPA-free, it still leaches chemicals into your water. Look for 100% stainless steel tanks as well as 100% stainless steel faucets. 99.9% of faucets on the market are technically not 100% lead-free although they are allowed to claim they are. You should also consider a reverse osmosis water filtration systems to ensure your drinking water is as safe as possible.
Wellness-design goes far beyond material selection
In order to promote your mental and emotional health, create a relaxing atmosphere in your campervan. Incorporate curved lines, smooth finishes, cozy textures, natural elements, and personalized touches that will make you feel at home.
Choose colors very thoughtfully throughout your campervan design. Did you know that color has been scientifically proven to affect not just your health and wellness, but also your emotions and physiology? For example, warm colors evoke a relaxing and homey feel. Green has been proven to help soothe anxiety and encourage optimism. Blue is the perfect color to use when you want to evoke a peaceful ambiance, since it reduces stress and creates a sense of tranquility and order.
Lighting solutions that promote healthy habits
Lighting is perhaps one of the most important aspects of any interior space, but it is often overlooked! Many people don’t get enough natural light throughout the day, and that is a health risk. Lack of natural light will negatively impact your circadian rhythm and your ability to sleep soundly.
Look for design solutions that let in daylight and allow for light control. Solutions include using warm, dimmable lights that are adjustable and easy on the eyes, as well as using custom curtains and shades that darken the space and reduce glare. Always avoid harsh, white and blue lights.
Some people are sensitive to EMF's which are typically strongest near electrical panels. One of the most common symptoms of EMF exposure is sleep disturbance. If you're concerned about EMF's, be sure to line your electrical compartment with metal.
Custom amenities for every style and purpose you can imagine
Whether you plan to use your custom RV as a means of travel, a camping vehicle, a mobile office, a pop up shop, a wellness space, or something else entirely, a campervan can be designed to suit any purpose.
Get creative with the features you ncorporate in your mobile space, like soundproofing, a bathtub, infrared lighting, oxygen therapy, an air filtration system, moist or dry heat, a Himalayan salt wall, a living plant wall, an immersive sound system, and more!
About the Author:
Elisa Garcia AI is the owner and lead designer at Zen Den Tiny Om, a Santa Barbara-based company that specializes in 100% non-toxic campervan and RV builds. She is an award-winning wellness-focused interior designer, architect, and construction manager with over 30 years of experience.