Going To California?
When Led Zepplin wrote Going to California in 1971 they apparently weren’t thinking about diesel motorhomes in 2023. If they had, they would be surprised to know that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced, as reported by the RV Industry Association, that they are,
“…developing a Heavy-Duty Inspection/Maintenance regulatory concept to make sure that non-gasoline powered vehicles greater than 14,000 lbs. operating in California (including vehicles registered out of state) have properly functioning emissions control systems. While this is only a regulatory concept right now, CARB said the intention is that it will eventually become a regulation that would establish a smog check program for heavy-duty diesels. The new requirements being considered by CARB could have huge implications for diesel motorhome owners.”
With CARB planning a workshop for late March, a full regulatory proposal is not likely to be sent to the Board until near the end of this year, with an anticipated effective date in 2023. The elephant in the room of course is, how many of our diesel pushers will pass a California smog check?
Conform Or Be Cast Out
As many rush to get this story in front of RVers, RV Pro recently reported, adding that the rulemaking that is under development, as mandated by California Senate Bill 210 will require owners of diesel motorhomes nationwide to,
“…obtain an annual certificate of conformity from CARB in order to operate their vehicles on California roads.”
This conformity would be expected regardless of where your diesel motorhome is registered. Senate Bill 210, which introduced the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program was originally designed to help control emissions generated by the heavy trucking industry. The obvious question is, how much will that annual certificate cost? The RVIA also notes that,
“While this is only a regulatory concept right now, the intention is for this to eventually become a regulation that would essentially establish a smog check program for heavy-duty diesels. The new requirements being considered by CARB could have huge implications for diesel motorhome owners.”
Though not dead yet, gratefully, CARB laws are already affecting the diesel industry in California. The state made big news with an executive order banning the sale of new gas or diesel vehicles by 2035. On June 25, 2020 CARB unanimously voted to require truck manufacturers to begin the transition from diesel to zero-emission trucks in 2024, with a full zero-emission expectation date of 2045.
For most of us, that date seemed pretty far off and the likelihood of it affecting our ability to steer a diesel pusher into The Golden State wasn’t concerning. This recent news however changes that. If you are planning to visit one of the thousands of RV parks in California, you’d better do it soon.
Fight The Good Fight
In order to give RVers a voice and hopefully triumph over what could be a devastating blow to the RV park and resort industry in California, the RV Industry Association and their partners will continue to work with CARB staff to develop appropriate provisions that will protect the public without being overly burdensome on diesel motorhomes. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and the ramifications it has on the RV industry as it relates to California.