California Considering Regulation Restricting Out-of-State Diesel Motorhomes

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is 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, 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.

The rulemaking under development, which is mandated by Senate Bill 210 (signed into law in September 2019), 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. The rule would apply to all motorhomes operated in California even, for example, motorhomes registered in Virginia or Vermont which travel into California on vacation. This is despite the fact that the legislative history of the new law is clear that motorhomes are not the intended subject to be regulated.

Along with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the CampCalNOW RV Park and Campground Alliance, the RV Industry Association has sent comments to CARB on the potentially negative impact this proposal could have on RV owners and RV parks and campgrounds.

Many out-of-state owners would opt to vacation in other states if this draconian regulation were in place against all diesel motorhomes. The portion of the proposal which would allow a 3-day exemption from the regulation is also unworkable for the overwhelming majority of motorhome owners who would be considering California vacations, since very few motorhome trips into California are for three days or fewer.

Next up for the proposed rule is a workshop that will occur in late March. A full regulatory proposal is not likely to be sent to the full Board until near the end of this year, with an anticipated effective date in 2023. The RV Industry Association and our coalition partners will continue to work with CARB staff to develop appropriate provisions that will protect the public without being overly burdensome on motorhomes.

For questions, contact Mike Ochs, Director of Government Affairs, at

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