Tuesday, September 26, 2023


California RV generator rules already having impact

As we reported in December, new generator rules by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) could affect the RV industry. The ruling doesn’t ban the use of portable generators in the Golden State, but it does significantly hamper generator sales come 2024. Date aside, the RV generator industry giant, Cummins, has already frightened RV manufacturers with an announcement on the matter.

No feasible replacements

Generators aren’t the only small engines to get hit by the ruling. By 2024, the sale of gas-fired lawn equipment will be completely banned in California. For the most part, if you want a leaf blower, lawn mower, etc., you’ll have to buy “ZEE”. ZEE stands for Zero Emissions Equipment, and essentially means rechargeable battery equipment. Initially, CARB had intended to throw generators in with all other equipment. Generator manufacturers successfully argued that there is no feasible ZEE replacement for gasoline- or LP-fueled generators. CARB acknowledged publicly that such a ruling will mean hardships for the RV industry, and so allowed for the some slack-cutting.

But the new generator rules only cut so much slack. By 2024, CARB mandates significant reductions in exhaust emissions from portable generators. During the rule-making process, the RV industry implored CARB to give motorhome manufacturers a break. Instead of classifying on-board RV generators as “portable,” and therefore subject to the new rules, they asked these be exempt. When the new rule was approved by CARB, no such exemption was granted. Come 2028, only ZEE generators will be allowed for sale in California. Does your RV generator sit on the ground and connect to your rig with an extension cord? Or is it “frame-mounted” and directly wired to your RV? Either must meet the new requirements to be sold in California.

Cummins is the lynchpin

The principal manufacturer of frame-mounted motorhome generators is Cummins. Even before CARB voted in the final generator rules, the RV industry gave the governing board a warning. Citing CARB’s new generator rules standards, industry officials wrote that while the standard might be “technologically feasible” to reach, “it is unlikely to be complied with by Cummins-Onan, given the cost of developing a compliant engines[sic] cannot be supported by the very small generator business in California.”

The statement “it is unlikely” has now become true. Earlier this month, Cummins wrote to its RV industry customers a to-the-point letter. The gist of the letter is in two sentences: “Cummins understands the requirements and continues to investigate potential options / responses, while continuing to support the needs of our joint end customers. However, given the current regulatory timeline, differing standards between CARB and EPA, and the significant changes to the generator the standards would necessitate, Cummins will not have any gas/LP/EVAP product(s) that meets the new regulations readily available on January 1, 2024.”

Included in the letter was a list of Cummins-Onan generators that are affected by the CARB generator rules. They are 2.6, 2.8, 3.6, 4.0, 5.5, 6.5, and 7.7 kW generators. Under CARB’s rules, NO diesel-fueled generators will be affected.

Fallout for industry—and consumers

What does Cummins’ decision mean for the RV industry? The RV Industry Association says that some 10,000 RVs equipped with generators are sold in California each year. Of those, close to 80% are gasoline- or LP-fueled units. Translated, come 2024, thousands of RVs normally equipped with generators will be without them.

The financial implications to industry are huge. “Absent generators, we anticipate over one billion dollars in lost sales in California for just the 2024 model year,” said RVIA in a letter to CARB. “This loss of product will impact RV manufacturers in the U.S. and will have dire consequences for California-based dealers and their many employees.” RVIA anticipates that without generators to be had, customers will drive out of California and buy generator-equipped rigs in other states. Last week, RVIA requested emergency relief from CARB, once again asking them to exempt in-frame (essentially motorhome) generators from the 2024 deadline.

And what about electric-powered RVs?

Interestingly enough, their request letter indicated just what the RV industry views as the practicality of electric RVs. CARB’s generator rules would require zero-emissions generators come 2028. “We continue to believe that zero emission alternatives to traditional gas-powered RV generators will only make sense if and when the engine used to propel the motorhome down the road is replaced with an electric drivetrain. We do not know when this time will come. It is not mandatory that RVs be electrified for propulsion. We think 2035 is the earliest we will see electric RVs hit the market in any significant way.” (Italics ours)

Whether or not CARB will listen to industry’s request for relief remains to be seen. While RVers will still be able to use generators, if the new generator rules are left in place, in less than two years it may become difficult to buy a motorhome in California.

Your thoughts?

What do you think? How critical is an on-board generator in your RV world? If you’re from California, would you travel out of state to buy a generator-equipped RV? Fill out the form below and note, “California generator” on the subject line.

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California generator ban – What does it mean for RVers?


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


  1. What I have to say about this and CA cannot not be placed in print or I will likely be banned. These politicians don’t have a clue. The electrical grid is already overloaded. How will everyone charge all these new electrically driven devices??? Too bad, CA was once a great state and we would like to see some things there BUT – no thanks.

  2. If you buy an RV in California you are already paying thousands more than someone buying elsewhere. I paid 29K in Ohio, taxes included, for the same model that would have cost me 37K, taxes NOT included, in California. The plane ticket from LA to was Cincinnati was only a few hundred and i saved 8K. Switching the registration back to California the next year did cost me around $1500 but I still saved 6.5K.

  3. The often heard trope about boomers being entitled was always a little overblown in my opinion, but half the comments here really illustrate the kernel of truth in the stereotype. Amazing to me that grown adults here aren’t embarrassed to be seen stomping their feet and crying because one (1) state in the Union has adjusted their rules making their big toys slightly more inconvenient to use. Can’t say I’d be surprised If I eventually see some pathetic version of the “Come and Take It” flag with the cannon replaced by a generator. I’d say “grow up”, but that advice is probably lost on people who’s biggest dream is to have a vehicle whose sole purpose is to allow them to get as far away from their families and communities as possible.

    • The issue with the generator ban is it does not make their RV slightly more inconvenient to use. It makes it impossible to use. Without a generator or a plug water pumps, lights, refrigerators, heaters, ac’s no longer work. A solar system is not big enough on an RV to produce the power required on the sunniest day and batteries cannot store enough power to last more than a day. The RV becomes a very large paperweight.

      Carb was extremely shortsighted to pass this legislation without a viable replacement to the gas generator. Especially in a state with constant blackouts due to an aging energy grid and when it’s windy which happens every fall.

      • I am registering just to post a reply to your comment, which based on our personal experience full-timing for 3 years, is incorrect. We have a very modest solar system (1200w, 300ah batteries) relative to our rig size (35ft fifth wheel) and it powers every system we need completely, EXCEPT for air conditioning. So anything short of aircon, we can run (plugs OK, heater OK, residential fridge OK, lights OK, etc.). All of this on a solar system that is not tremendously more expensive than a high end generator. Plus, we don’t have to buy generator fuel!

        I think the reaction to this regulation is overblown. With a little ingenuity (which we RVers have plenty of, right?) we can still enjoy our travel without the use of generators! If I were in manufacturers’ shoes, I would invest in reducing air conditioning power demand, such as replacing the terribly wasteful roof-mounted A/C units with a more efficient mini split design. If new RVs come with more efficient A/C (which by the way is no more expensive than the current rooftop units) then powering RV house loads with solar and batteries is certainly feasible, even with today’s technologies.

        • I consider 1200w of solar more than modest.. kudos. If you’ve been around these comment boards a lot, you’ll see almost every reaction is overblown. Everything from Biden’s fault to leaving CA because it sucks and it shouldn’t be a part of the United States. That, and more ‘common sense’ and pseudo-science you ever thought possible for people to actually believe.

        • Except two of the most populous states in the country Texas and Florida both require air conditioning most of the year and even north of the Canadian border reaches 100 degrees on certain days in the summer.

          • Actually, most RVers leave places like Texas, Florida, Nevada and Arizona and head north to cooler climes in summer.

          • Exactly,…AC is certainly a necessity in hot humid southern states. However, no one is entitled to fire up their gasoline NOR diesel gen set when the obvious effect on our global ever changing environment is in your face! No, it our responsibility to respond as quickly as possible to prevent continued destruction for all. Do I like it. Hell no! Evolve or dissolve. FWIW I am a homegrown FL native. We had NO air conditioning sans electric attic fans with large ventilation exhaust. No one was inconvenienced because no alternative existed but to move further north for comfort. Many folks could not afford nor ditch their employment to move to a cooler climate. We adjusted our lifestyle and indeed did a/c our homes and work places with available ventilation, white roofing, greater insulation. Is this option available for present day entitled people. Of course!

      • We have a 2021 Oliver Elite II travel trailer equipped with a Solar and battery package that enables everything except the air conditioner to work just fine when boondocking. Of course, we do have a portable Honda Generator just in case we don’t get enough sun, but we only used it twice last year. Everything, including the fridge, TV and the convection microwave works just fine on battery/solar power. I believe that the ‘easy’ use of generators has simply become a ‘habit’ of sorts and that in view of the current high gasoline prices and other issues, it’s a habit that RVers should try to break. And another issue is that some people insist on running generators for hours on end and disturbing other campers. We have had the peace and quiet enjoyment of our campsite disturbed by generators more times than we care to count. Perhaps this will make campgrounds and boondocking areas a lot less noisy in the future.

    • The majority of the people who own RV’s use them to enjoy their families and visit other family members. I have a generator and use it while visiting family members in other states so I can stay on their property. In most cases their electrical cannot handle my medical equipment and other electrical needs. It’s unfortunate that trolls who hide their identity come into a civilized conversation a spew their bile.

  4. That’s the exact reason why we were end up with such regulations. If companies had cared about emissions early enough to have such products ready, CARB wouldn’t need the rules.

    Also sucks that engine market is so uncompetitive that we’re stuck with only one supplier.

    On the other hand, does anyone else find the diesel generators much quieter?

  5. RVs might not be sold in California? That’s the feature, not the bug. They (being the green left) really don’t want you using fossil fuels for nonessential purposes (and they’re not happy about those ones either). They don’t want you driving around a large vehicle to go on vacation.

  6. Screw California and just abandon the RV market there. Let the consumers reach out to their legislators to let them know how nearsighted or just plain blind they are to some industries with their blanket rulemaking.

    Besides the RV industry and Cummins stepping up, I bet the construction industry that relies on generators isn’t too pleased with the idiots in Sacramento who come up with these laws.

      • I agree, get out of here that way we will have more room to camp. Speaking of camping……I have been camping since I was 9 or 10 years old. I’m somewhat older, enough so we now have a 35′ 5th wheel. I have never turned a generator on for camping. Yes, we purchased our trailer with an Onan, but have not used it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

  7. It’s unlikely CARB will leave the out of state purchase loophole open long. You are already required to pay a pseudo sales tax on an out of state purchase with less than 5K miles. California will simply make it impossible to register said out of state purchase. The installation after purchase and registration might work.

  8. What about const. Companies that need portable generators frequently. Also CA. Renters who suffer from the frequent rolling blackouts in 115° heat. (Im part of both) Because our Govs after shuttering the dependable Nuke Plants have done nothing to replace the loss of power. Except put up windmills and roughly ;1/3 to 1/2 everywhere you see them are Inoperable. After that stupidity One would think they would have an infrastructure in place before downsizing an important necessity & putting lives in danger. Pretty much as the incompetent Biden admin has done with oil. Must be Democrat thing

  9. This is simple to “solve” for the California dealers.
    Go ahead and install the generator package, all the wiring and mounting brackets and control panels, but don’t install the generator itself.
    Then once they buy it, the new owner can take their first trip to an affiliated RV dealer just over the nearest border and have the generator bolted in in an hour, and carry on.

    When ordering, they can specify what model they want just the same as before, they just have to pick it up out of state.

    Or if the RV company does the installation at their factory, then the California dealers will just have to stop just before they get to the border and dismount the generator and store it for the customer.

    I think this is not a wise law, but with some creativity the practical effects can be mitigated.

      • California DMV rule prevent Californians for buying new vehicles out of state. If you buy new out of state, you can not get it registered, out of state vehicles have to have 7500 miles on the odometer to be legal for registration

        • What? Of course you can buy out of state. That’s exactly what we did. We just had to pay the CA sales tax upon bringing it back and setting up our CA registration. Easy peezy.

        • LLC Montana and S. Dakota ways around that problem. Easier yet, leave Calif. I will not even visit the state and I live 20 miles away.

  10. So basically i just go to a state without these laws and purchase what i want and register it in that state and California gets my smog without making sales tax or registration fees… Works for me!!!!

  11. Of course this article brings the crazy right wingers and left wingers out of the woodwork. If you think CA has gone down the drain and left or won’t come here good riddance!

  12. Does electrical discharge give off ozone?
    Ozone traps energy a lot more than co2.
    And again what plant can exist without co2.
    And isnt co2 heavier than air and stay near the ground?

        • Carbon monoxide has almost exactly the same density as air, so it disperses widely when released. You should be able to know this by the fact that CO has almost the same molecular weight as N2, so it must have almost the same density.

          Don’t be fooled, however. Just because a gas is much denser than air doesn’t mean it will stay downward. In time, even the denser gases will become dispersed in air: it’s only when they are all released together in one big cloud that they will sink to the ground; only later to be carried into the general population of the air. If you release a very dense gas quite slowly, it may not sink at all, but be carried up, down, left, right, upwind, and downwind by dilution in the air, and maintained evenly distributed by the kinetic energy of the air molecules.

  13. Some company is making a 9kw micro gas turbine generator thats the size of a shoe box. 15cm x 15cm x 50cm. Only $27k! But it runs on diesel I think. The co is called fusion flight.
    They also make a “little” drone (about 3′ long) powered by 4 50 hp microturbines with thrust vectoring… Goes up to 33,000 ft top speed of 246 mph. Carries a payload of about 70 lbs. Only $100k!

  14. A properly maintained- serviced every year piece of equipment will reduce more emissions than all of the new rules can. I can’t tell you how hard it is to talk my customers into doing the yearly PM required by the manufacturers to keep the warranty in force. In other words Take care of it and it will take of you.

  15. Lithium might be cheaper but it currently can’t be recycled and have seen a Lithium mine um now that’s a big hole in the ground

    • Li-Ion recycling is a growing business. Try to keep up, instead of just venting your gases.You have something against mines?

    • Yes and all the equipment that it is used to mine the lithium, cobalt etc uses alot of energy to produce and run. What happens to the solar panels when they fail? Alot of wasted energy in the land fill. Einstein’s theory about can not destroy or create energy, can only be transferred.

  16. I think if California wants pass stupid laws like that then they should be left to deal with there own problems, they voted fir it so you deal with it

    • I agree. However, California is exporting its vile laws to the rest of thr US. An observation from a lifelong California tax payer.

  17. While I’m generally skeptical of the need for a lot of the CARB regulations, the good thing about this is that it should push manufacturers toward including robust solar and lithium systems on new RV’s. This is really overdue. Lithium is so far superior in every way–including initial cost–to AGM batteries that there are fewer and fewer reasons to need a generator.

  18. Although Diesel engines pollute less CO2 than gas’s engines, they pollute way more than gas engines with different pollutants such as carbon, 25-400 times as much as gas engines
    The last study in Europe saw Diesel engines pollute 4x that of gas engines.
    So again, are these environmental rules doing anything for the environment or are they padding the pockets of big industry.
    Rv manufacturers can simply sell gas powered RVs with Diesel engines and have their own fuel tank, like LP does now.
    Not brain surgery by any means

    • First – if you consider CO2 a “pollutant” then you obviously slept thru High School Biology. CO2 is an absolutely essential gas for all life on earth, and it is mind-boggling to see how it has been demonized and blamed for global warming when it represents only .04% of our atmosphere – at almost the lowest concentration ever over the history of the earth.. If anything much higher levels of CO2 are needed to help promote the greening of the earth as well as supporting higher crop yields around the world. Secondly – Diesel contains more energy content than gasoline, but it still produces CO2 as well as other by-products of combustion – such as soot and H2O. Diesel generators solve nothing in terms of the discussion here.

  19. I replaced the 2.8kw Onan in my Class B with a 4kw inverter, and replaced the 2kwh of lead batteries with 24kwh of lithium. And replaced all the propane appliances with electric. With 300W of solar, and alternator charging I can go a week or more on a full battery, maybe even forever dry camping if long summer days. And it is much quieter, more convenient, and everything is better.

    • Assuming you mean 2.4kwh of lithium, you spent $1500 on batteries, $1000 on an inverter, $300 on a panel, plus the cost of appliances to have a 2 season camper. Your heater or air conditioner will drain that lithium in a few hours if the air con will last that long. Cool that it works for you. I would be uncomfortable without my propane heater and generator or grid powered air con. I like the quietness aspect, for the few hours that the quietness wasn’t broken by my grumbling.

  20. Ha!!! Can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next time the state is burning down. Seeing fire fighters running around in the woods with their electric chainsaws. The older I get, the more I realize that we really don’t need 50 stars on the flag.

    • That made me think. What will they do about electric fire trucks ?
      Will they need to leave their post to go recharge?
      We’ll be seeing a lot of burnt or stranded equipment

      • A basic critical thinking skill I taught my High school students was telling the difference between a statement of opinion vs one of fact. To keep it simple, a statement of fact can be assessed or measured. An opinion only exists in one’s head. That’s exactly what your statement is, an opinion disguised as fact. That’s the definition of Propaganda..

        As a lifelong Ca federal, State and Property Tax payer, I’m sick and tired of picking up the tab for willfully ignorant, crybaby baby boomers. Willfully ignorant is a choice to stay stupid. That’s what your opinion is based on..

        Donor state Ca pays more federal income tax per Capita and gets less back than the welfare states of GA and Mississippi. If you don’t like tlaws our elected leaders stay out of our Fing state. If you live here, get the hell out and find a state where your white low base Republican opinions are accepted…Like believing Guns are toys to be used by Civilians playing GI Joe..

        It’s time for you spoiled Brats to shut your mouths and your noisy, Carbon generators from polluting the Habitat of our Natural Economic Resources…
        I’ve been camping all my 66 years and the thought of having a generator to power up electronic devices was never a consideration.
        That’s because they didn’t exist until this century..
        Let’s go back to the good ol days of camping…

        • As she types this from her air cond. home, fueled by the grid.

          Now on the “opinion” commentary. Plugs, believes he was a truck driver, and had “big momma” as a partner, said it TWICE of recent.

          He thinks it to be true, so is it? . Ah, i know MSLSD will fact check it, and get back on it. Wait for the commentary after the check. Should be any day now.
          Right after they retract the misinformation reported on Russia, Russia, Russia.

          “Thats all I have to say, about that”.. Forrest Gump (he really said that, i checked) 🙂

    • California is 5th largest economy in the world. Without California tax dollars half those stars will starve to death.

    • Actually – as a long term owner of a gas powered Stihl chain saw I was surprised to use an EGO 40v battery chain saw and found it to be much more practical than I thought. Might not work as well in cutting down very large trees, but with it’s 16″ bar the electric worked much better than I thought. As for fire fighter chain saws – they might have issues with them for felling very large trees or trying to re-charge their batteries in the midst of an inferno. But for general use I found battery powered chain saws better than I thought. Having said that, I have no idea how legislators expect an electric generator to exist – it’s kind of like mandating a perpetual motion machine. But then they never let the facts get in the way of their thinking.

  21. Two years ago I traded my class B motorhome for a 16′ trailer I could pull with my electric car. I am fitting the trailer with lithium batteries and solor panels for boondocking. At this time there simply is no other practical option, for the preservation of human life, but to fully eliminate CO2 emissions. We are in a massive extinction event. Just like the dinosaurs who provide us with petroleum today, we may also become extinct. Humans may be the source of fuel for future life forms if we don’t take action now. The selfishness must stop.

    • Good points. Too bad the usual band of misfits has to call this all a hoax, government overreach, a money grab and whatever other conspiracies they come up with. I will make one small correction though.. oil isn’t dinosaurs, it’s plants.

      • The Chevron commercials I watched as a kid said the petrol came from dinos, but what do I know? But thanks for your general support of my comments. The main point of my diatribe we agree on, which is that all RV sales in California, and everywhere else, will end when global climate change kills all of us in a few generations.

        Our house is on fire, the state banned dumping gas on our houses, and people in this forum are like, “Well, let’s just dump deisel on our house fires instead.”, rather than simply acknowledging the house is on fire.

      • You will never have 0 co2 not every country are as fear mongering as others, cant afford to get away from coal & oil.
        Then there is this thing called global warming been happening since the dawn of the ice age So why we running around like chicken littles you dont hear the train whistle. You can remain as smug & condescending as you sound. But once you’ve forced our lives to accept the inadequacies of solar , wind power & ev’s. We are still going to die & yes we are going to be extinct one day. What will we do with the billions of batteries that will quickly pile up & seep into the ground. Contaminating our soil & ground water. hastening our demise. Nothing survives w/o water.

    • Fully eliminating CO2 emissions would literally mean the extinction of human (and all animal) life. Your electric vehicle will never be zero CO2 emissions. Generating power for the grid will likely always require some hydrocarbon fuel. Wind and Solar are just not steady-enough sources of energy, and never will be. Eventually, nuclear (the safest and cleanest form of energy) will likely backfill a lot of the hydrocarbon demand. But I’m glad to see electric-powered things becoming more viable. I’ve almost totally replaced my generator usage on my RV with a solar/lithium system. It’s just more pleasant and more useful. I’m gradually replacing all of my lawn tools with cordless electric tools, too. I now have cordless versions of a string-trimmer, blower, edger, hedge clipper, and chain saw. They are so much quieter, less messy, and simple to use than the previous gas-powered or corded-electric versions I had. My next lawnmower will definitely be cordless electric.

      • No, if we fully eliminate man’s Co2 (which will never happen) that does not mean extinction. But if we don’t do something about our careless poisoning with it, that surely will mean an uninhabitable planet.

          • Science said we were going into global cooling in the 70’s. I dare you to respond back with how they missed that one so big. Heck, i double dare you. Crickets!

          • Remember that one. Not until the end of the movie you discovered the “holy cow” moment. Ah, the classics!

        • Chris, humans exude CO2 with every breath. So yes, eliminating human caused CO2 does mean eliminating all human life. But that fits with the underlying self-hatred most radical tree huggers exhibit.

          • Were you awake when HS Biology talked about how Co2 is a greenhouse gas? Have you watched any nature or science shows since leaving High School?

      • C’mon, Dave. Animals emit CO2, and zero emission is shorthand for stopping the rise in CO2 percentage in the air to restore the normal(minus people) balance.

        • Since you brought it up – what is the “normal” balance” of CO2 in our atmosphere? CO2 % has never had any consistent level ever considered normal, and throughout earth’s history it level has varied greatly, from about 220ppm to thousands of ppm. During the Cambrian Explosion roughly 500 – 600 million years ago (when there was an explosion of both plant and animal species) CO2 levels were as high as 7,000 ppm. And rather than that level causing any extinctions it instead enabled tremendous evolution in plant and animal species everywhere. So again – what is the “correct” level of CO2 today? And if you can name a figure – what is it based on?

          • Are you trying to convince us you’re correct and climate science has it all wrong? You believed HS science, but the science now you don’t?

    • Sorry, but dinosaurs didn’t provide any petroleum. That was just an advertising gimmick by Sinclair to sell more gas. They even gave kids green inflatable dinosaurs for awhile. It was no more real than Exxon’s “put a tiger in your tank”.

      Only a small part of US petroleum production even comes from the “dinosaur age” (Mesozoic Era). Most comes from Paleozoic rocks, like the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. Petroleum comes from microscopic algae-like marine plants (phytoplankton) and tiny animals (zooplankton).

      I’m no expert on petroleum, but I am a retired geological engineer who had to study this stuff in college.

    • This planet has been here for billions of years and will be here for billions of years after we are gone… This planet changes all the time yet you believe it’s all from us humans… lol I still remember the news saying we’ll all die soon from acid rain… that was in the 70’s and we are still here.

      • Of course it will. What changes is what forms of life can live on it. Science is about things we can measure, and it’s an irrefutable fact that Co2 is rising exponentially, very quickly, compared to the previous thousands of years of measurements. At no time did Co2 rise this much in as little as 150 years. The only reasonable conclusion is that it is we who are doing it. Draw your own conclusions, but don’t argue with the data. These people spend their lives doing this.

          • Let me take this one Eric. Chris, what Eric was saying is, there was a mass extinction, and Dino (of The Flintstones fame) disappeared.

            You see Chris, approx. 10,000 years ago, it was so cold, that the polar ice caps reached Pennsylvania thereabouts. The ice was a couple miles thick. Thats a lot of ICE. So much ice in fact that it left the Great Lakes Basin, after the Earth warmed up sufficiently to melt it. Man, who was dragging his knuckles abut then, basically built fires (CO2 emmissions) to stay warm, and do a quick BBQ. So, what caused that?

          • According to google, the earth’s tilt. I suppose now you’ll tell me all this Co2 in the air is nothing and we’re totally at the mercy of nature and the sun. Well yes, we are, in geologic time, but we certainly will be at the sun’s mercy if we keep piling up Co2 and methane into the air. All you have to do is look at Venus to see what runaway Co2 can do. What does it take to get humans to stop belching crap into our thin, precious atmosphere and pretending that’s just fine? The bottom line for me is that I’m going by the science, not internet opinions. If you want to keep this up, know that I’m not changing my mind, and neither are you.

    • You should alert the “powers that be” to start working on the electric motors for the heavy equipment to mine the lithium for all the glorious electric cars and RV’s of the future. No one seems to be aware of the pollution created to produce all of the “carbon free” alternatives. Happy Trails

  22. RV manufacturers could switch to the small 2 cylinder diesel tier 4 generators that have been used on tractor trailers for years.

  23. As a California native, I can state emphatically that the smog in CA is far, far less than it was in the 1970s. Emissions equipment on vehicles has helped, but vehicle emissions are not the only reason for that reduction.
    Generators emissions should follow the same path as vehicle emissions development did. Generators could use EFI, small EGRs, EVAP and small catalysts. Instead of the out and out ban.

    • and I’m sure there was lots of complaining about a) vehicle mileage and b) cost. I know when I’m behind someone who’s messed with their exhaust.. it stinks.. and every car used to smell like that.

      • That was then, this is now. In every criticism of fossil fuels, the greenies dont have a solution based reply, just doom and gloom. Batteries get their power from; fossil fuel. You guys live your lives as you see fit, and save the fossil fuels you dont use, for our gas guzzling RVs. See, now there is a balance.

  24. In going green, it makes more pollution than staying the way we are. Maybe going slower till the technology gets better over time cutting down on pollution making green equipment. If you don’t vote the environmental nuts out of office you’ll pay when it’s to late.

  25. I really wish California had made good on their promise to secede after the 2016 election cycle. We would all be better for it.

    • We left cali after the State of Jefferson looked doomed. At least 6 counties from Southern Oregon also wanted in. There is also the Greater Idaho movement that wants to pull together parts of Oregon and Washington into Idaho…

  26. Any one have/seen any real emissions test data on LP fueled generators? My understanding is they are much “cleaner” than gasoline/diesel generators but this article as well as others always lump LP fueled with gasoline fueled…

  27. Rather than going out of state to buy the RV, what is the feasibility of selling the RV “Generator Ready”? Then the CA dealers can make their profit and then hop over the border to have one installed. By the way, I grew up in the San Fransisco Bay Area in the 50s and 60s and remember smog was a serious problem. There are no easy answers.

    • I drove a motorcycle commuting SF=Oakland in the 60s.
      Horrible smog. Now you can smell a Harley in heavy traffic.

  28. The CARB rules are a potential hardship on those RVers who prefer dry camping. I guess that could include a percentage of the 150,000 homeless in California. (Gee, I guess CARB didn’t think this all the way through.) In my RV world, an onboard generator is only critical to dry camping which I do perhaps 10% of the time. Yes, I could install lithium batteries and solar panels on the roof but there is a significant cost to that for a 10% need. Fortunately we are exempt because our onboard generator is diesel. It’s really nice to have one when you need it, and serves as a backup should to start the engine should my engine batteries go dead.

  29. Opportunity & entrepreneurship.

    “Opportunity is the mother of invention”

    While those busineses cry the blues and decide to take their ball home, rather than play ball, there are hundreds of people out there looking at it as a means to seize the opportunity to innovate and invent and knock the dominant players fron their collective perch.

    This is why we have automobiles and tractors replacing buggies and horse-drawn plows at the advent of fossil fuels and electric lights replacing candles and gas lamps when electricity was harnessed.

    Solar in RV is far more affordable than the industry would like you to think and as new players move in to fill the gaps, it will only become more so. And I’ll place my bet there’s a few more inventions just waiting to fill the gap.

    • I wish I had solar and batteries without an electric meter but the reality is it’s much cheaper to buy power off the grid than generate my own and have upkeep time and material. Plus when something goes wrong I don’t have to take off work and fix it or invest any money in parts. As these systems become more cost effective and easier to maintain people will naturally adopt them. My best advice is to invest in companies that are doing something in this market and if they go stagnant then take your money out and put it in the next one. Consumers are going to buy what’s cost effective. Investment drives innovation towards that end. Regulation just makes people get stubborn or find loopholes.

  30. California is fast becoming a third world country. I think it should be turned loose, with all of it’s debt, illegal and dangerous immigrants, and crazy power hungry regulations to fend for itself. We have been FT for 16 years and avoid Ca. like a plague. The gov/public mindset there is literally insane.

  31. “We are implementing a new rule that will require you to completely redesign the generator, you have less then 2 years” anything they do will make the generator cost to much and be too complicated, my fear though is the rest of the US following these crazy rules.

    • It’s not redesigning a generator from scratch, it’s applying well known and established emission controls on generators that already exist on vehicles. It’s doable in a 2-3 year time frame. But California is always pushing on the internal combustion engine manufacturers and giving them impossible time lines. Sometimes they make it, sometimes we get the Chevette and V8s producing 130HP. The late 70s were dark times for the automotive industry.

      Cummins has to make a business decision. I’d like to think they’d say “We accept this ridiculous engineering challenge but can you give us an extra year or two”. However, it looks like they are going all in on obstruction and opting out of the CA market. So either they will decide to eventually step up and figure out the problem or another generator company will come in and steal their marketshare. Gotta love capitalism!

  32. We usually boondock with solar. Hate the sound of the generator. So for the occasional time we need more power we start the vehicle. We turn off the terrible beeper while camped so there is very little noise and the engine charges faster than the generator.

    • Many of you are forgetting that CA. has a five minute idle law, you cannot just let the engine run when parked for more than 5 minutes. Look at the truck stops in CA. They have big overhead racks with a large hose and a window adapter you pull under and hang the apparatus on or in the passenger window to cool or heat your cab while parked, they actually have an enforcement division searching for and citing offenders of the idle law.

      • That sounds awesome, a guy driving around in a gas powered vehicle searching for someone boondocking in the middle of nowhere to write them a ticket for idleing. Sounds like something they would do in California, or a democratic idea..

  33. This really is much ado about nothing. A “traditional” generator is not required to recharge your RV batteries.
    I have installed a REDARC 50 amp DC-DC charger and it works just as well (or better) than a gas/diesel portable or frame mounted generator. Just plug in the Anderson cables and let your vehicle’s alternator charge your batteries. Less pollutants a well as vehicles have much less emissions than a generator.

      • If Ca. forces EVERY vehicle to be an EV, then I guess I’ll wait for Chevrolet to replace their 3500 Duramax diesel with an EV capable of pulling my 5th wheel. Will not happen in our lifetimes, so spare the retoric.

          • DC fast charge can give you quite a bit of range in an EV in just a few minutes. Depends on how much range you need and what your schedule is. Graphene-Ion batteries will charge in seconds (when they finally hit the market in a few years, still be minutes for a full battery pack, you can only push so many amps through a cable).

            The F150 LR, new Chevy Electric Silverado and the Rivian will all tow about 10Klbs. But the range will drop below spec, no one has published how much yet that I can find. I’d love to see some test done on this. Also, it would be possible to add batteries to a 5th wheel to extend range (non-easy project but I say still doable).

    • So a truck engine that has a displacement ten times larger than the generator engine has less emissions? Someone is fooling you.

    • I have the same redarc, but its silly to sit there idling the engine for an hour or so when you can use a genny. Idling the engine uses a LOT more fuel and is wear and tear on expensive equipment thats not made for that use.

  34. So if diesel gensets are exempt just install a diesel generator and a seperate fuel tank for diesel fuel. Yes this would require another gauge to read and another tank to fill but seeing the efficiency of diesel it may not need to be larger than say a 20 gallon tank which at today’s cost would be $100 to fill. Do your research on what it takes to make EV batteries and it is far more harmful to the earth than fossil fuel.

  35. Californians are responsible for this mess – THEY allow CARB to continue to run rough-shod over them. IMHO, they deserve what they get…

  36. Thank goodness someone is concerned about the longer term fate of our environment. The planet is going to be a mess that we made for all our grandkids.

    • Poor grand kids and while you’re patting yourself on the back for cutting emissions remember your pals in China and India and the middle east are exempt from all that foolishness. So do you think those emissions won’t float around the planet and land on your house?

      • Garrett, my man. You’re making solid, factual and informational statement. However, the greenies will not listen. So, to put it bluntly, only those countries, with the political mindset, will continually lie to their constituents, to line their pockets, and perpetuate the ruse.

      • A rising tide lifts all boats… Unless you’re living at sea level and don’t have a boat. China and India will suffer the same fate because Climate Change Doesn’t Care.

    • Aren’t your grandkids the reason for all these crazy rules? Remember all pollution starts with having kids that need resources which makes the problem worse.

    • As you live in your industrialized society, brought to you by, wait for it, the discovery of OIL. Which studies indicate has prevented the misery of hundreds of millions of human beings, worldwide, over the millennium.

    • Why do you think the US is the only country on the face of the earth that pollutes it. You might want to get Putin or Xi on the phone and tell them to stop with all the coal they burn, our grandkids will be a lot smarter, I hope. And will figure this out.

  37. I saw the writing on the wall for California over 30 years ago and left. It hasn’t been the place I knew growing up for decades. My problem now is that the state where I now live is being overrun with Californians escaping this madness.

    And no, buying out-of-state won’t work. The DMV will either tax it punitiveley, or won’t let you register it at all.

    And if you go camping in CA with your portable generator, people will either want to buy it off you, or just steal it.

      • Problem is the dem’s are coming to Montana….the bigger towns are dem’s some towns have their own tax to get MORE money….calling it a resort tax….yes I’m being political but it’s my view and vote so I can say what I want….still free speech….enjoy….

        • Pick another no sales tax state. Montana came to mind because its tried and true. Im sure there are other workarounds to thwart the crazies running CA.

  38. For those who live in CA and are on the fence between a diesel or gas powered rig, CA just pushed them to the diesel side.

  39. This is just government control BS. Technology will advance by solar and battery manufacturers and eventually we’ll have the realistic ability to run our RV’s drive train and air-conditioning without fossil fuels. And when that happens the government will find a way to tax that too.

  40. CARB ran amuck many years ago and is still running loose, a big part of the reason all power equipment costs more in CA are the CARB requirements, along with Gasoline, Car emission equipment and so on. If anybody thinks that they’re going to drive over to NV and buy a motorhome with a gen set in it I got news for them, DMV will slam the door on that idea. Move out of the ********* state of CA? I did long ago.

    • There has to be a way to beat the man. Give he right people from the east coast a little time, and something will come about.

  41. Given the direction CARB philosphy is going, the only acceptable CARB generator design will go back many, many years to that of the military’s emergency life raft radios: a Gibson Girl-type generator with a hand crank on top. But that adds another question: what of the polluting emissions from the crank operator?

    Ultimately, solar panels and storage batteries will be the fallback position, but I anticipate a California “disposal deposit” equal to 10% or 20% of the cost of the panels & batteries will be required to handle the recycling and disposal of the panels and battery banks.

    Rather than drive out of California to purchase a practical generator, given the current regulatory environment and direction CARB is going, it would be more effective not to drive but to move out of California.

    • The problem with solar is the panels are just not efficient enough, also you would need to spend thousands of dollars in batteries, panels, changers,fuse panels, installation, I would love to replace my house Batts with lithium and cover the roof with solar, but just one battery is 900$, I can get a variety of generators for various prices

      • For new installations (not replacement) they seem about the same price to me. A frame-mounted 3.6kW Cummins RV gasoline generator runs about $4k, before installation. That’s enough to buy an EcoFlow Delta Pro with a 3.6kW capacity, 3.6kWh of storage, and various charging options including solar, grid (shore power), and even EV charging ports (CCS). For about 50% more you can add an extra battery to double the storage.

        My RV (with 30A / 3.6kW wiring) came with a built-in gas generator, but if I were spec’ing a new one right now I’d get this instead. Less maintenance, no noise, insulates the RV power systems from unreliable campground power networks, solar charging… storage capacity would be the only real concern but one can always add more batteries and solar panels if they truly need to run the A/C all day.


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