CalRVDA The California RV Dealers Association (CalRVDA) is issuing a call to action for the entire industry in an effort to combat a new regulation under consideration by the California Air Resources Board.

The regulations would place a ban on portable generators in California and, according to the definition in the proposal, that would include generators built into many RVs and most motorized RVs.

This comes on the heels of legislation that CalRVDA successfully gained exemption from that would have caused any diesel-powered RV entering to state to secure a successful emissions inspection before it could travel through the state.

To try to stop this newest regulation, or to ensure that RV generators are not included in the measure, CalRVDA Director David Tenney, of Manteca Trailer & Motorhome, is encouraging members of the RV industry, but especially manufacturers, to join on a Zoom conference meeting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on Dec. 9 and use the available two-minute speaking slots to explain not only how the measure would negatively affect the industry and California economy, but also hurt people who have come to rely on RVs as a source of emergency housing.

“The big disappointment in this to me is the people who run the individual manufacturing companies don’t know anything about what’s going on,” Tenney told RVBusiness in a phone interview Wednesday (Dec. 1). “The few presidents and CEOs that I have talked to are completely in the dark.”

CalRVDA has been contacting its members to help get them involved in the conference call, which will be the organization’s only chance to speak to the board. In accordance with a new state statute, such board meetings do not have physical locations but are held remotely.

CalRVDA has sent plenty of documentation to the board but has received little if any feedback.

Among the points that have been made are:

  • The impact of RV sales on the California economy
  • The damaging effect of such a measure upon the RV dealers in the state
  • The fact that current technology does not offer a legitimate alternative to generators
  • The fact that generators that are installed in motorhomes bear little similarity to portable generators

And on a more personal and less money-related front, California has a widespread homeless problem. Many homeless people rely on RVs for housing, as do many medical facilities and first-responder units who have been moved out of their regular locations since the COVID outbreak. Effects in those instances include:

  • People with medical equipment or CPAP machines need backup emergency power sources
  • Pacific Gas & Electric has had to issue rolling blackouts over the past several years that last, in some cases, for days
  • Without access to generators, those people’s lives could be in danger and hospital and emergency personnel who have been forced into temporary locations could be severely discomforted in summer weather conditions

Ahead of the conference, CalRVDA has been sending pieces of this information to the board in a controlled manner because to send it all at once would be overload, Tenney said.

The material has not been shy about the alternatives to generators. Equipment such as new second alternators attached to some Winnebago motorhomes is an option, but it requires turning off a low-emission generator and starting up the diesel engine that powers the vehicle.

In addition, solar power sounds great and panels have been selling well, but the amount of charging time that it takes, for example, to run an air conditioner for just four hours makes the panels less efficient in providing power.

And that doesn’t even take into account parts of the country that get fewer of hours of direct sunlight during the day to charge the batteries.

“Right now there is no technology that fixes this,” Tenney said.

Currently scheduled to speak are Jay Landers, of the RV Industry Association (RVIA), Michael Ochs, of RVIA, Dale Kardos, of Kardos & Associates, Garry Enyart ,of Cummins, and Tenney.

Tenney said it doesn’t matter whether the speakers are not known by the board. In fact, that is part of the issue at hand.

“We don’t know what the board understands and doesn’t understand,” he said. “We don’t know the board. This meeting is our only chance to get in front of the board and talk to them about it. You get two minutes to speak.”

To register to speak at the conference call, industry members are encouraged to click this link and fill out the information.