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Old 09-21-2021, 05:57 PM   #1
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CA SMOG Testing: Anyone Have Trouble w/Non-CA Class A?

I'm a CA resident thinking of buying an out-of-state gasser Class A. Should I be hesitant or is this not really an issue?
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:22 PM   #2
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I'm a CA resident thinking of buying an out-of-state gasser Class A. Should I be hesitant or is this not really an issue?
Should be no different than with a car. Newer model, well maintained and serviced regularly should easily pass Ca. Smog.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:43 PM   #3
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Should be no different than with a car. Newer model, well maintained and serviced regularly should easily pass Ca. Smog.
I bought a 2014 Class A on Ford F53 chassis...

I just made sure the engine was OEM when I bought it. No headers, aftermarket tunes, etc, etc...

It needed to be smogged during the registration process.... the hardest part was finding a smog check station I trust with the class a... some are in very small business parks...
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:04 PM   #4
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Should be no different than with a car. Newer model, well maintained and serviced regularly should easily pass Ca. Smog.
Iíll be buying early 2000ish Class A.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:31 PM   #5
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Iíll be buying early 2000ish Class A.
The older they are, they higher the likely hood the prior owner made some engine mods.... CATS removed, headers added, etc...

If you make sure the engine is in OEM form, and it runs well, it should pass...

If it smokes, or the exhaust smells bad (usually the sign of a bad tune or engine in need of repair), pass on the vehicle...
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:07 PM   #6
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Have it brought to your favorite shop in ca.. 1st.. have it inspected and sniffer.. just because it looks like all smog equipment is on it.. does not mean it is working.. so agree on price subject to passing successfully passing CA, smog test.. any good atty can escrow payment until rv passing mechanical inspection and state of California smog check.. yes.. might be a bear at 1st.. but good atty will draw up contract to be signed by both parties.. and escrow money for around 600... that said.. yes you may have to offer to reimburse seller for time and travel.. but.. if you are shelling out 125,000 or more.. cheap protection.. and do you want one.. where the seller says.. well I don't think rv can make it that far.. so get with your atty on phone.. ask if they do this or recommend atty who will..

Look don't fork over half to quarter of million to any one with out your shop.. or one you trust to do good mechanical inspection.. be up front.. if seller backs out.. THAT IS RED FLAG..
If you are talking about 5,000. Or less.. you will be lucky to get it home anyway.. so get atty involved.. I would even spend 100 for background check on seller if I was dropping big bucks.. and really.. if it's a big coach.. seller is going to expect this..
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you oh.. have coach inspection done separate.. by local, ca inspector.. one that will show you he license to do inspection..
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:16 PM   #7
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Sorry just added note... you said 2000ish class a.. but not price range.. so just expect expensive repairs in getting it to pass.. unless you just get lucky.. also pay for carfax on rv.. get vin and run it.. so if cheap.. high chances of repairs.. if big bucks.. call atty yes there are 2000ish for half a million or more.. good luck .
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:26 PM   #8
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By the way.. just how tough is ca, smog checks.. do you ever watch them? Have you ever failed ? In ohio they quite because they were only catching like 1 in 500,000 vehicles.. and nearly 0 less than 5yrs.. you need to get a law past that only the ones that failed pay.. if you pass.. no charge.. Ohio waisted hundreds of millions of dollars to fail only tiny fraction of vehicles.. I would like to see.. how many motorcycle would pass..
Here when they were smog testing... some vehicles would go by leaving a trail of smoke
Thanks get back to us.. some of us would like to know just how tough you have it out there..
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:47 PM   #9
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Oh.. should have warned you.. the roof on older coaches is big deal.. if the roof is bad.. the rest is waist of time and money.. unless you are an experienced rebuilder.. so walk that roof.. check every crack.. separation.. soft spots.. I learned the hard way.. and also dates on every tire.. if over 5yrs.. there could be as much as 500 per tire or more.. and a long wait time..
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:57 PM   #10
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I haven't dealt with anything automotive in Califunny in twenty years, but you may want to contact DMV and inquire about registering it in Cali. When I left there was an additional "Penalty" fee when registering vehicles from out of state. Have a frank and up front discussion and try to talk to a supervisor, Less chance they're gonna BS you.


I have a question though, your signature says you have a DP, why in the world would you go to a gas coach? The DP will outperform,out tow, out haul virtually any gasser, so why go gas?
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:10 PM   #11
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I have a question though, your signature says you have a DP, why in the world would you go to a gas coach?
We sold it. Haven't changed my signature yet.


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The DP will outperform,out tow, out haul virtually any gasser, so why go gas?
I had a gasser for 7 years and a DP for 9, and each has its pros & cons.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:38 PM   #12
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I'm a CA resident thinking of buying an out-of-state gasser Class A. Should I be hesitant or is this not really an issue?
I say this as a former CA smog tech, (late 80's & early 90s'), owner of a Out-Of-State (Federal smog equipped car) and a 1996 RV. The CA smog tech should be up on the regulations, and understand what may or may not be different. If not, he should also know where to look-up that information.

He should be able to determine the smog Federal/CA status via the OBDII data port, as you say the RV in question is a 2000's model. Most likely the vehicle is already setup for CA smog. The reason I say that, is manufactures have upped their game to be CA smog ready, regardless of where it is sold in the US and Canada. The reason why is many states have modeled their smog programs using the CA template.

RV inspection, in the owners home state:
Now, would I ask if the smog equipment has been tampered with, and then have that verified by a shop? Yes! You want to verify that there is no Check Engine light on, and that the light functions (as normal) during the Key-On and engine start up procedure. You should also have that shop plug in their scanner and check for old codes.

If the shop finds that the rig has had its catalytic converters deleted, definitely pass on that rig. Getting the new CA compliant catyletic converters is difficult for older vehicles. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/afterm...ktcatdbase.htm

If the has headers, it may or may not be a problem. Just make sure they are a CA OE legal system, such as from Banks. Plus make sure the CA OE decal is present. CA EO (Executive Order) numbered decal. A sample decal is below.
https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/msprog/afterm...es/amquery.php

IF everything checks out, then just make sure the gasoline and oil change is fresh, and that the engine runs good. No misfires, back firing, vacuum leaks, etcetera. You know, the usual things you would check for. The last thing is to drive the RV for at least 30 minutes, get everything hot, just prior to taking the rig to the smog inspection in CA.

Our rig is a 1996 model with a 1995 OBDI computer system. The engine runs clean and strong, w/o misfires and has no problem passing. As a mater of fact, it is well within the allowable limits. We also have a Banks power pac system installed with the properly attached OE decals.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:06 PM   #13
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I am in the process of doing this right now. We bought our Tiffin in Texas in August. I knew I needed a smog check prior to registration so I successfully got that done. There are a couple of forms you can fill out online in advance to going to the DMW (REG 343 and REG 4008). Those 2 forms, your smog cert, the title, and bill of sale are all the docs you need. I also had proof of insurance, but not sure that was necessary. The tricky part for me was the vehicle inspection, and this is where you can get in trouble. Before we signed the contract, I contacted Ford Specialty vehicles and confirmed that the Ford F53 chassis from 2019 is a 50 state compliant vehicle. I figured I was good to go so I went to the DMV, paid the registration fees, and then proceeded to the vehicle inspection area.

During my inspection, the inspector could not locate the Ford emission label. He called out the supervisor and she could not locate it either. Needless to say, I could not complete the registration. They told me to contact Tiffin or Ford to get the necessary label.

I left a message at Tiffin and have not heard anything back. I called Ford back (they are actually super helpful). The Ford guy told me Ford puts an emission label on the passenger side valve cover on incomplete chassis' and provides another loose one for the motorhome manufacturer to affix to the built motorhome. Apparently Tiffin provides the extra label to the original owner of the motorhome and does not affix them themselves.

I checked the valve cover and there is a label there. The original owner also sent me the label she had filed away. Hopefully, I will be all set when I get back to the DMV for re-inspection.

So, along with all the other suggestions here about checking for engine modifications, etc., make sure the applicable CA compliant labels are on the motorhome somewhere. My 1998 HR had them next to the drivers seat inside the motorhome.
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