How Does the California Generator Ban Affect RVers? 

As California strives to halt increasing carbon emissions, new legislation is limiting the sale of small, gas-powered engines. From lawn and garden equipment to gas-powered generators, many RVers are wondering how this ban could impact them. Whether they live in the state or plan to visit, these new regulations could have far-reaching effects for years to come. For RVers, this is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to more reliable and sustainable forms of power.  

What is the California Generator Ban? 

According to the International Energy Agency, “[g]lobal energy-related carbon dioxide [CO2] emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level[.] The increase in global CO2 emissions of over 2 billion tonnes was the largest in history in absolute terms, more than offsetting the previous year’s pandemic-induced decline, the IEA analysis shows.” As global greenhouse gas emissions rise at a staggering rate, governments and organizations around the world are scrambling to implement policy that quickly curbs this frightening trend. 

With the use of fossil fuels being so ingrained in our daily routines, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be no simple feat. It’s up to policymakers and individual consumers to implement small and gradual changes that can combine to have a major impact. For the state of California, a key step began by introducing a generator ban. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed legislation (AB-1346) in October of 2021 to gradually phase out portable gas-powered engines. 

Following its approval in December of 2021, this new law will require “newly manufactured small off-road engines such as those found in leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other equipment be zero emission starting in 2024”, as a part of Phase One. While portable generators, including those in recreational vehicles, will only be required to meet some more stringent standards in 2024, as a part of Phase Two, they will need to meet zero-emission standards starting in 2028.” 

Although these small engines would seemingly cause a minimal impact on emissions, they contribute to an immense amount of air pollution. “By the year 2031, it’s predicted that emissions from small off-road, gas-powered engines will be twice that of passenger vehicles.” In an attempt to halt the emissions from these small engines, CARB initiated the California generator ban. These regulations are expected to reduce emissions by 72 tons per day

How Will RVers Be Impacted? 

This new legislation will impact more than just residents of California and their ability to purchase small, gas-powered engines. For RVers living in California, it will be particularly important for them to pay attention to this legislation as it progresses. While this bill doesn’t limit the use of gas-powered generators that have already been purchased, it will impact the future sale of them. Especially for Californians interested in spending more time off the grid, after it is implemented, they may have to travel to a neighboring state to purchase a generator or seek out another power source. 

Even though California residents will be primarily impacted by this legislation, RVers who plan to visit the state or purchase from a California-based manufacturer will also be impacted. Again, gas-powered generators that have already been purchased before the ban or from another state can continue to be used, even while RVing in California. This legislation will mainly impact anyone from out-of-state hoping to purchase their RV in California. Following the ban, these manufacturers will no longer be able to sell gas-powered generators in their RVs. 

For RVers who don’t reside in California and don’t plan on purchasing an RV in California, it may appear as though this ban will have no impact. Although it doesn’t prevent the use of gas-powered generators inside of the state, this legislation, along with other efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, should be at the forefront of all RVers’ minds. These regulations exist to protect the environment and beautiful places that RVers love hiking, biking, and camping in. Taking steps to protect outdoor spaces now will allow everyone to continue to enjoy them for years to come.  

What Can I Do to Prepare for the California Generator Ban? 

As phase one of California’s generator ban officially launches in January of 2024 with more stringent standards being implemented in following years, many RVers are searching for an alternate power source. The main reason RVers rely on gas-powered generators revolves around the inadequacy of standard, lead-acid RV batteries. With limited power supply and the inability to discharge below 50% charge capacity, without supplemental power most RV’s can barely make it through the night.  

Switching to lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) RV batteries offers a multitude of benefits. In half the weight of a comparable lead-acid battery, Battle Born lithium batteries offer 2-3x the power, 5x faster charging, and a 10x longer lifespan. Making this switch will keep your RV powered through the night without worrying about plugging in or running a generator. With LiFePO4 batteries, RVers can spend more time off-grid without the disruption of noisy, emission-producing generators. 

Additionally, the high-efficiency power of lithium batteries makes transitioning to solar power a breeze. Following the footsteps of many homeowners, RVers are turning to solar power to recharge their RV batteries. By utilizing the renewable energy of the sun, RVers are able to run all of their electronics, including high-powered appliances, in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. With the properly sized RV electrical and solar system, RVers can eliminate their need for a generator and reduce their carbon footprint. 

The Benefits of Switching to Greener, Sustainable Energy 

Gasoline engines of all shapes and sizes run by burning fuel initiated by an electric spark. This reaction results in greenhouse gas emissions that are extremely hazardous to the environment. Even the smallest gas-powered engines that reside in leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and generators can majorly increase air pollution. “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one hour operating a new gasoline lawn mower emits the same amount of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide driving a new car 45 miles.”  

Similar-sized and larger engines are often used in gas-powered generators. When generators run for hours a day recharging RV batteries, these emissions are significantly multiplied. Simply moving away from gas-powered generators and switching to greener, more sustainable power sources can significantly reduce an RVer’s carbon footprint. In addition to helping prevent environmental decline, green technology tends to be more reliable and lower maintenance. For RVers, switching to lithium batteries and solar power means more time enjoying nature and being off the grid. 

In the coming years, as more RVers continue to switch to sustainable energy sources, the effects could be far-reaching. Most RVers, especially those who travel full-time, have embraced this lifestyle to enjoy more time outdoors. Without proper action, greenhouse gas emissions will continue to deteriorate the wide-open spaces we all know and love. In order to preserve their beauty for our fellow RVers and future generations, every individual can make progress toward reducing emissions. The mass movements towards renewable energy can majorly reduce emissions as we strive towards a greener future. 

How Will the California Generator Ban Impact the Future of RVing? 

Aligning with previous environmentally conscious regulations, California continues to raise and modify its emissions standards to meet higher goals. While each step may seem miniscule, every regulation passed further limits carbon emissions and, therefore, benefits the protection of the environment. For residents of the state and other RVers alike, phasing out small, gas-powered engines will benefit everyone by leading the way to a greener tomorrow. 

Although these goals may seem impossible, each individual RVer has the power to make a difference. Switching to renewable energy resources and away from fossil fuels is a transition everyone can make in one form or another. Upgrading the quality and reliable lithium batteries and solar power can eliminate the need for a generator in an RV. At Dragonfly Energy, our team of USA-based technical experts is here to help you switch to sustainable power. Our industry-leading line of lithium-ion batteries will give you the power to release your gas-powered generator. Call our team at (855) 292-2831 and be a part of the movement towards a green future!  

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