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Old 11-11-2020, 01:29 PM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 15
Smile Who Knew??? My 85 345 is exempt from smog!!!

Color me surprised!
I just learned that in the state of California, my 85 345 is exempt from the requirement to have it smog tested. The reason is that the coach's weight is above their threshold.
I have read many tales of woe regarding the cost and effort to get one of these classics registered here in California so it was a very pleasant surprise to have the DMV confirm the good news.
Next up is the CHP (Calif Highway Patrol) VIN inspection. Once that hurdle is cleared it will be back to the DMV to get the license plates.
The state has already collected the registration fees so at least if I get pulled over for not having a license plate on the coach the paperwork will prove the fees have been paid and that progress towards completing the registration is in process.
Just thought I would spread the good news to all future 345 enthusiasts.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:53 PM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
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Hello. Did they tell you what the weight exemption is? My 280 is not exempt.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:38 AM   #3
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 15
The smog test and repair shop quoted 14,001 pounds and above. The technician, with 20 years experience in the smog business, called the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair) to confirm his understanding. The representative at AAA, had not heard of such an exemption and called their specialist contact who also confirmed the fact that the 345 is exempt due to its' weight.
I have not pursued confirming it with any other entity as I'm taking the win and enjoying the possibilities.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:40 PM   #4
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 133
same deal in Massachusetts on my 85 345 something good about aging
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:56 AM   #5
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Marina Del Rey , California
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 18
Is your 345 a gas 454 (ie the original spec) or has it had an engine swap for a diesel? I'm in the exact same situation, just bought a 1990 345LE in Austin, TX and am in the middle of figuring out how to register it back at my home base in Los Angeles. All the info I can find on line indicates that diesel vehicles over 14,000lbs are exempt from needing to be smogged, and vehicles older than 1975, but that gas vehicles like the Airstream are not exempt. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/vehicl...g-inspections/ Love to hear your and any other wise motorhome folk's thoughts on this.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:45 PM   #6
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Sunnyvale , California
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Interesting. My 345 definitely had to go through smog test. It has a 454 engine.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:25 PM   #7
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 15
I posted before the august lady sang!!

Who knew so many knowledgeable people could look at the same smog requirements and come to diametrically opposing conclusions.
The smog referee insists that the correct interpretation of the smog test requirement is that my 345 is [B]not[B] exempt and a smog test has been scheduled.
The smog referee has the final word in the state of California so that is the way it shall be.
My apologies for spreading inaccurate information. Next time I get what I thought to be good news I'll wait for the final word (issuing the license plates) before posting.
As an aside, my conversion of the shore line reel to 50 amps is progressing (thanks again Brad for the spare parts support) and cabinetry work is proceeding as well.
Hope all had a great Thanksgiving.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RETIREDRIVER View Post
Who knew so many knowledgeable people could look at the same smog requirements and come to diametrically opposing conclusions.
The smog referee insists that the correct interpretation of the smog test requirement is that my 345 is [B]not[B] exempt and a smog test has been scheduled.
The smog referee has the final word in the state of California so that is the way it shall be.
My apologies for spreading inaccurate information. Next time I get what I thought to be good news I'll wait for the final word (issuing the license plates) before posting.
As an aside, my conversion of the shore line reel to 50 amps is progressing (thanks again Brad for the spare parts support) and cabinetry work is proceeding as well.
Hope all had a great Thanksgiving.
So you need a test, but does it need to be inspected to show all original engine accessories and equipment is in working order, or does it just need to pass the numbers?
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:55 PM   #9
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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To be honest, I was elated, but didn't post as I was cautious because my own journey has be thwarted and held back by smog info...
The way I read it was if I put a pre 1997 Diesel engine in, Im good to go....
Thats why im rebuilding a 1990 12v Cummins....


But putting it in is no simple task...


Here is the Info and the link....

Exemptions

California requires all vehicles to undergo a smog inspection EXCEPT:
  • Gasoline-powered vehicles model year 1975 and older.
  • Natural gas-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. .
  • Diesel-powered vehicles that:
    • Are model year 1997 and older.
      OR
    • Have a gross weight rating of over 14,000 lbs.
  • Electric vehicles.
  • Motorcycles.
https://www.dmv.org/ca-california/smog-check.php
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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I was wondering where you were hiding through all this.

As to the Cummins conversion I personally feel the Cummins in my 345 is a cleaner installation than the Isuzu in my 280. It may be just me but it just seems a better fit. Any info you need just ask.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:12 PM   #11
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
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Thumbs up The registration is complete

Although there were many trips to AAA (4), and the DMV (2), and the CHP (1), and the smog shop (3) the California registration on the 86 345 is complete!
It is now registered as a 1986 instead of 1985 (at the direction of the CHP VIN verification officer).
To answer your question Magnet18, yes they did visually verify that the original required smog equipment and connections were in place. They also did the TSI version of the smog test and it passed once the timing advance was adjusted and the correct PCV hose was connected appropriately. I am fortunate that the coach was once registered in California and had the required smog equipment (California v. Federal carburetor, smog/air pump, etc...) although the smog equipment was not connected.
Keyair, keep us updated on the diesel install.
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:51 PM   #12
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Makes you really wanna live in California.
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Old 12-11-2020, 09:41 AM   #13
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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The Cummins conversion is a long way off.
Need to concentrate on other things first so will be focused of getting the 454 up to spec.
The big problem I have run into is the smog pump diverter valve.
Itís not available anywhere.
The THREE that I have, one new old stock, and 2 junkyard units are all have the same failure.
I think there is a diaphragm sealed inside the head of the unit that perished over time. Even the new unit is bad.
The upside is that I can mount the unit and it will only be visually inspected.
I will tune my carb with the Innovate Air/Fuel meter for emissions.
Hopefully I will pass smog then!
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:49 PM   #14
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
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Thumbs up A good strategy to pass the smog test

Ah yes... the visual inspection!
A charitable interpretation might conclude that it is the government's way of providing a path forward for vintage technology that is no longer available and/or manufactured.
I wonder if the government would be required to provide compensation (under the 'takings' statutes) if they mandated a requirement that they knew or should know is not obtainable and require the vehicle be removed from use?
Perhaps it is their way of dealing with an ever shrinking percentage of vehicles that will, through attrition, become less and less of a source of smog?
Whatever the reason(s) I appreciate the fact that the smog test requirements for a mid-80's coach is different than the requirements for more current engines and their associated technology.
Keyair, sounds like a winning strategy to install the air pump, pass the visual inspection, and make appropriate adjustments to the A/F mixture to pass the test.
Please keep us up to date on your progress
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Old 12-12-2020, 12:44 AM   #15
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Salem , Oregon
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Hi, in 1986 I bought a new P-30 truck set up for selling "Mac Tools". I picked it up in Ohio and drove to back to my home in Long Beach, California. DMV, as usual, went around in circles trying to decide about the smog test. I was told because of the weight, it was exempt, but two women said that was not true. Finally a man at DMV found the true information. Which was; It had to be smogged once and never again. I had this truck for eight years and it was smogged only once.

Now my Airstream trailer was another wonderful story at the California DMV because I bought it in Oregon. It was turning into another nightmare. I'll make this somewhat short. DMV wanted me to bring my trailer to them for inspection, but the Bellflower office's parking lot was too small and no parking is allowed on the streets. They said that I could get an officer of the peace to do a VIN verify at my house. I found a local cop and he agreed to do my VIN verification. I brought my paper work back to the DMV only to be seen by two of the three women who I saw before about the smog. One lady said it was OK, but her supervisor said the cop did it all wrong and didn't fill out the center section of the form. This center part of the form wanted to know all about the engine. I even had to show these women a picture of an Airstream TRAILER so they could understand that it doesn't have an engine. And there was much more to this story, but I said that I would try to keep this short.

By the way, Oregon DMV is much smarter and nicer than California DMV.
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Old 12-12-2020, 09:29 AM   #16
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Oceanside , CALIFORNIA
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So is the Idaho DMV. I bought the 345 in Lewiston Idaho and procuring trip permits and travel passes to get the coach back to California was a very pleasant surprise. They were efficient, friendly, and not arrogant. Who knew a government agency could behave that way?
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