Saturday, March 19, 2011

Emission Testing – RV Better Not Be Longer Than 34'!

When the Government does something I think they get together with as many people with zero knowledge of whatever they are working on and then come to an agreement on how to do something as expensive and wrong as possible.

Enter, Illinois emissions testing, call the “Air Safety Team” number and get transferred from person to person just to find out which facility can fit a 36ft RV. Their response, all of them, no wait, only the full service centers, oh wait, some of them have tight turns that may not be able to handle an RV that long. Ok, great, which…one…can…handle…an…RV….36ft long? They really don’t know. I log onto their website and find they have web cams, great! Forget about Schaumburg but Crystal Lake looks good!

I got there and the typical 3 minute wait is now 35 minutes and the line is all the way out to the street. The good news is it looks more than large enough to handle a 36 footer, woohoo! When I got the rig inside the very tight (from the perspective of inside the RV) door opening I was met by a great team of two who walked me through the process and the RV passed with flying colors!

When we finished and they handed me the very nice official looking document I asked “how the heck am I going to make it out the exit?” His response, no problem!! Uh, I wasn’t convinced, look at the picture, about 33 feet to the grass and the grass goes uphill!


One of the guys walks in front of the rig and as I’m pulling out I’m watching the backup camera and I can see this is going to be VERY close. I get right up to the lawn with the front bumper and start cutting the wheel, and start doing the back and forth and finally get enough to the right that I can keep going.

The weight of the rig pushed the left front tire deep into their lawn but it made it! Now comes the fun part! The exit for the facility parking lot has an incline and the street does as well. So, again I cut the wheel and start to pull out and then it happens, drraaaaagggggging the back, so now I have no choice but to keep going and finally the dragging ends and I’m free.

Whew! I pull over and look at what wonderful news awaits and find no damage except for a broken drag wheel. Of course it’s possible there might have been some body flex so we’ll see if we now have leaks because of this. The rig is considered smog legal until Sept 2013, between now and then I need to figure out how to exit that place without dragging the hind end again. Can you say air bags?  We’ll see!


Teri said...

Another reason why 25' long sounds very comfortable.

Erik's RV Blog said...

I hear ya! There are pros and cons either way. Having 36ft makes it easier for two people and a dog to have some space.

If I were alone I would still go with the 36ft but I would look into road clearance and install air bags right away next time.

If I knew then what I know now! :)

Big Matt said...

Makes me very glad I don't have to do the smog thing....

Erik's RV Blog said...

If my house were 20 feet further back, either would I!

Rae said...

Yep, you are right about the government. Dumb-assed and expensive is always part of their plan. It's enough to make a sane person insane. Sounds like you had to endure one of those idiotic ordeals.

Erik's RV Blog said...


The guys at the facility were nice though. Gotta give them that much, whoever designed the place, should get fired though and from what I've seen, they are all designed poorly.

Merikay said...

One more chore taken care of! Thats the good part.

Margie and Roger said...

Never knew a motor home as big as yours had to be inspected. I believe in TN that anything over 10,000 lbs did not have to be inspected. South Dakota - no RV inspection.

Diana said...

Wow Erik, you sound as though you might be trucker material. You should hear some of the stories my husband tells! I keep trying to get him to start a blog but he won't.
I hate to say this but what you went through is nothing compared to what he deals with everyday!
I think that if we could ever afford to retire and get an R.V. like we'd like to, he would have fun. He's already told me all of the things he'd do to just for fun!
Love Di ♥

Erik's RV Blog said...

Merikay, Agreed! One job at a time!

Margie, What's funny is, if my house was 20 feet further back, the RV wouldn't have to be tested! Typical Illinois, we do things the hard way here!

Diana, I would actually love to be a trucker. Who knows, the way the economy is going I may have to look at alternatives in the future so not ruling it out! Tell your husband the time is now! :)

Alan and Marilyn McMillan said...

Having worked for the govt, your assessment is correct -- let's appoint a committee to come up with a We retired early & changed our legal residency to SD -- no inspection.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Alan and Marilyn McMillan,

I LOVE SD!!! Some day I'm going back and if we ever do get to go fulltime, SD or Texas will be our home base.

Andy said...


Here's what I've learned about inclined drive entrances/exits:
Whenever possible, approach at an angle & the back won't drag. Someone told me and it works.
Glad your inspection went well.


Erik's RV Blog said...


Agreed, I did go on an angle, unfortunately the driveway angle was too great and the back sits too low so it dragged pretty good.

Air bags will cure this problem for sure next time!