EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an opinion piece written at the request of RVBusiness, sister publication to Woodall's Campground Management, by John Soard, general manager of the park model division of Fairmont Homes of Nappanee, Ind., and chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Park Model RV Committee. Soard has worked in the RV industry since 1984, the last 29 years in the park model sector.
Most of us who work in the recreational vehicle business saw this recent news item that speaks to the possible resolution of an issue that surfaced last fall and was especially unsettling for those who manufacture, sell and utilize park model RVs in U.S. RV parks and campgrounds:
“In a memorandum dated Jan. 20, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Administrator Pamela Beck Danner announced that HUD will not be enforcing its interpretation that park model RV porches count toward the 400-square-foot limit (as measured) on those types of RVs until new regulations defining RVs are published.
“According to a news release, this memorandum supersedes a memorandum that Danner promulgated on Oct. 1, 2014, in which she sought to clarify the measuring process for park model RVs, stating that factory-built porches do count toward the 400-square-foot park model RV limit and that HUD would enforce this measurement criteria starting on April 1, 2015.
“However, on Dec. 2, 2014, the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) recommended that HUD further delay enforcement to this measurement criterion until new rules are published better and more clearly defining today’s RVs. By this most recent memorandum, HUD has accepted that MHCC recommendation, making the April 1 deadline for park model RVs moot.
So, imagine that while driving to the Green Bay RV Show shortly thereafter, and RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg calls and asks you to write an opinion on the aforementioned story.
Well, that’s what happened.
So, let me start by saying that the park model industry has certainly not been a stranger to the ambiguity of HUD’s “definition” of an RV. For nearly the past three decades, operating under the 400-square-foot limitation (in the U.S.), park models have evolved to include lofts and porches, along with the pertinent regulations addressing those options — much like the other segments of the RV industry have evolved to include toy haulers, outdoor kitchens, travel trailers up to 400 square feet and even larger fifth-wheels.
But let’s be fair, HUD’s RV “definition” was actually part of an RV exemption — 24 CFR 3282.8 (g) — from regulations in a housing law designed to regulate permanent residential housing, not RVs. The time has finally arrived to fix this state of affairs.
Since October, when the original HUD enforcement position was released, there has been what I would consider unlikely alliances formed as a result. For example, in my recollection I don’t ever remember seeing RVIA, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), National Association of RV Pasrks & Campgrounds (ARVC), Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) all agreeing on something that on the surface appears pretty controversial and territorial in the whole “RVs versus manufactured housing debate” that has been brewing for years.
It is positively refreshing, from my vantage point, to see this level of participation and cooperation from the major players in this arena to pursue a reasonable consensus-based resolution properly separating RVs and manufactured homes.
The recommendation from the MHCC at its December meeting to revise CFR 3282.8 (g) properly defining RVs and listing the NFPA 1192 and the ANSI 119.5 consensus standards as the RV/PMRV benchmarks is something the housing and RV industries can and most likely will support because it kills two birds with one stone. This recommendation plainly clarifies the RV definition and the standards to which they must comply and does not change the original HUD position on porches — sweet and simple, I think. It also solves the issues that both sides have by placing a suitable firewall between RVs and HUD – regulated “Manufactured Homes.”
I can see this issue being resolved amicably sooner than later. In fact, I am aware that RVIA’s staff is already working with their housing counterparts to land on the proper wording of this proposal to get a final draft accomplished as soon as possible. I am also aware that, quite frankly, the manufactured housing entities have deeper issues than RVs that they need to address with HUD administrator Danner, whose office has been busy issuing memoranda relative to housing that are potentially much more problematic to their industry than the definition of an RV has been to our industry.
It’s important for us in the RV industry to keep in mind that once this current HUD/RV definition issue is resolved, it does not simply mean that the RV industry is forever immune to any further HUD actions. The resolution proposed by MHCC is primarily that – a resolution to an issue brought up by HUD. When or if (hopefully never) the next RV/PMRV issue comes from HUD, whatever that issue may be, it will need to be addressed and resolved in this same efficient manner.
And I will submit my personal opinion that the current people involved in all this — the parties most likely affected by any such issue — are very different and appear to be better suited for a productive debate than the people who were around back in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s and are, in my humble opinion, more likely to form a reasonable consensus.
I’m glad to see this issue appears to be on the road to a resolution. I am hopeful we all will agree soon and that HUD will concur and accept the proposed resolution once it’s completed because the sooner that happens the sooner we can all focus the next discussion on how to resolve the “Tiny House” issue that has suddenly plagued both the RV industry and the housing industries.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the park model RV segment ended 2014 with total shipments rising 5.1% over 2013.
Manufacturers shipped 3,781 park model RVs in 2014, according to the RVIA. About 40% of those go to campgrounds in North America for rental use.
December park model shipments of 261 units were up 15% over the same month in 2013.
The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, a group that by law makes recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has recommended that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grandfather existing park model RVs to protect park operators and consumers from enforcement actions as HUD implements new regulations, according to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
The advisory committee made the recommendations to HUD in a unanimous vote during a Dec. 2 meeting with top HUD officials. However, the committee did not put its recommendations in writing, according to Jeff Sims, director of state relations and government affairs for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), adding that it’s unclear how HUD would respond to the committee’s recommendations.
HUD recently announced that it planned to figure porches in the 400-square-foot maximum marking the line between RVs and manufactured housing effective April 1, a move that alarmed park operators and park model RV manufacturers across the country.
“If park model RVs with factory-built porches are no longer defined as recreational vehicles, local zoning officials could require them to be removed from campgrounds,” Sims said. “The regulatory change could also make park models subject to local property taxes.”
The regulatory change would also change the way the square footage is calculated for park model RVs.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association RVIA) worked with its allies in Congress to introduce House Resolution 5658 in September to exempt park models of 400 square feet or less from the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, which forms part of the HUD code. HR 5658 would also protect the legal status of park models that have been placed in campgrounds during the past two decades.
ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei also co-signed a letter to HUD Secretary Julian Castro with RVIA President and CEO Richard Coon and the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia in which they urged HUD to withdraw its proposed regulatory changes until Congress has a chance to amend HUD law to protect the current status of park models.
ARVC also launched a national grassroots campaign that prompted 791 private-park operators to send 2,620 electronic letters to 335 members of Congress supporting the passage of HR 5658. However, Congress failed to take action on the legislation during the lame-duck session, so it will have to be reintroduced next year.
“We have every reason to believe that House and Senate bills addressing the park model porch issue and other related issues will be introduced in the new Congress,” Sims said. “When and if the timing is right, ARVC may again ask its members to contact their Congressional members.”
Northeast Campground Association (NCA) Executive Director Cyndy Zbierski sent an update to NCA members Thursday evening (Nov. 6) to remind them to speak up and contact their congressional representatives to support the outdoor industry on legislation that would provide a clear legal definition of RVs. The legislation, championed by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and National RV Dealers Association (RVDA), would, among other things, prevent the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from changing its view on how park model RV square footage is figured, as HUD signaled in an Oct. 1 memo.
Zbierski's note is below.
NCA sent its first member email alert on October 10th highlighting the need for your action to support H.R. 5658. Thank you to those who have contacted their Members of Congress on The Recreational Vehicle Certainly Act of 2014. The numbers show that many of us still need to take five minutes to understand the possible impact of this new HUD memo and to make sure our concerns are heard as an industry. Here is an update as to what is already happening in just one of our NCA member states:
"In Maryland, we are already having issues with processing titles to park model RVs. Even though the HUD ruling is not in effect until April, at least one of our Department of Motor Vehicle divisions is questioning how to title a unit with a porch manufactured on it. What I find amazing is how quickly this has become a 'real world' problem.
"I'll admit that when I first heard about the HUD ruling, I didn't think it affected campgrounds and was more of a manufacturer/dealer issue. But then I actually read the information provided by RVIA, RVDA and ARVC, and I knew this was not a tropical storm that would blow over – it was a full force hurricane that had taken a direct hit on our industry. With no warning, no discussion and clearly as arbitrary as Mother Nature, HUD has caused quite a problem. I can't say strongly enough that we all need to get involved. It will take maybe one minute to hit the link, fill in your information and contact your representatives. Please just do it!" – Deb Carter, Buttonwood Beach RV Resort and Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds.
Campground operators will be able to personalize a letter to their representative and two senators and have that message sent without the hassle of searching for contact information for their members of Congress directly from the Take Action area on the above link.
By simply filling in their campground's address the software takes care of the rest. Just click Send Message and your message will reach the right people in Washington, DC.
But every campground is strongly encouraged to personalize the letters as much as possible. Campgrounds should include how many people they employ and exactly where they are located in the first paragraph of the messages.
The most important thing, though, is to click on the link to Action Alert and send a message to Washington, D.C. and to do it TODAY. Here are the numbers as of 11/4/2014:
|NCA ACTIVIST STATE||TOTAL NCA ACTIVISTS||TOTAL ADVOCACY MESSAGES|
Note: By comparison, New Jersey was in fourth place nationally this week, behind Florida, California and Wisconsin and ahead of Texas, according to information provided by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Now that attempts failed to get the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to reverse a subordinate's memo changing how HUD looks at park model RVs, leaders in the campground and RV industries are pinning their hopes on Congress to head off problems for RV parks and campgrounds across the U.S., and have made it easy for campground owners and operators to show their support
Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), who represent the neighboring districts in the heart of the RV industry in northern Indiana, introduced House Resolution 5658, the "Recreational Vehicle Certainty Act."
Outdoor industry groups are pushing their members to reach out to Congressional representatives and voice support for the act, which would provide legal clarity that, among other things, porches on park model RVs don't count against the 400-square-foot living space limit — as had been HUD's view until last month.
"We’ve made quite a bit of progress," said Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). As of this week, Sims told Woodall's Campground Management, 640 park had reached out to their representative and their senators. "They've sent out 2,103 messages and contacted 310 members of Congress," Sims said.
ARVC has partnered with Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), as well as state associations that aren't affiliated with ARVC, to get the word out. "The issue is far beyond affiliation," Sims said.
"This is kind of a long shot, but we need some immediate guidance and relief because it's got a lot of our members in limbo," Sims said. As things stand, HUD will start counting factory-made porches as part of the living space for park model RVs, which have a maximum of 400 square feet of living space.
In addition to campground groups, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) are working together with ARVC on the issue, which has a huge impact, Sims said.
"You’re talking about nearly $145 million in potential lost revenue," he said. Though HUD's new standards will only be in effect from April on, that doesn't prevent states or local governments from looking at existing park model RVs, popular rental options in RV parks and campgrounds, differently, Sims said.
"What do you do when it’s no longer classified an RV and it certainly can’t be classified as manufactured housing because it’s not constructed to those standards? You’ve got an investment there, overall the average investment is $21,000 per park. We’re small businesses. What do you do with that unit?
"A lot of business licenses don’t allow anything other than recreational vehicles. Are they now in noncompliance with their business licenses? Will it have to be revmoved? Will it have to be condemned? Will it have to be renovated to new codes? I don’t have the answers to that," Sims said. "When it comes to the local jurisdictions, there will be additional interpretations," Sims told WCM.
In an e-mail to ARVC and other industry partners summarizing the Oct. 22 meeting with HUD staff, Matt Wald of the RVIA said HUD officials were indifferent to campground and RV industry concerns about HUD’s reclassification of park model RVs, which it outlined in an Oct. 1 memorandum.
Maryland Association of Campgrounds Executive Director Deb Carter said HUD’s new interpretation of park models leaves campgrounds and campers in legal limbo with regard to park model RVs that were bought and installed under HUD’s previous park model guidelines, according to an announcement from ARVC.
While HUD might not take enforcement action against existing units, Carter agreed with Sims that it is likely that local tax, zoning and building officials will. She asked HUD staff whether they had considered what would become of these units when it was time to renew insurance, registration, titling, or financing for these RVs now that the HUD memo says they are no longer RVs. She asked what she could tell a local tax authority who decided to change the tax classification of park models in her campground from RVs to housing based on the HUD memo.
HUD staff had no answer for any of these concerns, Wald said. “In fact,” he said, “it appeared to be the first time they had heard or even considered these unintended consequences of their action. And yet they still continued to insist that this memorandum would not be withdrawn, stating that it was their ‘statutory obligation to enforce the memorandum’s interpretation,’ regardless of the effect the memo would have on the campground industry.”
Speaking on behalf of park model RV manufacturers, Dick Grymonprez of Champion/Athens Park Homes asked what possible safety concerns triggered HUD to issue a memorandum that makes factory added park model porches illegal.
“HUD’s counsel conceded that the agency did not issue the memo out of a health or safety concern, but instead that it was ‘a purely legal distinction’ that HUD staff felt compelled to make and that as such it would be enforced no matter whether it is needed or not,” Grymonprez said in ARVC's announcement.
Wald told ARVC that industry participants left the meeting frustrated and felt that the only way they can protect park model RVs is to support HR 5658, which would exempt park models of 400 square feet or less from the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, which forms part of the HUD code. It would also protect the legal status of park models that have been placed in campgrounds during the past two decades.
Park model RVs have previously been technically defined as recreational vehicles according to HUD, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 standard and a majority of states’ laws. This makes park model RVs exempt from property taxes. But the descriptions of park model RVs in the HUD code are not as clear as they could be and not every state clearly defines park models as a type of RV.
Sims told WCM that after that meeting, "It’s frustrating for the average park owner out here. They’re going to certainly take it on the chin and bear the brunt of this."
"There’s limited ways to correct this issue. One is through regulatory, which is very time consuming and certainly couldn’t happen prior to that April 1 date," and that one's less likely thanks to HUD's stance, Sims told WCM.
"People have bantered around you can sue HUD, but that’s too costly. We are a small association representing small businesses," he continued.
With the executive and judicial options effectively off the table, the focus is on the legislative branch. "We have put in motion every opportunity for park owners around the country, affiliated an non affiliated, to participate in this and get their message heard, their voice heard in the U.S. Congress. I don’t know how much easier we can make it," Sims said.
While he knows that campground owners are busy and "just want to run their parks," he also pointed out that "They want to do it without regulations that are going to strangle them and drown small business."
Campgrounds and RV parks in flood plains can find factory-built porches advantageous compared to porches added on in the site, at least in case of floods.
"It's a huge issue. It really is. Everybody is coming together — manufacturers, dealers and the park operators — because we’re really all in this together. It has a major impact on everyone," Sims said. It's a matter of protecting existing investments in parks and also promoting future growth.
"One of the single largest segments of our industry has been park models. For campground owners that are going to rent those out and it provides the consumer the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor recreation industry without the investment of the equipment," Sims told WCM. "It exposes another segment of the population to the outdoors."
The site at RVACT.com has a page, accessible here, that lets campground and RV park operators not only find their representative and senator, but also provides pre-written sample text that can be sent to their legislators with the click of a button.
"We’ve modified it and simplified it. I don’t know any other way to assist the park owners in identifying their members of Congress and getting the message to them.
"This isn’t a time to be a spectator. This is time to get in the game," Sims said. "It’s simple, it’s easy but it can make a difference."
RV manufacturers reported shipments to retailers of 24,869 units in September this year, which were 10.5% greater than the same month one year ago, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported.
This was the highest September total in seven years with gains recorded in all vehicle categories. Seasonally adjusted, shipments in September were at an annualized rate of more than 340,000 units. Year-to-date, total RV shipments have now climbed to 271,352 units through the first nine months of the year with towable RVs up 8% while motorhomes shipments were up 17.6% ahead of this month last year.
A newly published study shows that RV vacations cost substantially less than other forms of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. For a four-person travel party, the study found savings of 27-62%; a two-person travel party saved 11-48%.
The research was conducted by PKF Consulting USA, and commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the association said in an announcement. It updates previous vacation cost comparison studies done by PKF.
The PKF study provides a vacation cost analysis using two sets of hypothetical travel parties: A four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults.
PKF analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers would incur taking nine different types of vacations to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations lasting three, seven and 14 days.
The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer, a lightweight travel trailer, a compact motorhome, a Class C motorhome and a Class A motorhome. The Class A motorhome was used for comparison vs. first-class travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.
RV travel emerged as having a clear economic advantage over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. Below is what a four-person travel party could expect to save:
• Folding camping trailer – 47-62%
• Lightweight travel trailer – 34-53%
• Compact motorhome – 27-48%
• Class C motorhome – 28-48%
• Class A motorhome – 38%
A two-person travel party also saved, according to the analysis:
• Folding camping trailer – 38-48%
• Lightweight travel trailer – 23-36%
• Compact motorhome – 19-32%
• Class C motorhome – 15-28%
• Class A motorhome – 14%
As part of its analysis, PKF considered how fluctuating fuel prices might affect vacation costs. Their findings showed that fuel prices would have to reach more than $12 per gallon for a four-person travel party before RVing would begin to lose its economic advantage over other forms of travel. For a two-person travel party, fuel would have to reach $6 per gallon.
The study is available in RVIA’s Publications store for $35 for association members and $45 for non-members at this link.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) announced it is urging private park owners across the country to join an online letter-writing campaign in support of legislation to protect the legal standing of park model RVs as recreational vehicles.
The legislation, HR 5658, was introduced after the Department of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a new regulatory interpretation memorandum that redefines park models with factory added porches as manufactured homes, effective April 1.
“We are mobilizing private park operators across the country to support HR 5658 because if park model RVs with factory built porches are no longer defined as recreational vehicles, local zoning officials could require them to be removed from campgrounds,” said Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of state relations and program advocacy, adding, “The regulatory change could also make park models subject to local property taxes.”
ARVC told state campground association executives in a conference call this morning (Oct. 17) that an automated letter writing program has been developed that gives park operators the ability to send electronic letters in support of HR 5658 to their congressional representatives. ARVC and its state affiliates are emailing links to the letter this week so that they can participate in the campaign.
Last week, ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei co-signed a letter to HUD Secretary Julian Castro with Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President and CEO Richard Coon and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia in which they urged Castro to withdraw HUD’s regulatory interpretation memorandum until Congress has a chance to amend HUD law to protect the current status of park models.
HR 5658 was introduced in September by Republican Reps. Marlin Stutzman and Jackie Walorski of Indiana and Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. It would exempt park models of 400 square feet or less from the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, which forms part of the HUD code. It would also protect the legal status of park models that have been placed in campgrounds during the past two decades.
Park model RVs have previously been technically defined as recreational vehicles according to the HUD, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 standard and a majority of states’ laws. This makes park model RVs exempt from property taxes. But the descriptions of park model RVs in the HUD code are not as clear as they could be and not every state clearly defines park models as a type of RV.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) announced that RVIA's 62nd Annual California RV Show kicks off tomorrow for a 10-day run from Oct. 10 – 19 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.
This year's event will feature increased RV exhibit space and an impressive lineup of sports and entertainment celebrities to help draw consumers to the event.
The California RV Show will span 800,000 square feet of exhibit space, well over the 665,000 square feet at the 2013 event. More than 1,200 RVs will be on display, including 150 RVs available for test drives by interested consumers.
There will also offer a number of elements and enhancements to inform, entertain and engage attendees, including:
• Special guest appearances — An impressive lineup of celebrities has been arranged for the show, including former Dodger great Steve Garvey, who will open the event with a ceremonial first pitch on Oct. 10; former Dodger Ron Cey and former Angel Chuck Finley on Oct. 11; musician, RV enthusiast and reality TV star Bret Michaels on Oct. 18; and former Lakers star A.C. Green and former Padres star Randy Jones on Oct. 19.
• The Grand RV Campground Entrance — The main show entry point will once again be a mock RV campground that will cover 10,000 square feet of landscaped exhibit space and feature a wide array of RV products. The Grand RV Campground Entrance is designed to excite attendees about RV travel and camping before moving into the main exhibition areas.
• Informative seminars — A robust lineup of 65 seminars will be offered throughout the 10-day event to provide attendees with expert information on selecting, buying and using an RV from industry experts.
• RV sweepstakes — A 2015 Lance Camper Manufacturing ultralight travel trailer will be given away at the conclusion of the show.
For more show information about the California RV Show, visit www.TheBest RVShow.com, like the show on Facebook, or follow on Twitter at "California RV Show."
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) announced today (Oct. 9) it is supporting legislation sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) that would clarify the definition of a manufactured home to exclude park model RVs. It is also supported by the RV Dealers Association (RVDA).
The legislation, HR 5658, was introduced in September by Reps. Marlin Stutzman and Jackie Walorski (both R-Ind.) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.). It would exempt park models of 400 square feet or less from the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, which forms part of the HUD code.
Park model RVs are technically defined as recreational vehicles according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 standard and a majority of states’ laws. This makes park model RVs exempt from property taxes. But the descriptions of park model RVs in the HUD code are not as clear as they could be and not every state clearly defines park models as a type of RV, according to ARVC.
As a result, ARVC and RVIA representatives said they spend a considerable amount of time on the phone each week with municipalities across the country that question whether park model RVs should be subject to property taxes. ARVC maintains that park model RVs should only be taxed as personal property.
HUD is also revisiting its interpretation of some of its enforcement positions with regarding to the line between RVs and manufactured housing, according to Matt Wald, RVIA’s executive director for park model RVs.
“It is RVIA’s position that RVs, built for recreational, seasonal and camping use, belong in campgrounds or other recreational areas while manufactured housing, built as permanent residences, belongs in housing communities,” Wald said.
While the distinction between park model RVs and manufactured housing is well understood by those with intimate knowledge of HUD law, the language of existing law is not clear enough for lenders, zoning and tax officials, who often try to tax park models as manufactured housing, Wald said.
“RV lenders are concerned that, given new banking regulations, they need more clarity as to where the line between RVs and manufactured housing is drawn if they are going to continue to make consumer loans for some types of RVs,” Wald said.
Wald told Woodall's Campground Management that the entire outdoor hospitality industry needs to stand together and urge members of Congress across the country to support the legislation to clarify definitions.
ARVC and RVIA are also collaborating in an effort to identify states where legislation can be developed specifically to exempt park models from property taxes. Such legislation became law in Utah last year, for example.
Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of state relations and program advocacy, said he often provides park operators with talking points and code sections they can share with city officials to clarify their questions about park models. In others, Sims reaches out to city officials directly to inform them that park models are a type of RV.
Sometimes, however, private park operators bring problems on themselves when they fail to register their park models with their state’s department of motor vehicles. While they may think they are saving money by avoiding the DMV registration fee, the tactic can backfire on them later if local officials question whether their park model is indeed a type of vehicle and they do not have a DMV registration form to prove that it is.
Private park operators can also create problems for themselves and for the RV and outdoor hospitality industries in general if they allow people to live in park model RVs on a permanent basis, according to ARVC. Park model RVs are designed and legally permitted for seasonal or part-time use.