Thursday, February 25, 2016

RV's Re-Defined

By Ryan VanArsdale

Recreational vehicles can fall into several categories, each with various code requirements. A new rule has been proposed that would alter the exemption that exists for non-self-propelled recreational vehicles.  This revised exemption is based on the re-definition of a recreational vehicle.

This new rule will positively impact the RV industry, since up until now, the definition of a manufactured home was “a transportable structure which is three hundred twenty or more square feet, built on a permanent chassis and includes plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems”.  Many recreational vehicles fit that same definition. The revised definition states that a recreational vehicle is one built on a vehicular structure, and not certified as a manufactured home. It must be designed for recreational use only, and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy. The key portion of the definition is that it is designed for recreational use only. To that end, it must also be built and certified in accordance with either NFPA 1192-15 or ANSI A119.5-15. Any RV claiming the ANSI A119.5-15 exemption must display a notice stating that the unit is designed only for recreational use, and not as a primary dwelling.

For many years, the RV industry has struggled with regulations that were aimed at manufactured, permanent dwellings, rather than the recreational use an RV was intended to fill. By clarifying HUD’s position, and separating HUD from Recreational Vehicles, the RV lifestyle will be available for generations to come.

For more information on the new RV definition, or RV  or Park Model certification, please contact NTA.


  1. How will this impact individuals that are considered to be full timers?

    1. Sarah,

      The definition of a RV has not changed. NFPA 1192 defines a recreational vehicle as a vehicular-type unit that is primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or seasonal use; has its own motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle; is regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a vehicle or vehicle equipment; does not require a special highway use permit for operation on the highways; and can be easily transported and set up on a daily basis by an individual.


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