Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations
Clarifying the Exemption for Manufacture of Recreational Vehicles Summary
Effective Date January 19th, 2019
This rulemaking revises the exemption for the manufacture of recreational vehicles to clarify which recreational vehicles qualify for an exemption from HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards and Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement regulations. HUD is adopting a recommendation of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) but expanding the definition of recreational vehicle and modifying it to require certification with the updated ANSI standard, A119.5-15.
A General Misunderstanding of the Proposed Rule
Comments: Commenters stated that the rule would prohibit full-time RV living. Other commenters stated that the rule implied that HUD would regulate consumer use of RVs. Commenters may have based this conclusion on the proposed definition of “recreational vehicle” that includes a criterion that a RV be designed only for recreational use. The commenters stated that the criterion would deter full-time RV and tiny home living while yielding no safety improvements.
HUD Response: HUD respectfully disagrees with the various fundamental premises and conclusions of these commenters about secondary effects.
Regulation And Use Of Occupancy Of RVs Is In The Purview Of State And Local Authorities
Initially, as stated in this preamble, HUD is not regulating use of manufactured homes or RVs. More specifically, how individuals decide to use their manufactured home or RV unit after purchase—and, in some cases, after receiving a Manufacturer’s Notice about the unit’s compliance with RV standards—is beyond the scope of this final rule. The regulation of use and occupancy of RVs is the purview of state and local authorities, not HUD.
Because this rule does not prohibit or regulate the use of manufactured homes or RVs, including tiny homes, the secondary consequences described by certain commenters are moot, and HUD does not believe that there exists a need to address them individually. HUD also states that this rule does not dictate the minimum square footage of a home, nor does it require modular homes to be “as stable” as foundation-built homes. It also does not require manufacturers to obtain RVIA certification to claim the RV exemption. HUD reiterates that when it first codified the RV exemption in 1976, it unequivocally stated that RVs were not designed to be used as permanent dwellings. This final rule does not alter that underlying rationale for the exemption. Moreover, as noted above, both the ANSI and NFPA standard descriptions underscore the need to distinguish RVs from permanent housing.
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The RV Industry
Three Things You Need To Know About The New HUD Rule
On November 16, 2018, HUD released a final rule which updates the definition of RV to definitively exempt RV from HUD’s regulation. While this is a huge win for the RV industry, this new rule includes two provisions that have prompted the RV Industry Association to raise concerns: Requiring PMRV manufacturers to display a “Manufacturer’s Notice” and tying the rule specifically to the 2015 versions of the NFPA and ANSI standards.
HUD Does not Regulate RVs, including PMRVs and Fifth-Wheels
Most importantly, the newly finalized rule clearly establishes that HUD does not regulate RVs, including PMRVs and fifth-wheels, which provides much-needed regulatory certainty to RV manufacturers. Earlier RV exemptions did not establish a bright line between RVs, which are designed for temporary, seasonal or recreational use, and manufactured housing which is designed to be a permanent, year-round dwelling. The blurry distinction began to cause confusion in recent years as RVs have become larger and park model RVs have risen in popularity.
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Last week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill that eliminates the Department of Consumer and Business Services from regulating RVs.
Oregon Duplicative Compliance Seal Eliminated
With the enactment of this new law, the need to attach an additional and duplicative Oregon insignia of compliance or seal to RVs is eliminated and Oregon joins the vast majority of states which do not regulate the manufacturing of RVs.
Removes Requirement For PMRV Manufacturers To Use Licensed Plumbers And Electricians
Additionally, the new law removes the requirement for PMRV manufacturers in the state of Oregon to use licensed plumbers and licensed electricians to make installations and repairs. The bill, OR SB 410, takes effect January 1, 2020.
The changes the new law implements are common sense and help promote not only the national RV industry, but also the Oregon RV industry which contributed $4.3 billion in economic impact and supported almost 23,000 jobs in the state of Oregon.
Bill HB2333 Defines RVs And PMRVs As Vehicles
In addition to SB 410, another bill, OR HB 2333, was passed unopposed by the Oregon state legislature. This bill defines RVs and PMRVs as vehicles under the regulation of the Oregon Department of Transportation. HB 2333 is awaiting signature from Governor Brown and we expect this to happen in the coming days or weeks.
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OR SB 410
Eliminates Department of Consumer and Business Services regulation of recreational vehicle construction.
Eliminates general definition of recreational vehicle for purposes of manufactured structure construction statutes. Creates substitute definition of recreational vehicle for use in certain statutes outside manufactured structure construction statutes. Eliminates department regulation of recreational structure construction. Eliminates department regulation of construction and installation of yurts on campgrounds for use as transitional housing. Revises requirements for prefabricated structures that cease to qualify for exclusion from state building code regulations. Preserves, for land use law purposes, existing definitions of shared terms affected by state building code exclusions. Expands types of structures intended for out-of-state delivery exempted from plan review, inspection, electrical, plumbing or other state building code requirements.
Relating to recreational vehicles.
Allows option to obtain title, but not registration, from Department of Transportation for recreational vehicle qualifying as park model recreational vehicle and meeting other criteria.
Provides that recreational vehicle having title issued by Department of Transportation does not qualify as structure.
Requires owner to surrender Department of Transportation title for recreational vehicle if converting recreational vehicle to use as structure.
Makes recreational vehicle converted to use as structure subject to state building code.
Requires seller of new recreational vehicle to provide purchaser with written information listing specified living area systems. Requires that information state for each listed system whether items or components comprising system are covered by warranty and, if so, extent and length of warranty. Removes recreational vehicle construction from regulation by Department of Consumer and Business Services. Changes definition of “recreational vehicle.”
Back Story Oregon Titling Park Models
Building Codes Division rule clarifies titling of recreational park trailers (“tiny houses on wheels”)June 06, 2018
SALEM – The Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD), in cooperation with Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services (DMV), filed an administrative rule June 1, 2018, to help provide a mechanism for recreational park trailer (tiny houses on wheels) manufacturers to obtain an ownership document from DMV.
The new rule defines a “recreational park trailer” as:
• A single living unit that is primarily designed and completed on a single chassis, mounted on wheels, to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or other seasonal use;
Is certified by the manufacturer as complying with a nationally recognized standard for the construction of recreational vehicles; and
• Has a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the setup mode.
“We believe this rule will help provide clarity for manufacturers and allow an unfettered path to titling these types of recreational vehicles in Oregon,” said Mark Long, Building Codes Division administrator.
BCD filed the rule change after learning its attempt to deregulate this important emerging industry inadvertently affected the eligibility for tiny houses on wheels to apply for a vehicle title.
Under the new rule, DMV will be able to issue a title for recreational park trailers and file the ownership information in its records. Recreational park trailers may be moved in the following ways:
Shipping by a commercial moving company
• Vehicle trip permit from DMV –http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/pages/vehicle/trippermit.aspx
• Over-dimension permit from the Motor Carrier Transportation Division if the load is more than 8.5 feet wide – http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/Pages/Over-Dimensio…
DMV is currently informing staff at its 60 field offices and headquarters processing center to start accepting title applications for recreational park trailers.
Any time you need to visit a DMV office, first check www.OregonDMV.com to find office hours and locations, and to make sure you have everything you need before your visit. You also can do some DMV business from home at OregonDMV.com.
The Building Codes Division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency.
Brett Salmon, stakeholder outreach/public affairs
Building Codes Division
David House, DMV/Motor Carrier Public Affairs
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