Jeff Sims

Jeff Sims

The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) has submitted numerous recommendations to update national standards for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.

According to a press release, ARVC recommended wording changes in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1194 Standard for Recreational Vehicle Parks & Campgrounds because it is the nationally recognized standard that the association uses when it works with state and local governments involving proposed regulations.

“By taking a proactive role in developing new industry standards, ARVC can get ahead of the legal curve and provide a framework that can guide legislators and regulators moving forward,” said Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of state relations and program advocacy. “Since new regulations and laws are made by officials who often have little or no knowledge of the campground business, it behooves us to develop our own positions on a number of topics and to share these position statements with the state and federal agencies and legislative bodies.”

In its submissions made earlier this month, ARVC recommended wording changes on NFPA 1194 standards involving everything from park model RVs to requirements and restrictions involving transient guests and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The guidelines ARVC submitted to NFPA also serve as useful guidelines for private park operators.

ARVC recommended that NFPA 1194 be updated to reflect that recreational park trailers and park model RVs are vehicles with detachable transportation equipment, including the tongue assembly and hitch, axles, wheels and tires, which should remain at the campground or in onsite storage for future use, unless their removal is authorized by local authorities.

ARVC also recommended that the code by updated to note that park model RV hitches are often removed for safety reasons to avoid having anything protruding that could cause a trip or fall.

ARVC also recommended that NFPA guidelines be changed to state that guests are short-term guests and cannot use their campsite as an address, a permanent residence or domicile, regardless of their length of stay. “A transient guest relationship is established because it is not lasting, enduring or permanent,” ARVC stated in its proposed NFPA wording recommendations, adding, “To ensure residency is not established, a transient relationship shall not exceed nine months.”

ARVC also recommended that NFPA 1194 be updated to state that “a landlord/tenant relationship is not established for transient guests.”

ARVC also recommended new NFPA 1194 wording requiring parks to have written policies on campground curfews, alcohol use, tobacco use, pet policies, etc. that are provided to their guests and also posted in high traffic areas of the campground and on the campground website. The campground owner should also obtain from the guest or visitor upon registration a signed copy of the written policies acknowledging that they have agreed to abide by those policies during their stay.

ARVC also recommended changes in NFPA wording noting that campground owners may contact local enforcement and eject or remove any person from their park who is not a registered guest or visitor of the campground; remains at the park beyond an agreed-upon departure date and time; defaults in the payment of any lawfully imposed registration or visitor fee or charge; creates a disturbance that denies other guests their right to quiet enjoyment of the campground necessary for the preservation of public peace, health and safety; or violates any federal, state or local law.

Any person who remains at the campground after having been asked to leave by the campground owner for violating any of the written policies shall be guilty of trespassing, subject to possible penalties and may be summarily removed by the campground owner or a local law enforcement officer.

Regarding ADA compliance, ARVC recommended that NFPA 1194 be updated to require that specific numbers of camping units be provided with special mobility features based on the total number of campsites in the campground, RV park or resort. The minimum number of camping units with special mobility is two for parks with two to 25 campsites; three for parks with 26 to 50 campsites; four for parks with 51 to 75 campsites; five for parks with 76 to 100 campsites; seven for parks with 101 to 150 campsites; and eight for parks with 151 to 200 campsites. Parks with 201 sites or more should have at least eight camping units with special mobility features plus 2% of the total number of campsites over 200.