The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee 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.

The advisory committee to HUD made the recommendations 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 was not known how HUD would respond to the committee’s recommendations.

HUD recently announced that it planned to redefine park models with factory added porches as manufactured homes, effective April 1 in 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 Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon and the Recreation Vehicle 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 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.”