During its annual meeting Thursday (Oct. 27) in Middlebury, Ind., the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) addressed building practices on front porch areas that could lead to reclassification of units as manufactured homes.
According to a report in the South Bend Tribune, RPTIA voted to better define what constitutes a porch. Park trailers cannot be larger than 400 square feet, not counting the porch, according to regulations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
RPTIA Executive Director William Garpow said the action came in response to some manufacturers pushing the envelope by developing front porches that could be classified as rooms by HUD.
Garpow emphasized that park models exceeding that magic 400 number would be reclassified by the government as “manufactured homes,” bringing a whole new wave of federal standards that manufacturers say would cost more money and could put them out of business.
“If HUD takes us over, I’ve got a plant for sale if anybody wants to buy it,” said Olin Wenrick, board president of the association and president of Elkhart, Ind.-based Trophy Homes.
New “industry-recommended practices” on front porches, which have yet to be specified, will all be code-related and should spell out what will keep the product out of the “manufactured home column,” Wenrick said.
“Ignorance, in this case, is not a good excuse,” he said.
The Newnan, Ga.-based trade association hopes its members, consumer feedback and media reports will help RPTIA keep tabs on manufacturers that might be in violation of the new practices.
A letter will be sent to the offending company asking them to correct the problem, and if they don’t comply, they risk being kicked out of the association, which places its seal on members’ products.