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The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board of directors will determine later this month whether as many as 8,900 travel trailers being provided as temporary housing to Florida hurricane victims should have RVIA’s seal affixed to them.
“The board has not addressed the question before,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “The Standard Steering Committee has set the previous policy, which requires the seal.”
The board will meet Sept. 26 during RVIA’s Annual Meeting at the St. Regis Aspen Hotel, Aspen, Colo.
Hopkins has asked the board for a policy decision because the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) recently began reconditioning trailers for reuse rather than putting them on the retail market.
Additionally, for units FEMA ordered following Hurricane Charley in mid-August, contract specifications called for trailers to be built without holding or fresh-water tanks and with residential commodes and residential appliances.
“Some of the manufacturers do not believe what they are building are recreation vehicles, but the question remains: Are they RVs or are they temporary housing?” Hopkins said.
Dan Shea, Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s president for towables, said the Nappanee, Ind., company provided an unspecified number of 32-foot Cavalier travel trailers to FEMA earlier this year for natural disasters in West Virginia and Kentucky, and more recently for Hurricane Charley.
“Recently, we’ve seen FEMA reusing these trailers, and they appear more interested in doing that than purchasing them with resale in mind,” Shea said. “They generally have had specs in the past, but recently they have changed the specs to reflect a more specific use as temporary housing.”
The basic RVIA seal, indicating that the unit complies with industry standards, costs $4.05 for each unit shipped. An additional fee ranging from $44 to $66 is added to support the Go RVing market expansion campaign.