Thursday (March 22), at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly urged HUD Secretary Ben Carson to promptly finalize its rule-making to exempt RVs from HUD manufactured housing rules. To view the video click here or scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.come home page. Below is a letter sent to Carson by Donnelly and other lawmakers, including Maine Sen. Angus King, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Penn. Sen. Robert Casey and Ind. Senator Todd Young.

Dear Secretary Carson:

We are writing to express our support for the prompt completion of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2016 proposed rule clarifying the definition of “Recreational Vehicle” (RV). We understand HUD is reviewing its existing and planned manufactured housing regulatory actions and we believe the current rule is seriously outdated.

Due to technological industry advancements over the last 35 years, it is imperative that HUD update its rulemaking to more clearly define what constitutes an RV. This rule would provide certainty to manufacturers and consumers and distinguish manufactured housing from RVs, which are subject to extensive regulation as vehicles by the U.S. Department of Transportation and state motor vehicle and taxing authorities.

Many of the undersigned Senators have previously written to HUD in support of this non-controversial rule-making and noted that RVs are designed for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use and should not be regulated by HUD as a form of permanent housing.

In 2014, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Senate Transportation-HUD appropriations bill included committee report language encouraging HUD to update the definition of RVs through an open, transparent, and inclusive process.

In December of 2015, six Senators wrote, we believe it is important for HUD to act swiftly given the continuing uncertainty in the RV industry surrounding this issue. This policy is long overdue for an update, and it is important to get a new rule in place for the sake of all interested parties.

Subsequently, we were pleased in 2016 when HUD proposed its rule to exempt RVs from manufactured housing rules, and were equally disappointed when it was never completed. We are hopeful that the inclusion of this rule in HUD’s Regulatory Review of Manufactured Housing Rules will bring finality to this process.

Thank you for attention to this matter and we look forward to seeing the finalization of this long overdue and non-controversial rule-making.