Industry Applauds Victory for Pa. Park Trailers

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July 18, 2013 by   1 Comment

Matt Wald

The RV industry is celebrating a decision from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that will effectively allow RV parks to house park model units.

According to a press release, the court affirmed that the Dingman Township highway permit provision in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance is invalid. The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) jointly filed an amicus brief in support of appellee, Lake Adventure Community Association Inc.

“This collaboration is an example of industry unity at its finest,” stated PRVCA Executive Vice President Rebecca Lenington.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the appeal,” said John Soard, general manager of Fairmont Park Trailers and a member of RVIA Park Trailer Committee. “The process has been a long fought battle for the past 2-3 years.”

The provision in question amended the definition of a recreational vehicle to one “that does not require a special highway moving permit when transported” and “a vehicular unit, mounted on wheels, of such size or weight as not to require special highway moving permits when drawn by motorized vehicles (8 1/2 feet wide maximum).”

This change to the definition restricted RV parks from having sites for park models. Lake Adventure Community Association, the property owner in this case, argued that RVs with slideouts are allowed on the property. The slideouts RVs are eight feet wide as they travel over the roadway, but once parked, and the slides are engaged, they are 12 feet wide making the parked unit basically the same size as a park model. The only different is the size of the unit when being transported.

The Court of Common Pleas of Pike County ordered the provision invalid. After an appeal by the Dingman Township Board of Supervisors, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania also affirmed that the ordinance is invalid.

“This is a great win for the RV industry,” said Dan Saltzgiver, PRVCA and RVIA Park Trailer Committee member. “This is one more decision that we can use to ensure that park trailers remain part of the RV industry and that the future of destination camping will continue to be a growing segment of the industry.”

John Soard

The decision has positive impact not only for park trailer sales in Pennsylvania, but for the public as well. “The decision is a win for the consumer,” Soard said. “The ordinance had kept consumers from upgrading their camper to newer, safer and more efficient models. An added benefit is regulatory consistency throughout Pennsylvania as it applies to all RVs. Dingman Township’s ordinance was contrary to existing state law, meaning a consumer could purchase a model in one township not understanding they might not be able to use it in Dingman Township.”

The outcome of this case will make a significant impact on any future questions regarding park trailers – both in Pennsylvania and nationwide. “The case will have significant precedential value in Pennsylvania as no local jurisdiction will be able to discriminate against park model RVs based on the fact that they require special moving permits to operate on public roads,” said RVIA Park Trailer Executive Director  Matt Wald. “And while it may have limited precedential value nationwide, it will have significant value in working with local jurisdictions and zoning officials all over the country who are confused about what park model RVs are and how they can and should be used.”

“The RV industry is surely one to be commended as a group and the combined efforts of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association, RVIA and RPTIA together have made this happen,” Saltzgiver added.

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One Response to “Industry Applauds Victory for Pa. Park Trailers”

  1. Sandy Bee on July 18th, 2013 2:23 pm

    Thank heavens for this determination! Hope it will be reinforced nationwide. The baby boomers want to use Park Models in their retirement plans, and need more options as to where to buy and site them. Opening up RV parks to Park models is a positive step forward. I look forward to the day when my own town would allow me to have such an item for temporary use, so that I might rent out my huge main home (so that I can afford to keep paying the taxes on it – and NOT be forced from my property due to reduced income in retirement).