RVIA foresees trends at the state legislatures for 2021. These include:
Electronics Right to Repair (R2R) Legislation – If enacted, electronics R2R legislation could place the burden on RV manufacturers to provide information, parts, and tools to consumers and independent repair shops for every product in an RV that has embedded electronics. Many of these bills exempt RVs from the definition of “motor vehicle”; however, these bills also exclude motor vehicles from the provisions of the legislation, which means that RVs are covered because of the double negative. Read more on this issue here. Currently, we are tracking electronics R2R legislation in Colorado (CO HB 21-1199), Delaware (HB 22), Hawaii (HI HB 226 & SB 564), Illinois (IL HB 3061), Maryland (HB 84), Massachusetts (MA HD 260 & SD 199), Minnesota (MN HF 1156, SF 2080), New York (NY S 4104, A 6315, A 7006), Nevada (NV AB 221), Oklahoma (OK HB 1011), Oregon (OR HB 2698), Pennsylvania (PA HB 1152), Texas (TX HB 3198), and Washington (WA HB 1212).
Energy & Water Efficiency Standards Legislation – There has been legislation introduced to establish minimum energy and water efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in New Jersey (NJ A 5160 & S 3324). The legislation allows an exemption for products designed and used exclusively in RVs; however, it is silent on products used in RVs that are not expressly designed for this use, such as a full-size refrigerator that could be used in a house or an RV. Similar legislation has now also been introduced in Illinois (IL HB 2555), Maryland (MD SB 418), Oregon (OR HB 2062), Pennsylvania (PA HB 1185), and Rhode Island (RI SB 339). This type of legislation could impact RV manufacturers and is a trend we saw beginning in 2019 that you can read more about here.
Direct Sales Legislation – Several states are planning to consider legislation to either allow direct sales of motor vehicles by manufacturers or to place additional restrictions on these types of sales as they would bypass the traditional franchised dealer model. States with such legislation in 2021 include Vermont, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Washington, Nevada, and South Carolina. Others are likely to follow.
Outdoor Recreation Legislation – More state legislatures than ever before are recognizing the many benefits of state government investment in outdoor recreation. These offices in state government focus entirely on supporting and expanding the outdoor recreation economy of the state. The RV Industry Association has worked alongside partners in the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable to establish OREC offices in all 50 states and 17 states have created offices or task forces to date.
Additional information on the specific bills that affect the RV industry—which were introduced during the first week of the 2021 state legislative sessions—include:
LA SB 210 was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards and took effect on August 1. The bill takes motor homes out of the automobile lemon law and then covers all RVs – towable and motorized – under a new section of law similar to a lemon law. The law requires the manufacturer of a recreational vehicle, or any of its authorized dealers, to make repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to the manufacturer’s express warranty when a consumer reports nonconformity before the expiration of the warranty or not later than one year from the date of original delivery to the consumer. It also provides for a presumption of a reasonable number of attempts to conform a recreational vehicle to the express warranty if the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 90 or more calendar days and the same nonconformity has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer. At that point, the consumer must provide written notice of the nonconformity to the manufacturer and to the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission.
The manufacturer will then have 10 days from receipt of the notice to let the consumer know where and when to deliver the RV to the repair facility, where the manufacturer will then have 10 business days for repairs using replacement parts and 30 calendar days for structural repairs. If the consumer still feels that after this final repair attempt the nonconformity continues to exist, the consumer could file a request for a hearing before the Commission. If the Commission agrees that the nonconformity continues, the manufacturer would be required to either replace the unit or refund the purchase price.
The law also provides that the remedies, warranties, and time periods related to nonconformities in an RV in this law are exclusive as between the manufacturer, dealer, and consumer. This provision would prevent a consumer from suing under the redhibition statute.
Industry Position: Support
Status: Passed Senate 37-0. Passed House 99-0. Signed by Governor on June 11 and took effect on August 1. Assigned Act No. 220.
MT HB 83, introduced by Montana’s Joint Interim Committee on Transportation, seeks to update the state’s definition of “motorhome” and “travel trailer.” Originally, the legislation would have increased the allowable maximum length of a travel trailer in Montana state law from 40 ft. to 45 ft. and updated the allowed gross trailer area from less than 320 sq ft to 361 sq ft. However, a set of amendments suggested and supported by the RV Industry Association were adopted in committee January 13th. These amendments would update the motorhome definition to reference the NFPA 1192: Standard on Recreational Vehicles. Currently, Montana statute cites ANSI A119.2. Furthermore, the amendments for the legislation would increase the allowable maximum length of a travel trailer in Montana state law from 40 ft. to 46 ft. and remove the reference to allowable gross trailer area.
RV Industry Association staff are engaged with the bill sponsors and stakeholders to address the industry’s concerns and monitor the bill. The Association supports the adopted amendments for HB 83. The RV Industry Association achieved success on a similar travel trailer length issue in Washington in 2020. Read more about the Association’s policies on dimensions here.
Industry Position: Support as amended
Status: Governor Signed on March 31. Chapter Number Assigned.
NH HB 588 – This legislation seeks to create the state’s definition of “tiny house” and “tiny house on wheels.” The definition of “tiny house” includes the specific language mentioning “intended for year-round occupancy.” Furthermore, the definition of “tiny house on wheels” includes specific language mentioning “A tiny house on wheels shall also have a seal from a third-party inspection company authorized to provide such certification for tiny homes or recreational vehicles.” The RV standards; NFPA 1192, and ANSI A119.5 should never be confused with building codes meant structures used as housing intended for year-round occupancy.
RV Industry Association staff have talked with the bill sponsors about the industry’s concerns. In a recent committee hearing, a co-sponsor said that a set of amendments will be introduced to remove any mention of “tiny house on wheels.” The Association supports such proposed amendments for HB 588. If the amendments are finalized in committee the Association will be neutral on the bill moving forward but continue to monitor its progress.
Industry Position: Support with proposed amendments
Status: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate, Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass
NY S 149 – This legislation would establish a Right to Repair Act in the state of New York for motor vehicles. The RV Industry Association’s State Government Affairs staff is working to seek clarity from the bill sponsors because “recreational vehicles” are exempted from the bill’s “motor vehicle” definition, without providing a definition of “recreational vehicle.” New York uses the term “house coach” to describe RVs and does not currently have any definition of recreational vehicle in its code.
Industry Position: Oppose as written; offer amendments
NY S 4263/NY A 6406 – This legislation, the result of extensive negotiations between the RV Industry Association and New York RV dealers, would establish an RV-specific franchise law in New York and is supported by the New York dealers. A new lead sponsor has been garnered for the Senate bill, the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Tim Kennedy of Buffalo. The Assembly bill, which was reintroduced in mid-March, is once again sponsored by Rep. Angelo Santabarbara of Schenectady.
Industry Position: Support
Status: Referred to Senate Consumer Affairs Committee and Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee.
As the legislative sessions progress across the country, the state team will continue to protect and promote the RV industry and our members. For questions on these bills or any other state issue, please contact Director of Government Affairs Mike Ochs at [email protected]