ARVC Logo Editor’s Note: The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (National ARVC) recently highlighted the efforts state associations are making on the legislative end through its blog. The updates are below. 

Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (AZARVC)

Arizona has two laws relating to RV park owners and their guests — The Long-Term RV Space Rental Act, which applies to renting spaces for park models and to any RV owner who has a rental agreement of more than 180 days, and the Commercial Act which applies to all other short-term space rentals. The new law applies only to the Long-Term RV Space Rental Act and allows a resident who has a disability to have one or more persons in their home to provide the necessary live-in health care, personal care or supportive services. However, the person must comply with the rules and regulations of the park, so if a park requires all adults to pass a criminal background check, the caregiver must do so.

Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campground (MOARC) 

MOARC has retained Kyna Iman as its lobbyist for the 2023 legislative session to seek tort reform legislation that would lower the statute of limitation for injury lawsuits from five years to two years.

South Dakota Campground Owners Association (SDCOA) 

SDCOA’s 2023 Legislative Affairs Committee will be formed later this year. It’s a volunteer position available to association members. Responsibilities can be handled remotely, although in-person testimony provides the strongest impact. The Board of Directors has several new bills to evaluate and prioritize for introduction. Each further protects the outdoor hospitality industry in South Dakota. SDCOA will monitor all bills that are introduced to determine whether a position is necessary.

Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association (CCLOA)

CCLOA is visiting 350 Colorado campgrounds in September and October to spread the word about its legislative focus. CCLOA saw what was achieved in South Dakota this past legislative session with its grassroots effort, and will follow a similar path to seek new laws to further protect Colorado’s outdoor hospitality industry. Further direction will be outlined at the November Board Meeting and again in January.

Participation on CCLOA’s Legislative Affairs Committee is voluntary, yet it hopes to have a lengthy list of members serving on the Committee. Upon scheduling of a hearing, all members will be asked to participate, but the Committee members will have the deepest insight into each proposed bill. There is also a list of bills on which the association is expecting to take a position, as well as many new bills that will be introduced during the session. CCLOA will establish its positions as the legislative session draws closer.

Kansas RV Park Owners Association (KPOA) 

KPOA’s Board of Directors plans to create a 2023 Legislative Affairs Committee to evaluate several bills that will assist outdoor hospitality businesses with operations and management. Additionally, KPOA will also review the introduced bills of others to evaluate whether a position is needed.

Camp Michigan

Campground Limited Liability 

HB 5862 was introduced by Representative Ken Borton on March 1 proposing to create a new act. The “Campground Liability Act,” would provide limited immunity to owners and operators of campgrounds (and their employees) from civil liability for personal injury or property damage related to risks inherent to camping. HB 5862 remains in the House Judiciary Committee due to significant opposition from the Michigan Association of Justice and the State Bar of Michigan. Camp Michigan remains in support and is hopeful the bill can be taken up after the November general election.

Campground Permits 

Building permits for campground expansion projects are required by all Licensed Campgrounds. The campground licensing program is administered by the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy. In recent years campground building permits are sometimes taking six months to a year or more for a campground owner to obtain. Camp Michigan is evaluating solutions to this problem.

Michigan State Parks 

During the last two years, Michigan campground owners have learned that many people firmly believe campgrounds are a place they want to be during a pandemic. Michigan government-owned campgrounds experienced the exact same thing. This has resulted in multi-millions of dollars being invested into state parks for infrastructure improvements. Federal COVID dollars have been appropriated to this effort along with grants from the Natural Resources Trust Fund. Camp Michigan, whose members operate campground businesses must compete against government-owned campgrounds and the free money available to them for upgrades. Camp Michigan is calling upon the Michigan Legislature to appropriate funds for privately owned campgrounds, making grants available for infrastructure upgrades including water and sewer, lake and stream improvements, roads and electric vehicle charging stations.

Electric Vehicles 

Michigan campgrounds are limited on what they can charge campers for electricity by Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The MPSC only allows campgrounds to charge customers .15 per KwH for electricity. This rate results in either very little profit, break-even or a net loss for the campground. In a time when apparently both government and automotive companies believe electric vehicles are the future, campground owners are expecting increased demand for electric charging stations for vehicles. Not only will the charging stations be expensive to develop and operate, but no owner of a business can also operate expensive services on a break-even or net-loss basis. Camp Michigan supports being able to provide services on a profitable competitive basis.

Camp Connecticut 

The association had a very aggressive legislative agenda for the 2022 Connecticut legislative session. It was a short session, non-budget year, which poses a unique set of circumstances and challenges. Legislators are unable to raise individual bills of their own during a short session. All bills had to be presented and raised by committee and then submitted to the House and/or Senate for further review and possible action.

  • Inherent Risk and Campground Immunity. The association put significant effort and laid the groundwork for this item during the last two sessions. It has written six different sets of language in hopes of finding support for the proposals.Assocaition officials feel very confident that it will finally have success in the 2023 session which starts in January. It continues to work closely with National ARVC on this issue
  • Revision of regulations regarding the use of “Blue Boy” tanks (allowed in state-run campgrounds but not allowed in private campgrounds). The association succeeded in getting a committee bill raised to allow the use of Blue Boy tanks in private campgrounds. It received a unanimous joint favorable report out of committee, as well as a unanimous bipartisan vote in both the House and the Senate. It was signed into law by the Governor on 5/23/22 and was effective immediately upon signing. This success was very significant when you consider that 1,244 bills were introduced in the 2022 session and only 328 were passed!
  • Other Issues – The association continues to work on enhanced and more definitive guest removal laws and clarification of trailer abandonment regulations.