Over the past year, the RV Industry Association’s Government Affairs team, the voice for our members in the halls of government, has accomplished several impressive goals, according to a News and Insights posting on the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) website.
Advocating for the RV industry at the federal and state levels of government to create a favorable business environment, protect against onerous legislation and regulations, and make it easier for consumers to buy, drive and own an RV, the team has worked to include RV industry priorities in the bipartisan infrastructure bill; engaged with lawmakers on the 30 by 30 initiative, and increased the number of state Outdoor Recreation offices. These efforts, along with many others, help ensure that Americans continue to have safe, enjoyable access to the great outdoors.
One of the major accomplishments in 2021 was the inclusion of RV industry priorities in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden signed into law on Nov. 15. The Government Affairs team worked closely with Congress to ensure that the federal investment in traditional and outdoor recreation infrastructure reflected the importance of the $114 billion RV industry to the American economy.
We are very pleased that the bipartisan infrastructure legislation will help fund the RV Industry Association’s priority transportation programs at historic levels, and at the same time makes critical investments in rural broadband, supply chain resiliency, and electric vehicle infrastructure. The team will work closely with federal agencies to ensure this funding goes toward improv
ing the infrastructure in national parks and public lands, which RVers rely on for safe and adequate outdoor recreation and camping experiences.
30 by 30 Initiative
The federal team has been monitoring President Biden’s 30 by 30 initiative, also known as America the Beautiful, which is aimed at combating climate change by conserving 30 percent of our lands and water by 2030. They are working closely with the Administration, Department of the Interior, and Congress to ensure balanced land use and increased access to outdoor recreation activities.
The work is having an impact, as the recent ‘America the Beautiful’ report prioritizes outdoor recreation access and shows an understanding of the significant benefits that outdoor recreation provides the nation. In conjunction with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and other outdoor industry segments, the RV industry is committed to conservation and ensuring there will be stewards of natural resources and biodiversity for future generations.
Great American Outdoors Act
As the Great American Outdoors Act moves to implementation, the team has been focused on working with federal agencies to direct funds to support RV industry priorities. The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service have committed to over 150 campground-related projects, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars, in just the first two years of the five-year program.
This bipartisan legislation, which was first signed into law last August, is the largest investment in our public lands in nearly a century. The funding will go a long way towards modernizing and expanding campgrounds and ensuring safe and adequate access to public lands and waters for generations of RVers to come.
Louisiana Redhibition Statutes
On the stateside, the government affairs team has been working to ensure it is as easy as possible for consumers to buy, own, and drive an RV through favorable policies governing issues such as franchise, lemon law, and vehicle dimensions. This year, the team successfully removed RVs from Louisiana’s redhibition statutes and enacted more appropriate lemon law-like provisions to resolve any issues that may arise from non-conforming RVs.
The redhibition law, a holdover from the French Napoleonic code governing Louisiana civil law, broadly allowed for the rescission of sale or reduction of sale price in the case of a defect that renders a product useless or inconvenient. Removal of RVs from this law results in a more positive experience for the RV consumer and industry.
California Air Resource Board (CARB)
The state team also secured a victory in California when the California Air Resource Board (CARB) attempted to limit out-of-state diesel motorhome drivers from visiting the state for more than three days without having a “smog check” inspection on their vehicle. Following action from our state affairs team, CARB exempted out-of-state RVs from the new requirements.
The team is currently engaging with CARB on proposed regulations seriously impacting RV generators and the need for an exemption for the RV industry.
Outdoor Recreation Offices
Working in concert with a coalition from the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, the state team has been instrumental in increasing the recognition and opportunity for outdoor recreation companies across the country through the creation of offices of outdoor recreation.
The Association, along with other members of ORR, has called for governors in all 50 states to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. This year, Maryland and Arkansas established new offices, bringing the total number of states with an OREC office to eighteen.
As we head into 2022, the RV Industry Association’s Government Affairs team will build upon the policy accomplishments this past year. As the RV industry continues to grow and more Americans express an interest in exploring the great outdoors, the team continues to work on behalf of the entire industry to make it is as easy as possible for consumers to better experience the outdoors through purchasing, owning, and driving RVs.