Indianapolis RV parking
Indianapolis City-County Council was considering a proposed ordinance amendment that would restrict RV parking and storage to inside a garage or atop a hard-surface area alongside or behind the owner’s residence.
Status: Introduced May 23, 2005, and referred to the Metropolitan Development Committee. The proposal was tabled at the committee’s June 6 public hearing and placed on the June 27 agenda.
Idaho RV license fee
Marse Shobe, F313485, is leading an initiative to reduce Idaho’s annual RV license fee.
Currently, Idaho RV owners pay an annual license fee of $8.50 for an RV with a market value of $1,000 or less, and $5 for each additional $1,000 in value. This fee is in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fees.
The initiative asks for a reduction in the $5 fee to $1.
Status: Marse reported to FMCA in June that the secretary of state and attorney general had approved a written petition to amend motor vehicle registration statutes to reflect the fee reduction.
Marse is forming a citizens group to circulate the petition in an effort to acquire 50,000 signatures by April 2006. Fulfilling the signatures requirement would enable the measure to be voted upon by the electors in Idaho in November 2006.
If the initiative passes in November, RV owners could see a fee reduction of approximately 80 percent.
Oklahoma out-of-state licensing
House Bill 1338 would allow out-of-state dealers and manufacturers to display and sell motorhomes at RV shows in Oklahoma, thereby improving the chances of Oklahoma hosting an FMCA convention.
HB 1338 calls for the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission to provide a special license for the out-of-state companies, and establishes licensing fees and conditions. For example, out-of-state dealers and manufacturers would pay $100 for each vehicle brought into the state. Dealers would be charged $200 for a special license.
HB 1338 also gives Oklahoma-licensed manufacturers priority to participate in the show.
Status: The House passed the bill in March 2005 and sent it to the Senate, where its status was under review by the Transportation Committee. In 2004 a similar measure died in a Senate committee.
Nevada overnight parking
Senate Bill 412, introduced March 29, 2005, would have required cities and counties to adopt ordinances prohibiting overnight parking of occupied RVs anywhere in the state, except in licensed and approved campgrounds.
Status: The bill, which had previously passed in the House, died April 16 in the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, due in part to FMCA’s letter-writing campaign protesting the passage of the bill.
Ohio parks usage fee
The Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation proposed a Parks Pride Pass, which would have required motorists to purchase a $5 parking pass or a $25 annual pass to enter any of Ohio’s 74 state parks. Drivers of out-of-state vehicles would have paid slightly more.
Status: The fee program was set to start in May 2005, but after extensive written protests from FMCA members and other RV enthusiasts living in Ohio, legislators found alternative funding sources to eliminate the need for the fees.
San Diego RV parking
In April 2005 San Diego City Council considered a proposed ordinance that would prohibit RV parking on city streets and in parks for more than four hours, and anytime between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. RV owners would have 48 hours to prepare or clean their vehicle, and then only with a special permit. The city would grant a resident six $15 permits a year.
The ordinance also would prohibit RVs from parking within 50 feet of an intersection.
Existing regulations require vehicles parked on the streets to be moved at least one-tenth of a mile every 72 hours.
RV owners expressed concerns that the ordinance would cause a major inconvenience to them and have a substantial economic impact on the RV industry as a whole. Yet the city manager’s report presented to the Land Use and Housing Committee concludes, ” … staff believes that the safety and quality of life benefits that our residents and neighborhoods will derive from the proposed regulations outweigh these potential impacts.”
Status: City staff presented the ordinance to the Land Use and Housing Committee on April 20, 2005. The committee did not take action on the ordinance as proposed, but asked the city manager to work with stakeholders on a revised version and present it to the committee (probably on August 10). If the committee approves the ordinance, it would still have to go to City Council for approval before implementation.
Among the ordinance revisions under consideration: strengthening current oversize vehicle regulations by requiring vehicles to be moved more than one-tenth of a mile; reducing the current 72-hour parking limitation but making it longer than the four hours proposed (a 24-hour limitation was suggested); and setting up a working group of residents, community leaders, and industry professionals to review the proposed ordinance and make additional recommendations.
New Hampshire inspection time for motorhomes
HB 40 requires motorhomes to be inspected annually by July 1 instead of November through March. This gives motorhome owners ample time to return from warmer climes or to remove their coach from winter storage and have their vehicles inspected.
Status: The bill was signed into law May 10, 2005, and took effect July 1.
Huntington Beach, California, on-street parking
Huntington City Council amended an existing ordinance to ban any RV more than 20 feet long from parking on city streets in residential districts.
Free permits can be obtained, in advance, from the police department for short-term parking needs such as repairs, loading/unloading, and medical reasons. The parking duration may not exceed 16 24-hour periods and no more than eight days consecutively.
Status: Council approved the ordinance in April 2005. Opponents succeeded in persuading City Council to alter early drafts of the ordinance to increase the parking duration and loosen the conditions for issuing permits.
Washington state RV taxes
Washington’s legislature convenes in January for its regular session and adjourns in March or April. On its plate during the 2005 session were several bills related to the taxation of RVs. One of the bills passed, and two apparently have stalled in committee.
SB 6103, a general transportation funding bill, implements a $75 annual fee on each motorhome license, in addition to any existing registration and licensing fees. The bill also phases in a 9½-cent increase in the general gasoline tax over four years.
Status: The governor signed SB 6103 into law on May 9, 2005, and it took effect July 24.
HB 1871 proposed that all motor vehicles, including motorhomes, be charged an annual transportation improvement fee of 1.5 cents per pound based on the empty scale weight. The fee would apply to vehicle registrations due or to become due on April 1, 2007, and thereafter.
Status: Referred to the House Transportation Committee on February 9, 2005.
SB 6016, a similar bill, was introduced in the Senate. It allows counties to impose annual vehicle fees of $20 to $30.
Status: Referred to the Rules Committee on April 24, 2005.
Normandy Park, Washington, RV parking
Early this year, Normandy Park City Council was considering an ordinance that defines permitted locations for RV parking in residential areas so that “neighborhood quality and character are maintained.”
Status: Many RV owners spoke out against the ordinance at both the January 11 and March 8, 2005, council meetings. The City Council suspended action on it indefinitely.
Requirements of the proposed ordinance, which are typical of similar ordinances around the country, include the following:
Parked RVs must not intrude into a right-of-way or access easement. They must not obstruct sight visibility from adjacent driveways, rights-of-way, or access easements. Also, they must be kept operable and in a clean, well-kept state.
Permitted RV parking locations, according to the ordinance:
in an enclosed garage;
- in the rear of a house if accessory building setbacks are followed;
- on the side of a house, but not in the side yard setback; and
- in the front of a house, but not in the front yard setback
Vehicles longer than 40 feet would be prohibited from parking in residential areas.
RVs may be parked for up to seven consecutive days for maintenance, cleaning, loading, or unloading.
Many auto manufacturers and RV manufacturers are installing event data recorders (EDRs) on their vehicles. These devices sense various conditions in and around the vehicle, such as vehicle speed before impact, brake status before impact, state of driver’s seat belt switch (on/off), and time from vehicle impact to airbag deployment.
Police and insurance agents can use the information to reconstruct events leading to a crash. Service technicians can use the information to diagnose a mechanical problem with the vehicle.
EDRs, which vary greatly in design and type, can be subpoenaed for trial purposes when an accident is being contested.
Several states have enacted, or are in the process of enacting, legislation requiring dealers to notify purchasers of vehicles equipped with these instruments at the time of sale. Consumers have the right to have the device disabled or removed if they desire.
So far, there are no standards in place concerning privacy issues with EDRs.
For more information about EDRs, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
“RV friendly” signs
The input of an FMCA member couple from Bristol, Tennessee, has sparked positive change for RVers traveling in that state.
James and Gladys Street, F226048, read about “RV friendly” signs being posted on existing roadside logo signs in Oregon and Louisiana. The signs — bright yellow circles emblazoned with the letters “RV” “” help RV travelers to locate tourist stops, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that cater to their needs. The markers indicate that maneuverability will not be a concern at those businesses.
The Streets contacted State Rep. Jason Mumpower in January 2005 and suggested implementing a similar signage program in Tennessee. Mumpower liked the idea. In February he introduced a bill that would direct the Tennessee Department of Transportation to establish “RV friendly” signs along state roadsides. In May the Tennessee General Assembly approved the measure.
In June 2004 Louisiana became the first state to pass legislation authorizing “RV friendly” icons on state highway signs. The markers were expected to appear on Louisiana highways by the end of this year.
In Oregon, an expanded trial of an RV friendly program is under way through 2006. If testing is successful, the Oregon Travel Council will request permanent status.
Legislative Updates is a periodic column compiled by FMCA’s Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee “” Max Durbin, chairman, and Todd Moning, FMCA.com Web editor. Contact the committee through FMCA’s Membership Department, (800) 543-3622; e-mail
This column tracks legislative issues facing RV owners. The information is the latest we could obtain by FMC magazine’s August issue deadline. Look for timely updates at www.fmca.com/motorhomerights.