As a condition of RV Industry Association membership, effective January 1, 2021, all newly manufactured RVs will be required to have a label stating the overall length of the unit. This new provision was approved last week during the RV Industry Association Board of Director’s meeting.

The inclusion of a clearly-labeled length measurement on every unit will better improve a consumer’s ability to quickly determine the RV’s size during the purchase process and alleviate a potential source of consumer confusion.

The new policy states that overall length of recreational vehicles must be printed in English with a minimum font size of 3/32 inches high and be printed in black print on a contrasting background and must be placed immediately adjacent to the Occupant or Cargo Carry Capacity labels on the RV. The label must read: “Recreational vehicle overall length ­­­­______ as manufactured.”

The standardized method used to determine RV length will vary by unit type:

  • Travel Trailers: Length is measured from the leading front edge of the hitch coupler to the rear most extremity of the trailer, bumper or rear wall/rear cap if not equipped or installed with a bumper
  • Fifth Wheel Trailers: Length is measured from the leading front edge of the pin box or extreme front of the front profile, whichever is further forward, to the rear most extremity of the trailer, bumper or rear wall/rear cap if not equipped or installed with a bumper
  • Motorhomes: Length is measured from the extreme front profile to the extreme rear of the bumper or rear wall profile, if not equipped or installed with a bumper

The RV length measurement shall exclude RV appurtenances as defined by the RV manufacturer including but not limited to:

  • Safety-related equipment (signal lamps, clearance lamps, identification lamps, warning lights, appliance vents and vent hoods)
  • Door latches and hinges
  • Entry and exit handholds
  • Exterior ladders
  • Spare tires and spare tire brackets/carriers
  • Bumper mount outside cooking appliances
  • Combustion engine exhaust pipe termination(s)
  • Hitch or cargo accessory receivers
  • Equipment used to secure cargo

RV manufacturers are individually responsible for conformance to various state road use laws for vehicle size to determine dimensional requirements of the applicable jurisdictions where RVs will be shipped to the first point of delivery.

Starting in 2021, the measurement and labeling of RV length will be incorporated into the RV Industry Association inspection process and treated as a “Type B” deviation.