RV Specific Franchise Bill Passes in Washington State

Mar 5, 2024

On February 29, 2024, the Washington State Senate unanimously passed legislation (HB 1996) to create an RV-specific franchise law which governs the manufacturer-dealer relationship for towable RVs, similar to the legislation recently passed in Wisconsin. The bill now heads to Washington Governor Jay Inslee for his signature. Passage of the bill was possible thanks to the leadership by Washington State Representatives Eric Robertson (R-Sumner), Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles), and Jenny Graham (R-Spokane).

“The legislation’s bipartisan sponsorship and support aided its unanimous passage in the House of Representative a few weeks ago,” says Rep. Robertson, a long-time RV champion and the recipient of the RV Industry Association’s 2023 National Legislative Award. “I was pleased to watch my colleagues in the Senate pass this important legislation, which provides a framework for these manufacturer-dealer agreements and protections for manufacturers, dealers, and consumers. As an RV owner, I appreciate the industry coming together to present and support this model policy for adoption in Washington state.”  

A product of negotiation between the RV Industry Association and RV dealers in Washington, both of whom strongly support its approval, as well as the Washington State Auto Dealers Association, this legislation creates a system that better reflects the relationship between RV manufacturers and dealers. 

Over the years, the RV industry has worked to establish exemptions from parts of the automobile franchise law because many provisions do not pertain to the RV industry or are handled differently by RV manufacturers and dealers than by the automobile industry. As an extension of these efforts, the RV Industry Association advocated for an RV-specific franchise law to place the manufacturer-dealer relationship for towable RVs in a separate chapter of law, creating more clarity for RV business and consumers. 

“Passage of this legislation will strengthen the towable segment of the RV industry in Washington, benefitting consumers, manufacturers, and dealers alike,” said Mike Ochs, RV Industry Association Director of State Affairs, during his testimony on the bill. “The leadership and passion shown by Rep. Robertson and his cosponsors for the RV industry will ensure that consumers benefit from this better relationship between RV manufacturers and dealers The legislation will streamline warranty matters, pre-delivery inspection, and other issues and consumers will also benefit from knowing that the dealer who sold them an RV will continue carrying those brands.”

Ochs testified in support of the bill on January 17th in the Washington House Consumer Protection and Business Committee and on February 20th before the Washington Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

For questions on this legislation, please contact Director of State Government Affairs Mike Ochs at mochs@rvia.org.