Building Code Division (BCD) recently introduced a new rule aimed at clarifying the difference between a recreational vehicle and a building regulated by the building code.
The rule, known as “Recreational Vehicle Safety and Construction Standards Changes”, adopts current national editions of minimum safety standards for the construction of traditional recreational vehicles, clarifies the types of recreational vehicles regulated by the division, allows additional options for plan review, and clarifies the requirements for the manufacture, sale, lease or rent of recreational vehicles in Oregon.
The changes were developed because of confusion as to when a building is to be considered a temporarily occupied recreational vehicle and when it falls under the requirements of the building code. Many recreational vehicles can be designed to look like a regular house, such as is common with the so called “Park models.” The rule change will allow the local community to regulate when temporary structures can be occupied and when building permits will be required for those that are deemed to not be temporary.
The rule change eliminates the need for makers of these units from getting both state and local approval before they are placed on site. It also eliminates unique Oregon requirements for recreational vehicles that are wood sided and adopts national standards for their construction.
Units that are not allowed by the local community as temporary dwelling units will need to comply with the state building codes, including being constructed by licensed trades persons and inspected to the standards of the Oregon Residential Structures Code. This should stop units designed as temporary vacation units which are not built to the standards of the building code from being set up and used for long term occupancy.