PACIFIC WEST ASSOCIATES, INC.
DESIGN APPROVAL AGENCY
QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTION AGENCY
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
FORENSIC INVESTIGATION AGENCY
PACIFIC WEST ASSOCIATES, INC. (PWA) is a consulting engineering firm providing specialized Engineering services in Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering for Architectural and facility/product applications. PWA’s clients include Architects, Contractors, Developers, Owners, Facility Managers, Real Estate Professionals, Recreational Vehicle Manufactures, Tiny House Manufacturers, Park Trailer Manufacturers, Commercial Modular Manufacturers, Pre-Cast Concrete, Special Purpose Commercial Modular Manufacturers, Manufactured Home/Multi Unit Manufactured Home Manufacturers, Private Homeowners and others involved with both public and private facilities. PWA’s capabilities include the full range of structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering services. PWA has extensive experience in the analysis and design of many different structural, mechanical, and electrical systems including both pre-cast and cast-in-place concrete, structural steel, masonry, and engineered wood design.
PACIFIC WEST ASSOCIATES, INC. works closely with its clients, Architects and other engineering consultants as well as various state entities to coordinate and develop innovative, practical and economical engineering solutions. The professional staff at PWA has both the training and experience to provide superior technical resources in order to meet the client’s needs. PWA also believes that close and constant communication is critical to the success of any project. Project communication can take any one of the following forms: hard copy or facsimile (FAX) correspondence, overnight letter or package delivery, telephone conference calls, electronic file transfer or, the most important form of good communication, the “old fashioned” face-to-face meeting.
PACIFIC WEST ASSOCIATES, INC. has been involved in a wide range of project types. The firm and its professional staff have provided certified inspection and product design review to the Tiny Home, Recreational Park Trailer, and Recreational Vehicle field in both the public and private sectors. In addition, PWA has a strong background in the investigation by Forensic Engineering of both catastrophic and non-catastrophic incidents involving Recreational Vehicles and similar product. This experience in both recognized and specialized engineering practices strengthens PWA’s technical skills. Maintaining certification as an approved inspection and design approval agency to the recreational vehicle industry is one of the areas where PWA has excelled by becoming one of the fastest growing companies in this area of expertise. Our recreational vehicle clientele range geographically from coast to coast as well as Canada, Australia and Japan.
What Are Park Trailers
Park Trailers are recreation vehicles primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreation, camping or seasonal use. Additionally, Park Model Trailers are sometimes used as on-site offices for a variety of industries. They are built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels and have a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set-up mode. (Exceeding 400 square feet would categorize the product as a Manufactured Home and as such would require compliance to HUD Standards). Each Park Trailer is certified by the manufacturer as complying with ANSI A119.5. Two different types of Park Trailers are offered. One type is less than 8' 6" in width and is designed for frequent travel on the highways while the other and more popular type is wider than 8' 6" (usually 12' in width), and must be transported with special movement permits from the state highway department. The 8' 6" unit typically is expandable when it reaches its destination utilizing slide-outs or tip-outs. The wider units, being less mobile, are usually sited in a resort or RV park location for an extended term, typically several years.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a nonprofit association which establishes procedures and guidelines to create recognized minimum safety standards for products used by both consumers and industry. ANSI sanctions standards that have been created following rigid consensus procedures which allow all affected entities to have a voice in the development process. Among the critical issues reviewed by ANSI is the make-up of the committee empowered to establish or revise the Standard. All segments must be represented and no specific interest group can be in a position to dictate the outcome.
A Standards making committee for Park Trailers has existed since 1980, and the canvass method was utilized to create the first safety Standard in late 1981. The Standard and the process that was used to establish it were submitted to and sanctioned by ANSI in March of 1982 and was then identified as ANSI - A119.5 Standard for Park Trailers.
The Standard covers over 500 individual safety related requirements that must be complied with in the production and/or repair of Park Trailers. The A119.5 Standard was revised, using the canvass method, in 1988. Subsequent canvass method reviews also occurred in 1993 and again in 1997 when the current version was created. The requirements found in this Standard (either directly or by reference) include sections covering electrical, plumbing, structural, heating & AC, fire, and life safety issues.
Copies of this 30 page Standard are available for $25.00, including postage and handling, from the RPTIA 30 Greenville Street - 2nd Floor, Newnan, Georgia 30263 (770)-251-2672.
Manufacturers Build To This Standard
RPTIA has appointed a number of third party inspection agencies who have been qualified either by being appointed by two or more state agencies of government to conduct A119.5 Standards inspections or can demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements (stipulated by the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard E-541) for a third party agency. Manufacturers must appoint an RPTIA approved agency which will then conduct unannounced in-plant inspections that will take place at least once every 90 days. All products on location destined for shipment and resale in the United States shall be inspected for compliance.
State Mandated A119.5 Standards Inspections
Twelve agencies of state government also hold enforcement powers over the Park Trailers sold or produced in their state and verify compliance with the A119.5 Standard. These states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.
Uniform Interpretations And New Technology
Keeping the Standard up to date and insuring that the inspections and enforcement procedures are uniform in their application are two of the primary missions of the Association. To assist the industry with continuity, the Association publishes and updates A Handbook for the A119.5 Standard which covers any and all interpretations and gives the details on how the Standard shall be applied.
The maintenance of the handbook is based upon a consensus of interpretations from the various inspecting organizations, both governmental and third party. The A119.5 Handbook also provides guidance to the builders, suppliers and repair firms. Copies of the handbook and the first year's subscription to an updating service are available for $82.50 including postage and handling, from the RPTIA 30 Greenville Street - 2nd Floor, Newnan, Georgia 30263 (770)-251-2672.
Highlights From The A119.5 Park Trailer Standard
Life Safety Requirements as required by the A119.5 Standard.
Interior finish and flame limitations not to exceed 200 when tested in accordance with the NFPA 255 Standard Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials.
Exit Facilities to provide two exits remote from each other and unobstructed.
Fire Detection Equipment to consist of listed smoke detector/alarm.
Listed fire extinguishers are required.
Listed LP-Gas detectors are required.
Electrical Requirements as specified in Article 552 and other applicable sections of NFPA 70, of the National Electrical Code.
Ground fault protected receptacles are specified where they are appropriate.
Only approved electrical fixtures, appliances, equipment and materials as have been labeled by nationally recognized testing agencies are allowed.
Voltage tests must be performed on the completed Park Trailer to determine that the electrical system is adequately insulated and without short circuits.
Plumbing Systems, their fixtures, materials and equipment must be approved and display the insignia or label of approval by a testing agency such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)
Water supply lines must be sized according to the length of the line to assure an adequate flow rate to each fixture.
Venting and traps - designated fixtures and drains are required to have a trap that is vented to prevent the buildup of back pressure or vacuums which could overcome the trap's water or mechanical seal.
Testing - Each plumbing system must be tested following final assembly to insure that proper drainage and a leak-free performance is achieved.
(LP Gas) Heating requirements are intended to minimize any hazard of leakage which could cause a fire, asphyxiation or explosion.
Venting requirements are specified where necessary.
Gas piping sizes are required to insure a gas supply that provides for proper appliance performance.
80% stop fill devices are required on all permanently installed LP gas containers.
Gas line routing and accessibility - all joints in gas lines must be accessible for periodic leak testing and repair. Lines may not be installed in spaces where a nail or screw could pierce the line.
Appliances must be listed and labeled by a nationally recognized testing agency such as the American Gas Association (AGA) which has found the product to be suitable for its intended use.
Sealed combustion must be provided for all LP gas appliances, except for gas ranges, to provide for a complete separation of the combustion chamber from the interior atmosphere of the vehicle. Testing - each system must be tested upon final assembly to determine proper leak-free performance.
Construction Requirements, were introduced as a new section in the 1998 and subsequent versions of the A119.5 Standard.
These requirements are applicable only to Park Trailers that exceed 8' 6" in width, units that are intended for placement on a specific site for long term occupancy, not frequent highway travel.
• Roofs must meet a minimum of 20 pounds live load per square foot and floors must meet a minimum of 30 pounds live load per square foot or... Structural materials and fastening devices as specified shall be of specific sizes and meet listed requirements when used in a particular application.
• Anchorage recommendations must be specified (Applies to all Park Trailers).