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 1993,1997, 2005, and again in 2009 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 45 page Standard are available from:
Pacific West Associates, Inc.,
P.O. Box 40140, Casper, Wyoming,
Manufacturers Build To This Standard
Pacific West Associates, Inc. is an appointed third party inspection agency qualified either by being appointed by two or more state agencies of government to conduct A119.5 Standards inspections or has demonstrated 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 Pacific West Associates, Inc.. To assist the industry with continuity, PWA 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 from
Pacific West Associates, Inc..
P.O. Box 40140,
Casper, Wyoming, 82604