Parks requiring RVIA?

Mingo

New member
I'm debating whether to build my own composite truck camper or pick up a northern lite. There's not any floor plans on pre-built units that I've seen so far that accommodates our family of 4 very well (2 adults and 2 kids under 10).
During one of my visits to a dealership in California, the sales person told me some national parks don't allow campers without RVIA stickers. Has anyone heard of this? From what I understand, only a handful of truck camper manufactures are RVIA members.

We also plan on going to Canada, and was wondering if we need CSA to be able to drive into Canada to camp.

Have any of you ran into issue for not having RVIA certified truck campers?
 

oldnslow

Observer
I have never had anybody look at my RVIA tag in the 15 years I've had an official RV. Before that I used a truck with topper. Never had an issue with that, either.
 

Mingo

New member
Thanks a ton for the response. I called a few other camper stores and they've never heard of that either. So I think it was a shady sales tactic.
 

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AbleGuy

Too Much Fun Club, founder
I’m trying not to laugh too hard, as I think about this incredibly lame attempt of a commission hungry salesperson trying to disabuse you of the notion to build your own rig!

For 13 years my sweetheart and I traveled all over the western US and Canada, hitting as many national and provincial parks as possible....while carrying a homemade, customized pickup truck camper on our 4x4. No one ever questioned us about its provenance or denied us entry!

If you do start your own build, please consider sharing your design with the rest of us.
 

Mingo

New member
Thanks a ton for the feedback. It gets frustrating to talk to sales people like that.

I’ve already CAD up numerous designs from flat bed hard side, to hard side pop up and regular slide in rear entry. It all looks interesting on paper, but I think i’ll have to build a life size mock up in the backyard and have the wife and kids play house in it to see what works best for us. Was also thinking of using versatie tracks and make the interior modular for the final build. That way the layout can grow with the kids. Here’s a few examples of what I’m hoping to build. Still going back and forth about whether I want to do a hard side lift top or just a standard hard side for the reliability. I have a good amount of experience with composites.
 

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vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
As hard as it is to believe there are some commercial campgrounds out there that now limit RV's based upon unit age (10 years old or less) and/or having an RVIA sticker for whatever that's worth (Nothing).

There reasoning behind or explanation for this rule is for the safety of the campers and the campground. Bullschidt! I find this laughable as one of the biggest safety issues at commercial campgrounds is the electrical wiring issues with campsite electrical pedestals that have little to no maintenance or even worse are incorrectly wired that can cause the deadly condition of a "Hot Skin" condition on a RV.

In my mind the liability issue of an older RV or an RV without an RVIA sticker pales in comparison to the liability a campground faces for incorrectly wired or poorly maintained campground electrical system.
 

workerdrone

Fulltimer
I've stayed with 15-40 year old campers in quite a few parks that supposedly have the under 10 years old rule. Never had an issue in person once they see that the rig is well maintained and, I guess, we look like nice responsible people LOL.

It's just a convenient excuse for them to deny anyone they are prejudiced against. Or maybe vintage Airstreams are the exception to the old camper rule
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
If arbitrary rules and age limits aren't applied to cheaply built RVs how is anyone going to get you to keep buying new cheaply built RVs? The justification for age may be a thin correlation to how poorly they look after just a few years. In a commercial campground where you pile into a mobile home and the idea of "outside" is watching TV under an awning I guess looking at a shoddy neighbor might be offensive.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
I've never seen in enforced, but the state parks fine print does mention that campers that are slept or cooked in have to be certified. But as detailed as your drawing is, it's a pretty safe bet you'd pass anyways. It's $180 IIRC.

I wouldn't bother with it. Nobody is going to look twice at a well built camper. Something shed-like, could be an issue.
 

Mingo

New member
Thanks for the reply all. I guess the best thing to do if I do end up building is to document everything well enough (which I would anyways as I love build journals) and get it certified. Last thing I want is to be turned away around due to enforcement when I’m camping my wife and kids. I’d imagine it would take a couple camper fires before they start wanting to enforce as it would prohibit much of their clientele to camp.
 

weissbrewer

Observer
Thanks a ton for the feedback. It gets frustrating to talk to sales people like that.

I’ve already CAD up numerous designs from flat bed hard side, to hard side pop up and regular slide in rear entry. It all looks interesting on paper, but I think i’ll have to build a life size mock up in the backyard and have the wife and kids play house in it to see what works best for us. Was also thinking of using versatie tracks and make the interior modular for the final build. That way the layout can grow with the kids. Here’s a few examples of what I’m hoping to build. Still going back and forth about whether I want to do a hard side lift top or just a standard hard side for the reliability. I have a good amount of experience with composites.
That layout is the perfect design in my opinion i wish cirrus would build it (i love the Alde Heat system and their campers perform well in cold) because it offers the ability to make a pass through to the camper using a freezer window and a boot, you would be landing on the couch converted into a bed .....
 

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Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Heck yeah!

I used to have a stock pile of visual inspection stickers for scuba tanks. Just googled the name of some shop in Etheropia without a phone, and printed them out.
 

Mingo

New member
That layout is the perfect design in my opinion i wish cirrus would build it (i love the Alde Heat system and their campers perform well in cold) because it offers the ability to make a pass through to the camper using a freezer window and a boot, you would be landing on the couch converted into a bed .....
Thanks a ton for the comment. I was playing with the idea of having the dinette in the back with side entry for a panoramic view. But having the dinette in the front lets me put a 100gal fresh tank under the bench. Rear entries really does help maximize the space. And I don’t think it’s too hard to step over the kids at night to get to the bathroom from the cabover. It also lets us use the cabover as a hangout spot for the kids and still be a part of the living area. I like how northernlite’s floor plan has the dinette in the front, the cabover really makes the space feel a lot bigger. I do want to make the bathroom walls pony walls with double stitched curtains that can slide away when not in use to make the space feel bigger. Still far off from starting the build. I was also thinking of doing a tilting wall to open up one side of the camper to invite the outside in. I was also thinking of possibiling adding a hatch in the cabover so we can crawl in from the sunroof of the truck.
 
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