ALERT: Does your state require permit to alter? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-16-2014, 08:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LindaK View Post
There are many RVs, new and old, that should not be on the road.
Not just RVs, but lots of other vehicles too.

But, what you say here is very true. All the systems in RVs, whether propane or electrical, have been proven to be safe, if properly installed and maintained appliances, piping and cabling are used. I too have seen a lot of jury rigged fixes, many meant to be temporary but never properly rectified, and left to be a permanent fix, often made with inadequate methods.

I think it would not be a bad idea if RVs were required to meet certain code requirements after repairs or modifications have been done, no different than when newly manufactured. Maybe a mandatory test every few years, or even random roadside inspections should be performed. I know they set up here every now and then to do roadside checks of other vehicles, especially bigger trucks, and it is amazing how many infractions they find.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:38 AM   #30
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Not just RVs, but lots of other vehicles too.

But, what you say here is very true. All the systems in RVs, whether propane or electrical, have been proven to be safe, if properly installed and maintained appliances, piping and cabling are used. I too have seen a lot of jury rigged fixes, many meant to be temporary but never properly rectified, and left to be a permanent fix, often made with inadequate methods.

I think it would not be a bad idea if RVs were required to meet certain code requirements after repairs or modifications have been done, no different than when newly manufactured. Maybe a mandatory test every few years, or even random roadside inspections should be performed. I know they set up here every now and then to do roadside checks of other vehicles, especially bigger trucks, and it is amazing how many infractions they find.
Is there any evidence that there is a problem large enough to justify another government bureaucracy and fee schedule?
I don't think so.

I bought my camper to get away from bureaucrats and relax.
I would rather have it invaded by a hoard of rude, mooching, boorish, cigar smoking, flatulent, incontinent alcoholics with halitosis and slobbering pets which have not been housebroken.
Wait a minute... how would I tell the difference?

Oh I know... Its the PAPERWORK!.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:16 AM   #31
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Good one Floyd, my chuckle for the day.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:23 PM   #32
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Smile Thank you one and all

I guess I found a 'sore spot' and got lots of comments on this thread.

I am conflicted as to 'inspections'. Our house was 'inspected' for correct insulation installation yet there is a 3 foot section in one corner of our family room that has no insulation what so ever.

Then there is the insurance aspect. I understand if a homeowner does some electrical work in his house and a fire results that can be blamed on his work, insurance companies have been known to deny payment because of 'unauthorized work.'

RV's have a special problem in that they move and this puts strain on all components. Screws back out, fittings loosen, etc.

Strangely enough, Washington licensed our trailer without an inspection of any kind.

Y'all be safe out there.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:47 PM   #33
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I visited a Washington L&I office late last week and it appears that they are about as serious as a heart attack in insisting that permits be pulled, plans laid out and inspections be performed on most work done on "Factory Built Structures", which includes almost all sizes and shapes of motorhomes and trailers.

They were mum on actual enforcement, but suggested that if I wanted to work on RV's at my house, that it would be difficult to do much that didn't require a permit and, that failing to do so, could get very expensive for moi.

Using current charts provided, typical fees for installing a hot water system in a SCAMP, including a new water heater, lp & water plumbing, pump and faucets could exceed $180 for permits and inspection and, if you have to submit a plan for review before starting, that's another $166. Just installing a replacement lp water heater is $141.00

Can't see anything else to add to this discussion.....
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:32 PM   #34
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I think this is much ado about nothing. Laws on the books but nobody to care about or enforce them.

Modify your RV as you please, use some common sense and be done with it. Voluntarily subjecting yourself to getting permits and inspections is just stupid and you'll regret it.

Don't feel comfortable fixing a leaky pipe? Then don't do it! Take it to Camping World and pay to have them fix it.

Your first mods should be carbon monoxide detector and fire detector. Hopefully your sticky tape is sanctioned by the good bureaucrats in WA.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:52 PM   #35
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Thank god kansas has some sanity left. My '84 scamp would have cost me $10,000 in permits in Washington.


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Old 10-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #36
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Call me crazy, but I blame the need for all these permits on the Tiny Home Movement. How many website are saying something like... build your tiny home on a frame and tow it down the road? OMG, shingles flying off and fireplace bricks crashing down. These folks are sharing the roads with the rest of us.

Laws are put in place to provide a level of punishment. No law... no crime, no consequences.

You own an all molded towable and want to replace the toilet? That's totally different than someone building a shack and they want to move it down the road a couple hundred miles.

Truly, these rules are not about YOU.. it's about THEM.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:18 PM   #37
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Thank god kansas has some sanity left. My '84 scamp would have cost me $10,000 in permits in Washington.


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Yep. There are some places left in the USA where common sense still exists.


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Old 10-26-2014, 06:01 PM   #38
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Cool Some Answers

I talked to a person with the Iowa State Government. He says Iowa does not have such a thing.
I contacted Gary Bunzer the RVDoctor and he said it used to be more prevalent and called them "Code States." He also stated that he thinks that there are about 4 or 5 Code States left, and that it was intended for manufacturers.
I happened upon it while looking for something else in the Washington State website and was surprised to learn it even existed. Not knowing the extent, I started this thread to alert FGRVer's.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:43 PM   #39
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Most building codes have a good reason behind them, placement of outlets, running of wire, number of connections per cubic inch of junction box.

Footings for deck do need to be below frost line to prevent frost heave. Having manufactures or professionals held to codes is probably a good thing. Any DIY work should probably also follow code or best practices, which makes it an individual responsibility to do so.

Inspectors to enforce those codes can be a good thing. Brother in law is an inspector in Fla. a couple of times he has been thanked on construction jobs for preventing serious future problems. Too much electrical and AC units in small space with too little ventilation, or the main concrete supports for an elevated home having trenches cut in the surface to hide electrical conduit. The first would have generated enough heat to ruin the equipment for sure and possibly start a fire, in the second case the strength of concrete column is in the edges, engineer was hired and said electrician that made all those cuts had taken about 40% of the strength holding up the center of the house. Adding support now was cheaper than after the house fell down in a hurricane.

On the other hand having to file a site plan to build a 10x12 shed on over an acre of land, then pay for permit, then inspections as if one was building a house? I would be fine with a small fee, say $25 for them to come out and determine shed location is properly set back from the property line and anchored well enough that it will not blow into the neighbors yard (even if I owe him for his unsecured trampoline blowing into my fence and breaking a post).

If my shed gets frost heave and leans it's my problem, if you buy the house I doubt you will value the shed much if the floor is buckled and leaning. Same for the deck or my basement office outlets. Most people pay for a house inspection before purchase. If they want to know how deep the footings are they can take my word for it, or there is a shovel in that shed, dig and look for yourself.

When it comes to buying a camper, buyer beware do your own inspections or hire it done. Because I will repair, replace, and modify as I see fit. I think I do pretty good safe work. But who knows I may have misunderstood the YouTube video that taught me everything I know about how the whole propane system works.

Depending on a system of "inspections" that can be easily bypassed would be foolish. I did hear that Ann Arbor now requires the building inspector to check houses being sold for alterations that don't have permits... mostly so the fees can be charged would be my guess.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:06 PM   #40
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I did hear that Ann Arbor now requires the building inspector to check houses being sold for alterations that don't have permits... mostly so the fees can be charged would be my guess.
It pretty common practise these days for home buyers to hire an independent home inspector as one of the conditions of the purchase offer. It is also pretty standard practise of the home inspector to check with the local government as to what if any permits have ever been taken out on the home. Its to protect the purchaser! Here you can just go on line punch in the address of the home you are interested in and see what if any permits have ever been taken out on the home.

So if you are putting in an offer on an older home with shiny new bathroom or kitchen and the sales agent tells you the kitchen or bathroom was completely gutted and redone or perhaps its got a new gas furnace etc etc Then you go on line and see that there were no permits taken out for any electrical or furnace install etc... buyer beware!!
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:39 PM   #41
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I think purchaser driven inspection is different than Ann Arbor, there you have to get the inspectors to inspect and sign off that no permit requiring modifications have been done, or pay all the fees and have all the inspections to get the sign off. Can't sell without that "approval".

Replacement in kind does not generally require permits. Moving electrical, plumbing, or structural changes would. Can put in new gas furnace or replace kitchen cupboards, counter, sink, flooring etc. without one. Running a new gas line for the furnace? eh that gets a little bit iffy. I do look for signs of "new" work when purchasing a house. It can in a general sense tell me a lot about the quality of work I can't see.

I generally go with what I figure works best for me. Added a vestibule to the front of my home, pulled permit. Partly as insurance that I did not screw something up with tying into the existing house and partly because our road led to the twp. offices so chances of having it go unnoticed was pretty low.

Ran 220 electric service to the garage no permit, but then I know a couple of electricians to draw on for advice and have done that sort of work. There was also no way I could screw it up as badly as the existing electrical. Not sure which was worse the way they had just hung wires from the rafters or the place where the wood stove chimney had burned off the insulation from the romex. Purchaser of the house had a brother who is a builder, he inspected thoroughly. No issues.

When it comes to campers I would be most concerned about a camper being flipped (unless I knew the owner to have a solid FGRV reputation) lot more incentive to do the work in a more slipshod manner if not doing it for ones own use but just to get it done so a sale can be made.

Not sure any inspection or permit rules or regulations can effectively replace doing your own due diligence. I hire a professional for home inspections but I'm not afraid to ask questions or check things myself either.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:07 PM   #42
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I did hear that Ann Arbor now requires the building inspector to check houses being sold for alterations that don't have permits... mostly so the fees can be charged would be my guess.
I lived in a MI town 20 years ago that sent the tax assessor around to see if he could spot any improvements that could be used to raise the value of your home. They would then raise your taxes. He went around during working hours knocking on doors, and if no one answered, would look in any windows he could access! He got caught by neighbors and the practice was finally banned.

In the same town, city employees would knock on doors and if dogs barked, the address would be checked to make sure the folks had their dogs licensed.

I don't mind pulling a permit for major renovations or repairs on a home, but travel trailers? Give 'em an inch....

Tom
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