TITLE 32
Parks and Recreational Areas

CHAPTER 32-7
Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds Act

SECTION 32-7-7


§ 32-7-7 Definitions.

The following definitions are adopted for purposes of this chapter and for use by state and local agencies. In addition to standards established by local codes and other laws of the state of Rhode Island and standards adopted by reference, the following definitions shall apply to recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds. Where differences occur between state and local definitions, this chapter shall govern:

(1) Accessory structure: A portable, deck-like structure, not attached to the camping unit (see "add-on structure"), not to exceed four hundred (400) square feet in area, set on movable, above-ground supports such as concrete blocks, and containing no plumbing or electrical fixtures.

(2) Accessory cabana: A portable room enclosure.

(3) Accessory storage: A structure located on a camping unit site that is designed and used solely for the storage and use of personal equipment and possessions of the recreational vehicle user or camper and may include storage buildings and greenhouses not exceeding one hundred twenty (120) square feet of floor area.

(4) Accessory uses: Offices, employee or operator living units, recreational facilities, grocery stores, convenience stores, gift shops, service buildings, rest rooms, dumping stations, showers, laundry facilities, storage units, and other uses and structures customarily a part of the recreational vehicle park or campground operation.

(5) Add-on structures: Nonpermanent structures attached to the principal camping unit that provide additional space or service.

(6) Approved: Acceptable by the "authority having jurisdiction".

(7) ARVC: National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). The national trade organization representing the outdoor hospitality industry.

(8) Authority having jurisdiction: The "authority having jurisdiction" is the organization, office or individual responsible for approving equipment, equipment installation, permits, or procedures.

(9) Awning: A shade structure supported by posts or columns and partially supported by the camping unit.

(10) Cabin/camping: A hard-sided tent or shelter less than four hundred (400) square feet in area that is on skid and/or wheels designed to facilitate relocation.

(11) Cabin/housekeeping: A rustic cabin providing guests with full-serviced amenities as an alternative to other forms of rental lodging.

(12) Campers: A person or persons participating in recreational vehicle use or camping.

(13) Camping unit: A portable structure, shelter, or vehicle designed and intended for occupancy by persons engaged in recreational vehicle use or camping. The basic units include: recreational vehicles, camping cabins, housekeeping cabins, tents, teepees, yurts, and other rental accommodations for enjoyment of the outdoor experience.

(14) Camping unit seal: A camping unit meeting the criteria set forth in either RVIA or RPTIA guidelines.

(15) Camping unit separation: The minimum distance between a camping unit, including its add-on structures, and an adjacent camping unit and its add-on structures.

(16) Camping unit site: A specific area within a recreational vehicle park or campground that is set aside for a camping unit.

(17) Campground: Any parcel or tract of land under the control of any person or organization, wherein two (2) or more camping unit sites are offered to the public or members of an organization for rent or lease. Campgrounds may or may not be designed to accommodate recreational vehicles.

(i) Primitive: A campground where no facilities are provided for the comfort or convenience of campers.

(ii) Semi-primitive: A campground where rudimentary facilities (privies and/or fireplaces) may be provided for the comfort and convenience of campers.

(iii) Developed: A campground, accessible by vehicular traffic, where sites are substantially developed; two (2) or more utilities, e.g.; sewer, water, electricity, etc., are provided; and refuse disposal and restrooms are available.

(18) Day use: Daytime activities within a recreational vehicle park or campground for less than a twelve-hour (12) period. (See also "Site night").

(19) Density: The number of camping unit sites on a unit of land area.

(20) Greenbelt: A strip of land, containing landscape or other aesthetic site-obscuring features, intended to buffer potentially incompatible uses. Greenbelts may include utilities and other underground facilities but not camping units.

(21) Guest: An invited visitor to a recreational vehicle park or campground.

(22) Gray Water: Discharge from fixtures, appliances, or appurtenances, in connection with a plumbing system that does not receive any fecal matter.

(23) Minimum parcel size: The minimum land area required to accommodate a recreational vehicle park or campground.

(24) Occupancy: The presence of guest(s) in a camping unit for a site night where rent is received.

(25) Operator: The owner of a recreational vehicle park or campground or his or her designee.

(26) Owner: The owner of a recreational vehicle park or campground or his or her designee.

(27) Person: Any individual, partnership, firm, company, corporation, trustee, association, or any public or private entity.

(28) Planning commission: The advisory body of a local jurisdiction that has authority to advise elected decision makers of a jurisdiction on land-use permits for recreational vehicle parks or campgrounds.

(29) Public water supply: A municipal, community, or privately owned water supply system designed to distribute water to guests within a defined geographical area.

(30) Recreation area: A specific area of land, water, or a combination of land and water, located within a recreational vehicle park or campground, and designed and intended for the use or enjoyment of guests of the recreational vehicle park or campground.

(31) Recreational vehicle: A vehicular-type camping unit, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet in area, certified by the manufacturer as complying with ANSI A119.2 or A119.5, and designed primarily as temporary living quarters for recreation that has either its own motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. The basic units are: camping trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, motor homes, park trailers, travel trailers, and truck campers.

(i) Camping trailer: A recreational vehicle, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet in area, that is mounted on wheels and constructed with collapsible partial side walls that fold for towing by another vehicle and unfold for use.

(ii) Fifth wheel trailer: A recreational vehicle, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet in area, designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle that contains a towing mechanism that is mounted above or forward of the tow vehicle's rear axle.

(iii) Motor Home: A recreational vehicle, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet in area, built on or permanently attached to a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis cab or van that is an integral part of the completed vehicle.

(iv) Park trailer: A recreational vehicle that meets the following criteria:

(A) Built on a single chassis mounted on wheels; and

(B) Certified by the manufacturer as complying with ANSI A119.5.

(v) Travel trailer: A recreational vehicle, not exceeding four hundred (400) square feet in area, designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle containing a towing mechanism that is mounted behind the tow vehicle's bumper.

(vi) Truck camper: A recreational vehicle consisting of a roof, floor, and sides designed to be loaded onto and unloaded from the back of a pickup truck.

(32) Recreational vehicle/dependent: A recreational vehicle not containing sanitary facilities and/or devices for connecting such facilities to a community waste disposal system.

(33) Recreational vehicle/independent: A recreational vehicle containing sanitary facilities and devices for connecting such facilities to a community waste disposal system. This type of recreational vehicle is also referred to as a self-contained, recreational vehicle.

(34) Recreational vehicle/gross trailer area: The total plan area of the recreational vehicle, not to exceed four hundred (400) square feet (HUD Interpretive Bulletin 3282.8). Storage lofts contained within the basic unit that have ceiling heights less than five (5) feet at the peak of the roof do not constitute additional square footage.

(35) Recreational vehicle park: Any parcel or tract of land under the control of any person or organization, wherein two (2) or more camping unit sites are offered to the public or members of an organization for rent or lease, including park-owned recreational vehicles held out for rent. Recreational vehicle parks are designed primarily to accommodate recreational vehicles (See also "Campground").

(i) Ownership/membership and specialty: A recreational vehicle park or campground that is opened to members or owners only or where the sites are individually owned. This category also includes recreational vehicle parks or campgrounds that are owned by, or cater to, specific audiences such as religious groups, square dancers, and clothing optional clubs.

(ii) Destination: A recreational vehicle park or campground containing facilities (e.g., swimming pools, restaurants, golf courses, formal recreational programs, etc.) and catering to recreational vehicle users or campers who typically travel extended distances to stay for extended periods.

(iii) Extended stay: A recreational vehicle park or campground that provides extended stay, full-time, and seasonal accommodations, rather than short-term accommodations.

(iv) Senior adult: A recreational vehicle park or campground for the exclusive use of senior individuals, fifty-five (55) years of age or older, that complies with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Act.

(v) Traveler: A recreational vehicle park or campground where recreational vehicle users and campers stay for a day or a week, as an alternative to other types of lodging, while traveling or vacationing or enjoying the local attractions within a given area.

(36) Rent: Compensation or other consideration given for a prescribed right, use, possession, or occupancy of recreational vehicle park or campground, as defined by the operator.

(37) Rental on-site: A camping unit placed within a recreational vehicle park or campground that is available for rental to guests.

(38) Recreational vehicle users: Individuals who use recreational vehicles, including, but not limited to, the following categories:

(i) Daily/overnight: Recreational vehicle users and campers who stay for a day or a week, as an alternative to other types of lodging. Typically travelers, visitors, or tourists enjoying local attractions in a given area.

(ii) Extended stay: Recreational vehicle users and campers who stay in a given recreational vehicle park or campground for an extended period of time. The term "extended stay" generally describes the following groups:

(A) Individuals who choose a recreationally centered lifestyle and who stay in a specific location for a traditional season (see seasonals, snowbirds, and sunbirds).

(B) Individuals who choose a recreational vehicle as interim lodging, while transferring to a new locality or awaiting construction of conventional housing.

(C) Individuals who relocate frequently for employment purposes, and choose a recreational vehicle as lodging.

(D) Individuals who choose a recreational vehicle as a housing alternative for extended periods of time.

(iii) Full-time: Individuals who opt, because of recreational and/or economic benefits, to use their recreational vehicle as their only or primary residence.

(iv) Seasonal: Individuals who typically leave their recreational vehicle at a specific recreational vehicle park or campground for a season and occupy their recreational vehicles from time to time during that season.

(39) Sanitary disposal station: A facility for the emptying of the waste-holding tanks of recreational vehicles.

(40) Service building: A structure or portion thereof that is used to house sanitary facilities, such as water closets, lavatories, and other facilities, for the convenience of the recreational vehicle park or campground guest.

(41) Sewage: Any liquid waste containing animal or vegetable matter suspension or solution, or the water-carried wastes resulting from the discharge of water closets, or any other source of water-carried waste of human origin containing putrescible material.

(42) Shall: Indicates a mandatory requirement.

(43) Should: Indicates a recommendation, not a requirement.

(44) Site: That portion of a recreational vehicle park or campground specifically intended for the use of one camping unit.

(45) Site night: The equivalent of one camping unit occupying one site for one overnight stay whether occupied or not.

(46) Slideout: An extended portion of a recreational vehicle that exceeds the allowable dimensions in the traveling mode.

(47) Utility connection assembly: A single hookup assembly located on the site and containing connections for any or all of the following: water, sewer, electrical power, phone, or television.

(48) Watering station: A facility for supplying potable water to recreational vehicle users and campers.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 275, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 304, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 363, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 511, art. 2, § 56.)