The RVIA Seal
As you shop for the right vehicle, make sure you look for the oval-shaped Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) seal. RVIA is a national association representing RV manufacturers and parts suppliers who together produce more than 95% of all RVs manufactured in the United States.
As members of RVIA, manufacturers who display the seal must self-certify compliance with more than 500 safety specifications for electrical, plumbing, heating, fire and life safety established under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for Recreational Vehicles. Manufacturers are subject to periodic, unannounced plant inspections by RVIA representatives to audit their compliance. Members who fail to maintain an acceptable level of compliance can be expelled from the Association, which prohibits them from displaying the RVIA seal on their products.
RVIA members display gold and black seals on motorhomes, silver and black seals on fifth-wheel and other travel trailers, and white and black seals on truck campers and folding camping trailers.
As another condition of RVIA membership, motorhome and trailer manufacturers must post a weight label in a conspicuous location in the vehicle’s interior. Shoppers should locate these labels for information vital to safe operation of the vehicle. The label lists weights and ratings, including the unit’s gross and unloaded weight ratings, as well as carrying capacity. The label will enable you to determine how much weight it can safely transport, including dealer-installed accessories, fuel and other engine fluids, LP gas, fresh water, passengers (for motorized RVs) and personal belongings.
Consult the vehicle owner’s manual for other valuable weight information as well as data on proper weight distribution, how to weigh the vehicle and towing guidelines.