What is RV Certification? Why do I want it?
An "RV certificate" is an inspection document that states a vehicle conforms to NFPA 1192 safety standards and qualifies as a "manufactured" RV.
Most insurers and banks rightfully refuse to insure or finance potentially dangerous home-built vehicles. Having an RV certificate can open the door to low-interest RV financing, RV insurance with many providers, and even access to discriminating campgrounds and RV parks.
The Safety Standard - NFPA 1192
In 1970, several RV industry associations worked with the National Fire Prevention Association to create the NFPA 1192 or "NFPA 1192 - Standard on Recreational Vehicles."
The NFPA 1192 describes the proper installation of life safety, heating, electrical, plumbing, and gas systems in RVs, Trailers, and Motorhomes.
The RVIA Seal - Barking for Fish
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) markets its certification sticker as the "RVIA Seal," which it only issues to member manufacturers:
In addition to following NFPA 1192 guidelines, RVIA manufacturers must pay high membership dues, own a dedicated manufacturing facility, provide a state vehicle manufacturing license, and submit to four random in-person facility inspections per year. These rules make it impossible for a DIY builder or small manufacturer to obtain a seal from RVIA- which is exactly what the RVIA intends:
"The association works with federal and state lawmakers and regulators to pursue a favorable business environment for its members..."
The RVIA has no interest in giving seals to people who are building competing products. If you're not an RVIA member, you can't get an RVIA Seal. No seal, no fish for you!
Good news: the RVIA isn't the only place issuing certificate seals!
Get Your RV Certificate from NOAH Certified
Thankfully for DIY Vanners and small manufacturers, an independent organization has emerged to help small builders earn their own NFPA 1192 certification seal without all of the extra rules: NOAH Certified Remote Digital Inspections.
NOAH can issue seals and certificates to any business or DIY individual who builds a vehicle based on the rules of the NFPA 1192.
You can certify as you build, or certify an already completed build (subject to compliance corrections.)
Earning a certification is simple and everything is done remotely- you just need to enroll in a membership and complete several remote web-based inspections as you build. These inspections cover the several stages of a camper build, much like a home inspection covers the different stages of construction. When the final inspection is passed, NOAH will mail you a physical certificate for you to display proudly.
NOAH also provides NFPA 1192 compliance advice between inspections and stores all of your inspection data in the cloud so you can access it at any time.