Where Is The VIN Number On A Camper: RV VIN Location

RV VIN

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The VIN on your RV is an important piece of information that is required for insurance purposes and also in buying and selling an RV. But, where is the VIN number on a camper? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the significance of VIN numbers, where to find them on different types of RVs, and how to use the information it provides!

What is a VIN Number?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique number that is an identifier for your RV. A VIN is like a finger print for your RV and is a 17-characted code. This 17 digit number is an alphanumeric sequence that contains vital information.

This sequence of letters and numbers is not random. Each portion of the VIN can be decoded in order to get specific information that pertains directly to your RV. The history of your RV is tied to this VIN and can be searched in order to find historical data for your RV.

Do RV’s Have VIN Numbers?

Yes, all types of RVs, including towable recreational vehicles, have their own specific VIN numbers. This identifying number must be applied to each RV, much like with cars. VINs can be located in a variety of different places on the RV, so it is essential to know where to find this important number.

The department of transportation (DOT) requires all vehicles, RVs, and towable products over a certain weight to have a VIN decal. If you cannot locate the VIN on your RV, it is important to reach out to your local DMV to apply for a new one.

Where are VINs located on RVs?

Locating the VIN on your RV may vary depending on the type and age of the camper. Because of this, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different places manufacturers may put a VIN. Here are common locations:

Federal Certification Label

The Federal Certification Label is an information label (sometimes on a metal plate) that includes important manufacturer information and the VIN. This label can usually be found on the left front corner of the RV near the bottom of the sidewall. This VIN plate includes the VIN, Year, GVWR/GCWR, information about the tires, and other information. This information may also be found on a yellow sticker.

Cabinet door or entry screen door

Some RVs may have a VIN sticker located in utility cabinets, cupboards, or near the entrance door. It is helpful to pay attention when opening these doors and compartments to familiarize yourself with any information that may be located there.

Trailer tongue

A popular location for the manufacturer’s VIN is on the trailer tongue. This can usually be located near the propane tanks (if present) near the tongue.

Frame Rail

The frame rail is a common location for the RV’s VIN number. This may be either up front or along the rail down the side of the camper. It is important to note that frequent travel can reduce the readability of this VIN.

RV Chassis

The RV chassis may have a separate VIN, so it is important to pay close attention to this. The chassis may have had a separate VIN from the manufacturer prior to incorporating the RV. If you are referring to an RV Chassis VIN, double check the VIN in a separate location to ensure they are the same number. If they are not, the RV VIN will apply to the RV, instead of just the chassis.

Insurance

If the RV has already been insured, the VIN number will be attached to your insurance policy. An RV VIN is required by an insurance company in order to provide coverage.

Registration

If the RV has already been registered after purchasing, the VIN will be located on the registration documents. A travel trailer’s VIN is required to register the RV. When RVs are registered, they usually receive a DMV inspection (vin inspection) which will list the actual VIN.

Bill of Sale

If the RV has already been purchased, the VIN will be located on the Bill of Sale. An RV VIN should have been provided by the previous owner and is required in the sale of an RV.

Dealership

If the RV is still owned by the dealership, they should provide the VIN so they can provide vehicle history reports. The dealership would need a VIN in order to list and sell the RV.

Finding out the year of your RV with the VIN

The 10th character in the VIN provides information about the model year of your travel trailer. Understanding this code is crucial for various purposes, including insurance, registration, and maintenance. There are informational tables that can help you figure out what your VIN means.

VIN on a vintage camper

Vintage campers that predate 1980 may not have a VIN. If this is your RV, then look for a serial number. In older models without VINs, a serial number serves as the unique identifier.

Vintage campers can present a challenge when it comes to VINs. Always reach out to your local DMV for help. The DMV can assist you in obtaining the proper identification numbers for retro rigs.

VIN on a pop-up camper

Pop-up campers, like other RVs, have VIN numbers. These may be located on the frame, inside a cabinet, or entry screen door.

VIN on a drivable RV

For drivable RVs, the VIN could be in various locations. In addition to some of the normal RV VIN locations, there are locations that are similar to cars. Important places to search for the VIN tag of a drivable RV are as follows:

  • Front corner of the coach
  • Steering column
  • Vehicle firewall
  • Radiator support bracket
  • Driver’s door frame
  • Wheel wells
  • Machined on the front of the engine

How to get a replacement VIN for an old RV?

If your old RV lacks a VIN or has a worn-out one, contact your state’s DMV for assistance. The process may involve fees and documentation to prove ownership. Navigating the DMV procedures for vintage campers ensures a smooth transition to compliant identification.

You should start the process of replacing the VIN as soon as you realize the need. This can take a little time, and it is best to get it out of the way before trying to squeeze it in on a time crunch.

Is the VIN the same as the serial number?

The VIN and serial number are not the same. Each of these numbers are distinct and unique. The serial number is one piece of information in the VIN.

In vintage campers, there may not be a VIN. Vintage campers may rely solely on a serial number for legal identification. It is important to understand the differences and limitations so that you can ensure your RV is compliant, regardless of age.

How to get an RV VIN report?

Obtaining an RV VIN report is crucial for assessing its history. There are a few ways to obtain in depth vehicle history with a VIN. The main three ways are through the DMV, RV dealership, or online platforms.

VIN reports through RV dealerships are usually easy to obtain and should include important information for consideration when buying. RV dealerships usually provide these reports as a show of transparency.

Additionally, some online sites can provide free limited vehicle history reports. Some online sites will provide a more detailed full history report for a fee. No matter the source, the information found in VIN reports can help you make informed decisions when buying or selling an RV or older trailers.

What information does an RV VIN search show?

An RV VIN search provides valuable information, including past repairs, accident history, theft records, mileage rollbacks, and warranty claims. It ensures you make an informed decision when buying or selling a used trailer RV.

Understanding your RV’s VIN is essential for responsible ownership. Whether you’re decoding the VIN for the year, checking its history, or ensuring compliance with legal requirements, knowing where to find and how to interpret this vital code is key to a smooth RVing experience.

Protecting Yourself When Purchasing an RV

In addition to obtaining a detailed vehicle history report, it is essential to adequately inspect an RV prior to purchasing. Whether the RV is new or used, there are things to look for that can save you from trouble down the road. Click here for my free comprehensive guide for inspecting RVs (Printable checklists included)! 

Familiarizing yourself with your RV is one of the best things you can do as a new RVer. Your RV monitor panel is an important thing to locate and understand. Check out this article to learn about RV monitor panels and how to troubleshoot sensor issues!

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