Any vehicle you find in the United States will come with a little secret code that can tell you several things you might have known about the vehicle. This is known as the VIN or vehicle identification number. RVs aren’t treated any than other vehicles on the road and come with a VIN of their own. Unfortunately, most RV owners don’t know much about the VIN other than they need it to register the vehicle and for any insurance paperwork. This guide gives you the ins and outs of your RV’s VIN so that you can know the secrets of this little code.
What is a VIN and What Purpose Does It Serve?
Your RV’s VIN is a set of numbers that are unique to your RV, just like everyone born in the United States gets a social security number, every vehicle manufactured gets a VIN. The VIN is used to identify a vehicle and keep records of it, be it for registering your vehicle in your state, getting work done on it or so insurance claims can be tracked on the vehicle and not be lost if the vehicle changes hands. Anything important that happens to the vehicle will often use the VIN to keep track.
What Do the RV VIN Numbers Mean?
Many people might look at a VIN and just see a series of numbers, but it is much more complex than that. All the numbers on the vehicle represent or stand for quality related to the RV and are not just a random set of numerals. If you want to know exactly what the numbers mean, no problem! Here is a handy-dandy list to help you translate what the different numbers mean.
- 1st Digit: Country of origin of the vehicle
- 2nd Digit: Manufacturer of the vehicle
- 3rd Digit:Make of the vehicle
- 4th Digit: Line or series of vehicle
- 5th & 6th Digit: Body style of the vehicle
- 7th Digit: Type of restraint system found in the vehicle
- 8th Digit: Type of Engine in the Vehicle
- 9th Digit: Check Digit
- 10th Digit: Year the vehicle was manufactured
- 11th Digit: Plant where the vehicle was manufactured or assembled
- 12th-17th Digits: RV’s unique serial number
As of the year 2000, the 10th digit or year digit is represented as a numeral for example 2003 would be three, etc. Before 2000, years were represented by letters corresponding to years working backward, so 1999 is Z, 1998 is Y and so forth. Models manufactured after 2009 returned to alphabetic notation, so 2010 is A, 2011 is B and so on.
Where Can You Find My RV’s VIN?
Just like on your car, the VIN is clear on the edge of the driver’s side dashboard against the windshield. The VIN is often located in other parts of the vehicle such as the steering column or your RV’s user manual, but it’s likely easiest to locate it on your dash.
What Else Can My RV VIN Tell Me?
If you’re purchasing a used RV, you can find out information on the vehicle by its VIN such as any repairs, accidents and full-scale vehicle history report. There are free services online where you can input the VIN and get some information while services like Carfax can give you accurate and detailed vehicle history of the vehicle for a small fee.
Most of you didn’t know the treasure trove of information that can be found right on your RV’s VIN. Try translating it or using a service to find everything you need or want to know about your RV.