When you’re in the market to purchase a used RV, it helps to know how to lookup the RV VIN number. When you look up the number, you instantly get to know that vehicle much more thoroughly than the sales description may explain.
You may need the VIN on your RV for other reasons after purchase. Consider your RV VIN to be your RV’s identification card. It’s important. If you’re not sure how to get your hands on the VIN for your RV, take a few moments now to investigate and learn.
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What Is a VIN Number?
First, let’s make sure you understand exactly what a VIN represents. All vehicles on the road have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A vehicle’s VIN is its fingerprint, and that number (which is always numbers and letters) is specific to one vehicle only. A VIN will tell the origination of the vehicle, any accident reports, the engine type, and more.
Where Is the VIN Located on an RV?
You won’t find the VIN in the same place every time. Manufacturers add them in different areas, depending on the vehicle’s manufacturer. A few places are generally hot spots for finding the VIN on your recreational vehicle.
If you have a travel trailer or camper, the VIN might be found along the frame, on the tongue, or inside exterior or interior compartments. Look for the fine print, as the VIN is never a large notation.
If you have a fifth-wheel RV, when you lookup the RV VIN, you’ll likely find the VIN on the lower part of the exterior wall in the front of the vehicle. You may also find it posted on the framework of the pin box.
The VIN for a motorhome will be in about the same place as where you’ll find it on your car. Look through the driver’s side windshield on the dash, and there should be a little metal plate with the number pressed into it. Most motorhomes include it with the vehicle weight capacities behind the driver’s seat.
Where Can You Lookup RV by VIN Number?
Most VIN services are not as useful with RVs, but a few options are. If you really need to lookup your RV VIN online for a little more inside info on the vehicle, try utilizing these digital services.
Pro Tip: When buying a used RV, make sure to keep an out for these Top 10 Easily Missed Things to Look for When Buying an RV.
Manufacturer and Dealers
The first and most reliable place to start your search is to talk to the manufacturer who made the RV or the dealer where you purchased the vehicle. Dealerships and manufacturers are under strict legal standards to keep proper records on every vehicle that goes through their establishment. They will have the VIN for your RV. They may even be able to offer a thorough service record.
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Online VIN Databases
Online VIN databases are also helpful for looking up RV VIN information. However, it’s helpful to know that places like Carfax and VINCheck will not provide users with much information regarding motorhomes and trailers. They will typically give you the manufacturing information so you have a better idea of where to go next in your search.
The manufacturing information on an RV is especially helpful if you bought one previously owned or older. One of the most beneficial online VIN databases to check when you’re working to lookup your RV VIN is FaxVIN. FaxVIN has a special section devoted to RVs and motorhomes.
How Do I Decode My RV VIN Number?
VIN assignments sure aren’t easy to read for layman’s eyes. Even if you do kind of know what each section of the number represents, you likely still won’t be an expert at reading VINs. Regardless, here’s a quick way to map out what each section of the long combination of numbers and letters really means.
The first character will indicate where the vehicle was built. The second and third characters tell you who manufactured the vehicle. The fourth through the eighth characters tell the brand and engine type/size. A security code given by the manufacturer is the ninth character. The tenth is the model year of the vehicle. The eleventh character tells which plant assembled it, and the last six characters are serial numbers.
Pro Tip: Buying a used RV? By looking up the VIN number, you can reveal insight on its value. Learn more about How to Determine Used Camper Values.
Do Motorhomes Have Two VIN Numbers?
Yes, but you won’t always need both to get the information you seek. There’s a VIN for the “house” of the motorhome. There’s also a VIN for the motorhome’s chassis, which you’ll find on the chassis itself. Look for a sticker with a lot of small writing.
Is It Easy to Lookup an RV VIN Number?
It really depends on what you consider “easy.” It’s doable, for sure. If you aren’t up for digging, it could be a difficult task to complete. If your RV is brand new off the lot, then it’s super easy to lookup your RV VIN assignment. Regardless, with enough digging, you will likely be able to find all the information you need on any given RV or trailer on the road.
Truck campers are a horse of a different color as most do not have VINs. Find out: Does My Truck Camper Need a Title, Registration, and Insurance?
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