They may not seem that essential, but old RV owners manuals may be more valuable than you think. Unfortunately, they’re not always present or in the best condition. Having owned 4 used RV’s over the years we have found ourselves needing the manual more than once.
Luckily, the internet is here to help. In many cases, you can find your RV owners manuals online. Read on as we take a closer look at how and where to find your RVs owners manual.
How Important Is an RV Owners Manual?
If you’re lucky, you won’t need to consult your owner’s manual very often. However, when you need them, they’re a vital resource. Owner’s manuals can provide critical information on operating or troubleshooting essential systems. Without them, you may find yourself dealing with persistent problems or paying a professional to fix what might be a minor issue. Therefore, you should ensure you have access to your manual at all times when traveling in your rig.
How Do I Find an Owners Manual for My RV?
The most common way people find the owner’s manual for their RV is to look through their rig! In many cases, they’re in a glove compartment or other out-of-the-way cabinet. If you’ve checked your rig and still can’t find one, try contacting your dealer or the person who sold the RV. You can also contact other used RV dealers or mechanics in your area. If they still can’t help you, you may need to turn to the internet.
How Do I Find the Make and Model of My RV?
If you don’t know the make and model of your rig, don’t worry. It should be pretty easy to find. First, check the interior and exterior of your RV for any branding or other information that may suggest the make or model. This can give you enough information to start an online search, where you can zero in on the exact model. Somewhere on the rig should be a GVWR sticker that should have the vehicle make, model and VIN information. Look around and near the door, behind the driver’s seat if a motorhome, and in cabinets for this sticker.
The information about your RV should also be included with its registration information. Usually, this is required to register the RV. Alternatively, if you can locate the RV’s VIN, you can use online tools to look up the details of the rig.
➔ Not sure how to lookup your RV’s VIN? Check out this helpful guide: How to Lookup RV VIN Number
Where Can I Find Old RV Owners Manuals Online?
Tracking down an RV owner’s manual online isn’t challenging in most cases. RVers have a few options to find what they need.
Do a General Google Search
No matter what you’re searching for online, there’s no better place to start than Google, the internet-dominating search engine with countless pages and documents. Your quest to find old RV owner’s manuals may be as easy as typing in the make, model, and year of your rig, along with the words “owner’s manual.” Google will scour billions of pages and, even if it can’t find your manual immediately, will likely point you in the right direction.
Your RV Manufacturer’s Website
Another excellent strategy for tracking old RV owners manuals online is to go directly to the source. Many manufacturers keep digital versions of manuals on their websites, even if they may not be in the most obvious places. Your RV manufacturer’s website will also provide you with the company’s contact information, allowing you to reach out directly for assistance.
RV Owner’s Forums
You’re not the only person with your make and model rig. Check with popular RV forums to see if anyone can help you. You may find someone with digital versions of old RV owner’s manuals or a physical copy they’re willing to scan and upload for you. This strategy can be valuable for older or more specialized models if you can find an owners forum around that brand or model.
Ask in an RV Owner’s Facebook Group
RV Facebook groups are as valuable as forums and may even get you an answer more quickly. There are hundreds of these groups, providing plenty of opportunities. Sending along the manual is also simple, thanks to Facebook’s built-in messaging function. You may even connect with an RVer who’ll pass along a physical copy of the manual you need.
This isn’t strictly online but can be an excellent last resort if you’re desperate. You can find the manuals for some models of RVs on eBay, usually for a reasonably affordable price. Of course, you’ll have to wait for shipping and deal with the other downsides of a physical manual, but you’ll at least get the information you need.
Benefits of an Online RV Owners Manual
While many may prefer to stick with a hard copy manual, there are also some significant benefits to using old and new RV owners’ manuals online. Consider these notable advantages.
Online RV manuals eliminate spending time flipping through pages and poring over tables of contents or indexes. In addition, many are entirely searchable, allowing users to find the exact topic or issue they’re looking for in seconds. This added convenience is beneficial in all situations, but it’s helpful when dealing with time-sensitive matters.
Not Missing Pages
There are few feelings worse than flipping to the section of the RV owners manual that you need and finding a critical page or pages that have fallen out or are unreadable. In these situations, you may as well not have a manual! Storing RV owner’s manuals online ensures they stay usable and in one piece indefinitely.
Don’t Have to Carry It Around With You
If you haven’t handled a physical RV owner’s manual, you might not understand how big these things can be! In some cases, they’ll take up an entire cabinet or compartment, precious storage space in the tight quarters of an RV! A digital copy frees up this space for other essential items.
➔ Today’s RVs are smarter than ever, so it helps to have a digital manual to navigate the tech. Learn more about Smart RVs: The Next Generation of RV Technology.
Should You Throw Out Your RV Owners Manual?
While you may be excited to toss out your physical manual and go online only, take a little patience and care. It would be best to review your manual first, as there may be notes or other information about your rig left by dealers or previous owners. Your old RV manual may also have details on the add-ons or features your model includes, which may be slightly different than the ones in a manual online.
We have both digital and hard copies of our RV manuals and tend to use both of them. The digital versions are great for searching, but the hard copy can be good in a pinch when something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere.
Is Having Your RV Owners Manuals Online Worth It?
Some prefer a physical, offline copy of their RV owner’s manual. However, for those that are a bit tech-savvy, there are many advantages to storing RV owner’s manuals online. From additional storage space to easier reference, more RVers are going the digital route. Still, even those who find their RV owner’s manual online should download it to their device if possible. This allows it to be accessible even without internet or cell service.
The world is becoming more digital daily—shouldn’t your RV manual follow suit?
Do you have an original copy of your owner’s manual, or did you find yours online? Drop a comment below.
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