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How to Decode an RV's VIN Number

by Alan Edwards

Recreational Vehicle VINs (Vehicle Identification Number) are located in many places on the RV. There are no standard places that manufacturers put them but common places to look are on component parts, such as the engine or frame. Check the "Guarantee & Maintenance" book, radiator support bracket, dash by the windshield, firewall of the vehicle, left-hand inner wheel arch, steering column, driver's door or the post on the passenger side. On late model recreational vehicles you may find it on the left instrumentation panel, the dash plate by the window, the driver's door or post or the firewall.

Checking a RV Vin Number

Using the flashlight find the RV's VIN number and write it down.

Carefully follow the chart below to decode the VIN number.

1st digit--Country of origin

2nd digit--Manufacturer

3rd digit--Make

4th digit--Line

5th & 6th digits--Body style

7th digit--Restraint system

8th digit--Engine

9th digit--Check digit

10th digit--Year

RVS manufactured after 2000 show numerical designations. For example, 2001=1, 2002=2, etc. Those manufactured before 2001 show alpha designations; for example X=1999, and Y=2000. After 2009 the tenth character will revert back to alpha: 2010=A

11th digit--Assembly plant

12th to 17th digits--Sequence number

Turn on your computer and select your favorite browser. Go to a vin decoder website (see Resources). These sites are free and will give you information on the vehicle for which you enter the VIN. If requested, fill in the CAPTCHA code.

Wait for the site to return the information on the RV. The report may include information on the serial number, the model name and number, the features on the vehicle and the engine specifications.

Tip

  • Paid services will provide more information such as if the car was in an accident, if it was stolen and found and how often the vehicle has been sold.

Items you will need

About the Author

Alan Edwards began writing in 2005. He is a retired pharmaceutical industry analyst, a career that allowed him to hone his research and writing skills. Edwards holds a Master of Business Administration in health care from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Now, he writes full-time.

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Photo Credits

  • Streamlined Motor Homes image by K. Geijer from Fotolia.com