The caravan VIN number, also known as the chassis number, or even a CRiS number is an identification number which is individual to each caravan. You’ll find it stamped on the chassis and even etched on the caravan windows. If a caravan is stolen, it’s a way of tracking the registered owner.
The VIN number, actually, I’ll stopped there for a second. I guess calling it a “VIN number” is incorrect. It’s a bit like saying “PIN number” as the “N” in both PIN and VIN stands for “number”, so you’re really saying Vehicle Identification Number Number, which is a bit odd. However, they seem to be called VIN numbers by most.
So, the VIN can tell you quite a lot about the caravan. It’s quite a long number and the meaning of the number can be broken down into its component parts. What I’m about to divulge has been kept a secret in the inner sanctum of the ancient order of Caravan Vloggers. After telling you this, I will almost certainly have my membership revoked! I might even be forced to own an Airstream. So read on and be enlightened, don’t concern yourself what will happen to me. I’ll probably just continue to vlog without a permit!
Now, this number is described in a few different ways, here’s how I understand it. Here’s an example of a VIN number:
SG D T X3G SW M 1234567
Let’s “decode” it, bit by bit….
1st and 2nd are the country code. I don’t know why, but SG signifies UK.
3rd can specify the make, but it is optional.
4th will be T or S for Twin or Single Axle
5th,6th,7th are again manufacturer’s optional
8th and 9th are the manufacturer for example SW is Swift
10th is the manufacturer year
The last 7 digits are a unique serial number
- AB = ABI
- AD = Adria
- AV = Avondale
- BE = Bessacarr (later Bessacarr were built by Swift so will carry the SW code)
- BU = Buccaneer (later Buccaneer were build Explorer Group so will carry code EX)
- BY = Bailey
- CL = Carlight
- CM = Coachman
- CP = Compass (may carry EX code in some circumstances as were built by Explorer Group)
- CS = Cosalt (later Abbey’s were built by Swift and so will carry SW code)
- CU = Sprite (later Sprite’s were built by Swift and so will carry SW code)
- EL = Elddis (may carry the EX code for earlier model before Explorer Group re-branded to Elidds)
- EX = Explorer Group (now known as Elddis)
- FL = Fleetwood
- LU = Lunar
- SW = Swift Group
*see notes re dates
- 4 = 2004
- 5 = 2005
- 6 = 2006
- 7 = 2007
- 8 = 2008
- 9 = 2009
- A = 2010
- B = 2011
- C = 2012
- D = 2013
- E = 2014
- F = 2015
- G = 2016
- H = 2017
- I = 2018
- J = 2019
- K = 2020
- L = 2021
- M = 2022
* Now, in my experience, these are always the following year, for example our 2018 caravan was J, but J is 2019. Our new caravan 2021 is in fact M. This is because the caravanning build season runs from 1st September until the 31st August the next year. Let’s not try to understand it too much. This is what I’ve read, but really makes little sense that a caravan built in March 2021, would be given a 2022 date code!