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Is there a Carfax history report for RVs? The good news is, yes. For a small dollar amount, you can get quite a bit of history on a motorhome including accidents, title information, mileage, sales records, junk/salvage/insurance records, auction records, theft records, and much more helpful information.
Once you get that information, you can make an informed decision about whether to buy a particular RV or not. Unfortunately, Carfax does not have information on travel trailers or fifth wheels. Read on to find out where you can find the information on a trailer.
What is a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number?
The use of VIN numbers was started in the 1950s when automobile manufacturers began identifying vehicles with specific stamps. It was used to provide a description of the vehicle that came off the line in mass production. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (USDOT) got involved and began requiring road vehicles to have the 17 character VIN.
You should also know that the individual numbers in the VIN are not just random. They have meaning.
What Is an RV VIN Lookup?
An RV VIN lookup is used to identify a particular vehicle and learn its background. This resource is invaluable when buying a used RV from a previous owner or dealer. It gives you a report of the vehicle including possible accidents, thefts, damage, and other helpful information.
Where Can I Find the VIN on My RV?
The VIN on your travel trailer is likely on the metal plate near the tongue. I found mine embossed on the top of the tongue. It can also be near an axle on the frame or on the underside of the frame near the front. On a fifth wheel, it is probably found on the pin box.
When a motorhome is built in two stages it will have two VINs. One for the chassis and one for the finished RV unit. The one to know is for the finished unit which is usually found through the windshield on the driver’s side, just like on a car.
If all else fails, you should be able to find the VIN on the title, registration papers, the bill of sale or insurance documentation. When looking at an RV to purchase, bring along a pen and paper to jot the number down when you are looking the rig over or just ask the seller. A seller that is hesitant or vague is a red flag. You might just want to walk away, not matter how good the deal may seem.
Why Should I Look Up an RV VIN?
The RV Vin provides information on the vehicle that will be important to know if you are considering a purchase. The information provided will allow you to track the vehicle’s history including title transfers, damage claims, recalls, and more. An RV VIN lookup will give you information that is not necessarily visible on the vehicle and may be something the seller wants to hide.
RV VIN lookups keep you from buying a lemon and hopefully, keep sellers more honest. There will always be someone unscrupulous out there so this is an added layer of protection for the buyer. Just remember, it’s up to you to dig out the information.
How Do I Find Out if an RV is Stolen?
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a non-profit membership organization created by the insurance industry to address insurance-related crime and works closely with law enforcement agencies.
The NCIB’s VINCheck (nicb.org) will help you determine if a vehicle has been reported stolen, but not recovered, or had been reported as a salvage vehicle by the insurance company. The service is free and only requires the vehicle’s VIN number. The NICB information will also be reported in a Carfax check. See the article at RVblogger.com/???? to learn more tips on how to keep thieves away from your RV.
Can You Look up RVs on Carfax?
Yes, you can look up motorhome information on Carfax. Some vehicle service and maintenance information might be included. Depending on what service you use, you could spend a few bucks. Carfax, which typically provides information on motor vehicles like cars, trucks, and motorhomes, charges $39.99 for one report. See the list below for lower priced and free history report options.
4 Best Places to Look Up Your RV’s History Report
RVchecks.com is an important resource if you’re buying a used travel trailer. It’s kind of like carfax.com, but for RVs. For $25 the service will provide you with a complete history of your RV and alert you of any water damage or accidents that RV has been in.
RVchecks.com takes information from multiple data sources, including government agencies. The report has things such as last recorded odometer reading, multi-state searches, salvaged or damaged titles, stolen titles, rebuilt titles, manufacturers’ specifications, and recall history, among others.
FAXVIN.com is another tool that will give you a history report on your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel. A basic report costs $8.95 and gives you manufacturing history, title history, odometer history, manufacturer recalls, stolen databases, equipment information, and specifications.
This is another website that provides information on motorhomes and is free. The report will give you information such as vehicle specifications, safety ratings, market value, title records, fuel efficiency, theft records, accident or salvage records, and other information.
This is another free site that includes travel trailer and fifth wheel information. While the site says it provides a lot of information, I plugged in the VIN for our travel trailer and got very little information other than what I could have gotten by looking at the rig. It is free so it is definitely worth a try.
If you come up short with these options you can always check with your local DMV. They generally have a large database of vehicle information. Either call them or go in person. It wasn’t clear whether the DMV would have information on travel trailers or fifth wheels. You may have to provide personal information and incur a fee.
Another option is to check with a local RV dealership, which may have more options to find a report. If you are buying from an RV dealer, don’t forget to do some investigating on them as well. Reviews will often uncover some unscrupulous dealers.
The National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA)
If you are selling your RV, know that Kelly Blue Book doesn’t provide values for RVs but NADA lists prices and values for motorhomes, travel trailers, and even truck campers and park models.
Use RVs Carfax History Information Wisely
Getting information on an RV you are purchasing is an important part of the buying process. The seller may seem straight forward but the vehicle’s VIN is key to finding out everything you need to know. This RV may be your home or even your home away from home. Either way, no one wants to get on the road and find problems.
When you have all the facts about the history of your RV you can make an informed decision about your purchase and feel secure when you are on the road. Also, be mindful of the records you keep on your own RV. One day when you want to sell, you will be in a better place to provide a potential buyer with all the information they might need and a clean RV carfax history.
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About the author…
Terri Nighswonger – Author and Full Time RVer
Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for six years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.
In Addition to the RVBlogger team, Terri has written for RV Life and RV Camping Magazine and is always excited to talk about her passion for RVing and her knowledge and experience in work camping.
Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.
They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead.