Where to Find VIN Number on Camper and Trailer? | Detailed Guide


VIN numbers or vehicle identification numbers are assigned to each vehicle and trailer that is on the road. They are used to track not only the vehicle but its history, including any repairs, accidents etc. But on trailers and campers VINs can sometimes be difficult to find.

Where to find the VIN number on Camper and Trailer? The VIN number or Vehicle Identification Number is typically located on the VIN tag toward the front of the trailer. It could be on the inside, outside or stamped into frame toward tongue.

There is no standard location to find the VIN on a trailer or camper. However, here’s a basic summary:

The VIN number on a trailer is likely found:

  • On a metal plate near the tongue
  • Near an axle on the frame
  • On the inside or underside of the frame near the front

The VIN number on a camper is likely found:

  • Near the tongue
  • On the inside of the door
  • Inside either interior or exterior storage compartments

Where to Find the VIN Number on a Trailer

Unfortunately, the first thing to remember, when looking for a VIN, is that there is no one standard rule on where the trailer VIN numbers are placed.

VIN number on trailer

Before we begin, though, we should say that the easiest way to find the VIN is just to check the documentation, such as the:

  • Title
  • Registration papers
  • The bill of sale (some may not contain the VIN)
  • Insurance documentation

Below you can find the Travel Trailer VIN Number Format:

Travel Trailer VIN Number Format

If you don’t have any sort of documentation, or need to verify the VIN with the documentation, then it can be a bit of a headache to find it (especially on older trailers).

We’ll go over the most common areas to find the VIN first.

The VIN could be in the form of:

  • A metal plate welded or riveted onto the frame
  • Etched into the frame itself

Where Is My VIN Number? >> Check out the video below:


1. Look Near the Tongue

The first place to start your search is right near the tongue of the trailer, or where it connects to a hitch. The more modern the trailer is, the more likely you are to find it here.

The VIN is most likely to be on the inside of the tongue beams because that’s where it will be most protected from harsh weather and road conditions that could wear it away.

However, also check the underside to be sure they didn’t hide it under there.

2. Try Looking Near the Axles

The next place to check is anywhere near the axle(s). If they didn’t place the VIN near the tongue, this is the next most likely place to find it.

If it is a multi-axle trailer, check the front axle first.

When checking the frame near the axle, look:

  • On the outside of the frame
  • On the inside or even interior of the frame, if it is an I-beam style
  • The wheel or axle guard, both on top and below
  • The underside of the frame (less likely)

3. Look Over the Rest of the Frame

Unfortunately, if the first two spots haven’t yielded anything then your next option is just to pore over the frame in its entirety.

This is frustrating but may be the only way to track the tricky number down.

Bring a strong flashlight and take the frame one beam at a time, checking every surface of the beam.

If There are areas covered in a lot of rust or dirt you may have to remove it in order to be sure. Look for odd shaped patches, divots, or anything else that might be a telltale sign of a metal plate or engraving.

4. Very Old Trailers May Not Have One

If your trailer was manufactured before 1981, then it is considered vintage and likely won’t have a VIN stamped on it at all.

VIN’s were first used in 1951, but there was no standard pattern to the number, and they were not placed in their entirety on the trailer.

Instead, you’ll likely find a six- or seven-digit serial number from the manufacturer. This could be used to track down the VIN if you also know who manufactured it.

If not, then it will be very difficult to match the serial number to any particular VIN, though not impossible.

Related reading: Is Good Sam RV Insurance Any Good? An Honest Review[Updated]

How To Determine The Year Of Your Travel Trailer

The 10th character on your VIN number enable you to determine the model year of your travel trailer. This can be a letter or number.

To avoid confusion it is never a zero. Before 1981, VIN numbers were not standardized.

The table below shows the year of VIN numbers.

How To Determine The Year Of Your Travel Trailer
Chart: Determine Year Of Travel trailer

Where to Find the VIN Number on a Camper

Finding the VIN on a camper is somewhat similar to the process of finding it on a trailer, but there are a few extra places you could look.

The first step is just to look at the same places as the trailer, namely:

  • Near the tongue
  • Near the axles
  • Failing those options, check over the frame

If none of those places yield results, then look in the extra places we’ll describe below.

1. Check the Inside of the Door

If the VIN isn’t found on the hitch or near the tongue, then you could potentially find it listed on the inside of the doorframe to the camper.

Check both the inside surface of the door as well as the along the edge. If it’s here, it may be a sticker instead of a stamped metal plate.

2. Search Inside of Cabinets

The next place to look is inside all of the interior cabinets and storage areas. This is much less likely, but still a possible hiding place for it.

Much the same as with the door, it would likely be a sticker instead of a stamped plate.

Since you’re already searching inside, don’t rule out any areas! If there are fold-away tables or benches, check in their compartments.

If there was any work done on the camper previously then check to make sure it wasn’t covered up with paint or carpeting.

3. Check Exterior Storage Areas

The last place you can look is inside the exterior storage areas of the camper, if it has any. Check both the inside of the door as well as all the walls of the compartment.

This could include areas like:

  • Water or sewage maintenance compartments
  • Storage bays
  • Propane hookup bays

Travel trailer serial number identification >> Check out the video below:


What to Do If You Can’t Find the VIN

If you’ve looked all over the trailer or camper and just can’t find the VIN, don’t fret just yet. You still have options depending on the situation surrounding the trailer.

Ask the Previous Owners for Registration or Insurance Documentation

If you recently bought the trailer, chances are the past owner may still have some outdated documentation which contains the VIN.

The documents being expired doesn’t matter—the VIN never changes. Get in touch with them and see if they can help you.

You Can Get a New VIN Assigned

If you can’t find the VIN anywhere, don’t have any documentation, and can’t get in touch with the previous owner, then the best option may just be to have a new VIN assigned from the DMV.

This process varies a bit from state to state, so you’ll have to check with your local DMV for the exact process in your area.

Normally, this is going to include proving to the DMV that you own the trailer or camper, having them do their own inspection, and then paying any associated fees.

This is a last resort and you should do everything you can to find the VIN properly first.

Camper VIN Number Location

When looking for camper vin number location, just check out the video below:

Where Is The VIN Number On A Pop-up Trailer?

Unfortunately, your VIN number position varies from make to make and which years the models came out, so there is no quick solution to where you will find it.

The VIN is made up of 17 numbers and capital letters and is essential for insurance, recalls, warranty claims, and theft issues.

In RVs, 5th Wheelers, and travel trailers, you will find a metal VIN number plate, or the VIN will be in your Federal certification plate. 

  • Often you will find your VIN on the left front lower section of the trailer or in a cabinet battery or around the entry screen door
  • You may find the VIN on the driver’s side frame or the rear bumper cross frame or the tongue of your trailer or the frame rail leading to your hitch
  • You will often find the Coleman and Fleetwood VINs riveted on the left side of the frame on the camper’s front section.
  • Steering column or firewall
  • The machined pad on the front of the engine
  • Left instrument panel.

What Year Is Z In A VIN Number?

If your RV was produced to be used and sold in the US, the code should be 17 characters of both numbers and letters.

What year is Z in a VIN number? You will not find the letters Z, O, and I in the VIN. The NHTSA made the system, and the letter Z was one of the letters not included in the VIN.

If your seller has provided you with a VIN containing a Z, O, or I, it is either a fake plate or a vehicle not registered in the USA.

Do Homemade Trailers Have VIN Numbers?

Do homemade trailers have VIN numbers? Homemade trailers must have a VIN number to be bought or sold in the US. If you plan to buy, sell a homemade trailer, you will need to procure a VIN.

 Regulations are slightly different from state to state, but the process is similar:

  1. Get in contact with your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Most states legally require that homemade trailers over a certain weight must have a title. When registering your vehicle, most states require you to apply for a VIN. You will need to provide valid identification.
  2. Weigh your trailer at a designated weight scale.  Penske and Cat scales offer weight scales around the US if you are unsure where to weigh your trailer. Once you receive the weight slip, you will know which forms to fill out or whether you need to register your trailer in your particular state. You will need to submit this slip with your application.
  3. Trailer assessment. You will need to provide the receipts for materials to determine the value of your trailer.
  4. Safety Inspection. Most states require a safety inspection either by DMV officials or at approved body shops or garages.
  5. Apply for insurance, take photographs of your trailer, or provide notarized documentation of how you built your trailer if required by your state.
  6. Fill your documents and take them to the DMV
  7. Pay registration fees
  8. Your VIN plate and title will be issued to you in 2-4 weeks.

How Do I Find Out If My Trailer Is Stolen?

When you buy a used trailer, you must know the trailer’s history before any money changes hands. The trailer may be a rental or stolen, and you don’t want to be out of pocket with a ton of paperwork on your hands (or worse.)

There may be an outstanding lien against the trailer that you would be liable for as well.

How do I find out if my trailer is stolen? If a seller can not provide you with the VIN, however good the offer is, you should look elsewhere. There are many trailers for sale with proper documentation, and you should always ask yourself, why is the deal so good? 

You would need to run a check on the trailer’s registration and VIN.

Once you have the 17-digit VIN, you may contact your Department of Motor Vehicles or search online on a database such as faxvin.com and research your potential trailers history report. 

Can You Tell GVWR From VIN?

Can you tell GVWR from VIN? When a VIN pattern (positions 1-8,10, and 11 of the VIN) are specific to a vehicle’s style or trim, you can determine the curb weight. However, the added weight of equipment and optional extras can change this value substantially.

First, locate the Federal certification/VIN label on the front half of your trailer (left roadside sidewall.)

This tag should show you the GVWR and GWAR. 

  1. Find your curb weight on your VIN, add the weight of passengers, fuel cargo, etc. to your curb weight
  2. Subtract this amount from your GCWR
  3. This figure should show your towing capacity. 
  4. Always ensure that your hitch is strong enough to handle the towing weight.

Relate reading: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Trailer Hitch? (with 9 examples)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few common questions people often have about travel trailer serial number identification


Unfortunately, finding the VIN on a trailer or camper is not as straightforward as it is on other vehicles. However, we’ve covered a lot of areas today where you should check in order to track it down.

As a quick summary, remember that the VIN number on a trailer is likely found:

  • On a metal plate near the tongue
  • Near an axle on the frame
  • On the inside or underside of the frame near the front

If it’s a camper, the VIN may be found:

  • Near the tongue
  • On the inside of the door or interior storage areas
  • Inside either interior or exterior storage compartments

We hope that the information we provided helped you not only find the VIN on your trailer or camper, but also helped you understand just what a VIN actually is and why it’s important to keep track of it!

For more helpful articles about trailer please check out our articles below:

LT vs. ST Tires for Travel Trailers: What Works Better?

The 4 Best RV Insurance for Full-Timers: A Dollar-Saving Guide

How to Compare Travel Trailers: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

Travel Trailer vs. Toy Hauler: 17 Differences That Matter

Travel Trailer vs. Camping Trailer: What’s the Difference?

How to Choose the Perfect Cover for Your Travel Trailer [Read This First]

How to Easily Determine the Correct Wheel Covers for RV Tires (17 Examples)

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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