How do you read an Airstream VIN number?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you read an Airstream VIN number? We will explain what each digit on the trailer VIN number means. We will also discuss the use of the Airstream VIN number and how to check the history of your trailer. 

How do you read an Airstream VIN number?

To read an Airstream VIN number you must understand what each digit means. We explain in the table below.

1The model of the Airstream trailerI for InternationalE for ExcellaL for Land Yacht
2-3The length of the Airstream trailer, measured in feet, from tongue to bumper163133
4The floor plan configuration of the Airstream trailerA for Center bath & twin bedB for Center bath and double bedT for Rear bath and twin bedD for Rear bath and double bed
5Year of manufacture of the Airstream trailerIf there are 4 numbers (it was made in the ’70s)If there are 3 numbers (it was made in the ‘60s)
6The assembly plant of the Airstream trailerJ for Jackson Centre, OhioC for Cerritos, California
7-10 (11)The serial number of the Airstream trailerEvery trailer on the market must have a serial number. 

Where can I find the Airstream trailer VIN number?

The VIN number is first of all present on your vehicle registration document. This code must also appear in at least two places on your trailer. Most often, you will be able to find the vehicle’s serial number:

  • at the level of the manufacturer’s plate, usually located on the lower side of the front door or under the bonnet;
  • on the vehicle chassis, at the level of the shock absorber head or the engine cross member, where it is cold struck;
  • on the lower part of the windshield, mainly on older models;
  • in the trailer’s on-board computer, provided it is recent;
  • on the official documents of the vehicle, in particular at the level of the maintenance booklet. 

What is an Airstream trailer’s VIN serial number used for?

As we have seen, the VIN code must be identical on the registration card and on the vehicle, whether it is indicated on the chassis, the door or the onboard computer. This number will therefore be useful when selling a used trailer, but also in other circumstances.

  • To find the right trailer parts: in the event of a repair, the VIN code allows the vehicle owner or garage owner to precisely identify the model of the trailer and thus to select original or compatible trailer parts.
  • Check the authenticity of the trailer: when buying a second-hand vehicle, take the time to check that the VIN code written on the registration document is identical to the one engraved on the chassis or the manufacturer’s plate. I

if not, it may indicate that it is a stolen trailer or that the registration certificate is not that of the vehicle. Reading the serial number also allows you to make sure that the VIN has not been modified, in particular thanks to the manufacturer’s code.

  • Observe the good maintenance of the trailer: by analyzing the maintenance book, you can check that the repairs have been carried out with original or compatible trailer parts. Otherwise, the vehicle could present anomalies and you should therefore be wary of them, especially in the event of the purchase of a used trailer between individuals.
  • To insure your trailer: in some cases, your insurer may ask you for the vehicle identification number before offering you auto insurance. In this way, he can compare the information you provided on the vehicle to be insured (model, year, power, etc.) with the VIN code.
  • Identify the owner of a trailer: in the event of an accident, offence or even abandonment of the vehicle, the VIN code can allow law enforcement to identify the trailer involved, as well as its owner. The number will be particularly useful if the vehicle has been stolen and the license plates have been changed or usurped.

Note: if you sell your vehicle to an individual, do not hesitate to provide the VIN report for your trailer to the buyer. In addition to mentioning the VIN code, this document allows you to know the entire history of the vehicle (date of first entry into service, list of owners, claims, administrative situation, technical characteristics, etc.). Ideal for reassuring the buyer and closing the sale more easily.

Places to find more info about the history of your Airstream trailer

Finding your vehicle identification number was only the first step, but luckily the rest of this doesn’t require you to go through every inch of your trailer

VIN numbers are logged into databases that track recalls and purchases, fire damage, hail or fire, theft, any accident history, odometer readings, recalls and defects, as well as detailed vehicle specifications.

Basically, this is all the information you will want to know if you are thinking of buying a second-hand travel trailer. Details like this will let you know if your trailer has ever been stolen or has hidden damage or defects that could cause problems for you in the future.

To find your history report, there are a couple of places you can check the VIN.

  • At the Department of Motor Vehicles

Check first your local DMV. They will have access to an extensive database of vehicle information, as well as legal records related to their trailer. You can call them or go in person.

Depending on the state you live in and their regulations for looking up VIN numbers, you may be required to provide personal identification and a small fee. This varies from place to place, but you should be aware that it is a possibility.

  • At the RV and trailers dealerships 

If the DMV can’t find a history report for you, or if you don’t want to pay the fees to get this information, you can also try going to a local dealer that specializes in the type of trailer you are researching. Make sure they have links to the manufacturers of your specific brand or else they won’t be able to help you.

If you find a good dealer that deals with the right trailer brands, they can look up the history report there or contact the manufacturers to find it for you. This may take a bit longer than you’d like, but it’s still important to know the history of your trailer. Don’t be tempted and buy it while you wait!

  • Online via databases 

Another option for finding your trailer history report is an online database. Since almost all vehicles have a VIN, there are some online resources that you can use to obtain relevant information. One of the best is, which has an index that includes RVs and trailers. 

The bottom line

Few caravans are as iconic as Airstream. Although it is true that the trailers of this company are more popular on the other side of the Puddle than on the Old Continent, they have been the protagonists of numerous films and the aluminum exterior is cooked in American nostalgia.   

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number or CRiS number. It is a unique code to your caravan and gives important information about the year and the place of manufacture of your Airstream trailer. 

We hope that now you know how to decode an Airstream VIN number. If there are questions left unanswered, please let us know!

FAQ on How do you read an Airstream VIN number?

Where is the chassis number on a trailer?

The chassis number on a trailer is either printed on a window or underside of a caravan’s A-Frame. And, of course, this number must coincide with the one that appears on the papers or on the technical sheet.

Where can I find the VIN?

The VIN can be found by checking from the front on the panoramic glass or windshield, on the driver’s side. It is on a plate attached to the board or cluster. If you don’t find it legible there, then you can check for the driver’s side door sill.

Where can I find the VIN of a car?

The VIN of a car can be found on the dashboard, this being the most commonplace. You can see it through the windshield, under the passenger seat, on the engine and hood as well. 

What exactly is a VIN code?

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number or CRiS number. It is a unique code to your caravan and gives important information about the year and the place of manufacture of the caravan.


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