We published an article back in March about CRiS, the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme, and why it is important for all caravan owners to make sure they are registered. That article covers all of the benefits of being CRiS registered and the checks you should carry out before buying a second-hand van.
Also known as a serial number, VINs (or CRiS number) have been assigned to all caravans manufactured worldwide, since 1992. Every single caravan produced since this date must have the number etched onto the window. Prior to this there were a variety of different numbering systems often varying between manufacturers and so the industry decided to implement one universal coding format to make it easier for all concerned. All codes now comply with the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) and contain the WMI code, axel type, manufacturer data, date letter and a unique serial number.
While we all know that CRiS is a fantastic resource and we’re sure none of you would hesitate to use it, how many of us know what the codes actually mean? If you would like to decipher the 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your caravan, here’s how to do it.
What the code means:
Using the sample VIN SGBS000BYA1111111 as an example, this is how to break down the code
SGBS000BYA1111111 – Country code, with SG signifying the caravan was made in the UK
SGBS000BYA1111111 – A third character “B” means it is a Bailey caravan. Use of this character can vary
SGBS000BYA1111111- This part identifies whether the van is single or twin axle
SGBS000BYA1111111 – Optional manufacturer data, usually relating to the model
SGBS000BYA1111111 – Manufacturer details (Bailey for this caravan)
SGBS000BYA1111111 – Year of manufacture. A means 2010
SGBS000BYA1111111 – Optional manufacturer data
SGBS000BYA1111111 – The caravan’s unique serial number
AB = ABI
AD = Adria
AV = Avondale
BE = Bessacarr - More recent models were made by Swift, so will carry their code
BU = Buccaneer – Later models manufactured by Explorer Group
BY = Bailey
CL = Carlight
CM = Coachman
CP = Compass - May show EX code in some circumstances where van was built by Explorer Group
CS = Cosalt - More recent models were made by Swift, so will carry their code
CU = Sprite – More recent models were made by Swift, so will carry their code
EL = Elddis – Older models may show Explorer Group’s EX code if made before re-branding
EX = Explorer Group – More recent models will show Elddis code
FL = Fleetwood
LU = Lunar
SW = Swift Group
Build year codes:
When checking the age of a caravan, bear in mind that the build year runs from 1st September to 31st August. This means that the build year code on a caravan may not relate to the calendar year in which it was manufactured. For example, any caravan made between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014 will carry the 2014 “E” build code.
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996
V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000
1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003
4 = 2004
5 = 2005
6 = 2006
7 = 2007
8 = 2008
9 = 2009
A = 2010
B = 2011
C = 2012
D = 2013
E = 2014
Be warned that some European manufacturers use the letter ‘Q’ for their build year code and therefore it would be wise to contact the manufacturer directly if you have any concerns.
If you’re having trouble decoding your caravan’s VIN yourself, just type it into this online decoder tool to find out more about it.
As the mandatory VINs were only introduced in 1992, those caravans manufactured earlier will not display the standard 17 digit code. If you are thinking about buying an older caravan, or need to find the VIN to sell yours on, contact the manufacturer or owners club for information on where to find it and how to read. Common places for the VIN include a metal plate on the A-frame, inside the caravan by the door or on the windows. Any obvious number or letter coding will probably be the old-style VIN.
With several different caravan insurance policies we will have an insurance policy that covers your needs. Why pay any more than you have to for first class cover. Call us on 01480 402460 for a quote.