Finding the VIN Number on Vintage Trailers

Question: Dear Luise: Where can I find the Serial Number and VIN number on a 1967 Pathfinder camper? J.

Answer:
Dear J. I just heard from another “J” that the Pathfinder was manufactured in Spencer, Wisconsin. You can read her comment under “Vintage Travel Trailers and Vintage Campers” on my website. I asked her where the VIN number is, since she has it. It may just be on her title but it’s worth inquiring. Blessings, Luise

62 Responses to Finding the VIN Number on Vintage Trailers

  1. D. September 6, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    Hi, i just bought a 1978 15′ Sunline trailer and the town hall wants a VIN #/ All I could find is Serial #s. Is there a location they put it at? Thanks, D.

  2. Luise September 6, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    There seems to be no industry standard. This is making it extremely difficult for vintage trailer buyers to establish ownership…especially when the trailer is an “orphan”, meaning the manufacturer is no longer in business.

    • A. February 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      you can find the VIN number on the toung of your vintage trailer…you may have to scrap the metal or use a metal brush on a grander or drill… but that is where you will find it. There should be a matching VIN numbers on each side of the toung. good luck.A.

      • Pat August 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

        thank you so much for this information! We have an “orphaned” trailer that the VIN plate was taken from & from your information we were at least able to recover the info needed to register the trailer.

        You are a blessing!!!
        thanks!

  3. T. December 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    Question – My son just pulled up pulling a 33ft travel trailer. (He did some work for a man and took it as payment) It has a “RT” on the side of it and is very old (70’s) I can’t find any information on it as to what brand it is. I would love to fix it up, but don’t know where to start.

  4. Luise December 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    Dear T. That’s a new one to me. I would be willing to bet the R is for Road and the T is Traveler…but that’s all it is…a guess. Has anyone any info on this?
    Blessings, Luise

  5. lori March 7, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    I was recently given a marathon camper but cannot find the serial numbers necessary for road travel. Any ideas? There are no metal plates or tags on the outside of the camper. We have looked over the entire camper with no luck. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Annette April 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Hi, I was given a 25 foot Coachmen Chaparral Travel trailer. The thing is they had lost the title a long time ago, we can not find serial numbers any where, We have a bill of sale, but we need numbers to get a bonded title. Not sure what year it is and neither were the last owners, who got it from a friend of a friend and so on. I need some direction on where to go from here. Help……………. Thanks.

    • Tonya September 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

      I just recently bought a camper. On the lost title ( not finished ) it says its a 1967 William C travel trailer. I had one heck of a time looking for a Vin number but its not 17 digits like its supposed to be. its only 8 can that identify the camper? I really need to identify the camper in order to get a title on it. Can you help me please on what to do maybe? Thanks, Tonya

      • Luise Volta September 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

        T. – Let’s hope someone here will have some suggestions. In the U.S. ( I don’t know where you are) the DMV might be able to give you some feedback. In my experience, the quality of their interest and contribution depends on who you get after you wait in line.

  7. J. May 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    I need to know how to find a serial number on an pop up camper? J.

    • Luise May 5, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi, There is no standard which makes it very difficult. If the manufacturer is still in business and you know the year, he may be able to help you. Otherwise, all you can do is go over it with a fine tooth comb. Blessings, Luise

  8. dan spease May 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    I would like to build raft trailers.where do I go to find the supplies you need to make your own VIN stencils? If we want a laser copy where do we need to go and get one to make the VIN numbers? Do we need to register the VIN numbers? where do we do that ? In the state of Oregon. All trailers will be sold to a dealer. Dan

  9. L. June 28, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    I have a Shasta travel trailer the serial number is 2045571 how can I find the year it was manufactured. L.

  10. L. July 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi, I am new to all this vintage travel trailer stuff, but loving finding there are so so many enthusiasts like me. My kids thought i was crazy. I just bought a lovely 1977 Coachmen Cadet 19.5 foot travel trailer and am having a blast restoring her. I will set out on the road soon to discover the many opportunities and adventures that still abound in the great USA. I am however, having trouble locating the spec’s on it. Weights and things. Also in need of original stickers with spec’s. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks and happy trailering, L.

    • Luise July 5, 2009 at 7:36 am #

      Dear L.: Good for you for being willing to be different! Aren’t they great?

      I would suggest you contact the manufacturer to see if they can help you or put you in touch with someone who can: http://coachmenrv.com/

      I also think you might enjoy this site:

      http://www.tincantourists.com/

      Happy Trails! Luise

  11. Luise August 17, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    I would contact: http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/trading-post-sale-trade/66089-28-1987-lasalle-champion-motor-home-mi.html to see if that might open some doors. I know your unit isn’t a motor home but it’s worth a try.

  12. T. August 27, 2009 at 4:16 am #

    Hello: I’ve bought many a travel trailers of all brands. The VIN numbers are stamped on the frame on most. Some on the right side and some on the left side. Usually right after the tongue. I’ve seen sum on top of the rail too. By a small wire wheel and use a cordless drill to grind in those areas. Most of the time they appear. Right now I have a 1966 Shasta compact. T.

  13. L. February 13, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    i bought a Shasta trailer that has no title. Where can i find the VIN #? I don’t know the year. it has 13 inch tires. it is a 14 to 12 ft. L.

    • Luise February 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      Try gently sanding the tongue looking for an indentation that is the VIN. Using paint remover. too. That has worked for some people. Blessings, Luise

  14. taras March 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I was recently given a pathfinder camper by my grandparents. It’s obviously old, and its been sitting in a lot for years my grandparents have no clue what year it is or even where the majority of the paper work is. But its still in surprisingly good shape and I’ve now taken on the job of fixing it up. I guess I’m just looking for any advise on figuring out more its about its age and how to go about properly restoring it.( I’m also young and broke so any good tips on making the most of what I am able to invest would be appreciated :)

  15. Cherie Hotchkiss April 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi Luise,

    My father passed this last December. I am in Minnesota helping my Mom sort/clean/sell and prepare the property to sell because it’s too big for her to maintain on her own. She has a 1968 Pathfinder camper. It’s in really good shape. She wouldn’t be able to tow it herself and won’t be using it. What is the best way to go about finding someone who would really love to have it and also how do we find out what a fair price would be for it? It is insured, so I’m assuming I’ll find the VIN # on the insurance papers. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Cherie

    • Luise April 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

      I have used Craigslist for seeling vintage RVs and been very satified.

  16. Tom Brown April 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I have a Trotwood camper and was wondering where the vin number is located on camper i do not have the tittle it has a serial No C U B MODEL No. G 34 3 CAN YOU HELP ME ANY ADVICE WOULD BE GREAT

  17. Alan Smith April 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    I just purchased a 60 model shasta 16 ft camper for a hundred dollars. Excellent buy. The vin # is located on a small tag welded to the inside of the tongue. Left hand (drivers) side. I hope someone finds this info useful. Keep up the good work Luise.

  18. C. June 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    We got an Open Road camper from a friend. Metal Plate beside the door says Model 21TRLSD and a serial number. Can anyone tell me how old this camper may be and is the serial number the same as a VIN number? Any help is appreciated. C.

  19. frank July 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I bought a travel trailer for 300 dollars and i think its from the 70’s but im not sure how can i find out the manufacturer, year and vin# i can send you a picture. Frank

    • Luise August 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

      I don’t have any way to upload pictures here, unfortunately. Sand the tongue very carefully and you may find an imprint of the Vehicle Identification Number to take to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  20. bobby roundtree August 2, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    i have a norris travel trailer around 70,s looking for where they would have put the vin # so i can file for a lost title. if anyone has a norris please let me know where it would be located on the trailer thank you? B.

    • Luise August 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

      Some have had good luck carefully sanding the tongue. The VIN is often imprinted there.

  21. O. October 22, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    My brother and I inherited a “Star” Trailerized Home,
    Manufactured by Mid States Corp.
    Not sure of the year or much about it except it looks neat and is in restorable condition. As close as we can figure it is from the 40’s, two doors and birch interior and about 30 feet long.
    Any help or a direction to go in would be a great help. Also I think it might have been manufactured in Los Angeles. We are looking at possibly selling. O.

    • Luise October 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

      Let’s put your post up here and hope we get a response.

    • joanne November 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      I have just acquired a Star also about 30 ft long birch interior back bedroom really spacious – trying to find any info on it – old manuals etc… did you did up anything? J.

      • Luise Volta November 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

        J. We can publish your request and hope you get a response. Blessings, Luise

        • SaraT June 11, 2014 at 9:15 am #

          I have scoured the web looking for ANYTHING for the Star Trailerized homes. There is not much out there on them. I am in the process right now of buying a 1947(?) and found nothing. there are similar looking campers/trailers (I think one was a Masterbilt, http://www.flytecamp.com has some renovated campers similar in their portfolio) Hopefully someone out there has some useful info for Star owners…

  22. Daryl November 2, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    I have a Lionel Enterprises Trailer made in May 1979 and can’t figure out the model. I need to get new canvas for it and if I can figure out the model it will be much less then having to get one custom made. I have the Serial but have not yet figure out how to get the model from it. Thanks, Daryl

  23. Chris February 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I have a 1969 traveleze camp trailer and I am trying to locate the vin number. If you know please let me know at clhall411@aol.com

    • Luise February 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      Remove the paint and rust from the tongue and carefully sand it. The VIN is often indented there.

  24. Chris February 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    I found the vin # on my 1969 Traveleze it was on the tongue on passenger side about 2 feet from ball mount hitch on top of frame rail thanks for your help

    • Luise February 23, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      You’re more than welcome. Happy Trails!

  25. Lynn April 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    I am looking for the spec information on a 1999 fifth wheel Shasta
    Does anyone know where this is located?
    Thanks

    • oooldman November 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      it is located on the inside of the frame,about 2 feet behind the pin on passenger side

  26. doug townsend April 23, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    where can i locate vin on a 1976 prowler camper. need it for title. D

    You may find it by stripping the paint off and carefully sanding the tongue and front support bar. It is often indented there.

  27. J. June 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    how do you find the vin# on older holiday ramblettes campers? J.

    • Luise June 27, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      Many who have very carefully removed the paint and rust from the tongue have found it indented there.

  28. S. August 3, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Hello, I just purchased a 1962? or 1963? frolic camper, i’m looking for the vin number. Where would it be located? Do you need it and or a title when registering it? Thank you, S.

  29. Ric Stabile August 26, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    Hi Luise ! What a RESOURCEFUL INFORMATIVE Vintage RV Site U have ! Bravo ! I Just purchased a 1972 ….Are U ready…..”Montgomery Ward Westerner”, by Camel MFG of Tennessee. It was a “Pop-up” from the “Auto-Salvage” with MASSIVE MICE INFESTATION ! But .. With 100% “Un-scented Bleach, and Simple-Green and Sunshine ….Away went 100% of all odor and Bacteria ! ! ! Oh yes… $ 100.00 of purchase will give U….Over 100 hours removing “Decayed, Destroyed ” materials. My “R&D.”Dream-Plan is to make this Unit into a complete, Enclosed Self-contained with Shower/Comode, Double-Bed (For my Wife and I ) and at least 15 gallons of on-board H20. Just in case we are too far from Municipal Services. Anybody have this particular model ? All the best, Ric Stabile , A new Fan !

  30. B. October 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I recently bought a Nomad travel trailer cant fnd the vin# could you tell me where i might find it thanks. B.

    • Luise October 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      B. Sand the tongue gently and remove the rust. The VIN may be enbedded there.

  31. K. May 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    I have a 1973 tag a long camper but icant put plant on it no tiedl for it I cant put it on the road can you help me. K.

    • K. May 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      ok

  32. H. September 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I have a 1989 Nomad weekender by Skyline 5th wheel camper, it has a VIN tag, but DMV says invalid VIN. Where is the VIN stamped on the frame.so I can compare numbers. H.

    • Luise Volta September 5, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      I’m not sure on the 5th wheel. People have have found it on the hitch…by removing pain and rust and sanding it lightly…and on the cross beam at the front. It’s never been standardized, unfortunately.

  33. L. September 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    I just had the same problem, and of all places it was on the water heater and also on the panel behind the water heater! L.

    • Luise Volta September 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Wow! That’s a new one! Thank you SO much! :-)

  34. Alan With September 14, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I recently got a Pop up tent trailer vintage, 1964/65? I think? It was sitting on the side of the road in front of a home with a sign saying “FREE. TAKE IT AWAY”.
    It is in really nice shape. The body is all folded galvanised metal and is gold in colour. It is bolted together at all four corners.The canvas, except for the stitching, is like new and is green in colour. It has two pivoting supports either side to support the canvas and a three piece tent pole assembly to support the centre. This pole assembly simply fits into a hole on either side that has been drilled into the body. The bed panels slide out from the front and rear with little handles on them and have round bar supports that fit into a hole under the bed and angle down to a similar matching hole in the frame to support the bed sections.The tires are high speed 5:00/5:70-8 Firestones. It has large decals on both sides and the rear with red lettering on a black rectangular background that say “The Sportsman” but there is no manufacturers name on it anywhere or any model or serial numbers.
    I have tried wire brushing and sanding the whole tongue assembly and have checked top and bottom, inside and out, I checked the front and rear cross members and the bumper. I have searched the body inside and out, top and bottom, inside the two storage areas and their lids, around the door and the door opening. Nothing.
    It appears to have been last used in 1979 judgeing by coin and newspaper dates found in the trailer. The tires and mud flaps are worn out but the rest as I said before is like new.

    Does anybody know who made this unit? It looks much too professional to have been home built, a lot of care where it shows, more hurried where it doesn’t.

  35. C & C. October 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    We purchased a 1967 Holiday Rambler Vacationer in OH and took it home to PA. We have the OH title and are trying to get it registered in PA. We do not have a vin number any where. We have sanded the entire tongue its missing. The camper had nothing original inside and was not restored very well. We gutted the rest of the inside. No vin any where. With out a vin we cannot get it registered. What is the next step please? C.C.

    • Luise Volta October 17, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Please go to our HomePage and on the far right, scroll down to ‘RV Advice’. In the posts there you will find several other suggestions regarding where the VIN has been found. To the best of my knowledge, it’s never been standardized. Good luck.

  36. Donna November 3, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I have acquired a 9′ security (vanguard) camper. There is a model number tag on it and I was told that the year of the camper is usually the numbers in the middle of the model number. Do you know if this is the case? And if not, how would I find out the year of the camper? D.T.

    • Luise Volta November 14, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      As far as I know there is no real standard to go by which is 99% of the problem. I hope someone reads this can can give you a hand. Blessings, Luise

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