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VIN date vs manufacture date and warranty


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I am new to RVing and purchasing a used RV from a dealer.


The unit I am purchasing is a 2015 model. The chassis is made by Chevy and has a 36,000/3 Year warranty. Given that it is a 2015 model I assume it has around two years left on the chassis warranty. However, when I did a CarFax search using the VIN it says it was manufactured in 2014 and when I go to the Chevy web site and request warranty information it indicates the warranty started April 2014 and ends April 2017.


I raised the concern that the warranty starts in 2014 with the RV dealer. The RV dealer is telling me that RVs work differently as the chassis is often manufactured ahead of the motorhome and the warranty starts with the manufacture of the motorhome. He said the title and registration shows the motorhome was manufactured 2015 and the warranty for the chassis will start in 2015.


Anyone able to confirm either way what the dealer is telling me?

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Welcome to the Escapee forums, Robert! We are happy to have you with us.


It is very common for RV builders to have chassis from the previous model year that have not been used when the chassis model year changes and so it may take several months of building (for example) 2016 model motorhomes that ride on a 2015 chassis. Since the warranty on the chassis begins when the vehicle is registered the first time, it really isn't important from a warranty standpoint. It is exactly the same as with cars when you buy a leftover 2015 model, several months after the new 2016 is on the lot. Warranty period begins with either the date of the sales contract which is typically the same as the initial registration date. It then lasts the stated warranty period from that day.


Keep in mind that even the current model year of any vehicle begins on the date of sale and runs for 1 to 3 years or stated mileage, which ever comes first. The warranty actually has no connection at all to the listed model year as an 2016 model that was sold when they are first introduced would have a sale date of somewhere around October 1, 2015 and the warranty would be based upon that, even though the model year is 2016.


Where model year does matter is in resale value or trade-in value. Those are based upon the start of each model year and completely ignore the date of sale.

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When we had a Class C based on a Ford E-450 chassis my Ford dealer told me exactly the same thing. Our MH was a 2005 Coach House which was built on a 2004 Ford chassis. We didn't have to force the issue, but somehow the "transfer" of the vehicle to the RV manufacturer appears to trigger the start of the warranty (at least as far as Ford's computer was concerned). I'm sure I could have won the battle if I had needed to, but fortunately it wasn't necessary.

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Same thing with large trucks, which may have an incomplete truck shipped from manufacturer to another that mounts the body. The warranty begins in that case when the truck is "put in service", which may be months or even years after the incomplete vehicle was manufactured.

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