What is a VIN number and why is it important?
VIN is simply short for vehicle identification number. For the remainder of this article, we shall continue to use the shorthand “VIN” in reference to vehicle identification numbers.
Although not a vehicle, every mobile home has a VIN number. Your mobile home VIN number serves as a birth certificate of sorts for your home. It’s a several digit serial number that identifies various details of your home.
Before the mobile home is permanently installed as a home, it is first registered with your state’s DMV. You may contact the DMV with your VIN number to find out if they have any special information regarding the mobile home such as additional owners. Some states, such as Georgia, even have an online database you may tap into.
How to find your mobile home VIN number FOR FREE
Generally, there are two plausible places you may find your mobile home VIN number for free.
- On the data plate situated inside your home
- Stamped onto the steel frame of your mobile home
But before we continue to elaborate, we need to point out a striking fact in mobile home VIN numbers. If your mobile home comes in more than one section, you will have a VIN number for each section. (For example, a single-wide will only have one VIN number. A double-wide will have a VIN number for each half of the double-wide. If your triple-wide has three transportable parts, each part will have its own VIN number.
So moving on, the first place you’ll check for your mobile home VIN number is the data plate on the structure’s interior. This data plate is a sticker and it lists the VIN number and other data relevant to your mobile home. (Note: sometimes it’s also known as a serial number.)
The data plate is usually inside the of the master bedroom closet on the wall. Or, you may instead find it on the back of a cabinet door under the kitchen sink. One other place you may check for the data plate is the area surrounding the back door of your mobile home.
On the data plate, your VIN number may be listed as the manufacturer’s serial number. For more information on interpreting the rest of your data plate, check out HUD.gov.
Secondly, you may check the exterior of your mobile home.
Begin by moving anything that may be obstructing your view of the mobile home’s metal frame at the towing end of your home. There are two metal bars that extend at this end (if they weren’t removed), creating a triangle which makes the tow bar.
Standing before the frame, scan the metal beam for a string of numbers. Your VIN will be at least 3/8 inches in height.
If you still can’t find it, try the other end of your mobile home. You’ll probably need to gently pull away any mobile home materials obstructing your view. You should find a VIN number there if you couldn’t find it on the tow bar end.
Understanding your mobile home VIN number
Amusingly, some folks make it a fun hobby to decipher VIN number as there is a story behind every set of numbers. Like we stated earlier, your VIN number is like a birth certificate of sorts, unique to your mobile home and your mobile home alone.
Every manufacturer will have its own structure and abbreviations for their mobile home VIN number.
Within your home’s VIN number, you’ll find an abbreviation for the manufacturer. This abbreviation may compromise of three or more characters. An abbreviation for the state in which the home was manufactured will also be in the VIN number. Then you’ll see a multiple-digit serial number in the mix.
On the end, you’ll see a letter “A” and “B” if you’re dealing with a mobile home that was built with more than one transportable part. Each side will have its own letter tacked on the end of the VIN number. On paperwork, “AB” would be tacked on together at the end of the VIN number, rather than listing the VIN twice for each part.
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How does the VIN number help you?
Knowing your mobile home VIN number provides you with important data. This data will provide you with information about your mobile home’s history. If you’re purchasing a mobile home, it’s good to compare the VIN number to what’s on the title. Doing so will help verify that you’re not being scammed.
Another critical reason to have your VIN handy is in the case you should wish to sell your home, this information will be required of you.
Now that you’ve verified ownership of the mobile home, why not look into some lending options?