Class A and Class C Motorhome Chassis Decodes as a Different Year than the Model Listed in NADA or by Customer
Title Forwarding is a very common practice within the RV Industry. Almost every manufacturer will buy hundreds, if not thousands of Incomplete Chassis well in advance of building a particular model. As a result, the final model built will have a registered 'MCO' (Manufacturers Certificate of Origin) as the model year the RV was completed. The final stage completed RV model year and MCO is determined by the manufacturer only, not the Chassis as the VIN decodes. In some rare cases, the chassis could actually be 2 years older than the registered model due to the use of leftover chassis from the previous year build. However, this an exception and not very common. Example chassis manufacturers will be Chevrolet, Workhorse, Ford, Freightliner, Spartan, etc. If there is any question regarding model year on a loss vehicle, please contact the manufacturer for final verification. If the loss vehicle year was determined to be incorrect and needs to be changed on the template, please contact the Adjuster handling the claim and explain the title forwarding process and ask for permission to have the work template updated.
Who decides what the “official” model year of the vehicle is?
The final stage motorhome manufacturer has authority to designate on the completed vehicle MCO as the model year of the completed motorhome. This is Reflected on the Title (By the MCO)
Is the motorhome manufacturer required to disclose the difference between the model year of the incomplete vehicle and the model year of the incomplete chassis?
No. However, four states (California, Maryland, Michigan, and Wisconsin) require dealers to inform purchases of multi-stage vehicles of the difference between the model year of the incomplete vehicle chassis and the model year of the final stage motorhome. This does not change the year of the motorhome, these 4 States are only required to disclose the Title Forwarding.
When a consumer has a new motorhome registered for the first time, the state DMV will use both the VIN assigned by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer and the model year and make assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer for the vehicle registration (MCO). All states should title motorhomes using the model year assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer. This is where some of the confusion can come in - Insurance carriers will often decode the VIN and base the policy or the claim on the year the chassis decodes as. This does not change the model/year of the vehicle, the final year the loss vehicle is always determined by manufacturer and the MCO as it was completed and built.