How to Read RV Model Numbers

Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by Jess

In the RV industry, there are many acronyms, letters and numbers that give the impression that dealers and manufacturers are talking to each other in code. There are GVWR, CCC, UVW and other abbreviations that refer to weight and capacity.

And if you’re a first-time RV buyer, model numbers can be confusing. They mix numbers and letters, like 387MBS.

It is indeed like a code, but it’s not an unbreakable secret code. Rather, you can understand what a dealer tells you on the phone when he mentions an XLT model or a GK device.

Let’s take a look at where to find RV model numbers and what they mean to make your RV search easier and faster!

What is an RV model number?

An RV model number is an identification code established by the manufacturer. It is usually a series of letters and numbers that provide information about the length or square footage of the RV and the floor plan.

There is no hard and fast rule or specific regulation on how these model numbers are arranged. Each manufacturer has its own system for creating them.

Where can you find your RV model number?

You can find your RV’s model number in several ways. The easiest way to find it is on the outside of your RV near the front door. On most towable RVs, the model number is in bold black letters and numbers mounted vertically. It reads something like “375RL” or “280BHS.”

You can also find your RV’s model number on the manufacturer’s website, in the owner’s manual, and on the dealer’s receipt.

You can find the floor plan of your motorhome on the manufacturer’s website, where you can also find the model number of the motorhome.

Also, the model number should be printed in the owner’s manual in the front of the book or somewhere in the first few pages. And the dealer’s receipt will tell you exactly what you paid.

What does the model number of your RV say?

Since manufacturers can make up model numbers as they see fit, there is no one hundred percent correct interpretation of an RV model number. But in general, they all follow some sort of guideline.

The numbers in the model number usually represent the interior length or square footage. For example, “375RL” usually means the inside length from front to back is 37.5 feet.

The letters in the model number of the RV provide information about the floor plan. For example, “375RL” means that the motorhome has a “rear living” floor plan.

Common codes such as “RL” are used from brand to brand. This helps potential buyers quickly identify the floor plan before entering an RV.

Knowing these codes can save you a lot of time when you’re at an RV show or walking through a dealer parking lot.

What are the common codes for RV model numbers?

Dozens of codes are used in the RV industry to identify floor plans. Among the most common are FE and FL, which stand for “Front Entertainment” and “Front Living.” These are common codes for fifth wheels.

BH and DB usually denote models with a “bunkhouse” or “double bunk.” CK means “central kitchen” and MB means “cupboard bed”.

In addition, OK stands for “outside kitchen,” RD for “rear bunkhouse,” and the list could go on and on.

A breakdown of motorhome model numbers

Let’s take a look at a handful of real examples. We can quickly break down RV model numbers to find out what the numbers and letters mean. This will give you instant information about the vehicle before you enter it.

1. Jayco Eagle 317RLOK

The Jayco Eagle 317RLOK has RL to indicate “rear living area” and OK to indicate that it has an “outdoor kitchen”. These are popular features that potential buyers look for, so the manufacturer decided to highlight them as part of the RV model number.

If you’re just looking for a bunkhouse model, you can look past the Jayco Eagle 317RLOK if you interpret the model number correctly. The number 317 tells you the square footage of the interior. This will give you an idea of how big the living area is if you choose between fifth wheels.

Remember: Can you search for an RV by VIN number? Click on the link to find out!

2nd Forest River Grand Surveyor 267RBSS

This Forest River model also has two codes in the RV model number. The RB stands for “rear bath” and the SS stands for “super slide” or “single slide”.

This vehicle has a huge single slide that extends on the driver’s side, which means the living space opens up to increase square footage.

The number 267 is smaller than the 317 in the Jayco Eagle, which means this camper has less square footage. It is more suitable for solo travelers or couples camping a few weekends a year.

3rd Heartland North Trail 24BHS

This camper has a BH for “bunk house” and an S for “slide. Normally an S means the camper has only one slide.

Potential buyers looking for a large space to entertain may bypass this model knowing it has only one slide when they want more than one. On the other hand, families looking for an adequate sleeping space can get into this model knowing that it has a bunkhouse.

The number 24 indicates the interior length. Instead of a three-digit square footage, Heartland has used a two-digit number to represent length.

The kitchen area in a Heartland North Trail 24BHS.

4th Coachmen Leprechaun 220XG

The Coachmen Leprechaun 220XG is a Class C. The three digit number in the model number of the RV is the square footage of living space. This would be similar in size to the Forest River Grand Surveyor, but in a drivable RV.

Coachmen highlights the cross-functional garage feature of this Class C with the letters XG. The Murphy rear bed folds up to provide a huge garage space for gear and cargo. For potential buyers who like the campervan style but want a larger motorhome, this could be a great option.

Please note: Coachmen RV has been a respected brand in the industry for decades! Learn more about Coachmen RV

5th Newmar Canyon Star 3957

Class A motorhomes have different types of motorhome model numbers. Most of the time, you won’t see letters. Instead, the first two numbers represent the length and the second two represent the floor plan.

This isn’t particularly helpful to potential buyers, but it helps the manufacturer and dealer keep track of inventory and quickly identify specific models.

If a customer likes a 57 model with a diesel engine but prefers a gasoline engine, Newmar can look to see if there is a 57 model in the gasoline line. Or if someone likes the Canyon Star 3737 but wants a larger vehicle, Newmar can show the customer the Kountry Star 4037. The floor plan will not be exactly the same, but very similar.

The interior of a Newman Canyon Star 3957

Why is it important to understand RV model numbers?

As you can see, understanding RV model numbers can make finding the right RV for your family much easier and faster.

If you love the front living area of an RV, don’t waste time searching for RL or RE models.

If you know you want a 40-foot Class A motorhome, stick with the units with the 40 in the RV model number.

Do you know the model number of your RV? What does it tell you about the size and floor plan of your RV?

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