Understanding the Differences: RV Build Year vs Chassis Year
Determining the correct chassis year of your Sprinter conversion van or RV is crucial, especially when ordering parts.
Here's a simple guide to help you:
RV Year vs. Chassis Year
RV Build Year: Indicates when the recreational vehicle was actually assembled or completed on the chassis.
Chassis Year: Refers to when the chassis, the vehicle's base framework, was manufactured.
Why They Differ: RV manufacturers often purchase chassis in bulk and store them until they are ready to build the RV. Thus, a chassis made in one year might not be used for an RV build until the following year or later
Example of Discrepancy: It's common to find RVs labeled as a more recent model year built on a chassis from the previous year. For instance, an RV marketed as a 2020 model could be built on a 2019 chassis.
Determining the Chassis Year
VIN as an Indicator: The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-digit code found on the driver's side dashboard, door jamb, or on vehicle registration and insurance documents.
The 8th digit of the VIN, known as the "vehicle attributes" digit, indicates the chassis's model year.
You can also check you VIN number online to determin your chassis year model at https://vincheck.info/free-vin-decoder
Engine Type as an Indicator:
Sprinter T1N (2002-2006): If your Sprinter has a 2.7-liter inline 5-cyl diesel engine, it's a 2006 or earlier chassis.
Sprinter NCV3 (2007-2018): Sprinters with a 3.0 V-6 diesel or a 2.1 inline 4-cyl diesel engine are from 2007 or later.
Sprinter VS30 (2019+): These models also use the 3.0 V-6 diesel but introduce a 2.0 turbo gas engine.
Why This Matters
Using the correct year ensures that parts ordered will fit and function correctly. Sprinter parts for different model years are not interchangeable due to design changes over the years.
Which Year Should I use?
When dealing with your Sprinter conversion van or RV, the year you should use depends on the context:
For Ordering Sprinter-specific Parts: Always use the Sprinter chassis year. This is crucial because parts are specific to the chassis model, and parts for different models (early, mid, late) are not interchangeable.
For Ordering RV-specific Parts (Non-Sprinter): Use the RV build year. This applies to parts that are part of the RV conversion or build-out, like faucets, cabinet parts, or interior fittings.