How to Read RV Model Numbers

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The RV industry has lots of acronyms, letters, and numbers in the RV industry that make it seem like dealers and manufacturers speak in code to one another. You have GVWR, CCC, UVW, and other shorthand examples referencing weight and capacities. 

And, if shopping for an RV for the first time, the model numbers may feel confusing. They blend numbers and letters, like 387MBS.

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

Let’s 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’s usually a series of letters and numbers that give information about the length or square footage of the RV and the floorplan. 

No set rule or specific regulation details 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 model number a few ways. On your RV, one of the easiest ways is to look on the outside next to the entry door. Most towable RVs have the model number in bold black letters and numbers positioned vertically. It will read something like “375RL” or “280BHS.”

Other places where you can find your RV model number include the manufacturer’s website, your owner’s manual, and the dealer receipt. 

You can find your floorplan on the manufacturer’s website, which will then provide the RV model number. 

Additionally, the owner’s manual should have the model number printed on the front of the book or somewhere on the beginning pages. And the dealer receipt will show exactly what you paid for.

What Does Your RV Model Number Tell You?

Because manufacturers can create model numbers however they choose, there isn’t a 100% right way to interpret 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” typically means the interior length from front to back measures 37.5 feet. 

The letters in the RV model number tell you details about the floor plan. For example, “375RL” means the RV has a “rear living” floorplan.

Common codes like “RL” are used across the board from brand to brand. This helps potential buyers quickly know the layout before walking into an RV. 

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

What Are Common Codes Used in RV Model Numbers?

You’ll see dozens of codes used in the RV industry to identify floorplans. Some of the most common include FE and FL, which mean “front entertainment” and “front living.” These are common codes for fifth wheels. 

BH and DB commonly identify models with a “bunkhouse” or “double bunk.” CK means “central kitchen,” and MB means “Murphy bed.”

Additionally, OK means “outside kitchen;” RD means “rear den;” and the list goes on and on.

A Breakdown of RV Model Numbers

Let’s take a look at a handful of real examples. We can quickly break down the RV model numbers to identify what the numbers and letters mean, thus giving you immediate information about the rig before ever stepping foot in it.

1. Jayco Eagle 317RLOK

The Jayco Eagle 317RLOK has RL to identify its “rear living” and OK to identify that it has an “outside kitchen.” These are popular features that potential buyers may look for, so the manufacturer has chosen to highlight these as part of the RV model number. 

If you’re only looking for a bunkhouse model, you can just pass by the Jayco Eagle 317RLOK by interpreting the model number correctly. The number 317 gives you the square footage of the interior space. This gives you an idea of how big the living area is when choosing between fifth wheels.

Keep in Mind: Can You Look Up an RV by VIN Number? Click the link to find out!

The kitchen area inside a Jayco Eagle 317RLOK

2. 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 unit has a huge single slide that extends on the driver’s side, indicating that the living space opens up to increase the square footage. 

The number 267 is smaller than the 317 in the Jayco Eagle, which means this travel trailer has less square footage. It might be more optimal for solo travelers or couples who camp a few weekends a year. 

3. Heartland North Trail 24BHS

This travel trailer has a BH for “bunk house” and an S for “slide.” Usually, one S indicates the RV only has one slide. 

Potential buyers looking for a large space to entertain can bypass this model because you know it only has one slide if you want several. On the other hand, families looking for adequate sleeping space may walk into this model, knowing it has a bunk house. 

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

The kitchen area inside a Heartland North Trail 24BHS

4. Coachmen Leprechaun 220XG

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

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

Keep in Mind: Coachmen RV has been a reputable brand in the industry for decades! Learn more about Coachmen RV

5. Newmar Canyon Star 3957

Class A motorhomes have different types of RV model numbers. Most of the time, you don’t see letters. Instead, the first two numbers are the length, and the second two indicate the floorplan. 

This isn’t super helpful for potential buyers, but it helps the manufacturer and dealer easily keep track of the inventory and quickly identify certain models.

If a customer likes a 57 model in diesel but prefers a gas engine, Newmar can look to see if there’s a 57 model in the gas lineup. Or if someone likes the Canyon Star 3737 but wants a larger rig, Newmar might show the customer the Kountry Star 4037. The floorplan won’t be the exact same but very similar.

Inside a Newman Canyon Star 3957

Why Is Understanding RV Model Numbers Important?

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

If you love the front living spaces of fifth wheels, don’t waste time looking at the RL or RE models.

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

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

  1. I’m finding that on models that list two digit numbers, that often the overall outside length tends to be roughly a foot longer.

  2. Good to know. We have find the shortest with the mostest and love the used models with more character.
    I appreciate the comment.

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