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Old 02-16-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Kentfield , California
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VIN Number / Decoder Discrepancy

Hello Air Forums!

Thanks for all your posts- I've learned quite a bit from you folks during the last few months! You've really helped to guide me. I've been shopping for just the right Airstream- the plan is to full time live in it for a year or so (just me)... Anyway on to the point-

I'm seriously considering a particular 1985 Sovereign 34. Based on the floor plan in the photos I've seen, it's definitely a rear double, center bath, and it's definitely a Sovereign based on the big "Sovereign" name on the side.

The VIN number and the pics of the trailer don't match what the decoder says it should be. The VIN in the photo I have starts with- 1ST BBAU32FJ. It's the BB part that doesn't tie.
B- the decoder says "Corner Rear Bath, Modern Design * 10/1/01"- this doesn't match the photos I have
B- decoder says "Classic *4/4/01"- this also doesn't match the photos I have

It's about a 15 hour drive plus the drive back, so I'm a little concerned...

Can you all help me figure out where the issue is? Maybe Airstream typo'd when they printed the VIN?

Thanks again!
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:44 AM   #2
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Is the VIN on a plate on the side of the trailer or engraved into the tongue? On a trailer that old someone might have done a renovation - but that's a drastic change to the layout for any reno. It's not unheard of for an owner to upgrade the trim level by putting high end badges on a lower priced trailer That's not your situation. The badge may have been pulled off of a wrecked trailer and put on another one that for some reason couldn't be titled. I could be wrong, but I'm thinking the trailer was stolen and titled under a false VIN. Before you waste taking a trip to see the trailer ask to see a photo of the title. And if the title is missing.... well connect the dots.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
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It's at a dealership- they seem legit. I've texted the guy selling it to see if he can find something on the frame and for a pic of the title. The VIN plate does say 1985 on it.

I emailed Airstream as well.

I'll let you know how things work out.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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1985 31' Sovereign
Lovettsville , Virginia
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Good luck and keep us posted! I'm interested to hear the outcome. It wouldn't be the first time there was a discrepancy between a VIN plate, a decoder and or the paperwork.

I'm going to pick up my new-to-me 1985 Sovereign tomorrow!
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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1985 25' Sovereign
Wichita Falls , Texas
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I have a 85 Sovereign with BB in the number and it is a rear twin singles with center bath and when I looked up my # AS says I have an International.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:08 PM   #6
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1985 25' Sovereign
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And I love my 85, seems to be a great balance between the old and the new.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterKV View Post
I have a 85 Sovereign with BB in the number and it is a rear twin singles with center bath and when I looked up my # AS says I have an International.
That helps PeterKV! Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterKV View Post
And I love my 85, seems to be a great balance between the old and the new.
I've been wondering if I should wait for a "better" model. Does it matter to anyone if it's not an Excella or Limited? From what I've read in general, it doesn't matter. Anyway, this one looks really clean and original, and it's one of the few I've seen with a floor plan I really like. I'm flying out to see it Monday with every intention of getting it.

For the record, my email to Airstream got this reply:
"The letter B in the 4th position is show as technically not used during that time period. There could be a couple different reasons why the VIN number does not correlate to our decoder sheet. It could be a typo. The plates were pressed as a part of the production process and someone might have put in a B instead of an H or what should have been there. It could have also been a slight change from the typical model and given the letter B to signify that. All of this is just speculation as we do not have production records that go back that far. I would check in the other places where the vin number might have been placed. The A frame up by the LP tanks and it might also be in a wardrobe or cabinet in the interior. I would be confident that it is the correct vin number, even if it does not conform to the conventional list letters. Please let us know if you have any other questions. thank you."

And they included a link to the 1985 owners manual I hadn't run across yet...
http://www.airstream.com/wp-content/....085c.arc_.pdf

Last, I spoke with Craig at Airstream who asked that I email him the full VIN that I didn't have at the time- I haven't heard back yet. Hopefully Monday.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85 Sovereign View Post
Good luck and keep us posted! I'm interested to hear the outcome. It wouldn't be the first time there was a discrepancy between a VIN plate, a decoder and or the paperwork.

I'm going to pick up my new-to-me 1985 Sovereign tomorrow!
Congratulations!
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:47 PM   #9
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1985 25' Sovereign
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I have the original owners manual that came with my trailer, same as the link, it is nice having the manual but it doesn't help with repairs or trouble shooting problems.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:02 AM   #10
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1985 31' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by Guydoh View Post
Congratulations!

Thank you! It was an interesting day, and a long drive as I was slow and careful, but everything went well and I've got it home. Looks like I'll be starting a complete overhaul and shell-off restoration down the road, but for now, it looks nice next to the driveway.
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