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Old 03-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #1
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Model Year Chassis Questions / Discussion

OK, something just came up that has actually been bugging me for some time. When owners post that they have a 2013 on a 2012 chassis or a 2014 on a 2013 chassis.

I don't get it, who started this convoluted way of thinkIng? The Owners, the Dealers, Airstream?

Let's use my 2011 GMC Sierra truck as an example. I ordered and took possession of it in 2010. Does that mean it is on a 2010 chassis..duh, it doesn't take Einstein to figure this one out. Who cares? It is a frigging 2011 truck.

Now obviously if there is a different and complete new platform introduced like the 2014 / 2014 1/2 then it matters. Otherwise ???

Automobile and truck manufacturers nor the general buying public ever say...I have a 2011 on a 2010 chassis. Who started this anyway?
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
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I don't get it, who started this convoluted way of thinkIng? The Owners, the Dealers, Airstream?
It makes a difference for Airstream Interstates, and most other Class Bs, which are conversion vans. They come with two different Manufacturers' Statements of Origin, one for the basic van, one for the conversion. Each has a date on it, and it makes things very complicated for the state DMV who is supposed to register it by the Airstream model year but with the Sprinter VIN if they do it right. NADA and Kelley Blue Book values are also based on the Airstream model year, not the Sprinter model year.

My Interstate is a 2011 Sprinter van, and a 2012 Interstate. If I take it in to a Sprinter dealer for warranty work on the drivetrain, they don't care that it's a 2012 Interstate, they only care that it's a 2011 Sprinter, because they have to order parts for a 2011, not a 2012.

On the other hand, if I take it to my Airstream dealer for repairs to anything they installed, all they care about is that it's a 2012 Interstate; the fact that it's a 2011 Sprinter makes no difference, because they have to order parts for a 2012, not a 2011.

If you're just talking to a fellow owner, or even a non-owner, they won't care, and you can just use the Airstream model year and be done. But for any kind of dealer maintenance, you need to know both model years.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
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Ours is a 2014 Airstream, built on a 2013 Sprinter chassis. It is registered as a 2013. Dealer told us that the registration is based on the chassis, not what is built on top of it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
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I just read an explanation on Winnebago's site that explained it pretty good. Because they are 2 stage manufactured vehicles, the chassis is given a vin # which stays with the vehicle. The final stage manufacturer has the authority to assign a later model year to the complete vehicle and it should be registered as such.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #5
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I just read an explanation on Winnebago's site that explained it pretty good. Because they are 2 stage manufactured vehicles, the chassis is given a vin # which stays with the vehicle. The final stage manufacturer has the authority to assign a later model year to the complete vehicle and it should be registered as such.
Interesting. Wonder if there was some more b.s. going on with our dealer. I might look into this by calling AS in Ohio directly to inquire.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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Ours is a 2014 Airstream, built on a 2013 Sprinter chassis. It is registered as a 2013. Dealer told us that the registration is based on the chassis, not what is built on top of it.
I didn't get my vehicle registered through the dealer since it was an out-of-state purchase; I went straight to the first Louisiana DMV office I passed on my way home from the dealer, and did it myself (and in turn saved a few bucks on the dealer's "document fee").

The nice fellow at the DMV told me that it's supposed to be registered by the conversion year and the conversion manufacturer, but with the Sprinter VIN since that's the VIN on the dashboard where law enforcement officers and insurance adjustors look for a VIN.

So according to the Louisiana DMV, mine is a 2012 Airstream Interstate that just happens to have a 2011 Sprinter VIN. So in a way it's based on the chassis, at least with regard to the VIN, but all the other info on the registration is the Airstream info.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:35 AM   #7
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I wonder if CA handles it differently. I'm gonna look into it. Our dealer was pretty awful, so there's no telling.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #8
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We purchased ours last summer, 2013, BUT it was a 2014 Airstream BUILD on a MB2013 chassis. And in PA when we register it, they use the bill-of-sale from the dealer which states it's a 2014. I have the title/registration in my hands and it states 2014 Mercedes/Airstream. Good for me as its actually a "newer" model when trying to sell privately. I would suspect any good dealer ion a trade will verify both the mfg of the vehicle and the build date when calculating trade in.

Yes, I'm sure the MB VIN will verify it as a 2013 build, from Mercedes BUT the Airstream VIN/serial number will show it as a 2014 Airstream.

Its a little like my 2013 Chevy Malibu. I took delivery of it in March of 2012 but its a 2013 title and VIN.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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In Maryland I was able to register mine as a 2012 MB Sprinter based on the VIN. The Airstream 2013 certificate of origin only confused them at the DMV.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:45 PM   #10
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In Texas the vehicle year is based on the VIN number and equally important my insurance company also bases the model year on the VIN number.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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The reason behind this is that Airstream has a number of chassis that are on the line when the Interstate model year changes and they will use them up. It's an economics decision for them. Don't want to scrap the old chassis which in all likelihood are basically the same as the new model year chassis. Obviously that doesn't hold true when a major change is made such as the 2015 chassis. But I suspect there will be 2015 Interstates built on 2014 chassis.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:13 PM   #12
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I don't think that is the case when they change platform / body. The way I understand it is Airstream buys from Mercedes complete high roof, 170 inch wheelbase vans and then converts/ upfits them. If that is the case, they won't have lots filled with old frames that they install a new body on.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:02 PM   #13
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I don't think that is the case when they change platform / body. The way I understand it is Airstream buys from Mercedes complete high roof, 170 inch wheelbase vans and then converts/ upfits them. If that is the case, they won't have lots filled with old frames that they install a new body on.
I was just going by what Airstream told my dealer. Not saying that they have lots filled w/ vans, just that they use whatever vans they have to convert, FIFO. I doubt they use JIT for delivery of the vans from Mercedes. If that's the case, then they are probably ordering small quantities each time and if they miss their target on sales, they'll have some left over when the new model conversion rolls out.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:48 PM   #14
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IF you have seen the Mercedes production video, they crank out over 700 Sprinters a day!!!!
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