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View Full Version : ATF: Landmark - Wrong VIN, Fixed by Heartland and Thor



GarryH
03-01-2012, 02:34 AM
I am the new proud owner of a 2005 Landmark that I purchased in Utah from a private sale. I did all the paperwork at the border and thought all was good---just one more step to register the 5th wheel with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles when I get home and I'm good to go. NOT TO BE !!
The 5th wheel had the wrong VIN on the decals that didn't match the title doc from the day it left the factory and this wasn't picked up until I tried to register it in Canada. After a lot of back and forth with Utah DMV and Texas DMV I found out that this is an issue that Heartland has to fix.
Only problem is Heartland doesn't want to fix it---they maintain they just have to send me new decals with the same VIN as the title document and all is well---NOT. What is required is a re-calculated VIN and re-registered with Nat. Hiway Traffic Safety ***'n and then it can be registered through the NHTSA data base.
It appears Heartland doesn't want to do this----I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has any pull with Heartland to convince them to do it the right way---otherwise I have a 5th wheel in my driveway that I can't use. I'm lucky I got it across the border as the agent never went out to verify the VIN's matched---otherwise this trailer would be sitting in a storage yard in Washington.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Ray LeTourneau
03-01-2012, 07:12 AM
Sorry to hear of your problems with the VIN. It really is a surprise to imagine that this type of situation didn't get caught by the dealer at the original sale or at least by the first owner. I'm sorry to say, I have no idea how to rectify it.

pegmikef
03-01-2012, 09:09 AM
Sorry for your trouble. Just a thought though. What if the VIN that is on the title is actually the correct VIN and has already been registered with the appropriate agencies and it is just the decal that is in fact incorrect?

jimtoo
03-01-2012, 10:10 AM
Check on the left side of the metal where the pin box bolts on the unit. The VIN is stamped into the metal that is part of the frame itself. Then compare this number with the stickers and tittle. If it matches stickers, then you probably have the wrong tittle. If it matches tittle, then stickers are wrong. If stickers and frame stamped number are the same, then most likely the original selling dealer supplied wrong tittle when originally sold. If this is the case,,then someone else has a wrong tittle also. There are 2 or 3 stickers on the trailer with VIN on them also,, are they all the same number?

I would call Heartland with both VIN numbers and ask if they could give you the name and address of who the other VIN number was/is registered to and if the original selling dealer of both units was the same dealer. If same selling dealer, he probably supplied the wrong tittle to the owners. If this is the case, maybe the original dealer could help with getting tittles changed.

Please keep us informed.

Jim M

RoadJunkie
03-01-2012, 11:52 AM
A position of thought: Is there someone out there with the contrary problem? Did titles get mixed up at dealership, stickers at the factory? I hate to say it, but I fear you have entered DMV ****. I have yet to go to Utah DMV having achieved my goal on a single visit. I hope I'm wrong...best of luck and hang in there! Oh, and keep records of phone and contact information...Otherwise you'll be doing the "consumer pass-off" dance.

TandT
03-01-2012, 03:04 PM
I am having a little trouble understanding why, after 7 years, this is a HL problem.

If I am understanding this correctly, it sounds like it got fouled up between the original buyer and their dealer and/or the DMV.
IMHO I would go back to the person you bought it from with your dilemma.
Maybe they can trace a paper trail backwards to find the point of failure.

FWIW I added dual panes 5 days before my build.
When I received my coach, HL had placed a second VIN sticker outside over the original one. The second sticker has a different VIN than the one under it. I think this is because they pulled another rig that had dual panes for me, but at that point I had my VIN so they didn't want to change my VIN number. They simply put my VIN on the second coach. Don't know if that helps. Trace

GarryH
03-01-2012, 04:29 PM
Hello All
I got this VIN problem straightened out. Someone at Thor Ind. saw this post and acted on it right away. There were actually two problems---the VIN on the labels was wrong and the VIN on the titling documents was wrong as well. Heartland is in the process of sending me new decals to put on the trailer and I have received a letter from Thor explaining the problem which will be required by Transport Canada to complete the registration now. This doesn't happen very often and it couldn't be fixed by the first dealership that sold the 5th or the Texas or Utah DMV.
Anyway alls well that ends well and I appreciate Thor and Heartland acting on this---an experienced person at Thor knew how to fix it right away. Thanks for all your suggestions.

brianharrison
03-01-2012, 05:10 PM
Weird - so you are essentially saying a third VIN, and not the VIN on the title nor the VIN on the trailer is what is required to resolve this issue with Transport Canada. And it was a THOR rep that sent you a letter to resolve the issue with your 2005 landmark? Why a third VIN? and why a THOR rep? Thor only recently bought in to Heartland (if my memory serves me correct) and only as an equity position. Maybe THOR had this issue occur with many of their older THOR branded products?

It is not clear to me...... Maybe I am just thick....lol

Brian

PS - Found it - Thor acquired their interest in Heartland by buying out a controlling shareholder, Catterton Partners, for $200 million in Sept 2010 --> Link to News (http://www.rvbusiness.com/2010/09/thor-buys-heartland-stake-for-200m/)

Ray LeTourneau
03-01-2012, 06:41 PM
Garry, Thanks for your update and letting us know about Thor getting involved. Awesome fact that Heartland & Thor take care of us owners the way they do.

khalsey
03-01-2012, 07:09 PM
Reading this Thread reminded me about the confusion of the VIN number on my 2006 Landmark. The pinbox and inside sticker has the same number as on my title. I can't be sure of the stamped number on the pinbox because it is so faint. when I joined theHeartland club and was filling out the form it would't accept my VIN # (said invalid #). I called Jim and he gave me the number Heartland had for my trailer and it worked when I put that number in. On the 9th letter/number of my VIN they have #1 and my title is #3.

TandT
03-01-2012, 08:07 PM
Weird - so you are essentially saying a third VIN, and not the VIN on the title nor the VIN on the trailer is what is required to resolve this issue with Transport Canada. And it was a THOR rep that sent you a letter to resolve the issue with your 2005 landmark? Why a third VIN? and why a THOR rep? Thor only recently bought in to Heartland (if my memory serves me correct) and only as an equity position. Maybe THOR had this issue occur with many of their older THOR branded products?

It is not clear to me...... Maybe I am just thick....lol


Brian

PS - Found it - Thor acquired their interest in Heartland by buying out a controlling shareholder, Catterton Partners, for $200 million in Sept 2010 --> Link to News (http://www.rvbusiness.com/2010/09/thor-buys-heartland-stake-for-200m/)

No, it seems odd to me as well, that after 7 years and several owners, the mfgr. is even getting involved in a VIN dispute. Trace

jbeletti
03-01-2012, 08:17 PM
Happy it all ended well. ;)

olcoon
03-01-2012, 08:18 PM
In my past life in Law Enforcement, I had to verify VIN #'s numerous times so they could be titled by the new buyer. In the process of building an automobile (car or truck) the wrong VIN tag rarely gets installed because of the way things are done in the assembly plant. However on utility trailers, RV's, ATV's, etc. They don't have the same process, and don't take the same care as is done in the automotive industry. On a utility trailer, especially if it's home made, the VIN # is sometimes welded on the frame, no tag, just a weld bead with the #. If I remember right it is a # that whoever made it came up with, or the state issues a tag with a # on it. I'm not surprised that GarryH's problem went so long before it was discovered. Stop and think about the people that dealt with the VIN # from the factory to the original buyer. They deal with a lot of stuff every day, and probably none of them look at the VIN# on the rig, and compare it to the # on the paperwork. Especially at the license bureau, all they are interested in is how much longer until my break, when is quitting time? The best time to get things right is at the factory, and from what I've seen when touring the factory during working hours, the way those people are rushing around trying to get things done, it would be easy to make a mistake. The main thing to think about, is that it was found before something anything major happened, and sure it was a PITA, it was taken care of and now it's time to move on & enjoy the Landmark!

wdk450
03-01-2012, 08:28 PM
The VIN verification seems like a job for that last guy on the assembly line who tows the rig out to storage. The stamped frame VIN is next to the pinbox as he hitches up, the outside VIN label is on the driver's side of the trailer right by the pinbox, and the mover will probably have paperwork for the rig with another statement of the VIN on it. If they don't match, he tells somebody.

GarryH
03-01-2012, 08:30 PM
This Landmark only had 2 owners---the first one in Texas and then sold to a fella in Utah. The VIN on the decals was wrong when it left the factory---yes the 9th number was wrong---and the VIN on the certificate of title was different and wrong. This never became an issue until I imported it into Canada and the VIN didn't match the data base when the Registrar of Imported Vehicles ran it through the system. I was lucky I got it across the border as the Agent never went out to verify the VIN---otherwise it would still be sitting in a storage yard in Washington. I do appreciate Thor Ind. acting on this right away and Heartland following up. I did put Texas and Utah DMV on a wild goose chase for awhile until we figured out it was a Heartland issue.

rnewk52
03-01-2012, 10:27 PM
HMMMM, After reading all the posts about the VIN problems I got to wondering about my situation. When we ordered our new BH TI32 we upgraded the axles from 6k to 7k. The VIN decal still says 6k axles so I crawled under the trailer and found 7000Lb stamped in both axles. So, I did actually get the axles I ordered, but the VIN decal is wrong. Is this going to present a problem at some future time ?? Just curious. Any opinions ?? Oh yeah, Diesel fuel in Casper Wy today is 3.99, up 12 cents in 5 days. Happy Travels!!

branson4020
03-01-2012, 10:41 PM
I don't believe the axle weight rating is part of the VIN.

17978

TXBobcat
03-01-2012, 10:48 PM
That shouldn't be a problem with the axles. I changed from axles to Independent Suspension so if they looked for axles on mine they wouldn't find any. The IS is for 7k and the DB are 8k.

BC

loafer
03-01-2012, 10:57 PM
Hey Garry H
Kudos to Thor and Heartland reps for getting this all figured out. Shows that perserverance and inginuety get r dun for you.Nice to see a company that will step in after all this time.welcome to the Haertland family and the forum.
Hope to meet you on the trail somewhere we are in Chilliwack BC
Bill

brianharrison
03-02-2012, 03:03 PM
The VIN on the decals was wrong when it left the factory---yes the 9th number was wrong---and the VIN on the certificate of title was different and wrong. This never became an issue until I imported it into Canada and the VIN didn't match the data base when the Registrar of Imported Vehicles ran it through the system.

Now I think I'm getting it..... The third VIN is what was in the Database. I assume the last 6 digits (sequential) were correct between all the VINs and this is where you were able to trace to your specific trailer.

And yes - congrats that it all ended well. Never meant to add more fuel to your fire; just trying to rationalize it out myself in case I run across this in my own travels. However I am still perplexed a Thor rep came to your rescue.....

Brian

jbeletti
03-02-2012, 10:59 PM
...However I am still perplexed a Thor rep came to your rescue.....

I can't speak to the "Thor Rep" comment, but when I read this thread, I sent this up the chain. Next thing I saw was resolution. Happy day for all!

Though Heartland is a Thor company, I don't think Thor corporate worked on this one.

Happy trails y'all.

Jim

brianharrison
03-02-2012, 11:29 PM
I can't speak to the "Thor Rep" comment, but when I read this thread, I sent this up the chain. Next thing I saw was resolution. Happy day for all!

Though Heartland is a Thor company, I don't think Thor corporate worked on this one.

Happy trails y'all.

Jim

Jim, we are fortunate to have you as a "key stone" of our forum. Thank you.

Brian

jbeletti
03-03-2012, 07:23 AM
Thank you Brian. I do my best. That said, I am not alone. The moderators are the day to day heros of the forum, keeping everything moving smoothly.

Jim