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Old 02-19-2020, 09:08 AM   #1
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Please Assist Australian with SV291

Hi All, I am new here and hoping you might be willing to assist me. Caravans are very expensive here. I am looking at my favourite floorplan and it's a SV291 2005 OR 2006. Not sure as vin gives me two different things depending what country I check.
Anyway I have a question with photos and can't figure this out.
Is this in the photo a actual floorplan or is it a option or do you think it's been built as per normal and then someone else has customised it? I have to drive 21 hours to collect it and 21 hours home so would love to find this out first.

Instead of the kitchen being in the slide out, it's double the size on the opposite side. Which would of been huge work to change under the floor so I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if they can see any reasons why it would of been custom made or done by whoever owned it?

The photos are appalling and Ive tried hard to get more and more photos and this is all I get back.

The other issue is that the VIN codes show it as a 20foot caravan but the photos show SV 291 and show it looking 30 ft.

I'd love any other comments as well. Could I fit a baby crib where the kitchen normally would be next to the couch? Would it be much of a task for me to change it back and build the dinette area or could I add a breakfast bar with stools somewhere or even a table where kitchen use to be with seats?
Also of you look at the photo of the bunk bed, you will see a line between the end of the room and the window ..... Does that look like water ? Or is it known for water to leak here or is there a reason it could? I've read how great they apparently seal their caravans compared to others so wondering what the experienced might know.
Does anyone even know this actual caravan from the USA or does anyone have any info if it was used as a fema trailer or maybe you know who owned it?

I'd love any history on it.

If you wouldn't mind taking a look at the photos if really love for anyone to point out anything they notice from these terrible photos.
The VIN is
4X4TSVV226L007323

Thank you. There is a link here that shows more images which is to my google cloud
https://photos.app.goo.gl/zuHo1a1CB7Yjtpwg8
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:08 PM   #2
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All the SV291's I've looked at in those years have the kitchen in the slide. The SV304's (which look like the 291's) have it opposite of the slide. There are other models that have the kitchen opposite the slide as well.

I didn't look at all your pics, but did they send you a picture of the model decal beside the front door?

Also did they send a pic of the VIN or is that something they sent you as text?
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
All the SV291's I've looked at in those years have the kitchen in the slide. The SV304's (which look like the 291's) have it opposite of the slide. There are other models that have the kitchen opposite the slide as well.

I didn't look at all your pics, but did they send you a picture of the model decal beside the front door?

Also did they send a pic of the VIN or is that something they sent you as text?
The Vin is a photo taken from the registration. The photos I've included in my post show the layout. So really I'm W ordering if anyone knows this caravan or knows if moving the kitchen in the sv291 would be a big undertaking. It's obvious they only moved the original kitchen to the otherwise as the cupboards are the same as the kitchen as it would be.
The vin translates as a 20ft caravan but forest river has written to me saying the following about the vin number...

The forest river vin decoder and every vin check website in USA and Australia shows the caravan VIN to be only a 20ft caravan. (Second V in vin number = 20'.)
I know this is wrong so I contacted Forest River asking why and just for your info they replied saying....


*

Thank you for contacting Forest River with your questions.* The SV291 is 32’7” in length.* The unit has one slideout that includes the dinette and sofa.* When fully extended, yes the kitchen area is much more open.* From looking at the floor plan I have available, the unit lines up with it.* There doesn’t look to be any structural modifications that I can tell.

I hope this information helps you.* If you have any other questions, contact Forest River any time.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:25 PM   #4
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From the Forest river vin decoder pdf I found that tells me it is only 20ft says it is in Indianna. 2405 Goeshn Ave , Indianna.
Though forest river replied saying it is the 291 surveyor and is not 20ft but why would the Vin shows it as 20ft everywhere including their own decoder I found in a pdf file?
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:28 PM   #5
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This is what I had in the link I added
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:57 AM   #6
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The VIN decoder isn't very accurate on towed RV's especially older units, so I wouldn't put much faith in more than the mfg and year.

If that picture of the RVIA label and model number is actually off the RV then I'd trust that it's a SV-291. It may be a specific build that had the kitchen on the opposite of normal side.
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
The VIN decoder isn't very accurate on towed RV's especially older units, so I wouldn't put much faith in more than the mfg and year.

If that picture of the RVIA label and model number is actually off the RV then I'd trust that it's a SV-291. It may be a specific build that had the kitchen on the opposite of normal side.
Maybe it's really an SV-304 but the factory ran out of SV-304 decals that day and just slapped on an SV-291 decal to get it out the door. We all know they make other substitutions when they run out components.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
The VIN decoder isn't very accurate on towed RV's especially older units, so I wouldn't put much faith in more than the mfg and year.

If that picture of the RVIA label and model number is actually off the RV then I'd trust that it's a SV-291. It may be a specific build that had the kitchen on the opposite of normal side.

So I'm I'm touch with forest river and they have talked to their supervisors and they say it is a 32.7ft caravan but with 20ft of footage. I don't understand how that caravan can be 20ft and the hitch is an additional 12ft as the hitch would be over half the length of the caravan and it's obviously not if you see the photo.
They confirm its a sv291 and even looking at the photo you can see it's bigger than 20ft right ?
What am I missing here??
If this is a 20ft caravan with a overall length of 32ft and the VIN shows it as a 20ft (V) then the actual 32ft models must be 50ft long.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Maybe it's really an SV-304 but the factory ran out of SV-304 decals that day and just slapped on an SV-291 decal to get it out the door. We all know they make other substitutions when they run out components.



So I've recently spent time on Google searching "SURVEYOR SV 291 VIN"
And every surveyor SV291 floorplan I can find shows the vin number as 'V'. Most actually having two Vs together.

Now of you look up the document that decided the FOREST RIVER products, the 7th position character shows what size the caravan is.
All surveyors vin numbers I find shows it has "V". THIS equals 20ft.

Then speaking with FOREST RIVER , I am quoting them here in couple of emails so far ...


Thank you for contacting Forest River with your questions.* The SV291 is 32’7” in length.* The unit has one slideout that includes the dinette and sofa.* When fully extended, yes the kitchen area is much more open.* From looking at the floor plan I have available, the unit lines up with it.* There doesn’t look to be any structural modifications that I can tell.

I hope this information helps you.* If you have any other questions, contact Forest River any time.

........

Second email.....

I have to apologize.* I have reviewed with my Senior Rep and Manager.* The length is 32”7” which includes the A frame.

So yes, your footage of 20 feet would be correct.* And yes, this unit has been modified by the owner not by Forest River.

.......

Third email....

We would measure from the exterior of the unit from the furthest point (hitch) at the rear to the furthest point (bumper) at the front to get the total overall length.*

,...............

Okay so the SV 291 is only 20ft footage and the vin number is correct showing it as 20ft, but the caravan itself is actually 32.7 feet.
What I'm not understanding is how is the entire inside of the van 20ft when the overall length is 32.7ft because if you look at the image, the chassis protruding out the front to the tow hitch is only a few feet. For it to add 12.7ft on to the 20ft of the actual caravan, then that tow hitch would protrude out more than 50% of the size of the entire living space.

So how is it only a 20ft caravan?

Is anyone able to explain this? Does anyone own one? If you do own one, is the 20ft from the end of the main bed to the bunk bed or is it from wall to wall or is it just the walking space inside the caravan? Where does the 20ft measurement come from?

A 20ft caravan is tiny compared to these so why and how are they listing it and measuring it as 20ft. I really do want to know this because there is only one available here and I am needing to drive 42 hours to pick up and drive home and badly want to but can't make sense of it being only 20ft living space. Does that mean the walls are 4 or 5 ft thick or something? Can someone please make sense of this for me.

Thanks guys
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:29 PM   #10
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Who are you buying this rv from? Who took the pictures and why can't they answer your questions?

It seems like a huge risk to me to drive 21 hours to buy a used rv that you have this many questions about. It might be a gem, but it could also have structural damage that you won't see til you get there. Mold and mildew could be a problem and if it truly was a FEMA trailer, many of them had formaldehyde problems.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:51 PM   #11
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Who are you buying this rv from? Who took the pictures and why can't they answer your questions?

It seems like a huge risk to me to drive 21 hours to buy a used rv that you have this many questions about. It might be a gem, but it could also have structural damage that you won't see til you get there. Mold and mildew could be a problem and if it truly was a FEMA trailer, many of them had formaldehyde problems.
Thanks and I mean no offence to you by saying this but your issues are not actually a concern to me. I've obviously done my due diligence and part of that is coming to these forums to find out the measurement issue I'm asking about due to registration and on road costs and toll costs in my country. I figured while I was here I would ask if anyone knew the history of this particular can as maybe it was a forum members old van that has upgraded or maybe someone knew an owner of it or a way to get USA ownership records which I can't find here and don't have the contacts here or knowledge about America to do so. Maybe they would of shown if it was fema.

As for the structure and quality and risks and all that stuff, I'm past all that. I've owned caravans all my life for recreation and just can't understand how the measurements in the VIN are 20ft for a caravan that measures 60% longer. Yes I wish I had someone measure it while they went over it for me but I never in my life thought a vin number would call it a 20ft caravan when it's obviously not and even forest river list the SV 291 as a 32ft caravan so why would they give it a vin number that states it's 20ft and seeing they are doing so, I'm asking where do they get the 20ft measurement from.

I appreciate your concern about risk of driving and the structure and all that but I'm really not in these forums to ask about that. Though I am curious if anyone has moved the kitchen before from the slide out and if it would involve much to move back.

As for leaks and everything, it's fine. It's had the common leak through the antenna which has been changed and repaired and I'm buying it from a builder who has a pristine reputation.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:53 PM   #12
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All I really want to know at this stage is where does the 20ft measurement come from on the sv291 as it seems all SV 291 models have a VIN number that decides to say it's 20ft and not 32ft. So what part about this caravan measures only at 20ft.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:56 PM   #13
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If that is the actual floorplan for that unit then it’s not 20 ft of living space. The queen bed, bunk and dinette all have measurements of 74 inches which together total 18 1/2 ft. Maybe the “291” is representative of 29 feet of coach?
Now the pictures you posted don’t appear to match the floorplan. To me, in the coach picture it looks like the kitchen sink is on the same side as the refrigerator whereas in on the floorplan they’re on opposite sides.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:15 AM   #14
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so why would they give it a vin number that states it's 20ft and seeing they are doing so, I'm asking where do they get the 20ft measurement from.

I appreciate your concern about risk of driving and the structure and all that but I'm really not in these forums to ask about that. Though I am curious if anyone has moved the kitchen before from the slide out and if it would involve much to move back.

As for leaks and everything, it's fine. It's had the common leak through the antenna which has been changed and repaired and I'm buying it from a builder who has a pristine reputation.
No offense taken. However, you did ask whether we could spot water damage.

There's no way we have access to information about VIN numbers and their history.

The closest you can come to an approximate length is the 291 which usually indicated a tt of 29+ feet. Usually the trailers are a couple of feet longer, although the newer trailers don't necessarily have that measurement.

As someone pointed out, the coding might not be what you think. That's obviously a 30+ foot long tt. That coding might indicate a different configuration than the original since the kitchen and dinette have been inverted. Someone could have specially ordered it that way. It's not common, but it's done by consumers and dealers.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:24 PM   #15
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With all these questions, I think I'd try to find someone, preferably an independent RV repairman, to go look over the unit, not just to answer the questions, but also to check for damage, etc. Maybe a knowledgeable member of a nearby RV club if nothing else.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:52 AM   #16
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Yes the kitchen has been moved to where the dinette was and then a new bench was placed on top which went over where the stove would be. It has been moved around like that with the dinette being removed.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:55 AM   #17
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I did ask that. It was just a off the cuff question. You're right. Sorry.

All the 291 models seem to have a V which indicates 20ft caravan. Even the emails I posted from forest river say it is a 32'7" trailer but with 20ft footage.
They obviously seem to get that measurement in a dumb way. It literally means it's registered as 20ft when it's 32ft and seeing every police car in Australia has a scanner that scans registration plates in seconds it's going to mean being pulled over and asked why I have played for a 20ft caravan when it's 32ft. Which is a shame really
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:58 AM   #18
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Thanks. I've had a independent person look over it. The question that I'm focused on is purely why they make it a 20ft caravan in the vin when it's 32ft long. I want to know where they get that 20ft measurements from. This is a question I've found myself asking since I had it inspected . I'm stuck on that question. I know the goods and bad points of it from this inspection and that inspection happened hours after I initially posted this forum.
I also have been speaking to forest river in email exchanges during my sleeping hours and their answer just goes in circles. Apart from the replies I put above, these are the recent replies I got from them....
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Old 02-22-2020, 03:03 AM   #19
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No offense taken. However, you did ask whether we could spot water damage.

There's no way we have access to information about VIN numbers and their history.

The closest you can come to an approximate length is the 291 which usually indicated a tt of 29+ feet. Usually the trailers are a couple of feet longer, although the newer trailers don't necessarily have that measurement.

As someone pointed out, the coding might not be what you think. That's obviously a 30+ foot long tt. That coding might indicate a different configuration than the original since the kitchen and dinette have been inverted. Someone could have specially ordered it that way. It's not common, but it's done by consumers and dealers.

So these are the replies to my questions of forest river about the size. Also bare in mind all the SV291 I see for save also have V as the size of their sv291 in the vin. Which according to the pdf stands for 20ft. ....................


I have to apologize.* I have reviewed with my Senior Rep and Manager.* The length is 32”7” which includes the A frame.

So yes, your footage of 20 feet would be correct.* And yes, this unit has been modified by the owner not by Forest River.
............

We would measure from the exterior of the unit from the furthest point (hitch) at the rear to the furthest point (bumper) at the front to get the total overall length.


.............

I have reviewed with my manager and senior warranty rep.* If the vin is correct, this unit should be the 32’7”.* This measurement is from the front hitch to the very back of the unit.*

We have viewed the pictures from your initial email. There have been modifications to this unit but Forest River did not do these.* This unit has one slide-out. From looking at your pictures that would be the side with the sofa which was originally the kitchen area. *
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:18 AM   #20
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Ed, don't put much faith in the FR rep's responses. Not every FR employee is knowledgeable.
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