Are you a potential first-time motorhome buyer? If so, the following top buying tips might be very useful.
Analyse your size requirements
The fact that you’re looking for a motorhome suggests you’ve already discarded the idea of a typically much smaller campervan.
However, motorhomes themselves vary significantly in size. A few things to consider include:
- Although designers can work wonders, the reality of life is that typically larger motorhomes will offer more space, facilities and home comforts than smaller ones;
- Opting for a space-efficient two-berth motorhome might be fine if there’s just the two of you. However, if you have children, grandchildren or relatives and friends you’d like to travel with, even if only sometimes, then a 4-berth might be more practical;
- Modern motorhomes typically have excellent handling characteristics but even so, larger ones may be more challenging on narrow roads or when parking.
New versus second-hand
There are no real ‘tips’ here because a lot will depend upon your budget and preferences but remember:
- motorhome buying risks might be naturally lower with new models;
- used motorhome buying is often lower-risk if you’re buying warranted used models from a reputable dealer as opposed to an unknown private individual.
Check carefully any customisations
There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to enhance your motorhome by fitting new gadgets or making other changes.
A little caution is required for new buyers though. Manufacturers, coachwork builders and professional interior designers usually go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that their facilities, fixtures and fittings are all safely and very well fitted.
That’s not necessarily always the case with DIY efforts. So, inspect any non-standard components carefully and ask for receipts to check that the work was done professionally.
Minor things such as wall hangings are not the issue. It’s things that might have involved welding or work on the electrical or gas systems (etc.) that you need to be sure about.
Even used motorhomes hold their value well. Typically, depreciation just isn’t the same problem with them as it can be with many types of car.
However, do be sure that you have carefully examined your budget not only from the point of view of initial affordability but also leaving a little cash in the kitty to allow you to use and really enjoy your motorhome regularly.
Very large motorhomes can be magnificent when you’re on the road and enjoying them.
Do keep in mind though that at times, including perhaps most of the winter season, they’re likely to be parked up unused. Larger motorhomes can be a virtual impossibility for domestic garages and if they fill your drive, you might be unpopular with the neighbours and possibly in breach of local authority rules.
Note that some insurance policies might prohibit the overnight parking of your motorhome on the public road when not in use.
Fortunately there are excellent safe and secure motorhome parking facilities available and some insurance providers might even offer you a discount if you use them when your vehicle’s not in use.
So, when you’re motorhome buying, keep the practicalities of where you’ll park it in mind!