Motorhome buying tips
If you are thinking of buying a motorhome, there are a number of decisions that probably spring to mind:
- how are you planning to use the vehicle – as a home from home on longer trips or simply as somewhere to sleep at the end of days spent touring around;
- how many people will it need to accommodate – yourself, a partner or children too;
- whether you are likely to be driving it just in the UK or further afield;
- whether you have set your heart on a brand new model or are happy to buy second hand; and
- how much you can afford to pay for your motorhome.
Each one of these decisions might then prompt a series of further questions, prompting a need to look in more detail at the following …
Types of motorhome
The way you intend to use your motorhome, for example, is likely to focus your thoughts on the main types available.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club provides a useful overview of the principal categories of coachbuilt and motorhome conversions;
These include the top of the range A class homes which are built entirely from the chassis up, together with over-cab and low-profile models in the coachbuilt category and conversions which feature a fixed roof, a high top or an elevating roof;
As the website UK Motorhomes points out, it is not just a question of “how big” or “the bigger, the better”, but whether the size, design and internal layout is likely to meet your personal needs and requirements;
Careful research on the internet and browsing through catalogues and magazines may get you started in your comparison of the different types of motorhome and the wealth of styles, design, layout and practicality as far as your individual preferences are concerned.
At the end of the day – and for all the glossy pictures you are likely to see in the magazines you read – there is no substitute for getting up close and personal. With motorhomes, in particular, the devil is so often in the detail – and even seemingly minor features, or the lack of them, may make the world of difference in your ability to enjoy a motorhome.
Probably the best way of doing so is to visit a motorhome specialist who has extensive showrooms and exhibition space for new models and used vehicles, which you may examine close up and clamber in and out of to your heart’s content. In some cases, the showroom is inside or under cover, so that your viewing remains comfortable and dry, no matter how bitterly cold it is outside or pouring with rain.
That is likely to be a more fruitful experience than arranging to view motorhomes you see advertised for private sale in your local newspaper, specialist magazines or through online listings sites. This might give you the chance to talk to the owner about his experiences with a particular motorhome – but don’t forget that many of the stories might be told with the sole object of persuading you to buy the vehicle on offer.
Besides, visiting single examples one at a time may prove time-consuming, wearing and involve a lot of driving to and fro.