Tips When buying a Motorhome
Guide to buying a Motorhome, What To Look For When Buying A Used Motorhome
The one common denominator with most used motorhomes is that they spend a good part of their time not moving. Some will spend as much as 10 to 11 months of the year parked or in storage, only to come out for a few weeks in the middle of summer.
Because of their limited use, it’s not unusual to see many used motorhomes for sale ( even older than 10 or more years ) with 15,000 or less miles on the speedometer. This may seem like a good thing for the potential buyer. When, in fact, this is both good and bad. The worst thing for any piece of mechanical equipment is to leave it unused. It is important that the inner workings get put through their paces on a fairly regular basis. That’s why leaving a motorhome parked and unused is one of the most damaging things you can do. So have that in mind when look at the different sales objects. It might be that the motorhome with the highest milage and used regulary is a better buy. Don’t be turned off by normal mileage — it usually means the motorhome has been driven appropriately and has been properly maintained.
Motorhomes come in all shapes and sizes and prices. The choices for your first Motorhome can be overwhelming so ask yourself 6 simple questions:
– What can i afford? ( and keep to your budget )
– How many people do you want to sleep in it?
– How many people do you want to travel in it?
– Where are you thinking of going?
– How long do you plan to be away?
– Where you will keep it?
Do your homework when buying a motorhome: Look at used motorhomes in classified ads, both online and offline and you’ll easily get a gauge on types of motorhomes and prices. Remember extras cost money too, so take into consideration what additional fixtures are included, such as bike stand, roof rack, gas alarm, TV antenna.
Base Vehicles – This is is an important factor to consider. The base vehicles used are varied, but one of the most common is a Fiat Ducato which is designed specifically for motorhomes. Other base vehicles available are; Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay, Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Volkswagen Transporter and the Iveco Daily.
Engine power – Size matters. So make sure you have enough power for the areas you are planning to travel too. Two identical motorhomes can have big differances in engine size. From a 1.8.l to 3.5.l this will also affect the price.
Test Drive – Test, test, test. Spend a day doing test drives. When you get there, check the engine isn’t warm and that you can start it yourself – a common way to disguise starting problems in vehicles is to start the engine prior to the arrival of the potential buyer. Make sure your route includes a steep hill, a section of the motorway or a duel carriageway, and drive around a town to get the feel of real driving conditions. Make sure the test drive is long enough to get a true feeling of the vehicle.
Interior – You will probably have your own ideas about the layout of the vehicle you plan to buy. But be willing to keep a opened mind as there are many different layouts. When you get to the interior, have a good old sniff! If it smells musty or damp, then there may be underlying problems. ( have a damp test done) Check the soft furnishings, carpets, cupboards (do they close properly?). Check the shower works (if the water tank is empty, as for it to be filled). Check all gas and electric appliances work correctly. Make sure all service records are available for both the vehicle and the interior services.
Motorhome Size and Weight
When buying a motorhome it is important to assess the prospective weight the motorhome will carry. How many passengers will be travelling on a regular basis, will you require additional fixtures i.e. bike stand or roof rack? Take all of this into consideration to ensure you do not exceed the maximum legal.
This refers to the legal maximum loaded weight the motorhome is permitted to weigh. This includes the manufacture weight plus furniture, camping equipment and the occupants i.e. the complete weight of the loaded motorhome.
Mass In Running Order (MIRO)
This refers to the weight of the motorhome as it leaves the factory i.e. including furniture, fuel tank, essential equipment needed for it to function properly and . It does not include the weight of additional baggage and occupants.
Payload is the difference between the MIRO and the MTPLM. The weight of a motorhome must not exceed the maximum legal payload.
Create a whish list
All the latest gadgets and appliances would be great, but do you need them? Start a wish list of the features that you would like to have, and list them in the order of importance. You might think you might not be able to live on the road without air condition, a sat disk, but do you really need them to start off with? and you will probably be OK with cloth seats instead of leather. Narrowing down your wish list, and look at the prices to see what you can really afford. This will help you find a motorhome that will suit you.
Remember Stick to your budget
It’s easy to get carried away and distracted by something new and shiny and end up spending more than you want too. My advice is to resist! Spending more on the outlay of your motorhome means less money for other things along the way. Try not to make decisions on a whim, and weigh up all the pros and cons.
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