Tips When Buying a Motorhome

If you’re thinking about buying a motorhome, you may be interested in these tips.

The motorhome lifestyle suggests spontaneity, flexibility and mobility combined with comfort and affordability (think of all those hotel bills you avoid). These tips are designed to help you make choices according to your specific priorities and circumstances, when buying a motorhome.

  1. What adventures are you planning in your motorhome?

Will you be taking to the roads on a carefully planned tour of Europe, with four kids and a dog? Or is Dorset or the Dales for a spontaneous weekend in a campervan more likely?  Or something in between?

There is a very wide range of motorhome types, prices and sizes. You will possibly find it easier to choose the type of motorhome you want to buy, if you know how you intend to use it. You may also find it useful to start with this when you consult manufacturers or sellers.

  1. Know the choices when buying a motorhome

There are different types of motorhomes. Here is a quick summary.

a) Coachbuild motorhomes

These are purpose-built motorhomes, designed for touring in comfort.

  • A-Class

Top of the range luxury with more room and extra comfort. You can find features like a wider cab with a roof bed and swivel cab seats that can become seating in the living area. These are often built from the chassis up rather than being based on an existing van chassis, like the Luton.

  • Over-Cab

These can accommodate up to six people and you can often find them with an extra double berth above the driver’s cab. They are often based on the Luton van.

  • Low-Profile

The Low-Profile motorhome can come in a continental version with an extendable roof. Like the Over-Cab, these have extra space above the driver’s cab, but in the Low-Profile type it tends to be used for storage, rather than an extra berth. These really work well as a spacious option for travelling couples.

b) Conversions

These are great for a smaller budget and getting a taste of motorhome touring. They have minimal insulation and are usually only able to accommodate one or two people.

c) Hightop

This is the roomier of the options with a permanently higher fixed roof. Still with pretty basic insulation on the body, the roof is often better insulated. They nevertheless provide a little more standing room and overall comfort than their smaller siblings.

d) Elevated roof

Usually a cheaper alternative than the Hightop, an elevated roof gives you a low vehicle height with the option of more standing room and sometimes extra canvas berths.

e) Fixed roof

A fixed roof conversion campervan or motorhome is the most basic version available to you. A great option for first time buyers looking for a taste of the open road. They will generally only accommodate one or two people and standing is not possible, but with a little imagination, they can be made cosy and homely, nonetheless. You may also find that they are the most straightforward to keep in your garage and to park.

  1. Buying a motorhome: What will it cost?

Costs for motorhomes vary considerably. They depend on the age, type, model and size of your motorhome. If you are buying brand new or second-hand, it is worth considering that motorhomes tend to hold their value better on average than most cars. You may want to take this into account along with all those saved hotel bills, against the costs.

There will inevitably be maintenance costs on a motorhome that you may want to factor in at the beginning, and the cost of your motorhome insurance. You can request a motorhome insurance quote from Park Home Assist by completing some details on our online form.

  1. Garaging and parking

You might love your new found motorhome when you picture yourself on the open road heading for the coast, but you might also forget to think about it parked at home. Do you have the space to keep it safely and securely? If you have given this some thought before you buy, you can save yourself some surprises when you get home.

  1. Check for moisture when buying a second hand motorhome

One of the main problems with a motorhome can be moisture. They are not houses and rely on chassis seals, good body work, door seals, window seals and good ventilation to keep moisture to an acceptable level.

You may also want to check under the sink and around any pumps for leaks and dampness. Similarly with mattresses and seat cushions, take a quick look underneath for the signs of damp.

  1. Check documents

As with any vehicle, it is important to make sure there is continuity in the registration documents. This is particularly true if you are considering a conversion motorhome. The DVLA should have been informed of any conversion into a campervan and the like.

  1. Gas and electricity

If you check the gas and electricity are working and safe, you could save a lot of potential trouble further down the line. You may need to look at electrical inspection documents to make sure it is tested regularly. You might also need to test the gas. Sometimes you might have to take your own gas, to make this possible.

  1. Driving

If you are a first time buyer of a motorhome, you may be wary of the actual driving experience. Most motorhomes should not be much harder than driving a car, but you may need a bit of practice getting used to utilising the side mirrors and manoeuvring the vehicle in tight spaces or parking.

  1. Tyres

Tyres on a motorhome should be checked for tread. Even if the tread is a good depth, you should probably replace tyres every five to seven years.

  1. Don’t forget the extras

There are a few extra things you might want to consider. For instance, has it got a tracking device installed? Some insurers require one of these for vehicles above a certain value. Does it have extra security measures like a steering-wheel lock and a working alarm? You may also want to ask about the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too.

  1. Try it out

Finally, one of the most important tips is to try it out. You can rent a motorhome from various companies to see if you really like the experience. This will introduce you to elements of the motorhome life you may not have considered or anticipated. It is also a good way of field testing the type and possibly the model of motorhome you are interested in.

This is a marketing article from multi-award-winning Park Home Assist.

Please note that all insurance cover is subject to acceptance of terms and conditions.

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Published – 24/05/24