Most motor homes are bought second-hand. Whether you have a wealth of experience buying second hand vehicles or are a novice about to make your first second hand motorhome purchase, there’s a few essential tips that can help you to secure the right motorhome for you.
Like anything else buying second-hand motorhome has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the principal disadvantages of buying a second-hand motorhome is that you’re unlikely to find one that’s in pristine condition.
Now, that’s not to say that you won’t be able to spot a bargain, a motorhome with only a few thousand miles on the clock, or one that perfectly meets your budget and needs, it just means that when buying a vehicle second-hand, there’s a few more considerations to be made than buying a new one.
The bottom line is that anyone buying a motorhome second-hand needs to be a mite selective. It’s a mistake to jump in and buy the first one that you see. Sure, it may be affordable and the perfect size, but like any other vehicle, without a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s history, you may encounter unforeseen trouble down the road.
So, how can you avoid heartache and expense in the future? What do you need to look for when shopping for a second-hand motorhome? Here’s a couple of essential tips that anyone buying a second-hand motorhome should read.
Always Do Your Homework
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure that you’ve thoroughly researched the market. Look at classified motorhome ads and gage the prices and specs of any prospective motorhome.
Once you’ve reviewed a wealth of ads, narrow your list down to a favoured few. The more your research, the more likely you are to find that perfect motorhome.
Thorough buyers often search for motorhomes in a few key ways. Make and model are important, as is age and mileage. And, of course, be wary of any ads that admit the motorhome has endured a multitude of common faults.
Know Your Budget
A motorhome is a large purchase – and a big financial commitment. It’s always important to set and stick to a budget. Remember that the cost of purchase isn’t the only cost to consider. There are also the running costs to consider.
Try not to overstretch yourself when buying the motorhome. There are few things sadder than having a shiny, wonderful motorhome stuck on your driveway twelve months a year with nowhere to go!
It’s also wise to consider the cost of insurance, regular servicing, recovery and fuel economy and – if necessary any storage costs. Once you calculate all these figures, you then should have a clear indication of what you can afford to spend.
Book a Test Drive
Just like when you’re buying a car, it’s important to book a test drive of the vehicle before you buy. This is the only way to know if the motorhome drives like a dream or stutters when on the road. When you get there, check that the engine isn’t warm and that you can easily start it yourself.
When test driving, choose a route that features an incline, a stint on a motorway or dual carriageway and, if possible, in a town or village. This way you can see how the motorhome performs in varying environments.
Make sure that any test drive is long enough to get a true feeling for the vehicle. Try a hill start and practice parking. This is all necessary experience to help you to get a feel for the vehicle’s performance. It’s also a good idea to check the air conditioning and the stereo – they’ll surely come in handy on those long drives!
Check the Vehicle Thoroughly
Before committing to buying, always, always, always check the condition of the vehicle. This includes examining the chassis, and the engine. Make a note of the mileage, just as you would when buying a second-hand car.
Other essential checks include the condition of the seals and rims and for any dents or cracks in the bodywork. Sit inside, if it smells musty or damp, alarm bells should be ringing! This can be a sign of more underlying issues.
Whilst your inside, make sure to examine the carpets and cupboards. Check the water tank, if it’s empty why not ask for it to be filled and test the shower. Lastly, test all the appliances – gas and electric to make sure they all work and make sure that the service records are complete for both the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
Once you’re satisfied with everything comes the best part! You can decide to purchase a second-hand motorhome of your very own!
So, there you have it – a handful of essential tips for when you’re buying a motorhome. Stick to these and you’re likely to be shortly driving off into the sunset in the perfect motorhome for you!