Guide to buying a used motorhome
Looking to buy a previously owned motorhome? Why not start with a list? Honest, that’s the best way of starting out on the way to motorhome ownership – from budget to vehicle type, to specifications right the way through to taking ownership.
It sounds easy, and surely that’s the key: to make the whole buying process as simple as possible. Once you’ve determined your budget and preferred layout, just list the features and fittings you want in your ideal motorhome – then decide whether you consider them essential or just desirable.
Here, we’re assuming you’ve already got as far as knowing what type of motorhome you want (panel van conversion or coachbuilt, in all their variants, up to American RV) as well as what your driving licence entitles you to drive. Now’s the time to start looking much closer and getting yourself a great deal.
The right motorhome layout
Getting the right layout is key to a happy motorhome experience. Consider especially the number of occupants, who will sleep where and whether they can travel safely, as well as kitchen and washroom equipment and overall ergonomics. Then, read on to see the rest of our advice.
See also our article on "Buying a New Motorhome".
Set your motorhome budget
It really is up to you to calculate just how much you want to spend on a motorhome purchase. Motorhome prices are not always straightforward, and it always pays to fully research the market, sector and even the model you intend to buy.
Timing is also a factor, as vehicle prices tend to peak around Easter, at the onset of the touring season, and are likely to be lower during the winter months – although choice is likelier to be less then, too.
Pricing motorhomes is far trickier than cars, for a number of reasons. The trade uses a publication called Glass’s Guide to assess pricing, but it can be inconsistent. Your best bet is to study the specialist motorhome publications – if nothing else, the advertising sections here will give a good indication of the major motorhome retailers, too.
If your budget allows, do consider buying a nearly-new motorhome as an alternative to brand new. A previous owner will have taken the biggest depreciation hit, and any early glitches will have probably been sorted. It may even come with some useful optional extras.
Indeed, your budget should allow for any additional items that you may want fitting to the vehicle before you drive off for the first time.
Having said that, don’t fall into the trap of being attracted by a bargain that’s seemingly too good to be missed – make sure it suits your own requirements. Also, bear in mind the old adage: if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Shield top tip: Checklists are a great help. As well as listing what you really want and what you’d simply just like in any motorhome, do keep notes of any vehicles you go to view. It’s surprising how often folk forget what they’ve seen!