Motorhome and caravan expert Andrew Jenkinson shares his top tips with TyrePal customers.
It’s gone mad! That’s the response of many motorhome dealers all over the UK as folk tread the forecourts looking for the motorhome of their dreams. Staying in the UK has boosted demand for motorhome ownership. Most new motorhome buyers will be buying pre-owned with various budgets at their disposal.
So, buying a used motorhome is it a daunting task? Well it can be and while as a newbie choosing a motorhome you certainly need to be asking questions.
What we would say firstly is unless you have any knowledge, or a friend who has, we would always go to an established motorhome dealership. That way of course you do have a backing for any problems plus all the safety checks are carried out for you. Trained staff should be able to help with any problems you have choosing a motorhome and also what extras you might need to factor in from a cost perspective.
Go to an established dealership and check your budget and requirements also ask for advice too.
Buying privately? Well lately there have been scams going on where buyers have paid a deposit and no motorhome ever existed!
Dealers will also charge more for a motorhome than a private seller although with demand this gap has narrowed so again private sales aren’t as cheap as they were. But, as mentioned, buying privately is more of a gamble. You have to be extra vigilant; service records both mechanical and for habitation need to be checked. Don’t hold back on questions either; don’t forget that once your purchase is made, come back is non existent.
Check the cab area and general living space.
Get the seller to take you around the exterior checking for any damaged trim, and bear in mind that imported makes can be very hard to get parts for when it comes to windows and external trim.
Imported makes can be hard to get damaged body trim / windows etc though internal appliances are usually universal
The seller should have also proof of ownership and also check it’s not still got any payments left on it too. Ask the seller to show you where water connections are and also check to see if any on board water tanks have been kept clean and also emptied.
Check washrooms for any signs of cracks in the shower tray, also that the loo flush works too.
Ask for the motorhome to be plugged into the mains so the interior appliances’ can also be tested. Another good idea is to ask how old the on-board battery is – because a good one isn’t cheap. Once the exterior has been checked look for interior signs of wear such as sagging upholstery and again any damaged lockers / catches for example.
Check comfort and interior for damage or seating that lacks support.
Make sure all lights are working, and also check out the cab, ask the seller for any info regarding possible extras fitted. Most motorhomes don’t do large mileages due to them being sat on drives or storage compounds when not used, though a few users do also use them for daily transport. Back to the habitation and its here two major problems can occur. Floors in more modern motorhomes are usually constructed to a very high standard. But again if a motorhome gets a lot of use the floor area around the kitchen can begin to weaken. Creaking and a spongy feel are signs the floor is in need of repair.
If a motorhome gets a lot of use the floor area around the kitchen can begin to weaken.
Look for signs of discolouration on interior wall boards or a worse case is a damp smell! Take a damp meter if you know how to use it too, check corners and over side doors and also by windows. Don’t forget, if the owners have had pets check for any stains or smells that may be difficult to overcome. Buying from a dealer as mentioned means the dealer has to do these checks when he buys it in. Private or dealer – ask for a test drive, and this will have the added benefit of checking that you feel confident driving a motorhome too.
When you’re choosing your motorhome do try and get to see as many layouts in your budget as possible. Choosing the right layout for you can make or break enjoying your leisure vehicle. If you’re buying from a dealer allow for any extras you may need such as water containers, reversing camera or solar panel, if needed. Although motorhomes are safe to drive, adding extra safety elements to your purchase offers you extra piece of mind especially if you look at safety kit which tells you important info before you have a failure.
So, we say one big important way to stay safe on the road is the Tyre Pal System. One of the most accurate tyre pressure monitors around, its easy to retro fit to car/caravan as well as a motorhome, and can detect a sudden loss of tyre pressure avoiding a major problem.
Also monitoring your tyres from the cab makes sure that all your tyres are set at the right pressure all the time. As we know having correct pressures makes for more economical driving whilst also saving premature wear on your tyres.
Correct pressures mean the motorhome will handle better to so this handy system is well worth fitting to your motorhome. Also, if you sell it’s easy to take off and add to your next motorhome. The Solar Colour Pro model at £110 is the latest model and offers motorhome owners a superb, easy to fit system. So, follow our guide and you’re sure to make a good used motorhome purchase and don’t forget the icing on the safety cake is the TyrePal Solar Colour Pro tyre pressure monitoring system!