If you are buying a motor home for the first time, chances are it will be one of the most expensive purchases you will ever have to make. If you are considering buying second hand to keep costs down (an advantage) then you will have to be even more careful considering your options and do your homework before parting with cold hard cash as we all know it won’t be perfect (a disadvantage). With this mind, it’s important to consider the following when buying a used motor home.
Things to know before Buying a used Motor
Find out as much as you can about the vehicle and the seller
Check the vehicle history to the best of your ability. Try and get your hands on ownership and warranty documents, service receipts and invoices or Tax and MOT Certificate, as these can help build a picture of the vehicle’s past. If you are able to gain access to these then this is a pretty good sign that the vehicle has been well looked after. When it comes to the seller, make sure they are who they say they are, and if something doesn’t add up, then approach with caution. Your number one rule should be to meet at the seller’s house. If they suggest elsewhere, be suspicious.
Find out about common problems
With a little digging, you can easily find information online about common problems related to the make and model of vehicle you are considering buying. Familiarize yourself with these common problems so you know what to look for when inspecting your prospective purchase.
Book a test drive
Once of the best ways to know what you are letting yourself in for is by trying before you buy. To get a feel of real driving conditions be sure your route includes a section of motorway or a dual carriageway, country roads and a steep hill if possible. Attempting a hill start will give you an opportunity to see if the clutch is in full working order.
Inspecting the inside
When inspecting the inside of the vehicle start with the basics of looking at handles, carpets, cupboards and upholstery. The next thing you should be mindful of is dreaded damp. It’s a well known fact that once dampness takes hold in the floors and walls they will never be the same again. Damp can get everywhere so be thorough when having a look around the motor home. Bring a damp tester along with you if you’re not confident of picking up on the signs. You can usually tell if there’s a damp problem if there is a bad smell but also be sure to look out for mould, stains or bumps on panels. If the floor is springy this is another sure-fire sign that the vehicle has issues with damp.
When exploring the outside of the vehicle, thoroughly check handles, windows, electronics, wheels, lights and doors. Look out for cracks, dents, scratches and sun damage and ask yourself is it something you need to address. Inspecting the tyres should also be a top priority. The tread might look good to you but be sure not to overlook the sidewall. If there are cracks then you will have to replace the tyres altogether. Crawl under the motor home and look at the complete substructure. See if you can spot any problems with the frame – are they straight or can you see any extra welds. Don’t forget to ask as many questions that you can think of. And be sure to not overlook the obvious.
One final tip to keep in mind before choosing a used motor home is the price that’s being asked for the vehicle. Be sure to compare prices within the trade and private market as this can vary significantly. And remember that if you find a motor home at a low price that seems a bit too good to be true, then it probably well is!
Thanks to Shane for kindly supplying this article.