For the final part in this series, we will discuss the practicalities and drawbacks of different sizes of motorhome and suggest some tips and tricks for getting a good deal. We covered the lifestyle change of motorhome ownership in Part 1 and crunched the numbers in Part 2, so let’s quit stalling and consider the three basic kinds of motorhome on offer.
If it has four wheels and an engine, chances are someone somewhere has attempted to make it into a motorhome. Small motorhomes built by conversion companies like Romahome and Danbury are ideal little vehicles for weekend getaways. Everything you could need for a short break is included, with a double bed, storage and kitchenette. Parking is also very simple in these motorhomes as they are built on small van chassis which are usually the same size as a car. If interior space is not essential, a small motorhome could be the way to go.
Van-derived motorhomes, such as the Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit, are versatile options for motorhomes. They can come as factory conversions with superb finishes but are also very popular with the DIY conversion crowd. Van derivatives drive nearly as well as cars and are not as cumbersome as American-style RVs. With so many options for mid-size motorhomes, you are sure to find one that suits your needs. They can be built to a maximum of five births, but this is their limit. For more comfort, two adults is optimum. If you want to add headspace and two small children to the mix, a ‘pop-top’ with bunk beds will allow for both.
RVs and Large motorhomes
The largest motorhomes are built on coach chassis and can provide the ultimate luxuries in motorhome touring. Other large motorhomes use van cabs and chassis from an existing manufacturer, then fit a coachbuilt living compartment to the rear. Both offer extra births and living space, and cater for options such as fridges and large cooking ranges, as well as shower rooms and toilets. These motorhomes are great if you can afford the high costs for fuel and maintenance. For comfort, space and all mod cons, a large motorhome is the ultimate in mobile living space.
When purchasing a brand new motorhome from a dealer it will: be exempt from MOT tests for three years; have a manufacturer’s warranty; and will be offered with an insurance and servicing package. If you can afford the premium for purchasing a new motorhome directly from a dealer, that’s great. Pick the colour and drive away. But first, here’s a tip to bag yourself a better bargain.
Attend a motorhome show with the money saved or financed in advance, as this can be a good way of finding the best deal and getting show-only discounts. Just be aware of the entire cost of this strategy. If a dealer has a good offer but is located hundreds of miles away, travelling for repairs and servicing will quickly become a headache. Find an experienced dealer in your local area.
There are used car buying tips online that also apply to buying a used motorhome. These cover everything from worn tyres to honest mileage readings. Seek out a guide to purchasing used cars, then add these motorhome specific tips to your checklist:
- Check the upholstery to ensure the births are clean and intact
- Check the gas pipes and additional electricals, such as leisure batteries; there should be no dry or cracked rubber parts and no corrosion around the battery terminals
- Check for leaking panels, windows or door seals; a damp smell here is a giveaway
- Check the water pump delivers water to the taps
- Check all mastic seals in bathrooms to ensure there are no leaks
- Check the motorhome’s chemical toilet for cracks
If you are buying from a reputable dealer, these checks will have been made prior to sale.
Now you have all you need to make an informed decision, so test drive as many vehicles as you can. Dealers stock many sizes and specifications of motorhome and are happy to let you try these out to find just the right fit and finish for you. Overall, the motorhome you buy should put a smile on your face and inspire you to take to the road.
Glenns are a reputable dealer of motorhomes in the Nottingham, Chesterfield and Derby areas. All vehicles are thoroughly checked before sale and guaranteed to meet your expectations with regards to comfort and quality. If you require any advice when purchasing a motorhome, or are interested in our repair services, get in touch by calling the team on 0115 971 7509 today or contact us online.