7 things to look for when buying a second-hand motorhome

While buying a brand-new shiny motorhome sounds great, there’s no denying they can be costly. Luckily, there are many low-mileage, great quality second-hand alternatives on the market for you to consider so you can save your pennies for when you’re on the road.

To help ensure the vehicle is what you need and were expecting, here are seven things to consider when purchasing a second-hand motorhome.

1. Finding a van that suits your needs

Motorhomes come in all models and sizes: van conversions, Coachbuilt (the most popular model) or the more spacious A-class. Will you be touring for long periods and need extra space? Are you going to be wild camping or staying in holiday parks? If wild camping, you will need to ensure all the facilities you require are available within your motorhome. So, before you set your sights on a specific motorhome, do some research and find out what specifications and model would be best suited to your needs or budget.

2. Choose the right seller

We always recommend buying from a dealer. When buying privately, there’s a risk that you will end up paying more than the worth of the vehicle, or that the vehicle is not in the condition which it was advertised. Purchasing your motorhome from a main, specialised dealer not only means buying from a legitimate source, but also that you have a point of contact for advice and repairs to your motorhome.

Specialised dealers will always ensure you have proper warranty on the vehicle, and can perform HPI checks, which include looking for proof of ownership and outstanding finances on the motorhome. They have a responsibility for the vehicle to be roadworthy and safe to drive, so you can feel secure in the quality of your purchase.

3. Check for damp

Damp can be seriously damaging to your vehicle if left unattended. Particularly in older models with wooden panelling, damp can cause the wood to rot, which can be expensive to repair.

If there is damp within the vehicle, carefully consider whether you wish to proceed and if the asking price reflects the level of work required to resolve the issue. You can use a damp meter to detect damp throughout the motorhome, or sometimes it can be identified by a musty scent in the affected areas.

4. Check the vehicle is properly sealed

Having a weatherproof vehicle for your travels is essential. Check the doors and windows to ensure that everything is properly sealed to prevent rain and water leaking in, as this is a common cause of damp.

5. Check the quality of the wheels, chassis and engine

A corroded chassis often means there are problems underneath the vehicle and this can be incredibly costly to repair, so it’s crucial these parts undergo a thorough quality check before you buy.

Motorhomes need to be treated the same as a car would before purchase. They need to be test driven (on bumpier roads, not just the smooth surface of a forecourt), and the accelerator, gears, brakes and steering all need to be checked to make sure the vehicle is in working order.

6. Gas and electrics

Gas and electric are not only the most expensive issues to resolve should they malfunction, but are also one of the most crucial parts of your motorhome.

If the vehicle has undergone a DIY job or repair, this can cause major complications in the future. We would strongly advise hiring a professional to check that the gas and electrics have been installed to the expected standard before purchasing.

7. Make sure the layout suits your style of travelling

Space and storage are important factors to consider when looking for your perfect motorhome, and your requirements are largely based on who you intend to travel with and how you intend to live when in your motorhome. Are you travelling as a couple, a family or with friends? Do you plan on making use of the kitchen much or will you be eating out while on your trip?

Try out the beds to make sure they’re comfortable enough for you. Refrigerators, freezers and space for a microwave are also potential factors to consider to ensure your motorhome holidays are as easy and stress-free as possible.

Simpsons Motorhomes offer knowledgeable and professional advice and support when buying a second-hand motorhome.

Browse our full range of used motorhomes online or visit us at Suffolk Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 0LN.