Any advice before we take the plunge?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by foo76, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. foo76

    foo76 Read Only Funster

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    We have a young family, 2 kids, and are thinking of taking the plunge and buying a 2nd hand motorhome in the hope we'll get more quality time together.

    Although we hired a MH in New Zealand a few years ago, the thought of shelling out for our own is a little daunting. So any advice would be much appreciated.


    We have our eye on a Swift Escape 624, 2009 plate. Is there anything I should particularly watch out for or be mindful of? Does anyone have any experience of this model? I've read that this is at the budget end of the Swift range and wondered how this would affect any haggling. Any ideas on a reasonable price to pay, and/or similar models to look out for?


    One thing I'm a little apprehensive of is using the MH for everyday tasks whilst we're on holiday, parking in Supermarkets, tourist attractions, that sort of thing; what are people's experiences?


    Generally, any advice for a newbie would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    Hi and welcome

    The £10 membership is well worth every penny and you get discounts on motorhome shows and lots of other things like insurance too.

    Jim our leader does a good motorhome buying guide.

    Why not come to the Peterborough motorhome show, there will be loads to view and you can meet those funsters attending. You will know funsters by their yellow smilie badges xxxx

    As for buying advice there are loads of threads and posts on here so have a good read through.

    I would suggest that you make sure you vehicle is LEZ compliant by using the TFL website.

    Make sure you try everything out in the motorhome before you buy, including the beds as they do vary in size

    Good luck
     
  3. grasscutter

    grasscutter Funster Life Member

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    I know it can be exciting but I would say don't rush into a purchase. Next to buying a property this will probably be your most expensive purchase. Try and research everything you want from a van. Try and see as many vans as possible and draw up a shortlist from that.
    Nothing worse than spending all that money and then realising you would have preferred a different model.
    The advice from Ourcampersbeentrashed is worth following.
    Good luck.:thumb:
     
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  4. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    My Brother in Law has the model you mention. He loves it although I understand the fuel tank is small.

    I was asking the same question 8 years ago, We took the plunge and my oldest at 16 doesn't come with us any more.

    However, we have had such great family times its been worth every penny. It aint cheap, you always need a tool box but still worth every penny for that quality time. :thumb:
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hello Foo, most people buy three vans before they settle on one for a while, its an expensive caper. Most people swop vans because the layout is not right for them. So get a layout you can live with and you'll save loads.

    There is so much to look out for when buying and it can be a bit daunting, but don't rush in, and do ask lots of questions. As for general driving, most people hold their breath the first couple of miles in a large motorhomes:Smile: But with just a few miles experience it just appears to shrink around you, and you'll be squeezing it into supermarket carparks without even thinking about it. :thumb:
     
  6. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    :party2::welcome::party2:
     
  7. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    take your time
    used motorhome
    check the layout
    and sell the kids :Rofl1:
     
  8. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Hire one!
    Find a layout, brand, model you think you need/want then hire it (or similar model).
    You may think spending a few hundred in a week is expensive but its a lot cheaper than buying the wrong one!
     
  9. chrisboyo

    chrisboyo Funster

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    Owning and running a motorhome can be very expensive, as anyone on here will tell you and making the right choice is the hardest part.
    You do not say if you have tried a caravan ?
    When our 2 children were growing up we had many happy holidays in our old cheapo caravan
    using the family car to tow with.
    As time went on we were able to move up market a bit, the caravans grew more expensive but each time we changed we moved a bit closer to the layout that suited us best.
    Look at all aspects of owning and running a motorhome against a caravan before jumping in
    :thumb:Jim,s book is a must have:thumb:

    The great thing about being a Funster is that we don,t mind what you bring to a meet
    :thumb:TENT, CARAVAN, MOTORHOME, RV, BIG, SMALL we are all FUNSTERS :thumb:

    :welcomefunster::flyingwelcome::welcomefunster:​
     
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  10. ludo

    ludo Funster Life Member

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    Something to consider!

    Hello Foo, and welcome.

    Having bought 7 motorhomes and having experienced this problem myself, one serious consideration is the payload of the van you are thinking of buying.

    If it is a used one that you finally decide upon, check what additional accessories have been fitted and ask the dealer to have the van weighed. Accessories can be heavy. Second leisure battery, about 20kg, wind out awning, about 30kg, towbar, about 25-30kg, etc. All this will have to come of the manufacturers payload figure.

    Consider your own weight, if it is over 75kg, that will have to come off the manufacturers payload figure, as will the weight of your good lady and the kids too. Remember that the kids will also get heavier, assuming that you do feed them. Might there be additiions to the family in the near future too?

    Being caught with an overloaded vehicle can be very serious and there are posts on here explaining some of them. I, for one, was stopped in France on a toll autoroute, weighed and the van was x-rayed. Scary, but I was within my weight limit, thank goodness. Had I been overweight the consequences would have been seriously bad.

    Cheers and good luck.
     
  11. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Hire one.

    See if the layout and lifestyle works for you. :thumb:
     
  12. Goforit

    Goforit Funster

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    Firstly welcome.:Smile:
    Everything said before is good sense and well worth taking account of. We went through a similar process last year, and in my opinion the most important issue to TRY and get right first is the layout and size of vehicle. You can think about the model after that. I cannot recommend highly enough the benefit of hiring one with what you think is the layout you need first. You may find, as we did, that once you try living with it for a week, your opinions change. Some dealers will hire out and deduct the hire cost from a subsequent purchase.
    Good luck. John
     
  13. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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    Hi, Foo76

    In 2010 we bought a 1994 Talbot Express motorhome. We love it so won’t be changing it for another model. Yes, it is old and we’ve spent money getting it into good condition but it now runs like a dream. Nevertheless, if we were to upgrade – lottery win permitting – we would buy a van with: -

    • A bike rack (we can’t fit a bike rack to ours as we have a back door!)
    • Passenger seats with - most important if you have children travelling with you - forward facing seatbelts
    • Carpets that can be removed for cleaning
    It occurred to me that you and your family would probably consider those items to be essential.

    Ask the owner/dealer to demonstrate how all the beds are made up and, with his/her permission, video how it’s done so that, if you forget (and you most likely will, with all the information you are absorbing), you can refer to the video. Some motorhomes have some complicated sleeping set-ups and would not be ideal for when you have tired children that you want to put to bed quickly.
     
  14. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    you can get bike racks that fit on the back door of a talbo,t try ebay ,we had one on our talbot we bought one from another model and cut it in half to narrow it down 2 inches which was easy to do
     
  15. jeepmadmike

    jeepmadmike Read Only Funster

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    Payload is a very good point, our latest van has a very decent payload.

    We found our last van didn't have enough storage space for the stuff 1 child needs, now we have 2 kids we have bought a slightly bigger van with loads of under floor storage and a huge garage and a fixed bed for us

    We have found this changed the whole MH experience for us, I would recommend storage if you have kids!

    As for LEZ compliance I hate London from a tourist point of view so it's not an issue - weirdly our van would be LEZ compliant if it was plated at 3.5t rather than 4t but then we would only have 350kg payload....

    Other stuff we have noticed

    Rear passenger seat comfort can be an issue

    Size of the fridge

    Laminate floor or removable mats

    Microwave space for heating bottles of milk for "the boy"

    Etc etc it all depends on what you plan to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  16. foo76

    foo76 Read Only Funster

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    We're now the proud owners of a MH

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice. We spent yesterday touring the east of England looking at vehicles and test driving one in particular. It was surprising once we got in to the swing of things how we honed in on what we liked and what we need.

    Well today we went for another test drive with the kids in tow. A few hour later and some relatively well manned negotiations and we're now the very proud owners of a Swift Escape 624. Can't wait to pick it up in a couple of weeks!
     
  17. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

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    Congratulations on your purchase.:thumb: Exciting times ahead for you all.:BigGrin:
     
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