Choosing a seconhand motorhome

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by wneva, May 25, 2012.

  1. wneva

    wneva Read Only Funster

    May 25, 2012
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    South Buck
    My wife and I have had a caravan for a few years and now we'd like a motorhome or a camper (or are they the same??)! But how to choose which one to look for? Where should we begin? We're in our mid 60s.

    A big concern is the cost of running it - what sort of mpg can we expect to get? At present we get about 24 mpg from our Honda CRV, and about the smae towing the caravan. Would a motorhome be comparable?

    And we'll be looking at the lower end of the price range - is it realistic to get soemthing serviceable for say 5K?

    I read about people who have motorhomes that are well over 10 years old - I'd hesitate to buy a car that old.

    Any advice welcome!
  2. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Kent, garden of England
    firstly welcome to the forum

    Firstly welcome to the forum... this is the place for all those question you might have.

    The best advise I would give you is put the hand in the pocket, pay £10 and join as a member so you can continue getting lots of free advice.

    £5K bit on the low side I fear... but who knows.

    Mileage per gallon has often been discussed here on MHF.. it all depends on how many miles you are travelling per year?

    Me? I have an American RV and that does between 14 and 15 mpg even pulling a 2,600 kgs capacity trailer.. so I am around 7.5 tons when all loaded. But when I purchased my RV (American way of saying motor home) I paid £28k for a 4 year old vehicle and less than 8k on the clock. Now if I had purchased an european I would have paid a lot more... so I can afford to do less mpg on the money I save if you follow me. Horses for courses.

    My RV is 23'9" long.. some are 18 tons and 40' long and yes do less mpg.. again horses for courses... if you look at European vehicles and also Americans you will soon see why a lot of people go for them on comfort side.

    But, the only way to find your dream is visit dealers, look on ebay and go a see as many as you can.. visit a show or two... buy the MMM (Did I just give them a plug:cry:) ... takes most of us a couple years to find the right vehicle.. layout, condition etc.,

    10 years old? not really an issue.. they tend to do less miles than a car and are looked after as they were expensive to start with... a lot lot more than a caravan was.

    But do your research.. lots of it and ask questions.. but pay that tenner.. well worth it.

  3. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

    May 31, 2010
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    Hi and welcome!

    For our first motorhome we got what turned out to be a decent, cheap example at just short of £7k. It was 15 years old when we bought it and had about 150k on the clock, but was just right for us, and took our family of five on a fantastic holiday around France for several weeks without missing a beat, and served us well for another two years after that.

    I've no idea what mpg the old beast returned, but I'd be guessing around the 20mpg mark.

    One piece of advice I've seen since is that the condition of the interior of the habitation area is probably more important than the mileage, as high mileage isn't necessarily something to worry about with what is essentially a commercial van as it may be with a car.

    Just for comparison purposes, a bit of window-shopping through the ebay listings can be a help, but be careful - we started doing that and ended up buying our old Dethleffs without even viewing it! We were lucky :Blush:

    Steve :Smile:
  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

    Jul 2, 2008
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    Cannock, Staffs or Benidorm, spain
    I always find website like or a good starting point for your budget.
    Also ebay but just be careful :Wink:
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Dec 27, 2007
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    South yorks
    Hi wneva and welcome :thumb:I will try and answer a few of your questions :BigGrin:
    Camper van (bongo type)usually have no shower or loo but may have porta potty -Motorhome usually have shower and loo :BigGrin: They all come with at least basic cooking facility and water.:thumb:Onto MH -low profile will give you more mpg aprox 25/30 plus mpg then we have luton types /bed above cab which you should get around 21/24 mpg Next is a panel van conversion PVC this type will give best mpg say around 27/35 mpg but you loose room.:Doh:If only 2 travelling I would think it would be cosy compared to a small caravan but plenty of room once you get used to it.
    Most vans have a pampered life so I would not worry about miles etc.Damp is the big one to avoid just the same as with caravans it can and will be expensive to fix so avoid anything that has the slightest damp (plenty of dry vans out there):thumb:
    Below are a few listed on ebay today just to give you an idea-- you must inspect before buying :thumb:Make sure the LAYOUT suits your needs :thumb:
  6. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

    Oct 7, 2008
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    10 years on a motorhome is not old.......They are not used like a car.....A lot UK Vans may only be used for several weeks in a year and not travel that far so low mileage and well looked after.

    What you must think of it is not a car, They have 4 wheels and a spare.....4 to 5 seats, a steering metal body and that is about it!.

    A motorhome has all the above..with a load of extras......A cooker,toilet,shower, fridge, freezer, a bed or most cases many beds, wardrobes, dressing tables sink with taps, running water, one or more rooms a table to eat your cooked food, seats to lounge in, a large floor some have carpets, all have heating and some like mine wet central heating, outside garage, outside lockers, roof windows, sink in the toilet with running water, cabinets in the bathroom, kitchen in fact all around the motorhome lighting all around the motorhome, cd/dvd/radio sound all around the M/Home, reversing camera's, solar panels, television, satellite dish so you watch the television, air conditioning, gas on board...the list goes on and on and on.....many more to many to as you see it is NOT A CAR YOU ARE BUYING:Doh:

    Hi opinion on a average motorhome around 6.8m with a weight of 3500kg the average diesel would be around 26 to 32...some smaller vans may get a little more Mpg.. Motorhomes built in the last 6 to 8 years with a engine size 2.3 to 2.8 may do better than the older vans that say are around 12 to 15 years old...Diesel is better than Petrol....mine is 7.5m long weight 3700kg with a 2.3 multi jet engine and I get from 25 to 28 mpg:thumb:
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  7. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

    Apr 11, 2011
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    Our Merc 608D, 600.000 on clock, £4000, went to India and back with diversions round Greece, Turkey etc., 29.000k trip ... cost a lot in repairs: one tyre. Then she went down to Morocco and beyond - had the centre propshaft bearing replaced and a 2 colour respray, 200 euros. She then came back to UK (after just over 2 years) and went straight through the Mot with no advisories.

    Our current Dethleffs, 21 years old, 95.000k, passed mot a couple of months ago - needed driveshaft gaiter - £3.99. Bought from a dealer for £8.5k with 6 months totally comprehensive warranty (no claims made). Saw identical van advertised privately a while back for about £5.5k.

    There's a massive choice out there.

    Paying over a certain figure, or only up to a certain age is no guarantee of getting a good one.

    Met a couple 2 weeks ago who bought a new MH 3 years ago for just under £50k. They managed to get almost 6 months use out of it in the 3 years. The rest of the time it spent in the workshop having various things rectified, faults which should never have been present even on an older vehicle... when we met them they had just had to curtail their holiday after 1 day due to the van flooding when they turned a tap on plus a major electrical problem. (They'd just had the plumbing system 'sorted', the whole electrical system overhauled, including new leisure batteries - at their expense...)
  8. Hayleylulu


    Feb 17, 2008
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    Full timing in the van
    its like looking for a 2nd wife you look for a younger model and slim lined::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

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