Potential Newbies

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Big bus man, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Big bus man

    Big bus man

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Crawley
    Once I had decided to buy a MH I set my budget and a reasonable idea of the size and layout I wanted. It was soon clear looking at pictures in magazines or the small ads was a waste of time as all the vans were sold by the time I made enquiries, and even looking round dealers the quality if older examples varied greatly, I quickly learned that if I found a van I would have to lay a deposit there and then and not go home to think about it. Many people are considering the MH lifestyle and many like me are starting with a much lower budget than a new van so I thought I would throw a few questions out there for you more experienced owners to answer to offer advice from personal experience to other potential newbies. So here goes:-

    1) Where is a good place to search for a van.
    2) Is a good quality older van better than a newer cheaper van.
    3) Are spares easy to obtain for older vans.
    4) Will a van lose a lot of value when it leaves the forecourt.
    5) Should I join a Camping Club and if so what one.
    6) Where do I get the van's MOT done and how much will it cost.
    7) Are they expensive to insure.
    8) Can I keep the van on the street outside my house.
    9) How do I find campsites and what do they charge.

    So many questions all in one thread I know, but that is the point, perhaps you can add some further questions.
     
  2. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    9,846
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Wow, that's a lot of questions
    Can I suggest that you use the forum search forum to find all the answers you are looking for as all of these subjects have been discussed before
    Maybe not the answer you were looking for, but all the answers you need are already here if you look for them
    Best of luck
     
  3. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    2,490
    Location:
    Surrey
    @Big bus man I am not going to quote all of that, otherwise it gets silly. So here are my answers to your questions, please note, that these are my opinion only, and in the spirit of fun, someone will be along shortly with totally different answers :D
    1) I am afraid there is no correct place to search, you just have to keep your eyes peeled. The motorhome specific section of auto trader was where I spent a good deal of time searching. It may be worth phoning some of the rental places. When they sell off their stock, they will usually hand them over to a motorhome dealer. By selling direct, they will make a few extra quid!

    2) I would say within reason yes. A cheaply made van is always going to be that. But lets give a car example, would you buy a 30 year old Rolls Royce, now ask yourself why not! :D

    3) Yes and no, it depends what you buy and the equipment that is fitted. Swift for example only guarantee to have spare parts for 8 years for their vans. That said, most of the equipment inside is fairly standard, or can be replaced with newer items. The base vehicle will be Ford or Fiat (mostly) so the parts for that should be readily available. Accident damage, as long as it is minor can probably be sorted in most body shops, so I wouldn't worry too much on this point.

    4) A brand new van yes, definitely. Second hand, if you pay the correct price, no, not so much.

    5) That is a personal preference, we joined the CC after we had owned the van for nearly a year. Leave it until you know what your requirements are.

    6) Any MOT station that has an entrance large enough to accept your height. Phone in advance and check they will do your class of vehicle. Of the 100's of MOT stations around here, there are only 2 that have said they are unable to MOT due to height.

    7) Actually no, they are cheaper than cars in most cases. Our motorhome costs less to insure than my wifes Honda Jazz.

    8) That is unlikely to be accepted by your insurance company.

    9) Google is your friend. Pop a pin in the map, click search nearby and then enter campsites in the search field. Or if you are on the road. Do a POI search on your sat nav for campsites. If you do join CC, then you will have an up to date guide for sites, which shows prices.
     
  4. Big bus man

    Big bus man

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Crawley
    Thank you Robert and Daniel, I know it is a lot of questions in one go and yes you can find answers on the forum but as an example Daniel answered some questions and the answers made interesting reading, if I wanted more in-depth answers I would then look deeper into the forum, but for a newbie looking a great deal of questions are beginning to make sense so lets hope some others answer more questions.
     
  5. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,202
    Likes Received:
    2,490
    Location:
    Surrey
    Reading more into question number 6, I suspect you are looking into servicing costs, well for the first year our costs were:
    MOT: We took our to a centre that does a pre-inspection, which is more expensive, so £65 I believe.
    Annual service, £250 (it had some extra work done over and above the service)
    Extra items: Failed 3rd gear synchro replacement brake discs and pads all around £1,300

    In addition to those costs, we have had to repair or replace a few items in the van: Toilet cassette, habitation door restraint bar, roof light in the bathroom, gas burner in the fridge and the thermistor in the fridge. All of these sundry items (some of which were broken by my own hand) totted up to about £300.

    These vans aren't cheap to run, so expect the odd unexpected repair bill. We have been both unlucky and clumsy, so it has cost us more this year. Next year we don't expect quite so much in repairs :D
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    14,789
    Location:
    North Wales.
    Good luck in your search beware of the scams on e bay and check with the forum when you think you have found something.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Viennese
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    222
  2. mwark
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    247

Share This Page