Advice please on buying my first mh

Jaffacake

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Jan 26, 2018
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Hi I have just joined this group and was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions? Apologies in advance if they have already been asked! About me...never owned a mh before, I have no idea about engines or what to look out for structurally....I know the layout I want .....used condition, 6 berth, at least 5 full seatbelts (this is proving the biggest challenge) rear bunks, around £20,000-23,000)
Questions....

-1-Advantages of caravan club v RAC type inspections?

-2-with cars there is ‘what’s car guide’ for used car prices, is there something similar for mh’s?

—3-seen a ci Carioca 2006 model 656. 2.3 diesel for £23,000 full service history, 20, ooo miles, through a dealer, on eBay, is that reasonably priced?
-4-Any advantages/disadvantages with this model?
-5-if I try to negotiate prices with dealers, how much lower than the asking price is reasonable to offer?
-5- a broker advised me to buy now as prices go up massively in springtime, is this true?

If anyone can answer any bits of the above, I would be very grateful, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process! TIA
 
Oct 19, 2014
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Nov 6, 2013
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Hi jaffacake and
:welcomesign:
Buying the first MoHo is always a mammoth task but layout is king.
Regarding negotiating with a dealer...........it's generally possible. If you really like this van make a silly offer and see how that goes down. 20k miles with FSH is very good but I would be very wary of buying from eBay as there are many scams there.

I would endorse what @Fletton said re the buyers guide.
Good luck.

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Aug 28, 2017
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:hiya2: I’ve not got mine yet ,so the only advice I can give is research research and again,it will be well over a year before we take the plunge and I’m a sucker for info (y)
 
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Oct 12, 2009
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Welcome

I don't like Jaffacakes, but we won't hold that against you:D



Have you done at least 6-12 months research beforehand?

If not, you know nothing;)

The major things you need to decide in your mind before you start looking at individual models and motorhomes are

Type of touring - campsites or Aires/Wildcamping. Cities have a lot of restrictions for emissions so emissions classifications can restrict one.

Whether you want to use it in winter/skiing - if so it needs heated double floor.

Layout/Beds/Garage.

Licence you(and other drivers) hold - for up to 3500kg or over(C1)

Decide what you want to carry - persons, bikes, canoe etc then add the weights up ( incl. fuel/water), then double it, to incl all ancillary items - food clothes tools TV etc. Then this becomes the payload you need(see below)

Payload - difference between any MH's Max authorised weight and its actual weight(on a weighbridge, not brochure or Dealer's figures).

Where you will park it and dimensions to fit.



When you can answer these questions for yourself, which maybe you can now, then start writing a specification of what you want. Show that to Dealers or Private Sellers, because that achieves two things

1 They know you are not a time-waster.

2. It hopefully stops them trying to show you models that do not meet the spec., which saves their time and yours. You could even e-mail it to dealers to save wasted trips.

I hope this is not knocking you back in your search, but I sincerely believe this approach could save you making a mistake in your first buy and costing you money to swap it for another.

I followed this method myself for my first MH buy which was 8 years ago and we still have the same one - a good quality German one ought privately and still very happy with it. I believe the research paid off.

Good luck with looking.

Geoff

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May 7, 2015
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Have you done at least 6-12 months research beforehand?

If not, you know nothing;)

That, in my opinion, is ridiculous... Its not rocket science!

As Fletton suggested, take a look at the buyers' guide, then visit some dealerships to get an idea of what you like.
 
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mfw

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Personally i would rather buy privately than from a dealer prices are more sensible also you find out why someone is getting rid of saw 1 in dealers looked reasonable from outside inside had damp signs smelt mouldy and over 20k i would not of paid half that total pile of c*ap.
Motorhome depot sell a lot but you cant see number plate so cant check old mot's for previous failures easily

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Oct 19, 2014
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That, in my opinion, is ridiculous... Its not rocket science!

As Fletton suggested, take a look at the buyers' guide, then visit some dealerships to get an idea of what you like.

I did my research for over 12mths ..

Some impluse purchase .. then end up swapping.... I didn’t.. (y)
 
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deleted-member02

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—3-seen a ci Carioca 2006 model 656. 2.3 diesel for £23,000 full service history, 20, ooo miles, through a dealer, on eBay, is that reasonably priced?
-4-Any advantages/disadvantages with this model?
-5-if I try to negotiate prices with dealers, how much lower than the asking price is reasonable to offer?
-5- a broker advised me to buy now as prices go up massively in springtime, is this true?

If anyone can answer any bits of the above, I would be very grateful, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process! TIA

All motorhomes have potential for water ingress/damp and CI are well known for it, so a damp check will be essential.
Market is buoyant, prices certainly aren't falling....

For five 3-point belts, a dinette layout is most likely to meet your needs. Seven berth vans are also worth looking at and certainly provide more living space.
Suitable vehicles will need to be weight compliant and likely be over 3500kg, are you licenced to drive over 3500kg?

Finally, lots of vans meet your requirements but are in demand as so many families want them.
Most will sell quickly, be wary of a 'bargain', the best vans don't need a big discount to sell - good luck!
 
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Sep 14, 2017
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I wouldn’t say it’s rubbish,I’ve already changed my mind several times and I’ve not got one yet :D

Lol me too I was looking at a mid lounge, but now seem to have a liking for a rear lounge, but I'm wanting to go down the Classic Hymer route one day ,

good luck, there's no such thing a daft question, I've asked loads of them :hiya2:

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Aug 28, 2017
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Lol me too I was looking at a mid lounge, but now seem to have a liking for a rear lounge, but I'm wanting to go down the Classic Hymer route one day ,

good luck, there's no such thing a daft question, I've asked loads of them :hiya2:
My wife likes the idea of a pvc as they are not as wide,then she can at least share the driving :eek:
 
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Apr 11, 2015
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Hello, welcome and good luck in your search.
We started searching a couple of years before we finally bought a van together (I had had them in the past). List essentials, I found no of seatbelts and weight really narrowed the search. even though we both have C1 and could have gone to a heavier van. Do you need the extra seatbelts all the time or just once/twice a year? Since changing van we get round this by J taking his car and extra person and me taking the motorhome.
Bit disappointed by @Rob Hammond's, hopefully, tongue in cheek comment sharing the driving is ace, we share but I do most, last trip i did all, just love the high driving position, no just love driving lol
Back to OP get to the shows have a good look round, if you know a good negotiator, use them, then get out there and have fun.
 
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Mark and Mindy

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Oct 18, 2017
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:hiya: and :WelcomeFlag:

We don't have one yet either, but we've been round and round in circles, I think we've finally decided but not saying anything yet as its a few months down the line - we're off to the NEC in February to have another look and to the Peterborough show in April to look again, and we've a week in a motorhome booked in June!

Go to dealers, have a look at what they have, lie on the beds, make up any beds that are made up on seat cushions and keep asking questions. Read anything and everything on the forum, you'll find answers to questions you don't have yet and ones you may never need to know! :D2
 
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Feb 4, 2016
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Personally i would rather buy privately than from a dealer prices are more sensible also you find out why someone is getting rid of saw 1 in dealers looked reasonable from outside inside had damp signs smelt mouldy and over 20k i would not of paid half that total pile of c*ap.
Motorhome depot sell a lot but you cant see number plate so cant check old mot's for previous failures easily
Personally i would rather buy privately than from a dealer prices are more sensible also you find out why someone is getting rid of saw 1 in dealers looked reasonable from outside inside had damp signs smelt mouldy and over 20k i would not of paid half that total pile of c*ap.
Motorhome depot sell a lot but you cant see number plate so cant check old mot's for previous failures easily

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Upvote 0
Feb 4, 2016
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Motorhome depot sell a lot but you cant see number plate so cant check old mot's for previous failures easily[/QUOTE

Where can you check previous mot's?
 
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Deleted member 29692

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A further couple of points on the weight.

As people have said it's highly unlikely you will get the configuration you want at less than 3500kg so you will need to ensure you have the correct C1 licence entitlement.

A really important point on this it do not ever trust anything a dealer says when it comes to weight. Most of them will flat out lie to you to get the sale. If you come across one that the dealer claims is less than 3500kg don't take their word for it. Insist on a new weigh bridge ticket and if the dealer is in any way reluctant to do that walk away.

Second point. Payload. This is the difference between the maximum weight it can carry i.e. 3500kg and what it actually weighs "empty" It's not actually empty, allowances are made for things like water but we don't need to get into that here. So for example if you go to the weigh bridge and it weighs 3250kg with nothing in it that means you have 250kg usable payload which in real terms is not enough if there were only ever going to be two of you using it.

If you're planning to carry 5 people and all their kit and food then you're realistically going to need 500kg of payload as an absolute minimum and even then you may be pushing your luck. That's why it's unlikely you'll find a 3500kg van that works.

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Jim

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Jul 19, 2007
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Hi I have just joined this group and was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions? Apologies in advance if they have already been asked! About me...never owned a mh before, I have no idea about engines or what to look out for structurally....I know the layout I want .....used condition, 6 berth, at least 5 full seatbelts (this is proving the biggest challenge) rear bunks, around £20,000-23,000)
Questions....

-1-Advantages of caravan club v RAC type inspections?

-2-with cars there is ‘what’s car guide’ for used car prices, is there something similar for mh’s?

—3-seen a ci Carioca 2006 model 656. 2.3 diesel for £23,000 full service history, 20, ooo miles, through a dealer, on eBay, is that reasonably priced?
-4-Any advantages/disadvantages with this model?
-5-if I try to negotiate prices with dealers, how much lower than the asking price is reasonable to offer?
-5- a broker advised me to buy now as prices go up massively in springtime, is this true?

If anyone can answer any bits of the above, I would be very grateful, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process! TIA

Hi and welcome. There is a plenty that first time buyers need to be aware of and you'll get plenty of help here. But all new buyers should spend an hour or so with the The Motorhome Buyers Guide. Subscribers can download for free here (y) The Definitive Guide to Buying the Right Motorhome at the Best Price
 
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mfw

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Motorhome depot sell a lot but you cant see number plate so cant check old mot's for previous failures easily[/QUOTE

Where can you check previous mot's?
DVLA website go to check mot put no plate in then on right hand side there is mot history you can check history and failures of vehicle back to about 2005 i think
 
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Sep 14, 2017
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The Fens
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I've been absorbing info for months, it might not be for another year I might get one, OH is so reluctant but 2yrs more of camping then it's a possibility. But I'm thinking after this year's trip to France, hell realise its a struggle for him even though I do it all,

Anyway I do all the driving, so it'll be me driving the Hymer, it's the same wheel base length as our V70 estate so I'm not worried yet .

You'll get there, just don't rush x

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eddievanbitz

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My wife likes the idea of a pvc as they are not as wide,then she can at least share the driving :eek:
Can’t women drive the same as men?;)

We were changing after a dive and saw a couple having a cup of tea and a piece of cake, watching us lot, post dive

They were warm and cosy, we were freezing. I remember saying “That’s what we need”

Following weekend we went out looking and collected our brand new Motorhome the following weekend

Four weeks later we were touring Italy with our kids(y)

:welco: Jaffacake
 
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OP
Jaffacake

Jaffacake

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Jan 26, 2018
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My licence was prior to 97, so can drive one of the larger mh's. However I will need will need the mh for mainly dog agility shows. I go to these alone (with my dog of course, but without my other half and children, my dog is totally distracted when they are around so they are all banned from shows)

Inwould also use it for family hols, hence the seat belt issue. Lap belts not an option, what would I do choose the kid I like the least for the less safe belt, So that's a big NO, I love them all❣I like the idea of bunk beds. When I'm at agility I could just pop in one bunk, not having to make up a bed would be ideal, I could also potentially use the garage as a vented area to have some sort of dog crate/bed, when i'm off walking courses during the day.

I have previously been to shows in a tent , tried a caravan but hated the towing, so a MT it is......I have researched the layout, so now it's perhaps time to research reliability, payloads and my biggest worry damp. I'm currently drawn to the Hymers, just need to work out if i can find one within my price range, or suffer the canvas experience a little longer and save up some more pennies

I was hoping to get some advice regarding the best inspection company. I've used the RAC before to inspect a car before purchase, but unsure if they would have mh knowledge? Perhaps I need to start another thread on this?

Once again thanks for your advice/comments and I will pay to join and download the buyers guide
 
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We had rac/aa check , can't remember which, before we bought ours privately, but it didn't check for damp. So you either need to buy and use your own damp meter, or ask for copies of a recent habitation check. Ours did turn out to have a damp problem but even with the cost of the repair we got a better deal than the same van via a dealer.

Layout is vital. My husband and I soon agreed on the one we wanted and it narrowed our search. We love our van and have never regretted buying it. Enjoy .

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Aug 28, 2017
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Hello, welcome and good luck in your search.
We started searching a couple of years before we finally bought a van together (I had had them in the past). List essentials, I found no of seatbelts and weight really narrowed the search. even though we both have C1 and could have gone to a heavier van. Do you need the extra seatbelts all the time or just once/twice a year? Since changing van we get round this by J taking his car and extra person and me taking the motorhome.
Bit disappointed by @Rob Hammond's, hopefully, tongue in cheek comment sharing the driving is ace, we share but I do most, last trip i did all, just love the high driving position, no just love driving lol
Back to OP get to the shows have a good look round, if you know a good negotiator, use them, then get out there and have fun.
It’s my wife’s idea to have a pvc and not a wider Motorhome :think:
 
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Oct 12, 2009
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It’s my wife’s idea to have a pvc and not a wider Motorhome :think:

There is only a few centimetres difference. Send her on a Club course for a 'C' or 'A' Class - you might have to rent a vehicle for it - I think they cannot provide vehicles. But it might be cheaper than buying a PVC and changing it in a year.

There is a world of difference in storage space(no underfloor lockers), water tanks space, particlarly if you want a fixed bed - if not get her to promise to always make the bed - while you go to the pub.

Stand your ground.

Good luck for the Divorce.:(

Geoff
 
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magicsurfbus

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seen a ci Carioca 2006 model 656. 2.3 diesel for £23,000 full service history, 20, ooo miles, through a dealer, on eBay, is that reasonably priced?

Our last MH, sold just over a year ago, was a 2005 CI Carioca 656 and we owned it for 11 years from new. It had 55,000 on the clock and it originally cost us about £26-30K. We got just less than half that on trade in against a new vehicle so the dealer you're considering has a fair bit to play with.

Yes, you're getting a low mileage vehicle, but without some decent extras like a newish leisure battery, maybe a satellite dish and a solar panel I'd consider some serious haggling. Also check the service history carefully for any mention of roof damp.

Be aware that the 2005 range were subject to a factory recall for water ingress on the roof, and it was a recurring issue for us. There's a flat spot on the roof above the kitchen area where rainwater pools, and the roof trim seal had a joint right in the middle of the puddle, which was poor design. I'm not sure if they'd addressed that issue by 2006 or not. If you have a satellite dish fitted, the chances are it would be sited in that puddle - ours was.

As far as a 6 berth vehicle goes, the layout served our purposes, but in hindsight I'm pretty certain we were exceeding its maximum payload on most trips. Give some serious thought to payload - our new 4 berth MH had a maximum of 395 kgs payload and two of us struggled to keep within it with a few modifications plus just the basic kit, bikes, and liquids. No way could we have accommodated two more people in it and stayed legal, so we've up-plated. The tax is cheaper but you need a C1 driving licence and the suspension may need modifying at extra cost. The up-plating process costs money too.

Only other design issue with the 656 - the front seats don't swivel so the space is lost when parked. As a result the dinette area is quite restricted and not particularly well illuminated by daylight, unless the 2006 model has a bigger skylight than we did. Our new MH is like a conservatory by comparison, but if you've got an overcab bed you have to make some compromises. We didn't often use it for more than two of us, but when we did it was quite cosy at mealtimes.

Don't get me wrong, we were happy with it for the time we owned it, but it definitely should have been up-plated.

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