Discussion in 'Motorhome Help for the Beginner' started by Winston_C_4ever, Oct 2, 2007.
well could anyboby give me tips on how to decide to buy my 1st campervan?
An easy one, you just have to answer few questions first.
How many people will tour in the motorhome, children/adults?
What type of touring, predominatley weekends, with two weeks somewhere warm, or longer trips, visiting cold countries in the winter?
What have you seen and liked?
Buying a motorhome is a MAJOR purchase for most, but it is often rushed into. Its amazing how many people change their motorhome in the first year. This is an expensive way of getting what you want. On the other hand there are people who spend years searching for the right vehicle, never quite having the courage to commit.
My advice is do your homework, see as many motorhomes as you can, visit dealers and shows. Try and get a feel for the van, make the beds up, stand in the shower, sit at the dinette. After a while you will get a feel for the layout that suits you best, you may even narrow it down to a particular model. Then if you are anything like me you will just enter a van and "know" that it is the "one"
Believe it or not your budget is not that important, because once you settle on a model or type, it will probably be around new and cost you bundles or you can buy an older model for a lot less. You can buy a well looked after 10 year old motorhome that can give you many years of fun and reliable touring.
Do your homework, look in as many as you can and then commit.
You need to take your time and look in as many as you can. Try and attend a meet if there is one near you. You will find our members really friendly and only too happy to chat to you and show you round their motorhomes.
We didn't really do our homework, just bought the first one we looked at and here we are 12 months later on our third motorhome! It can be expensive getting it wrong!
Its the most exciting time when you are choosing, keep us posted on what you see. Many of our members know of vans for sale, in fact once you decide what it is you want let us know, you never know one of our members may have such a thing for sale!
Good Luck!: BigGrin:
Hi there and welcome to the site.
I totally agree with what has been said above and would like to add that sometimes "salesmen (persons)" can get a little enthusiastic when they describe things or answer your questions. It is not uncommon to be told what they believe you want to hear, rather than what you should hear, so do be aware.
Take your time, ask lots of questions here and then get out there and enjoy your new toy
As has already been said, look at as many as possible, walk around inside, sit down, lounge about, try to imagine doing every day things, cooking, washing, sleeping, try out the beds, I know it sounds daft but I know of one chap who brought the "perfect" motorhome and then found he was too tall for the bed
Sit on the loo, stand in the shower and pretend to wash, strange as it sounds no point if you are too cramped to be comfy in there.
Make sure there is room inside to move about comfortably doing everyday things for yourself and who ever may be with you.
Look at storage, no point in having a van and no where to put your things.
If you find a great van that is older and a little too well loved around the edges, remember seats can be recovered, carpets and curtains can be replaced.
Think about where you are going to store the van when not in use, measure your driveway length and width, remember that a large van needs space to swing around when turning, or check out local storage facilities.
If you are tempted by one of the gorgeous American RVs, can it be driven on a car license or would you have to have a HGV license?
Go looking around at the large dealerships, look at the different layouts, sizes and types.
Make a checklist of what you need in a van and then see how many can match it for you, for example, ours was, fixed bed, oven, seperate seating area and not over 21 feet in length. Sounds simple? hehehehe took us a few months to find something that ticked all the boxes for us, but we did it.
If you have small children you may want to think about a forward facing dinette with seatbelts for childseats.
It really isn't as hard as it sounds, once you get looking and thinking about what you need, it narrows down the choices a fair bit.
Lots of good advice above, just take your time and don't be afraid to ask questions.
For a roundup of considerations when buying, take a look at my Beginners Guide
We took three years to decide, and 11,000km and 9 months later we are 95% happy with everything.
Watch the available payload!!!!!!!!
Buy and read fully MMM and Practical Motorhome.:thumb:
Also learn from motorhome forums!:thumb:
I take it that was the bit you got wrong then oh:
We spent years looking at vans, long before we could afford to buy one. We bought all the magazines each month and studied them from cover to cover. Then we started seriousley looking at specifics. What lenght, height, layout, etc etc. When the time came to buy our first MH, we were experts !! After many hours and several visits to our local dealer, we bought our Swift Sundance. Six months down the road we realised we had bought the wrong van. The layout was wrong, the size was wrong, the beds were a pain to make up etc etc etc. We are now on our second van, and very happy too. The moral of the story is, when you are sure you know what you want, go through it all again, and again before buying. (one of the most important things we found was discovering the "loungability factor". Absolutely crucial to have enough room to sprawl about when the weather is bad)
weve just taken the plunge and bought our selves the first camper van who knows if its the first of many or the first and last.My advice is go and look at as many as you can without knowing your budget its difficult to give advice on prices but if you view enough youll pretty soon know what is available
When we first got the idea(after a very wet festival camping in june)we started scouring ebay preloved gumtree auto trader et al we saw some dogs absolute rust buckets and some absolute peaches that would have streetched our budget to far.
Im a fair amateur mechanic and profesional gas and plumbing engineer so buying secondhand privately wasnt to much of a risk for me
we actually thought a budget of three grand would be ok till we started looking and at one point we actually considered buying a 94 symphony which was imaculate for seven we eventually bought a near perfect AS rambler for a little under four
The biggest change in mind set from buying a normal car/van is year is less inmortant than condition especially in our price range probably not so true if your spending a lot for some thing recent
we had to buy petrol as were within the livingstone republic low emission zone and this made seeing the value even harder if you had a 1989 petrol talbot express with a years mot you'd have trouble giving it away let alone asking four figures for it
prices definatley drop in october so ill assume they rise again in early spring so off season is the best value so now is the time to get out and look
not sure how helpfull our experiences will be to you but good luck theres a van out there with your name on it
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