Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Motorhome

Nothing says freedom like being out on the open road in your very own motorhome or caravan.

Most people dream one day of owning a motorhome but aren’t quite sure where to start. Do they go with a brand new one or take a more economical route and begin with a used one?

While the price for a used motorhome may be lower, there can be hidden costs and unforeseen issues if you are not careful.

Let’s breakdown what to look for when buying a used motorhome or caravan.

used motorhome in sunset scene

Set Your Budget

Before you even start the process of looking for a motorhome, you should sit down and figure out your budget.

Your budget should include not only the cost of the motorhome itself but also the insurance and upkeep. There are online resources for insurance quotes to help get you started.

Also, the whole goal of a motorhome is to travel. You should do research on places you want to go and the cost involved. You don’t want to spend all your travel budget on your motorhome just to sit in the driveway.

If you need help with your first destination, here are some great caravan parks to visit.

Know What Type of Motorhome You Want

You may not be ready to pick a model or manufacturer yet, but you need an idea of what type of motorhome you want. Are you looking for one you can drive or one to pull behind a vehicle?

If you are confused about which option is the best for you, here is some information on caravans vs motorhomes.

Do you want a large motorhome where you can stretch out and relax and maybe carry more people or a smaller, cosy version that is easier to navigate?

There are so many options when it comes to features and layouts. Take time to research which one fits your needs and lifestyle.

Once you have decided on which type of motorhome would work the best, start investigating the pricing.

Again, there are online price guides to assist in finding the average market value. You need to make price comparisons for various makes and models to find the best fit for your budget.

Where to Find a Used Motorhome or Caravan

Finding a used motorhome or caravan is usually straightforward.

Private sellers may be looking to upgrade or have decided they no longer wish to travel. They advertise online or even using For Sale signs in their driveways.

While you can find good deals from private sellers, be very cautious when dealing with someone you do not know. It is easy to be misled or given wrong information, and you have no warranty or recourse if the purchase turns out to be a bad one.

A reputable dealer specialising in motorhomes and caravans is usually a good bet. They have maintenance records and can provide an accurate history of the vehicle and any problems or issues it may have had.

Take a Test Drive

You absolutely want to take your potential new motorhome on a test drive, especially if this is your first one.

You need to make sure you are comfortable not only with driving on the open road but also in smaller city streets. You need to be able to park and back up.

Have someone go with you that can answer any questions that might pop up while out. If possible, have them drive for a while as well so you can experience the motorhome as a passenger. Those travelling with you must be comfortable as well.

Make note of any noises, bumps, or rattles. Figure out what they are before deciding to move forward. They may be perfectly normal sounds, but you want to get familiar with them all to avoid problems later on.

What to Look for

After you have taken a test drive and are ready to move forward, there are some additional inspection steps you should take to look for problem areas.

The Exterior

First, you should check the engine oil and transmission fluid. The oil should be clean and not have a burnt smell. The transmission fluid should have a pinkish tint and also not smell burnt.

Check the exterior for dents and scrapes on the siding with chipped paint. Look for loose trim. Pull out the awning to make sure it works and is in good shape.

You should also inspect the roof, doors, and windows for leaks and rust spots.

The Interior

While you want the outside of your motorhome or caravan to look nice, the inside is where you will be spending most of your time. Make sure the interior is in good condition.

Check the upholstery for tears or stains. Inspect the cabinets and drawers and make sure they open and close correctly. All of the appliances should be turned on to make sure they are in proper working order.

The bathroom is another spot to inspect carefully. Look for mould, which is a big concern, and can be found in many places. Check around the seams and corners. Look under the sink and around the cabinets.

You do need to remember this is a used vehicle. It is unlikely to look brand new. Many small issues can be fixed or remodelled if you decide to buy.

Make notes of any cosmetic or functioning problems found. These can be used in your bargaining negotiations.

You also need to determine which flaws or issues you can handle. Can you fix the small issues, or do you need to move on to another motorhome?

The Decision

As you can tell, buying a used motorhome or caravan shouldn’t be a quick decision. There is a lot of research and legwork that needs to be done.

When you are ready to take this step, we are here to help you through the entire process. From finding the right caravan or motorhome to the financing, we are here to help you.

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