Whether you’re dreaming of a life on the open road, an extended holiday touring around the country, or just looking to save some serious cash compared to buying a new campervan – purchasing and using a used motorhome can be an excellent way to go!
But before making your purchase, you should take some key steps first. To that end, we’ve compiled this blog post with ten items for you to look out for when purchasing a used motorhome; from visual inspections and checks made during each stage of ownership (including potential paperwork considerations) to understanding advice about service history and more – it’s all included here!
Let’s explore these points together so that you can make sure any used RV is safe and ready for the open road.
1. Mechanical condition:
With used motorhome purchases, checking the mechanical condition of vital elements is crucial. Be sure to inspect the engine, transmission, brakes and tyres – these are essential components which can compromise your safety if not in good working order.
Carry out visual checks for signs of wear and tear, such as rust or leaks, to accurately indicate their condition. Taking suitable precautions and conducting thorough inspections will ensure nothing slips through the cracks. You can look forward to enjoying all the benefits of used motorhome ownership without worrying about poor performance or unexpected issues down the line!
2. Maintenance records:
Ask for the maintenance records and verify that the vehicle has been serviced regularly. This will give you an idea of how well the motorhome has been maintained. Also, ask the seller for the maintenance records. This will give you an idea of how well the campervan was cared for. Regular servicing is vital to keeping it running smoothly for as long as possible.
Ensure all necessary paperwork is included and check that each service interval has been completed correctly. With those checks in hand, you can be sure you’re heading out on your adventure with a campervan that’s been taken good care of.
3. Exterior condition:
Check the exterior for any signs of damage or wear and tear, such as dents, scratches, or rust. Look for signs of water damage, such as bubbling or staining.
When inspecting the exterior of a used motorhome, be sure to look out for any damage caused by wear and tear – this could include anything from dents and scratches to rust or bubbling paint. Water damage can also present as staining on the bodywork, so watch for that too!
It is also sensible to check for any signs of previous structural repairs, as these can be easily overlooked. This could include panel alignment, signs of filler and panels that look different, i.e. newer or a different colour to others.
4. Interior condition:
As well as external checks, you should check the interior for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Take a good look at the upholstery and carpets for any rips or tears. Additionally, check for any signs of water damage, such as soft spots in the walls or floor, which are potential signs of leaks. Doing thorough checks on the interior when looking for a used motorhome can save you potentially costly repairs down the line.
Checking the appliances is an essential part of the used motorhome buying process. Test each one to make sure they work correctly and have all their features as expected. First, turn on the refrigerator and let it cool before opening the door to check everything inside it is in good condition. Examine the stove, oven, and microwave carefully and ensure all their knobs, levers, buttons, and racks remain intact.
For those extra features like built-in coffee makers or toasters, be sure to give them a quick test run as well. Keeping these tips in mind will ensure you don’t buy a lemon for your next adventure!
6. Electrical system:
When buying a used motorhome, it’s essential to check out the electrical system to ensure everything is up and running. Make sure all the lights and outlets work correctly and look for any telltale signs of electrical issues that would need to be addressed before signing on the dotted line. Look for flickering lights, blown fuses, or similar issues; have a professional inspect things more thoroughly, as electrical fault finding and repairs can be time-consuming and costly.
7. Plumbing system:
If the used motorhome you are looking at has a plumbing system, it’s crucial to ensure that all the elements, including toilets, are working correctly. It’s always a good idea to turn on each separate tap and flush the toilet on board. Additionally, looking for signs of any water damage from previous leaks or flooding is recommended. If there’s any evidence of rust or other wear and tear, then repairs will likely be necessary and can be factored in when negotiating a purchase. Taking the time to do this simple check before signing the papers can save you major headaches later on!
8. Air conditioning and heating system:
Before buying a used motorhome, one of the key areas to check is the air conditioning and heating system, especially if you want to keep cool in those hot summer months or warm up in winter.
An excellent place to start is by testing out the system; turn it on and see if it’s working. Look for any signs of problems, such as strange noises or weak airflow. These could indicate that something is wrong with the system, which can be a costly expense. Ask the seller for evidence of servicing these elements, such as air-con regassing and cleaning.
9. Storage space:
When looking into a potential motorhome to purchase, it’s important to check it meets your needs. The available storage will be an essential aspect of this. Assess whether or not it’s sufficient for your needs, and make sure everything looks secure. Are there enough cupboards, shelves and storage compartments for your needs? Families will likely need more space than a solo traveller, so check the area works well for your needs.
Look out for damage, like broken latches or worn shelves. It can be easy to overlook these steps at first glance, but they’re critical in ensuring the motorhome is the right fit for you. Make sure to take your time and pay attention during this part of your inspection!
Before deciding to purchase a used motorhome, one of the most important things to consider is the price. Make sure you get a good deal by researching similar vehicles in the same condition and year as the potential purchase and comparing their market values.
Remember to consider any extras or upgraded features that come with your motorhome, as these can increase its value significantly. Do your research thoroughly before making any decisions to ensure you get the best quality vehicle for a fair and reasonable price.
Use any negative points you have found on your inspection to negotiate the asking price, as these may help you get a better deal.
Get a vehicle inspection done:
If you have found a candidate that ticks all the boxes, we recommend getting a vehicle inspection done first, and it could save you thousands of pounds in unforeseen costs down the line.
Make sure whoever you choose to do it is reliable, qualified and insured – after all, you will rely on their expertise to determine the full extent of any existing faults and invest more than just your money into this purchase. Happy hunting!
In summary, when purchasing a used motorhome, there are many things to note before making a purchase, taking into consideration all of the points raised in this blog post. It’s also important to compare multiple vehicles to assess the better option and set a fair price point.
Being thorough and putting in some hard work in advance with inspections and research pays off in the long run as you want to avoid ending up with an unsuitable motorhome or ‘lemon’. Now go out, do your due diligence, and find your travel companion. So, make sure you check everything out and find your next great adventure!