The desire to buy a motor home came mainly from a realisation that we were spending a fortune each year paying off other people’s mortgages during ski season – anything from £300 to £1600 per week to use other people’s homes. Whilst the accommodation provided a nice base for a holiday it did prove a little restrictive as we found out one trip when the snow proved illusive but we were committed to a resort having paid for 2 weeks rental.
Snowboarding as a hobby came to us both as we started our 3rd decades on earth and to call it an addiction is an understatement. Finding a motorhome that would meet our wintry requirements was going to be a challenge. Aside from the mechanicals and general condition of the bus I had some relatively girly demands that needed to be accommodated. A hot shower, a good toilet and a bed that’s always a bed were at the top of my pink list. Having spent time wild camping in morocco being able to not have to dig a hole every time I wanted to the toilet or think hours in advance to allow the solar shower to heat up were very important for our next motoring adventure (along with keeping warm obviously)
The blue list of “wants” was far more logical and considered but stereotypically the girl in me came out and wanted comfort and practicality.
A joint list of “pink” and “blue” requirements were pulled together along with a realistic budget – honestly, I had no idea how expensive motor homes were! I was soon educated after a brief internet search for options within the budget I figured would be sufficient. Needless to say – 3k does not buy us the level of comfort or practicality desired.
Our list of key considerations when buying a second-hand motor home as a private sale as follows:
- Drive before you buy (pay attention for odd noises and make sure you feel comfortable driving it) Make sure you have the appropriate insurance.
- Hpi check your investment (https://hpicheck.com) from as little as £9.99 before handing over your hand earned cash. The check will show if there is any outstanding finance or if its been in a crash.
- Test everything! Water, heating, gas, fridge, bed, shower, batteries, cupboards…Literally EVERYTHING
- Check for any obvious damage or dampness (you can ask for a Motorhome Habitation Damp report https://www.motorhomes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/01052012104851.pdf)
- Make sure you actually fit in the bed and can use the shower effectively! Especially if you are a little lofty!
- Check the service history and Log book (V5) and find out when it was last serviced / MOT’ed and get the reports
- Check out insurance costs before you buy and make sure your driving licence covers the weight of the van. If you passed before Jan 1997 you can drive up to 7.5 tonnes after that date its limited to 3.5 tonnes) with consideration to MIRO (Mass In Running Order).
- Lastly does it meet your specification/ budget – for us our list of “blue” & “pink” wants.
Our bus (Affectionately named Frau Hymen due to being a girl [I think they all are] and a German import therefore a handy left-hand drive) happened to be the first one we actually went to look at in the flesh that seems to be a pattern for us – a healthy level of research followed by a few selected viewings!
Good luck hunting out the new addition to your engine based family!