What should I look for when buying a motorhome? (9 steps to follow)

In this blog post, we will discuss: What should I look for when buying a motorhome? We will give you a few essential tips to follow when buying a motorhome so that you make the best decision possible. 

What should I look for when buying a motorhome?

Here’s what to look out for before buying a motorhome: 

  • Motorhomes are usually very prone to the appearance of fungus, especially in parts where water is used such as the kitchen or the bathroom.
  • One of the areas where it is most difficult to identify problems is on the motorhome floor. However, and as silly as it sounds, it is advisable to jump several times to verify the structure’s solidity.
  • Water leaks are one of the most typical problems that motorhomes often have, and also one of the most difficult to solve. For this reason, it is advisable to check all the roof joints, especially in the corners and on the bed area in class C motorhomes or campers.
  • The exterior of the motorhome can also tell us a lot about the state it is in.
  •  The wheels of a motorhome are one of the most important components of the vehicle, and one of those that suffer the most from the load weight and the passage of time.
  • Something that is unfortunately often overlooked when looking for a motorhome is the issue of suspension. However, our motorhome must have a suspension in good condition, especially if we are going to take a long-term trip.
  • Finally, we must not forget that our motorhome is not only not going to be our vehicle on any trip but also our home. With which, it will surely come accompanied by several amenities that will make our adventure much more pleasant.

Beyond what the vehicle owner tells us, nothing compares to a first-person inspection. This will allow us to see all the parts of the motorhome closely and detect any possible problems.

Some factors to consider before buying a motorhome

Price is a very important factor, but more important is that you buy a vehicle that guarantees safety, reliability and adapts to your needs. 

The second most important factor is the dealer where you are going to buy your motorhome. It is essential that you buy your vehicle from a quality dealer, to advise you and offer you an after-sales service and guarantee.

9 steps to follow when buying a motorhome

Below is a summary of ten steps that every future motorhome owner should follow for a successful purchase. Check them out and then let us know what you think!

  1. Estimate your needs  – It sounds obvious, but the first thing to do is figure out what type of vehicle you need. Before even thinking about the brand or location, write down your idea of ​​using your motorhome. 

Will you go as a couple, as a family? In all seasons or at specific times? For long-distance trips beyond our borders or rather for short but frequent escapades? Do you want to take bikes or scooters? 

Each of these questions must provide an answer: number of beds, kitchen layout and equipment, size of the hold, water and gas autonomy, heating system, etc.

  1.  Define your budget and your payment method – At least as important as defining your needs, this step, you can imagine, should not be overlooked. Here, the question is to know how much you have or can have if you have recourse to a loan. 

In any case, keep a small reserve that will allow you to face some unforeseen additional expenses, or which you will not have thought of (such as the vehicle registration document or insurance, a possible small repair …).

  1. Find your ideal motorhome – Armed with your list of essential specifications and the budget you want to devote to your purchase, you can then define your ideal motorhome by starting with the template to be determined according to various criteria. 
  1. Buy from an individual or a pro? – Both solutions have advantages and disadvantages. Your research will undoubtedly require prospecting in both fields. Prospecting with individuals via classified ads on the internet will offer you a very wide panorama of models of all ages and all categories at “sometimes” interesting prices.
  1.  Research – After you’ve blackened sheets of paper, frantically browsed the classifieds and dealer sites on the internet, established your budget and, finally, precisely defined your future motorhome, it’s time to go hunting. Here again, the path can be strewn with pitfalls. So, don’t get carried away by what seems like a big deal and take the time to get to know the vehicle before making any decisions.
  1. Check the papers = In the context of a purchase from a private individual, it is essential to verify that the vehicle is in good standing and that the seller is indeed the owner. The seller must also be able to present you with an up-to-date maintenance book or invoices attesting to the monitoring of the vehicle. 
  1. Ask for technical control and leak testing – Indispensable to obtain the registration certificate for a vehicle over four years old, the technical inspection valid for less than six months must be given to you by the seller. This document is essential because it tells you, at least partially, about the condition of the mechanics and their proper maintenance. 
  1. Take the motorhome for a test drive – Start by driving around the vehicle and looking for dents, scratches and other broken lights (some models are very difficult to find). Be vigilant, also, on the condition of the windshield, in particular on the integral where the prices can climb very high (certain models of the windshield, on old and rare vehicles, no longer exist at all).
  1. Take a look at the warranty! – When buying from a dealership, a pro puts his reputation at stake and must therefore offer quality opportunities. The motorhomes on sale are therefore logically checked and revised. Usually, a guarantee is offered. 

Final advice

Beyond the cost of the motorhome itself, it is also important to consider all the extra expenses that our purchase will entail.

In this way, you must take into account the costs of taxes, registration fee, insurance, safety or environmental checks. In addition to these expenses, keep in mind that the cost of a motorhome does not end with the purchase, since then we will have to maintain it during the trip. 

Therefore, it is also important to think about fuel costs, spare parts costs, typical maintenance costs, toll costs and shipping costs. 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or tips on buying a used RV. 

FAQ on What is the best place to buy a used RV?

What do you have to take into account when buying a motorhome?

When buying a motorhome, you have to take into account so many things that it is best to involve each member of the family in the process. Give each person precise instructions. Do an eye check of the tires, electrical system, the condition of the furniture, etc. 

How much does an RV cost?

RV costs depend on whether they are pre-owned, new, large, luxurious, simple, etc. However, an estimate (from a used one to a new luxury one) is between $ 15,000 USD to $ 100,000 USD.

How to charge a motorhome?

To charge a motorhome, first unplug all electrical appliances, including the power converter. If you park your motorhome during cold weather, remove the battery. Use an external battery charger to charge it fully.


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