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Considering purchasing a motorhome. Need advice

2291 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bigfoot
Hi everyone,

My name is PJ and I'm a touring musician. I'm thinking of buying a motorhome to tour around in and sleep in. I know basically nothing about them and am just looking for any advice anyone can give me on what sort of motorhome I should be looking to purchase. Ideally, I'd probably be getting a second hand one. I would like to spend under £10,000 and I would like it to have a double bed, a fridge, a small kitchen and some space for my gear (which isn't all that much). Shower/toilet is preferable but not essential. What is the best type of motorhome for me to be looking at? Can anyone recommend any reliable places I could look into purchasing one? All and any advice is welcome.


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You should be able to get something suitable but please bear in mind its going to be quite old. It is unlikely to have power steering etc. may have some. preloved (google it)
Ebay but be carefull.

You can always call us, we may have a p/x suitable

Hope this helps.

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Hi and welcome. We bought our first MH a year ago and knew nothing at all about them. Im still a long way from becoming an expert but you have come to the right place with this site. We spent a lot of time looking at various models at dealers first and then private once we knew what we wanted and what we were looking for. Our budget was double yours but we were looking for a 6 berth Swift Kontiki for under £20K. The one we got is still 12 years old but they are £50-60K new. We did look initially at some cheaper ones around the £10K mark and if you just want 4 berth then you should find something half decent. The issue you may have is that the main dealers with the new and nearly new vans wont have much in your price bracket so the dealers you will be visiting may be questionable. If you go for a coach built with an everhead cab bed you can store all sorts up there. We rarely use ours for sleeping but store a folding moutain bike, douvets etc up there, we even had a 3meter inflatable rib up there once! Use the site, check out and try as many as you can until you find a type/model you want. If you buy private you will save quite a bit. Make sure when you get around to the buying stage that you check that everything works. Spend a good two hours checking everything and do a long test drive. If the dealer or seller rushes you or sweeps over things then walk away. If it doesnt feel right for any reason, walk away. Before you make an offer post the details on here. Someone will have one and will know what to check and owners are only too happy to offer their advice. It took us many months to find our Kontiki but so far "touch wood" its been the best investment I have ever made.

Good luck and let us know how you get on

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I notice you give your location as 'London' ..... I hope you are familiar with the rules etc of the LEZ!!

I think Motorhomes over 2.5 tonnes need to pass Euro3 and I suspect that secondhand ones around the £10,000 will be older than that.

Best of luck though
I have an old Ambulance that has been converted and is used by musicians and bands for tours, festivals etc. It is great, comfortable and very flexible. One of the bands (The View) artist (Ryan McPhail) gave it a dramatic spray paint job just to add to the package. It's ideal and I have had loads of offers for the van from within the industry however I cant seem to bring myself to part with it. This was a cheap conversion for me to do, I have also seen some Merc Sprinter Splitter Vans with ideal conversions suited for racetrack or musicians touring whilst on he circuit. Most of the bands who started out with the Ambulance now have huge tour buses but they still talk of their times spent in the Ambulance. You should have a look at an option like this however if you are solo then you may be better with a proper MH.

I also have a 1991 Elddis Autoquest 320, that I aquired by default. I bought this for a friend 2 years ago and he needed to sell it, due to health and financial issues, he is 73. so I bought It off him as it was too good a deal to turn down. I do not need it and my wife wants a newer model so it may be up for grabs if we decide to sell, I have been offered £7k as a trade in and the dealer has a near identicle one on his plot for £10500. This would not suit a full band although it is 4 berth, it would be ideal for solo or duet. It is also nippy enough to get into most venue carparks,I would have no problems at most of the smaller London venues like The Old Blue Last, Borderline, The Fly or Death Disco. So this size of van is ideal for a musician touring. Swivel cab seats, overhead double bed, shower and cassete toilet, kitchen with hob oven and grill, fridge, 2 singles or large double in lounge, plenty storage. Dependant on equipment I would use the overhead bed as storage rather than sleeping in this sort of van. I may not sell this one but something like this may be what you are looking for, if I were you I would not be tempted by the huge expensive vans if it is mainly for use on the music circuit.

You can mail me on [email protected] if you want me to send some pic's of either van, it may help you in your search for a suitable musicians work/play compromise.
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We've recently bought our first motorhome and we love it. Like you we had a limited budget and got ours for £13k - it's an N reg (1996) 4 berth (double over cab and rear lounge converts to a double or is 2 singles) Compass Drifter 410. It has a small kitchen area with oven/ hob/ sink/ fridge and a tiny bathroom - it's really a WC but you could have a shower in it if needed - just!! The bathroom does us as most of the time we can use site showers but our next van will definitely have a bigger bathroom hence my recent post about where all the big bathrooms are!

Mods, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say where I got it from? If not please feel free to delete this part of my post:

We bought from Wells Bridge Motorhomes in Cambridge - they were really great and have loads of older vans - far more than any other dealer - 12 month warranty etc etc. I can thoroughly recommend them and no I don't know them at all apart from buying the van from them.

Hope that helps :D
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We bought our forst motorhome 16yrs ago, we have had many since but that old motorhome is still talked about by the kids. We had the best times ever and went out in all weathers and season and the kids loved it.
It cost us £1500 and we had to pay the owner off monthly untl it was paid. I think it was an old transit CI 4 berth with a shower that was never used except to store the kids fishing rods and stands. the loo was a godsend. it had an old gas oven that we would shove a roast dinner in whilst fishing. the water was heated up through an old gas boiler. we wasnt bothered about the van getting bashed about because it was old anyway.
Not like now, Im too frightened to do anything in case the old man tells me off.
The kids are all grown up now with kids of there own so it is the grandchildren that come with us this time around but I doubt if they have as good a time as there dads.

Hope you find what you are looking for.Motorhomes might be a bit more expensive now because it is the start of summer, I would wait and buy at the end of the season and you mayget a better deal.

Good luck

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Thanks a lot to everyone that has replied! There's been some really useful advice. I can now spend some real time looking into the various aspects and seeing what is viable.

if anyone wants to know anything about being in a touring folk punk band maybe I can return the favour with some of my knowledge haha :D

Sounds like a good idea, drop me a line with some gig dates and I will either come and see yous or get someone to check yous out. Also send me a myspace link if you have one.

Mine is

Good luck on getting the right on the road accomodation, it is very important good touring musicians have the right gear. I know how difficult it is no matter if you are doing the toilet gigs or performing on huge international stages. Just make sure it's all about the music if you want to make it full time, gone are the day's when the industry waste time on wasters.

One of Scotland's current very successful bands toured round Britian in an old £3k Hymer for about a year, they struggled to get home from a London gig on the Sat due to no money for fuel, but by the next Wednesday they had signed a huge publishing deal and the Hymer was retired. It was all part of a very good master plan. Go for it.
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Have look in the ads on here my Hymer 544 is up for sale at an affordable and it is LEZ compliant!!
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