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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new on here (today!) as were seriously thinking of buying a 1st motorhome. We've looked round a few dealers in the North west (were from Wirral) and have a few needs and wants in mind - and we seem to get the idea that nothing is perfect, but you just get a feel for some rather than others once you go in them. I'm looking for advise though on cost of a 1st one - our original idea was to go for something about £15k ish - which seems to correspond to roughly P reg's. Then we considered these were already 15 yrs old so we could end up with something that is always in need of some repair or other. We also thought that because it was so old we'd soon start thinking we want something newer, whuch would mean trading again which always involves a mark down in price- so we then thought we'd spend more in the 1st place and get some something built this side of the millenium - maybe upto £24k ish. However I've noticed a post that said whatever you buy you'll end up trading soon!! So know I'm definately all confused! Does anyone have any advise please?
 

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You will get mixed and varied answers here - so get ready to duck the "I can only afford a £5k one so 15k will be fantastic" comments.

First thing - is how SURE are you you want one? Buying new will loose you a fortune as you drive it off the forecourt - and there are many stories of people returning it after their first trip. Also - are you certain of what you want as you may buy a layout and hate it.

For us, we've only ever bought our current van - and use it more than most (150 out of last 200 days or so!). We were sure of the type we wanted (small, stealthy, non-coach build). Of all the 2nd hand ones we saw we had the same issue - £15k was an old or tatty or not as equipped as we'd like. £25k would buy a year or two old one which just looked tatty inside, and £35k bought us a brand new, fully kitted, quality (oak frame furtniture) etc van.

If we could have got the same for £10k or £20k a few years old we would, but nothing beats it (note: thats by our definition of requirements/quality - others have different requirements etc)

Our van is coming up to 4 years old, still "pristine" inside and out (despite the HEAVY use!) so it was most definately worth it for us.

As for trading up - well we chose wisely and don't have plans to - but thats up to you.

My only real advice is DO NOT RUSH INTO IT and buy something non suitable (hi Mum & Dad ;) ). Its easy to get too excited. Go to a few shows. Go to a few dealers. Decide what you NEED. Decide how you plan to use it. In which case you are sure to make a better decision.
 

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new or old

hi me and my wife were looking for over 3 years before we found the right one, we managed to get a 1999 w reg compass drifter 410 with only 20700 genuine miles on the clock and that was from a dealer in plymouth and it came with 3 years warranty with it, they wanted £18995 for it but i managed to get it down to £17700 and that was with a brand new canopy fitted to the side. i think it was a good deal so when you say new or old i would just keep looking and the right one will come along at the right price soon.

steve

ps like active campers said go to shows and visit as many dealers as you can so you can get a feel for all types and layouts of vans.
 

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The top three items on my requirements list are

1.Payload
2.Insulation.
3.Sub 6.0 meters in length( Sub 6.5m length if necessary).

You need to sit down and work out
*.When will you use it (winter, spring, summer, autumn)
*.How will you use it. (Wildcamping, Always on site, both)
*.Where will you use it
*.How often will you use it

As you answer each question so more will pop into your head. But, as you answer each question, so you will narrow your requirements list.

Once you have your requirements listed, in priority order, set a budget, and then try to find the van that comes closest to those requirements.

Or you could do it the other way.

"Yes Madam, this rig will do exactly what you want of it. Please sign here" :D
 

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You could consider buying private. You can save a ton of money. We bought our first MH last May and using this forum and just scouring the Internet we finally found the right van from the right people. I reckon we saved around £4-5K by going private. Be prepared to put some miles in though and use this forum to ask any questions. Good luck!
 

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P reg

P reg is 1996-97 so it could be 12 years old. Many motorhomes are only used for a few weeks a year, so it's not like a car getting used every day. We bought an N reg left hooker 3 years ago and have been all over Europe and we have only need a handbrake cable (snapped on the shores of Lake Garda) and two front tyres. We also only looked at one other MH in our price range before we bought! Good luck in your search. Ian and Dawn (soon to be fulltiming) X
 

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Thats a good point. Our Kontiki is a 1996. It had 36000 miles on the clock when we bought it. Dealers for a van in the same condition were looking for £20K+. We looked at some cheaper makes of MH for around the same money that were 2000-2002 reg and frankly apart from the reg plate there was no comparison. They were rubbish. Ours although 13 years old this year has been fantastic. Everything works, its winterised and the fittings are all good quality and its just sailed through its MOT needing no work at all. You read a lot of posts about people buying new or nearly new and having all sorts of problems. Your always going to get little niggles that are easily rectified on any van though. I guess we will sell it and buy a newer one at some point but not before I have put another 30-40K on the clock. Probably given it the kiss of death now and it will blow up next time I take it out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the advise so far... the main message I'm getting is don't rush into it... I think we do need to go to a few more dealers yet and possibly some shows - thanks evryone!
 

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I'd agree with all the advice above and add my tuppence. Consider hiring before you buy if you haven't already. That way you get a real live in feel for what works for you and what doesn't.

Enjoy the hunt - we did. We're new to it and loving learning as we go. Sure, we don't get everything right first time but we enjoy it as we go tootling along.

D
 

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I would say look at as many as you can including private before making a purchase. I am a new motorhome owner and set out with a budget of approximately 15k and before I even got into the car and started looking I made of list of what spec I wanted in advance.

For me I needed a 5 berth ideally but could settle for 4, I wanted a low mileage m/h with history and no outstanding jobs or faults. I went to just about every dealer from Southampton round to Essex looking at different models and layouts of vans, I also looked at several private sales in my price range. I would say that every viewing gives you a feel for the quality and condition that is acceptable to you and also that some dealers are charging top dollar for their secondhand stock due to the shortage of m/h's in this price range.

For me many private and dealer visits eventually paid off when I found the m/h for me in a 2002 Rollerteam Granduca 171 Riviera with only 15000 miles on the clock which is a 5/6 berth. Total outlay has been two new rear tyres (due to sidewall cracking). For this I paid just over 16k (went over budget for it) and I am very confident that the Duca would have been well out of my price range at a dealer as it would be on the forecourt at around 20-21k.

This isn't a knock at dealers as they obviously need to put food on the table as we all do, and if you are after a warranty etc it is your best option. My point is there are some really good quality bargains in the s/hand market if you look hard enough without having a big outlay on a new m/h.......

Good luck in whatever option you choose !!!
 

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LazyRover said:
The top three items on my requirements list are

1.Payload
2.Insulation.
3.Sub 6.0 meters in length( Sub 6.5m length if necessary).

:D
Have you thought about an Arto? Coice of 5.9 or 6.4 metres to satisfy point 3, properly winterised (2) and nearly 1tonne of payload if on a Ducato 18 maxi/alko chassis at 4tonnes. (1)

Great build quality and very quiet to drive too.

They're so good, I wish I sold them!!!!!

David
 

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Hi

We have been 'tenters' then 'tuggers'all of the time we have been together (nearly 18 years). We've contemplated a motor home on and off for the last couple of years, and almost bought one last year, but didn't take the plunge in the end, mainly as a result of the 'tugger' mindset where 'you have to pack up everytime you want to go somewhere', rather than just being able to jump in the car.

This year, a couple of weeks before Easter, we were back at our local dealer, having come up with a plan - lets buy something small and cheap, so we can try it for a few weekends to see if we like it, but keep the caravan in case we don't.

However, when you need something for 2 adults and an energetic 8 year old, small and cheap doesn't really appear to exist. Those that did tick all the mental boxes we had, including hob, oven, fridge, wc, shower, seemed to be more than we wanted to pay, without part ex'ing the caravan.

Then when we looked at similar brand new models, the difference in price wasn't as huge as we thought it would be, and of course the bonus being that its all new.

So, we had several difficult days where we tried to weigh up the pro's and con's and tried to decide what to do. In the end, it was a comment by the other half of the team which kind of kicked me. He said (quite rightly), that we would end up going through all this pain every year until we bought one, and the new one we were looking at was clearly the best deal. Because the relatively new second hand ones weren't that much cheaper than the brand new ones, we could always sell it and buy another new caravan if we didn't like it.

So we did, and have just come home tonight from our second weekend away in a superb Bessacarr 435, and although its very different from a caravan (obviously), Im more certain that ever that we did the right thing.

We would never have dreamed of going anywhere in the caravan without booking first - we did this weekend. Also because, on most sites, you have to vacate the pitch by noon, with a caravan, that generally means that you also have to go straight home. Not so with a motorhome. And its fab to be able to just stop and brew up.

So there you have it. It all depends on what you want. Yes it was expensive, but Im pleased now that we bought a new one rather than the ridiculously expensive second hand ones we saw. There have been teething troubles - its been back to the dealer twice with electrical faults, but its the same with anything new - some have problems. At least if they are new, the warranty covers it.

We're off to the north of Scotland for school half term week. Cant wait!! :D
 

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b16duv said:
Have you thought about an Arto? Coice of 5.9 or 6.4 metres to satisfy point 3, properly winterised (2) and nearly 1tonne of payload if on a Ducato 18 maxi/alko chassis at 4tonnes. (1)

Great build quality and very quiet to drive too.

They're so good, I wish I sold them!!!!!

David
I will be now, Thanks :D :D :D :D
 

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Have to agree with the suggestions to hire a van first. We have been looking and planning for several years. Retire in January yippee.
Last year we hired a van, it was a bit last minute, and the one we wanted was not available. We were offered the only available van from our local dealer, one we had discounted pretty early on. thought 'what the heck' we will either love it or hate it.
We really liked it and it is now one on our short list, this year we are hiring one which is near the top of our list. We hope this will help us chose the best van FOR US.
the hire fees, we hope will prevent an expensive mistake.
We have got a list of musts
minimum 4 proper seat belts
me and you space
good payload
all equally important.
didn't get any of that in my romahome, but as a day to day vehicle for 1 person it was great, must have been I kept it for 7 years :)
 

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Go and hire one first with the layout you think you are comfortable with.
I'm on my first motorhome and have found I could have chosen a different layout that would have suited me better.
 

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We studied layouts and prices on the internet, looked at a few. Thought we knew what we wanted then bought something that we hadn't considered. We bought an 8 year old Hymer, because of the quality, the price was good but we sacrificed on accessories as it's a bit of a stripped down model. Things that sold us on it were, a nice double fixed bed in back with full storage under it, though it's on a lower level not at the garage height, plenty of cabinets, the fridge is at normal height so we don't have to bend over to get into it. The sink and hob are across from the table so the table is handy while cooking. The cabinets and interior finish is clean and still looks new. We've had some good trips in the year we've had it both winter and summer.

It's all about compromise, you can't have everything so you pick the few most important things and adapt to the rest. Then wonder if something else would have been better.
 

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Hi
we have had 18 motorhomes, some we enjoyed and some were awful. Our first one was 20yrs old and cost £1500 that was 16 yrs ago, we had great fun in it and the kids loved it. then we started buying a little bit newer and over the years have had small med and large motorhomes, I think we have at last found the one that gives us everything we need.

I would suggest buying second hand and cheap until you have worked out what you want. you may only do this by trial and error and if you buy cheap it isnt too much to lose and motorhomes usually stay at a good price once they have lost the first one or two years worth of money.

We bought one a couple of years ago and it was 26k, it was nice. it lost the first owner 10k in the first year and the 2nd owner 10k in the 2 nd year so by the time we bought it, it has stabilised. we part ex it for the same money we paid for it and added a few thousand for the one we have now. This one also lost 20k in 2 years so by the time we bought it we benefitted from the lose. I would definatly buy second hand .

When we bought the older vans we were not so worried about the kids messing things up but now we have gone all posh I am always having to keep an eye on the grand kids to make sure they keep things clean.

What ever price you pay I can guarantee you will have a wonderful time and meet some wonderful people.
Best wishes and good luck
Jakki
 
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