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Not everybody can afford a brand-new motorhome, but there is always the secondhand market with plenty on offer
Words and Images by: MALCOLM STREET

I think I can confidently say that for many folks in the CMCA, buying a new or used motorhome is a process they understand. I won’t say it is always easy, but being an old hand makes it more straightforward.

But what if you are new to the scene? Sure, if you are reading this then presumably you are a member of the CMCA, which is a good step, but the next one is quite a big one.

In the world of brand-new motorhomes, there are a multitude of bright and shiny things out there, all fitted with even more bright and shiny things. It can be very mesmerising, not to mention emotive. A rushed choice may result in all kinds of regrets. Last month, I worked through a number of steps to take before any motorhome purchase, and this issue I’ll cover a few more.

EXPERIENCE AND ADVICE

CMCA members are usually happy to share their experiences travelling in a particular brand or type of motorhome. A good way to take advantage of this is to either get along to a Chapter meeting, or to attend the National Rally. Of course, you need a motorhome to attend a rally, but as we suggested last month, you can try before you buy, and attending one is a great way to see all kinds of motorhomes and their owners in the one place.

Advice from experienced travellers is always welcome, but keep in mind that what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. We all have different travelling modes. For example, a large van conversion is ideal for those who crave space, but  it won’t suit others at all. Likewise, a motorhome that might suit a couple who enjoy spending their weekends away may not be good for others considering a long-haul trip.

Many people who buy a motorhome have no wish to tow anything, but there are others who are happy to tow a small vehicle to navigate a destination.

PRE-LOVED

Not everybody can afford a brand new motorhome but there is always the second-hand market with plenty on offer. That, of course, has its own pitfalls but a benefit is the ability to seek out the experiences and advice offered by existing owners, who can reveal little items to look out for. They’ll also provide good clues about what is recommended and what is not.

A motorhome’s power supply can influence where you go

LAYOUT CHOICES

When considering any motorhome layout, it’s always handy to sit in it for a while and go through the motions of cooking, eating, sitting around, using the bathroom and sleeping.

Some people really like to cook, so micro-kitchens that are gaining in popularity in recent times may be unsuitable. In particular, microwaves are often in high places, so shorter travellers may find it inconvenient and potentially unsafe.

Lounges/dinettes are an interesting study. There are various styles - cafe, L-shaped and variants that involve cab seats that swivel. So how you like to kick back inside is always a good question to ask. There are going to be compromises, but the trick is deciding which ones you are happy with.

Sleeping in the Luton peak saves on space in the living area

Deciding on bed arrangements is a key factor to get right for happy motorhoming. In years gone by, the Luton peak bed above the driver’s cab and/or the rear lounge that folded into a bed were almost de rigueur in the motorhome world, especially in ex-rental motorhomes. These days, the island double bed is much in favour. That said, French (corner) beds, drop-down  beds and even single beds offer considerable practicality. Your job is to decide what suits you best.

ALL WIRED UP

It might seem an odd topic, but electrics in motorhomes are right up there with layout considerations. Most RV power systems have become much more sophisticated in recent times, and that too depends on how you travel. Motorhomers who mostly stay in caravan parks aren’t going to want much more than a 100Ah house battery and maybe a solar panel. Those contemplating full-time remote travel will need something much more heavy duty, including items like generators and inverters. That can all add considerably to a motorhome’s cost.

RESEARCH

What all this underlines is that extensive research into any motorhome purchase is vital, and it can be done not only by reading RV magazines and hammering away on the computer keyboard checking out websites, but also by talking to any number of enthusiasts within the CMCA. That’s what the club is really all about!

A good driving experience matters

RESEARCH

What all this underlines is that extensive research into any motorhome purchase is vital, and it can be done not only by reading RV magazines and hammering away on the computer keyboard checking out websites, but also by talking to any number of enthusiasts within the CMCA. That’s what the Club is really all about!

Tags: KEA Motorhome Second Hand CMCA RV Travel Market Rally Rental Bed Fridge GVM Kitchen
Category: Features
Written: Wed 01 Nov 2017
Printed: November, 2017
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