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What to check when buying a motorhome second hand



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 15th 08, 09:07 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
James Harris
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Posts: 52
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

Any offers?

On 14 Mar, 22:25, James Harris wrote:
I want to buy my first motorcaravan but am pretty nervous about
getting a dud. My main concerns are corrosion of something structural
and buying something stolen. Since I want to take it to Europe buying
something on which money is owed could fall back on me under the law
in some countries.

Any advice on what a person should check when buying a second hand
motorhome especially if bought privately? So far I have:

1) Legal/financial
- Check
http://www.rac.co.uk/web/vehiclechecks/status_checks/
http://www.theaa.com/car-data-checks/index.html
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...icle/index.htm

Which of these is best to use or are there better ones?

2) Condition
- external
- engine, chassis, wheel bearings
- security of fittings, bodywork cracks/dents
- habitation
- damp/water
- cleanliness, smell
- wear, security of latches, fittings
- window security, operation
- cab
- mileage as described, wear
- seating, visibility, windscreen
- test drive
- speed, bumps, brakes, steering

I know I could get a full survey of the motorhome but they are costly
and there's no guarantee that the seller wouldn't accept another offer
before I get the results of the survey. Any suggestions appreciated.


Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 15th 08, 09:43 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
Richard Cole
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Posts: 334
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 15:07:07 -0700 (PDT), James Harris
wrote:

Any offers?


James

Try http://www.caravanningnow.co.uk/cara...g/mhchecks.htm

Richard
--
See http://www.caravanningnow.co.uk/caravanning/ForSale.htm as I'm
selling my caravan and all of my caravanning equipment.

....and so, as the Rock of Ages is cleft in twain by the karate chop of
fate, I notice it has 'Souvenir of Watford' written all the way
through it... - Humphrey Lyttelton closing comment in I'm sorry I
haven't a clue.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old March 19th 08, 05:53 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
davey
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Posts: 2
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

On Mar 15, 11:07 pm, James Harris
wrote:
Any offers?

On 14 Mar, 22:25, James Harris wrote:

I want to buy my first motorcaravan but am pretty nervous about
getting a dud. My main concerns are corrosion of something structural
and buying something stolen. Since I want to take it to Europe buying
something on which money is owed could fall back on me under the law
in some countries.


Any advice on what a person should check when buying a second hand
motorhome especially if bought privately? So far I have:


1) Legal/financial
- Check
http://www.rac.co.uk/web/vehiclechecks/status_checks/
http://www.theaa.com/car-data-checks/index.html
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...icle/index.htm


Which of these is best to use or are there better ones?


2) Condition
- external
- engine, chassis, wheel bearings
- security of fittings, bodywork cracks/dents
- habitation
- damp/water
- cleanliness, smell
- wear, security of latches, fittings
- window security, operation
- cab
- mileage as described, wear
- seating, visibility, windscreen
- test drive
- speed, bumps, brakes, steering


I know I could get a full survey of the motorhome but they are costly
and there's no guarantee that the seller wouldn't accept another offer
before I get the results of the survey. Any suggestions appreciated.


Any model up to about 5 years old should be generally OK, after a
visual check. Damp is the biggest headache for motorhome owners (I've
owned and driven 3 motorhomes since 1980). The danger areas are mostly
(depending on the manufacturer) around windows, roof lights and the
alcove above the cab. Look UNDER any mattresses etc for tell-tale dark
patches which would indicate mould (caused by damp). Use your nose (or
someone else's if yours ain't too good!) to sniff the air as soon as
you enter a motorhome. Mould spores will often be recognizable in the
air. Have a really good look round the 'wet cell' bathroom/shower area
for cracks in the plastic flooring/walls where water can seep in. Be
very wary if you find any. Check inside all overhead cupboards for
darker areas - if there are - leave well alone. Check under seats for
darker areas, showing possible damp. Found some? Leave it alone. Let
someone else have the trouble of repairing it.

Check the state of the 'fresh' water tank and whatever water piping is
visible, looking for dark areas inside the plastic which would
indicate mould. Possible to remove but not always easy.

Lie underneath and check everything you can see. Chassis for damage
indicating accident or repair, newly undersealed areas (suspicious),
damage under the extended end of the motorhome where it might have
'grounded' on a road somewhere. Exhaust, tyres, brakes, gearbox,
clutch etc can all be repaired fairly easily in most garages. Rotten
(water damaged) wooden frame of the 'caravan' bit is much harder and
more expensive to repair.

Here in Germany, all caravans/motorhomes must pass a two yearly 'gas
check' where the whole gas system is checked for leaks, and proper
function of all gas appliances and flues. Unfortunately, I believe
that this simple safety check is NOT available in UK.

When you find the right motorhome, always carry your handtools with
you. A motorhome is not just a means of transport, it is a mobile
hobby too! Always something to improve or repair! However, I am
certain that virtually every experienced (a few years) motorhome owner
will also tell you it is the ONLY way to travel anywhere. You have a
much better overview of the road and surrounding traffic. You can see
OVER the hedges and admire the scenery that lowly car drivers never
see! You can stop almost anywhere and have a cuppa & biscuit at
virtually no cost. If you don't like your present view, you simply
drive somewhere else and get a better one. You don't need to think
twice about buying a huge article you see on your travels, because it
will almost always fit into the camper!

Good luck. Take your time and find the RIGHT one for you. My present
camper, a Karmann Distance Wide on a VW LT31TD chassis took me 4 years
of searching to find. I have been driving it around now for over 12
years. Don't rush into buying one.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 21st 08, 03:41 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
John
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Posts: 102
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

Whenever I buy a used vehicle, I get it MOT tested at an independent
garage of my choice, in other words not one known by the owner. If you
have a word with the mechanic doing the test and tell him why you're
having it tested, most will keep their eyes open for non-test points
while they're at it. They may also let you wander along the underside
while it's on their ramp.
It's the cheapest way of inspecting a vehicle and one of the only ways
of checking the catalytic converter.
If you do get it tested, tell the owner what you're doing as the
vehicle will be away for a couple of hours and that's not the usual
test drive time. Few will object. If they do, walk away.

John
  #5 (permalink)  
Old April 10th 08, 09:38 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
James Harris
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Posts: 52
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

On 19 Mar, 19:53, davey wrote:
....
Good luck. Take your time and find the RIGHT one for you. My present
camper, a Karmann Distance Wide on a VW LT31TD chassis took me 4 years
of searching to find. I have been driving it around now for over 12
years. Don't rush into buying one.


Do you mind me asking what made this motorhome right for you? How does
it differ from a Fiat Ducato-based, for example? (They certainly look
different!)

--
James
  #6 (permalink)  
Old April 11th 08, 10:33 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
James Harris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 52
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

On 10 Apr, 22:38, James Harris wrote:
On 19 Mar, 19:53, davey wrote:
...

Good luck. Take your time and find the RIGHT one for you. My present
camper, a Karmann Distance Wide on a VW LT31TD chassis took me 4 years
of searching to find. I have been driving it around now for over 12
years. Don't rush into buying one.


Do you mind me asking what made this motorhome right for you? How does
it differ from a Fiat Ducato-based, for example? (They certainly look
different!)


For what it's worth I should say that for the one I've seen in any
detail I /love/ the look of the outside. It looks more like a truck
than a motorhome. Far more businesslike. The awning seems to prop
itself up on the side of the vehicle too which is great.

However, the interior layout isn't so good. The toilet/shower closet
is directly behind the driver's seat. It seems to close down the
interior and block the front bed a little too. Maybe it's just this
model. I don't know if they all have the same layout.

--
James
  #7 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd 08, 01:38 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
divoch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 55
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand


"John" wrote in message
...
Whenever I buy a used vehicle, I get it MOT tested at an independent
garage of my choice, in other words not one known by the owner.

....
If you do get it tested, tell the owner what you're doing as the
vehicle will be away for a couple of hours and that's not the usual
test drive time. Few will object. If they do, walk away.


What do you do as far as insurance goes when you are driving somebody's
vehicle?
divoch

  #8 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd 08, 02:57 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
Andy R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 821
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand


"John" wrote in message
...
Whenever I buy a used vehicle, I get it MOT tested at an independent
garage of my choice, in other words not one known by the owner. If you
have a word with the mechanic doing the test and tell him why you're
having it tested, most will keep their eyes open for non-test points
while they're at it. They may also let you wander along the underside
while it's on their ramp.
It's the cheapest way of inspecting a vehicle and one of the only ways
of checking the catalytic converter.
If you do get it tested, tell the owner what you're doing as the
vehicle will be away for a couple of hours and that's not the usual
test drive time. Few will object. If they do, walk away.


You honestly expect someone selling thousands of pounds worth of motorhome
to let you just trundle off with it for 'a couple of hours'? I think
you're avin a laarf. To even expect someone to let you drive it without
insurance is expecting a lot.

When I bought mine I commissioned an RAC report (with HPI) which was
conducted and the results sent to me. I can't honestly imagine anybody in
their right mind letting a stranger just take their vehicle, it'd be
madness.

Andy R


  #9 (permalink)  
Old April 22nd 08, 09:08 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
James Harris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 52
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand

On 22 Apr, 15:57, "Andy R" wrote:
"John" wrote in message

...

Whenever I buy a used vehicle, I get it MOT tested at an independent
garage of my choice, in other words not one known by the owner. If you
have a word with the mechanic doing the test and tell him why you're
having it tested, most will keep their eyes open for non-test points
while they're at it. They may also let you wander along the underside
while it's on their ramp.
It's the cheapest way of inspecting a vehicle and one of the only ways
of checking the catalytic converter.
If you do get it tested, tell the owner what you're doing as the
vehicle will be away for a couple of hours and that's not the usual
test drive time. Few will object. If they do, walk away.


You honestly expect someone selling thousands of pounds worth of motorhome
to let you just trundle off with it for 'a couple of hours'? I think
you're avin a laarf. To even expect someone to let you drive it without
insurance is expecting a lot.

When I bought mine I commissioned an RAC report (with HPI) which was
conducted and the results sent to me. I can't honestly imagine anybody in
their right mind letting a stranger just take their vehicle, it'd be
madness.


What if you turn up in your own car and leave the keys as 'hostage'?

--
  #10 (permalink)  
Old April 23rd 08, 07:18 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning,alt.motorhomes,uk.rec.motorcaravans
Andy R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 821
Default What to check when buying a motorhome second hand


"Occam" wrote in message
...
On Tue, 22 Apr 2008 14:08:47 -0700 (PDT), James Harris
wrote:


You honestly expect someone selling thousands of pounds worth of
motorhome
to let you just trundle off with it for 'a couple of hours'? I think
you're avin a laarf. To even expect someone to let you drive it without
insurance is expecting a lot.

When I bought mine I commissioned an RAC report (with HPI) which was
conducted and the results sent to me. I can't honestly imagine anybody
in
their right mind letting a stranger just take their vehicle, it'd be
madness.


What if you turn up in your own car and leave the keys as 'hostage'?


Yeah but no one would want the keys to Andy's Trabant


Even if they did, how could you know it was mine. It could be stolen,
rented, on a test drive from a garage, borrowed from a friend etc. Although
you may say some of these could help you trace the thief does that really
help you? When the real owner of the car turns up he's going to take it,
and plod would help him because you have no legal title to it. Then, if
you're lucky, they'll give you a crime number for the stolen camper, it
still doesn't help you get it back and most insurance companies wont pay out
for this type of crime or if the keys are left with the vehicle.

IMHO the only time to part with the vehicle is when you've got all the cash
or cleared funds. I wouldn't even take a prospective buyer for a drive in
it unless I had a couple of mates in the back. There's been enough stories
of a seller taking people for a test drive and being followed then stopped
by the 'buyer's' friends and robbed of the vehicle.

Rgds

Andy R


 



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