A motorhome is likely to be one of the most expensive items you will ever buy. And, like anything else, it’s important to ensure your new purchase is the right choice of motorhome for you.
The first decision you are likely to have to make is whether to buy a new motorhome or a second hand motorhome. Obviously, this decision will largely be governed by you budget. Bear in mind that any motorhome you purchase will cost thousands of pounds, but do remember that you are not buying a van, you are buying a home. Motorhomes include kitchen appliances, a shower or bath, and a WC – all of which has to withstand the rigours of transit, and perform perfectly once you arrive at your destination and need to use them.
What size of Motorhome should I buy?
Size does matter! This isn’t to say you should buy the biggest motorhome that fits your budget – no, you should buy the motorhome that fits the use you plan to get out of it. If your main reason for owning a motorhome is for weekends away, then you probably don’t need a monster. But, if you plan on taking your motorhome away for several months at a time, then you’ll definitely want a larger vehicle.
Seatbelt law and Motorhomes
Also take into consideration the number of passengers you will want to take with you. Seatbelt law for motorhomes is confusing. The driver and any front passengers must wear a seatbelt. Passengers in the rear must wear seatbelts if they are available, and should be in forward facing seats. This is further complicated as motorhomes with no seatbelts whatsoever can take passengers in the back with no seatbelt (though you can still be pulled over and booked if the police deem your situation to be unsafe). Also, if there is only one seatbelt in the back then you can only take one passenger, regardless of the fact that if there were no seatbelts at all you would be able to take more passengers…
Confused? Yes, we are too, but we think the safest and best advice is that all passengers should be belted, and sat in forward positions as wearing a seatbelt on a sideway facing seat can be dangerous in the event of a face on collision, so should be avoided.
The size of your sleeping arrangements should be taken into consideration. If you are only going to be away for short periods – perhaps you will only sleep in your motorhome for one or two nights at a time – then your sleeping arrangements can be modest. If, on the other end of the spectrum, you plan on taking your motorhome away for long periods of time, or even plan on living full time in it then you will require a better mattress and bed.
Also, do you need more than one bed? Will you take passengers, or will the motorhome just be for a couple? Will you want the flexibility to ‘make up’ a bed if required? Think about the future here as well, are your circumstances likely to change? Could your family get bigger – are there children or grandchildren on the horizon? Alternatively, are your teenagers about to fly the nest, and unlikely to holiday with you again?
Again this consideration is one that you will make based on what you need. Will you want to hang up clothes, for example? Does the wardrobe accommodate this? Will there be enough space for both you and your partner’s clothes? What about shoe storage? Again, if you’ll be using the motorhome for longer periods of time you will be likely to need more storage. Also, check that drawers, cupboards and other storage units close correctly, and have something in place to stop them coming open when you drive the motorhome – the last thing you want when you reach your destination is to have to tidy up!
Make sure the kitchen has the space you need – again, this depends on the planned use of the motorhome. Ask yourself what kind of meal you’ll be making, will you need an oven? Will a hob, kettle, microwave and toaster do? What size fridge do you actually need? Will you need a freezer? Does the kitchen have enough storage space for food and cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery and cleaning equipment? Again, if you’ll be away for longer periods of time, then the more you will need.
Is the bathroom of a sufficient size? If you plan on staying at campsites with washing facilities, how often will you actually use the bathroom? If you’ll be staying places without washing facilities then you will need to use your onboard bathroom. Another top tip is to check the size of your water heater – if it’s not big enough then you (or your partner) will have to have a cold shower!
Weight & Size
Some medical conditions restrict you from driving large vehicles, so check that you can drive the vehicle legally, and safely. Also bear in mind where you will be driving this vehicle. If you’ll be driving down narrow country lanes, then the humongous motorhome you like the look of may not be the motorhome for you. Get the balance right between what storage space you need and the kinds of roads you’ll be driving on. There is no point in getting a motorhome if you dread driving it because it’s unwieldy and difficult to drive – how much pleasure can be had from a vehicle you hate driving?
Don’t forget to insure your motorhome! Buying the correct insurance for your vehicle and lifestyle couldn’t be easier with online quote forms and friendly staff on the end of the phone and expert motorhome insurance brokers to offer you the right policy, at the right price.