7 most costly mistakes people make when buying a motorhome. And how to avoid them!
Buying a motorhome or camper van can be a minefield of traps, slick salespeople and dodgy operators. But with this guide avoiding these common mistakes is simple and easy!
Whether you’re going on a holiday for six days or six months, we understand that every customer has different needs. Sadly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ motorhome – there are so many factors that will make up your decision.
However, we’ve been around the block many times, so we decided to put all the lessons we’ve learnt into one easy guide to help you find the perfect vehicle.
1. Not thinking about the what layout will work for you
Motorhomes come in three classes – A, B and C. You can buy off the showroom floor, have one built to a standard design or have one custom built. The best motorhome and layout for you will vary, depending on your preferred lifestyle needs, travel plans. experience level, budget and need for creature comforts. This step often takes the longest when buying a new motorhome or camper van. It’s important to research and check what kind of fit-out and layout will suit you best. We always recommend taking as long as you need because it’s important you’re happy with the vehicle.
We often have customers come to us wanting to upgrade their motorhome or camper van. Some of the most common complaints we hear include:
“We need more storage”
“We wish we’d bought a bigger fridge”
“The bed is hard to make, we wish we could walk around it like at home”
Of course, all these problems can be solved. Most people we work with love the space and functionality of their motorhome. So take your time to get it right, you won’t regret it.
2. Choosing the wrong vehicle type for your skills and experience
This is one of the most common mistakes people make but also one of the easiest to avoid.
We find people make this mistake in three ways:
- People who prefer automatic transmission (or only have an automatic licence) buy a manual vehicle.
- For some large motorhomes, you are required to have a heavy vehicle licence. People often buy vehicles within this category, meaning they have to sit a driving exam before they are able to get out on the road.
- The most frustrating one of all for us is customers not checking the height of their garage to make sure their new vehicle fits.
To avoid these mistakes, make sure you do your research, plan ahead and think about what type of vehicle is best for you.
3. Not getting consumer protection guarantees
To ensure you have a stress-free experience with your new motorhome or camper van, you MUST make sure you have strong guarantees from the company or person you’re purchasing the vehicle from.
Unlike the auto industry, which has consolidated in a number of large, reputable companies, there are dozens of motorhome manufacturers. Many of these companies specialise in low-cost conversions that won’t go the distance when you’re on the road and can fall apart.
So when purchasing from any business, make sure you ask about their consumer protection policies. In particular, their warranties and product guarantees.
Always make sure they are able to deal with issues, should they arise after you’ve made your purchase.
In this package, you’ll find all our consumer protections, warranties and guarantees. Please feel free to use these a guide and compare them to other companies.
4. Choosing the wrong dealer or manufacturer
Choosing the right dealer or manufacturer is an important part of making your purchase.
Most motorhome dealers are honest and passionate about motorhomes. However, some dealers will rush through sales without properly explaining all the good (and bad!) things about the vehicle they’re trying to sell.
Always ensure you take your time and ask any and every question you can think of. You’re going to have this motorhome for years, you don’t want to have it in and out of the repair shop.
A good dealer will take their time to answer your questions, put you at ease and make the experience an enjoyable one. Most of all, trust your instincts and choose wisely who you purchase from.
5. Slick sales tactics
Most people will buy one, maybe two motorhomes or camper vans in their life. On the other hand, a salesperson negotiates with people like you every single day – they know what to say to get you to sign the contract.
To avoid buying a vehicle you don’t want, always ensure you ask questions about the vehicle and make sure you’re diligent in your research. Always remember that the salesperson is there to sell to you. If you feel pressured into buying, take your time to think it over – it’s better to be safe than sorry with such an important investment.
6. Not checking paperwork carefully
Here’s a quick rundown on what’s important to check thoroughly:
- All dealer paperwork
- The VIN Number
- Compliance for gas and electricity
If you have the wrong paperwork on the roads, you run the risk of getting a hefty fine or could even lose your licence or motorhome. Dealers do sometimes make honest mistakes, so if you do notice a discrepancy polite ask them to fix it up before you sign off.
7. “I wish we’d done this sooner”
We hate seeing our customers realise they should’ve done it sooner. Too often customers leave purchasing their dream motorhome or camper van too late in life and find they can no longer go on the trip they’ve dreamed of for many years.
There’s no time like the present! So if you want to go on that dream holiday, get out there and do it. As people who’ve made the leap will tell you – freedom is only a decision away!