10 Tips on Buying a Motorhome
Buying an RV may seem like an easy task at first glance. Still, there are some things you should consider when buying. Therefore, we recommend everyone to rent an RV first to make sure if this is for you. Only then will you know what is important to you and what you don’t really need. There are so many types and kinds of RVs, caravans and campervans that it is better to test some options before buying one. We got a very good idea of what a motorhome should have (for us) when renting (some) motorhomes. This is personal to everyone and also has a lot to do with the way you travel. Thus, we try to avoid as many campsites as possible, but of course this is not the case for everyone.
Buying a campervan
Also, when buying an RV, be sure to take your time and, above all, don’t be satisfied too soon. Buying a mobile home is therefore not cheap. So buy one that suits you best. Therefore, first make a list of what is important to you and what is not. For example, it was very important to us to have a good bathroom that was fully lockable with a door. And not with sliding door that goes through the hallway, which you have in some RVs. Also, we didn’t see the point of taking the bed down every day. So a fixed bed was also a priority for us. That way you exclude many campers right away. So make your own list and be sure to use the tips below.
The most important thing to check is the weight of the RV. This is because you are only allowed to drive 3500 Kg with a regular B driver’s license. If you go over this weight, then you need a C1 driver’s license. Even though most motorhomes say the maximum weight is 3500 Kg, you better ask the seller what the maximum load capacity of the motorhome is. Because with some motorhomes, this weight is so low that you’re at the payload limit just because of the passengers. With a payload of 500 Kg, a torque should normally suffice. So we came across our dream motorhome with the ideal layout but unfortunately it only had a load capacity of 300 Kg. Which is really too little! And especially since solar panels had to be added according to our wishes. So take into account every detail you wish to carry or add to the motorhome when calculating the load capacity.
2 The right budget
Calculate what the right budget is for you. And here, especially, keep in mind the insurance cost, maintenance and pitch when you are not on vacation with it. The more expensive the RV is in purchase, the greater the cost afterwards will also be. So don’t buy an RV that you can’t maintain and calculate your budget carefully.
3 Tank or cassette
Something you should definitely also consider when buying an RV is your toilet. After all, do you use a tank or a cassette? Both have some advantages but also disadvantages. For example, you can drive around for several days with a tank, but it is much more difficult to empty it. Whereas a cassette is relatively easy to empty but then refills more quickly. Which means you’ll have to empty them faster. A personal choice that is different for everyone.
Motorization is also very important to check. After all, your RV must have enough horsepower to pull that heavy machinery. If you plan to regularly trek it through the mountains, we’d even recommend getting some extra horsepower. With a 140hp RV, you will definitely get anywhere. If you decide to take an automatic then you better take a little more hp. 160 hp should then certainly be sufficient. Of course, this all depends on the purpose and type of travel you are taking. Get enough advice from the seller of the RV and do some research on the Internet. Attention! Extra hp also brings extra weight. On average, about 40kg per 20hp.
5 The format
When buying an RV, many people’s main concern is the layout. This is a normal choice since this is, after all, the space you have to live in. The right layout is different for everyone and also depends on the purpose of the RV. After all, an RV for traveling from campsite to campsite needs different amenities than an RV you want to go wild camping with. The main thing to look for is whether it is a logical arrangement for the kind of travel you want to do. Renting an RV and taking a trip will give you a very good understanding of this.
Tips on buying a motorhome : used
7 Maintenance history
Asking for the maintenance history when buying a used RV is very important! From this, in fact, you can deduce a lot. First of all, you can see if this RV has been well maintained on a regular basis. But in addition to that, you can also see if there have been some problems that could also be a problem in the future. For example, if the same part has already been replaced three times, chances are it will happen to you a fourth time as well. Attention! With a used RV, you will always need to budget for refurbishment work that is not immediately visible. Can’t the maintenance log be shown? If so, we personally would never proceed with the purchase of an RV. Don’t have much technical knowledge? Then again, you can always get an independent inspection.
8 Leaks & Moisture Damage
Checking for leaks and moisture damage is essential when buying an RV! Check all the angles carefully, and sometimes shift a few things around so you’ve seen everything properly. Purchasing and carrying a moisture meter can help find hidden leaks. Want to be 100 percent sure? Then a waterproofing check is the only option. On average, this check costs as much as 150 euros. A choice you have to consider for yourself but then, of course, you are sure.
9 Ask for a test drive
To really find out if the RV suits you and is in a still good condition, ask if you can take a test drive. In doing so, try all options and also try parking once. When you buy a used car you try this too, so why not with an RV? If the seller does not allow this, then in our opinion you are still taking a risk of making a bad purchase.
10 Buying rental campers
With the growing market of rental motorhomes, you can sometimes buy a motorhome from these landlords. These motorhomes have 2 to 3 years of service and are then replaced with a newer model. In itself, there is nothing wrong with that. But remember, in reality, these RVs have been used more and have covered more distance due to the constant rental. So the market value should be adjusted for the distance traveled and not the age of the RV!
Buying a motorhome - Types of motorhomes
The compact camper is a camper made for people who don’t need a lot of space. This motorhome is great for visiting cities. This is because with this car you can park almost anywhere. A compact camper is often a converted van.
The alcove motorhome is especially recognizable by the slightly larger extension above the cabin. This motorhome is perfect for a slightly larger family. Also, the headroom of these motorhomes is slightly higher, allowing even taller people to stand upright inside.
The integral motorhome is the most commonly chosen motorhome where the driver’s cabin is integrated into the living area. In fact, the seats in the cabin swivel, allowing you to create a seating area. In an integral motorhome, there is no space above the cabin.
The half-integrated motorhome is most similar to the alcove motorhome with the difference that the transition between the cabin and the living area is more like an integral. Of course, these are just a few terms. But knowing these terms can help when buying campers.
Buying an RV - Where?
You can buy a camper from many specialized stores in Belgium and the Netherlands. For example, for a new camper you can go too Dicar, Vanbobil, Booijcampers, Alpha Moterhomesand many other companies that you can find online. All these companies that sell recognized brands are safe. Only with used RVs should you pay close attention to where you buy them. You can buy these from the same companies where you can find the new RVs or you can buy them on used websites like Autoscout24 and Autolive. The advantage is that the RVs on these websites will be cheaper, but then again, the disadvantage is that they will not be as inspected as at one of the authorized sellers. A good alternative to a used motorhome is Occasiemobilhomes.com. Although with the above tips, you should never make a mistake when buying an RV. Whether this is a new or used RV.
Frequently Asked Questions
At first glance, RVs in Germany are indeed cheaper. But when you go to register it and apply for a Belgian or Dutch license plate, you’ll see that this price quickly rises due to taxes that are added here. Because in Germany you don’t pay passenger car or van tax when you have a camper. What you do have to do in Belgium and the Netherlands (even if you import it from Germany). So buying a motorhome in Belgium is as expensive as in Germany.
As long as the camper does not weigh more than 3500 Kg you may drive around with any length of camper. In reality, you will see that the maximum length of a camper is then at 7 meters. Which is already pretty decent, too. Attention! Not all motorhomes under 7 meters have a maximum weight of 3500 Kg.
You must correctly complete the registration document and customs vignette “705”. You will receive these documents when you purchase your RV. With these documents, you visit your insurance agent and they take care of the rest.
Of course, you can take out a loan to buy an RV. In fact, these days this can be done on a 12-year term for a new RV and 5 years for a used RV. At an official dealer, you can often even arrange and apply for the loan on the spot. Attention! Lending also costs money.
It is always recommended to purchase the mobile home from an official dealer. This is to be sure of the guarantee. When you purchase a mobile home from a private individual, this is not the case.
The taxes are set at € 21.27 per 500 kg Maximum Permitted Mass for motorhomes with a maximum of 3500 kg. Are you going over this 3500 kg? Then you pay a fixed amount of 150 euros per year.
By itself, there is not that much difference between 15″ and 16″ wheels. But if you do have the choice then it’s best to take the 16″ wheels. These are slightly larger and provide a more pleasant driving experience. This also creates fewer problems when taking a slope since the car will be slightly higher.
The options you best take with an RV are different for everyone. And are very dependent on what kind of travel you are going to do. We ourselves do like to go wild camping, so a solar panel is essential. But someone traveling from campsite to campsite doesn’t really need this. Some options we think you need are: an awning, rearview camera, extra locks and a gas detector. When taking options, though, always be careful not to overload yourself with all the extra weight.