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Used Motorhome/Campervan buyers guide

Why buy a motorhome, motorcaravan or campervans ?

Imagine going on a holiday without a timetable or agenda. Within reason to go where you want, when you want. Booking not always required. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, go to sleep. If the weather’s poor, go somewhere to find the sun. Sounds attractive I'm sure. These are some of the reasons why more people are taking control of their leisure time and buying secondhand motorhomes, motorcaravans or campervans.

Right lets get down to basics !

There are generally four types of popular used motorhomes:

  • High Top or Van conversions
  • Elevating roof motorhomes, campervans or pop tops
  • Coachbuilt
  • 'A' Class

Here is a brief summary of all four.

High Top Motorhomes or Van Conversions

Starts life as a standard van, then the motorhome manufacturer converts the body adding windows, a high fixed roof, plus seating, cooking and washing facilities as appropriate for the model. This popular type of motorhomes can provide a good combination of usable space, storage and a comprehensive range of equipment which can include a shower and toilet compartment and a ready supply of hot water depending on the model. Gas heating is also an option often found in this type of motorhome. High top Motorhomes can be used as a dual purpose vehicle and often replace the family car for every day transport. A good example of high top motorhome would be the Auto-Sleepers range of Symbol, Trident and Duetto

Elevating Roof Motorhomes

Again this vehicle starts life as a standard van.

This time the motorhomes manufacturer removes the roof completely and replaces it with a folding roof or pop up top. These can have the roof sides of the elevating section either made from a solid material or canvas construction. These types of motorhomes are also very popular as they can be stored in a garage or car port and may be used in some multi story car parks. It also provides a good combination of usable space, storage and internal equipment. They can also be used as a dual purpose vehicle, replacing the car as every day transport. Examples of the elevating roof or campervan used motorhomes are Auto-Sleepers Trooper or Devon Sunrise

Basic facilities found in High Top and Elevating Roof Motorhomes may include:

  • Kitchen, gas hob, grill & fridge
  • 12v lighting
  • Mains 240v hook up
  • Onboard fresh water tank
  • Washing facilities
  • Lounging/sleeping
  • Storage for personal effects

A higher level of standard specification or options may include:

  • Fly-screens & blinds
  • Gas heating
  • Oven
  • Captains seat
  • Auxiliary battery & mains 240v charger
  • Water heater, gas/240v
  • Extractor fan
  • TV aerial, TV mount and power supply
  • Awning – a wind-out sunshade mounted on the side of the vehicle
  • Bicycle rack – mounted on the rear
  • Roof rack & ladder

Coachbuilt Motorhomes

These are purpose built motorhomes where the living area, including the walls, floor and ceiling are formed upon a chassis cab. The most popular chassis used are Fiat, Ford, Renault, Peugeot Talbot and VW. The roof of the cab is cut away and a bed area is built over the driving cab. Sometimes these motorhomes are also called ‘overcabs’ and may have a side or rear entry stable type door to the living area.

These motorhomes are generally very well equipped with all creature comforts and afford a larger living, eating and sleeping area, which can be handy when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Examples of coachbuilt motorhomes are Auto-Sleepers Talisman, Elddis Autoquest and Swift Kon-Tiki

Basic facilities found in Coachbuilt used motorhomes may include:

  • Shower & toilet compartment with wash-basin
  • 240v mains electric hook up
  • Auxiliary battery & mains 240v charger
  • 12v electrical system with auxiliary battery for lighting and equipment
  • Fresh water tank, with pump, pipe system and water heater
  • Waste water tank for collection of non-toilet waste
  • Heating system – gas or electric
  • Integral toilet system with separate waste tank
  • Multi power source fridge – gas, mains 240v, 12v
  • Cooking hob, oven and sink for kitchen

A higher level of standard specification or options, which may include:

  • 4 burner gas hob and oven
  • Extractor fan or sunroof
  • Gas/240v water heater and heating
  • TV aerial & signal booster
  • Awning – a wind-out sunshade mounted on the side of the vehicle
  • Bicycle rack – mounted to the rear
  • Roof rack, top box & ladder

'A' Class used motorhomes

The entire motorhome body is built by the motorhomes manufacturer including the cab area. Only the motor drive unit and dashboard are sourced from the chassis supplier. The manufacturers have significant scope to design stylish body styles with practical features such as drop down ceiling bed and roomy lounges. As they are often built to order, customers have more options to personalise their motorhome with additional equipment. Therefore, size for size, these are the most expensive used motorhomes to buy.

Examples of 'A' class motorhomes are Hymer 544, 555 and Pilote Galaxy