When you’re buying a motorhome for the first time, it requires careful and advanced planning so that you can properly budget and afford this undertaking. A motorhome requires more supplies, financing, and maintenance than a regular car or truck would, which is why we’ve compiled advice on what you need to get in order as you buy your first motorhome.
We’ll explore the typical down payment price point for a first motorhome (around £3,500-£7,500), why you should buy after the camping season ends, and what add-ons and supplies to stock your motorhome with. We will also divulge the types of repairs and inspections a new motorhome will require, how long these vehicles last, and how you can save money throughout your first motorhome purchase.
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of buying your first ever motorhome.
How Much Should You Spend on Your First Motorhome?
When buying a motorhome for the first time, your budget is extremely important. The downpayment and the monthly costs are some of the most essential aspects of price to consider.
Motorhomes can cost anywhere between tens of thousands of pounds and hundreds of thousands of pounds. The average new motorhome cost is way over £50,000, but you don’t have to set your budget that high when you’re just starting out.
Since you have other costs to consider, such as stocking your motorhome, doing repairs, and more, you should craft a budget closer to what you would pay for a car or truck (£15,000-£35,000).
It can cost £22,000-£30,000 to run and maintain a motorhome for a single year. That means that monthly costs can be upwards of a few thousand pounds. You don’t want to be buying a £75,000 motorhome from the start, only to not be able to keep up with payments once all the associated costs start rolling in.
How Much Money Do You Have to Put Down on a Motorhome?
It’s important to consider the downpayment price when you purchase a motorhome, as well. You may get away with just a 5% or %7 downpayment on a new car loan. However, a motorhome downpayment is going to be closer to a minimum of 10% or even 20% if you want to lower your interest rate and have a more manageable monthly payment.
For example, on a £37,000 first motorhome, a downpayment is going to probably be close to £5,500. That’s something to keep in mind when setting your budget for what kind of first motorhome you can actually afford from the onset.
What Is the Best Time to Buy Your First Motorhome?
Just as there are seasons for buying cars that are more beneficial than others, there are certain times of the year when it’s better to go motorhome shopping. New motorhome buyers should seek out opportunities when supply is high, and demand is low.
This typically falls towards the end of summer or soon after, when most people are done camping for the season. The supply of motorhomes is usually higher during this period because there aren’t a lot of people shopping for motorhomes as winter approaches.
In contrast, most people don’t recommend looking for a motorhome in peak camping season (summertime) or just before summer, as there will be more competition for a good deal.
What Should a First-Time Motorhome Owner Buy?
There’s more to buying a motorhome than simply making a monthly payment. You’ll also have to stock your motorhome with the essentials for living on the road, and you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with all the necessary features.
Below, we’ll explore what first-time motorhome owners need to add to their checklists before they hit the road. You may not need all of these things, depending on what type of motorhome you have, but they are all important to consider.
If your motorhome didn’t come equipped with a sewer hose, you’ll need to acquire one suited to your specific vehicle. You can’t utilise your motorhome’s plumbing or empty your tank unless you have one of these to hook up at campsites.
Options such as the Camco Swivel Sewer Hose Kit sold on Amazon are great choices for motorhome life. Some even have adapters and fittings to fit your hose onto any motorhome.
Cords for Hooking Up Power
Many motorhome-friendly campsites facilitate the use of electricity in motorhomes so that you can access your motorhome’s cooking features, cable hookups, and more. If you plan to use electricity on your trips – which most people do – you need extension cords such as 16-amp extension cords that are at least 10-14 metres long.
Amazon has some dependable options for campers, such as the Motionperformance 10 Metre 230v Hook Up Extension Cable or the Luigi’s 14 Metre, 230V Mains Extension Cable.
Cable Connection Cords
Not every motorhome enthusiast sets out on the road with an itch to sit around and watch TV. However, those who use their motorhomes for camping at motorhome campsites may spend a lot of time stationary, meaning cable connections are important to them.
If you intend to watch TV from your motorhome, then you need to equip it with auxiliary connection cables. You really just need a simple cord like an Aerial Coaxial Satellite TV Cable.
There are two types of emergency kits you should keep in your new motorhome: a first aid kit and a motorhome toolbox/emergency kit. First aid kits are essential for motorhomes, especially when you’re travelling with children or spending time camping where accidents can happen.
A toolkit is especially important, though, since it will enable you to make repairs on the go, change a flat tire if you need to, and manage the unexpected.
A mobile hotspot is an efficient and cost-effective way to take wireless Internet connection with you on your travel journeys. With a hotspot, you can effectively WiFi without needing to be in the range of a public network.
Most phone plans come with add-ons that you can purchase so your services include unlimited hotspot data. This will save you money in the long run so that you don’t use cellular data for Internet connection.
Kitchen Essential Supplies
If your motorhome is equipped with a kitchen area, then you’ll also want to stock it with kitchen supplies after you buy it. A basic checklist might include paper towels, dish towels, cutlery, dishes, knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, coffee pots, and can openers.
It’s also beneficial to bring some cleaning supplies, like dish soap and a spray bottle of cleaner when it comes to your motorhome kitchen.
Bathroom Essential Supplies
When it comes to your motorhome bathroom, the supply list is pretty simple. Stock it with whatever toiletry items you’ll need while you’re on the road, including soap, shampoo, toilet paper, wipes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, and more.
You’ll also want to equip your bathroom with cleaning supplies so that you don’t end up with a foul-smelling area over time, as well as plenty of towels and washcloths.
Bedroom Essential Supplies
Many motorhomes come with essentials such as bedding or pillows, but if they don’t, you’ll need to stock up. Find appropriately sized sheets, blankets, and pillows for the sleeping area in your motorhome.
Not everyone who travels in motorhomes takes part in camping activities, but if you do, you’ll need some extra supplies. Having extra flashlights, batteries, insect repellents, folding chairs, card tables, and fire-starting supplies will go a long way.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes, affordable motorhomes do not come with the same features that the more expensive ones do. If it’s your first time buying a motorhome, you may end up settling for one with limited kitchen appliances.
In this case, you may need to seek out a camp stove or some sort of plug-in cooking appliance you can add to the motorhome’s kitchen area.
What Should I Know About Motorhome Repairs and Parts?
If you’re buying your first motorhome, you might not be aware of all the things that can go wrong with these vehicles. Since they typically accommodate some sort of running water, electricity, and other features, they require more maintenance and repairs than a regular car would.
When it comes to buying a motorhome, you need to pay attention to any issues that may be cause for repair, especially if you buy a used motorhome. Specifically, watch out for hazardous material, damages, malfunctioning parts, and more.
How Do I Do an Inspection Before Driving?
If you buy a used motorhome, you need to look out for issues that are unsafe and will cost a lot of money to fix. This includes mould issues, which are most common near the bathroom and kitchen area of a motorhome.
You may also encounter mould near the doors, windows, and any areas where moisture from outside can get in. Do a thorough sweep of your motorhome before buying to inspect for the presence of mould.
You should also determine what type of tires your motorhome comes with and whether or not they’re high quality and new. If they aren’t, you may end up putting in more money to replace them soon after buying the motorhome.
You should also inspect for well-functioning parts, such as brakes, windshield wipers, mirrors, electricity sources, faucets, doors, and more. You may even consider hiring someone to do an inspection for you before you buy a motorhome and take it on the road.
It’s a small investment to make so that you have peace of mind that you aren’t getting taken advantage of by a used motorhome dealer.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a New Motorhome?
In general, you can expect a decent motorhome to last about as long as a car would – around 200,000 miles. Most people can get a solid 20 years out of their motorhomes when bought in new condition. However, if you buy a used motorhome, its accident history, repair history, and mileage will all affect how long it lasts under your care.
Your persistence with regular maintenance will also go a long way in making your motorhome last longer. Motorhomes are more than just a car; they require attention year-round so that they stay in shape, kind of like a real house would.
How Can I Save Money When Buying a Motorhome for the First Time?
First-time motorhome buyers may be intimidated by the price of these vehicles. However, there are a lot of ways to fit a motorhome into your budget as you’re starting out.
Buy a Beginner Motorhome
One of the most obvious ways is to buy a motorhome in a class that is made for beginner use.
These motorhomes – such as the Thor Four Winds 22E (around £48,000) – are more affordable than others, and they aren’t quite as difficult to care for. As an added benefit, these beginner motorhomes are a bit on the smaller side, making them naturally easier to drive.
Buy a Used Motorhome or Find a Deal
You can also look for a used motorhome from a dealership. These typically run for cheaper prices and have the added guarantee of having vehicle history information to back them up. In other words, you mostly know what you’re getting into and can save some money on the overall cost.
You might also consider buying a used motorhome in a private sale – such as online from a personal seller. You might even be able to strike a good deal where the previous owner is willing to throw in supplies – like camping gear, kitchen supplies, etc. – for a small fee in your purchase.
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!