Buying a used motorhome - what to check?

Used motorhome Used motorhome

Purchase of virtually any vehicle, new or used, requires a considerable knowledge and free time needed to make a right decision. Especially, the choice of an expensive motorhome is usually associated with high stress and financial burden for many years of its use. No wonder that before closing the transaction we should take a very close look at to a particular vehicle - in this way we will avoid serious and costly failures.

Initial inspection

At the very beginning of the examination of the motorhome it’s worth looking at the documentation, which can be received from the former owner. Serial numbers put in the registration certificates must match with the actual situation, otherwise we should look for another motorhome. In case we don’t have a history of service should be less rigorous, we simply should devote more time to examine the vehicle. Nowadays, "creating" a new service book isn’t a problem. Any lacks or errors in the official documents may prove to be a big problem in the future.

Drive system, chassis and engine

A ready to use motorhome seems to be the dream of every amateur of long-distance traveling. It’s no wonder that the condition of the mechanical and structural components of the mobile home is very important.

At the very beginning, we should carefully examine the chassis of the motorhome - rusted support frame means disqualification. There we will also see any signs of repair and exploitation damage.

The test of driving system should begin with a search for leaks from the engine and gearbox (drive shafts and rubber hoses also need to be checked) – a gentle sweating isn’t a problem – we’re still pretty away from the occurrence of the serious damage. Only then we can go for a test drive, during which there is evidence of further features of the vehicle. The condition of the clutch, operation of the gearbox, loose suspension, and the quality of shock absorbers must attract our attention. We should control indicate clocks during the ride – rotating neutral gear, or too high engine temperature is a prognosis of upcoming problems.

Sheathing, interior installation and upholstery

The visual condition of the motorhome’s sheathing and its interior is a proof of how the previous owner cared of it. Numerous dents, scratches and other damage should rise your concern. However, the condition of the interior - furniture and upholstery – is the evidence of the usage and cleanliness. When examining the interior of the motorhome we should look for scratches, cracks on furniture, unoriginal screws and accessories. In addition, let’s check the condition of the floor - if it bends or springs under our burden, it heralds a costly replacement of damaged or rotten plywood.

Worn, damaged or home-stitched upholstery is a bad sign. Next, we should look for signs of moisture, mold and leaks from the installation in the cab. Accurate examination of all the cabinets and the smallest corners with a flashlight is almost mandatory. Thanks to that we can verify the owner’s assurance of the good condition of the vehicle. Removal of leaks or water damage to the water or gas system equals a huge expense. For this reason, test them in practice, we need a few hours - preferably with a helper.

When buying a motorhome we should be aware of high costs of its maintenance, including the necessary servicing and other fees. In case of used vehicles the risk of receiving damaged vehicle is really high. However, we can limit it by preparing adequately for the purchase.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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