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what home to buy


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Hi all, So new to motorhomes i don't even have one yet. My brother started this year with a home made thing (he has done a good job) My wife and i intend buying towards the end of the year in preparation to join brother and wife next year.

What to buy??

Is there a accepted level of quality with the differant homes?? a bit like cars, Bentleys/Mercs are thought to be top notch, Kia/Hyundi et al are thought to be not so (no insult intended).

What is the perceived best Motorhomes.

For our first motorhome we don't want new.

We were rather hopeing that our budget of circa £40k would buy us a 2/3 year old decent home.

We only want a 2 berth but want as much room as possible. Twin bed or island layout would be prefferable.

The motorhome should be capable of towing our Mini on a trailer.

So what should i be looking at, a short list would be most welcome.

Trust i have not embarrased myself.



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welcome to you Bob,

can't help cos we're not in that category size

we go for camper vans - which would do what you want and you could get a really smart VW for that

but sounds like you want to be in with the Hymer brigade and I know absolutely nothing about them

but - lots of people on here do - and will be along soon



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No such thing as a daft question on here Bob..welcome by the way..the type of Motorhome you require is dependent on quite a few factors


1 How much you want to spend..(Although you say you have @ 40k so a pretty reasonable one is on the cards)


2 layout... U shaped lounge.. Front dinette.. Fixed bed..2 Berth..4 Berth etc


3 Base vehicle..Fiat..Peugeot..Mercedes..Ford




And so the list goes on the permutations are just about endless however MMM magazine is a good start point as is joining this forum for advice and helpful (SOMETIMES :-D ) tips..One thing I would say which most members will echo...DO NOT RUSH INTO BUYING YOUR FIRST VAN..do plenty of legwork round the dealerships that are nearby have a look at the shows..(The Lincoln show is on soon can't remember the exact date although someone will post it on here no doubt)


Make a list of your wants and try not to deviate too much...having said that one mans choice won't be anothers..a lot of it is personal and a lot of it is compromise..Have fun choosing and do let us know what you decide on!!

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Do you want to use your M/H in the winter? If so you will need to look at european models as none of the UK models are winterized, that I know of. So look at Hymers and other German makers. To get an idea of layouts look at this link




Also to see the type of M/H and a guide to price in europe look at it will give you an idea of what you should pay in this country, Also read as much as you can about the base vehicle like Fiat or Mercs.




Some good makers in europe are:-




Niesmann + Bischoff



There are lots more.


Good luck



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I would agree with 'duffers' that it would be best to visit several shows to find out what is around.

If you just visit your local dealers the range will almost certainly be very limited.


If you can make it, the next big show is at the NEC in mid October.


From scratch it took me about 18 months to decide, and the first ones we fancied didn't get chosen.


For £40K you should have quite a big choice if the van is to be 2/3 years old.


Fist you will need to choose between: van conversion - coachbuilt - or A class.

If you look in the back of MMM mag there is usually a guide to the different types.


Van conversions - are standard vans converted inside.


Coachbuilts are chassis cabs with the ' caravan' habitation built on the back


'A' class are where the whole vehicle ( including cab ) is built as one unit.




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Hire before you buy, because using a motorhome is a mind altering experience and folk often find that what they thought they wanted before they used one, turns out not to be such a good idea afterwards.  Don't rush in, you have rather a lot to pick up on and the quickest way to turn £40K into £30K is to buy the wrong van.

Remember that space inside translates into bulk outside, so nice, big, roomy vans are more awkward at supermarkets, in small villages, at car parks, on narrow roads etc.

If you intend going abroad with it, you need to give some thought to whether you'll use the motorways, many of which are toll roads in France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, and larger vehicles pay more.

If you are considering buying anything over 3.5 tonnes maximum weight (MAM) you will need to check your driving licence, and you will be speed restricted on German autobahnen (and also banned in quite a lot of towns/villages).

If you do buy anything that is over 3.5 tonnes MAM, and is over 3.0 metres high or has three axles, you will find French toll autoroutes very expensive indeed because you will be charged the same as a 40 tonner.

I would suggest a subscription to MMM to start the ball rolling, and a copy of this book http://tinyurl.com/y8fbcwu as soon as it is back in print.  It will answer all those questions you haven't yet thought of, and may well save you a lot of money.

Visit the NEC Birmingham between 12-17 October here http://tinyurl.com/2uy4qgn for the main UK motorhome show.  They will all be new, but the range of makes and models on display from UK and European manufacturers will give a better understanding of what is on offer and at what price/quality.

You may need to go over two days, the second to make sense of the first, but if you collect as many brochures as possible, and particularly the technical sections giving details of payloads, water tank capacities, waste tank capacities, battery sizes, lengths, widths, heights, numbers of berths, numbers of belted seats etc etc, you will have a lot to mull over through the winter. 

Also remember, just because someone makes it and calls it a motorhome does not mean it will automatically prove capable for what you want it to do.  You do need to clue yourselves up very thoroughly before you go shopping, and be prepared to disregard (or even disbelieve) what sales folk tell you.  Sadly, their track record in fitting buyers with exactly what they want, is not at all good.  Proceed with caution!

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Thank you all thus far for info and suggestions.

I have a lot of homework to do.

A few things we have established we want and will be doing is,


We will be useing the home in the winter but most of the time southern europe.


Preferance will be towards a Merc or Ford based.


Twin or Island sleeping.


Low profile home prefered.


My wife and i visited Discover at Chorley, our short time there was informative.


Very good point from Brian about the twin axle charges on France tolls. I liked the look of some twin axles and the additional space they offered, i have now discounted them thanks to the advice given.


I cannot get to the NEC in Oct as i have to return to my last 2 months work in Dubai.

Thanks again to all and i look forward to any further advice.


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