Buying advice - collecting your motorhome
You know the feeling – you’ve signed the deal, paid a deposit and are eagerly awaiting collection of your new motorhome. It's an exciting time, for sure, but before you get ahead of yourself and start planning that very first trip in it, do make sure you have everything you need. The handover process is important; it's your chance to make sure everything is in place, and nothing is missing. Follow our checklist to help collection of your new motorhome as smooth as possible...
Check delivery dates of your new motorhome
Our first piece of advice is, no matter how tempting, do not book a holiday just yet. Production delays do happen and delivery dates can be put back. If you're buying a brand new motorhome, be prepared for such a delay. If you desperately want to book a holiday, check with your dealer regularly to see how the build is going and ask if they will loan you a motorhome should the delivery be delayed - but remember, not all dealers can offer this service.
Once you have confirmation of your delivery day, confirm your insurance and breakdown cover but be aware the delivery day may still change.
If you are hoping for delivery of your new motorhome in the peak month of March, then many dealerships will be busy preparing other new models so it’s wise to expect a delay.
Many dealers do their best to meet delivery promises but can be let down by a variety of factors outside of their control, from delays in the build to logistical delays getting the motorhome delivered to finding problems they need to rectify before handing it over.
Check your motorhome paperwork and contract
Keep all your paperwork and contract, including the terms of sale and the list of any options or extras you specified at time of order, and take this with you.
Once you are at the dealer then you should be asked to check the motorhome over; make sure everything on your list is ticked off and that there is no damage to the vehicle. If you identify anything, make sure you raise it. Do all of these checks before you sign the paperwork and arrange for the outstanding balance to be paid.
The dealer should hook the motorhome up to a gas bottle and plug into the mains electrics to demonstrate that all the systems work, before you go.
Also make sure the dealer disconnects the motorhome from the mains so you can see that equipment working off the 12V system does indeed work.
Ask for equipment demonstrations
Ask to be shown everything, such as if there is a bed that is made up from lounge cushions, then get a demonstration of this so you know how to do it for yourself.
While being shown everything take notes. Write it all down or record it, or use a smartphone or camera to video the different elements and then refer back to this if you forget something.
Also ask if there are video instructions online or on a DVD. Many manufacturers offer these or post videos to YouTube, so you can access them later.
Take your time
Don’t be rushed along with the handover and, if there is anything you are unsure about or is especially complicated, get the person handing the motorhome over to go through it again.
Check all the instruction manuals are in place – your handover pack on a new motorhome should include a wedge of manuals – for the base vehicle, the motorhome and individual ones for all the appliances and gadgets.
Motorhome manuals can often be generic as they cover an entire range, so the smaller manuals for things like the fridge and heater can prove invaluable when something doesn’t work.
If all is not as expected, there are a couple of ways to go. You can delay the final payment and picking up the motorhome until all the problems have been resolved. This is where buying from a dealer local to your home pays off.
You can also take the motorhome away with you with an agreement (in writing) from the dealer to order the parts/options for you to return at a later date to have the work done.
The final thing to double check is the warranty cover and any related conditions, such as servicing and habitation checks to maintain the validity of the warranty. If you miss a service or required check, then any warranty claim could be refused at a later date, so make a note in your diary.
We always recommend staying the night at a site close by. This will allow you to return the next working day if there are problems or further questions. Some dealers even have a camping area within the premises or preferred campsites nearby.
Collecting a new motorhome - things to make note of
- Fuse box, jacking point and towing eye locations
- Jump-start process
- Maintenance tips
- Drain-down procedure
- Battery locations
- Heater/boiler switch operation
- Tyre age and condition
- Bed-making process
- Warranty conditions