Advice on used MH c. £30 - £35k

Feb 14, 2019
Hello - looking for any advice or recommendations on buying a used MH for our family of four (we've previously borrowed a friend's Rapido MH and loved it).

We are looking for a 6 berth (high line) with a U shaped rear lounge. Have looked at loads online and a few in dealers I was quite convinced on The AutoTrail Apache 700 (c.2007 - 2010 model). However, last night I read some really bad online reviews about leaks and damp problems with AutoTrail models of this age. Should I be worried about this?

I am looking to purchase from a dealer but again have read variable reviews on the after sales care and their warranties. I know to be careful about habitation reports and damp checks. One thing I was considering was whether to spend a chunk more and buy a newer Auto Trail model that is still within it's 10 year warranty. I dont really want to do that but would for greater peace of mind. We anticipate owning a MH for the next 5 years or so until the kids are old enough that they don't want to travel with us anymore!

As a newbie I would appreciate any friendly advice.

Dec 11, 2010
What is your licence entitlement? Unless you have at least a C1 entitlement you are restricted to 3500kgs Maximum Permitted Mass. This will significantly reduce the payload for a family of four and your choices of van. The penalties for overloading can be severe. Second question is where are you going to store the motorhome because that may affect the length you can have.

Leaks and damps are common in some motorhomes at some time in their life. It particularly affects those with wood in their basic framework - most British vans were built like this, some are no longer. A motorhome with polyurethane foam walls [between the outer skin] may still leak if accessories are badly fitted to the outside but damp will be a rarity because the water has nowhere to go. Have a look at the Hymer website to get a feel of non-wood construction [there are other manufacturers that build wood free and using glue not screws. Having a motorhome which is glued together rather than screwed together will minimise water penetration because there are no screw holes.

I presume the kids will not need isofix points but do check the seatbelts fit comfortably.

There are good and not so good dealers as there are good and not so good customers. Choose a dealer within a reasonable distance [I use maximum 2 hours away] and visit them to get a feel. Then go on the various motorhome forums and seek opinions. Warranties vary. An alternative is to hold back say 10% of your budget to cover any issues that arise. Motorhomes are costly to maintain, from say £500pa to £1,000pa. Add on insurance, fuel, site fees, depreciation and you will see the annual overall costs rise substantially. It's easier to borrow one than own one! Rapido are good motorhomes.

We loved motorhoming with our two boys [they used a two man tent when they became teenagers] and dog.


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