Nick HardingSee other Advice articles filed in ‘Used motorhome buying guides’ written by Nick Harding
The dream of luxury touring can become a reality – yes, really! Check out the used motorhomes for sale pages if you don't believe us.
There are certainly bargains to be had relative to the cost of such vehicles when they’re brand new. However, the higher you go up the ladder, the more specialist these motorhomes become.
It’s worth seeking out a retailer with the relevant experience of working with such ’vans, starting with aftersales back-up for what are sometimes very specific needs, as well as some of the more specialist kit on board.
Which is why we went to Travelworld in Shropshire. It provides its own warranty for used motorhomes.
Also, Travelworld says it’s happy to provide confirmation of a motorhome’s kerbweight and payload when it gets closer to selling time. The rationale is that the company is more comfortable quoting the most up-to-date figures when it comes to more specialist vehicles, such as the Hymer and Niesmann+Bischoff featured here.
Besides the question of experienced retailers, another thing to bear in mind is the fact that the first owner will have taken the initial depreciation hit (which will be considerable) that comes with all such vehicles.
Finally, as Travelworld's sales executive Karl Hudson puts it: “You need to give yourself plenty of time when buying a really premium motorhome.
“It’s a pleasure for us to work with customers buying in this market segment, and to help them get exactly what suits their needs.”
As good as new – 2014 (14-plate) Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 66 F
A top-quality mega-motorhome at something approaching a reasonable price? Try this.
Its sub-7m length makes it a baby as far as Niesmann+Bischoff products are concerned, but there’s no compromise on quality: this pre-loved German-made A-class competes with brand-new top-end British ’vans.
The floorplan is a rear offset island bed with a washroom running adjacent along the nearside, plus some very clever storage in the island bed itself.
The kitchen comprises an L-shaped unit along the nearside, and has a three-ring hob plus a sink with a drainer area set in a GRP granite-effect worktop. Soft-close drawers come with central locking.
A Dometic fridge sits opposite. There's a Thetford grill/oven above and a Siemens microwave on top of this.
The L-shaped lounge offers a single inward-facing seat, with an A-class-style overcab drop-down double bed over the Isri Ska cab seats.
This used motorhome is just the vehicle you want for a tour of extremes. It has Truma’s Combi 6 heating and hot-water system, plus double-floor construction and full winterisation, including an electrically-operated thermo blind for the windscreen.
- Price now: £77,495
- Price new: £110,000-plus
- Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato/Al-Ko
- Engine: 2.3-litre, 150bhp
- First registered: 2014
- Mileage: 8000
- Berths/belts: 4/6
- Length/width/height: 6.99/2.323/m
- MTPLM: 4200kg
- Payload: TBC
- Extras: Solar panel, Caratec LCD TV, alarm, roof-mounted awning, alloy wheels, oven/grill, home theatre, Zenec double DIN stereo with satnav/Bluetooth
- Plus point: Superlative quality
- Minus point: Pricey
Value for money – 2011 (11-plate) Auto-Trail Frontier Comanche
There are plenty of used Auto-Trail motorhomes out there, but this is a bigger bargain than most.
All the usual Auto-Trail goodies are present here: the drop-down TV/DVD, double-DIN stereo with sat-nav and more that come with the Media Pack. Ostensibly an optional extra, no Comanche was ever sold without this pack following its introduction.
There’s a flat floor through from the cab, past the twin-settee lounge to the kitchen, with a step up thereafter to the washroom and bedroom facilities.
The Comanche’s island bed is set conveniently low, with matching wardrobes and bedside lockers on both sides.
The washroom is split to allow walk-through to the bedroom – there’s a plastic-lined shower cubicle with bi-folding doors on the offside. Nearside is the toilet room, with a swivel-bowl Thetford plus a small fixed basin, generous upper and lower-level locker storage, and a clear window.
This ’van was traded in for a Hymer T 708 SL – a similar floorplan to the Comanche, but without the tag axle.
- Price now: £49,995
- Price new: From £69,920
- Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Maxi/Al-Ko
- Engine: 3-litre turbodiesel, 157bhp
- First registered: 2011
- Mileage: 20,568
- Berths/belts: 4/2
- Length/width/height: 8.73/2.31/3.03m
- MTPLM: 5000kg
- Payload: 925kg
- Extras: Towbar and electrics, bike rack, leather upholstery
- Plus points: Popular flagship Auto-Trail, high UK-orientated specification
- Minus point: Despite its size, it only has two travel seats
Super saver – 2008 (57-plate) Hymer B 655 SL
A Mercedes-Benz-based Hymer for under £50,000? That’s got to be worth a look.
What’s this? A Hymer Super Saver? This would have cost a small fortune when bought brand new eight years ago. But, as with many a Hymer, the next owner will benefit from the many fitted extras.
This B-Class SL model features a permanent French bed at the back as well as the usual drop-down double over the cab area. It’s Mercedes-based, with an automatic transmission and the 3.0-litre V6 190bhp engine upgrades.
The all-silver bodywork is Hymer’s famed PUAL construction, while the interior features a darker wood (Palatino Apple). That’s a solid-wood pedestal-leg table, too.
Other signature features include the wind-up sunroof over a lounge with part-leather seating that’s big enough for entertaining.
The kitchen includes a Dometic fridge/freezer and an oven/grill, with the latter at a reasonable height. The food preparation area opposite is L-shaped, with a three-ring Smeg hob and a circular sink. Worktop space is tight; drawer storage is excellent.
Alongside the rear bed, the washroom has a lined shower cubicle at the back, along with a swivel-bowl toilet and fixed circular basin. There’s good storage, but no window.
Time for a test drive? The Mercedes ride definitely errs on the soft side.
- Price now: £47,996
- Price new: £65,000-plus
- Base vehicle: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
- Engine: 3-litre turbodiesel, 190bhp
- First registered: 2008
- Mileage: N/A
- Berths/belts: 6/6
- Length/width/height: 7.3/2.33/3m
- MTPLM: 3880kg
- Payload: TBC
- Extras: Oyster satellite TV system, two TVs, awning, external gas point, driver’s door, flyscreen for habitation entrance
- Plus point: Upmarket options
- Minus point: The softest of rides
The small print
- Vehicles are viewed and reported on as seen. Bear in mind that this is usually before any base-vehicle and habitation servicing, including any rectification work, before they go on to their next owners.
- Dimension and payload figures refer to official measurements before the addition of any extras, unless stated otherwise.
- Call ahead before making any visit to see a featured vehicle. Stock shifts fast!