5 Reasons To Try Before You Buy A Motorhome

Trying is more than just driving around the block

5 Reasons To Try Before You Buy A Motorhome

Buying your first motorhome is an exciting experience. But before you start looking at motorhomes for sale, it’s a good idea to do a little research. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding which motorhome is right for you. You may be asking questions such as:

Buying your first motorhome is an exciting experience. But before you start looking at motorhomes for sale, it’s a good idea to do a little research. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding which motorhome is right for you. You may be asking questions such as:

  • What layout works best for my travel style?
  • What size motorhome is right for me?
  • Should I look at new or used motorhomes?
  • Which motorhomes hold their value best?
  • Will I need space to work in my motorhome?
  • Should I consider ex-rental campervans for sale?
  • Where should I look for used campervans for sale in Australia?

One of the best ways to help make those decisions is to try out a motorhome and get a feel for what you want and need. Nothing beats first-hand experience in a motorhome or campervan. But that doesn’t mean a quick drive around the block. We suggest planning at least a week travelling in a friend’s motorhome or a campervan rental. This gives you a chance to really get to know what RV travel is all about!



Here's a look at the top five benefits of trying a motorhome before you buy:


1. Get used to the driving experience 


Driving a motorhome is different to driving a car. It takes a bit of getting used to if you’re not experienced with larger vehicles. But the good news is, with a bit of practice, it soon becomes second nature. The key is to take your time and practice driving somewhere quiet where you won’t feel under pressure. A few points to remember:


  • You’ll need to get used to taking corners slower and wider.
  • Take care when trying to fit into tight parks or when doing a three-point turn.
  • It may also take a bit of practice to get used to reversing a motorhome. It’s a good idea to have a travel companion stand behind your RV to help you guide you. Even seasoned pros do this!
  • Your campervan or motorhome is heavier than the car you may be used to driving. That means you’ll need to allow more time to brake. Always keep a safe distance and maintain a safe speed.
  • Campervans can be double the height and length of a standard car. Keep an eye out for height indicator signs, cantilever awnings and overhanging tree branches.


2. Determine whether you like the lifestyle 


Love the idea of travelling in a motorhome, but not sure if it’s quite right for you?

Most RV travellers fall in love with RV travel after their first experience. But of course, everyone enjoys different ways of travelling, and some may find the confined space more comfortable than others.

Spending a week or so in a campervan rental is the ideal introduction! By giving yourself a trial run, you’ll soon get a feel for some of the benefits of owning your own motorhome. You’ll get an understanding of the care and maintenance required and whether this is something you’re prepared to do.


3. Figure out what features are non-negotiables


Spending a good amount of time in a motorhome gives you the chance to figure out which facilities you most want and need. It makes the process of looking at motorhomes for sale a whole lot easier! It’s not until you actually use some of the features within a motorhome on a daily basis that you’ll know what the non-negotiables and the nice-to-haves are. For example, you’ll be able to answer questions such as:


  • Do you want a fixed permanent bed, a lounge conversion, or a drop-down bed (a bed that can be lowered down from the ceiling)?
  • How much room do you want in the bathroom? Will an all-in-one bathroom suffice, or do you want a separate shower and toilet?
  • How much storage will you need?
  • Do you need a fully equipped kitchen, or will you be using campsite facilities and can make do with a smaller kitchen?
  • Is it important to have large windows to take in the views?
  • How big do you need your water tanks to be?
  • Do you want a large lounge at the rear to relax in, or is a dinette sufficient?
  • How big does the fridge need to be?

As you travel in your rental motorhome, you’ll also meet other motorhomers around the country. This offers a great opportunity to talk with other RV owners. You’ll be able to ask for advice and opinions on what to look for when considering motorhomes for sale.



4. Determine what layout and size preferences you have 


Once you start looking at campervans and motorhomes for sale, you’ll soon discover there are endless options in terms of floorplan, layout, and size.

When you ‘try before you buy’ by travelling in a rental campervan, it can help to narrow down the options. If you plan to travel with your partner and children, take them with you on your rental holiday. You’ll soon get a feel for the size of campervan you want. By spending a week or more in a trial motorhome with your usual travel companions, you’ll also start to work out the layout that best suits you.

For example, some people prefer a lounge at the front and a fixed bed at the rear. Others like the idea of a rear lounge with a drop-down bed. You might also realise that having a six-berth motorhome feels a bit too big, while a four-berth motorhome is more comfortable to drive.


5. Determine whether it will be a worthwhile investment


Buying a good quality motorhome isn’t cheap. But for some, it is the best investment they ever make! And it’s easy to see why. There are so many great benefits to owning your own RV. But before you put down a large sum of money, you need to be sure that travelling by RV is what you expect it to be. By having a trial run, you can establish whether you can see yourself getting a lot of use out of your own motorhome. You’ll also start to get an idea of what accessories and extras may not be necessary. That can add up to good savings when it comes time to buy.

HELPFUL READ: Find out more about the cost of motorhome ownership.


How ex-rentals differ from motorhomes in the retail market 


Given most rental motorhomes are designed to be multifunctional, the layouts tend to differ from those in the retail market. Here are a few things to consider when you’re comparing an ex-rental motorhome to one you might buy.


  • Ex-rental motorhomes often have a maximum length of around 6.7m (22ft), so hiring anything much longer could be difficult.
  • Ex-rental motorhomes are also often narrower at around 2.2m (7ft 3in) than motorhomes designed for the retail market at around 2.5m (8ft). That might not sound much, but it does make an incredible difference to the overall interior space, so bear it in mind.However, if you can find one that’s roughly similar in size to your intended purchase, it can still be very helpful.
  • If buying a brand-new motorhome from a dealer you may be able to request certain modifications to suit.


Want to know how you can try before you buy? 


KEA Motorhomes is backed by thl, who own and operate the popular maui, Britz and Mighty motorhome rentals across Australia. That means it’s super easy to try before you buy.

You can book a rental campervan directly through the maui, Britz and Mighty rental websites. There are lots of great rentals to choose from – from two-berth campervans to six-berth motorhomes big enough for the whole family. You can book just one or try out several sizes with multiple bookings.

Rent from thl, and if you buy a motorhome within three months of your campervan rental, we'll give you your rental cost back. You’ll receive cash back of a value of up to 7 days hire* - just provide proof of your thl hire. *It is the cost of the rental only, add-on products and insurance is not included.

Enjoy travelling Australia while taking the time to try out the campervan’s functionality. Remember to take note of what you do and don’t like. Come back to your nearest KEA dealer, and we’ll use your new motorhoming knowledge to find your perfect campervan!



Are you interested in becoming a motorhome owner?

Whether you’re buying a new or ex-rental motorhome, you’ll want to ensure you buy from a brand you can trust. Buying from a trusted brand is the best way to ensure your motorhome will hold its value. When buying with KEA, you’ve got the option of buying a new motorhome, or from the great value range of KEA ex-rental campervans for sale.

The friendly KEA team is always happy to help with any questions you may have about buying an RV. They’ll show you through the different models and can help you think about which features are important for your style of travel. Check out our extra advice and handy free guides.

Ready to try before you buy and book a motorhome rental? Perhaps you’ve done your research and are ready to start living the RV dream. Make it happen and buy a motorhome with KEA!