Packed with the latest models, great deals and oodles of useful information, motorhome shows can be great places to purchase your next home on wheels. However, if you haven’t been to one before, they can be daunting! But that’s no reason to be put-off – simply read our guide to getting the best out of your next show and you’ll soon be driving the motorhome of your dreams.
Whether you buy a new or second-hand motorhome, an important part of the process is to check whether your insurance cover meets your requirements. It’s so easy to find out if your motorhome insurance still fits the bill, just give the helpful team at Motorhome Protect a call. And if you find a show we haven’t been to before then we’d love to hear about it!
Preparing well in advance of the show
Perhaps you’re looking to invest in a brand-new motorhome. Or searching for that final bit of innovative kit that’ll make your home on wheels just perfect. Whatever your reason for visiting, it’s worthwhile doing as much research as possible beforehand. There’s a huge amount on offer at motorhome shows and it’s all too easy to become quickly overwhelmed. Remember, you want it to be fun, not an ordeal! Making a list beforehand of features you’re looking for or makes and models you’re particularly interested in will make the day go much more smoothly.
If you’re looking for a motorhome upgrade next season then take a look at our list of the best new motorhomes for 2021/2022. From a cool, continental Chausson to an awesome Adria, we’ve already put in a lot of the legwork for you. Just thank us the next time you call up for a motorhome insurance quote!
Motorhome shows aren’t just about buying the latest vehicles or gadgets. There are often lots of fun activities to try, too. Why not look into getting some free lessons on how to reverse a motorhome or how to hitch-up a tow car? These kinds of vital skills will always come in handy – even more than an armful of brochures and freebies!
Don’t leave getting your tickets sorted until the last minute. If you get them in advance, it’ll make it easier to prepare effectively for the show. You might even be able to take advantage of an early bird offer for discounted tickets. Popular shows can get very busy so it’s worth checking whether free car parking is provided. And if you want to stay overnight in your motorhome, you’ll need to check whether that’s possible.
Buying a motorhome is a big occasion for the whole family, so why not invite family or friends along for the experience? There’s lots for all the family to see and do at motorhome shows, so make a real day of it. If you’ve got young children or family members with specific needs then it’s always worth checking what facilities are on offer before setting off.
Arriving at the show
On the day of the show, you might already have a must-see list as long as your arm. So getting to the show early means you’re in a better position to pace yourself. If you get there too late then you’ll not only find the day more stressful and tiring, but you might also have difficulty getting parked. Not a great start to what could be a long day!
Before hitting the show it’s worth considering whether you’re wearing the right clothes and most comfortable shoes. It’s easy to cover many miles when walking around a motorhome show so you need sensible footwear. And, if the show’s indoors then it could get pretty warm. Wear layers that can be easily taken off as required.
While you’ll probably already have a good idea from the show’s website about your itinerary, picking up your show guide on arrival is a must. If you have an expert demonstration, workshop or certain motorhomes you want to see, then highlight them in the guide. That way you’ll be able to see all the stands of your choice in a logical order. Rather than waste time by having to constantly double back on yourself.
Be sensible with how much time you’ll need, as there’s bound to be things to distract you along the way. That said, it’s still important to stay focussed. If you’re on a mission to find a suitable motorhome for next year’s once-in-a-lifetime trip, you can’t spend too much time looking at vehicles that don’t fit your criteria.
Don’t be afraid to take plenty of pictures of things that interest you and write down any makes or models that grab your attention. Remember though, while it’s tempting to snap up every freebie that comes your way, ask yourself do you really need it? Once you’ve put the heavy, glossy brochure or mug in your bag you’ll be carrying it for the rest of the day!
Working out what’s right for you
Now for the fun part! When you see a motorhome that could be right for you, take the time for a long, hard look at it. When doing so, bear the following questions in mind:
- Are the seats comfortable and of good quality upholstery? Are there other options available, and at what price?
- If the seats convert into a bed, can the sales person easily demonstrate how to do so?
- Have a go at making up the bed yourself. Would you be happy to do this twice a day? When you’re making such a big investment you want everything to be as close to perfect as can be.
- If there’s a fixed or drop-down bed, can you clamber into it easily? Is the bed comfortable? Is it long enough and do you have enough room to move around? An uncomfortable night’s sleep is the last thing you need on a camping trip.
- Look closely at any kitchen appliances – are they up to your culinary demands? What about the dining area? Will the layout work for you and your family?
- What about storage? There needs to be space to put away everything from your bedding, clothes, and shoes to cutlery, crockery and pans. And if you plan to carry bikes, paddleboards, or even just an outdoor table and chairs, is there adequate space? And is it easily accessible?
- Is there adequate ventilation and lighting? Bunks and over-cab beds can get very stuffy at night. And once a motorhome is out of the glare of show lights it could be darker inside than you imagined.
- If there’s a toilet or shower room, is it going to work for you? Some motorhomes aren’t always as well designed for taller or broader people, or those with mobility issues.
It may seem like a lot to remember, so be sure to make notes on all the pros and cons for each motorhome you like. Viewing lots of different vehicles can soon make your head spin and make it difficult to remember the finer details of each one.
Keep in mind all of that pre-show research where you decided on must-have matters such as overall dimensions, internal layout and preferred base vehicle. It’s all too easy to forget something important when the adrenaline is pumping and the deals are flying!
What to look for - second time round
Okay, you’ve seen a lot of great motorhomes and are raring to go. But you need to calm down first! Now’s a great time to take a break and have some much-needed refreshment (perhaps of the non-alcoholic kind for the moment!).
While you’re resting your feet, make a shortlist of the motorhomes you’ve seen and which ones you think are worth a second look. Now go back and try your best to look at them again with fresh eyes.
Put aside any preconceived ideas and really take your time to experience sitting in the motorhome and moving around it as you would on site. How does it feel? Do you have enough room? Could you spend a couple of hours shut up inside when the weather takes a turn for the worse? If you are touring in the UK, with our changeable weather this is an important consideration!
And if you’ve got any doubts or questions at all then now’s the time to answer them. If you don’t feel 100% happy then you can always walk away.
Something that’s often forgotten in the excitement of purchasing at a show is the distance between your home and the supplying dealer/manufacturer. While you might not mind a long journey to collect the vehicle, what about when teething problems need sorting out under warranty? It might not be so much fun then!
Questions to consider before handing over your cash
You might be completely happy with the motorhome itself, but that isn’t the only matter to consider. Before handing over your money, ask these questions:
- Is there a discount for buying at the show? Or are there any extras, such as an awning or bike rack that could be thrown in to sweeten the deal?
- Is that price still valid if you want to sleep on it before paying a deposit? Or is it now or never?
- How much do you have to pay as a deposit, and is it refundable if you change your mind in a couple of days? If it’s not, do you really want to take that risk?
- Does the dealer or manufacturer offer finance options?
- If you already have a motorhome, would it be possible to trade it in as part of the deal? Just make sure you get any offer of a part-exchange in writing.
- When will you be able to take delivery of your motorhome? You’ll want to know when to book time off work for your first adventure.
The best shows to go to in early 2022
If you’re a motorhome enthusiast then there’s really nothing better than walking around a motorhome show to get excited about your next big trip. But with one of the biggest launch events of the year The Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham now rescheduled to next October you’ll need to look for somewhere else for your motorhome fix.
Fortunately, every year there are many similar shows in the UK where you can see a wide variety of vehicles from the best brands. Here’s a varied selection from early in 2022 that are well worth a visit.
Event City, Manchester, 13th-16th January 2022
If you’re based in the north of England and looking to kickstart your 2022 adventures then this is a must-visit. With over 200 brands offering exclusive show-only deals there’s bound to be some amazing savings to be had.
East of England Showground, Peterborough, 28th-30th January 2022
Get your new year off to a great start by bagging a great deal at this free event.
NEC Birmingham, 22nd-27th February 2022
Smaller than the rescheduled October event, but still offering massive helpings of family friendly fun and exclusive offers on 1000s of leisure vehicles, accessories and must-have gadgets.
Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate - 18th-20th March 2022
With over 120 exhibitors indoors and outdoors, this is a great day out in the spa town of Harrogate.
Protecting your vehicle with motorhome insurance cover
From the latest 2021 model to a trusty vintage van, you’ll
want to keep your motorhome well maintained and safe from harm. However, despite your best efforts, sometimes mishaps do happen. And in that case, you’ll be glad you had specialist cover in place.
Using our panel of insurers, the team at Motorhome Protect will search out motorhome insurance that’s tailored just for you.
Our cover can include benefits such as:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £120,000
- Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,500
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Up to 6 months to complete a self-restoration
Call us for a quote for motorhome or campervan insurance
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.