Motorhomes are a popular way to enjoy the summer, offering convenience, comfort, and flexibility, at far less cost than staying in rented accommodation. Nevertheless, equipping a motorhome and keeping it serviced and in good repair, can represent a significant expense. Falling within the scope of parts for a motorhome are portable loos, bottled gas heaters, lighting and insulation material, mechanical items such as water pumps, electrical items such as vehicle batteries, air conditioning units, and plug sockets. To bring down the costs somewhat, it is worth taking the time to research the market in motorhome parts. This can bring substantial rewards in terms of savings, and helps avoid wasting money on overpriced goods.
A key consideration when sourcing parts for a motorhome is where to buy them. Caravan centres are unlikely to be the most cost-effective option, and driving around comparing prices and specifications can itself be an expensive and time consuming job. Many motorhome owners find that buying online is a better choice, as the range of motorhome parts available from Internet markets such as eBay is certainly very wide, and the prices on offer are far more competitive than the prices at traditional outlets.
Categories of Motorhome Parts
Motorhomes these days can be very well-equipped, which means that buying parts for a motorhome can cover a wide range of different types of items. Whether building a motorhome, refurbishing an existing motorhome, or just upgrading the specifications of an essentially sound motorhome, it is surprising how many different items of equipment a motorhome requires. The categories of motorhome parts include electrical, lighting, plumbing, furniture, and conversion parts.
General Electrical Parts
General electrical parts include major items like circuit breakers and fuse boards, batteries and inverters, down to plug sockets, light switches and cabling, and kitchen equipment such as refrigerators, kettles, coffee makers and microwave ovens.
Lighting includes both internal lights to make the motorhome accommodation a safe and pleasant environment. Internal lighting can include ordinary light sockets, as well as rechargeable and solar lights, LED lights, and strip lights. External lighting, includes emergency lights, headlamps, tail lamps and fog lamps, and spare bulbs for internal and external types of lighting.
Falling within the plumbing parts category are water tanks and pumps, taps, piping, sinks, loos, and sewage treatment equipment, showers, water filters and purifiers.
Heating, Gas Equipment, and Related Parts
Motorhomes also require gas bottle heaters, and cooking equipment such as ovens, hobs and grills, water heaters, brackets, pipes, valves and regulators, and safety stickers for these items. This category also includes radiators, halogen heaters, diesel heaters, fan heaters, night heaters, demisters, and thermostats.
Furniture and Related Parts
As well as resilient carpets, a motorhome needs curtains, insulation, lockers, tables, bedding linen, and seating, and rooflights.
Parts for Converting and Self-Builds
Buying a new motorhome can be very expensive indeed, with a fully equipped model often costing in the mid to upper tens of thousands of pounds. Converting a panel van into a motorhome is hard work, but rewarding, and can present significant savings.
For a self-build on a motorhome, the build requires a whole range of parts, including extrusions, adhesives and sealants, hinges, door handles and catches, mouldings, doors, windows, wallboards and partitions.
Guidelines for Buying Motorhome Parts
The range of equipment for motorhomes is so wide that it is easy to get carried away and buy more than the electrical capacity of the vehicle and its batteries, or for the convenient stowage capacity or weight capacity of the motorhome. It makes sense therefore to buy the basics first. Then give the setup a test run, to see how well the electrics hold up in practice, and to identify any gaps in the inventory. It is also important to know the weight limit of the vehicle, and to factor in the likely weights of passengers. Overloading a motorhome is a common cause of tyre blowouts, as well as a cause of poor handling on the road.
Heating and Cooling Requirements
Another important point is to know in advance is the sort of climate that the motorhome is likely encounter on its travels. Touring by motorhome in northern Europe produces a very different set of requirements in terms of heating or cooling from touring in Spain or southern Italy. Air conditioning is always a drain on energy resources, so the motorhome owner needs to consider whether it is really necessary to have such a unit. Conversely, if the motorhome spends much time in the sun, the motorhome owner should consider fitting solar panels to augment the battery power.
Destinations and Safety Requirements
Each country has its own regulations related to motorhomes and safety on the road. For example, in Portugal the legal requirement is that the motorhome have one warning triangle, while in Spain, motorhomes must come with not just one but two warning triangles, plus a reflective jacket. A family should never set off on a trip without checking these requirements and making sure all the necessary safety equipment is present and accounted for.
Regardless of the motorhome's intended destination, these are some essential items that should be included in the motorhome. This equipment includes at least one fire extinguisher and fire blanket, a torch and spare batteries, wheel chocks, a tyre gauge, spare bulbs and fuses, a water pressure regulator for use at campsites, a good first aid kit, and a comprehensive toolkit for the engine and other equipment onboard.
Used Parts vs. New Parts
Given the large volume of equipment required to outfit a motorhome, it is not surprising that many buyers prefer to go for good quality used parts. Most motorhomes are used only for a limited amount of time each year, which means that wear and tear on the items is fairly minimal. And by buying used parts, the motorhome owner can save a great deal of money.
Providing that considerations of safety are taken into account, there should be no downside to the purchase of used equipment. Fire extinguishers obviously need checking to see that they are fully operational and charged, and electrical or mechanical equipment should be tested, and if need be, serviced. It also makes sense to try to buy parts that have fully-documented service histories.
Sources for Motorhome Parts
It is always sensible to make an inventory of the parts and other equipment required, and to work out a total budget, before embarking on any project to equip a motorhome. Costs can mount quickly, and if the details have not been worked out in advance, something could get missed.
Just as important as what to buy, is the question of where to buy it. There is something very appealing and cosy about the equipment sold at caravan centres and camping shops, and many buyers find themselves seduced by this attraction into paying over the odds, when in reality they could buy the same equipment elsewhere for much less. All of the parts and equipment to fit out a motorhome can be found online from Internet markets such as eBay, and this is generally the most cost efficient route to take for buying motorhome parts, both new and used.
Searching for Used Motorhome Parts on eBay
No matter which motorhome parts you are looking for, it is easy to find them on eBay. If you know exactly what you want, simply search for that item by entering it into the search bar on the eBay home page . Alternatively, if you are looking for a range of items to equip your motorhome, or just generally want to find out what parts are available, then a good search query to try would be ' motorhome parts'. This query brings up thousands of listings spanning all the types of equipment you might need for your motorhome. If you want, you can browse these at your leisure. Alternatively, if you want to narrow them down you can, by specifying which items or category of items you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for plumbing parts, you can specify that. Another useful search option allows you to set the maximum distance you are willing to travel to collect items. You can specify that you do not want to see items from sellers beyond this distance. You can also specify that you only want to be shown, for example, used items.
Once you are happy with your set of listings, read the descriptions carefully and study the photos. If you need more information, perhaps about an item's service history, you can contact the seller through their profile page. When examining photos looks for signs of damage and wear and tear.
Motorhomes are a popular way to enjoy the summer months. The amount of equipment in a motorhome can be surprising, and it is worth finding out the maximum weight that the motorhome can carry before buying parts for it. Whether refurbishing an existing motorhome, converting a panel van into a motorhome, or just adding a few items to a motorhome, buying parts can be a costly business if the buyer has not done the proper research. Before setting out on a project, it is wise to prepare a budget and an inventory, so that there are no surprises in store. It is also wise to consider carefully the sources for the motorhome parts, as caravan centres and other retail outlets often means paying over the odds. Used equipment can be far cheaper than new, and since most motorhomes are only used for a part of the year, used motorhome parts listed for sale are often in good condition. Online markets such as eBay carry a wide range of used motorhome equipment and parts, often at very keen prices.