Campervans are a great way to explore New Zealand. In fact it is easy to imagine that the expansive land area of this country is made for campervans. The long drives and the many interesting secluded spots along the way are just perfect for campervans. However one of the most common challenges for people who want to tour around this continent in a campervan is the cost of buying one. Fortunately there are many used campervans for sale. Here are some things to think about before shelling out cash for a second-hand motor home.
Cover the basics of used vehicle purchase
The moment you find a campervan that you are interested in buying, before you go any further with your purchase plans, call up your mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. This will spare you from all the hassle of negotiating for a vehicle that is not even road worthy in the first place. Here are some more pointers:
- Ask for the vehicle’s last service date and while you are at it ask also for the service report. This will give you a clear picture of the maintenance history of the campervan, what were its problems and if these issues where repaired. The service report will also give you an idea of the chronic problems of the vehicle and the possible costs of addressing these persistent problems.
- Look into the condition of the cam belt of the campervan (if it has one). Most Japanese made vehicles have more durable cam belts however the rule of thumb is that for every 100,000 kilometers this must be replaced. This roughly equals to 5 years of vehicle use.
- You also need to check for the battery of the vehicle. Doing so is very cheap. Just buy a device called a multimeter which you can source from the nearest budget shops. The battery should have a reading of 12 to 12.8. Below that and that would mean the battery is already weak.
Test drive the vehicle
You need to test drive the campervan the moment your mechanic clears the vehicle. Driving it will give you a better feel for it and its performance on the road. When revving up from a cold start, observe the smoke coming from the tailpipe:
- When the smoke is blue it means oil is leaking to the cylinder causing the engine to burn up the oil too. This will cause the spark plug to misfire and affect the performance of the vehicle.
- Black smoke would mean the engine is consuming too much fuel yet failing to burn it all up. This means you are wasting fuel which is bad news if you are driving long distances.
Consider the body condition of the vehicle
Watch out for dents and scratches that might signify that the campervan figured in an accident in the past. This might mean the car is also messed up internally. The dents and bumps can also mean chipped paints and this is where rust will likely form. This can spell trouble for a used vehicle. Check the tires. If it is worn out you need to replace it to cope up with the road condition in New Zealand. Since you will be driving on roads you are not too familiar with, be sure that the headlights are functional including the high beam that allows you to see further down the road.