Are you planning to buy a motorhome? Good on you! Motorhoming is an affordable and enjoyable way to explore this wonderful country of ours. Don’t rush things though, because choosing the right vehicle requires thought — it’s not the same as buying a new car. That’s why you must speak with a knowledgeable consultant before signing on the ‘dotted line.’
In this blog, we will focus on the following topics:
- Why bother with a consultation?
- What’s involved in a consultation?
- A classic fallacy (during consultations)
- Having a consultative approach
- Thinking about resale
- Take your time
Why bother with a consultation?
If you’re a motorhoming ‘newbie,’ you probably have a lot of assumptions — some based on fact, some on hearsay and others on articles you’ve read. However, here’s the thing: you don't know what you don't know — you might be on the mark or miles off it. And, unless someone who’s ‘been there and done that’ explains the things you need to think about, you’ll be making decisions based on limited knowledge.
What’s involved in a consultation?
When you approach TrailLite about a motorhome, we’ll want to hear your story to understand your background and level of motorhoming experience. So, what’s your dream? Or, put another way, where do you plan to go? For how long will you be travelling? With whom will you share your adventures? What gear do you intend to take, etc.? Once we know these things, we’ll ask further questions and begin to piece some ideas together.
Sometimes we'll be upfront and challenge your ideas — not to try to catch you out, but rather to provoke discussion and thought. We don’t want you to discover some of your assumptions are wrong once you’re on the road. It’s too late then.
A classic fallacy
During consultations, clients often say something like they want a small six-meter motorhome. When asked why, they explain that it will allow them to park at supermarkets.
Fair enough. That seems reasonable, don’t you think?
However, let’s look at the situation. If during a trip you spend one hour at a supermarket and five days at your destination, how important really is convenient supermarket parking? After all, nothing is stopping you from parking on the road and wheeling a shopping trolley over to your motorhome.
Here’s a classic litmus test for a motorhome or caravan: It has rained four days in a row and you're stuck inside. How's it working for you?
When you think about it, choosing a motorhome based on being able to fit into a car park for one hour doesn't seem like a good idea, does it?
You see, most people getting into motorhoming have this dream of beautiful sunny days. And, of course, you will enjoy plenty of them. However, there’ll be rain, too. That’s life. So, your motorhome must be suitable for all conditions.
Photo by Pam Williams - Lake Opuha
Having a consultative approach
Unfortunately, not everyone in our industry practices consultative selling. Instead, some talk about the benefits of a motorhome without asking what the client wants. For example, an over-cab motorhome with upper sleeping space is ideal for a young family, but not so much for a couple in their twilight years (ladders can be a little off-putting).
Choosing a motorhome is like building a house — you must consider your base vehicle, construction type, fridge, power and water supply, etc. There are also intangibles to think about like warranty, after-sale support and resale value. When building a new home, you seek the support and knowledge of an expert- whether that be an architect, builder or engineer – to co-create the house of your dreams. You trust those advisors to work with you to design and build something that suits you. The same goes with motorhomes. TrailLite will be that trusted advisor – we’re not here to sell you a product; but co-create your dream alongside you, as we know that a product that suits you and your lifestyle will be better in the long run for us and you!
So, to do this, during the consultation we get inside your head to determine which motorhome is best for you.
What are your non-negotiables?
- Do you need an island bed?
- Does there have to be plenty of room for the grandkids?
- Do you require enough storage for a couple of golf sets?
Whatever they are, your consultant needs to know. Then, you can go shopping.
Thinking about resale
We’re proud to say that TrailLite motorhomes have the highest resale in New Zealand bar none — simply because of the build quality.
From our experience, it’s not unusual to forget about the tail-end of things during the excitement of buying a new motorhome. Hey, the last thing on your mind is selling. However, a motorhome’s resale value shouldn’t be overlooked. You see, life throws curve balls sometimes. For example, what if you or your partner became ill and you need to cash up in a hurry?
So, it’s nice getting a bargain today, but should you try to sell your vehicle in five years the resale value has tanked, it's no longer a bargain, is it?
Your consultant should be able to quote a motorhome’s depreciation figures. If they can’t, move on.
Take your time
A little while ago, a gentleman visited one of our open days with a cheque book in his hand. He said that he was there to buy. We loved his enthusiasm. However, we discovered that he’d only been researching for two weeks. Such a short time is rarely long enough for someone new to motorhoming to learn everything they must know to make a good decision. And, upon further questioning, it soon became apparent that he was way off the mark.
Stepping into the world of motorhoming is thrilling, and you’ll be ‘chomping at the bit’ to choose a vehicle and begin your adventures. However, slow down, do your research and — most importantly — discuss your needs with an experienced consultant. You won’t regret making the extra effort.