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Assessing the vehicle itself


This is part twelve of 'How to choose a mobile home'.

As we began to explore the variety of vehicle options for our family travel adventure, we were overwhelmed with new information.

In this series we aim to provide you with the questions and considerations to make choosing the right mobile home to suit you much easier.

How much different it is to assess a mobile home compared to a car or van?
In many ways it is the same, except for accessibility and knowing what you are looking for.  The best bet would be to employ the services of a technician familiar with your chosen vehicle type to look at it's external structure and condition and under the hood. 
Some of the things that you can check for yourself are:
  • Manual or automatic?
  • What mileage has it done?
  • Does it have a log book?
  • Is there a hubodometer and an odometer?
  • Do the distances match the odometer?
  • Does it come with a full service history record?
  • Have you done a Car Jam (or other ownership & status) report?
  • Is the vehicle subject to Road User Charges?
  • Is there a current Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness?
  • Is the Warrant/Certificate of Electrical Fitness current?
  • Has a Self Containment Certificate been issued? For how many people?
  • What is the construction material?  Strong? Durable?
  • Are there any surface dents, scratches, or damage?
  • Can you see any surface rust?
  • Is the paint work sound, chipping or peeling?  (Check the roof)
  • What is it's tare weight?  Gross laden weight?
  • Is the motor easily accessible for repairs and maintenance or does it require using a shop hoist? 
  • What exterior lights does it have?  Driving? Daylight driving lights? Door / awning?
  • How easy is it to level?  Can it be leveled?  Does it have an on-board level or do you need to pack your own?
  • Is there a fixed ladder up to roof for access for cleaning and maintenance of appliances?  Is the roof robust enough to be used as a deck?


  • Insulated? Where and how much? Polystyrene, wool, polyester?
  • Windows double-glazed?  Acrylic or glass?
  • Is there a burglar alarm? Or a GPS location device?
  • What is the cabinetry made out of? Is it durable? eg wood vs melteca; s/s vs formica, or even fibreglass.
  • Do I like the decor?  Do I get the feeling that I am home and comfortable?  [This may seem a little fickle but there is nothing worse that living longer-term with colours and designs that are not beautiful to you if you can't change them. ]


Probably the most over-looked question but one I know has caused many a sleepless night because it wasn't asked pre-purchase:

  • Do I have somewhere to park or store this vehicle after purchase?