Nick Harding

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If you're in the market for a bit of motorhome luxury, but your budget might not stretch too far, check out this compact low-profile.

Overview

So what, you might ask, is this model doing dressed as a luxury model? Well, there's the small matter of lineage.

Pricing structure sees the Carado somewhere near the bottom of the Erwin Hymer Group portfolio, where stablemates head up the spectrum through Bürstner, Dethleffs, Laika, Hymer and Niesmann-Bischoff.

However, the Carado, along with its Sunlight cousins, is produced in the newest production plant of the lot. They're all about razor-sharp pricing, too.

This, the T132, is the smallest of these low-profile coachbuilts. If you like your motorhomes compact, it fits the bill perfectly. We viewed this at Southdowns Motorhome Centre in Portsmouth - one of seven UK dealers for the marque.

This example includes the £1,239 Chassis-Comfort Pack (cab air-con, electric mirrors, handling upgrades and more), and the £889 Emotion Pack, as well as other extras.

Design

The Emotion Pack gives it the 'champagne' sides, alloy wheels and more. Also here is the 150bhp engine upgrade (£1649) and Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£1769). There's certainly plenty of payload to play with, too, at 870kg.

The main reason the T132 can be so short and still offer excellent lounge, kitchen and washroom space is its permanent double bed. Set across the back, it sits over a small but useful garage.

It's a standard enough Continental layout. The habitation door stays on the UK offside, and you enter via an electric double step.

Lounging & dining

The front lounge comprises a half-dinette/double travel seat with height-adjustable headrests and swivel cab seats (this example has the lighter Arctica soft furnishings).

The side-fixing table extends for family meals. Two downlighters are adjustable and there's a double USB socket in the cab bulkhead.

Kitchen

The midships kitchen is offside. It's compact, and lacks a much-needed extension to the worktop. But you do get a three-ring hob and circular sink. The Thetford fridge sits under the hob, the Thetford Duplex oven/grill beneath the sink.

This leaves one locker at floor level. The kitchen's largest storage area is the shelved overhead locker.

Sleeping

The bed is at the back of the 'van. The cutaway means the mattress angles towards the foot end (offside), so you could call it a French double. A hook-on ladder helps with access.

Occupants get two reading lights (below a handy shelf), plus lockers on the back wall. Ventilation and daylight are courtesy of a window and a roof light. There's a second wardrobe under the bed (the main one is across from the lounge). As well as hanging space, also in here are the water dump valve, circuit breakers, table extension piece and open shelving.

Washroom

Thanks to the upgrades, the washroom in this model has a full plastic lining and a section of duck boarding. As standard, a hinged wall swings around the basin to optimise space for showering.

There's room for a swivel-bowl toilet and a narrow locker with fixed shelving. Also in here are a pull-down hanging rail and two hooks.

Equipment

Cost cutting pointers? The windowless habitation door, sprung roller blinds, basic control panel, plywood travel seat base, curtains for night-time blackout in the cab, only two mains sockets, and cab seats without back pockets. You'll also need to budget for your choice of stereo system.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload870kg
Length5.95m19′6″
Width2.32m7′7″
Height2.9m9′6″
Engine (capacity)2300
Fresh/waste water122L / 92L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-200 toilet

Verdict

If you're looking for a really special deal, this example was originally priced at £50,695 and is now down to £45,595. The slight catch here is, this is a yet-to-be registered 2018 model. I'd say someone, somewhere, is about to get a real bargain!

PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS...

An affordable Erwin Hymer Group offering is not to be sniffed at. These Carados are well put together and can be 'Pack-ed up if you want to enhance the specification... and pay the price. Once you've done so, though, you'll end up with a very attractive coachbuilt motorhome.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Plenty of payload
  • Useful garage

Cons

  • Basic control panel
  • Kitchen lacks a worktop extension

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