The new C-tourer motorhomes are considerably less expensive than the premium Carthago ranges (UK prices are yet to be confirmed, although Lowdham’s expects them to start in the high £60,000s), but they benefit from the same high quality build standards, which are among the best in European motorhome manufacture today.
The bodyshell is a wood-free, cage construction, that gets thick, alloy clad sides which curve cleverly toward a GRP roof designed to combat hail, and a GRP baseplate beneath the habitation floor for better durability against salt spray from roads and the like.
The compact I142 A-class measures 6.75m-long, and from the outside it looks great, with attractive silver sidewalls. It has a UK driver’s side habitation entry door, and a single cab door on the UK nearside.
The range is built on the Fiat low-frame chassis, and all models are offered on the 3500kg chassis as standard, with the option to upgrade to 4250kg. The new, Euro V-compliant 130bhp version of Fiat’s 2.3 litre turbodiesel provides the power.
Lounging & dining
Step inside a Carthago ’van, and the first thing that strikes you is the sheer thickness of the furniture, which it inherits from the more upmarket Chic C-Line range. Up front, the I142 has an L-shaped lounge with single-seater side sofa, all sited around a fixed-leg table, with a solid table top that slides forward and back, and sideways. A branded Carthago flatscreen TV is concealed in a metal frame behind the sofa back, and rises on runners when required. The forward facing seat bench has two seatbelts, and the side sofa quickly and easily converts to a fifth, forward-facing belted seat. The double floor is level throughout the whole motorhome, and conceals 110 litre fresh and waste water tanks.
An L-kitchen sits amidships on the UK nearside, with a cream veneer to its locker doors and chrome-look furniture handles, that differentiates it smartly from the rest of the motorhome interior. A massive 160-litre fridge/freezer, sited opposite, is new for the 2012 season. There’s a chrome look swan neck tap, large circular sink with matching lid, and the hob has three gas burners with spark ignition. All UK-specified Carthagos will have an oven and grill fitted (layout permitting).
The I142 offers four supremely comfortable sleeping berths. A transverse double bed is sited above the garage at the rear, with large wooden steps for climbing in and out. The massive pull-down double bed over the cab seats is hugely comfortable too, and easy to used with generous headroom.
Rear of the fridge/freezer is the washroom, which is well-sized for a compact floorplan. The entire floor is line with plastic, a sensible solution for the washroom, with a circular indent cut into it for the hard, sliding rigid shower door, and a vent overhead. The shower tray has two drain plugs, and the large toilet is of the swivel-head variety. Overall, it feels larger than it is, largely thanks to the huge mirror. Storage is adequate in here, and the large basin is thoughtfully shaped to maximize space.
The massive rear garage space is lined with plastic, and this storage space can be accessed from within the motorhome via a sliding door in the bed base, which has a lined partition curtain for better insulation properties. There’s also an abundance of overhead lockers, and a decent-sized wardrobe.
Outstanding build quality now offered at a more affordable price, for those who can do without the luxurious levels of specification found in Carthago's premium ranges.