Niall Hampton
Editor

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Practical Motorhome's Editor reviews the three-berth Carado T 339 motorhome to see if this German-built coachbuilt has done enough to impress UK buyers

Overview

Since Carado Mobil motorhomes were made available on British shores during the 2013 season, UK buyers now have a choice of both offerings from Hymer Group’s Capron subsidiary. The two brands roll off the same production line in Saxony, but are targeted at different markets. With its more sober styling, Carado is pitched at older buyers.

Design

One of two new additions for the 2015 season is the T 339, a 7m-long three-berth with rear island bed.

Based on the Fiat Ducato with a lowered chassis, the T 339 is a couple’s ’van with the added flexibility of an optional third berth via a make-up bed in the front lounge. A midships washroom, split across the vehicle, plus L-shaped kitchen and half-dinette, complete the layout. The luxurious rear bed also sits above a spacious rear garage that will swallow enough kit for even the longest tours.

Sporting the new sharp-looking Ducato cab and sculptured roof moulding, the T 339 has a pleasing appearance. Confirming its Continental origins, the habitation door is sited on the UK offside; an electric entrance step aids access, as the habitation floor sits at 54cm from the ground.

On the road

With a MiRO of 2914kg, users will have just under 600kg of payload to play with, up to the 3500kg MTPLM, and the 130bhp 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine will have no trouble coping with that. Two further travel seats are provided, although their flat cushions may not be the most comfortable during long drives.

Lounging & dining

A half-dinette forms the basis of the lounging and dining space in the T 339. The 100cm-wide bench seat offers two places, and another seating position is available opposite, on the offside single seat.

The captain’s chairs in the cab rotate easily to provide two extra places at the table, so up to five people can enjoy the facilities here. Plenty of natural light floods in, via a rooflight, a nearside window and a panoramic sunroof in the roof of the cab. LED lighting will play a supporting role in the evenings, augmented by mood lighting at the bottom of the overhead lockers.

Kitchen

Carrying the classic Continental L-shaped kitchen layout, the T 339 benefits from several improvements as part of a package of upgrades for the UK market. These include a combination oven and grill, located under the three-burner gas hob, and an extractor fan. Further generous specification can be found on the opposite side of the ’van, in the form of a large dual-fuel fridge and separate freezer compartment. There’s no microwave, though, and no obvious place to put one as there’s no cupboard above the fridge – instead, there’s a narrow locker with tambour door and to its right, a pull-out TV stand.

Sleeping

The main draw of the T 339’s layout is its large rear island bed. This measures 1.85 x 1.5m (6ft 0.069in x 4ft 11in) but can also be extended to take the length to 1.9m (6ft 2in) – just pull forward and the bed will reach almost to the washroom wall.

Another berth is available at the front of the Carado T 339, included as part of the UK specification, by dropping the lounge table and redeploying the travel seat backrest and squab; extra length is achieved by pulling an extension frame from the single seat’s box.

Washroom

With a centrally mounted island bed and an overall length of 6.99m, the T 339’s washroom runs across the ’van to save space. The nearside gets the shower compartment, with the toilet, sink and vanity unit opposite. As with many features of the T 339, its toilet and vanity area could belong in a more expensive ’van. There’s a wide half-length mirror, silver corner sink with vanity unit and two towel rails on the back of the washroom door, which can be kept open to offer privacy when the bedroom is used for dressing.

Storage

Storage is generous in the T 339, courtesy of a large rear garage, accessible on both sides, plus six overhead lockers. Additional stowage is provided by wardrobes bookending the rear bed, a cupboard at the foot of the bed, and space in the single lounge seat’s box. The kitchen offers a large cupboard to the right of the oven and grill, and pots and pans can be stowed in a cubby under the fridge.

Equipment

Electric entrance step, folding shower screen, two towel rails on the washroom door, vanity unit in the washroom, kitchen sink and hob lids to improve worktop space, oven/grill, three-gas-burner hob, extractor fan, 167-litre fridge and separate 29-litre freezer, pull-out TV stand, swivel cab seats, cab curtains, skylights, kitchen bin, secret compartment in the floor for storage of valuables, Truma Combi heater.

Technical specs

LayoutRear island bed
Sleeps3
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload581kg
Length6.99m22′11″
Width2.32m7′7″
Height2.91m9′7″
Engine (capacity)2300
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water122L / 92L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Gas bottle size11kg
Number of gas bottles2
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

With its many UK-friendly spec bumps, the Carado T 339 motorhome competes well with the kit lists of British-built budget ’vans. There will still be a price difference, but T 339 buyers will get Hymer Group quality, albeit with a habitation door on the UK offside.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Hymer Group's build quality
  • Excellent storage
  • Fixed island bed
  • Comfy cab for driver and passenger
  • Oven, grill and three gas rings
  • Dual fuel fridge and freezer

Cons

  • Habitation door on the Continental side
  • Spare bed is skinny
  • No microwave or space for one
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