The T132’s classic layout provides spacious, very comfortable, and highly specified accommodation, including an excellent washroom and Brit-friendly kitchen, all in just under 6m. The garage isn’t large and some might find the doorway awkwardly high, but the T132 drives and handles well, and is a real go-anywhere, do-anything motorhome.
Berths: 2+1 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 850kg
In motorhoming circles, the Hymer name enjoys similar cachet to that of Mercedes-Benz in the car world – and both involve a premium price. However, the Erwin Hymer Group’s extensive empire caters for just about every niche in the market and a new factory acquired in the Noughties, at Neustadt in Saxony, manufactures entry-level, coachbuilt motorhomes which follow the Hymer Group ethos of robust, rugged build and impressive quality.
This Capron plant produces both Carado, as an offshoot of Hymer, and Sunlight motorhomes, which fulfill the same role for Dethleffs (another EHG brand). Currently, Carado offers 18 models in the UK, including van conversions, low-profiles, overcabs and A-classes, and all of the mainstream layouts, from island beds to twin singles. At 5.98m, the popular T132 is one of the smallest and least expensive models with a classic, practical layout incorporating a front Euro lounge, central kitchen and washroom, and a transverse rear bed over the garage.
Externally, the T132 is classy-looking, with attractive graphics and alloy wheels. Roof and rear panel are hail-resistant GRP, whilst the side walls are aluminium. The Thule awning, bike rack, and satellite TV system, as well as the alloys, are all part of Travelworld’s standard specification, while all UK-bound Carados include the Basic and Chassis Packs – a nice change as Teutonic products are renowned for their extensive, expensive options lists!
All Carados come on the Fiat Ducato, and it’s clear, immediately, from the high stance and double step, that the T132 has the standard-height Fiat chassis, rather than the wider, lower Camper chassis. The cab has special touches, like a leather steering wheel, though this doesn’t carry radio controls, and a gap on the fascia leaves the choice of radio to the purchaser.
Inside, the conventional front lounge will seat five, with a half-dinette containing two travel seats, which are noteworthy for their comfort. A removable table clips to the nearside wall, pulling out to be reachable by the inward-facing offside seat. Above, the Heki sunroof, plus the nearside window and overcab skylight, create a very bright, airy lounge, despite the lack of a window in the door. Altogether, this is a comfortable expression of the most familiar lounge layout available.
In compact motorhomes, especially continental ones, you expect compromises in the kitchen, but the Carado T132 does well and provides a reasonable amount of work surface. The three-burner, manual ignition hob’s glass lid adds to that space and, alongside, the large stainless-steel sink with external mixer tap also has a glass lid. Below, the Thetford three-way AES fridge, with a satisfactory 113-litre capacity, stands alongside the Thetford Duplex oven/grill, provided specially for the British market. Something has to give, and here it’s low-level storage – there’s a large, very deep pan cupboard, but that’s your lot.
Opposite the kitchen, the washroom is bijou, but one of the high-spots of the motorhome. To your right is the loo – a Thetford C263 with swivelling bowl, set at a perfect height – and facing you is a tall, narrow, shelved cupboard in the corner and a good-sized white acrylic washbasin with a large mirror above. This forms part of the clever swing-wall. Should you desire a shower, the toilet is swivelled, the swing-wall swung, and a further screen extended to create a commodious, plastic-lined shower cubicle with no obstructions and no clammy, clutching, curtain!
And so to bed. The Carado T132 has a rear transverse double with thick individual mattresses over sprung slatted bases. In order to provide a tall garage below, the bed is set high, with the mattress 1.07m above the floor, and reached by a three-rung aluminium ladder. Once ensconced, it’s a comfortable bed; very long, at 2.10m, and of good width, at 1.40m, tapering only slightly towards the foot.
Finally, one of the great features of this little motorhome is its payload – an excellent 850kg. There’s a garage, too, accessed externally via doors on either side.