Carthago Compactline - any thoughts? (1 Viewer)

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Wellington

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May 23, 2018
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Carthago Compact 138
Anyone got one? Niggles, criticism and applauds? Pretty settled on buying one (not sure which model yet) and wondered if anyone had any feedback.

I like the 141, but can’t have it NOW as it’s a new model. So I Be getting either a used 138 or the 143 in the meantime. Just need to decide once the new house completes.

The 138 has small size, the rear window and a compact bathroom in its favour, but only a transverse double, less internal storage than I would like and no separate freezer. I would prefer to go small and may decide to keep it if we can work the storage out.

The 143 has enough storage and a separate freezer (I know no one else uses it, but it would be a real plus for me) and fixed twin beds as pros, but is obviously a bit longer and has a lot more bathroom than we need. I definitely wouldn’t keep it, preferring a smaller layout long term, but the freezer would be a big plus for our Italian trip this summer, which will probably be our last long jaunt for a few years.
 
Oct 30, 2010
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Unless you are limited for space where the vehicle will be parked, that extra half a metre won't make a lot of difference when you are driving.
It will make quite a difference to living space in the van though.
I would always go for the extra length and space if everything else is equal.
I assume you are aware of the weight/licence issues if the van is registered as 3500kg or uprated to 4250kg.
Nice van though, we love our Carthago.

Richard.
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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I’m not limited for driveway space lengthwise, but I will have a dogleg to reverse around to get on it, and it is only single width. I’m expecting that to make a difference (I can get the Stardream on, which is 6.8 by 2.3m, but it was rather a performance!) There’s also no benefit to having the extra length for us. It’s just more shower, which we onto Ouse in a pinch and are both little people, so it’s not too cramped.

I intend to check weights very thoroughly, as I want to add some toys. I must weigh my existing payload, too.

Whoever I spotted at Blenheim in theirs this weekend has a lot to answer for!
 
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f6c

Nov 7, 2010
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As you have said be very very careful about the weight, especially when the mh comes of the production line. :whistle:

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two

Aug 4, 2011
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New ones have a lighter chassis = more payload.
They also have better under-floor storage.
I think the 138 is the most popular model but not sure why. Maybe size.
Those with twin singles appear to be more practical to me.
 
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Minxy

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Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
Hubby was 'seduced' by one of the twin single bed layouts last year but finally saw sense and we got another PVC which suits us more for the time being.

One thing that concerned us was the payload but according to their info they can go up to 4250kg so must be on the Fiat Maxi heavy chassis.
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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When buying, one of the multiple choices is the chassis.
If you go foe the maxi, you're committing to over 3.5t.
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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There was some good weight info somewhere, I’ll post a link you when I find it again.

@Minxy Girl just being nosy, but why did the panelvan win out? My heart belongs to PVCs, but my addiction to chilling out in my lafuma recliner, and carrying the bikes means a garage is probably going to work better for us. Vantage did offer to us a Neo layout with a boot, by shunting the beds up and bit (we’re both sub 5' tall. We don’t need 6 foot beds!) but the boot wouldn’t take the bikes without dismantling them and I don’t think the chairs would fit, so a garage it shall be!

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two

Aug 4, 2011
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Might it be cheaper to get foldable bikes?
The weights of Compactlines are included in the price list, together with all the accessory options. They add if you get carried away. Compactlines will give you more space to carry stuff in than a PVC but you'll probably be overweight if you cram every storage space full.
If you like the Carthago furniture, have you looked at their Malibu PVC?
 
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Minxy

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Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
There was some good weight info somewhere, I’ll post a link you when I find it again.

@Minxy Girl just being nosy, but why did the panelvan win out?
This is our third camper, first one was a 6m Autocruise Accent (half dinette, transverse bed (or lounge area which we never used it for), second a Globecar FamilyScout L (L-shaped lounge and transverse bed), and our current one a Globecar Campscout (half dinette, twin single beds). What attracted hubby to the Carthago was the narrowness as we would never want to go back to having a 'fatty' MH again so with these being 2.12m it was good a compromise if we wanted the extra space etc of a coachbuilt/a-class but still be able to go to the places we like to visit.

We did seriously look at Carthagos but felt they are expensive for what they are and we felt that Globecar cabinet works was more 'robust' which is important as we have 3 dogs, we simply couldn't see where the extra £30k+ was going to make them that much more 'valuable' than our Globecar or other A-classes, either narrow or wide ones. In the future if one comes up on the second hand marked that suits our needs at that time then we 'may' give them another look, but at the moment we love our camper, we can go where we want, it has more than enough room for us and you simply cannot beat having the sliding door wide open on a lovely day.
 
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May 7, 2016
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We have a 2019 143 on order. The 2019 weights are a liitle less than for the 2018 model so if you are looking up weights make sure you have the pricelist for the right year.

We are trying to keep our weight below 3500 and intend to tow some of the heavier stuff, like e bikes. They can go in the garage overnight but travel behind. One of the Carthago attractions for us is the amount of underfloor storage space, this means we can keep some of the weight off the rear axle while travelling. We have opted to leave out the drop down bed and have cupboards instead, saving 40kg.
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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Note that the 40kg saving may not be appreciated because it's difficult to put the weight back 'up front', but at least you'll gain some extra cupboards and headroom.
Not sure if the front roof light is standard or not. I'd advise having it without the bed for more light and ventilation.
Speaking of roof lights, I'd also add the 'Fantastic' vent over the kitchen area if there is no extractor fitted (not sure of current specs).
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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Probably depends where you store your wine...

From memory, there is wiring for an extractor (which we would spec, for the pampered pooch) and the living area skylight is an option.

Interesting @Minxy Girl. I like the idea of the sliding door. I might look again at the at the Globecars. I wish they didn’t do the shows over half term, I can’t get a decent squiz at more than a few motorhomes with an impatient eight year old in tow. I do like panel vans, and baby A classes are few and far between. I don’t actually mind paying out, so long as what I get really works for me. And that means as little faffing as possible!

@two, it’s not so much cramming the spaces full, as having spaces that are well organised and convenient - both to where I actually want to use the stuff, and being able to get to things without moving a whole heap of other stuff out and back again. There’s no sense keeping umberellas in the garage, because you’d only want them when it’s raining, and get soaked going out to get them! I doubt I’d go with foldable bikes. I really want to minimise chores. I know it sounds awfully precious, but there is only me to go drive, navigate, set up, cater, wash up, do toilets, water, waste, pack up, plan and arrange stops, inform, educate and entertain, and play. It’s an awful lot for one person, and most holidays I’m lucky if I get half an hour here and there with a book. So I’m keen to make every thing as slick and ready-to-go as I possibly can, and one of the big reasons I upgraded from a caravan. Getting the bikes on the rack is right pain in the proverbial. I have lift the whole weight of the motor on one hand, or the front wheel turns out of the gutter and the whole bloody thing falls off. Then turn the handle bars, so that they don’t scratch the van. Then prise the straps out from under the wheels, and that's before even beginning to wrestle with the cover! I got Quite Cross several times, and there was language unbecoming a mother on more than one occasion! I also didn’t get my lovely lounge chair out as often as I’d have liked last season, despite lovely weather, as it was such a mission extraction it from the shower every time. A garage is definitely the way forward.

One of the reasons I really like the Carthago is that I can keep the big stuff really accessible in the garage, and put all the little ‘garage stuff’ like bike helmets and tools in the cellars. That way, I don’t have to move boxes of tools to get at the bikes, or unpack the whole garage just get my chair out for half an hour!

I have updated my storage spreadsheet, and I think the 138 is going to be worth a go. I think we will upgrade to the 141 in time, but I don’t think it’s worth going up to the 143. Now, I need a weight spreadsheet!

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Apr 27, 2008
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We wouldn't be without our separate freezer. we could really do with a bigger one as we don't like to shop too often. Usually full of bacon (hard to find decent stuff in France) Prawns (easy to find in France but expensive) Ice cubes for the G&T of course.
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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Well, quite. Mine will be full of sausage (impossible to get abroad) home made spaghetti bolegnese and ice cubes. For the gin (that’s mine. She can have the sausage and the bolegnese)

The Carthago doesn’t have a gin cabinet. It’s almost a dealbreaker....

@Pausim i can’t understand that either. I think it might the swingy-shower thingy. It was only about ten kilos, though, so I’m not losing any sleep over it.
 
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two

Aug 4, 2011
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You may not have seen the Hymer alternatives?
MLT or the A-class version, MLI (which may be ordered without the drop down bed).
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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I actually started out looking at the Exis-I 504 - everything we need in 6m. I only started looking at Carthago because we were ambushed by one at Blenheim Palace over the weekend, and I went to the NEC on Sunday to compare the two. They didn’t have the baby Exis on display, but we looked at the other Hymers, and both much preferred the Carthago (no sensible reason, just a 'feeling') The in-floor storage and split hob cover do give it the edge for me. (I must have a little worktop space) Obviously it’s a bit longer, but shorter that we have at present, especially if the bike rack is deployed, and I think the bigger garage is looking more and more like a good option (which we could have in the 474, of course) I may still look at them if I can find a spare day before we move, and I’m still open to options.

I dare not mess with finance at all until the mortgage shenanigans are settled (because it would no fun just moving house, would it? No, it’s only fun if the buy-to-let mortgages you have been trying to transfer from your late-husband's name to your name for eighteen months go through in the same week, and the mortgage company is so fed up with you, that they set a court date for the very same day you are moving. Which is two days before your only solitary jaunt of the year, where you get to escape from having to play hangman while you wait for your meals to arrive and can reasonably expect to go to the bathroom without interruption once or twice. I’ll just pick up the new MH on the way, probably. Won’t take a minute)

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Jul 6, 2016
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Many manufacturers, including Carthago, advise overall chassis load capacity but not individual axle weights based on "mass in running order" (MIRO).

As with most front lounge layouts with kitchen, bathroom & water tanks towards the rear, the distrubution of weight tends to be greater on the rear axle.

If I were purchasing a vehicle of this type, I'd want the dealer/seller to weigh each individual axle with full diesel, full fresh water tank and driver + passenger. Then, as a crude worse case scenario, add the weight of all your expected traveling gear plus any extra passengers to your rear axle load. So, rear axle weight at weighbridge + weight of traveling gear should be less than the permissible rear axle load. This should give you an idea if the vehicle is fit for purpose based on your expected useage.

This is a simplistic asssssment. As others may point out, the weight of anything loaded behind the rear axle will add additional load to the rear axle (over and above the weight of the item) because of the cantilever effect.
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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Axle weights had certainly crossed my mind. Its all on the back, isn’t it. Fridge, bathroom, garage, um, stuff. Fortunately I don’t think we’ll be loading the garage anything up to capacity, weigh-wise. And as the very nice chap has offered to drive it over to make sure we can get it in the drive, I don’t think they will mind trotting over to a weighbridge en route.

I’m confident we’ll have plenty of total payload. I just think it’s all going to be on the rear axle. How do you do pics? I’ve got a screenshot of Carthago's weight breakdown.
 
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Wellington

Wellington

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So, having never heard of Carthago until I was passed by one at Blenheim last Saturday, I paid the deposit on a 2014 138 yesterday. CamperUK are going to fit me a microwave in a drawer unit, add some extra sockets (including in the drop down bed) and incidentals and fit my automatic levelling do dah, and will take it back if we decide to upgrade to a 141at some stage (I think it’s more likely we’ll upgrade to a newer 138 myself. The more I think about it, the more it seems to work well for us with the drop down bed) They are also going to take off the bike rack and put it in the garage, take out the satellite (I might change my mind on this) and the tv in the cabinet next to the drivers seat, and fit my tv and DVD player in the rear bed space. And probably a few other things I’ve forgetten. They were very helpful, with a very ‘can do’ attitude.

Europe, here we come....
 
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Stonemags76

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Congratulations on your purchase! I was going to say that a towball bike rack that swings away from the doors would carry chair and bikes. We used to carry our Laguna loungers on our bike rack when we full timed, as we didn’t have a garage. Too late now, but food for thought for the future maybe! Good luck with your house move etc!

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If it’s of any help - we have a CTourer T150, and are both quite big. The other day we were coming up the M5 and stopped off at Chelston to have a look round, as you do. They had several Compact Lines on display - when we had a look in them, we were impressed by the space. Until then, I’d always ruled them out on space grounds.
 
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May 7, 2016
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Heard yesterday that my Compactline now has a July build date. Disappointing but there are worse things in life than having to live with a Hymer for a little bit longer.

Enjoy your Carthago @Wellington .
 
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