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Old 07-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Carado Banff observations

I bought a new 2018 Carado Banff about 3 weeks ago and drove it from California to Colorado (where I camped for 5 days) and back. Below is a list of observations that I sent to Hymer. Note that the owner's manual is very incomplete and has significant errors. It refers to How To documents, such as how to dump the black/grey water tank. Hymer told me that these documents do not yet exist,

1. Even though I was connected to shore power, the power kept going off, especially at night, even though I only had the refrigerator and my BiPAP machine connected. I had to use my own lithium ion batteries to get a good night's sleep. Sometimes, I could get the power on by resetting one of the batteries or by idling the engine, but it went off soon thereafter. One of the two batteries often would not come on when the voltage was low. Oddly, it never went off while I was using the microwave, but that seemed to lower the voltage so that it did go off later. This was very, very disappointing particularly since this refrigerator doesn't run on propane when no electricity is available as RV refrigerators normally do.
2. The lowest drawer opposite the toilet/shower opened four or five times while driving. Why are there no drawer latches?
3. The drawer next to the refrigerator has a very low back and a few things fell behind it (I am unable to reach them). I'm going to put a piece of wood or a cutting board in the back of that drawer to prevent things from falling out.
4. The kitchen sink stopped draining. I had to use the bathroom sink to wash dishes. I'll have to get that fixed.
5. The back cushions keep falling on the floor while driving. They need to be better secured.
6. The manual is terrible and incomplete. There is a reference to figure 49.1, but it shows something other than what the manual says. There are references to How Tos which apparently do not exist. For example, see the next point.
7. The grey/black water gauge read 2/3 full. The next day, it read Ĺ. The day after that it read completely full. I stopped at a dump station. There are no instructions, only a reference to a How To, which doesn't exist on your website. There are references to two values for grey and black water. I phoned for support, but the person I spoke to didn't have the answer. I found one valve next to the black water box. I opened it, turned on the macerator, and could see the weight of fluid in the tubing. I ran it until nothing came out, but the guage still read 2/3 full. I suspect that only grey water was dumped. I'm still not sure how to dump everything or how to get instructions since your phone support people didn't know. My understanding from the manual is that grey and black water are mixed in a single tank, which is a serious design flaw. That makes the tank fill much faster, and grey water, which is not environmentally hazardous, cannot be dumped separately, such as to water vegetation.
8. The bathroom sink release frequently gets stuck in the open position, and the sink won't close without manually pushing the release back to the closed position.
9. There are no instructions on how to position the coverings for the front and side windows. I managed to get the side covers to stay in place but the front cover kept falling down.
10. Pushing on the battery disconnect switch appears to have no effect (when I got home, it did seem to work). The switch returns to its original position, there is no indicator of whether it is engaged or not, and I could not see any effect of pushing on the switch.
11. It would be useful for the manual to discuss the voltage reading. It seems that anything over 13 is good, but somewhere around 12.4 or 12.5 the power shuts off. I'm going to be camped with no shore power for about a week in August, and I'm worried that my refrigerator won't run and that my food will spoil even with the solar panels charging the lithium ion batteries all day. If the refrigerator were able to switch to propane when there was insufficient electricity to run it, that would have addressed this issue. I might have to bring an ice cooler with me, but one reason I bought an RV was to not have to deal with that.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
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.

You sent a negative feedback to Roadtrek/Hymer ?

You shouldn't do that; your name will be entered into the blacklist and you will be an outcast forever.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:11 PM   #3
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I believe you have a combined black tank / grey tank.

Have you read the Banff threads here before purchasing yours?
Lots of tips and explanations in those discussions.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:00 PM   #4
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I was unaware of this site until I searched for information on how to dump.
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:06 PM   #5
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We know that their a loads of complaints about Hymer, but Hymer keeps putting out the same quality of crap! We had heard so much of them in Europe, but their debut here is getting lousy reviews. Sounds like the "Fiat" of the RV Industry. i can almost see it, you call them.....the duty person answers!!! I hope you can get the bugs worked out without to much relying on the warranty....it is probably malfunctioning also. Ron
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:37 PM   #6
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I have the Carado Banff and everything works fine only problem is usually my error. There is one gray/black water tank for the bathroom sink, shower, and toilet. There is a small 7 gal gray water tank for kitchen sink. On the manual it was downloaded from the Carado website. The emptying the black/gray tank is the same as the Zion and the simplicity. Front gray tank is a gravity dumb
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:06 PM   #7
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On the positive side....it will keep away boredom.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stevegoldfield View Post
I bought a new 2018 Carado Banff about 3 weeks ago and drove it from California to Colorado (where I camped for 5 days) and back. Below is a list of observations that I sent to Hymer. Note that the owner's manual is very incomplete and has significant errors. It refers to How To documents, such as how to dump the black/grey water tank. Hymer told me that these documents do not yet exist,

. . . .

If the refrigerator were able to switch to propane when there was insufficient electricity to run it, that would have addressed this issue. I might have to bring an ice cooler with me, but one reason I bought an RV was to not have to deal with that.
First, welcome to the forum Steve!

Yes, you should be able to enjoy your motor home right off the bat. Unfortunately, motor homes are complicated and filled with "Why didn't they think of that and design a fix before "x" happened to me?" situations.

You compressed your orientation time/learning curve by taking an immediate trip. I purchased a used class b last year and fortunately had many months before making our first trip. Still, I ran into many things before and during our trip that needed fixing, tightening, adjusting, replacing and so on. Some were due to it being used, others were inexplicable. Both that the factory would design it that way, and that the previous owner took no corrective action.

Keep looking for owner's manual tips as well as help on this forum. As far as batteries go, your lithium's should have had no problem running the fridge and the light use you describe for several days without re-charging. My dual lead-acid batteries are minuscule compared to yours and (provided they were charged by driving - which they always were) would run our evening lights, tv/dvd, fans, furnace, and compressor fridge overnight with never less than 70-75% charge in the morning.

You'll get it sorted out. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:28 PM   #9
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Steve... There are two FB groups that should be a BIG help to you. One is called "Carado Axion". It obviously focuses on the Axion, but there are many similarities between the rigs. The other is called "Carado Owners Group" which has many discussions focused on the Banff.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
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Some of the above problems are or may be resolved. I didn't realize that the kitchen sink had its own grey water tank. When I drained that, my sink drained again. When I used shore power, I was unaware that the inverter charges the batteries in that configuration. There is a sentence about that in the manual which I had missed. Next time I plug in, I'll do that and I should get better performance. Some of the others, I'm addressing before my next trip: I'm getting a backup camera and a much better stereo system including a CD player. I have purchased window covers with magnets and hope they work well. I did join the Carado owner's group on Facebook and have learned a lot there. Still, I'd like VoltStart which will be included in the 2019 Banff along with a backup camera. The timing did not allow me more than a week to familiarize myself with the unit before taking a long trip. I also got some incorrect information from the dealer who told me, or at least that's what I understood, that the large black cap is the fresh water drain. In fact, that drains the grey water tank for the kitchen sink and the fresh water drain valve is further back and underneath. So, I'm making progress.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by stevegoldfield View Post
Some of the above problems are or may be resolved. I didn't realize that the kitchen sink had its own grey water tank. When I drained that, my sink drained again. When I used shore power, I was unaware that the inverter charges the batteries in that configuration. There is a sentence about that in the manual which I had missed. Next time I plug in, I'll do that and I should get better performance. Some of the others, I'm addressing before my next trip: I'm getting a backup camera and a much better stereo system including a CD player. I have purchased window covers with magnets and hope they work well. I did join the Carado owner's group on Facebook and have learned a lot there. Still, I'd like VoltStart which will be included in the 2019 Banff along with a backup camera. The timing did not allow me more than a week to familiarize myself with the unit before taking a long trip. I also got some incorrect information from the dealer who told me, or at least that's what I understood, that the large black cap is the fresh water drain. In fact, that drains the grey water tank for the kitchen sink and the fresh water drain valve is further back and underneath. So, I'm making progress.
These forums are great!. I've learned a lot from them.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:21 PM   #12
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This is what happens when you are the Guinea pig of a new RV. You will be the one that takes the hit but for the betterment of those that follow!
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:59 PM   #13
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Default Dealer support and predelivery walkthrough

It's a shame you had these experiences. The pre-delivery walkthrough that I received addressed many of the issues. I agree with you about the manual being incomplete. I was compiling a list of things I found to send to carado/hymer. We have only had our banff for a couple of weeks and logged about 1000 miles. We have not had any issues other than the TV mount not latching well. I got some tips on that from the Carado Owners Facebook Group. It's a very helpful group with creative ideas on fixing or modifying the Banff and the Axion. The Carado Axion Facebook Group is also a helpful group. There are a number of people who belong to iboth groups.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:20 AM   #14
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I bought a very low miles 2008 Winnebago View class B+ this spring. I have been camping in just about every different kind of camping vehicle or set up for over 50 years.

Because I upgraded somewhat unexpectedly and very near to summer camping season, I too thought I could handle trips right away by using the manual, common sense, and the Winnebago 800 number. I couldnít have been more wrong. Although I had a big two week long distance trip coming up, I forced myself to go out boondocking several times overnight so I would be forced to experience things and have to figure them out. It worked, I experienced lots of challenges manual in hand and my confidence and knowledge grew accordingly.

A gentleman reminded me when I was trying to fill my water tank and water was going everywhere, that RV ing is always a learning process. Most times you just canít rush the learning curve. You just have to experience various fuses and circuits going off, find the different ways the electric options function together, put the awning up and down in different conditions etc. Things arenít always intuitive and many times the manual just doesnít make sense until you figure something out and then re read it!

My point is, give yourself a break, take lots of little trips where you can experience and learn all the expected and unexpected processes. You will figure it all out, you are not a dummy, and you are going to love your RV. Back off a little on your high expectation that you will know everything immediately and that will lower your anxiety!
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:36 AM   #15
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Great first post nnewman!

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:18 AM   #16
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Hymer Van One (same exact thing as the Hymer/Carado Banff) is so poorly assembled it’s almost unbelievable. The Axion is a little better. The Van One/Banff is allotted *2 hours* to be built (and it shows). The Axion gets 3 hours. However, doorfall off, the lament on the surfaces peels up very quickly, most everything is mounted crooked, and plenty of plumbing & Electrical just plain old don’t work. I had been waiting for Hymer to finally get to and start selling in North America because in Europe they are awesome. But nope, they are the cheapest pieces of sh*t. I can’t believe they are on their 3rd model year and not a single design flaw or quality/fit/finish has been improved. Having a warranty is useless because the folks answering the phones or emails have no answers. The dealer closest to us practically begged me to purchace a 2017 Axion that they had sitting in their lot for over a year. $58K. And that was loaded with lithium 400 and ecotrek, and the underhood generator. And yes, the rooftop a/c runs off the battery/inverter perfectly, and for a few hours! But all the other things that were wrong or broken on the unit- I just couldn’t do it. Then the dealer asked me if I’d take it for $55K. That says a lot.
VoltStart is coming to Hymer for 2019, and I would predict that since they have worked very very well in RoadTreks, they will in all the Hymer Vans too. But get this: Hymer wants $70K. I’m sure by this time next year when lots still have them, we’ll be able to snatch them up for $58K again. For that price, I’d buy one and fix everything myself.
Meanwhile, I’ll stick with the van I built out last year. You can check it out on my YouTube or Instagram, both under the name “VocalVirgo”.

And I mean this: Make Hymer or your dealer fix your van ASAP and give you an accurate and information-correct users manual!!
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:42 PM   #17
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Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again: The Hymer Van One (same exact thing as the Hymer/Carado Banff) is so poorly assembled itís almost unbelievable. The Axion is a little better. The Van One/Banff is allotted *2 hours* to be built (and it shows). The Axion gets 3 hours. However, doorfall off, the lament on the surfaces peels up very quickly, most everything is mounted crooked, and plenty of plumbing & Electrical just plain old donít work. I had been waiting for Hymer to finally get to and start selling in North America because in Europe they are awesome. But nope, they are the cheapest pieces of sh*t. I canít believe they are on their 3rd model year and not a single design flaw or quality/fit/finish has been improved. Having a warranty is useless because the folks answering the phones or emails have no answers. The dealer closest to us practically begged me to purchace a 2017 Axion that they had sitting in their lot for over a year. $58K. And that was loaded with lithium 400 and ecotrek, and the underhood generator. And yes, the rooftop a/c runs off the battery/inverter perfectly, and for a few hours! But all the other things that were wrong or broken on the unit- I just couldnít do it. Then the dealer asked me if Iíd take it for $55K. That says a lot.
VoltStart is coming to Hymer for 2019, and I would predict that since they have worked very very well in RoadTreks, they will in all the Hymer Vans too. But get this: Hymer wants $70K. Iím sure by this time next year when lots still have them, weíll be able to snatch them up for $58K again. For that price, Iíd buy one and fix everything myself.
Meanwhile, Iíll stick with the van I built out last year. You can check it out on my YouTube or Instagram, both under the name ďVocalVirgoĒ.

And I mean this: Make Hymer or your dealer fix your van ASAP and give you an accurate and information-correct users manual!!
I saw your video when it first came out. I thought it was fair and showed a disturbing lack of quality.

Have you been back to look at recent models to see if quality has improved? Provided you're not banned from the lot.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:37 AM   #18
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Following..
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:28 AM   #19
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I saw your video when it first came out. I thought it was fair and showed a disturbing lack of quality.

Have you been back to look at recent models to see if quality has improved? Provided you're not banned from the lot.
I have been back to Camping World. A different one, obviously, because Iíd rather not get shot at, lol. I was so disappointed that the quality and fit/finish issues are still the same. I didnít bother taking video. Itís a real shame that Hymer isnít trying to do better. And they just killed off the Roadtrek 170 because they said the Chevy chassis is being discontinued. But, Chevy has not announced its discontinuation. And also, the 190 and 210 are on that same Chevy chassis (although the 170 had the smaller V and they have not been discontinued yet. I think they did it because it was too close in price with some of the other Hymer products. Their M.O. doesnít make sense. But weíll see how the 2019ís and 2020ís come along...
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:37 PM   #20
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Once Roadtrek leaves the Chevy chassis, they will lose a small but faithful band of followers of the american body on frame V-8.

I have the Airstream Avenue (based on the Chevy 3500, only made '2010-'2012). The engine & transmission combo is a beast, gets 15 mpg overall while hauling 9000+ lbs., rides & handles decently, and is known to be mechanically reliable. Not quite as roomy a feel as some class b's, but if you're looking for bigger living area, then you shouldn't be shopping for a "b".

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