Iím thinking of getting a Carado Banff since it looks like it may be a steal soon. Yes I am aware of quality issues, and yes I am aware of everything concerning Hymer which may make the warrantee pretty much useless.
A little background first : This will be my first RV, I will not be living in it full-time but instead I will be a weekend warrior for at least several more years until my fiancťís daughter moves out of the house and he can join me on more extended trips.
I was actually planning on getting an RV six years ago to full time in, but I came across a 100 year old Victorian house for $10,000. I have spent the last six years renovating this house, where I completely gutted the kitchen, installed all new electrical since it was outdated and not up to code, and installed completely new pipes for incoming water and even replaced all of the sewer pipe.
My point in telling you my life story is so you all have an idea of my skill level. Carpentry work isnít my best, but I can certainly make do if itís something as simple as installing cabinetry. Plumbing is a piece of cake, and electrical work scares the bejeesus out of me. However, my brother is an electrician, my mom is a mechanic, and my dad owned a construction company. While I have plenty of people to assist me with any problems that arise, not a single one of us has any idea about the particular systems on an RV.
The reason I am thinking about the Carado Banff is because it has the exact layout that I want and Iím not paying for overpriced interior furnishings like granite countertops which I do not want or need. I used to have a very old Dodge grand Caravan so Iím pretty familiar with a Dodge engine. However, mechanical work is my least favorite activity so I really want something with a brand new engine. That is why I am considering this particular model even though I am anticipating having to work on plumbing and electrical systems myself. I do NOT want to buy used with my first RV and deal with an older engine. I know many of you would probably suggest that I look for used, so Iím just putting that out there that this is not an option for me. Also, it probably sounds like I should do my own mods to an existing van, but I do work a lot of hours and I really donít have time for that kind of project. I do feel like Iíll have time to fix different issues as they arise, however.
Someone posted earlier today that there is an RV dealership in Florida which can get the parts for the Ekotrek from the vendor since itís not actually proprietary for Hymer. ThIs is actually the dealership I was considering going to since itís the closest one with the Carados. Iíve also seen some positive reviews of them in this forum. So, thatís good news.
My questions are :
1. What system issues have Carado owners had with their vans?
2. Is the chassis warranty covered by Dodge since itís on the Dodge Promaster chassis, or is that Hymer as well since theyíve modified the engine with Ecotrek? This may sound like a stupid question but I really have no idea exactly how that works.
3. How easy is it to access different electrical and plumbing systems in this particular model? Iím a female at 5í1Ē so I have small hands to get into tight places, but donít have the best hand strength.
4. With an MSRP of $86,000 for the fully loaded vans I want, what is a good deal considering warranty issues? Before the Hymer news, I was thinking of offering $55,000 (35% off MSRP) with the goal of getting them to $60,000 (30% off). In light of recent news, Iím now thinking I should offer much lower but Iím not sure how much to take off for the warranty. Any suggestions or if you feel comfortable telling me how much you paid I would greatly appreciate it.
Also, if anyone has any suggestions for potential problems that I may not have considered or have overlooked, I appreciate your advice on that as well.