Carthago Chic e-line review

By: Cameron Officer


Carthago Chic e-line review Opulence on wheels: the Carthago ambiance is hard to match Carthago Chic e-line review
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Carthago Chic e-line review The bedroom and bathroom areas can be segmented off from the living room for extra privacy Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Every device is easily charged while on the road Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Recessed lighting, skylights, and a feature display cabinet all mean the view inside will rival that picturesque holiday spot outside Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Carthago Chic e-line review
Carthago Chic e-line review Carthago Chic e-line review

MCD checks out Carthago a new brand of motorhome for the New Zealand market

I interviewed RnRV Limited’s Paul Cook for this story as we sat within the sumptuous cabin of the Carthago Chic e-line at his yard north of Auckland. I’ve had plenty of conversations with distribution company reps in motorhomes over the last two or three years, but this was a bit different for a couple of reasons.

For a start, it was my first time inside a Carthago motorhome. I haven’t had the touch/see/smell experience inside one of this German manufacturer’s vehicles before. Ever. And naturally, I’ll expand a bit on that in a minute.

But the other reason this on-board interview was a bit different is that, with the RnRV yard as busy as it has ever been, we had a steady stream of curious customers coming up the steps into the Chic e-line for a look. And judging by the "Ooohs" and "Aaahs", not a single visitor was disappointed by what they discovered.

And I completely understand why.

IMPRESSIVE FROM THE GET-GO

It appears "Wow" was a keyword at the recent Covi Motorhome, Caravan & Outdoor SuperShow, too. In addition to several other models from the RnRV portfolio, the Carthago Chic e-line proved a popular occupier of the spotlight.

"The response from visitors to our stand was great; consistent praise for the attention to detail you can see everywhere from the moment you set foot inside the Carthago," Paul says.

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All that praise was more than veneer deep, too. At the time of writing, RnRV has already sold three of the four initial vehicles they brought in on their first consignment. There will be more to follow very soon though, which judging by the immediate reception to this new luxury entry on the market, is very timely indeed.

MADE TO MEASURE

The Carthago Chic e-line 51QB is at the upper end of the scale within an extensive Carthago integrated model offering. The motorhome on these pages measures in at 7910mm, but step up to a Chic e-line 55 or 58 XL or grade-topping 58 XL S, and you will have even more incredible amounts of space at your disposal; up to 8.5m in length for the latter, for example. Beyond the e-line grade, you also have S-Plus and Highliner models to choose from. This takes you into Carthago’s rear wheel drive range based on Iveco; the world of luxury motorhoming is your oyster.

The Chic e-line 51QB provides luxury accommodation for two, with an optional drop-down bed at the front accommodating two lucky guests. The extra-large rear island bed is located above a truly gargantuan rear garage, but because of the impressive headroom on offer in this integrated model (211cm standing height), even a strapping six-footer won’t be ducking to get in or out of bed. The bathroom, sited off the bedroom area, continues the luxury theme, with a ‘rain’ showerhead and plenty of changing space alongside, thanks to a dual dividing door system, which creates privacy between the living area and the bedroom/bathroom.

Carthago’s integrated range starts with a C-tourer and even the model reviewed can be driven on a car licence on its ALKO chassis.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The Carthago range is clearly manufactured with an intelligent mix of premium ideas and materials at the forefront of its design template. But—and this may or may not surprise you, depending on your experience with European-engineered products of its ilk—everything you can’t see is similarly impressively constructed.

"It’s quite astounding the level of detail that extends to only the parts of the vehicles a service agent might see,"

Paul continues."Internal cabinet covers are uniformly made using top-quality materials, all of the wiring is organised so precisely, and every hole for service access is mapped out using CNC cutting equipment. Our technical guys here on-site were absolutely blown away by how perfectly put together Carthago motorhomes are, even under the surface."

That quality aspect of Carthago’s build process extends to clever solutions everywhere. If you look hard enough, you’ll note that the door hinges are stainless steel for extra wear. Also, every item of furniture is bolted and mortised (heavy-duty tongue and groove concept) to the floor of the motorhome rather than the walls. That’s how firmly the manufacturer believes that the structural rigidity of its motorhomes is paramount.

"Take every item of furniture out of this motorhome and it will remain just as structurally sound as it would be were all the cabinets still in place," Paul says.

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of neat details that the owners get to enjoy without looking over the service agent’s shoulder. For example, I love the pull-down coffee machine tucked away in an integrated opening in the kitchenette when in travel mode. The lip on the Corian benchtop not only looks like a high-quality option but it’s also practical in keeping liquids, food, or cutlery where it should be during meal prep. You might not notice it until you’ve been inside the Carthago Chic e-line for some time, but even the integrated cut-out curve of the handle inside the entry door is a work of subtle art.

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"The depth of quality everywhere is pretty astounding," Paul says.

"This particular model is also what is known as a Yachting grade e-line, and there are obvious nautical themes running throughout the motorhome, such as rounded house meter dials and the round occasional table. In fact, that’s a pretty good way of thinking about the level of craftsmanship here; it’s akin to that of a superyacht."verdict

Yes, the Carthago Chic e-line 51QB really does have the "Wow" factor. But while first impressions always count, this motorhome will continue to impress long after you’ve stepped aboard and got your head around the luxurious fit and finish, visible at every turn.

For further information, call

0800 767 808 or visit RnRV.co.nz.

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