Carado and sunlight camper vans in second-hand check

Carado and Sunlight motorhomes in the used check What do owners say about the low-priced models?

The low-priced models are real bestsellers as new cars and are also in high demand as used cars. What do owners think of the alcoves and semi-integrateds from sister brands Carado and Sunlight?

Sunlight advertised the early models as German quality at a hammer price. Initially, these were still replicas of older Dethleffs. The skyrocket began in late 2006, with Hymer and Dethleffs installing production in a former tractor factory in Saxony, Germany. Henceforth they drove with the favorable offers two-track: To Sunlight the again created mark Carado joined.

What is actually Capron?

Both model programs were not only technically identical, but also had the same prices. Differences arose due to design and dealer network. Around those since 2006 built part-integrated and Alkoven of both marks it goes in this used check. In registration statistics they are listed together as Capron – and stand there already for a long time above. By the way, the name Capron is derived from the Saxon manufacturing plant and was created from the first letters of Caravan Produktion Neustadt.

In our survey, in which more than 1.000 owners took part in the survey, the Carado brand was represented at 54 percent and Sunlight at 46 percent. This roughly corresponds to the actual distribution, as the models of the two sister brands are in roughly equal demand as new vehicles.

Data& Facts of the used models

Sunlight /Carado A and T series (from model year 2006)

  • Base vehiclesFord Transit, Fiat Ducato
  • ConstructionAluminium outer skin, GRP roof, wooden reinforcements, EPS insulation
  • Seating/sleeping space: 4-6/2-7

Presented model Sunlight T 66 (148 hp)

  • First registration: 3/2013
  • Mileage according to dealer: 28.500
  • Price: 41.900 euros
  • Permissible total weight: 3.495 kg
  • Seen with: Nitzsche motorhomes, 67271 Mertesheim, Germany

Assembly and disassembly

Damages and problems are rather the exception with these vehicles, as the evaluation of our survey shows. This is confirmed by further figures: When it comes to workmanship according to the school grading scale, 24 percent of owners give their vehicle an even one. 51 per cent judge with the note "well. The answers to the question: Would you buy a motorhome from this series again?? Here, after all, 89.5 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative.

The low defect rates compared to other motorhomes can be explained in large part by the mature design, a routine manufacturing and restraint in equipment. What’s not on board can’t break down.

The completely faultless motorhome has not been invented with it however. Almost a quarter of Carado and Sunlight owners have already had a problem with the water system. Often mentioned are leaky taps and defective submersible pumps, which almost passes for wear and tear. More annoying is already the in some cases unstable drainage device for the grey water.

No big dramas hide themselves behind the just as frequently criticized furniture. Here it concerns mostly edge Umleimer, which become detached, more rarely around badly closing doors of the sanitary area. The fact that the refrigerator stands out in the defect statistics, on the other hand, is mainly due to the doors: In the high refrigerators from Thetford, they are often warped. In addition, the body door gets out of shape on some models and can be closed accordingly badly.

Cracks in the shower tray and in washbasins are also repeatedly criticized. Here one could philosophize about false thriftiness with the purchase for low-priced mobiles, however, such defects occur also regularly with more expensive mobiles.

Rarely there is trouble with Carado and Sunlight by leaks in the bodywork. Possible causes include the skylight above the cab, garage doors, inadequate sealing between the cab and the body, and stress cracks in the GRP roof installed since mid-2012.

Buyers of used cars should also look at the following things, which were also criticized: Rust on the sink and insufficiently glued ceiling panels and floor coverings.

Base vehicle

Only three percent of respondents had experience with the Ford used initially, which is why we are only talking about the Fiat Ducato at this point. It does its job well, but time does not pass the early specimens without a trace.

Sometimes the topcoat on the cab peels off, headlights go blind, indicator lights in the speedometer unit flicker, and the air conditioner fails. Torn off heat shields on the exhaust, corrosion on the underbody and squeaking leaf springs are also not isolated cases. In newer models, there are also defects in the exhaust gas sensor system and the particulate filter. The drive itself is of exemplary reliability. Extremely rarely clutch damage occurs. The only exception is the Comfortmatic automated manual transmission, which is more susceptible to wear and tear.

Market situation

Carado and Sunlight are known for their outstanding price-performance ratio. This only applies to a limited extent to used models. The currently unusually high demand leaves at least clear traces on the price tags. Even the first Sunlight built more than 15 years ago at Dethleffs usually cost significantly more than 20.000 Euro. Just above that are the first Capron models based on Ford, which are not quite as sought after.

Who looks for a Sunlight or Carado on Fiat Ducato today, should be at least around 35.000 euros ready. If it is to be a newer, little used vehicle, a price range opens up that can easily reach over 60.000 euros is enough. The low depreciation of the Capron brands illustrates not least the specimen photographed for this second hand check.

Sunlight Cliff 600 Sunlight V 60

At the time of the new purchase – in early 2013 – the T 66 stood at a base price of 39.599 euro in the list. In this case, one must take into account a very low mileage, the sought-after floor plan, an excellent state of maintenance and numerous extras. Nevertheless, the now after a good eight years called up price of 41.900 euros is astonishing. It is by no means unrealistic. There the slogan originally used by Sunlight with the hammer prices immediately gets a completely different meaning.

You must pay attention to this!

Tightness A regularly performed leak test is a confidence-building measure for used Carado and Sunlight. In some models moisture penetrates the roof area. Cause can be cracks in the GRP or at the transition from cab to roof.

Sink The plastics in the bathroom become brittle over time. The washbasins can become cracked and thus leaky. This also applies to shower trays, which deserve a close look.

Refrigerator When checking a Sunlight or Carado, buyers should not only routinely try out whether the cooling actually works, but also take a critical look at the refrigerator door. Sometimes it is warped and no longer closes properly.

Air condition As with the passenger car the air conditioning in the driver’s cab belongs to the standard with modern travel mobile. Older models don’t always have cool air coming out of the vents at the push of a button. Due repairs can be expensive.

Body door Varied are the defects described by owners at the door. Sometimes it is warped, closes only with difficulty or is not properly sealed. Buyers should also check the function of the door lock. The same applies to the large garage doors.

Headlights Especially in the Ducato built before the facelift in 2014, the plastics of the headlights may have become dull, which is objected to during the general inspection. Leakage of the lamps, which occurs in some models, is also problematic.

A steadily growing family

Two alcove models and two partially integrated were available in 2006 for the joint relaunch of the Sunlight and Carado brands. Already for the low prices (from 32.990 euros), the company limited itself to a narrow range of models. The Ford Transit served as the basis as the cheapest chassis at the time. The great success of both brands soon allowed the range to be expanded. A decisive step followed in mid-2009: when Ford announced a price increase at the time, all Carado and Sunlight quickly switched to the Fiat Ducato chassis. Exterior and interior design were redesigned at the same time. The selection grew to nine popular floor plans. Even as lift beds became popular in semi-integrateds, the low-cost brands got in on the action in this market starting in mid-2010. In 2017, Carado and Sunlight will become full-range providers with extended box vans and integrateds.

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