Since I used these and other forums in researching my hot tub purchase a couple years ago, I wanted to provide some feedback in an effort to help anyone else in the position of purchasing one of these.
We own a 2006 Sundance Cameo. To get right to the punchline, we have been extremely pleased with this hot tub.
We live in New Hampshire. The hot tub is installed outside. We’ve owned it for over 3 years now – since October 2006. We use the tub an average of once/week – more in the colder months and less in the summer.
For a reviews of the positives:
Overall reliability – Overall, we have had few issues with this tub. Over the last 3 years, we have had to replace filters as regular maintenance but have had to work on the flow valves, which I’ll discuss below. I haven’t had to call a repair man out to the house. I have been satisfied with the reliability. In general, everything works as advertised.
Seating – This tub has a lounge seat, which we love. I know this is a preference thing of great debate, but we have found that we love that seat and that none of us in the family ‘float away’ as we read about many times in trying to decide on purchasing this tub. Also, the quantity of seats (6) is a huge plus, for several reasons. For hosting friends, we have fit 6 adults in the tub. It is cozy, but not crowded nor uncomfortable. But more importantly, the 6 seats for one or two people provides great seating alternatives – deep, shallow, more/less/different jets. My recommendation is to get as many seats as you can afford, even for 1 or 2 people.
Jets – The jets, the aeration adjustments, the water flow, and the quantity of jets is great. With the aeration, I get the feeling of being itchy, but that can be turned off. The large variety of choices is great.
Maintenance – We add chemicals a couple times a week as recommended – pretty simple. We drain it every six months, scrub it down with bleach solution, and refill – again, pretty simple. The drain valve seems pretty cheap/chintsy, but is still not leaking.
For a review of the negatives:
Original filter design – the original filter design for this tub was flawed and collapsed on itself. It is even mentioned in the users manual, although not as a flaw. The company has since acknowledged this and the new filters seem to work just fine as far as collapsing. Maybe they’re not filtering as well now…
Flow valves – the only issue I’ve found with the tub is that the 2 main flow valves get “locked up” and can’t be twisted to direct flow to/from certain jets. I have disassembled them and have found very small debris in there that prevent the valve cylinder from spinning freely. They require some cleanup and reassembly.
Cost of filters – the cost of the filters (~$90 each) is extremely excessive, but there doesn’t seem to be much to do about that.
What would I do differently?:
If I were to go out and get a new spa today, I’d likely get another Cameo. I would definitely recommend Sundance. We’ve been very pleased with the tub and our local dealership