Romahome is a familiar name to enthusiasts for compact motorhomes and its products enjoy a strong following with consequent high demand for new and used models. Now part of the Southampton-based Freeborn Group which operates motor home centres in Hampshire and Surrey as well as several Citroen car and van franchises, Romahome started manufacture of its own brand 30 years ago.
Some of those original Romahomes with demountable bodies fitted to small pick-ups are still giving sterling service but by 1986 Romahome found a permanent home for itself on Citroen chassis. It first used the Citroen C15 as its base vehicle and the bodies became permanent mounts on the chassis. This was such a popular model that even today examples are still keenly sought. The modern Romahome range embraces the R10 Solo, R20 Hi and Lo variants, the R25, R30, and R40, giving a broad spread of models appealing to many different user types. But one thing they all have in common is the regularity with which they win awards – Romahome itself was Motorhome Manufacturer of the Year in 2009.
Some of the staff at Romahome have been there throughout the 30 years of operation, Brian Bailey among them.
“The secret of our success is our quality,” explains Brian. “Many of our people have experience in the boatbuilding industry, where quality is second to none This has helped mould their expertise so that we can apply it to our rot-proof GRP bodies, too. Other firms have tried to mimic our products but the fact that we are the only one still manufacturing proves how good we are.”
The ultimate in miniaturised motorhomes naturally comes from Romahome.
The R10 is based on the Citroen Nemo and has two seats in the front cab plus another sideways seat in the rear living area for which a seatbelt is available as an option. R10 has an economical 1.3, 75 bhp HDi diesel engine and will soon have an automatic transmission option, bringing R10 ownership to those who only hold a licence to drive automatic vehicles.
Romahome has created a single bed space that is 6 ft 4 ins long in a motorhome that is only 12 ft 7 ins in overall length! Overall height is only 6 ft 3 ins, meaning the R10 will fit many garages and multi-storey car parks, yet the elevating roof gives an internal height of 6 ft 6 ins. There is a galley kitchen along one side with a two burner hob and there’s mains hook up. Solar panels power the LED rear lighting in addition to the usual 12 volt battery lighting, too. A Porta Potti is stored under the rear seating and blown air heating is offered as an option, as is a portable 12v cool bag. Storage is always vital in a compact motorhome, so this has been created under the bunk and via a small Luton area and R10 also has a clothes bag, too.
Whether you take the Hi road or the Lo road, you’ll always take the right road if you choose the Romahome R20 as your low-cost, compact motorhome.
The R20 is based on the Citroen Berlingo First and brings all the traditional Romahome features that first appeared on the Citroen C15 chassis 25 years ago. Naturally, the design has moved on as equipment and construction materials have improved but the basic format of a no-nonsense but feature-packed compact motorhome is still the driving force for R20. The body comes in Hi and Lo forms – the former is a conventional high top one-piece GRP body that gives immediate internal standing room while the Lo has an easy to use elevating roof that keeps the external dimensions under 2.0 metres, enabling it to overcome many of the more common height restrictions and to permit storage within the average household garage.
Both R20 models are perfect for owners who want to explore their surroundings when staying at campsites or touring because the compact dimensions make it easy to access all areas. Even so, there’s generous interior space and the option to have up to four belted seats, allowing the R20 to easily double as a car when you want to transport family or friends. In fact many owners discover they don’t need to own any other transport because the R20 is so usable, which reduces ownership costs still further.
Romahome’s R25 is built on the new Citroen Berlingo. It continues the tradition of one piece monocoque bodies but with exterior dimensions increased by a small degree that belies the huge advantages to be found inside the new body.
The Romahome has become the Swiss Army Knife of the motorhome world because it manages to pack in so much useful detail into such a compact form. There is a generous standard specification plus a thoughtful list of options that will allow owners to tailor their R25 exactly as they want it - motorhomes are very much bespoke items and very few people choose a standard model. Among the standard package are two wardrobes and four overhead lockers. There is flexibility in bed layout and the option to have two three point safety belts in the back, increasing the versatility for owners who don’t want the inconvenience of buying a car to augment their motorhome when they need to carry friends and family.
Many owners are extremely active people so R25 even brings the option of a wet room with upgraded fresh and grey water tanks (increased from 34 litres each to 70 litres), a removable shower tray, and vanity locker with mirror. The R25 already contains a cassette toilet compartment. Hot water and blown air heating systems are also in the standard specification to raise comfort levels and there’s an ample 60 litre fridge / freezer.
There will always be motorhome buyers who hanker after the traditional camper conversion of a panel van and for them Romahome created the R30.
It’s based on the Citroen Relay but, unlike other compact camper vans, it comes with the benefits of a bathroom with shower, a feature really appreciated by the active people who buy this sort of motorhome. Romahome, experts in the creation of GRP bodies, add a GRP roof section to the Relay to give useful standing space that doesn’t involve lifting heavy sections into place before it can be used.
There’s seating, with three point safety belts, for four people and swivelling cab seats allow the creation of dining space for four at the front using removable tables that can be neatly stored away when lounging space is the priority. The layout places the kitchen on the rear nearside of the R30. There’s a four ring gas hob with an oven below plus a sink unit with a useful work area, mixer tap, and storage and fridge / freezer below. Overhead lockers, plus another in the Luton area of the body and an innovative slide-out wardrobe, allow for ample storage, while the one-piece bathroom capsule has a fixed rather than folding handbasin plus a shower and cassette toilet.
Owners who love the outdoor life all year round can also specify an optional winterisation pack that’s tested to minus 19 degrees C while at just 5 metres long the R30 is easy to drive and park.
The Romahome R40 literally broke the big motorhome mould when it was revealed. The largest-ever model from the Isle of Wight-company gained 17 firm orders on the day it was launched and has never looked back.
The R40 breaks away from the tradition of larger models from other makers as it carries a GRP body like the smaller Romahomes, a feature existing owners said they really valued rather than the aluminium sidewalls of other brands. The beauty of the monocoque body is that it has no seams to allow water ingress as the body ages, a problem that can arise with large motorhomes constructed in the traditional way that trailer caravans are built. Romahome grew the size of the motorhome body section to accommodate a large bathroom, generous kitchen, and good dining and living space that also gives four ample beds. At the same time, there are also six seats and the R40 is compact enough to be still very much usable as everyday transport. It is the true multi-purpose vehicle in a world where everyone is going mad for MPVs. None of them fulfil the role in the way the R40 does, though.
The R40 premiered the new ‘Espresso’, ‘Cappuccino’, and ‘Latte’ interior treatments. Access to the motorhome section is either directly from the cab or through a central rear door. A specially designed cycle rack ensures that even with this layout active families can still take all the leisure items they want when they go on holiday.
Isle of Wight
Tel: 01983 292451
Fax: 01983 290266