Fixed-blade version of crazy Romotow flip-knife RV saves $100K
For over a decade, the name "Romotow" has been synonymous with a glossy white camping trailer with integrated slide-and-swing deck. Times change, though, and in an effort to bring prices down to a more earthly level, Romotow creator W2 has launched a bald version of the original Romotow T8 trailer that leaves the deck in the factory. Buyers will still enjoy the same roomy, panoramic interior but will have to plant their outdoor furniture on the ground like all the other campground heathens. Should they get serious deck envy later down the line, perhaps at an all-Romotow RV rally, they will be able to add the deck on as an accessory.
The knife analogy in the headline might seem a bit strange and imperfect, but it's not without roots. When W2 first introduced the Romotow design back in 2012, director Stuart Winterbourn told our own Loz Blain, "Yeah, the Swiss Army knife was a bit of an inspiration there. We were fiddling around with one of them and thought, 'why don't we have a floor structure which rotates out ... or why not have a roof which does as well ... or why don't we just join them up.' It seemed like the obvious way to do it, without being overly complex."
With only one rotating element, the Romotow trailer was always less of a Swiss-Army-style multitool, more a basic folding knife. And that would make a version without the rotating deck the fixed-blade knife of the family.
As for the product itself ... it looks, from our distant-observer vantage point, that W2 might be finding it even more difficult to sell a fantastical trailer at US$270,000 than it was to develop it from concept to reality, a rather drawn-out 11-year process in itself. Because this is the second time the company has expanded out its lineup with lower-priced models after having just launched the Romotow T8 trailer in March of this year.
As mesmerizingly unique as an automated rotating deck is, it's certainly not essential, especially when you start shopping it against the other kinds of features the same money could buy. Is setting up your outdoor furniture on the dirty, dirty ground really so bad when it means getting an equally fancy Airstream with full off-grid electrical system? For half the price? Or a caravan that doubles as a boat, also half the price?
Realizing that it could really streamline the T8 and shave some serious percentage points off the price tag, Romotow last week announced the launch of a deck-less model ... called the T8. The original T8 with deck now becomes the T8+. The new T8 has the same cabin design and floor plan and comes with the same amenities offered via the three packages Romotow announced in July. There's an empty shell to do with as you will, a mid-tier "Pure," and a loaded and luxurious "Ultimate."
The good news for potential buyers: Each trim level is a full NZ$100,000 cheaper than its T8+ counterpart. That puts the Shell at NZ$195,000, the Pure at $275,000 and the Ultimate at $375,000. Those prices still look quite high but converting them over from New Zealand to American dollars for reference helps soothe the eyes a little: US$115,000, $162,275 and $221,300.
As a quick summary, the Pure and Ultimate models share an attractive four-sleeper floor plan that starts with a dinette pushed right up into the curved trailer nose encased in windows. This panoramic lounge becomes buyer's choice of double bed or twin singles to complement the king or two singles in the rear bedroom. The kitchen is directly behind the dining area, and the dry bathroom separates the kitchen and rear bedroom.
The main difference between the Pure and Ultimate versions comes in upmarket trims and more features on the latter. Ultimate package upgrades include a multi-zone expansion for the Fusion sound system, a 32-in 4K smart TV in the bedroom, an air suspension, and double the battery and solar capacity. You can read more about the various package features on our previous article from July.
The new T8 also saves a little strain on the tow vehicle, with a tare axle weight that checks in at 5,290 lb (2,400 kg), 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) lighter than the T8+. Actual weight will vary according to package and options selected. The dimensions are also slightly more compact – the T8's total length of 27-ft (8.3-m) is a tad over 2 feet shorter than the T8+, while its height drops down to 9.8 feet (3 m) from just over 11 feet (3.4 m) on the T8+. The T8's width remains the same as the closed width of the T8+.
Romotow has not yet listed a price for the add-on deck, but our powerful deductive skills tell us it will have to be at least $100,000, probably a bit more.
Source: Romotow by W2