The Miniature High-efficiency Motorhome
October 13, 2008 Romahome is an acknowledged master of the mini motorhome genre, having won Micro Motorhome of the Year for the last three years straight. It’s latest van however, takes things to a new level, and is about as small as you can make a motorhome and still sleep a fellow 6 ft 4 in his socks. Based on the equally groundbreaking micro-commercial Citroen Nemo recently named International Van of the Year, the R10 is a single berth motorhome that can be used for everyday transport. The R10 Solo creates a whole new genre of small, efficient, minimalist motorhomes that will be much faster point-to-point than their fat-bottomed brethren and deliver 63mpg/4.5 l/100 km on the combined cycle. Powered by an ultra-economical 70hp Citroen1.4HDi diesel engine with Sensodrive automatic, the Nemo’s unique operational, running-cost and environmental benefits pale beside the places the R10 can go - congested streets and multi-storey car parks are no problem for a vehicle just 12 ft 7 ins in length with a height of 6 ft 3 ins. When the roof is elevated, the Romahome gives an internal height of 6 ft 6 ins.
The R10 solo is a new class of motorhome, and it is based on one of the truly landmark vehicles of 2008, the Citroen Nemo. The light commercial segment has always been focused on the greatest load volume and hence there has been no true “mini” segment until the Nemo (and its near identical counterparts, the Peugeot Bipper and Fiat Fiorino).
A few weeks back the Nemo was elected International Van of the Year 2009 at the IAA Truck Show in Hanover. The panel of judges, drawn from Europe’s top International transport journalists, were impressed by the Nemo’s compact size. Their report highlighted, “Congested streets and a requirement for movements of small consignments in a vehicle appropriate for the role has meant the market has long been waiting for this very class of vehicle. With approximately 610kg load capacity and 2.5-2.8 cubic metres of load volume, the Nemo is the perfect match for market requirements, enabling customers to buy the right sized van for their work.”
The Nemo combines a high degree of efficiency with good environmental and safety features. A speed limiter/cruise control is optionally available – which benefits both economy and safety. In addition, an excellent automated gearbox is available which reduces cost of maintenance and fuel and lowers emissions, as well as making a significant contribution to comfort and safety. Furthermore the fuel consumption of the vehicles as tested in several road tests by jury members was very convincing.”
“In summary, the new Nemo is a real innovation – in size and styling the vehicle offers a unique concept in the light commercial vehicle sector. It is a very well designed, compact, quality van with good economy and fulfils the most important criterion of the International Van of the Year jury – namely a contribution to the efficient transport of goods by road.”
So the Nemo getting a workover from Romahome was pretty logical given that the entire Romahome range is based on Citroen commercial vans with the next largest, the R20 Romahome based on the Berlingo.
The company, based at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, is launching its new R10 Solo at International Caravan and Motorhome 2008, at the NEC on October 14 and it brings fresh and innovative thinking for those who love their motorhome to be compact rather than colossal.
“As a result, we created the R10. It 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.
“Engine choices are a 1.4 petrol injection and 1.4 HDi diesel and there’s also the option of the Sensodrive automatic, which brings R10 ownership to those who only hold a licence to drive automatic vehicles, widening its appeal considerably and also offering ease of driving to potential owners who are fed up using a clutch pedal.
“The design of the Nemo already includes a folding front passenger seat option so we have been able to capitalise on this to help create a single bed space that is 6 ft 4 ins long in a motorhome that is only 12 ft 7 ins in overall length!
“The overall height is also only 6 ft 3 ins, meaning the R10 will fit into 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 plus a two burner hob. We have not stinted on the detail, so, like all Romahomes, the R10 has mains hook up. But, in keeping with a vehicle that starts life with a 119 g/km CO2 figure for the diesel model, we have also installed solar panels to power the LED rear lighting system in addition to the usual 12 volt battery lighting, too.
“A portable water carrier is also part of the standard specification and this is housed, along with the Camping Gaz bottle, under the sink unit. 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.
“A freestanding table means meals can be taken in comfort and even in cool weather the insulation of both the van body and rising roof make the R10 a cosy place to be.
“Storage is always vital in a compact motorhome, so we have installed this under the bunk and via a small Luton area and R10 also has a clothes bag, too.
“Options include a rear awning to give extra sleeping and living space, a choice of trims, a lap belt on the rear seat, and a drop-down television.
“Even reversing sensors can be installed, although R10 is more compact than the majority of family cars so many people may not feel the need.
“We are finding through our national sales network that enthusiasm for motorhome use is not waning at present. The current economic climate means that people are opting for more versatile vehicles that can be used as an everyday car and that has always been the thinking behind Romahome products.