Hampshire-based Romahome is renowned for building quality GRP fixed and demountable coachbuilt motorhomes. Perhaps less well known, but every bit as desirable, are its panel van conversions; they include the diminutive Romahome R10 and the still compact – but far roomier – Romahome R30. Actually, R30 is what it’s called now; it was previously known as the Dimension.
The unique design of high-top sits above an interior layout that seems to break the laws of physics: it feels much roomier inside than it looks from the outside. Four forward-facing fully belted travel seats lie ahead of a one-piece moulded washroom that utilises every atom of available space; there’s also a nearside kitchen with more available work surface than some far bigger coachbuilts can offer. A clever slide-out wardrobe and double-skinned roof earn the model even more brownie points.
The earliest models were built on the previous-generation Citroën Relay van, with the new shape taking over from 2007. Romahome is still building the popular R30 today.
Essential facts and figures
The Romahome Dimension/R30 is built on a short-wheelbase Citroën Relay. Built in Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 2004-onwards, it is a GRP high-top campervan, built on a five-door panel van. It's ultra-easy to drive around in, being so compact, and the overall length of models built from 2007 onwards is 5.1m (16’7”).
Tips to help you buy better...
What should you look out for when buying a pre-owned Romahome R30 or Dimension? Starting with the base vehicle, the standard motive power in these the Citroën Relay, vans from 2007-2014 was the 100bhp 2.2-litre TD engine with five-speed gearbox, and these are pretty reliable. However, some owners opting for the 120bhp engine with six-speed gearbox (built from 2007 to 2010 only) did report their vehicle’s tendency to judder when they were reversing up steep inclines or on deep gravel. Make sure to include this manoeuvre when you take your prospective purchase for a test drive.
As with many Euro 4 engines, the EGR valve can retire early, illuminating the engine management warning light. Also, make sure you check the leading edge of the bonnet for flaking paint.
As for the Romahome conversion work, you'll find that this is a very well-put-together interior using quality, long-lasting materials. The space heating (usually a diesel-fired Eberspächer) was an extra-cost option; so if this wasn’t requested you’ll need to budget for some other form of heating if you’re planning to use the ’van all year. If you're planning mostly to use campsites with electric hook-up, just take a fan heater.
Our expert verdict
So, it's time to sum up all the things that we like most about the Romahome R30 or Dimension. We think that it's a clever conversion in a compact size van, with a brilliant washroom and kitchen. It's versatile, too, offering the option of two single beds or an ‘all-over’ double bed. Finally, we are pleased that there are three travel seats and the driver’s seat.
And is there anything to dislike about the Romahome Dimension/R30? One slight disappointment for us is that automatic transmission wasn’t available as an option. But the main problem is that these capable little Romahomes are hard to find, because their owners grow so attached that they hang on to them!
Our pick of the best-buys out of all the Romahome R30s and Dimensions? Post-2007 models are only a gnat’s whisker longer than their predecessors, but the drive is infinitely superior.
What should you pay for one of these Romahome campervans? 2003 models are available from £17,000 trade (with 70,000 miles on the clock) to £20,000 (with a low mileage of 30,000 miles or so).
Still hesitating? Before you rush out to splash the cash and buy a motorhome, take a look at a few rival campervans. For instance, how about the East Neuk Fifer S (short wheelbase), Auto-Sleeper Harmony/Symbol (both short and medium wheelbase models).
Don't forget that we have many motorhome reviews online, written by Practical Motorhome's experts for every issue of the magazine, so when you spot cheap motorhomes for sale near you it's always worth reading a selection of our reviews and watching our motorhome video reviews before taking the plunge. We also have other buyer's guides to popular used motorhomes.