Sarah WakelySee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Sarah Wakely
The name Randger isn't one that's well known in the UK, but that's a shame: this French company is part of the Trigano Group, and produces a range of good-quality campervans with a variety of layouts from its Dordogne production facility.
Now, however, British buyers will be able to take a closer look at them because Marquis Leisure - the UK's biggest motorhome and caravan dealership, with 12 branches across Britain - has made two models available on our shores: the R499 and the R535.
Both are 'crossover' vehicles, based on the Fiat Talento - the recent replacement for the Scudo - and converted with good-quality campervan fixtures and fittings inside. Both are also four-berth, and have four belted seats, too; they also have an MTPLM of 2980kg, meaning that you won't need any C1-category licence to drive one.
The Talento is an unusual base vehicle for a camper, but one that makes sense: choosing something other than the rather ubiquitous Volkswagen T6 offers buyers another alternative, yet it remains an excellent vehicle to drive. The right-hand-drive cab itself looks and feels very car-like, and the 1.6-litre, 125bhp Euro 6 engine under the bonnet has produced excellent fuel economy in official tests. There's also a good level of standard kit, including sat-nav, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Hold, ABS and more.
The campers have a smart white paint scheme, with classy graphics that run down the side. The whole effect is one of sportiness, enhanced by the 17-inch alloy wheels that really suit the modern looks of the rest of the vehicle.
Elsewhere on the exterior, as well as an electric hook-up point, both models also have sliding side doors and a raising tailgate at the rear. The R499 comes in at 4.99m in length, with a height of 2. 03m, while the R535 is 5.40m long, and 2.0m high. This means they're both small enough to be practical as a daily driver.
Of the two Randger models Marquis is introducing to the UK, the R499 is the smaller of the two, and it features the most traditional campervan layout.
It has a front-rising pop-up roof with a rear bench seat that has two belts. Both of the van seats can be swivelled to face the rear, and a table can be set between them, allowing all occupants to dine in comfort; the table can be removed and stored in the rear load bay. The interior is fitted out with smart 'Mole' furniture and all of the seats are very comfortable.
In traditional camper style, the kitchen facilities are located along the UK offside. Here you'll find a two-burner gas hob with Piezo ignition, a stainless-steel kitchen sink, and a 41-litre Webasto Isotherm fridge.
One of the two double beds in this motorhome is made up from the bench-seat cushions. It's a simple process to slide the base of the seat forwards and tip the back to create a flat sleeping surface that's very comfortable. Another bed can be lowered in the roof; this is easy to access, thanks to the inclusion of a metal ladder, which otherwise lives in the rear storage bay. The bed is suitable for children or a light adult.
For a sub-5m campervan, there's plenty of storage space, including numerous tambour-door units. There's no washroom in this vehicle, but you could easily carry a portable toilet in the rear load area if desired.
Other equipment includes a large control panel close to the entrance door, a pressurised fresh-water pump, and Webasto Air-Top 2000 diesel air heating. The fresh-water tank can hold 55 litres, with the wast-water version holding 43 litres. The gas bottle compartment, meanwhile will swallow one Campingaz 907 cylinder.
The R499 costs £41,995 OTR; available cost options will include a towbar, bike rack, awning and rear parking sensors.
The second of the two models being brought to the UK by Marquis is the R535, which features a rather unusual layout, including a small washroom.
Step into the R535 and the lounge area feels quite different to its sister model's: there's a double bench seat (with two seatbelts) and another rear-facing seat unit opposite. Between the two is a single-leg table that affixes into the floor; handily you're also provided with a separate base unit so that you can take the table outside for a spot of al fresco dining.
A double bed makes up from the seat cushions; it's of a reasonable size and feels very comfortable. An additional double - again, for children or a light adult - can be pulled down from the roof (which in this instance, rises from the back).
Those who enjoy cooking will love the kitchen that is fitted here: it stretches down the nearside of the 'van, with loads of workspace. In addition to the two-burner gas hob, you'll also find a stainless-steel sink here and a 41-litre fridge.
But it's the small washroom area in this vehicle that makes it so unusual: it's relatively rare to find one in a 'van of such compact dimensions.
This example features a Thetford cassette toilet with electric flus, a chrome-finish mixer tap that doubles up as the shower head, a washbasin and a towel holder. The base of the washroom also doubles up as the shower tray. Having such a provision in a camper means that you can be fully sufficient even if you're staying on aires with no facilities.
The R535 costs £43,995 OTR; the same options will be available as on the R499.