Rob Ganley
Group editor

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Practical Motorhome reviews the Romahome R25, based on the Citroën Berlingo – read on for the definitive verdict

Design

The R25 has a characteristically Romahome shape – a car-like base vehicle with a well-proportioned monocoque GRP habitation body on the back. The overcab section is curvier and slightly larger than that of the R20, but this fits well with the more modern look of the latest Berlingo.
It’s a well built, comfortable and trim little motorhome, whose monocoque shell design makes for a completely smooth and seamless finish. Its high-gloss paint is very classy and its graphics discreet and stylish. Inside, the ’van is pleasantly light and airy; the Heki roof light, large opening window in the habitation door and the white surfaces within the van all contribute to this. The storage and kitchen units are of a modular construction which means that there are no sharp corners, only smooth, rounded surfaces.
The two sections of skirting at each rear corner can be lifted to reveal storage compartments – the nearside compartment can be used for muddy items while the offside example contains the spare wheel.

On the road

The Citroën Berlingo resides somewhere between a van and a car; its driving position is low down and snug, and you feel as though you’re pointing at the road ahead rather than towering over it.
The R25 has a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine which is adequate for most loads, though no ball of fire: acceleration is quite acceptable in the lower gears, but to maintain steady progress you need to change gear more often.
Unfortunately, the R25’s refinement and comfortable ride come at a cost – the suspension is on the soft side and this causes noticeable body roll. When pulling away on an incline, or even on some uphill hairpins, the front wheels sometimes scrabble for grip. The 146cm (57”) rear overhang is more than half the length of the wheelbase, and grounds out a little too readily for our liking.
There’s ample storage in the cab, thanks to the spacious central console cubby, which has a tambour cover.
Despite being properly belted (for an additional £265) and forward-facing, the rear passenger seats aren’t at all contoured and are likely to prove uncomfortable on long trips.

Lounging & dining

The Romahome’s lounge is a classic facing-sofa design, with a freestanding habitation table. A single, straight corridor links the habitation to the rear entrance door (a Romahome trademark).
There is good natural light in the lounge, and after nightfall there are two ceiling lights with adjustable light levels, as well as four reading lights. LED lighting is used extensively, and all the lights in the ’van can be switched individually or controlled via the master switch on the control panel. Silver-backed concertina blinds are fitted all around and they do a good job of ensuring privacy at night.
In terms of seating, the sofas on either side of the ’van are comfortable, but their width is rather restricted when the rear passenger seat backrests are in place. However, these can be removed and stowed in the storage area above the cab, which is also home to the freestanding lounge table.
The lounge table is almost too large for a ’van of this size (it measures 91 x 56cm/35”x 22”), and can be difficult to assemble and manoeuvre around. Once it’s in place it impedes movement, too. However, we understand that this will be changed for future ’vans.
There’s ample internal headroom in the lounge area, although at its lowest point (184cm/72”) it will trouble anyone who towers above the six-foot mark. Movement between the habitation and the cab poses a problem as well, because you have to squeeze between the cab central console and under the base of the storage area above the cab.
A 240V and a 12V socket are provided behind the driver’s seat – these aren’t entirely well-located for charging appliances at night, unless you’re happy to keep them charging on the bed as you sleep, but there are sufficient sockets elsewhere in the ’van to take up the task.

Kitchen

The neat kitchen unit has a SMEV sink (which lacks a draining board), a SMEV two-ring hob – both with smoked glass covers – and a grill. A Dometic 60-litre fridge with a freezer compartment is fitted below the sink. The LED lights beneath the overhead lockers in the kitchen are bright without being harsh or unpleasant.
On the offside of the ’van, across from the kitchen, there is a cabinet which provides ample additional workspace. The lack of a window in the kitchen area means that a roof vent is almost a must, so it’s a little disappointing to see that a Fiamma Turbo Vent is a £230 option.
Storage space in the kitchen is both generously provided and well-designed. Most of the drawers and cupboards in the ’van are soft-closing.
The kitchen area is also where you’ll find most of the power sockets, too – one 240V socket lives above the hob and a set of twin 240V sockets share a section of wall just above the cabinet unit across from the kitchen.

Sleeping

The R25 offers three options for sleeping. The first is a double bed that stretches across the width of the ’van. You assemble it by removing the rear passenger seat backrests and using the top of the freestanding table as a base, which is padded using the two sofa backrests and a small additional infill cushion. The bed is comfortable, but not particularly long at 1.76m (5’9”).
Because of this, the best option is to use the massive lengthwise double (2.03 x 1.31cm/6’6”x 4’3”). This large bed is made up using the basic double bed, with additional assistance from the cab seats, which are folded forward so the rear passenger backrests can be placed on them. A separate infill cushion fills the space between the two seats. It’s a bit fiddly to make up, but you are rewarded with a large and very comfortable bed.
The final bed option involves two sizeable single beds – at 1.9 x 0.62m (6’2”x 2’1”), they’re a little on the narrow side, but our testers found them acceptable. They run lengthwise and incorporate the lowered front seats and the back rests from the rear passenger seats.

Washroom

The toilet in the R25 is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, since it’s located within view of the kitchen. A section of worktop on the cabinet unit opposite the kitchen can be lifted up, and twin doors beneath it swung open, to reveal a waist-high cubicle containing a Dometic cassette toilet.
Our test ’van came with the optional ‘wet room’, which is essentially a shower tray recessed into the floor just in front of the toilet. It is revealed by lifting a cover at floor level (which is homeless when it’s not in use). The ‘wet room’ option includes an extendable Whale shower head, fitted neatly into a small compartment around the ‘washroom’ area, and the essential idea is that you can have a rudimentary shower while seated on the toilet. Standing up is out of the question as water would soon escape the confines of the flimsy shower curtain. It’s really only useful if there were no onsite showers available, but if you can get over the privacy issues and the proximity to the kitchen, it’s a neat space-saving solution.

Storage

In addition to the storage in the kitchen area, there are four overhead lockers in the lounge, plus storage spaces under the lounge seating units; although one of these plays host to the habitation electrics, while the other contains the heater. The largest storage space is above the cab – it houses the freestanding table and all infill cushions, but still leaves plenty of space and is particularly useful for bedding.
The low height of the overcab storage area – while detrimental when you’re trying not to bump your head – is a boon when you’re stowing or retrieving things. However, the storage space could do with a more prominent lip on its edge, to ensure that items don’t slip out while you’re driving.
Two slimline wardrobes are located in the rear offside corner, one above the other - so they’re only long enough to hang jackets. Overall, there’s a surprising amount of storage for a ’van of this size, although the user payload of 285kg is small, even for a party of two, so smart packing will still be a priority.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM2175kg
Payload285kg
Length5.18m16′12″
Width2.12m6′11″
Height2.58m8′6″
Waste water34L

Verdict

The Romahome R25 is a well-designed motorhome that’s small enough to use as an everyday vehicle. There’s plenty of storage space and on-board facilities and it’s well-priced considering its build quality. Even in this very competitive market, the R25 amply justifies its idiosyncratic design.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Spacious overhead lockers; kitchen worksurface

Cons

  • Ill-fitting cab screens; tight squeeze when exiting cab into habitation area; enormous rear overhang
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