Rob GanleySee other motorhome reviews written by Rob Ganley
Practical Motorhome reviews the Romahome R25, based on the Citroën Berlingo – read on for the definitive verdict
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Spacious overhead lockers; kitchen worksurface
- Ill-fitting cab screens; tight squeeze when exiting cab into habitation area; enormous rear overhang