Benjamin Davies

See other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies

Read Practical Motorhome's review of the Rapido 9096 DF

Design

The Rapido comes on the Fiat Ducato platform, with an Al-Ko chassis to allow for a double-floor design, which means onboard fresh- and waste-water tanks and superb winterisation. It comes on a 3500kg chassis so has a payload of only 280kg (although the chassis can be uprated to 3700kg at no additional cost, giving you an extra 200kg of payload).

The Rapido holds its own in terms of construction quality, but falls short in terms of appearance. Its traditional, plain white exterior doesn’t help it much, and neither does its slightly awkward triple headlamp design.

The cab door is on the Continental (left) side so the driver will have to cross the cab to exit, which can be a pain at, say, filling stations.

At least the gas locker is only 29cm off the ground, with a small lip.

The Rapido’s interior is traditional and has a warm design. We particularly like the very practical and attractive dark brown carpets and the sturdy cabinet latches in the Rapido.

The layout is clearly zoned into a front lounge, middle kitchen and rear washroom and sleeping area. Build and material quality are of a high standard, and there's only one small step between the kitchen and rear bedroom area.

On the road

The Rapido comes with 
a good level of standard equipment in the cab which has cruise control, 
a reversing camera, MP3 radio/CD player and heated power mirrors.

In standard form, the Rapido can be driven on a B-class licence but as 280kg will barely cover the essentials in a four-berth it would be wise to obtain your C1 rating so that you can drive the higher-rated chassis and heavier ’vans in this sector of the market.

Lounging & dining

The Rapido’s lounge has twin sofas, and when the cab seats are swivelled it can house six (at a pinch). The cab seats are attractive Isringhausen units with levers, for swivelling and tilting the backrests, that sit flush with the bottom front corners of the seat bases – an aesthetically pleasing touch but one that falls short in terms of function since you have to bend all the way over to the corners of the seats in order to reach the levers.

The lounge table folds and rotates to allow movement through the ’van but this means you’ll find it difficult to reach the cab from the living area once you’ve laid out dinner.

The big roof light over the lounge is a welcome touch, and so is the TV cabinet built into the wall to the left of the habitation door as it allows visibility from any point in the lounge.

The two individual belted rear travel seats are either side of the lounge – a good arrangement for those with kids who are liable to get scrappy if sitting side by side for too long.

Kitchen

The L-shaped kitchen provides a lot of moving and passing space, which is crucial since it sits between the lounge and washroom. However, there's a shortage of workspace. It's all located at the outer corner of the L-shape, making it difficult to reach.

As a clear indication of its French heritage, Rapido has usefully included two wine racks in the kitchen, which will allow you to store up to seven wine bottles.

Sleeping

The washroom is split into two cubicles and positioned just in front of the beds, and the rear section can be cordoned off to create a little en-suite bedroom area.

The rear bedroom area is spacious, but the trade-off for this space is a narrower bed (130cm, or 4ft 3ins, at its widest point and 108cm, or 3ft 6.5ins, at its narrowest). This small bed is a disappointment since these rear bedroom areas are the big selling points for these types of motorhome.

The pull-down bed up front measures 134 x 187cm, and is comfortable and easy to set up.

Washroom

The washroom is the real party piece, and performs very well. The small shower cubicle is, by necessity, a plastic capsule. The toilet area is excellent, with lots of storage space and classy use of wood-and-leather effect surfaces. It even has a locking toilet door and the sink has stainless steel fittings.

Storage

There's a sizeable garage, with doors on both sides as standard, and a waste-water drain valve handle inside. You can't access the garage from within the vehicle, though.

Being a double-floor model, the Rapido gets between-floor lockers, which are handy for storing sundry items such as chocks and wellies.

The roomy, full-length, lit wardrobe is just forward from one of the washroom cubicles, and within the partitioned bedroom area.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload280kg
Length7.39m24′3″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height2.84m9′4″
Waste water100L
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Gas heater, Truma Gas water heater

Verdict

Good in most areas, although its small bed is a major negative for an A-class ’van.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Classy washroom; large rear bedroom area; decent specification

Cons

  • Small bed
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