Niall Hampton
Editor

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Packed with user-friendly touches and using the popular fixed twin single with end washroom layout, read the Practical Motorhome Rapido 665F review

Overview

Discover the Rapido 665F, a two-berth motorhome with an occasional third bed that has a few neat tricks up its sleeve.

To many prospective buyers of Continentally-produced motorhomes, fixed twin single beds are something typically located high up over a rear garage.

But not everyone needs large-headroom full-width storage, and would prefer a bed at ‘ground’ level, so they may lean towards a floor plan that carries the single beds just ahead of an end washroom.

A good selection of suitable ’vans is available in the low-profile coachbuilt segment, but into the fray for 2016 comes the Rapido 655F. It complements the aforementioned rear arrangements with a nearside V-shaped kitchen, plus an L-shaped front dinette, on a body length of just under 7.4m.

The other unique selling point of this new motorhome is the provision of the Alde wet central heating system, deemed essential by many buyers. In fact, the 665F brings Alde heating into Rapido’s Series 6 range for the first time – all the other models in the range use the Combi system from mother brand Truma.

Design

Rapido Series 6 motorhomes feature all-white exteriors, save for the brand’s signature grey side skirts, which are pleasingly referenced in the grey radiator grille. The overcab moulding lends the ’van a sleek appearance. Low-profile windows keep sidewall extrusions to a minimum.

At the rear, smart car-style lights feature in clusters at both ends, built into grey moulded skirts. The habitation door on this French-built motorhome is on the UK offside; our test ’van had a window in it, as a £410 cost option upgrade.

Given its origins as a firm of cabinetmakers, it’s no surprise that the woodwork inside the Rapido 665F is of a very high quality. Everything feels well assembled and finished, with strong hinges used inside the lockers to give prolonged use.

The soft furnishings combine well with the Elegance wood finish. In addition, barring a slight step up into the cab from the living quarters, the habitation area of the Rapido 665F is all on one level throughout.

On the road

As standard, the 2016 Rapido 665F is supplied with the 130bhp version of Fiat’s 2.3-litre turbodiesel. With an unladen weight of 3005kg, this is perfectly adequate for pulling the motorhome along, although power upgrades are available.

Built on a Fiat Ducato chassis with a wide rear track (1.98m) for extra stability, the 665F is assured on the road, although the wide A-pillars restrict the view slightly, so one has to take care when approaching junctions.

Our test ’van, a Highbridge Caravans demonstrator, carried several specification upgrades, including a ComfortMatic robotised gearbox, LED daytime running lights and a rear-view camera.

Lounging & dining

Alongside the Castello cabinetwork, our test motorhome was fitted with Ouessant soft furnishings, a cost option upgrade. This ensemble gives a bright and airy feel, making the L-shaped lounge particularly agreeable.

The seating group is comfortable, with enough support in the back rests. There’s plenty of natural light, from a panoramic rooflight above the cab, plus large windows on either side of the habitation area, with LED ambient lighting on call in reserve.

As is the typical Continental way, the lounge table is a permanent fixture. It can be moved across the gangway, as well as backwards and forwards, to suit the needs of users.

When not required, a hinge in the middle allows it to be folded up out of the way for easy access to the cab. To lay the table flat, a support slides out and the tabletop rests on it. In use, it’s perfectly stable.

Kitchen

It would be a compromise too far for a French-built motorhome to skimp on cooking facilities, so unsurprisingly the Rapido 665F is well catered for in this area.

Following the typical European V-shaped configuration, three hobs are arranged in a line at the back of the worktop, with a sink at a right angle to it. The worktop itself is edged in solid maple, with a white lacquer work surface.

A spice rack and kitchen roll holder score practicality points, as does central locking for the kitchen drawers and cupboards – typically a feature you’ll find on a higher-end German coachbuilt or A-class motorhome.

As part of the UK Pack, our test ’van was fitted with a combination oven and grill, to suit British needs.

Opposite, on the offside, cooks will appreciate a 149-litre fridge – generous for a touring couple – which is located below a microwave oven-sized cupboard with grey tambour door, but which here is used for housing a retractable bracket for a flatscreen TV.

Sleeping

The main sleeping arrangements in the 665F are, of course, the fixed twin single beds. These measure 1.98 x 0.76m and butt up to smart padded headboards.

A small wardrobe ‘floats’ above the foot of the nearside bed, but is mounted high enough that it won’t impinge on the personal space of the sleeper lying below.

If required, a third berth makes up in the front lounge, using the telescopic lounge table as a base for the seat cushions. It measures 2.08 x 0.8m.

Washroom

With the nearside shower compartment and offside wardrobe bookending a centrally located sink, the 2016-season Rapido 665F has a very user-friendly end washroom.

An attractive curved vanity unit houses a circular sink, with a chrome-effect mixer tap, to the right of a soap dish and toothbrush holder.

The mirror above the sink doubles as the door for a cupboard that’s ideal for keeping lotions and potions hidden from view. There is another cupboard under the sink, plus five cubbies spread across the same wooden unit.

An electric-flush cassette toilet and bi-fold doors plus a pull-out drying line in the shower round out the specification.

Washroom illumination comes via downlighters above the sink, a rooflight in the shower, and ambient lighting under the mirrored cupboard.

Storage

Although this layout eschews the typical rear garage, there is storage space across the rear of the ’van, which runs under the washroom floor and is accessed via a hatch in the offside corner. This will be useful for long, flat items like fishing rods, skis or surfboards.

This compartment is also where the toilet cassette is stored, and it grants access to the unrestricted storage space under the offside single bed.

Both single beds have further exterior access hatches, so that items can be loaded from outside the motorhome, and thanks to gas struts on the bed frame, easily retrieved from inside by lifting both mattresses.

The washroom houses the Rapido 665F’s main wardrobe, although the Alde boiler does take a small bite from the available space (the other wardrobe is above the foot of the nearside single bed).

Elsewhere, 11 overhead lockers offer a fine array of storage options for lighter items, while the kitchen is no slouch, either: an under-sink cupboard with smart curved door conceals a large drawer with dividers, above dedicated wine bottle holders.

Equipment

Standard kit highlights on the Rapido 665F include four travel seats, living area carpets, a water-efficient showerhead, LED lighting and Alde wet central heating.

Cost options fitted to our test ’van included the ComfortMatic transmission (£1540), Ouessant upholstery (£240), the Rapido Pack (£249), the camera pack (£710), an outside shower (£200), a heated waste water tank (£220), LED daytime running lights (£320), a bed cover and six cushions (£280), and a habitation door with a window (£410).

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload495kg
Length7.39m24′3″
Width2.35m7′9″
Height2.76m9′1″
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water120L / 90L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Gas tank size11kg
Number of gas tank compartments2

Verdict

Buyers looking for a Continental interpretation of an end-washroom layout have a decent amount of ’vans to choose from, but the Rapido 665F has several aces up its sleeve. These include a single-level habitation area, a spacious end washroom and Alde heating.

This makes it a user-friendly motorhome that will be ideal for discerning couples on tour – and that offside habitation door will be useful while touring in Europe.

With a quality look and feel inside and out, we suspect the 665F has been a successful model for Rapido, as it has been carried over – with Truma heating as standard, and Alde now a cost option – for the 2017 season.

Conclusion

Pros

  • This ’van has a pleasing exterior and interior design
  • There's a high standard of fit and finish – Rapido was the highest-scoring manufacturer of used motorhomes in our Owner Satisfaction Awards 2016
  • Alde heating is standard
  • The storage options are flexible and easy-to-use

Cons

  • The habitation door is on the UK offside
  • Having a window in the habitation door is a £410 cost option
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