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Newbie which one to buy


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Hi never had a motor home before and just wanting to get a small one. We have been looking at the 2 bed

Romahome R20lo which would meet our needs. However, just wanted to know if there are any equivalent other makes around that you might recommend and why over the Romahome.

Many thanks


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Hmmm, no takers so far Tony, I wonder why?


Well I do know why, it's just that there are so many different vehicles and layouts that one man's choice might be another man's poison so to speak.


You have to make a list of your requirements and try to match them to a particular vehicle.


The problem you have is that if you have never tried it you don't know what you need from a vehicle.


I started out small, an old T2 VW pop top, we had lots of fun with it but it soon became clear that it was to small for us.


So we bought a larger one, that was not quite right either, anyway we are now on our fourth and we have nearly got it right :-)


Think very carefully before you buy, ask if you can "borrow" it for a night or two, you will soon find out if you like it.


In my opinion I think you will find the Romahome R20lo to small, it's OK when the sun is shining and you are on a top class campsite, but not much fun when it is raining and the camp site is not up to much.


I would suggest that a minimum specification includes:-


Proper toilet and shower.

A good additional load (300 - 500 Kgs)

100 ltrs water (minimum)

A waste water tank.


Habitation battery and solar panel(s).

Good lighting.


Wardrobe and lots of storage.


There are lots of other things I could suggest, and someone else will come up with a totally different list.

That's the way it is, personal choice.


Let's see what someone else can come up with.



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Guest 1footinthegrave

Can only echo the above, but I would say that apart from the odd weekend away in good weather the Romahome I'm sure would be less than ideal, most of us will tell you to get it right first off is almost impossible, and of course it really depends on how long, and how far you intend to go.


I'm on number 4 van in just over 6 years, and lost a bundle of money in the process trying to get it right, maybe a weeks hire of something you've short listed may be the way to go first. What is right for you is very unlikely to be the same as others "right" van. ;-)

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Hi Tony & welcome to the forum.


I have no experience of the Romahome or this possible alternative.

Just that they are similar in size & facilities.




For a review see:-



April edition of MMM magazine, has a head to head comparison of the Romahome R20 versus the Nu Venture Nu Surf SD, which should help with any questions you may have.

The Nu Venture came out better & "a much more finished product & remarkable value for money".


The Romahome R25 was also mentioned as preferable to the R20.


The New Venture is also available with a Rear Entry door - Nu Venture Nu Surf RD.


But IMO these are only weekend Vans, rather than for long holidays.


As other posters, Hire before you buy is sound advise.

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Well I'm going to disagree (to some extent) with the previous posters.

We had a T25 for many years (similier size) this met (lets say) 90% of our needs for a campervan, when it came time to replace it we decided on a bigger vehicle, great we now have a van with more space plus shower and toilet so are fully independant of sites if need be, but the downside is if you want to nip into town it's that much harder to find a parking spot, especialy if those towns are in Cornwall! Six of one half dozen of the other.

The big question is what would suit you, well my advise would be as posted above, hire the smallest van you can, if not a Romahome then I think theres plenty of VW's to hire.

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Hi Tony - welcome to the mad house! :-D


I would be cautious - the R20 is a very specific type of 'motorhome', I'd more class it as a 'camper' as you really need to use campsites with it, to me a motorhome is more independent (with toilet/shower). How you intend to use the vehicle will make a difference as to what is suitable for your needs, for example these are just a few of the things you should consider:


How long will your 'holidays/trips' be?

Will you use the vehicle all year round or just in the late spring/summer/early autumn?

What things do you want to take with you (bikes, equipment etc) - is there enough storage for them?

Do you have pets and have you accounted for all their stuff, where they'll sleep etc?

Do you want to carry passengers?

Will it only ever be just the two of your staying in the van?

Would you be happy without a shower/toilet?

What cooking and food storage (fridge/freezer size) do you need?

What water storage do you need?


I read the review of the Romahome R20 and the Nu Venture Nu Surf and it was very interesting, the Nu Surf was way ahead of the R20 in many ways, even disregarding the 'faults' which were found on the Romahome, IMV it didn't come close to the Nu Surf. You may disagree and that is definitely your prerogative, but I would strongly advise you to have a very good look around at what is available as there are lots of smaller type motorhomes and 'campers' which may suit what you need better.


The single most important piece of advice I can give is ... don't rush!!! Take your time - it is better to get what you really need, than get what you think you want and then find out it's not right ... this can prove very expensive!

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You'd be surprised how practical a small camper can be. It takes a certain amount of organisation, but there is plenty of space to go off for a 2 week holiday and plenty of people from the southern hemisphere tour Europe for a whole lot longer in small campers. It's horses for courses - if you think you might want a loo with a shower than look for something else.


The advise about hiring is certainly good advice. You will find VWs and Bongos for hire so try one out and see what you think of it. You will find that you soon come to a view about what features are important to you.


I like Romahomes and looked at them before I bought my VW but with the raising roof model I could never get comfortable in the seats - there is a protrusion at the perimeter of the roof that sticks into me at just the wrong place. Go to one of the shows and spend some time sitting in one: imagine you are using it and try sitting, spreading yourself out on the beds, and standing at the cooker to see how it feels to you.


The other thing about the small Romahomes is that the cab does not form part of the living space which is a bit of a waste when you have a small camper to start with.


VWs, Bongos and other small window van conversions are worth looking at. There are lots of them to chose from and quite a few of them have been tested by the magazine (take some of the conclusions with a pinch of salt - when they bemoan, for exemple, the lack of an oven or electric mirrors ask yourself whether these things are important to you). The side kitchen, end bed design has stood the test of time and makes good use of space although can sometimes result in a rather narrow bed. Be careful if you are constrained by height - a lot of them are under 2m high but some of them are just over.


Small campers offer you a flexibility that larger motorhomes can compromise - you can take them anywhere, park them anywhere that you can park a car and they make a practical alternative to a car if they are your only form of transport.


In my mind, the simpler something is the more fun you can have in it, but you do compromise on features and some of the luxuries of a motorhome and many people will disagree. Why not hire both for a few days and see which suits your style best? At the very least, go to some dealers and take a few out for a drive and see how you get on with them.



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Hi Guys many thanks for your advice and have used your ideas to make a list of what we need in a motor home/camper.

Wanting a small one because it will have to double up as a car and enable me to carry tools etc so kinda double up for a van also. Is that sacrilege?

At the moment not really planning any long holidays in it so wont mind a bit of a squeeze for a few days. I'm used to that in my little tent, and this will seem like luxury.

I plan to use for taking my vintage bicycles to various meets where camping is permitted.


But I will think carefully about the need for a toilet. How about a chemical one in a toilet tent outside?


Plan to go to Broadlands at Romsey over Easter as there is a motor home exhibition on. Hiring for a few days is a great idea.

Once again many thanks


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Hi "Rubblequeen" - we had a VW (Auto-Sleepers) van conversion for over 6 years and found it an ideal campervan and great multi-purpose vehicle, being economical and with loads of "carrying space"

when required. We used the porta -potti and toilet tent when not on a full facility site. Carrying 2 bikes on the tailgate mounted rack was no problem and on one occasion we carried 2 bikes inside the van although this was rather tight.


If you decide to go for a current type Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer I would not recommend fitting a rear door mounted bike rack. We ( and at least one other MMM reader) had problems with the rear door buckling by the top mounting, necesiting removal of the bike rack and a repair to the door. Some of the Ducato versions with a rear bed which folds allow for up to 2 (I think) bikes to be carried inside.


Al the best in the search for a suitable van - everything tends to be a compromise but I'm sure that you will find something suitable. (It may be worth trying to fit a bike onto the rack or into the storage space of the van you consider buying before parting with cash if the dealer/seller will allow this.)




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