Whilst there’s little doubt more traditional overcab coachbuilt motorhomes are entering their dinosaur days (low-profiles with clever bedding arrangements are very much The Latest Thing), there’s one very small sector where they still hold sway – for anyone seeking multi-berth accommodation, sleeping and travel, a model capable of providing a generous bed over the cab is still an attraction.
Better still if it’s at a bargain price. And that’s where just a very few manufacturers now come in. Roller Team from Italy is no stranger to attractive pricing which, more often than not, also includes a more than acceptable overall specification.
There are also promising build credentials here. Roller Team’s ExPS (Extreme Protection System) bodywork features a GRP outer skin, timber-free construction and Styrofoam insulation – all backed by an impressive ten-year warranty.
Underpinning all this is Fiat’s venerable Ducato, with the standard 2.3-litre 130bhp engine and six-speed manual gearbox.
From a short list of options, it’s arguably the Clima Pack (cab air conditioning and electric door mirrors), at £1,140 that will prove the most popular, although you just might want to discuss the availability of the 150bhp engine upgrade.
But, this is all about keeping the pricing sensible.
And that’s just one reason why the habitation door is on the UK offside (manufacturing costs of swapping this and the interior layout over to UK “right-handed” are just too much).
Frankly, if you’re on site there’s no real issue. Step inside and there’s certainly a feeling of space. There’s also a rather clever touch to the lounge, whereby the seating and table can be extended inwards so that you really can seat up to six folk around the dinette at mealtimes.
The kitchen is mid-’van on the same side as the motorhome habitation door, and it’s good to see there’s some thought gone into family use here. It’s always tempting to pare back the facilities in a budget vehicle, but at the same time a family group is arguably more likely to want to prepared meals on board.
There’s a Smev three-ring hob and sink combination here, a generous 149-litre Thetford fridge/freezer, and a Thetford Duplex oven/grill. Storage and work surface are, again, more than you often get in vehicles like this.
The washroom provisions are similarly impressive. There’s a lined shower cubicle, fixed sink and swivel-bowl toilet. Changing space is a bit cramped, but fittings like the window, towel rail, storage pockets etc are always welcome.
As for night time, there’s a selection of three double beds that are all generous enough in size. The transverse double is 2.16m x 1.34m, narrowing down to 1.18m, while over the cab it’s the same length but a much wider 1.68m (and headroom is pretty good, too). The lounge double, at 1.81m x 1.25m, takes a bit more setting up, of course, but can still be worth it if you want full family use.
As standard, the big Zefiro comes plated at a maximum weight of 3650kg. If your driving licence is pushing you down to a 3500kg chassis, do note that ends up with less than 400kg of payload. The chassis downgrade won’t cost you anything extra, but you will also lose a travel berth.
Storage itself is unlikely to be an issue, thanks in part to that large garage area at the back of what is an impressive vehicle at this price level.
Verdict: Multi-berth flexibility at a bargain price
Plus: ExPS coachbuilt bodywork, up to full six-berth accommodation, good kitchen
Minus: Tight payload(s), lap restraints only for rear-facing travel
In-a-nutshell: A family contender!
Cost to insure: £257
- Roller Team Zefiro 690G
- Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp Euro V
- Dimensions 6.99m L, 2.31m W, 3.20m H
- Maximum weight 3650kg (3500kg optional)
- Payload 540kg
- Key options: Clima Pack Plus (£1,140), Roof rack with ladder (£465), Panoramic opening skylight (£600), dinette skylight (£275), cab privacy curtain (£175), leather upholstery (£250), floor carpet (£200), flatscreen TV bracket (£100)
- Security and Safety Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to cab doors, ABS, twin airbags
- MPG estimate 20-23
Recommended retail price from £40,386**
There’s more information on the Zefiro range on the Roller Team website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Chausson Flash 626, Sun Living Lido A49 DP, Carado A464
**Motorhome insurance cost based on Roller Team Zefiro 690G motorhome retailing at £40,386. Motorhome must have an immobiliser and Thatcham Category 1 alarm fitted. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 06/02/2014
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%