Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano

By: Peta Stavelli

Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano
Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano You can convert the dinette to a second double bed if required. Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano
Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano Everything you'll need is in the kitchen. Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano
Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano It's suprisingly spacious inside. Entry-level motorhome: four-berth Rimor Katarano

Christchurch turned up a first for Peta Stavelli when she popped in to Freedom RV and ended up reviewing a Fiat Rimor Katarano, which proved to be a real runner.

I'm a fan of all things Italian, so I suppose it was no surprise to find myself quietly enamoured of the Italian-designed Rimor, powered by a two-litre Fiat engine. We put this puppy's six-speed manual gears through their paces on the outskirts of the city – and boy – did it have some get up and go. 

First impressions revealed a roomy interior which was kept well under wraps when viewing the compact 6.5 metres of length. There is a great deal of light; and the fixed rear bed is elevated to allow for exceptional two-way access toy storage below – smart thinking.

Another bit of smart design can be found in the positive locks on all handles on cupboards, drawers and lockers, which alleviate the constant stress of double checking to ensure that everything is locked down before you hit the road.

As this is an ex-rental vehicle, it’s tidy – if a little dated – but well-maintained with easy-care Macro-suede upholstery; and belted for four, but capable of carrying up to six people. It carries a 12-month dealer warranty and can be serviced nationwide by registered Fiat dealers.

The vehicle is ready to roll, with pots, pans etc; plus a toaster and all the crockery and cutlery you need. It also comes with a fire extinguisher and four Camec chairs for outdoor seating. It is certified self-contained.

So what else does this racy Rimor offer? In no particular order – full European insulation is backed by ducted gas heating and gas hot water via a Truma Combi water heater; the separate bathroom sports a good-sized shower, hand-basin and Thetford swivel toilet; water storage is 100 litres each of fresh and grey; all windows have fly-screens with blinds; and two roof vents sit snugly into the low-profile aerodynamic roof, designed to maximise fuel savings.

The galley is small in terms of preparation area, although perfectly adequate with a full kitchen comprising a three-burner hotplate and sink with under-bench fridge and storage. There is also a microwave oven. I liked the obvious and well-placed power points within the galley. The dinette converts to a second double bed.

The verdict

This is a basic unit for a beginner who wants to be road ready for summer touring – and it comes with a pre-engineered bike rack. Other extras – like a solar panel, satellite dish and awning – can be added if desired by the purchaser.

I have mentioned its get-up-and-go; add to that a very tight turning circle and you'll get the picture that this racy roadster carries with it all the expected exceptional driveability of a nifty Fiat vehicle.

It is modestly priced at $89,999. Available from Freedom RV, 449 Ferry Road, Christchurch. Freephone: 0800 526 625 or (03) 389 5346

Alternative: 2004 Ci Munro Volkswagon LT35

While at Freedom RV, I couldn't resist a run around the lot to look at what else was available and I found another entry-level gem – a 2004 Ci Munro Volkswagon LT35.

This compact four-berth has a great deal to recommend it, all for the modest price tag of $51,999. It is a five-speed manual model with a large rear lounge; great headroom; a good-sized galley; spare toilet and shower room; plus a certificate of self-containment; awning, TV and microwave.

It could make an ideal entry point for a small family. If first impressions count, it certainly got my seal of approval.

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