Roller Team Pegaso 740 review
MCD takes a closer look at the innovative and practical features packed in the Trailblazer
RV Super Centres in Auckland and Christchurch are into their third season importing near new Roller Team motorhomes in New Zealand. They source these motorhomes from Just go—a major UK motorhome rental company partly owned by Tourism Holdings Ltd (THL), owners of the RV Super Centres.
Just a few months ago, at the start of the UK 2016 summer season, the vehicle under review—then a brand new 2016 Roller Team Pegaso 740—commenced work in the Just go rental fleet. Around three or four months later, at the end of the UK summer, with approximately 17,000km on the clock, it was decommissioned from the fleet, given a thorough service, and shipped off to RV Super Centre in Auckland.
At first glance, it could be mistaken for a new vehicle, but to be fair, a closer inspection reveals wear marks commensurate with the kilometres travelled. Of course, the asking sale price reflects this and there are other advantages the owners of an ex-Just go motorhome enjoy.
Roller Team is one of the 17 brands of motorhome in the Trigano Group. Well-known brands sold in New Zealand, such as Auto-Trail/UK, Benimar/Spain, Ci Motorhomes/Italy, Eura-Mobile/Germany, Tribute Motorhomes/UK, and Roller Team/Italy all come from the Trigano stable. So the Pegaso 740 or Trailblazer, as Just go and the RV Super Centre refer it to, has a good pedigree.
Just go offers renters top-quality new models in excellent condition. Regular inspections and service are part of their philosophy. Their rental fleet vehicles get on-time maintenance during their time in the fleet, not just at the end of their time when they are prepared for sale.
Each vehicle leaves the fleet with a full complement of household utensils. Kitchen items include pots, pans, toaster, kettle, crockery, cutlery, and a chopping board—all hygienically wrapped in cling wrap. In the garage, you will find fresh and grey water hoses, an emergency kit, a 230volt electric lead, a bucket, and a dustpan/brush.
On being A Class
The Trailblazer bodywork, from the front bumper to the back, is built by Roller Team in their Italian factory. The chassis and the hot bits that go up and down, the turbodiesel motor driving the front wheels through a six-speed ATM auto gearbox, are all Fiat Ducato.
Externally, the result is a purposeful front end blending seamlessly into the box-like structure that is a modern motorhome body. A few deft touches from the artists brush—in this case, the application of decal swirls to the bodywork—helps to distinguish the Trailblazer from other brands on the road. Both the front and rear panels are well executed in fibreglass, reinforcing the point that this motorhome is a Trailblazer.
At the first glance, the Trailblazer looks smart, comfortable, and spacious. There is a nice balance between timber grain and paint finish on the cabinetry. The colour palette of ivory, chocolate, caramel, and creamy beige is subdued.
A huge panorama windscreen provides a solid connection with surrounding landscapes and activities. The wide A Class cab contributes to the extra space. Manmade eco-leather upholstered seats around the dinette and in the cab suggest comfort is in store. For the most part, this is borne out after closer inspection.
Like most A Class motorhomes, the Trailblazer has just two doors—one kerbside for the cab passenger and the other set amidship on the driver’s side that serves as both the driver’s and the habitation door. This door has a step well that is lower than the vehicle side skirt making it easy to enter/exit the vehicle, but the driver should keep in mind it could be vulnerable to damage when travelling over uneven ground.
Eating and sleeping
With cab seats rotated, five can sit at the dinette. The table top can be moved sideways, back, and forward, ensuring all diners are close enough to eat comfortably. However, care needs to be taken while positioning the driver’s seat, as it can clash with the adjoining cabinet. I found the dining table impeded access through to the cab seats. If it were mine,
I would change the table top for something smaller and lower. The Trailblazer has a fore and aft island bed in the rear, separated from the kitchen by the bathroom. Above the cab seats is a pull-down double bed.
The fold-down bed is unobtrusive, easy to deploy, can be stored away, and be made up ready for use. It relies on a simple and reliable mechanism that doesn’t run on electricity.
Screens on three side of the bed lower as the bed comes down. A curtain can be drawn across the open side once you are in bed. While you need a ladder for exit and entry, the bed is nowhere nearly as far off the ground as the ‘bed over the cab’ alternative. It is also possible to scamper up and down using the furniture as steps if you forget to bring the ladder.
At 1900mm x 1350mm, it is a generously-sized double bed, ideal should you have another couple as guests for a night or two. If you have three guests, by re-arranging the seat cushions, the dinette can be converted into a fifth sleeping berth.
The food court
The Trailblazer has a typical, compact, and efficient Euro kitchen. There is storage below the bench—three drawers and a cupboard with useful slide-out basket shelves and in a pair of overhead lockers. Cooking is confined to a three-burner LPG hob. To the opposite is a large 230volt ac/12volt dc fridge/freezer but it does not have the LPG option. One useful feature is the bench top rubbish bin into which you can sweep scraps that can be dealt with once the meal has been prepared.
The Trailblazer lives up to its name by offering an unusual bathroom layout that has the hand basin as a focal point. The elegant oval glass handbasin, sitting atop its smart vanity, is mounted against a floor to ceiling bulkhead placed at the foot of the island bed. It dominates the view when looking towards the bedroom from the lounge. The ivory lacquered vanity cupboard below, flanked by shelves, provides toiletry storage.
Above, the three-piece mirror adds to the perception of depth and space. Tucked in the corner to the left as you step through to the bed, is the shower cubicle, and opposite to the right as you step through, is the toilet. Three substantial sliding doors isolate ablution activities from the bedroom and the kitchen. The end result is an attractive bathroom that is an efficient use of space.
And so to bed
Having the bulkhead at the foot of the bed provides visual privacy for the bed occupants and is an ideal place for mounting the TV. It is pre-wired with both 12 and 230-volt power points as well a double USB port.
Built for comfort with a foam mattress over sprung wooden slats, the 1890mm x 1400mm bed nestles against a padded headboard with his and hers hanging lockers on either side. The ivory lacquered cabinetry theme is carried through from the bathroom and lounge.
The overhead lockers have contrasting chocolate-coloured trim to match the headboard and the wall storage pouches. I thought the LED highlights across the top of the headboard and the overhead cupboards created a subtle feeling of welcome.
A place for everything
To allow easy access to the storage below, the foot of the bed, the mattress and the sprung slats are hinged, allowing the bottom half to fold over out of the way. It also allows the more observant among us to see the mechanism that raises/lowers the bed, providing up to 300mm more headroom in the garage storage space. So if you need to put tall items such as bicycles in the garage, you can raise the bed to accommodate them.
As photographed, the bed is in a low position; low enough to allow me to sit on it from standing on the floor. In the high position, I would have to stand on the side step to be able to sit on the bed.
Rear garage storage is a popular, sought-after feature on motorhomes. While it is not the best place on a motorhome to carry heavy items, garages offer useful storage space for lighter gear such as BBQs, outdoor furniture, and sports gear. Doors on both sides (900mm wide x 1140mm high) provide excellent access to the space inside.
Sliding doors in the front wall of the garage allow access to the onboard water/central heating unit. Numerous anchor points are available to tie down loads. And there is a useful LED tube light that unclips from its wall mount so you can use it outside as well as inside the garage.
Trailblazer is an interesting motorhome. It has an innovative but practical bedroom/bathroom arrangement at the back, a spacious lounge that can sleep three guests at the front, an adequate kitchen, and a useful storage garage at the rear. It hums along on the motorway but is equally at home on winding country roads and so is eminently suitable for touring throughout New Zealand.