Review: Roller Team Zefiro 690

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Safety conscious, emission-aware and with lots of practical design features, the Zefiro is a smart choice for families on the move, says Bill Savidan

For the past four years the RV Super Centre have been offering for sale Roller Team motorhomes imported from their associate UK motorhome rental company, Just Go.

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The Zefiro is mounted on the new Ford Transit cab/chassis

They have been well accepted by New Zealand buyers, who have been both impressed and reassured by the ‘as new’ condition of the product offered. This year they are offering eight different models, from the 7.4-metre long A-class Pegaso through to the 5.9-metre T Line 590 two berth.

This review is of a six-berth 2018 model Roller Team Zefiro 690, which has done 17,400km.
Previous imports have all been built on Fiat Ducato chassis, but this year some, including the Zefiro 690, are mounted on the new Ford Transit chassis sporting a 1995cc turbo diesel driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Developing 125kW at 3500rpm (405Nm at 1750-2500rpm) it is quick off the mark and a peppy performer in city traffic. It lopes along quite happily on the motorway too, and through the rolling countryside of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. I’m sure we will see more Ford Transit-based motorhomes in future.

The Transit is a ‘safety conscious vehicle’ equipped with two airbags, ABS, power steering, a reversing camera/monitor, and electric mirrors. For driver comfort and convenience it has cab air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth for phone connectivity, and a radio with USB/Aux/MP3 input. 

Cab layout

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Everything falls to hand just where you expect it to be

Everything falls to hand where you expect it to be. There are steering wheel controls for the radio and cellphone volume, and cruise control. Towards the centre is the dash-mounted automatic gearbox selector and, further left, the heater and aircon controls.

Above are the radio selection buttons and a rather small display screen. At each end of the dashboard is a single cup holder with a water bottle holder below. The driver’s seat has a good range of adjustment, including an adjustable lumbar support. Ford has kept everything simple, and it works.

AdBlue

The Zefiro’s new Ford motor uses AdBlue (see below) to meet the current Euro6 emission standards. The AdBlue reservoir should be topped up as part of the vehicle’s regular servicing (each 15,000km).

So apart from knowing it is an important part of the service programme, it is not something owners/operators need to look after on a regular basis. However, a backup supply of AdBlue on-board wouldn’t go amiss if you’re away in the backcountry for weeks at a time.

The AdBlue solution converts over 90 percent of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions into nitrogen and steam – resulting in less pollution. While the engine is running, tiny amounts of the solution are injected into the exhaust system, breaking down the NOx emissions into water vapour (steam to you and me) and nitrogen gas. For further information see ‘AdBlue and You’ in MCD#159, Sept 2017

On the outer

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Kerbside, beside the cab passenger door is a flap that covers the fill pipes for the diesel tank and the AdBlue reservoir. It’s conveniently located alongside is the LPG locker for two 9kg bottles.

Further along again is the 230-volt power inlet point, and across the rear of the RV is a very large garage with doors either side. On the rear panel, mounted clear of the lights, is a four-cycle bike rack, and above that is the reversing camera.

On the driver’s side you’ll find the toilet cassette hatch, the fresh water fill pipe and the grey water discharge pipe. Windows are mostly the conventional ‘cassette’ style’ awning-hung with built-in blind and insect screen.

Three of them, two serving the Luton bed and one beside the dinette, are ‘sliders’. All serve the purpose quite well but I can’t explain the reason for putting a ‘slider’ beside the dinette.

Inner circle

At 350mm off the ground, the low entry step makes it easy to get in and out of the Zefiro 690 and it saves the cost of buying and fitting external folding steps. On entry the cab is to the left, just past the full height wardrobe cabinet, while the four-seat dinette is opposite.

Turn right and pass between the ablutions on the left and kitchen on the right to the elevated east/west queen-size bed (2150 x 1280mm) across the rear.  Note that the cab seats don’t rotate to become part of the lounge seating.

Although the dinette seat back intrudes into the access way between the cab seats, there is still adequate room to get through the gap and into the cab. In total there are six seat-belted seats (two in the cab, four in the dinette).

A head for heights

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There is a king-size Luton bed over the cab

This model has a king-size Luton bed (2090 x 1600mm) over the cab. Good headroom (600mm) allows for sitting up in bed – important if you like reading. The single ceiling mounted light over the head of the bed should be sufficient to read by.

At each end of the bed is a single small ventilation window. Some may find the 1800mm climb up the ladder to the bed a bit daunting. Altogether the Zefiro 690 has six sleeping berths (two in the rear, two in the Luton, two in the dinette conversion).

Time to eat

The dinette has room for four (two facing two) on its well-padded seats. When required it converts to a smallish double bed. Extensions of the bed base pull out to bridge the gap across the central walkway and the extra cushions needed to assemble the bed are stored in the wardrobe cabinet.

Space under each dinette seat is occupied by the water tank (back) and the Truma water heater (front). Above the dinette are two lockers that have, in common with the lockers in the kitchen, washroom and bedroom, octagon-shaped doors.

This, along with their white lacquer finish, makes an interesting contrast to the curved or flat doors we have become accustomed to. And all the lockers have shelves.

Cooking and eating

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The kitchen has excellent storage

Kerbside, just aft of the entry door, is a sensibly sized galley kitchen. A single stainless steel unit set into the benchtop contains both the kitchen sink and a three-burner LPG hob, leaving around 510mm of bench length for meal preparation and serving.

A hinged glass lid covers the hobs when they are out of use. There is no range hood or extractor fan fitted under the overhead lockers, but it wouldn’t be difficult to install one.

A small Thetford Duplex oven is mounted below the bench alongside four large cupboards. These are not shelved or partitioned to contain the contents, which reduces their usefulness.

Again, it wouldn’t be difficult to install shelves and partitions. Between the bench and the rear bed is a tall cabinet housing a tall, slim Thetford fridge with a very useful feature I have not come across before in an RV fridge.

The top two-thirds is a fridge plus a small freezer compartment. But the bottom third is a separate deep drawer; an ideal place to store veges and drinks. Overall, I liked the kitchen; it has a generous workspace, excellent storage once the shelves and partitions are installed, and a user-friendly fridge.

Forecasting showers

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A washroom with plenty of attention to detail

Roller Team have refined their washroom designs magnificently in recent times. The Auto-Roller 747 (reviewed in MCD#178 (Feb 2018) was a fine example of a very small washroom, and now they’ve done it again with a medium-size washroom in the Zefiro 690.

Nothing fancy, just attention to detail in a compact space. The shower tray moulding has twin plugholes connected with a deep perimeter drain, ensuring the tray drains even if the motorhome isn’t level.

A footstep and soap/shampoo shelf are moulded into the wall panel and a three-piece folding door seals off the shower from the rest of the washroom, making clean-up after a shower so much easier.

The sensibly shaped rectangular handbasin sits in a corner beside the shower, with a tall corner mirror above. Alongside, the Thetford swivel toilet shares footspace with the handbasin. Above the toilet is a window and a wall-mounted magazine rack.

There is generous storage in the wall-mounted medicine cabinet and the vanity cupboard below. A solid door seals off the washroom from the rest of the motorhome. What more could one want in a washroom?

Climb up, lie down

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The dinette can convert to a smallish double bed

As mentioned above, the bed across the rear of the Zefiro 690 is a large queen size. It is very comfortable (foam mattress over sprung wooden slats) and relatively secluded once you’re ‘aboard’, but you’ll need to use a ladder to get in or out of bed.

There is a pair of reading lights at the head of the bed and lockers and shelves on the side walls and rear wall for personal items.

Two windows, a small one in the rear wall and a large one at the foot of the bed, take care of ventilation. A small sliding door provides access from the motorhome interior into the garage under the bed.

The nitty gritty

If you are seeking an entry-level motorhome that will accommodate up to six people, then have a look at the Zefiro 690. With elevated beds at both ends and a very functional washroom and spacious kitchen amidships, it has the makings of a very workable family motorhome.

Built on a Ford cab/chassis with a full automatic gearbox, it is easy to drive, store and manoeuvre as well as being ideal for highway travelling or gravel road exploring.

Pros:

  • A well organised bathroom.
  • A kitchen bench with ample working space.
  • A very practical dinette.

Cons:

  • Both permanent bed options involve the use of a ladder.
  • Kitchen storage under the bench lacked shelves or dividers.

Specifications

Make

Roller Team/ Ford Transit

Model Auto Roller Zefiro 690
Engine

1995cc litre turbo diesel

Gearbox

6-speed full auto gearbox

Berths

Six

Length

6990mm

Width

2350mm

Height

3200mm

Fresh /Grey water

100L/ 100L

Power

125kW@ 3500rpm Euro 6.
405Nm@
1750 – 2500rpm.

GVW

3500kg

Tare

2990kg

Payload

505kg

As reviewed, the Roller Team Zefiro retails for $112,990 including GST, on-road costs and a 12-month RVSC warrant. For more contact the RV Super Centre sales team on 0800 52 00 55 or visit rvsupercentre.co.nz

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