Rapido 8086F0.63-2 Review

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Whether it’s going off grid, touring the countryside or visiting friends, nothing’s a problem for the Rapido 8086F, says Bill Savidan

Rapido motorhome
The Rapido’s friendly smile is its distinguishing feature

Seventy years ago cabinet-maker and joiner Constant Rousseau started building Rapido RVs. His passion for innovative, quality work is still visible in contemporary Rapido motorhomes like the 8086F, with its blend of modernity and tradition; the integrated ‘A’ Class body; the understated Costello cabinetry paired with the warm tones of the Montreal upholstered seating.

Entry

A single slide-out step plus single step in the stepwell makes the 8086 easy to enter. Shoe storage is available at floor level under the side settee to the right. The door is a standard 540mm wide model with a window and blind that lifts up to close, like all the 8086 blinds. Opposite is a robust grab-handle for those who could use a steadying hand. A neat touch is the coat hook beside the entry; a variation on the Rapido motif. The Avtex 24-inch TV is very viewable from its mount above the Thetford two-door fridge freezer on the left. Over the door is the monitor panel for house and vehicle batteries, fresh and grey water tanks plus lights and a master switch. Truma’s C Plus monitor panel for the Combi 6 water/space heater sits alongside.

Rapido lounge seats
There is room for four around the Rapido’s table, six at a pinch

Lounge

A major advantage of the integrated body is having its full width carried right through to the windscreen. It combines the cab with the lounge, creating a larger more useful space. The face-to-face settees, one each side of the lounge have detached armrests that are surprisingly effective. Both settees convert to safety-belted travel seats. They are upholstered with firm foam and covered with attractive faux leather. Easy to get in and out of, the settees are quite upright – good for one’s posture. Sliding the folding dining table to the kerbside allows good access through the cab. With covers that match the lounge seats, the cab seats rotate easily, without clashing with the surrounding furniture. They have safety belts built into them.

There is a single locker above each settee, each with a mid-shelf and a shelf below. Down each side of the cab is another long shelf and each one is fitted with a fiddle rail to hold the contents in place.

There are three floor hatches. Two large ones access the side-to-side tunnel storage under the floor and the third provides access to the water pump, pipework and various valves.

Rapido settees
It’s hard to imagine these side settees convert to belted travel seats, but they do

A dropdown bed over the cab has the same mattress and base arrangement as the island bed in the bedroom and is of a similar level of comfort. Privacy is protected by curtains that descend with the bed and a large pair that close off the lounge. It is easy to access the lowered bed from the lounge side settees.

Kitchen

Putting the three-hob cooktop at the back of the bench allows for a small workspace in front. To the left is a rectangular stainless steel sink with a hinged glass cover. On the right of the cooktop, a glass splash panel protects the settee, and another more stylish version protects the back wall and window surrounds.

In the opposite corner is a switch hub with a double USB port, 230-volt outlet and light switch. There are two separate drawer locks to secure the under-bench drawers when the RV is underway. A paper tower roll holder and spice rack are mounted on the wall above the sink.

Rapido kitchen
One advantage of a compact kitchen is all the essentials are close at hand

Above the cooktop are two lockers. Both are fitted with middle shelves that almost double their useful storage capacity. More storage is available below the benchtop, with two drawers, one short, one tall to left. To the right is a small but useful oven with a cutlery drawer above.

Ventilation is well taken care of with an opening window, a ceiling hatch and an Xpelair with external vent. Accent lighting across the top of the overhead lockers helps to make the kitchen corner a happy place.

Euro kitchens are smaller than traditional Kiwi kitchens. New Zealand RV cooks are adapting their methodology to cope with working with less space.

Whether it is buying a set of nesting pots or applying the old ‘tidy-up’ dogma of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’, today’s Kiwi cooks are commenting less about ‘small’ Euro kitchens and getting on with the job. It also helps that in this model, the well designed folding dining table doubles as kitchen bench space.

Washroom

This is a two-part washroom, with the shower stall driver’s side and the toilet-vanity kerbside. A solid wooden sliding door closes off the kitchen from the washroom, but the washroom layout doesn’t allow for closing off the washroom from the bedroom. A two-piece folding door closes off the shower stall.

DSCF4146.jpg

There is outside venting through a ceiling hatch, and a large hanging rail that is suitable for drying towels and clothes folds down from the ceiling. You get just one small shelf for shampoo, conditioner etc.

A satin grey tambour sliding door closes off the toilet area. Rapido have fitted a swivel bowl cassette Thetford toilet. Alongside, the half sphere stainless steel handbasin creates an interesting 3D reflection of the tap, but you have to buy the motorhome to learn the secret of how it is done.

When the toilet is not in use, leaving the tambour door open makes it easier to walk past the foot of the bed. Shelves that cover the wall above the vanity top are themselves covered by a sliding mirror door that covers half the length of the shelves. This door can be fastened at either end, allowing access to items on shelves at the other end. It is a good idea for positioning the mirror to best advantage but not so good for items best kept private and out of sight. Those would be best kept in the cupboard under the basin.

Rapido bed
Under the rug is a large, comfortable double bed

Bedroom

The bed is extra large – 1940 x 1500mm – and an electrically powered mechanism can raise it up to 300mm to gain extra height in the rear garage. It also has an extend/retract mechanism that creates more space around the foot of the bed when the bed is unoccupied. A window each side and a ceiling hatch create endless ventilation opportunities.

Rapido bedroom
The primary bed at the back of the RV is equally comfortable

Each side of the bed has a large shelf for bedside essentials; a cubby by the pillow for personal items plus a hanging locker with a removable shelf, and a reading light. The occupants share the padded headboard and the two overhead lockers. Two steps up each side make it easier getting in and out of bed, particularly when the bed height is raised.

Rapido bedroom shelves
Each side of the bed enjoys a padded headboard, shelf, reading light and locker

The Base Vehicle

Fiat’s Ducato is the chosen base vehicle. It is powered by a 2.3-litre 180 BHP turbo-diesel engine driving the front wheels through a nine-speed torque converter gearbox. Built on the optional AL-KO heavy duty chassis, and with a tare weight of 3350kg, the resulting GVW of 4400kg reflects an honest and very useful payload of 1050kg. Note that another ‘heavy-duty’ benefit is the more robust six-bolt wheel hubs and, on this review vehicle, 16-inch alloy wheels. With a 4040mm wheelbase and a relatively short 2020mm rear overhang (less body sway), the 8086F has reassuring road handling characteristics.

Build

Building on an AL-KO chassis gives the 8086F a flat floor from the cab to bedroom. Polyester sheeting protects the underfloor from moisture and road debris damage.

The high density closed cell foam used in the foam sandwich construction of the roof, walls and floor panels of Rapido motorhomes improves their strength and insulation properties.

Rapido outside
The Rapido 8086F is ideal for freedom camping, touring or just mucking about

Outside

On the driver's side, an LPG locker has room for 2 x 9kg bottles. To the left is a small locker access hatch. Left of the habitation door is another small hatch that gives access to a tunnel locker under the floor through to the other side. The rear garage hatch accesses the electrically driven mechanism for raising/lowering the island bed 300mm, increasing the headroom from 900mm to 1200mm. Just inside to the right is a barbecue bayonet connection (available as an upgrade).

An increasing number of RV owners are buying e-bikes, so with this in mind a 230-volt outlet plug has been installed in the garage to charge electric bike batteries. Forward of the rear wheel kerbside is the access hatch to the Truma space/water heater. Beside that another hatch provides access to the electrical switchboard.

Going off grid

The suitability for freedom camping is where the 8086F stands out in relation to its peers. At 300 watts, it has plenty of solar panel power to replenish the two 100Ah house batteries. The 149-litre, two-door fridge freezer is larger than average and automatically selects the most appropriate energy source (LPG/230vAC/12vDC). Two 9kg LPG bottles are supplied as standard, as is the KiwiSat automatic satellite television aerial. And the Truma 6 CP Plus hot water system, interior heaters and the cooktop/oven are all powered by LPG.

When full, the fresh and hot water tanks together store 140 litres while the grey water tank holds 90 litres.

floor plan - daytime.jpg

floor plan - nighttime.jpg

Summary

This is a complete motorhome. It will serve you well, whatever task it is set; whether freedom camping, touring the countryside, visiting friends and family or substituting as a permanent home. It will enhance your prospects of going places you have never been and meeting new people. All you have to do is set off down the road.

PROS

  • Excellent dropdown bed over the cab

  • The island bed. It is large (1940 x 1500mm) and can be raised for extra headroom in the garage

  • 300 watts of solar and 2 x 100Ah batteries to store it in

CONS

  • None worth noting

 

Rapido 8086F specifications

Chassis

Fiat Ducato

Engine

2.3L diesel Euro 6 180bhp

Gearbox

9-speed torque converter gearbox

Berths

4

Length

7200mm

Width

2350mm

Height

2890mm

Fresh/hot water /Grey water

120L/20L/90L

Tare

3350kg

Payload

1050kg

Price as reviewed: $209,990

 

For further information visit rnrv.co.nz


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