Caravan magazines are, invariably, filled with colourful descriptions about traversing the great outdoors in total luxury. And that was exactly what I experienced when testing the new 6.55m (21ft 6in internal length) Roma Elegance at Maryborough, Vic – a town rich in heritage that lies 168km north-west of Melbourne. There was an irony in descending upon Maryborough for our test, as the town is renowned for its architectural elegance and Roma Caravans is admired for its own ‘Elegance’.
I was akin to a love-struck teenager after casting my eyes over the new-look Elegance at Goldfields Reservoir. The reservoir is a popular fishing and waterskiing haven, but the luxurious caravan at the water’s edge was no ‘fish out of water’ and it certainly made a ‘big splash’ – thankfully remaining on terra firma.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
The updated Elegance boasts a chic interior courtesy of its two-pack gloss finish, and the exterior’s insulated composite panel is equally classy. The previous model had a solid timber polyoak finish and aluminium cladding. The composite panel is easy to maintain, looks sleek, and accentuates the visual impact of the double-glazed flush-mounted windows. And the aesthetics are complemented by the black checkerplate strip at lower wall level. Also underpinning the innovation of the new Roma are cleverly-designed cabinetry handles which provide those with arthritic symptoms the opportunity to get a better handle on things (if you’ll excuse the pun).
BEDROOM & STORAGE
Comfort has not been compromised inside the van. The front queen-size bed, with adjustable base and strut-assisted lift, has a back-care innerspring mattress and a pillowtop. It’s a great place to catch forty winks, complete with 100 per cent privacy blinds and flyscreens. The four-season hatch above the bed, plus a centre hatch, provides excellent ventilation, particularly on those hot summer nights. Meanwhile, spacious mirrored robes, overhead lockers and cupboards at the front of the bedroom will keep everything neatly packed away.
The curved kitchen rules in the Elegance – it’s a place you can start your own restaurant-on-wheels revolution. Aspiring masterchefs can cook up a storm on the recessed four-burner gas/electric cooktop with fan-forced oven below. Directly above is a rangehood with LED light and extraction fan. Safety and sensibility also prevails with an 80W LG microwave, which is integrated into a cupboard at just the right height, and the 186L AES Dometic three-way fridge. A stainless steel basin, flick mixer tap and filtered drinking water add to the kitchen’s practicality. And there is an abundance of roll-topped bench space, making food preparation a piece of cake.
The plush leather-upholstered cafe-style lounge sets the perfect scene for some romanticism – perhaps a candlelit dinner washed down with a bubbly or two? The upholstery comes in a variety of colours. Extensive internal/external LED lighting can light up the van like a Christmas tree, if required. The Elegance is a mobile entertainment centre – wired for sound and vision. There’s a 24in LED LCD TV/DVD combo, which operates on 12V and 240V, and a radio/CD with internal and marine-grade waterproof external speakers.
The spacious rear ensuite is a great example of Roma Caravans’ craftsmanship, led by its brains trust – Jack and Adam Conticello and Mark Palmarini. It comprises a shower with opaque, hinged glass door, an adjustable-height shower arm and head, and a swivelling Dometic ceramic bowl toilet. Topping off the bathroom is a 2.5kg Maxi RV top-loader washing machine and a solid sliding door for privacy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall, the Elegance was practically flawless, ticking all the boxes except for the notable absence of a stone mesh guard.
At $82,000, as reviewed, the new-look Elegance oozes class and – comparing apples with apples – you’d have to roam a long way to find anything on par.
- Modern yet classy interior
- Clever furniture handles
- Practical curved kitchen
- No stoneguard
The full test appears in Caravan World #542 October 2015.