This is a clever addition by Rapido, delivering an A-class motorhome that measures less than seven-and-half metres - it's the smallest model in the range. With a side settee layout in the lounge and an island bed at the rear, it achieves a welcoming open feel despite its more compact dimensions.
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Al-Ko Price from: £79,400 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 7.24m Width: 2.35m Height: 2.84m Gross weight: 3,500kg (3,700kg and 4,400kg options) Payload: 375kg
Does 30cm matter? Well, according to Rapido’s customer research, it does. Some buyers, it seems, feel that seven-and-a-half metres is a tad too big, but around 7.2m would be just fine. So, for the 2019 season, it introduced its ‘86’ layout in 686F low-profile and 8086DF A-class versions, as well as this i86 in the top-of-the-range Distinction.
Therefore, this all-A-class line-up with its distinctive styling and curved roof-to-sides join gets its smallest model. It’s an island bed floorplan with the popular split washroom facilities but measuring 7.24m overall, compared with 7.54m for the i96 (which continues). Like its bigger brother it sits on an Al-Ko chassis and is powered, as standard, by the usual Fiat 130bhp motor. There’s a storage double floor, too, with a depth of 190mm, as well as 100% polyester construction with 30mm Styrofoam insulation, but the i86 lacks the larger ’van’s Alde heating option and the additional Premium Edition spec.
The exterior features new duo-tone, double-lens, bus-style mirrors as well as hatches to access the habitation electrics and service the boiler, plus loading the full-width double floor cavity. The key feature, however, is the rear garage, which can carry up to 150kg (watch the overall payload, though, which isn’t very generous unless you upgrade to a 3,700kg MTPLM). An electrically rising rear bed enables you to increase garage headroom from 0.89m up to 1.19m, while a neat roller shutter system keeps the bedroom separate from the space below, whichever position the bed is in.
Of course, inside, reducing the length means making sacrifices and the lounge is more compact here. However, the side settee floorplan still leaves the front of the ’van feeling open, with plenty of room for two. The superb Aguti captain’s chairs come with height/tilt-adjustable squabs and they swivel easily, thanks to the angled ends of the sofas behind.
Here, Riga real leather (an optional extra) is mated to pale Castello furniture. More traditional Elegance cabinetwork is also available and there are three standard upholsteries including TEP faux leathers. The new armrests on the settees are a nice addition but the big TV locker with its swing-out bracket seems a bit anachronistic.
Much more contemporary is the new kitchen design. Here, there are numerous pluses – the three-burners-in-line hob, the chopping board cover for the sink, the backlit kitchen roll holder and spice rack, the selection of drawers with central locking and the 160-litre fridge/freezer with automatic energy selection. The left-hand drive example shown here lacked an oven but UK-bound vehicles will see one of the drawers under the hob replaced with a combined oven/grill.
The rear of the motorhome can be closed off with a proper sliding partition, while the toilet area has a tambour door to give easy access. A sliding mirror reveals good storage for toiletries, while (opposite) the separate shower is a decent size and the intrusion of the wheelarch doesn’t really matter as it’s only in one corner.
The island bed measures 1.92m by 1.48m and the whole bed can slide back, with the head end becoming a reclined backrest. In either position there’s room to walk around the foot of the bed, as long as you leave the toilet area door open. Angled wardrobes on either side enable a wider mattress, while pigeonholes cater for bedside storage for specs, phones, books, etc. There’s also a huge drawer under the foot of the bed for folded clothes.
And, finally, if you need four berths, there’s the usual A-class drop-down double and the settees can be converted into a pair of extra travel seats.
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