The best insight you can get into caravanning Australia in a Roma is talking to people with years of touring experience and road miles under their belt.
People, who have lived and travelled in their caravans, turned them into their homes on the road, who have taken them through all kinds of conditions and put them to the test. Who can tell you how they handle on off road trails, what they’re like to live in, how they compare to others, and if they’re built to last.
These are the things you really want to know to get a better picture of what a Roma caravan is really like for caravanning Australia – real-life insights from owners you won’t find in any manual.
And Leigh Marshall’s story is great example of this, giving us a true account of what the Roma caravan experience is all about.
On the caravan hunt
An experienced caravanner who’d owned 3 caravans, “2 off-road Supremes and an off-road Sun Coast”, over the last 10 years, Leigh was on the hunt for a caravan that could handle the rougher roads he and his partner had always wanted to travel.
“We never really did any serious off-road touring with the first 3 vans, but always intended to venture further north, which would necessitate going along some long stretches of unmade and corrugated roads.”
Having owned 3 off road caravans in the past, Leigh’s natural inclination was to choose another off road model for caravanning Australia; however, after talking to Lee and Brendan at the Roma dealership, his decision took quite a different direction.
“When I spoke to Lee and Brendan at Roma, I indicated I would like to have a robust van, with off-road suspension. After explaining what I would be using the van for, they convinced me that the Roma road van was built sturdy, and would not need the off-road suspension to traverse the sort of areas I would be going to.”
A tour with a difference
By taking a tour of the Roma factory, Leigh was shown exactly what they meant by this.
“Lee took me into the factory, and started doing pull-ups on the overhead cupboards. He said “Try doing that on other brands of caravans!” I was half convinced, but still a bit concerned about their standard suspension being adequate on unmade roads.”
And Leigh’s concern was entirely reasonable. This was something Brendan and Lee had heard time and again. Many imported caravan brands sold in Australia are built for overseas markets and flatter highway conditions, and this shows up in things like basic suspension, poor shock absorbers and tow hitches that preclude sideways rocking.
This is what Leigh wanted to avoid. And this is where Lee and Brendan set about to show him why Roma was an entirely different breed of caravan and built for tougher Aussie roads.
Built for caravanners like Leigh
Made in Victoria, Roma’s caravans are built entirely with the Australian caravanner in mind, and this shows in every little detail, from the durable chassis and components to their solid engineering and safety features.
The Roma team were able to show Leigh these crucial differences, as well as spend time getting to know what he wanted, the style of travel he expected, and matching him to a caravan that would meet all his needs. And this made a world of difference to Leigh’s end decision.
Instead of a typical off road caravan, Leigh ended up choosing the luxury Elegance model, known for it’s robust engineering, high-quality features, flexible living spaces, superior mod cons and more. This was a world away from what Leigh first expected he would choose.
“Lee and Brendan stated that: ‘We’ve had customers travel over all sorts of roads all around Australia with our road vans, and they haven’t had any major problems.’ I took them at their word, not sure why, as I had had warranty issues with the other brands of vans, and was a bit cynical of sales people."
Leigh’s leap of faith was made much easier by the personalised and customised service Lee and Brendan offered him; ensuring he only chose a caravan that could meet his exacting standards.
And did it deliver? Leigh took it up north to find out.
Caravanning Australia the Roma way
“We embarked on a trip along the Oodnadatta Track … even driving along the Finke River bed to find a suitable bush camp ... The worst that happened to the van was when we dragged the rear legs through the sand, but no damage, fortunately."
The trip was a big success, with the Roma Elegance towing like a dream over large sections of unsealed desert roads, and despite the harsher conditions a far more luxurious experience than Leigh had ever had before.
“Nearing our mid seventies, we’ve become a bit soft, and like our comforts, so the Elegance with full ensuite, gas heater, queen size bed etc. suits our needs, but we’re still able to get off the “beaten track” and enjoy a bit of bush camping. Sort of, ah, 5 (million) star luxury."
And this is exactly what Roma is all about, equipping all their caravans with a high level of luxury and toughness so every customer can have the ultimate caravanning Australia experience.
Plus, the relationship doesn’t end there. This is also the Roma difference.
Personalised customer service
Once you own a Roma, customers have full access to the Roma team – from the builders to the dealers and owners – to ask for advice, servicing tips, customisation ideas and more. It’s a highly personalised service that looks after customers for the lifetime of their caravan.
This Leigh would also happily find out.
“If I’ve had any problems I call them at the factory, and arrange to call in within a few days and have any issues attended to. They have only been minor things, and have been rectified, even after the 12 months warranty had expired.”
And so in the end what Leigh walked out with went beyond his first expectations.
“Now I can say I’ve had nothing but complete after-sale satisfaction with the salesmen, and from Tony and Jack, the co-owners of Roma.“
With a Roma he found a caravan that could meet his expectations, provide a trusted relationship with it’s dealers, deliver a 4 star experience to some of the most rugged spots in the land, and also set him up for many more off road adventures to be had.
And so the only question left to ask is where in the wild will Leigh take his luxury Elegance next?
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