Rollerteam Ducato 259TL Motorhome Review
Author: Leah Glynn Date Posted: 3 September 2018
It was a drizzly, windy early-May morning when I arrived to pick up my Roller Team 259 motorhome from the RV Sales Centre in Melbourne - not really ideal conditions for a three-hour drive to the Grampians National Park, but having heard good things about the driveability and handling of the 259, I wasn’t too worried. Paperwork and formalities soon out of the way, it was time to hit the road and see what this European import could do.
HITTING THE ROAD
Being Melbourne, it wasn’t long into the journey before the clouds parted and sunshine began to stream into the spacious, welcoming cab of the 259. There’s plenty of room up front and, for someone who stands just over six-foot, leg room was (thankfully) no issue. The control panel was within easy reach and a cinch to use, and there were quite a few handy storage compartments - which became very important for housing snacks and water on the long road trip, as I quickly discovered.
With nothing but the flat, straight Western Highway ahead of me, the 2.3L turbodiesel engine, built upon a Fiat Ducato chassis, proved more than up for the task. I’ve driven motorhomes before where even the slightest incline required a good pump on the accelerator, but the 259 was nothing like that. It responded beautifully to light touches on both the brakes and accelerator, and the control the steering provided meant not even the gale force winds and torrential rain that hit just before we got to Ararat had me concerned.
The all-seeing side mirrors were another source of comfort, and extended out far enough to ensure I always had a great field of vision along both sides of the motorhome. The 259 isn’t the biggest RV on the market (it’s 6.89m long, 2.3m wide and stands 3m in height), but I definitely felt the mirrors helped in allowing me to maneuver the motorhome more confidently, especially when the vehicle felt so much larger, and more cumbersome, out on the road.
Arriving at camp, and knowing full well how icy the Grampians can get overnight, the first port of call was getting the 259 prepped so I could enjoy a cosy evening in.
Originally hailing from Europe, the 259 is well-equipped to handle a bit of chilly weather. The windows are double glazed to ensure heat stays in and cold stays outs, and the blinds which cover every window add another layer of protection from the elements.
The Combi gas heating though, was the saving grace. I’ll admit, I did have to do a quick Google search to get it working properly, but it was soon up and running, and warmed the motorhome up wonderfully. Just remember to turn it off before you go to sleep, unlike I did, because you will wake up dripping in sweat and wondering where the unexpected heat wave came from.
In terms of layout, the four-berth 259 features a rear corner bed, rear corner bathroom, drop-down bed, four-seater dinette and galley kitchen.
It’s a functional space, built to accommodate two to four people, although I imagine four adults would make the motorhome feel very cramped, very quickly. It seems more suited to a couple, or two friends, but you could also make it work if you were a young family with small children.
The rear corner bathroom is surprisingly spacious - as far as motorhome bathrooms go, and comes complete with a shower, cassette toilet and vanity. There’s also a small window and roof hatch, which meant ventilation was no issue. The shower cubicle even has a folding door that closes completely (although claustrophobics may struggle in the enclosed space), which does eliminate the risk of a wet floor you could easily slip on, and keeps the rest of the bathroom relatively dry.
Located to the right of the entry door, the kitchen spans about half the back length of the motorhome. It’s a basic set-up, but still includes an 86L three-way fridge/freezer, gas oven and hob, decent-sized sink and glass splashback. I found the bench space to be adequate, although considering I only prepared breakfast or cups of tea in the kitchen area, I’m not sure how it would fare if you attempted to whip up a three-course meal.
When it comes to storage space, the 259 impresses. A three-drawer cupboard to the left of the entry door was a welcome inclusion, and came in handy for packing away things like bags, magazines and odd bits and pieces. Overhead cupboards in the kitchen and above the dinette were fantastic for pantry items, and there was even a small wardrobe-style area for hanging clothes. The bathroom wasn’t forgotten either, and storage comes in the form of both an overhead cupboard, and a cupboard under the sink.
The sleeping arrangements were by far one of my favourite parts of the 259. Up the back is the corner double bed, which, at 1950mm by 1280mm, is a decent-sized bed for a motorhome. I quite liked having the bed tucked up in the corner, as it made for quite a cosy reading nook.
Then there’s the drop-down bed, which literally lowers down from the roof. It’s a nifty feature, and not only saves you the hassle of having to pack up and pack down a dinette-based bed, but means you also don’t have to find somewhere to hide away the pillows, blankets and sheets. It all just goes up into the roof, with a simple press of the button. The drop-down bed was where I slept when travelling in the 259, and I found it fantastic. Easy to climb in and out of (although my long legs probably helped a bit), comfy and with plenty of room to spread out.
A SOLID ALL-ROUNDER
For newcomers to the RV scene, or nervous drivers, the Roller Team 259 is a great entry-level motorhome. Its compact, low-line shape makes it a breeze to drive, and it has all the quality components you would need - including a 100L water tank, dual front airbags, ABS brakes, TV, reversing camera and central locking - to ensure an enjoyable getaway. It may not be the most luxurious motorhome ever, but it’s a reliable and practical RV that ticks all the boxes.
Model: Roller Team 259
Base Vehicle: Fiat Ducato
Certified Seats: 6
Pre-owned Price from: $86,990