The new low-profile in its compact ‘C’ range, the Rapido C03 has a transverse bed – this is a motorhome layout that remains very popular, despite the inconvenience of one of you having to clamber over the other to get out of bed at night.

That’s mainly because a sideways bed doesn’t need to take up so much of the vehicle’s length. Many motorhome manufacturers offer at least one transverse-bed model that is just 5.99m long – much easier to park. The trouble is, though, that 5.99m might be just a bit too short. Could you ideally do with a bit more room?

Rapido is hoping you could. We checked the C03 out at the company’s season launch, to discover what use it makes of those extra 20cm.

There’s not much difference up front. Like all the low-profile motorhomes in Rapido’s compact range, the C03 comes with a standard Peugeot cab, although you can go for a Fiat with automatic transmission as an option.

Peugeot cab
Standard Peugeot cab, although a Fiat automatic is available as an option

The cab’s large sunroof lets light flood into the lounge. This features a fold-out table in front of two travel seats. At maximum capacity, you could fit six people here, thanks to an extra seat that folds out in front of the door.

Our test model was in Rapido’s new Luceo furniture scheme. This has been produced to counter criticism that the brand’s interior look was monotonous. So you get a pleasing mix of grey-slate work surfaces, a white/wood finish on the cupboards, black door handles and trim, and terracotta curtains.

There is one spotlight here, with a USB, and two reading lights by the cab seats, from where you would have a good view of a motorhome TV set mounted behind the rear bench, where the appropriate sockets are located. An LED provides light from the ceiling when daylight isn’t coming through the Heki.

Folding table
Folding table in front of the two travel seats could host six, thanks to extra seat that folds out in front of the door

You have to step down to the lounge, although that allows the designers to route heating vents from the Truma diesel heater down the aisle. However, you do need to be aware of the two-inch step under the door.

In the side kitchen, the two-burner flush hob, not the sink, is closest to the door (and the wind) – slightly odd, particularly as there is an extractor fan here. There is a detachable extension on the left and you would need this if both hob and sink were in use. In its lower position, the extension serves as an extra coffee table, indoors or out.

The mains socket is handy, but you would probably have to make sure you don’t need the sink and put the cover down while you are boiling the motorhome kettle, as there isn’t space for it elsewhere.

To the right, the designers have even managed to include a 140-litre slimline fridge with a separate drawer freezer – massive if there’s just two of you.

The DuoSpace washroom, which you step up into, includes a salad-bowl-style handbasin with a toothmug in the main washroom part, along with a circular toilet and two robe hooks on the wall nearby.

The partition, secured by a metal catch, swings around to reveal the reasonably spacious shower cubicle, with a shelf for shampoos and a large riser bar. There is no window in here, but there is a roof vent, and it’s all well lit with two LEDs.

However, it’s when you get to the rear bedroom that you finally work out what Rapido has done with the extra length in this vehicle.

Most unusually, you get proper steps that go up to the bed on the side. No more scrunching your toes on a ladder, or having to haul yourself up.

The bed is wider than usual, at 1.49m. You get two spotlights with USBs here, and the washroom door can be swung across to create a partition for whoever might be sleeping in the occasional single bed, made up from the dinette.

Wider transverse bed
Transverse bed is wider than usual, at 1.49m, and reached by proper steps, not a ladder

Extra length means extra storage, too – not just the almost full-height wardrobe with drawers underneath, but also the garage below the bed, easily big enough to store two bikes.

Inside, there’s a large drawer under the bed, and the latter tips up for access to two further storage areas.

Lifting bed
The bed lifts up easily to provide access to the ample storage areas underneath

Kitchen storage includes one of the largest drawers I’ve ever seen in a motorhome – part of a column of three, with another drawer inside it. There are also two overhead lockers, and a small pan locker under the freezer.

There’s plenty of shelving and a cupboard in the washroom, plus two overhead lockers in the lounge and a cubbyhole in each corner of the cab.

Practical Motorhome Says…

Rapido has almost created a new class with this motorhome: the transverse-bed low-profile that’s not too squashed. It offers a great deal of comfort and storage for two, possibly three people. Just a few niggles, such as the orientation of the kitchen, let it down.

If you’d be interested in seeing it, the Rapido C03 is set to be on show at the upcoming October NEC Motorhome Show too.

Technical spec

  • Price: £71,300
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Belts: 4
  • Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer (optional Fiat Ducato)
  • Engine: 2.2-litre, 140bhp turbodiesel
  • Length/width/height: 6.19/2.17/2.75m (20’3”/7’1”/9’0”)
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MiRO: 2860kg
  • Payload: 640kg
  • Water (fresh/waste): 110/90 litres
  • Leisure battery: 92Ah
  • Gas: 1 x13kg

Alternatives to the Rapido C03

  • Chausson S514 Sport Line: revamped for 2023, this Chausson comes with an eye-catching appearance.
  • Joa Camp 75Q: an impressive debut in the budget market, the 75Q has an innovative design.
  • Swift Voyager 584: excellent spec combines with a comfortable interior in the 584.

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