There is a bit of a story behind Ramblin’ Romy’s name, the product of a good bit of wrestling. First of all, what name could more strongly suggest roaming, is close to “Roma” which is what the Gypsies call themselves, and makes one just want to pile into something and hit the road than Romy? The ‘Ramblin’ part has a bit of an historical connection. In 1990 Bonnie went to Europe, bought an old VW Camper Bus in Utrecht, and spent six months rambling around most of western Europe. The bus was red, she loved the Grateful Dead song “Ramblin’ Rose” and thus the name she gave that van.

Bonnie and Rose

Bonnie and Rose

So because it simply seemed appropriate, and in fond honor of our original European camper, Romy became Ramblin’ Romy.
Here is the technical information on Romy. She is a Glucksmobil, built in Germany, and is twenty-four feet long and about seven feet wide. Dan the Van, identical in size to the smaller vehicle at the top, is fifteen feet long and five feet wide so you can see what comfort possibilities she offers over Dan.

Romy, Gluckmobil

Romy is built on a Fiat Ducato chassis, used in probably 70% of all the campers here in Europe and the basis for an equal percentage of delivery vans and small trucks. She has a 2.3 liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel engine with a six gear transmission and we were quite surprised by the power delivered climbing hills and simply accelerating onto a freeway. Big as she is there is no limping along for lack of power. She cruises very comfortably at 110 to 120 kilometers per hour–equivalent to about 68 to 75 mph. By rough calculation she seems to get about 25 miles per gallon (about 10 liters per 100 kilometers), which given her size is certainly acceptable if not commendable. She had about 17,000 kilometers (12,000 miles) on the odometer when we bought her.

All of Romy’s lights are 12 volt LEDs and we also connect directly to normal electrical ‘shore’ power through a long extension cord. She has a huge tank for fresh drinking water, another tank for what is called ‘grey water’ from sinks, and a flush toilet that empties into a tank that is easily emptied at any campground. She also has a bike rack on the back that can hold four bikes, and a rear view camera so that we don’t bump into things in reverse.
Here’s a look inside so you have some sense of why we are so comfortable in her. When you come in the door you enter what we have taken to calling the salon where we spend most of our time eating, working on our computers, watching movies and TV series on the 21 inch TV monitor, and just hanging out.

Romy, Gluckmobil

The table slides side to side and front to back and will swivel 90 degrees, so we can adjust it to whatever we are doing. Also notice that the driver and passenger seats rotate 180 degrees and become a prime part of the salon.
Here is a view of the salon from the doorway and you can see the drapes by the driver’s door which pull across the windshield, the benches on the far side of the table and to the right of the doorway, and the end of the double seats to the rear where passengers would sit with seatbelts when moving and where one or the other of us spends a lot of time when camped.

Romy-Coming in the door

This view to the rear shows the double seats with seatbelts, the doorway to the left, and beyond the full refrigerator and freezer and finally the bedroom in the very back. Behind the double seats is the kitchen.

Romy, Gluckmobil

In this view the covers over stove and sink are closed as they often are when we are preparing food. This provides just about the only counter space and is a shortcoming we have learned to overcome, but not easily.

Romy, Gluckmobil

And here it is with the covers open and the espresso ready to fire up.

Romy, Gluckmobil

The bed is queen sized and there is space on each side to walk around it, thus making it each morning is pretty easy. On each side are our closets with shelves and space for hanging clothes, and above are even more storage cabinets. The bathroom with toilet and sink and a full shower are behind the bedroom door. We will spare you photos.
The ultimate storage space is provided by what the Europeans call the ‘garage’. It is really under the bed and closets, and runs all the way across the camper with access from both sides of the exterior. Here’s a shot of Bonnie demonstrating just how spacious it is.

inside

Dave has made a valiant effort to fill it with outdoor chairs, a table, tools, even the suitcases we came with, but there is still enough room for much more than we carry and we joke about starting to rent it out as an overnight accommodation!
It turns out that we won’t have to do that, for we have a second bed that drops from the ceiling above the salon when needed!

Romy, Gluckmobil

It is a full double bed, has one skylight directly overhead and another beside it over the driving area, and is thoroughly comfortable and a great place for guests or a quiet read in the afternoon.

Well I guess that is about it. Romy is comfortable, very easy to drive, and has become a real home to us. As visual proof, here’s Dave at about 10:00 at night in Beaune, France siting on the front step and finishing off the first cigar he’s had since Cuba!

Romy, Gluckmobil