Reading material for those who love the camping life

Text and photo: Willem DA Laros
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, No. 5 October

Test of the Dreamer 55 UP: Plenty of space in six metres

Dreamer is one of the brands of French Rapido. The other brands are of course Rapido itself, Campérêve and Itineo. The largest Rapido factory is in Mayenne. It is also the place where the six meter long Dreamer 55 UP Black Addict awaits us. Motorized by Peugeot Euro 6.3, i.e. with six-speed manual gearbox. A great driving car, even if we are spoiled for choice with the fine automatic gearbox that Fiat can supply. Its availability is now more than doubtful.

Dreamer is the brand of "unlikeable" motorhomes. At first glance, the 55 UP - UP refers to the lifting roof on top of the motorhome - has total sleeping space on board for four adults and a traditional layout: Two swiveling cabin seats, a table that can be enlarged, a bench and a kitchen in front of a half sliding door. The kitchen unit has two gas burners with three very useful drawers underneath with soft-close and central lock for driving. Bench space is very limited, but can be increased somewhat with a folding shelf. If you want to cook a lot while on holiday, an RV is not the most suitable vehicle.

Shower and toilet separated

The comparison with "an ordinary motorhome" stops behind the bench and the kitchen. Normally there would be a wet room with basin and toilet and a Thetford compressor fridge opposite. Dreamer, however, has a different approach. Directly behind the bench - for two people the bench is equipped with belts - we find a narrow Thetford fridge with freezer compartment. Behind this is a MODUL'SPACE®, as Rapido calls it. - a wardrobe and a shower area in one. You can turn it over the bed to create a good shower with a plastic folding wall. You can also access the hanging cabinet from that side. On the opposite side of the shower is the toilet. At first glance this looks very small, but the wall can be folded up and it forms the dividing line between living and sleeping across the aisle, including the spacious toilet. Also worth mentioning is the environment-creating, indirect lighting in the living room and above the beds,

Extensive equipment list

The Webasto diesel heater, the panoramic window above the windscreen, the 16 inch alloy wheels, the leather steering wheel, the radio and phone controls on the steering wheel, automatic high beam and wiper adjustment, standard spare wheel and black metallic exterior on the Black Addict variant. Whether this is useful with the annually rising temperatures remains the question: fortunately, a white Addict is also available. Some of the light controls are on the kitchen fittings, some are touch points such as toilets and showers, above beds and above cabin seats. The storage space under the beds is also easily accessible from the inside. On one side there is a hatch in the garage with a cupboard behind. For things you don't need too often. There is also a cupboard for one gas cylinder. Because heating is on diesel (Webasto), this is also enough. Everything can be controlled centrally from a clear touch screen above the sliding door. The Webasto controls are also located here.

No sunroof

There are windows next to the bench and in the sliding door, as well as in both rear doors. All with blinds and window screens. Due to the pop-up roof, there is no room for sunroofs. With the pop-up roof down, this is actually a big loss. The wood pattern on the furniture and floor is light oak, the chairs and bench are covered with off-white artificial leather. The wall elements are partly wooden and partly off-white. The upper cabinets have no handles: just press them again and pull them up.

What mustAre we missing this "dreamer"?

In the bedroom, there is no possibility to put down anything such as a book, a magazine or a telephone. There is also no power outlet and/or USB to charge anything. No power point in the toilet either for shaving and charging the toothbrush. Opening the fridge is a bit difficult: the handle is too low and too close to the back of the sofa. A handle above the headrest of the sofa would solve this. The cabling for the TV is installed. As well as an HDMI connection and solar panel preparation. The socket under the kitchen counter is difficult: a cord quickly hangs in front of the drawer, which is then difficult to open. So here are some points for improvement

Cleared

Driving a Peugeot feels familiar from the first meters. Everything is where you expect it to be, and the leather steering wheel is comfortable to hold. The blackout cassette on the right – depending on the size of the driver – takes away a little of the blind spot mirror. When the engine is running, there is 12V and a USB connection on the dashboard. Although we travel together, of course - when the worst of the day's heat has passed - the roof goes too. To do this, however, we must first move the bus to avoid contact with tree branches: the total height with the roof up is considerable. Something to keep in mind when choosing a location.

The raised roof

Loosen the straps, take out the ladder and after a gentle push, the roof rises automatically. The ladder is set against it - fortunately the table can remain standing, provided the second leaf is below the first - and we climb. It's very hot under the black roof! Placing a toddler in there for a nap seems like a bad idea when it's 29 degrees outside. My advice would be: take the white version. It also requires some agility to get on and off this roof tent. The ladder must be folded out, and you must also find space for the ladder when the children are upstairs in the evening and the parents want to sit downstairs. But four people can sleep in the meantime on a length of six metres! The upper bed has two LED lights and a sturdy net to prevent it from falling out of the roof tent.

Good dreams

We had a great time with the Dreamer by Rapido D55 UP Black Addict. The four beds are nice, the kitchen is compact but serviceable and the hanging cabinet that turns out to be a shower is absolutely an invention. There is enough space under the beds, although with four people you will want to take a lot with you. The large fridge is nice, above it is a small cupboard with a sliding door. If privacy is an issue, then the toilet room is a bit of a problem: when you're lying in bed, with the door wide open - and you have to, because otherwise the room is too small - you don't get a good view of the person on the toilet. And then there are some small, typically French features. The toilet button fell off during the trip, the floor creaks, the windscreen vibrates audibly while driving. But all in all, the Dreamer is a pretty nice motorhome you can dream about.

Campaign

We parked the Dreamer D55 UP Black Addict for a few nights at Camping à la Ferme La Viotterie, booked through Campanyon's website. La Viotterie is located on the border between Mayenne and Maine et Loire in a rural area, and is centrally located for various excursions. Campanyon is a young booking platform founded in Scandinavia for special overnight stays in nature. If you like camping in nature, then you are in good company with Campanyon. Campanyon wants to make nature accessible to everyone. It is a platform where campers, nature lovers and hosts can meet to discover and protect nature together.

Technical specifications

Standard Peugeot Boxer BlueHDI 2,2 l 88 kW/120 hp

Length 599 cm

Height 259 cm

Seats: 4

Beds: 4

The Dreamer D55 UP Black Addict is equipped as standard with:

  • Heating ceiling
  • ABS braking system
  • Emergency brake assistance
  • Airbags for driver and passenger
  • Electrically operated windows
  • Heated electric side mirrors
  • The driver's seat can be adjusted in height
  • Refrigerator with fresh food compartment
  • Maxi sink in smooth stainless steel with lid in glossy black glass
  • Stove in stainless steel with black glass cover and piezo ignition
  • Cabinet under kitchen unit with drawers / pot drawer with high quality PVC lining
  • Functional bathroom with laminate on the protective wall, shower and toilet

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