Skoda Roomster camper review – is it a good car for car camping?

Best cars for car camping | Car camping - car reviews
skoda roomster camping review 1

I’ve noticed quite a few searches coming to this website looking for “Skoda Roomster camper”, so I dug into it. Is Skoda Roomster a good camping car? Does it meet the basic requirements – especially boot length? Or is there a better alternative in the same price range?

Skoda Roomster Review summary

Skoda Roomster car camping / microcamper review

Lukas Cech – Nimblecamper.com

skoda roomster camping review 1
Boot size length 150cm (180cm with front seats pushed forward & tilted), height 100cm
Storage – average
Comfort (interior)
Comfort (driving)
Off-road driving
Consumption
ADAC rating 2.3/5 (lower = better)

Summary

Although there are quite a few Skoda Roomster camping conversions, it’s not the best car for the job – it’s too short (although you can push the front seats forward and put in a whole 180cm camping bed, you are sacrificing storage space + can’t drive with the bed set up). The only thing that saves the car is a slightly higher boot than a standard estate car. It’s not an expensive car, but that shows in the interior & drive quality. It’s a good choice compared to a VW Golf, but not compared to a Caddy, Peugeot Grand Kangoo (closest in the price range to a Roomster) or a Ford Galaxy.
See how Skoda Roomster stacks up against our 30+ cars for car camping table.

2.6

Is Skoda Roomster a good car for car camping?

This section focuses on assessing how does this car perform in car camping setting – space, storage, features useful for camping, extendability (how easy it is to add car camping gear).

Key information

  • Car type: MPV/Minivan
  • Make: Skoda
  • Folded seats boot length (cm): 150 (180 with front seats pushed forward & tilted)
  • Boot openning height (cm): 100
  • Boot width (cm): 100 (127 – 2nd row of seats)
  • avg MPG (US): 34
  • avg l/100km consumption: 6.9
Our Skoda Roomster car camping rating 2.6/5.0

Standard rating (not focused on car camping):

Whatcar.com rating: 3/5 • Autocar.co.uk rating: 4/5 • Carbuyer.co.uk rating: 3/5

Average rating: 3.3/5

ADAC rating: GOOD (borderline with average) – 2.3 out of 5 (lower = better)

Used Skoda Roomster prices

Skoda Roomster is a cheap car, so you can’t go wrong here – various models used prices range from around 1400 EUR (1200 GBP) to 9500 EUR (8125 GBP) on autotrader.co.uk at the time of writing. In short – plenty of offers under 10,000 EUR.

But beware – according to carbuyer.co.uk’s review entry level cars don’t even come with A/C… so cheapest might not be the best for a long journey during hot summer days.

Dimensions & Storage

The Skoda Roomster isn’t actually a big car (despite it’s name):

  • Exterior dimensions (cm)
    • length: 421
    • width: 168
    • height: 161
  • Interior dimensions (cm)
    • boot width: 100 (127 – 2nd row of seats)
    • boot height: 100 (seats removed), ~70 with seats folded
    • boot length: 150 (180 with front seats pushed forward & tilted)

Although the height and width are standard and acceptable for car camping, the boot length is where Skoda Roomster misses the mark by quite a bit – 150cm long boot means you won’t be able to stretch your legs at all. You can of course push the front seats forward and gain more room in the back, but at the cost of storage space in the front. This is why we make the cut off at 170cm (so you don’t have to push the front seats forward or not by much).

Storage-wise, in the front you will get the standard compartments you’d expect – storage in both doors, 2 (small) compartments in front of the passenger, cupholders in front of the gearstick. There is no overhead storage like VW Caddy or Sharan – or perhaps a small glasses compartment in newer models. Newer models should also come with a drawer under the front seat. Some models come with an armrest with built-in storage too.

It’s pretty standard for the 2nd row of seats – door storage and a small compartment + 1 cupholder between the front seats. The boot offers two quite big compartments on both sides + flat surface next to the window to put things on too. Some hooks that will come in handy + an add-on compartment (the half-circle strap bottom right) – although that might get in the way of a camping bed.

Electric sockets – 12V outlets

There are 2 12V outlets – one in the front by the handbrake, one at the back – although I couldn’t find any images of it, only a random mention in a forum.

Rear seats portability

The Skoda Roomster has two options to hide away the 2nd row of seats – you can fold them (back rests) or you can lift them up towards the front. Lifting them doesn’t really work for sleeping in the car, therefore it’s not usable for our purposes. Folding them down is ok – it creates a platform you can support your camping bed on, with some storage space towards the rear of the boot. Similar to VW Sharan 5-seater that I have converted for less than 110€ in this post.

There’s also option #3 – you can take the seats out completely, which will give you much more room. And they are quite easy to take out too.

The trouble with the Roomster is that it’s much shorter compared to the Sharan and also a bit lower – so whatever solution you will build for sleeping & storage, you will have less room than in any of the bigger cars on our list. Of course, you get more headroom than in a standard estate car, but you can’t escape the fact this is a shorter car. The need to push the front seats forward isn’t something we’re looking for in a camping car – therefore it’s a pass, but just barely…

The Skoda Roomster, therefore, isn’t the best car for a car camping conversion. You can still manage (especially if it’s a 1 person conversion, where you can push one of the front seats to the front to gain room), but there are better alternatives out there with much more room. Don’t buy a Skoda Roomster for camping, but if you have one, you can still convert it do a camper, some inspiration can be found here:

source: https://www.briskoda.net/forums/topic/412482-converting-to-a-small-camper/

simplecampervans.com

Ready made camping box
560 EUR

A simple wooden camping box + mattress

Do it yourself

DIY camping bed
+ manual under 200 EUR

Try it yourself – a simple bed with an instruction manual

Is Skoda Roomster a good car for driving?

This can get very subjective – you can see more detailed reviews on these websites:

Whatcar.com rating: 3/5 • Autocar.co.uk rating: 4/5 • Carbuyer.co.uk rating: 3/5

The quirky Roomster is an unusual reworking of the MPV formula, but it’s best thought of as a spacious small family car. It has two full size seats in the back, with a slimmer seat in the middle. All three can be reclined, folded forward or removed completely to turn the Roomster into a quasi-van. The middle seat can also be removed separately to give more shoulder-room for those in the back. In addition, the boot is a decent size and shape,
The Roomster is quite good to drive, with light steering and a tight turning circle – making it ideal for urban streets. On faster roads the ride can be a little wallowy, but it absorbs bumps well and doesn’t lean excessively through corners. Wind and road noise are kept in check most of the time, but can be heard at higher speeds.
Skoda have worked hard to build a reputation for quality, and the Roomster feels part of the family. The cabin has a solid finish with a durable feel.
whatcar.com

The foolish could easily dismiss the Roomster as just some novelty niche irrelevance that Skoda could do without. Foolish, because the Roomster represents a milestone in the rejuvenation of the Skoda brand, and is exactly the type of car Skoda needs to be making – cars that show practical needn’t mean boring, and cars that are much more than just watered down, re-badged VWs.
It is in fact a model for how platform sharing should work. Yes, there are the economies of scale of lower parts costs and component modularity (the chassis mixes original construction with parts from the Fabia and both new and old Octavia).
autocar.co.uk

The Skoda Roomster was Skoda’s unconventional approach to the small MPV. It never offered seven seats, but its interior was still immensely practical thanks to rear seats that could fold and tumble or be completely removed for carrying large items. The Roomster’s strength was its ability to provide a practical interior in a model that was more like a small car to drive than rivals such as the Citroen C4 Picasso.
carbuyer.co.uk

Is there a better camping alternative to Skoda Roomster?

The verdict here is probably obvious by now – Skoda Roomster can be converted to a microcamper, but it’s not the best car camping vehicle because of it’s size & low level of comfort. There are better – longer and more comfy alternatives out there and you don’t even have to pay that much more. If you are thinking about buying a Skoda Roomster specifically for car camping – don’t – check our microcamper reviews and I’m sure you will find a better car.

Here’s some suggestios to get you started:

The Roomster is a cheap car – used prices average at around 4400 EUR (3700 GBP) [using year 2011 as a benchmark). This eliminates our favourites like VW Sharan or VW Caddy Maxi but still leaves some good camping cars to choose from. The first two (Peugeot and Citroen) are very similar to the Roomster, but slightly longer.

Peugeot Partner Teepee L2 (Long)

  • 2011 used prices start from 4800 EUR (4100 GBP)
  • Boot length 217cm (total length 438cm)
  • Boot height 113cm
  • flat boot door floor (easier to put a camping box / boot jump in and out)
  • van-like, lower comfort interior and drive
  • rear sliding doors (unlike the Roomster)
  • get the Teepee version if you don’t want a van (no windows at the back or rear seats)

Citroen Berlingo Long

  • 2011 used prices start from 4400 EUR (3700 GBP)
  • Boot length 176cm (make sure you get the long version – 438cm long)
  • Boot height 100cm
  • flat boot door floor (easier to put a camping box / boot jump in and out)
  • van-like, lower comfort interior and drive
  • there are newer bigger versions (Multispace – XL), but out of this price range
  • rear sliding doors (unlike the Roomster)

Renault Grand Kangoo

(or even standard Kangoo)

  • 2011 used prices start from 5270 EUR (4500 GBP)
  • boot length – 221cm (Grand Kangoo) or 180cm (Kangoo)
  • boot height 113cm
  • flat boot door floor (easier to put a camping box / boot jump in and out)
  • van-like, lower comfort interior and drive
  • rear sliding doors (unlike the Roomster)
Slightly higher price range, but close:

Ford Galaxy

Recommended car tent / awning & camping gear

VAUDE – Drive Trunk – Motorhome awning

Ready to fit your Roomster! 🙂
Vaude tailgate awning
  • Fits most station wagons and minivans / MPVs
  • 2.2kg
  • great for tailgates – Berlingo, Sharan, Caddy, Partner…
  • doesn’t need a rail to be attached
  • integrated bug net, incl. stuff sack
£ 159.95 – BUY AT ALPINETREK.CO.UK
SEE MORE
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