Paragliding Nomadness

Peter Jennings

Montenegro 2010

My Romahome

My Romahome in Andorra

I had never even heard of a Romahome until I discovered this one for sale in Andorra. It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

I was looking for something small. With the footprint of a large car, overall length 4.75 meters (15'7"), width 1.6 meters (5'4") and height 2.4 meters (7'7"), parking is never a problem. The Romahome fits in any normal parking space.

the cockpit Economy is important. The underlying chassis and engine, the venerable Citroën C15D, runs on diesel, which costs less than petrol in Europe. On a level highway it consumes as little as 5 l/100km (50 mpg), unheard of for a vehicle with sleeping accommodation. Despite the fuel efficiency, there is plenty of power to climb any mountain. This little Romahome has probably climbed more mountain passes than any other one on the road. I never pass a mountain without wanting to see the view from the top.

The Washroom

The five speed gearbox and light steering makes driving easy. A GPS tells me where to go and the radio is always full of podcasts from the BBC to keep me entertained and informed on the road.

It is equipped with the basic necessities for living on the road.

There is a sink with running water, a three-way fridge (12V, 240V, gas), and a 2 burner cookstove with a grill for heating pizza.

Tea Time

I always find a scenic overlook to stop for a cup of tea in the afternoon. If I have passed a patisserie, there will be something good to nibble on.

As I am rarely in a hurry to get somewhere, there is no need to push on. The scenic spot chosen for tea time often becomes the campsite for the night, as happened when I parked by the Rhône river in France. A very pleasant paragliding and hang gliding launch is on top of the ridge, just to the right of the tree.

Rhone Sunset

Paraglider and bedding in the Luton

One of the best attributes of the Romahome is that there is more storage space than most small campers, and some large ones. Designed like a small sailboat (Island Plastics were originally boatbuilders), the storage under the seats is massive, and there are built in cupboards in the galley.

The spacious Luton over the cab has room for my paraglider and the bedding. Everything else can be stowed in the lockers under the seats. All the little bits go on the shelves over the windows.

Cozy bed for the night

At night, one seat becomes a single bed. I wrap a king sized duvet around me, so I am warm and cozy and sleeping on a feather mattress.

With the cool fresh mountain air filtering in through the rooftop hatches and the total silence of remote locations far from any noise or light pollution, sleep is easy and the dreams of flying are sweet.

The Galley

The seats can be rearranged into a queen size bed for a more luxurious sleeping arrangement when I have company. In that case, the bed fills the entire cabin, except for the standing area between the sink and the fridge.

The Romahome may be tiny, but the standing area in the galley is high enough for anyone to stand up. With a plastic shower curtain, I can even take a shower in that space if it is raining outside and I am desperate. Normally, I use the solar shower outside.

In case of emergency, there is a porta-potty under the seat.

In 2011 I fitted a solar panel with a huge deep cycle battery. This has been awesome. The panel generates power even in the shade or on cloudy days. Since then, the battery has always provided plenty of power for all my lighting, radios and most important, the computer, which is pretty much on all day, every day.

Coupe Icare

Coupe Icare is the biggest annual festival for paraglider pilots.

There is nothing finer than camping across from the LZ, with a view of the costumes, the acro and the excitement of watching the spectacle all weekend long.

It's only a short walk into Lumbin, so there is no need to move the van from Thursday until Monday morning when everyone has gone home.


Often, I sleep in the LZ of the paragliding site I am flying that week. I love landing right beside the camper after a long flight and making a cup of tea before packing the wing.

Sometimes I find a pleasant place by a lake, like this one in Switzerland.

Out of 400 nights on the road, I can only recall one or two that weren't idyllic.

Since 1987, I have been driving up to Col de Botella near Pal and setting up antennas to operate my ham radio. I have worked more than 200 countries from up there, most of them with only a mobile whip on the roof of the car.

Romahome Ham Shack

From the very beginning, I dreamed of having a mobile shack that would allow me to operate through the night in a little more comfort.

Now I can spend the night on the mountain any time I want. Even in the winter, the gas powered heater keeps me warm at night.

There is a comfortable table to operate Morse Code from and when I get tired, I just go to bed. I want to be fresh when I rise before dawn for the morning grey line propagation, when signals are strongest on the low bands.

Back in the Pyrenees