Paramount Caravans is a manufacturer that has been around in the Australian caravan industry for just over two decades. It’s not a mass producer of caravans for sure, but like so many, offers a wide range of caravans. Everything from a family bunk van to a slide-out-fitted luxury rig to a toy hauler is available out of the Paramount factory doors.
Many of those vans are at the larger end of the scale but the Micro is at the other end. Several lengths in the Micro range vary from 4.3m (14ft) to 5.2m (17ft). My review caravan, which came from 7th Street Caravans at Heatherbrae (NSW), had an external length of just 4.65m (15ft 3in).
What this van also had was a rear door entry and a single-berth layout, both the beds being up the front. To the right of the entry door is the kitchen bench and in the opposite corner, the bathroom cubicle takes up a chunky bit of space. There’s enough space for the fridge and a bit of cabinetry. Opposite the refrigerator, the dinette completes the picture. Black, white and assorted shades of glossy grey make up the colour scheme. Windows all around and a roof hatch towards the front allow plenty of natural light and ventilation.
Single beds on each side of the caravan make practical sense. They are easy to clamber in and out of, reduce sleep disturbance by a restless partner and by day double as comfortable feet-up seating, with a couple of pillows as a back rest. Both the single beds measure 1.85m (6ft 1in x 2ft 6in) and have two windows, three overhead lockers, power point and a reading light each. The only shared item is the cabinet between the beds which consists of a small wardrobe, drawer and cupboard. There is some under-bed storage, accessed by a floor-level door but the Swift water heater partly takes the offside bed area. The drawer-fitted cabinet provides extra storage at the base of the offside bed. There’s also some handy shelf space, an overhead locker and the air space is used for a TV mounting. It can be seen from either the tables or the opposite dinette.
For those who’d prefer a double bed, this layout is also available with an island bed up front rather than the singles and a sideways-facing dinette seat.
Across the rear, the kitchen bench looks shoehorned in. A four-burner cooktop/grill and stainless-steel sink with drainer are built into the benchtop. There are two cupboards, two different-sized drawers and the ubiquitous overhead lockers. It’s a compact setup but still user-friendly. The microwave oven is above and the Thetford 170-litre three-way fridge on the other side of the bathroom cubicle.
Despite being relatively small, at mealtimes, the L-shaped dinette will seat a couple of people without a problem. Reading lights are fitted at either end and there are two-floor locker doors to access the under-seat area, although the wheel arch mainly takes the wall side.
A relatively minimalist approach has been taken with the fittings to fit the shower cubicle in. A bench-style Thetford cassette toilet complete with a moulded wash basin is at one end, leaving space for showering at the other. There’s enough room to turn around, so showering isn’t a problem. A fan hatch handles the ventilation.
Underneath the van is an FP SupaGal box section chassis. The drawbar rails are 150mm x 50mm (6in x 2in) RHS and the main rails are smaller at 100mm x 50mm (4in x 2in). The 15in alloy wheels are fitted to Dexter Torflex independent suspension. Two 95-litre freshwater tanks are fitted forward of the axle and the surprise addition for a road van, the 100-litre grey tank, is at the rear of the van. The plumbing is intricate but is strapped up properly.
On the drawbar, everything is quite simple with a ball coupling, handbrake and centrally mounted jockey wheel plus two gas cylinders.
Above the chassis, the meranti timber frame is hidden under the one-piece fibreglass roof and the aluminium composite walls. A lower waistline of black alloy checkerplate completes the external finish. Across the front of the van, the tunnel storage takes up part of the underbed storage inside but it’s essential for items like hoses, power leads, tools, camping chairs and the like.
For alfresco activities, the van’s nearside is well equipped with Lippert Solera awning, picnic table, external speaker and the necessary connections for a TV.
A 100Ah AGM battery supplies the 12V load and that’s charged up by either 200W of solar panel capacity or the Projecta PM200-battery management system. The remote display for the PM 200 is located by the entry door and allows for monitoring battery voltages and water tank levels.
A tare mass of just 1760kg and a length of 4.65m (15ft 3in) make this an easy van to tow. Indeed, the Ford Ranger I used was more than equal to towing and manoeuvring around. The latter is made especially easy because the Micro is fitted with a rearview camera as a standard feature. Even on a van this size, it’s a beneficial feature.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Who’d be interested in this caravan? Just about anyone who desires a smaller towing package and likes the practicalities of a single berth layout. Caravanners who want to downsize to something a little more manageable on the road and easier to store at home may well be interested in the 15ft Micro. Alternatively, couples or singles who desire an easy-towing van would find plenty to like.
HITS AND MISSES
- Towing the van was a breeze
- Single-bed layout works well
- Fairly spacious interior
- Window area
- Wet bathroom
- Drawer catches were a bit fiddly
- No USB charger points
PARAMOUNT MICRO RATINGS
VALUE FOR MONEY
Well equipped van but a bit pricey
An easy towing, well behaved caravan
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
On-road caravan for couple and singles desiring relatively light weight travel
Mainly okay, the door handles require a precise latching when closing
The single berths make a practical layout
200W solar panel capacity and a 100Ah battery are undoubtedly suitable for a few nights of remote stays
Manufacturer one year, Structural four years
Not so much innovative as unusual, single beds give some practicalities to caravan living
A smaller van but one with all the caravanning essentials
PARAMOUNT MICRO SPECS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
|Body length||4.65m (15ft 3in) |
|Overall length || 6.63m (21ft 9in)|
|Width (incl awn)|| 2.41m (7ft 11in)|
|Height (incl AC) ||2.86m (9ft 5in)|
|Cladding||Walls – Aluminium composite, Roof – fibreglass|
|Chassis||Box section SupaGal, 150mm/6in drawbar, 100mm/4in rails|
|Suspension||Dexter Torflex® rubber torsion 2.5T|
|Wheels|| 15in alloy|
|Water||2 x 95L|
|Battery|| 1 x 100Ah AGM|
|Air-conditioner||Houghton Belair 2800|
|Gas||2 x 9kg|
|Sway control||Dexter DSC|
|Cooking||Thetford 4 burner and grill|
|Fridge||Thetford N4175A 170L three-way|
|Bathroom||Thetford cassette and combo shower|
|Hot water||Swift 28L, LPG/240V|
Paramount Micro price from: $69,990 - including NSW registration
Paramount Micro price as shown: $72,990
THE NEXT STEP
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