Roadstar sets the pace at Best Aussie Vans with its flagship Sirius, spotted by outgoing Caravan World editor Laura Gray months before. Monocoque construction and an efficient chassis underpin a finely-tuned interior for a van that oozes class on and offroad.
A CUT ABOVE
When class and style meet practicality and usability, you just know you’re in for something special! This really is an impressive package for anyone who wants to go bush, but be a little sophisticated while they’re there too.
The chassis is built by Australian Hi-Tech Engineering, who has been in the game for over 45 years. It’s gusseted and reinforced in all the right places with good quality welds – although I did find the mounting plates for the steps were a little average. It runs the full offroad Cruisemaster independent trailing arm suspension, which has proven itself as one of the leading suspension options in the game over the years, and runs a chunky set of Federal mud terrain tyres – so you know it’s got the offroad goodies to go anywhere. Add in a tough full composite construction (that means no frame), oodles of ground clearance with skid plates protecting any vulnerable components at the rear and you just know it means business.
What really stood out to me was the attention to detail with little things like having speaker boxes to improve the sound quality, gas struts on the cabinetry lids and custom-designed lounge/seat padding with genuine leather for maximum comfort.
It’s obviously had plenty of thought put into it when it comes to the usability side of things, too. In fact, compared to the other vans, the front storage box area on the Sirius felt like the easiest one to access while maintaining plenty of protection from flinging stones, which is a real asset on the tracks.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
I didn't think I would rave about a van selling for 133 grand... but I did! This is a classy van both inside and out and the design, building materials, the build quality, standard of finish, the attention to detail and the quality control are nothing short of exceptional in all cases.
The van rides on a hot-dipped galvanised chassis supported by a Vehicle Components Cruisemaster XT independent, coil sprung offroad suspension which sits on 16in all-terrain rubber.
The most modern and strong construction techniques see one-piece composite fibreglass panels for both walls, while a similar one-piece section extends from the very front, over the roof to the very rear. The 45mm thick composite floor is again one piece and all the panelling is locked together by aluminium extrusion and strong adhesives. Adding to the appeal and the exclusivity of the Sirius is the smart looking mouldings on the front and rear edges.
Inside the Sirius you have a roomy interior decked out with the very best of appliances and equipment including satellite TV, and a dinette with the upholstery dressed in striking black leather. The attention to detail is incredible with high-quality cupboard construction from lightweight ply and HI-MACS benchtops where the joints are all but impossible to see, while the gaps between drawers, doors and lift-up benchtops are thin and even all around.
Befitting an offroad caravan designed for the long haul around Australia or for extended stays in far off exotic places, there is an impressive array of facilities for off-the-grid living, including three 95L water tanks plus a 95L grey water tank.
All in all the Roadstar Sirius features you’ll find a build quality that all others should aspire to and be judged against!
Talking to Roadstar owner Ken Nizam before looking over one of his caravans, like the flagship Sirius, is definitely recommended as he can point out any number of the finer points in its construction. Even without that, a quick look reveals a van that is well put together. Nizam, however, is keen to mention the full composite panels, aluminium extrusions and mouldings that are made to Roadstar’s specification.
In addition to that, a look under any caravan can reveal a great deal. For instance, in this case, it is clear the chassis isn’t built in the usual box-section style but to Roadstar’s specification. I note all that because the Sirius comes at a relatively expensive price as it is designed as a full offroader. Whilst quite a few manufacturers will build a tough-looking chassis and suspension, they don’t do much to the bodywork. However, in the case of the Sirius, the chassis can be lighter in comparison due to the attention paid to the bodywork.
On the comfort and practicality front, the Sirius is a well-appointed van and has much to offer the keen offroad traveller.
The sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and in that respect, the Roadstar Sirius has the entire box and dice. It’s the ultimate offroader – a solid van that’s innovative and palatial.
And inside, the Sirius is the ‘brightest star’.
A highlight of the fully functional angled kitchen is the HI-MACS benchtop – an artificial stone which gives off a granite look and feel. Meanwhile, a 12V compressor Vitrifrigo fridge is ideal while free camping. The Sirius also boasts a luxurious cafe dinette with headrests and footrests, which don’t ‘jut out’ when closed.
Complementing the van’s structural integrity is the one-piece sandwich panel construction of its walls, floor (42mm) and ceiling; and the self-designed plastic-injection moulding of the front and back corners gives it character – a powerful visual effect! Attention to detail comes to the fore courtesy of slide-out drawers between the robes and dressers in the front bedroom, and also the laser cut decals.
This van also had the optional ‘Sirius Pack’ on board – including the aforementioned HI-MACS benchtops; SatKing (satellite TV); third water tank; tunnel boot with pull-out sink, mixer tap and glass lid; Weber baby Q; 125Ah Enerdrive ePOWER B-TEC lithium battery; and an extra large gullwing toolbox with jerry can holders on each side.
Roadstar’s top-of-the-line van is a real home… it’s a step into the future!
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.8m (28ft 10in)
- External body length 6.3m (20ft 8in)
- External body width 2.35m (7ft 8in)
- Travel height 3.1m (10ft 2in)
- Internal height 1.94m (6ft 4in)
- Tare 2670kg
- ATM 3500kg
- Payload 830kg
- Ball weight 260kg
Price as shown
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #571. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!