Roadstar Sirius: Review

By: Laura Gray, Photography by: Stuart Grant


The new Sirius offroader is blazing a trail for Roadstar Caravans, signalling an exciting new path.

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Just as the Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, the 6.3m (20ft 8in) offroad Sirius caravan is the brightest star in the Roadstar Caravans fleet. The new Sirius is the result of heavy R&D and significant investment by Roadstar Caravans to create a range-topping van that glows with quality.

The Sirius replaces Roadstar’s revered Safari Tamer, which has led the Roadstar fleet since shooting to victory in Caravan World’s inaugural Best Aussie Vans competition in 2013, as the flagship model wearing the Roadstar colours. Roadstar’s Ken Nizam said the popular Safari Tamer had been a huge success for the company – and it will remain an important model in the line-up – but the Sirius took things to a whole new level in design, innovation and fit-out.

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"It’s our top-of-the-line van, and everything we’ve done in that van is to create a real home," Nizam said.

Big-ticket items like the composite fibreglass exterior, one-piece specially-moulded front and rear panel, and full CNC furniture are complemented by smaller, less-obvious details that Nizam says make all the difference. This includes the seamless and joinless HI-MACS resin benchtops and table surfaces, the recessed cooktop, the super high-gloss Urban Republic cabinet faces, the real leather upholstery and every conceivable outdoor accessory you can dream of.

EXTERIOR

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With its smooth, sleek exterior in glossy white fibreglass sandwich composite, delicate waist of black checkerplate and matching black trimmings (awning, windows, doors, etc), at first glance, the Sirius could pass muster as a classy on-road tourer. But it only takes a second for the other features of the bright, shiny van – the ones that tell you this is undoubtedly, a tough, well-equipped and sturdy offroader – to hit you in the face.

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The chunky mud-terrain tyres are hard to miss, its high-riding stance (without a rear cutaway) proves that ground clearance is optimal, the Vehicle Components Hitchmaster DO35 coupling shows you it means business, and the two huge gunmetal grey checkerplate storage boxes riding up front behind a hefty stoneguard make it clear this van has a solid purpose off the beaten track.

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The forward box is, in fact, a storage locker for the twin 9kg gas cylinders and is flanked by a jerry can holder on each side, giving you enough capacity in gas and fuel to take the Sirius off the grid for a serious amount of time. This off-grid capacity is complemented by the three 95L water tanks underneath, one 95L grey water tank, one 125Ah Enerdrive B-Tec lithium battery and 300W of solar. If you need more power capacity than that, it might be time to think about leaving the hair dryer at home!

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The larger gull-wing box behind has a great surprise in store for campers who love spending their time al fresco (and, let’s face it – isn’t that most of us?) – a 28L Waeco CFX fridge on a slide! The fridge is perfectly located to complement the Sirius’s other fantastic external feature – the impressive and well-equipped slide-out kitchen. The kitchen pulls out of the van’s front tunnel boot and comprises a round sink with mixer tap and glass lid, and a Weber Baby Q that’s installed and ready to fire up!

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Further along the van’s nearside, past the Dometic hourglass door and double electric Tecno-Step, are another couple of welcome – but more common – features: Fusion stereo speakers and an entertainment hatch to hook up the TV outside. Between the barbie, the fridge, and that entertainment setup, you may not even need to step foot inside the Sirius!

INTERIOR

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Staying outside would be a mistake, however, as you’d miss out on seeing how stylish it is on the inside, with obvious care and attention to detail put into every element.

Nizam admits this, saying the Sirius takes longer to build than any other Roadstar van. This is due, in part, to its external construction (the one-piece front/roof/rear composite structure has to be craned into position, clamped, glued, sealed and left to cure for more than 24 hours) but also just because of the materials and features used inside.

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The Sirius’ layout comprises the time-honoured front bedroom, mid-kitchen/cafe-style dinette and rear bathroom setup that is so popular these days. However, the amount of living space and storage that Roadstar has managed to pack into the layout is more impressive than most.

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And the seamless benchtops and latch-less overhead cabinetry combine to give the Sirius sleek, uncluttered lines – hard to achieve in a small space like a caravan, even one on the larger side, like this one.

The kitchen is expansive, to say the least, with heaps of meal preparation space and a veritable plethora of cupboards and drawers, while the bedroom, surrounded by storage, benefits hugely in the comfort stakes from the cushioned black leather bedhead.

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The rear bathroom, plenty big enough in its own right, has all the space and storage you need to feel supremely comfortable living in this thing long-term.

THE BOTTOM LINE

I could list every cupboard and drawer this caravan has, and the position of every feature relative to the next but you can see all that in the photos. What is more important to get across here is that the Sirius is far more than a collection of cupboards, drawers and a few pieces of furniture.

What makes this van a stand-out, in my opinion, is all the other things – the labour-intensive construction methods, the innovation, new technology and new products used.

At over $120K without options, it isn’t the cheapest offroad caravan on the market – but that’s not where Roadstar wants the Sirius to be. It is the flagship model from a marque that prides itself on genuine high quality builds, customer service, and has options available to suit buyers in all segments of the market – from entry-level to luxury buyers. Quality done properly comes at a cost and that’s where Nizam thinks the Sirius sits apart from many others.

There’s certainly no rule that says a tough, solid offroader can’t be beautiful and luxurious as well, and that’s something Roadstar has achieved exceptionally well with the Sirius.

HITS AND MISSES

Pros...

  • Lightbar above toolboxes
  • External kitchen
  • HI-MACS benchtops
  • General space and storage

Cons...

  • Front checkerplate seemed a bit redundant as it’s hidden behind huge front boxes
  • Spare wheel too high to be easily accessible

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

Base price

$120,500 (excluding above options)

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #568. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!