Lunar Quasars have always been good on both weight and style. For 2016 they’re even better, with lovely fabrics and lots of style features to grab your attention. For us, apart from those global postcard cushions, there are three things that stand out as really special. One is the long roof light. The other two are the kitchen splashback and the cube-shaped, double-beam corner lights. The 574 is destined for great things in terms of popularity, we believe.
A transverse island bed caravan joins the Lunar Quasar line-up for 2016 and the range gets a raft of new features including large rectangular roof lights – and cushions that you can read!
The transverse island bed is surely the caravan layout fashion statement of today. As demand for this layout continues to rise, so does the amount of choice. Little surprise, then, that one should appear in Lunar’s lightest weight, Quasar, range.
Just as the Lunar factory was putting finishing touches to its new models for 2016, the 574 was among the first to roll out; ours, for a day of exploration.
And there’s a lot of exploring to do, with a total of 20 new features.
We’ll start at the top… Quasars get long, rectangular roof lights for 2016. This stunning styling first appeared in 2014, in Lunar’s limited edition Clubman Saros range. It’s inevitable that other manufacturers would follow this style, and some have, for 2016. Lunar, though, was the originator, so we’re not surprised to see to see “skyview” (Lunar’s word) roof lights, now, in more Lunar models for 2016. The Quasar version is a gigantic 1.4m long and 44cm wide.
There’s a new-style one-piece door, multi-spoke alloy wheels, new lighting designs including dimmable ceiling lights, a lighter-weight table and a carpet made of stain-resistant fibres.
The Truma heating system now gets the addition of isotherm ducting. Air ducts of a smaller diameter (35mm) than the main warm air ducts are fitted close to the wall, below the seating, Small holes in the isotherm ducting enable warm air to rise behind the seat backs. This is designed to enhance the even circulation of warmed air around the caravan.
The list of Quasar changes goes on, into the 574’s full-width end shower room…
Here, the sink and tap make the style statements. The tap is big, angular and chunky. The sink is larger than you usually find in caravans, too. And it’s oval, sitting up stylishly on top of its cabinet.
The shower is a few centimetres larger for the new model year, at 79cm x 66cm. There’s a drying rail across the roof (a brilliantly practical feature; all caravans should have these!), two good-sized shelves for shampoo bottles, and an air-inlet in the shower head to increase water flow rate.
There’s hanging provision for three more towels (more praise, then)… All hidden from the bedroom behind a sliding door with a neat sprung catch at roof level.
The bed retracts by 20cm for day mode and, this year, has a new mechanism designed for easy action. We have to say we’ve never really found these sliding mechanisms difficult to operate but, sure enough, the 574’s is indeed as smooth as any we’ve tested.
The pillow end of the mattress has a 20cm-wide section, hinged by fabric, which drops down as you draw out the bed to its full length (1.8m).
Each wardrobe has a drawer and cabinet beneath the hanging area. The forward wardrobe has a generous 50cm of hanging width; the rear one is half that size.
Most buyers of transverse island bed models are couples, but the 574 does have lounge double bed conversion capability; a slatted central base is hidden beneath the drawers with only a small ledge to give away its presence.
Lifting the bed is a featherlight task; you give it a finger-tip nudge and the supporting struts take it up to its full aperture. As with all retracting beds there’s some metal framework to get in the way when you’re loading in large folding awning chairs and tables, but then that’s what the exterior hatch is for.
The settees have full-length front apertures. The nearside one gives you ample space and there’s a reasonable amount of area under the offside settee, too, although inevitably space is occupied here by the electrical installations and the 4KW Truma water and space heater.
Four top lockers are in the lounge. The two over the bed are nicely large, at 37cm deep and 40cm tall.
We mentioned the new lighter weight table at the start of this review. As we get down to the dining detail, we become seriously impressed with this new feature. It may be light in weight but it is also very sturdy, sitting on wide aluminium legs, offset from one another, and unfolding easily.
It’s slightly taller than former Quasar tables, so it meets up with the top of the chest of drawers, forming a longer level surface; useful, perhaps, when you’ve got friends dining with you.
And when it’s not in use it stores away easily in the kitchen cabinet.
The 574’s new lounge fabric colours are stunning. Amid current fashions for creams and fawns it’s wonderfully refreshing to relax in a Quasar amid plain, cool grey and a sort of pale minty green. We love it! And we’re sure potential buyers will, too. The top-quality curtain fabric has a subtle slub weave to add interest to its smooth, almost shiny surface.
And the cushions? Never before have I encountered caravan cushions that I can settle down to READ during a review day. The pattern features historic postcards. There’s one from the Jousten Hotel in Buenos Aires, one from the Maltese port of Valletta, one addressed to Sebastapol in California, one posted on the first voyage of the SS Queen Mary in 1935, one that you can read in full, even extolling the virtues of “the fountain pen, definitely the way to go for everyday writing” in beautiful manuscript. These cushions are a reminder of the long-gone days when holiday communication didn’t involve texting, when handwriting was an art. We love them! Worth buying a Quasar for? Well, actually, frivolous though it may seem, they’re so enchanting that they really could be an influencing factor.
Eventually I stop reading about far-flung bygone holidays and assess the lounge’s comfort. Big thick bolsters at each end of the settees ensure all’s good in the 574’s lounge.
The new lighting style is stunning. Square corner lights emitting beams from both top and bottom, four spotlights that match the corner lights in style but are bigger, and rectangular, plus ceiling-mounted lights with 12 bright LEDs that are set in a flat mirrored mount… There are three more of these amazing ceiling lights, leading the eye down the length of the caravan. And these lights are dimmable; a nicely refined feature.
The stainless steel sink is new, as is the Aspire 2 grill and oven. But the two new features that will catch eyes first in the kitchen are the white leather-look top locker doors and the splashback. Lunar calls it “bamboo rainy texture”. Yes, it vaguely looks like bamboo and, yes, it’s textured. But rainy? I can’t actually see that. Anyway, what matters is that it’s utterly stunning, a real style feature that, in the 574, meets your eyes straight ahead of you as you step in the door.
Surface space in the 574 is 1.03 cm long; that’s plenty, we’d say. Storage? There’s plenty of that, too, in a cabinet forward of the fridge, containing a cutlery drawer, a shelf and space for tall items beneath. And there’s a 50cm-wide cabinet and drawer in the dresser, plus a locker above the microwave which, as you’ll see in our photograph, is at a height which will meet approval from buyers who are not tall.
We’d assessed the new 574’s towing credentials before setting foot inside; it emerged, factory-fresh, straight to the towball of our car. In 20 miles of motorways and narrow lanes en route to secluded Little Orchard Caravan Park, at Weeton, close to the Fylde coast of Lancashire, we can safely say it tows brilliantly.