By bringing the eight-feet-wide concept into this lightweight range, Lunar opens up new possibilities for buyers looking for maximum space with mid-range MTPLM. Whether you buy the 686 for its six-berth capability or use it as a four-berth, keeping either the dining or lounge area in permanent day mode, this is a fantastic caravan at a good-value price.
The Lunar Quasar 686 is an eight-feet-wide, twin-axle, six-berth tourer with a domestic-width double bed.
The Lunar Quasar 686 is an eight-foot-wide, twin-axle, six-berth tourer with a domestic-width double bed.
The Quasar range is growing – literally.
The 686, the first eight-feet-wide Quasar, arrived for 2019 and won Caravan magazine's award for Best Eight-feet-wide Caravan. It was Highly Commended in another Caravan mag award category, Best Twin-Axle Caravan for Families. So it gathered accolades as soon as it was unveiled.
Now, the range is expanding further, with the arrival this spring of the 696; we'll be reviewing that one shortly.
The 686 has a double bed, a family dining area amidships and a large lounge. It's not the first caravan to arrive on our market with this double bed and wide dining area layout.
Four others broadly confirm to this pattern, from Elddis, Compass, Buccaneer and Sprite Super, all of them eight feet wide and all on twin axles. The 686, though, is marginally the lightest, at 1700kg MTPLM, beating its nearest weight rival by 4kg.
The Quasar 686's double bed is wider than most. It's full domestic width, at 1.43m, and 1.89m long.
The shower room is wider than you might expect, too.
Everything about this Quasar is bigger than at first meets the eye. That includes the gas bottle locker which benefits not just from the extra width – and therefore extra storage capacity that the width of the caravan creates – but also the Quasar range's method of hinging.
These gas locker doors are mounted on substantial vertical cantilever hinges, so the door rises upwards, to sit almost over the window, which means that lifting anything – especially heavy, full gas bottles – into here is exceptionally easy.
Full marks for that, Lunar. We're so impressed with the size of this locker that we got out a tape measure to emphasise the virtue – the space inside is 2.34m wide and there's a depth of 70m. So, more capacity than you'd ever need.
So much that some may be tempted to overload it. Take a tip from us, even with a twin-axle caravan, noseweight is worth keeping in mind, so don't bung your awning in here, even if you can!
The 686 is a star performer in many areas, especially in the washroom. Again, we get out the tape measure and find the 'little room' is 85cm wide at its widest point, just where you need the space, opposite the washbasin.
So this can safely be classed as a dressing room as well as its primary function as the place for keeping clean.
It's nicely appointed, with two lights focusing down on the basin and two ultra-bright circular ceiling lights. Towel hanging provision is brilliant, with a loop, a double hook and a bar running across the top of the shower cubicle. That's six towels taken care of – a rarity in tourers.
We love the fully domestic-sized double bed, with a corner cut-off that's so minimal you won't notice it. We also love the idea of a curtain to create seclusion – that's far more attractive and bedroom-like than a plain, boring pleated blind.
This is a delightfully cosy little area that you can almost call a proper bedroom. And there's a USB port is set into the base of one of the spotlights; a shelf is close by for your phone.
Both the dining area and lounge convert to double beds. Transforming the dining area into a bed is so easy. Extensions glide out from each seating area to create a bed that's 1.29m wide. The table unclips from its wall-mounting bar, its leg folds upwards and it sits on the ledges on the edges of the seating units. Infill upholstery sections complete the mattress, making the bed 1.9m long.
The lounge gives you two bed options. You can use it as single beds; at 1.8m long they're suitable for most heights. Or you can create a massive double bed. The central base section is of similar construction to the extension in the dining area – two sections that glide out smoothly from under the upholstery, to meet in the centre.
It's all done in less than a minute and the result is a generously-sized double bed.
In a caravan with four seating areas and a double bed, gargantuan storage capacity is a given. And there's more. Three drawers and a drop-down-door hatch, each 56cm wide, sit beneath the wardrobe.
There are 10 (gorgeously modern matt white finish) top lockers excluding those in the kitchen, two drawers at the front plus a locker beneath, plus big triangular lockers at the front corners – these blend into the curving front over-window styling so cleverly that you almost don't notice them.
Full-length drop-down hatches lead into the spaces under the settees. The dining seating bases lift on gas-filled hinges. And the bed?
We had anticipated this might be a tad difficult to raise, you've only got the corner of the frame to get hold of, but it's easy to raise it to the level at which the two gas-filled struts take over to support it.
An inevitable consequence of this double-bed-in-the corner layout is the space under it is not the easiest to delve inside; caravans from other manufacturers with this design share the issue.
We've crawled inside several of them during reviews, assessing how you'd go about getting items which migrate to the rear as you tow. There are a couple of ways that get around this. One is obvious – the 686 has an exterior hatch.
The other is less obvious.
If we bought a 686 we'd use our long-handled, soft-bristle caravan-washing brush to ease stuff forward to within reach. Easy!
With two dining areas, the 686 was pretty much bound to score highly in this section. The main 'dining room' (we love caravans which are divided into separate-function areas) seats four. The table is bigger than you might expect, so out comes our tape measure again; it's 69cm wide and 1.07m long.
The freestanding table for the lounge hides away in its own section of the kitchen cabinets. It is 85cm x 55cm.
And the caravan's extra width means you can place it across the caravan, rather than parallel to the seating when just two are dining here. In that mode, it's also a perfect task table – for laptops, perhaps.
And you've also got the availability of the pull-out top to the chest of drawers. Versatility is the keynote of the 686's brilliant dining provision, hence it gets one of our rare A-star ratings.
There's ample seating, as you'd expect, and the open-plan layout emphasises the spacious aspect of the 686. The large rectangular, opening roof light over the lounge (almost 60cm wide and 1.47m long) plus the sunroof above the window make this a lovely bright area.
Four spotlights – one with a USB port set into the base – surround the lounge and white light is concealed within a smart brushed-steel-effect trim that curves around the caravan above the front windows.
Six more lights are set into the frame of the roof light – and there's a refined surprise. Three circular ceiling-mounted lights have tiny blue lights in their centres – these are touch-controls. Press once to turn on the light, press again to turn the light off but retain the tiny blue light; a little glow for night-time!
The kitchen is 1.51m long. A 35cm x 47cm extension hinges into place when you need it. This comes across the doorway but there is still just enough space to walk in and out.
The 686 has the tall slimline 151-litre capacity fridge with removable freezer. The microwave is above it; most people will find its height convenient.
Cabinet capacity is vast; a full height cupboard 56cm wide divided into two shelf spaces plus a second cabinet, 29cm wide, containing two shelf spaces plus a cutlery drawer. Four top lockers and one for pans below the oven complete the first-class storage offering.
The lightweight 686 makes twin-axle advantages available to more buyers; those for whom watching the weight is key to matching their caravan to a mid-range car.
ATC automatic stability control is an option at £349; we'd go for that, for belt-and-braces reassurance. Had ATC been standard, the towing section would have got our A-star rating.
We've long been fans of the Quasar range. Now, by bringing the eight-foot-wide concept into this lightweight range, Lunar opens up new possibilities for buyers looking for maximum space with mid-range MTPLM.
We love everything about this caravan; its big-storage practicalities, its cosy, curtained-off 'bedroom', its huge gas bottle compartment and its tall fridge-freezer. Whether you buy the 686 for its six-berth capability or use it as a four-berth, keeping either the dining or lounge area in permanent day mode, this is a fantastic caravan at a good-value price.