The Sterling Europa 570’s fixed double bunks make first class sleeping areas for kids and teens. The side dining area is ideal as a breakfast room and for table-top activity areas. . The kitchen is up to its six-person task, the shower’s not as big as some will like (but that’s why campsites have showers)… Overall, the 570 is a well-designed, well equipped, solidly-built good choice for four or six.
The Sterling Europa 570 has Beds for six, bunk head height for a growing brood – but a side table that’s too high… We find an easy remedy, though, in this flexible-layout caravan
The craze for triple bunks transformed caravanning life for a lot of families. Bags of choice in bags of beds flooded onto the market a couple of years ago. Now, though, a new trend is emerging, an evolution from young-kids’ triple bunks to bigger kids’ double bunks.
The Swift Group introduced two such models for 2011. The Charisma 565 and the Sterling Europa 570. Whereas the 565 puts its bunks longitudinally on the offside, the Europa 570’s young caravanners’ bedroom is across the full width of the rear. These are beds clearly designed to enable families to keep this caravan well into the offsprings’ teenage years. That’s because head height in the bunks is generous; the lower bunk, especially, is well up to adult proportions.
This is a six berth with a lot of versatility. The dining area forward of the door can be breakfast space, play room – or bunks.
The lounge is long enough to make two single beds (as alternative to a double, of courses) – so there’s more flexibility here, too.
Squashing berths for six into 5.7 metres necessitates some pruning of other aspects of the caravan’s layout, of course. The shower shares its compartment with the toilet. The only storage compartment is a pod-shaped plastic container under the washbasin – oh so stylish and IKEA-like but also rather clunky: the door completely removes when you turn a button. Getting it back into position is a bit of a fiddle, we found during our test. It’s a minor negative point; on balance, though, there are a lot of positive points about the 570.
We like the generous capacity of the triple-shelf cupboard that divides the lounge from the nearside two-seater dining area. Kitchen cupboard space, though, isn’t large – but, with the three shelves in this additional cupboard, you’ll find enough places for stuff.
If you’re looking for a six-berth caravan in this size and price bracket, it’s pretty much certain you’ll be looking, also, at the Charisma 565. The two have a lot in common. Our 565 test revealed, though, one thing they share that’s far from perfect. Both have pull-up bunks making from dining areas. So both have table clips above the bunk assembly that lies against the wall. And both have tables which are too high (or the seating is too low, whichever way you want to see it) for comfortable dining. That’s the case for adults – and far more the case for children. In the Europa 570, though, the problem is easier to overcome, because the backrests fold out, creating half their depth, for use as the mattress of the upper bunk. So, by day, you can fold out these backrests and place them over the seat bases to increase the height.
The 570 has a lot of merits – especially the large storage area under the lower bunk, which folds upwards. And there’s a slim exterior door through which to load. But before you rush into putting your awning in here, remember that awnings can easily weigh 50kg; that weight on the rear of the caravan will make your caravan’s nose weight light – possibly too light, in the interests of stability. That means you have to put heavy items in the front end, under the lounge, to achieve correct balance. As that’s where you’d normally put lightweight items such as duvets, loading suddenly becomes a bit of a challenge. That said, on its test tow, the 570 proved to be inherently well-balance unloaded – so you’re off to a good start. Our advice is that no matter how convenient under-bunk storage may appear, heavy awnings are best in the luggage area of the car.