Peter BaberSee other caravan reviews written by Peter Baber
Lunar's Venus range has been given a whole new look for the new season, including a much improved spec, lifting the brand above its entry-level origins.
The Venus 590/6 was a new model in Lunar's budget range two years ago - a family van with fixed bunks in the back and, next to them, a children's dinette that makes up a second set of bunks.
That layout has become very familiar in the intervening time, with just about every major manufacturer now offering something similar. But this season, Lunar has given Venus a whole new look, including a considerable improvement in spec. Does this make the 590/6 worth looking at again?
Pitching and setting up
The 590/6 is no longer your standard white box, for example. It now comes with a graphite door to the gas bottle locker. There are now white skirts and wheel spats added to the outside, and an A-frame cover, so it certainly doesn't look basic upfront. You even get alloy wheels.
Best of all, 2019's 590/6 gets an external access locker - only on the front nearside, but that is still a step upwards.
This season, you also get an Al-Ko AKS stabiliser fitted as standard. Admittedly, this is a big van, so you might have done with the ATC anti-snaking system, too. But Venus certainly still seems born anew.
The central chest has a flap on top that provides a large area for family snacks, or you could use the tabled stored near to hand in the kitchen. There are TV and mains sockets in the offside corner, and the chest or the sill is large enough to take a TV set.
The lounge now comes with a radio and MP3 player as standard, too. (Last season, when no stereo was fitted, Lunar did not include a CD player in the optional stereo combination. The firm says it has had no adverse feedback about this, so Venus customers must be up with the latest technology.)
The rear lounge is a slimmed-down version of the one in front. It still comes with a full settee across the back, and a second set of mains, 12V and TV sockets. So your children can watch their preferred TV on their own. There's even a folding partition to keep them to themselves.
This central kitchen is just to the left of the door, so there is a windbreak to protect the hob. The large workspace has one socket, houses a round steel sink and is lit by one striplight.
There is a substantial overhead locker here, half with shelves and half with a crockery/mug rack. The sizeable cupboard under the workspace beside the fridge contains a slide-out shelf and a large cutlery drawer, so there isn't a huge amount of room here for storing large pans - only a small pan locker under the oven.
To be fair, central washrooms in family vans always tend to get squeezed, but the shower cubicle, even if it is separate, seems particularly small. This feels exacerbated by the visible partitioning around it, but in fact this creates such a deep shower tray that you could almost fill the bottom up with enough water to make a bath for a toddler or small child.
A small rooflight illuminates the rest of the washroom, which includes a standard toilet with a shelf above, and an adequate washbasin in front of a mirror that is further illuminated by two LED lights. You also get a toothbrush mug and toilet roll holder, and a towel ring.
The fixed bunks are big enough for larger children and come with their own window and night light.
The widest bed in the back is the one put together by lowering the table, so perhaps an older child could sleep there. The temporary bunk above is easily to assemble.
What makes a pleasing change up front is what's above - instead of a row of identical overhead lockers, there are three lockers with open shelves in between. There are also two small drawers in the front chest.
The central wardrobe would probably suffice for a family, even with the aerial fitting partly in the way. Below, what look like four drawers are actually two drawers and a small locker with a folding door.
The area below the lower fixed bunk does have some ducting, but it would still be adequate for a bit of storage. It does have an internal access flap. Two more overhead lockers increase the possibilities back here.
Lunar is doing with Venus what Swift did with Sprite last season - upgrading to the point where it no longer seems 'budget'. Venus has a little way to go before it has an impact like Sprite's, but the 590/6 is priced very keenly, so should be on your family caravan shortlist.
- Greatly improved specification
- Cleverly designed rear dinette
- Washroom is still a tad poky