Norm Guthartz

See other caravan reviews written by Norm Guthartz

Reviewers hailed Lunar’s revamped 2014 Quasar range, so it relaunched the popular five-berth 525, which impressed Practical Caravan’s expert testers

Overview

Lunar’s revamped Quasars not only look good, but they are also practical and lightweight. This should come as no surprise – we selected the Quasar 564 as the Best Caravan for Small Families in our ‘Tourer of the Year’ awards (November 2013).

Although Lunar offers a full range of Quasars, the return of this old favourite – relaunched at the NEC show in February – will no doubt go down well with families, even if it uses a layout most manufacturers have dropped.

The Lunar Quasar 525 is one of caravanning’s standard five-berth family vans, presenting a double-dinette layout, central kitchen with wardrobe and a washroom opposite. It’s a great configuration that has proven itself in a variety of sizes. 

Pitching and setting up

Built on an Al-Ko galvanised-steel chassis, the Quasar comes with alloy wheels and an AKS hitch stabiliser, but not the ATC trailer-control system.

One-piece aluminium sidewalls are used, while the front and rear panels are one-piece moulded ABS. The graphics are simple yet stylish.

The front locker offers storage for every type of the most popular gas cylinders on the market, with space to spare for other items. The smart rear panel has neat light clusters and separate reversing lights; however, the latter are set quite low, making them vulnerable to damage if bumped.

The corner steadies are all easy to access and deploy, and the service points are neatly placed on the offside of the caravan. The waste outlets are equally accessible just behind the axle line, while the battery box, mains input socket and water inlet are forward of the axle. A dedicated extendable radio aerial is fitted above the front window.

Other notable exterior features include a nearside wet locker with mains socket, and the latest Status digital-compliant TV aerial.

Lounge

The front lounge is really spacious, although its 2.21m width makes it feel a tad short on legroom. With a length of 1.86m, the front sofas offer plenty of space for a family of five to sit and eat in comfort.

The seats are sprung and nicely supportive, while bolster and scatter cushions added extra cosiness.

The new profile and large, deep front windows let in plenty of light and afford great views from all around the lounge. A midi Heki directly overhead completes the picture and makes this a pleasant place to be, even on a dull day.

A cubby-hole beneath the central chest of drawers (with slide-out coffee table) houses the blown-air vent, although for cold days a second wouldn’t have gone amiss.

When it comes to night-time illumination the Quasar excels; four LED corner spots, a ceiling light and two LED corner lights provide plenty of visibility and ambience.

A convenient, small console by the front window in the nearside corner brings together mains, 12V, aerial and satellite sockets to ease setting up your TV. The radio/CD player sits in the offside front roof locker and its speakers are at the corners, fitted to the underside of both lockers.

The 525's rear lounge is big enough for four adults to use comfortably, so children will have no complaints when they gather around the free-standing table.

A midi Heki rooflight is fitted, but Lunar could just as easily provided a mini Heki: it would have been just as good and the money saved may have paid for a barbecue point. Lunar has added two side windows, and although the rear window may not be very large, it’s more than adequate.

Upholstered pelmets are a nice touch and, as in the front, there’s ample lighting, provided by two corner LED spots and a ceiling light. One other handy addition to the rear lounge is the swivel TV stand.

Kitchen

The 525’s side kitchen offers enough worktop and cooking facilities to cater for a family of five. There’s a Dometic fridge-freezer along with a separate oven and grill, a four burner dual-fuel hob, and an 800W microwave oven above the sink.

A side window and a mini Heki roof vent provide good ventilation and extra natural light, while at night cooks have the use of a ceiling light plus two designated LED strip lights under the ample roof lockers.

Mains sockets are under the lockers, as is the Truma digital control panel. There’s also a matching worktop filler for the sink basin and a clip-on drainer.

All in all, it’s an attractive set-up, well designed, practical and ideal for feeding a hungry family.

Washroom

Crucially, the swivel-head toilet has plenty of legroom around it, and smart chrome-effect detailing has been applied to the towel ring, the toilet-roll holder, the toothbrush mug and other items around the washroom.

There’s also good storage for toiletries, a decent-sized basin at a good height and a generous shower cubicle, although this isn’t fully lined. It does, though, have a new EcoCamel showerhead fitted to a long riser bar; the EcoCamel provides a good spray pattern and helps you save water.

Beds

The Quasar offers a choice of beds in the front lounge. The bench seats can serve as twin singles, each measuring a respectable 1.86m x 0.69m, or pull out the slats from beneath the central chest of drawers to create a double bed measuring 2.01m x 1.86m.

The slats come out smoothly, but can come off their tracks if you’re not careful, so extending and retracting them is probably a job best left to an adult.

The rear lounge can be converted into a 2m x 1.35m double bed and includes a 1.76m x 0.62m fold-up bunk that younger family members will love. It can be closed off from the main living area of the van. So the whole area translates into flexible accommodation for three.

Storage

This is where the Quasar really comes up trumps. Its six roof lockers in the front lounge have adjustable/removable shelving, making it a dream for families with stacks of stuff.

The front bed boxes offer plenty of space, and the excellent access flaps along their bases allow you to get to the bedding without having to pull up the cushions.

There’s more storage space in the front chest of drawers, including the cubbyhole. The wardrobe offers sufficient storage and hanging space for a family, and there are two drawers in the base along with a floor-level cupboard.

The kitchen has a large cupboard that houses the two free-standing tables and roof lockers. The rear lounge has four roof lockers of its own.

The washroom is a little short on storage, with just a small shelf unit and a small cupboard, but overall the Quasar 525 won’t disappoint in this area.

Technical specs

Berth5
MiRO1209kg
Payload171kg
MTPLM1380kg
Interior length5.42m
Shipping length7.06m
Width2.21m
Height2.61m
Awning size990cm

Verdict

This new Quasar delivers a practical, enjoyable family layout in a lightweight tourer. We like the contemporary feel and the generous level of specification, although a gas barbecue point would have been welcome. The flexible seating and sleeping arrangements mean the 525 works equally well in a family context, or for couples who want to leave the rear as a double bed.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The welcoming ambience is helped by excellent lighting
  • Both lounges are roomy and pleasant
  • The MTPLM is less than 1400kg, putting it within range of more tow cars

Cons

  • A window would have been a welcome addition in the washroom
  • The lounges are a bit stingy with legroom
  • The low-level reversing lights are vulnerable to damage if bumped
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