Established in 2012, Star Vision Campers has an unwavering vision to become a prominent player in the camper trailer industry. And it is starting to make a name for itself in an extremely competitive market.
Based in Clayton South, Vic, Star Vision imports ‘off-the-shelf’ campers from China. They arrive in kit form and are then assembled – including bolting the one-piece chassis on to the trailer – at the factory.
One of Star Vision’s primary objectives to ensure its clientele can set up their campers quickly. But in that regard, the Sirius A model was a bit of a mixed bag...
SETTING UP CAMP
The main tent, courtesy of an electric winch (2500lb capacity) and easy-slide steel poles, was erected in minutes. Utilising the remote-controlled electric winch makes the main tent (4440x1720mm) an easy, one-person operation. But the full annexe (4440x1850mm) is another story, with its myriad of poles and spreader bars. Star Vision provides assembly instructions for campers but it still proved a little baffling. In reality, it’s a job for two people and, if you’re vertically challenged like yours truly, you’ll need a step or two to reach the summit.
The grey 14oz ripstop poly-cotton fine weave canvas tent, however, won’t let you down in nasty weather: it’s double-stitched and claims to be 100 per cent waterproof.
The Sirius A stands out in the crowd, if only for its understated colour scheme with white baked enamel, fully-welded steel body combined with silver checkerplate – it is a striking simply external aesthetic. But, as we all know, beauty is more than skin deep so I needed to delve a little deeper than that and I found it a rather raw-boned camper that could do with some ‘flesh’. However, I’m well aware that brand new campers rarely come cheaper than this, with a price tag of just $12,600.
It is lightweight (Tare 950kg) and pretty agile, with a high strength steel frame, but I hold some concern over its extended off-grid capability. The Sirius A carries all the basics such as a pull-out kitchen with four-burner cooktop and stainless steel sink and preparation bench, a 100L water tank and electric water pump, and a 100Ah battery. But for its bare-bones price you must go without hot water, a fridge, or a shower tent.
The lockable slide-out kitchenette is certainly large enough for preparation and cooking but it could do with more slide-out drawers for carrying cooking utensils, plates, non-perishable food and so on. And you’ll have to BYO bluetooth speakers as there’s no provision for internal or external entertainment such as an audio player. But, again, the price reflects that.
The Sirius A looks and feels fairly robust. When I inspected the pointy end of the camper, I was impressed with its heavy-duty chassis and extended drawbar measuring 2800mm, which continues 500mm under the trailer. It also rides on a durable independent trailing arm suspension with twin shock absorbers, 10in electric brakes and six-stud 235/75 R15 LandCruiser pattern tyres, with 15in alloys.
Sitting on the A-frame are two 9kg gas cylinder holders, a jerry can holder, a spare wheel and the electric winch. It’s all protected by a mesh stoneguard but I’d be concerned whether than would actually go the distance over rocky terrain.
The a Sirius A also has an offroad Treg coupling with a loading capacity of 2000kg, and its ATM of 1500kg means there’s a generous 550kg payload.
A full-width, lift-up front utility box offers plenty of storage space (for the annexe, poles, pegs and guy ropes, etc) and includes a fridge slide capable of hauling any fridge up to 100L. I’m also a fan of the concealed battery box housing power switches for the lights, plugs, water pump, and a fridge.
Mounted over the trailer roof is a foldaway roof/boat rack capable of carrying up to 150kg of cargo. The boat loader is secured by over-centre latches and a locating pin.
I really like the practicality of the bedroom inside. For starters, the mattress size is a generous 2020x1650mm (6ft 8inx5ft 5in) – more than enough to keep any real-life Jack the Giant happy! There are also two LED lights and a readily accessible storage area below the bedding, which can also be reached from the camper’s rear.
And for good measure, you can throw in my delight with the mosquito and midge-proof netting on all doors and windows. It also has plenty of internal standing or floor area, so there’s no sense of claustrophobia while indoors.
Due to its light weight and comparatively narrow width, the Sirius A was a pleasure to tow. Its dexterity really came to the fore, on both bitumen and dirt. Our press vehicle tow tug, a Toyota Prado, didn’t even raise a sweat, while the Sirius A produced a silky smooth ride.
THE WRAP UP
I’d have some qualms taking the Sirius A out for lengthy sojourns into the never-never given its relatively undersized battery and water capacities. But, on the flipside, the Sirius A is stronger and more reliable than its predecessors. And it also boasts safer handling, which adds up to a more comfortable ride.
It’s also an extremely easy and fast setup – if you don’t count the annexe, of course.
Due to the volume of imported campers in the market, I thought it could do with a sprinkling of Australian design inspiration to make it stand out from the crowd. But as is often said, in most cases, you get what you pay for and you’ll find it hard to find a brand new camper for much less than this.
So if you’re on a budget, and you just want to get out there into the Great Outdoors with a basic camper in tow and a roof over your head, the Sirius A is certainly worth a look.
HITS AND MISSES
- Effortless and super-quick tent setup
- Agility under tow
- Low price
- Light on creature comforts
- Putting up annexe is finicky
- Tare 950kg
- ATM 1500kg
- Suspension Independent trailing arm with twin shock absorbers
- Brakes 10in electric
- Coupling Treg offroad
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised 100x50x4mm
- Drawbar Hot-dipped galvanised 100x50x4mm
- Body Welded steel
- Wheel/tyre 15in alloy with six-stud 235/75 R15 LandCruiser pattern tyres
- Style Rear-fold softfloor
PRICE AS SHOWN