Southern Star 670

By: Lawrence Schäffler, Photography by: Lawrence Schäffler


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If the caravan lifestyle is all about embracing the natural environment, Southern Star’s 670 is the perfect ally. Offering million-dollar views from its large windows, you don’t so much enjoy the landscape as become part of it.

Southern Star 670
Southern Star 670
  • Large windows
  • Double glazing for excellent insulation
  • Plenty of headroom
  • Great working space around the kitchenette

Launched early last year by the Hamilton-based manufacturer, Southern Star’s 670 has become one of the country’s top-selling caravans. And it’s not difficult to see why. Airy and spacious and packed with clever design features, it ticks the boxes for even the most fastidious adventurers.

Inside you’ll find a sophisticated, attractive range of fittings and equipment – among them a 175-litre three-way fridge/freezer, an oven/grill with a four-burner gas hob, a generously proportioned shower/toilet cubicle and a large island bed. But what really gets my juices flowing are the windows.

There are nine (plus two hatches in the roof) – all double-glazed acrylic and all able to open 90o – and they are very, very large. They’re also installed at the ideal height, in effect creating an uninterrupted wrap-around view of the surrounding landscape.

Each of the windows is fitted with insect-screens as well as blinds. And even though they’re large windows, the double glazing provides excellent insulation.

Choices

The 670 is available in three basic layouts, with plenty of choices around things like the furnishing fabric, the kinds of brakes fitted (electric or hydraulic), and the timber used for the cabinets (swap the plywood for solid, American Oak). Our review model, provided by RnRV Ltd in Silverdale, was the standard, most popular version, says RnRV director Paul Cook.

It has the queen-sized bed in a north-south configuration, the bathroom in the centre, and a large U-shaped lounge with table upfront (the bench seats conceal a pull-out, double bed).

Variations see a separate toilet and shower (moved aft as a kind of en suite) and the main bed in an east-west configuration.

Other options are more pragmatically flavoured. The standard power supply for the LED/flourescent lights is a 100 AH, deep-cycle battery. If you really watch a lot of TV or favour remote spots where there is no 240-volt AC supply, you can upgrade to a larger size.

Battery charging options also require a decision from buyers. Many select the 140-watt solar panel mounted on the roof. Alternatively, the 670 is pre-wired to allow its battery to be charged by the tow vehicle’s alternator (via the electric coupling).

It’s not automatically configured, so if you want to use this feature you’ll need a dual-sensing voltage regulator fitted to the car. But it’s a real bonus if you want to keep the fridge running while you drive.

These are just a sample of the options you’ll have to consider before signing on the dotted line.

"Every buyer has different priorities," says Cook, "and we strive to mould each caravan around individual preferences."

Interior

Inside you’re presented with crisp, smooth surfaces, designed for easy cleaning and low maintenance. There’s plenty of headroom (1.96m) throughout and excellent working space around the kitchenette. Immediately behind the hob and stainless steel sink is a 175-litre Dometic fridge/freezer and a microwave oven.

The bathroom is generously proportioned and contains a 20-litre cassette toilet, shower and hand basin. The 670 carries 90 litres of fresh water, and an 83-litre grey water tank (both are equipped with gauges).

A neutral (dark blue), hardwearing carpet complements the timber cabinets and should keep vacuuming duties to a minimum. You’ll find a 19" flat-screen TV mounted on a bulkhead at the foot of the main bed. It’s connected to a DVD player and to the satellite dish on the roof.

You’ll accommodate a couple of guests comfortably in the lounge up front. Mounted just above the seating area is an AM/FM radio and CD player.

Like all Southern Star caravans, the 670 offers masses of storage incorporating overhead lockers, wardrobes, drawers and bedside cabinets. One of the largest spaces is under the main bed. The bed tilts up on gas struts.

Another great facility is the locker in the front of caravan, just above the draw bar. Unzip the flap in the stone guard and you’ll find a vast space the full width of the caravan, perfect for all your camping accessories. The locker also houses two 4.5kg gas bottles.

Insulation

Southern Star caravans are renowned for their superior dent resistance (courtesy of a three-layer skin – two layers of aluminium sandwiching a thermal, plastic liner and solid pine framing). And the manufacturers haven’t skimped on insulation – there’s plenty in the ceiling, walls and under the floor.

Even so, if you are into freedom camping in the cooler months, you’d probably want to fit a gas heater – and the good news is the 670 is pre-wired for controlling for it – plug and play.

Towing

Perhaps the only niggle with the 670 is its weight. With a TARE of 1900kg, it’s not the lightest caravan on the market. And as Cook points out, once it’s been loaded with all your kit, you don’t want to compromise your caravanning experience by hooking it up to an underpowered vehicle.

Ideally, you’d marry it to a three-tonne rated towing vehicle.

All up, the 670’s a top-quality piece of manufacturing designed for comfort, low maintenance and easy living. It comes with five-year structural warranty (excluding appliances).

For more information, call Paul Cook at RnRV Ltd, ph 0800 767 808.

Specifications

Overall length 7880mm
External length 6700mm
External width 2350mm
Headroom 1960mm
ATM 2200kg
Tare weight 1900kg
Fresh water tank 83 litres
Grey water tank 90 litres
Price $71,990

 

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