Whats Up Downunder Tough Test 2019


Roadstar’s largest unit, the Daintree Sirius 23’ combines chic apartment styling with serious off-road credentials [WORDS BY JOHN BEAR WILLIS]

The stars aligned when Roadstar Caravans produced the Daintree Sirius 23’. Named after one of Australia’s jewels in the crown you know you’ve reached a pinnacle in life when you’ve made it up to a Daintree Sirius. The Sirius 23 has the style of a chic apartment portraying a truly entertaining demeanor with wonderful off-road credentials to boot. Roadstar’s Ken Nizam is mighty proud of his Daintree Range confidently entering his largest 23’ x 7’6” unit to the challenge of the 2019 AL-KO Tough Tested Challenge.

To build a true off-road contender you must start with very solid foundation and extend the integrity throughout the whole construction. Roadstar begin with a fully welded hot-dipped galvanised chassis made from dependable BHP steel and team it with the new AL-KO 3.5 tonne “Clip Lock” coupling and ALKO Enduro Outback Independent trailing arm suspension that stood the demands of extreme acceleration, high speed over corrugations, radical moguls, thick sand drifts and a cranky mountain climb with ease.

“Roadstar’s largest unit, the Daintree Sirius 23′ combines chic apartment styling with serious off-road credentials.” – John Bear Willis

Make no mistake, we drove this course at breakneck speeds to truly “Tough Test” this worthy competitor, and the Sirius barely blinked an eyeball. It sat as though it was proverbially “on rails” behind the immense power of the big Hemi V8 RAM and never felt insecure for a single second. On the corrugations and ruts the Sirius revealed total towing sophistication with a highly predictable attitude that tracked straight and true. We fully expected to see some grounding issues with the obvious size of the Daintree but we were wrong – there was none! Yet the real surprise came at the deep water crossing with its very steep entry and departure. The Daintree stemmed the flow like Moses parting the Red Sea! The water depth was half way up the RAM’s grill yet there was absolutely no water ingress.

The final test was the thick clouds of red dust that shrouded the caravan in scenes reminiscent of the hordes of desert sands. To our great surprise we couldn’t find any dust ingress at all. Even the black cabinetry, leather and gloss appliances were totally unscathed in a terrific display of sealed construction. Back on the black top the rig towed perfectly. The power of the RAM 1500, plus its wheel track and weight urged us on with total confidence. I made the statement that the Tough Test course put the caravan through far worse conditions than most vans will ever experience, and the wear and tear factor was probably equal to a couple of laps of our huge country – the hard way.

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With all that excitement behind us it came time to settle down and enjoy the comfort. The standard layout is attuned to a touring couple who demand space, comfort and appreciate the finer things in life like the big, bold and beautiful club lounge at the rear of the van. Roadstar say, “It’s the fit and finish that Roadstar is most proud of. The result of CAD-designed and CNC-cut furniture that integrates seamlessly into the caravan.”

Roadstar are emphatic that 100% of their cabinetry is made from ply with no MDF or chipboard. The inviting internal layouts, fittings and textures can be selected to individual taste. The Sirius with us had a beautiful blend of black dual density genuine leather upholstery, laminate bench tops, commercial grade acrylic splash backs, acrylic matt black doors offset by white cabinetry, gloss black appliances, smooth white internal linings and tough faux timber flooring. It has a spacious open plan layout that flows easily between the club lounge, a fully kitted kitchen, walk thru ensuite, and all leading to the light-drenched bedroom with its 6’4” x 5’ pillow top mattress and posture adjustable slatted frames.

The range of accessories is immense. Just some of the features include 12/240 power with solar, 2x 95L water tanks, 95L grey water tank, gas/electric HWS, washing machine, Dometic compressor fridge, microwave plus 24” TV/ DVD and entertainment systems,and climate control with remote air conditioning. There’s a pull out pantry and a sensible combination of internal lighting. The ensuite will tickle all of your senses with a full height mirror and vanity, large enclosed shower, Thetford toilet and a disclosed washing machine plus an external hot/cold shower. Off-grid exploration is made  easy with 2 x 120Ah AGM batteries and 2 x 150W solar panels plus the Anderson Plug from the towing vehicle. You can soothe the soul with vibes from the Fusion sound system.

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‘It’s the fit and finish that Roadstar is most proud of. The result of CAD-designed and CNC-cut furniture that integrates seamlessly into the caravans.” – Roadstar


The Roadstar Daintree Sirius offers striking aesthetics from the glossy external walls with their sporty decals and designer colour schemes, plus premium windows, hatches, lights and fittings. Make no mistake this is a very complex monocoque design incorporating space age technologies and precision engineering in the body shell with fibreglass sandwich panel construction, including a 45mm floor and 29mm on the sides. These insulated panels are incredibly strong and lightweight with a very high energy insulation coefficient due to expanded foam between panels, and not just polystyrene. They allow single piece construction for the front, roof and back and individual cavities for all wiring ensuring longterm strength, reliability and safety.

All bonded surfaces utilize Novatio MS22, a hi-tech flexible polymer sealant with class leading adherence, structural backbone and longevity in all environments. The massive strength is also more hygienic as the synthetic panels will not allow mould or fungal growth. Ken said, “True off-road quality is beyond basic traditions – excellence demands skill and innovation blended with willpower and imagination, and delivered with pride!”

Outside there’s aluminium checkerplate front and side protection, a drawbar mounted tool  box with gas bottles and generator storage plus a full width front tunnel boot. Out back is a rear bumper bar and 2 lockable jerry cans holders. For outside living the Dometic awning creates a classy alfresco complete with LED lighting, Super Sound speakers, entertainment box, digital boosted antenna, TV bracket and power outlet. There are marine hatches to all compartments, services access and power points, an array of LED lighting, a reversing camera plus double glazed Euro style windows, Dometic side door and premium overhead hatches.

Roadstar caravans combine over 30 years of touring development, experience and expertise in every unit. Premium componentry and construction supplies greater confidence for the long road ahead that always leads to the best campsites, and you’ll be sure to arrive in comfort and style with a Daintree Sirius.

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