Lunar is on a motorhome mission in 2018. Not only has it taken over the specialist campervan manufacturer, Wellhouse Leisure, it’s also bolstered its own offerings with the announcement of an all-new coachbuilt range under the Cassini name. There’s also the promise of even more to come soon in the form of some van conversions.
Like their more upmarket Roadstar stablemates, the Cassinis take Renault’s Master as their base and this – the EL – is the baby of the range, at 6.4m in overall length. Sister models TI and EB are both 7.7m and on a chassis rated at 3,800kg – while the EL here is a driving licence-friendly 3,500kg and still offers over 600kg of payload.
The EL is the only two-berth motorhome, too, with a floorplan that sees the re-introduction of a classic end lounge and mid-‘van kitchen and washroom formula. Cleverly, Lunar’s design team has managed to offset the corridor effect you sometimes get with such layouts.
That Renault chassis is a key point of difference from any potential Cassini competitor. Despite the offerings of two power upgrades, the suggestion is the standard 130PS offering will have more than enough oomph for the EL, although, you’ll have to go for the top-of-the-range 170PS unit if you want automatic transmission. It’s all backed by a four-year warranty with roadside assistance for the same period.
The cab does tend to reflect its commercial vehicle origins, however, with a large expanse of black plastic dashboard. You do get Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity, and there’s pre-wiring for a reversing camera. A lift comes with the Driver’s Pack option, which gives you cab air conditioning, cruise control, DAB radio and satellite navigation. As is so often the case with such packages, it’s hard to see any customers wanting to go without.
The exterior is relatively fuss-free, too, with all-white bodywork and steel wheels as standard, underlying the Cassini’s budget credentials. Lunar’s coachbuilding features GRP overcab pod, roof and underfloor, while the back end is ABS.
Keeping this Cassini for two means there is indeed much more space inside than you might expect in a 21ft long coachbuilt motorhome. That rear lounge helps, of course, allowing views out to three sides as well as overhead. Swivel cab seats mean you can also have on-site seating at the front, but it’s the length of the settees at the back that mean a couple can really sprawl out.
Indeed, the settees are long enough to act as 6ft-long single beds at night, although the preferred sleeping arrangement will probably be the double, (2.11m x 1.82m) which is easy enough to make by pulling out a section of slats to bridge the gap between the settees.
If there’s any compromise mid-‘van, it’s arguably with the kitchen, a relatively small unit housing fridge (with removable freezer), oven/grill combination, three-ring gas hob and circular sink, plus a microwave in one of the two overhead lockers.
All this, in turn, means there’s a relative lack of kitchen storage as well as worktop.
There’s better use of space in the washroom, which is plastic-lined so that the whole area can be used for showering. That’s a water-saving Ecocamel showerhead, too, along with a fixed corner basin and swivel-bowl toilet. Ventilation is courtesy of a rooflight, with a mirrored door to the shelved locker over the basin providing the main storage.
Indeed, overall storage is another aspect to consider here. Surprisingly, there’s no external-access, for example, to the settee bases. This is offset slightly by the provision of overhead lockers around the lounge, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to take into your buying considerations.
There’s no shortage of equipment. Truma Combi 4 heating and hot water system, all-LED lighting (spots, downlighters and ambient), cab blinds, fixing points for a bike rack, provision for a second leisure battery, rear speakers, overcab sunroof and more contribute to a generous overall specification. Plus the Phantom tracking device will save you a few pounds on your motorhome insurance with Caravan Guard.
In fact, you could argue it’s all set for two who don’t want to go right over the top.
Verdict: A welcome alternative to the usual Fiat/Peugeot-based end lounge two-berths
Plus: Roomy for two, generous rear lounge
Minus: Limited kitchen
In-a-nutshell: Perfect for two who want to take off
There’s more information on the Cassini on the Lunar website www.lunarcaravans.com. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Trail Imala 625, Bailey Autograph 68-2, Elddis Accordo 120, Swift Rio 320
Lunar Cassini EL factfile
|Model||Lunar Cassini EL|
|Base vehicle||Renault Master, 2.3-litre, 128bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||6.40m L x 2.30m W x 2.69m H|
|RRP||From £40,994 on the road|
|Safety & security||Phantom tracker, Cat 1 alarm, ESC (electronic stability control), day running lights, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, steering wheel controls, Truma Drive Safe gas regulator, twin airbags|
|Key options||Driver’s Pack (£1,399), 145bhp engine (£1,299), automatic transmission (and 170PS engine upgrade (£2,999)|
Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Lunar Cassini EL motorhome retailing at £40,994 with immobiliser and Phantom tracker. UK travel only. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £350 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 12% and are correct at 8.12.17.