Paramount’s entry into the top end of the Best Aussie Vans line-up, the Studio Streamline, is interesting for one notable reason: it’s the only non-offroad caravan in the category. Will that be a disadvantage? Well, keep reading to find out.
Layout & Design
At 7.63m (24ft 2in) long, the Studio Streamline is not a short caravan, but the length allows plenty of layout flexibility. Its weight is also worth pointing out – the ATM of 3500kg puts it in range of only large tow vehicles if fully-loaded, but the Tare weight of 2780kg either gives you a very large load capacity or the ability to tow it with a vehicle with a lesser towing capacity.
A look underneath the Studio reveals an almost over-engineered SupaGal chassis with 150x50mm (6x2in) RHS steel main and drawbar rails. Between the front suspension mounts and where the drawbar rails meet the chassis, a 100mm (4in) RHS rail is laminated to the main rails and, behind that, a 50mm (2in) rail runs all the way to the rear. All cross section members are 50x50mm (2x2in) RHS steel. Is the steelwork adequate for an on-road caravan – I think so!
In some ways, the layout is a familiar one – full-width rear bathroom, nearside dinette, offside kitchen and front bedroom. But the major point of difference is the east-west bed in the bedroom and a front wall dedicated entirely to cupboard and wardrobe space.
Bedroom & Storage
Since this is a bit different to what you’d usually find in a van, I’ll start there. East-west beds often suffer from being a bit short. This one isn’t too bad at 1.9x1.52m (6ft 3in x 5ft) and, while that makes things a bit tight at the base of the bed, there aren’t any overhead lockers or cupboards below the window, so it’s not really a problem.
There is the usual under-bed storage, overhead lockers and bedside cabinets, but the bulk of the storage is across the front of the van – three large hanging cupboards (all with mirrors), eight drawers and a dressing table. If you are the sort of person who likes to carry clothing for all occasions, this van offers plenty of potential. I would urge consideration of the caravan ball weight though, given the position of the wardrobes.
In the catering department, the kitchen has been designed to go with the flow of the van’s layout. The tallest item, the 184L fridge with microwave above, is butted up against the bathroom, and the rest of the essentials – four-burner cooktop, grill, oven and stainless sink/drainer – still leave a decent amount of benchtop space at the front end of the kitchen. Under the post-formed benchtop is a good selection of cupboards and drawers, with further storage available overhead.
In keeping with the rest of the van, the café-style dinette has been designed with comfort and style in mind. The seat cushions and backs encourage sitting back and relaxing, as do the hinged footrests.
THE BOTTOM LINE
As I noted above, the interesting thing about judging the vans in this top-end $80K-plus category is that all the other contenders were built as offroad vans. Was that a disadvantage for Paramount? Not for me, especially as the Studio had just as many appointments as all the other vans and didn’t have the associated weight penalty.
The Studio Streamline certainly lacked for nothing and offers a very comfortable standard of caravan living.
- Interior layout and décor
- Good-sized kitchen and bathroom
- Footrests/drawers in dinette
- Well-appointed electrical system
- Generous load capacity
- Slide-out battery tray
I would have liked...
- More attention to detail and finish
- Lower microwave
The full test appears in Caravan World #534, February 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!