Practical Caravan's experts give their verdict on the 2010 Coachman Laser 650/4 four-berth single-axle caravan, with its 6ft long fixed double bed
Coachman has been making caravans since 1986 and this Hull-based manufacturer has a good reputation for creating stylish tourers. Here's what Practical Caravan's testers thought of the 2010 Coachman Laser 650/4 at launch.
Pitching and setting up
Externally the van has a barbecue point, mains socket, awning heater vent and a mains water and drainage connection. The steadies are easy to access and rubber rings around the front guide channels help prevent damage. The waste pipes are at the rear of the van, which can be tricky on a sloping pitch. Access to the front locker is excellent as the large door opens high on a single gas strut.
Inside it’s just as easy to set up as the control panel is above the one-piece entrance door and the heater controls are at the sideboard by the door.
The lounges have curved bolster cushions at both ends, so it is very easy to get comfortable. The entertainment equipment includes a Sony radio/CD player and speakers, a directional TV aerial and a TV point by the sideboard opposite the kitchen. The area is well lit, too, with a large rooflight for natural light during the day. Four LED spotlights, two corner lights and a ceiling light provide good options for the evening.
It’s a good-looking area as well. The different locker doors make the kitchen feel like a separate part of the van and having a door to hide the microwave helps keep the area neat.
The only drawback is the lack of storage. Above there is just one overhead locker, which is filled with plate and cup racks, and two small shelves. Below are a cutlery drawer and a single cupboard, and part of the cupboard space is lost to the wheel arch. The sideboard opposite has only a second drawer and a cocktail cabinet.
On the offside is the shower. It is large and spacious and there is plenty of room around it to get dressed. The clear screen faces into the bedroom, which means privacy is minimal. Also, the towel hooks are in the corridor, so it will be easy to knock the towels when walking around the van.
The front lounge is made into a double bed using slats. The cushions are a firm, comfortable fit.
The kitchen is a problem, as are badly-compromised under-seat lockers in the lounge. The offside is filled with the water heater, fuse box and on-board water tank, and the nearside is cut in half by the external wet locker, leaving almost no useable space. The only low area to store heavy items is under the fixed bed, but as this space is behind the axles that could affect towing stability.
The Coachman Laser 650/5 has new interior styling, which has been tastefully done and makes the space feel comfortable and smart. The nearside washroom, housing the toilet and basin, makes the most of the small available space. However, nearly all of the under-seat storage in the lounge has been sacrificed to the water heater, on-board water tank and external wet locker. Be careful how you pack the van – the only place with room to store heavy items is under the bed at the rear of the van, which isn’t ideal for towing stability.
Overall, it's a nicely built, attractive van with a well-balanced layout and excellent equipment.