The Hull manufacturer’s latest iteration of the Laser has joined the 8ft-wide club. Andrew Jenkinson steps inside the 850, winner of our Best Luxury Tourer
Eight-foot wide caravans seem to be de rigueur right now – everyone is doing them. But for Coachman, that’s logical.
After all, it was only last year that the twin-axle Lasers were separated again from their VIP cousins, after the two had been merged. A new move to create even more luxury with the Xcel versions is no surprise.
The model here, the 850, is in effect an 8ft-wide version of the 650, launched last year. But does that extra width make enough of a difference?
Pitching and setting up
Pitching up, life should be a lot easier, too, now all Coachman Xcel models come with an E&P self-levelling system fitted as standard. A barbecue outlet is conveniently located on the front nearside corner, next to the external access to the underseat locker.
There are parallel settees in the 850, with lots of daylight coming through the windows, the rooflight and the sunroof that still runs right across the width of the caravan, even in this 8ft-wide model.
The foldaway table stows away in a storage slot by the door, and there’s a pull-out shelf above the central chest.
The grey/silver theme in this smart interior looks modern, particularly the woodgrain-effect silver birch colour of the lockers (known as Tibero). On the front sill there’s a mobile charging pad, although to use it, you’ll need an iPhone 8, Samsung 7 or something even newer – older phones can’t be charged this way. There are two mains sockets at one end of this sill, and light switches at the other end, with speakers higher up connected to the radio in the corner locker.
There are also spotlights at each corner of the lounge, while above the table storage, you’ll find all of the sockets you need for a TV in a position where everyone can see it, and two handy USB sockets.
The narrowness is probably a result of the layout, which needs to pack a lot into its 6.27m length. But the entrance doesn’t feel too spacious either, partly because Coachman has included an L-shaped kitchen unit, which rather protrudes into the floorspace.
Outside the cubicle, there are two towel rings above the large Alde radiator.
The handbasin has a large cupboard below, and there’s a double cupboard high up above the opaque window behind the toilet on the offside. There is a cubbyhole here for toilet rolls, and a toilet roll holder.
To the left of the door is a huge half-height cupboard, and another cupboard underneath with shelves finished in chrome.
The bed can be rolled back for extra space, and you might want to do that, because the dresser in the far corner is a fair size. It comes with a lit mirror, and there is a mains socket nearby, handy when you need to use a hairdryer.
The front settees only work as single beds for those under 5ft tall, but they make a great double (using slats), thanks to the sprung upholstery.
The area under the bed at the rear is easily accessed from the outside. But the bed itself lifts and stays up for internal access, as do the front settees.
Widening an already dazzling van (the 650) to 8ft means more room inside, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. The rear bedroom is comfortable, spacious and well equipped, as is the washroom. It feels very luxurious – a worthy winner of our award
- Spacious bedroom
- Well-planned washroom
- Front lounge is a little cramped