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

Overview

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

Towing is made easier with the inclusion of Al-Ko’s ATC and an AKS 3004 stabiliser as standard. The metallic decals down the side and 10-spoke Falcon alloys look stylish on the road.

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.

Lounge

With both the new Laser Xcels, Coachman has resisted the urge to put an L-shaped lounge at the front.

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.

Kitchen

All things considered, the two settees are not the longest you will come across. They would accommodate four people quite easily, but not many more.

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.

Washroom

The extra width provides a huge door to the central washroom. The shower on the nearside is circular and retains the useful clothes hook that Coachman introduced last year. It doesn’t have a roof vent, but it does include a large LED light and two sensibly placed shelves.

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.

Beds

Not having wardrobes either side of the transverse bed adds to the sense of space in the rear bedroom, as do the windows and rooflight. Headroom under the overhead lockers isn’t too bad, either, and in this area, you also get two spotlights with USBs, two small chrome-edged shelves and bedside tables.

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.

Storage

There are three sizeable overhead lockers in the rear bedroom and two in the front lounge, plus the two smaller corner lockers, one of which houses the radio.

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.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1767kg
Payload160kg
MTPLM1927kg
Interior length6.27m
Shipping length7.9m
Width2.44m

Verdict

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

Conclusion

Pros

  • Spacious bedroom
  • Well-planned washroom

Cons

  • Front lounge is a little cramped