Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
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Enjoy a great spec and a classy finish with the 2017 Coachman Vision 450, featuring a revamped washroom that revolutionises this traditional two-berth
And a fine thing it is, too, with classy looks and a solid feel that help to justify a price that places it nearer to other makers’ mid-market ranges.
The Vision also comes with kit levels that you’d need to pay extra for on budget models, such as alloy wheels, an AKS hitch stabiliser, an underslung spare wheel and shock absorbers.
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Pitching and setting up
There’s also one-key locking, and as before all services bar the fridge vents are relegated to the offside of the van.
Our one complaint here is that there are no external hatches, aside from the generous front gas locker.
The first big change comes as you step aboard, thanks to the reworking of the washroom, which creates space for a new ‘entrance hall’ design. It incorporates a double cupboard – handy for the essentials that you need as soon as you pitch up, such as a motor-mover remote control – a shelf with a socket for charging phones, and a large mirror.
The most arresting example is the new soft-touch centre console on the shelf above the front window, housing light switches and a single socket (there’s another located low down beneath the sofa).
It feels bright enough – although that optional panoramic sunroof would help. At night, the ambience is improved by new LED ‘halo’ perimeter lighting.
The long sofas have comfortable, wide bases and slightly short backs. They are ideal for lounging on while you watch the television, points for which are to be found on the sideboard at the foot of the nearside sofa.
It’s also worth noting that there are two blown-air outlets in here for the 6kW Truma Combi heating.
That cooker is a high-spec, chromed Thetford Caprice with dual-fuel hob and separate oven and grill. Alongside it there’s a large drawer and cupboard for storage.
The kitchen looks smart with its striped splashback. It’s a shame that there’s only one 230V socket, although there are several others dotted around the van.
To boost the worktop space, the drainer stores neatly inside the sink, with its drop-down glass cover. If you need more workspace, you’ll appreciate the massive sideboard on the other side of the van, at just the right height.
Beneath the sideboard you’ll find the fridge and above, in a dedicated surround, the microwave.
Gone is the old circular shower cubicle on the offside – which owners complained was too cramped – and in comes a huge, fully lined square cubicle on the nearside, complete with a shelf, a new EcoCamel Jetstorm Plus showerhead and a large, domestic-style pivot door.
There’s a central vanity unit with a large sink over the bathroom cabinet. The toilet now occupies the offside corner – where the wardrobe used to be – with a smoked window above to add to the light from the small overhead Heki.
The large wardrobe has been moved forward – no doubt improving weight distribution on tow. It boasts a revised design with drawers beneath and a fitted laundry bag in the base.
At 6ft 1in long and a fairly generous 2ft 5in wide, the sofas make better single beds than many in vans with this layout. Or, if you’re feeling friendly, a slatted base can be pulled from beneath the offside sofa to make up an enormous, 6ft 6in x 4ft 11in double.
There are spotlights at each corner, so you can read no matter which configuration you choose, and they have a nightlight function, too.
In the lounge are four overhead lockers – only one of which is shelved. These feature a new ‘cranked’ door that’s designed to increase internal room while retaining a sense of space outside.
There are two more large overhead lockers in the kitchen, plus another over the sideboard and a cupboard beneath.
There are roomy bed boxes beneath the sofas. But, frustratingly, there are no drop-down flaps to offer easy access to the space (although the bases do rise on gas struts).
Between them, the front chest features a couple of usefully large drawers with a pull-out table above – the freestanding lounge table is stored in a high slot cupboard just inside the washroom door.
The Coachman Vision 450 always was an appealing caravan, but one that was hard to separate from some cheaper rivals.
With the subtle changes for 2017, however, it has become a van that should work beautifully for a couple that doesn’t mind making up a bed at night.
It lacks some of the nice-to-haves of its costlier siblings, but the smallest Vision now offers a dose of the upmarket Coachman feel for a very realistic price-tag.
- Thoughtful 2017-season design tweaks
- The new washroom is great
- The usefully large sofas make up into good single beds
- There's no external locker access
- The backs of the sofas feel a little short
- There's only one socket in the kitchen