Alastair Clements
Group Head of Content

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Radical changes announce the arrival of the new VIP range by Coachman Caravans – is this classic two-berth a winner for couples who want a touch of luxury?

Overview

It’s been all-change at Coachman Caravans over the past year.

Founder and long-serving boss Jim Hibbs has passed the baton over to new MD (and son) Elliot, and the first fruits of his labours is this, the all-new VIP.

It’s a brave piece of work: the old model’s 2012 redesign became an icon of luxury touring, and its buyers are a traditional bunch who are naturally resistant to radical change.

Yet radical it is: though it’s still recognisably a VIP, and a clear step up from the Vision/Pastiche, it’s also much more modern.

It looks fresh enough to worry style leaders such as the Swift Conqueror, with the front in particular benefiting from the clean, flush-fitting windows and colossal sunroof above.

Look closer and you’ll spot another seismic shift…

Instead of a full-width gas locker, there’s a pair of side-hinged doors – behind one a store for outdoor gear, behind the other a pair of gas bottles.

At least traditionalists will welcome this 460’s classic front-lounge, end-washroom two-berth layout.

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Pitching and setting up

As ever with the Coachman VIP, the Al-Ko chassis has every extra including shock absorbers, a wheel lock, an AKS stabiliser and ATC stability control.

And the lengthy kit list continues with a gas barbecue point (now Whale rather than Truma), a buttonless handbrake, new alloy wheels and heavy-duty corner steadies – all with easy access.

The key services are kept well away from the awning on the offside – even the hook-up, which is concealed inside the battery box where you’ll also find TV and satellite points.

The main controls for the van, plus those for the Alde heating, are just inside the smart glazed one-piece door.

Lounge

There’s further dramatic change in the living area, where you’ll discover the reason for those twin front lockers: it means the centre chest can be pushed back to blend with a substantial front shelf to create a greater sense of space.

There’s refinement here, too: the pull-out table uses a clever mechanism to pop-up and lie flush with the shelf.

Light floods in via a rooflight, the massive sunroof, plus triple front windows and side glazing, while at night there’s attractive ‘halo’ lighting plus a quartet of touch-sensitive reading lights.

There are two sets of aerial, 12V and 230V sockets: either on the sideboard – which is rather high – or the front shelf, with plush bolsters at each end of the sofas meaning either layout offers TV lounging comfort.

It’s good to see two USB points, too.

The décor looks modern, with graphite highlights and pale, soft fabrics.

The sofas aren’t the longest in class, but this is still a roomy lounge for six, with an easy-to-deploy freestanding table – though it’s a shame it lives at the back of the caravan.

Kitchen

Cooks are spoilt for choice when it comes to worktop in the Coachman VIP 460.

There’s plenty in the kitchen, and more if you drop the glass lids over the sink and hob, plus there’s that huge expanse at the perfect height on the sideboard.

The fridge/freezer and microwave are both on the nearside, too, and the two 230V sockets here make up for there being just the one in the kitchen area.

As you’d expect in a van at this level, there’s a dual-fuel hob and a separate oven and grill – now from Dometic – plus an Omnivent.

There are three lockers overhead with soft-close hinges, plus a trio of good-sized drawers down low alongside the cupboard, which features pull-out wire racking.

Washroom

It’s rare to find innovation in washroom design, but Coachman Caravans has managed it in the VIP 460: a double-skinned rear wall accommodates a stylish concealed cabinet, a wall-mounted tap and recessed shelves in the shower cubicle.

That shower is large and fully lined, with a big one-piece door – and inside there’s an EcoCamel showerhead on a smart black riser, and an LED downlighter.

Warmth comes via an Alde radiator, but alongside it there’s another change: a Dometic loo, with an unusually large seat.

Beds

At 6ft long and a reasonable 2ft 4in wide, the sofas make decent single beds as long as you’re not too tall.

The majority of buyers, though, will opt to make up the 6ft 9in x 5ft 8in double – and it’s easy to do.

The pull-out slats feel sturdy and have smooth runners, and the Ozio core helps the sofa cushions turn into a supportive mattress.

Quality pleated blinds and curtains bring a cosy feel.

Storage

The washroom in the 2018 Coachman VIP 460 houses not one but two wardrobes.

There’s a slender one beside the shower, with a larger unit alongside the loo that also houses drawers and a small laundry basket.

Just inside the door there’s a heated cupboard – ideal for wet shoes – and the sideboard houses a cabinet.

Above the lounge are four lockers with ‘cranked’ doors and shelves that neatly fold away when not needed, plus a pair of compact corner cupboards.

Outside, one of the front corner units is completely clear, and there’s an access hatch to the nearside bed box.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO1314kg
Payload125kg
MTPLM1439kg
Interior length4.75m
Shipping length6.38m
Width2.31m
Awning size903cm

Verdict

The Coachman VIP 460 blends a traditional two-berth floorplan with a dose of genuine innovation in several of the details, both inside and out.

The key appeal of the old model remains – this is a handsome, superbly specified and solidly built caravan – but it is now joined by a much-needed dash of modernity.

In the old days, heads would turn when you arrived on site with a Coachman VIP behind – on this evidence, that trend looks set to continue.

Conclusion

Pros

  • We like its sharp new looks
  • It has a great spec
  • The interior is exceptionally bright with lots of glazing
  • There's plenty of kitchen worktop space
  • It has a brilliant end washroom

Cons

  • For a compact two-berth tourer, it is fairly heavy
  • Taller caravanners won't be able to use the sofas as single beds
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