The new season Pastiche looks as appealing as ever, but a tweaked version of a previous model will get a lot of attention in the coming months.
Coachman is a core player in the British caravan industry and has carved out a niche in the market for sharp design, high levels of comfort and really impressive built quality.
The youngest member of the 'Big Five' club of UK caravan manufacturers (it was formed in 1986), the firm also goes its own way, in the sense that it's not competing in an arms race to build ever-more units.
Instead, Coachman has found a level of annual production with which it's comfortable and - to paraphrase managing director Elliot Hibbs - is focused on spending more time getting the product right and improving it.
But the big news this summer for customers and followers of the Coachman brand has been the reintroduction of Laser as a standalone range, just one year after the brand's twin-axle models were folded into a successfully revamped VIP line-up.
Also significant, though, is the introduction of another new model a couple of rungs below the Laser.
The Pastiche 470 is a two-berth with an L-shaped front lounge, offside dinette and end washroom.
The 470 may be new in one sense, but it's actually a reboot of the 2016 Pastiche 470. This featured a full-width fixed bed across the front lounge, with an offside midships dinette for lounging and dining. For 2019 the Pastiche 470 also has an unusual lounge configuration: an L-shaped seating group where the 2016 version's bed used to be.
Now, British caravanners love a front parallel lounge, but is it always the best execution of the main living space - especially in a compact two-berth? Could there be another game in town? Perhaps a different approach might tempt those buyers who are looking beyond the established norms, for something a little different.
Pitching and setting up
The front gas bottle locker is easily accessible, as are the front and rear corner steadies. You enter the van through the rear single-piece door, below the main control panel.
The benefits of this are evident. Two or more people can cosy up, side by side or at right angles, and Coachman has catered for a likely use of this space by fitting TV connections at the end of the kitchen unit.
For 2019, Pastiche models have 'Tindari' cabinetwork and oatmeal-coloured soft furnishings with brown piping, supported by four scatter cushions - two in a plain pattern and two in a check.
Five windows, a front skylight and a rooflight mean this is a space that will never feel dingy, and there are LED lights in reserve for night-time.
Specification includes a dual-fuel cooker, separate oven and grill, microwave and a dual-fuel fridge. An oblong sink with a mixer tap and glass cover sits in the middle of the kitchen unit.
A swivelling cassette toilet sits to the left of the vanity unit, under a frosted window, while a large shower cabinet with single-piece door occupies the nearside rear corner.
The double bed makes up easily using a pull-out platform, with cushions rearranged and gaps plugged by foam inserts. It's not often we come across a bed formed from so many pieces that fits quite so easily.
In addition to that, there's a half-length wardrobe next to the washroom, above the fridge, plus two cupboards and a cutlery drawer in the kitchen. Further storage is available in the front lounge, under the transverse seat.
Storage in the 470 should easily cater for most touring couples, and the user payload is a healthy 124kg.
This is a notable addition to the Coachman family, and the brand is bold to launch it in the mid-market segment, rather than the more affordable Vision. It will appeal to couples, who will enjoy cosying up in the lounge and repairing to the dinette for meals.
- L-shaped seating gives a whole new perspective
- No privacy curtain for dinette if used as a single bed