Coachman’s Acadia range is still only a couple of seasons old, but it came into being just as the market for 8ft-wide caravans was hotting up.

So it is perhaps not surprising that when the Hull manufacturer looked at extending the range this season, an 8ft-wide version, the 830 Xcel, was among the additions to the line-up. It also features an L-shaped lounge – another growing trend.

Pitch and set up

The 830 is an Xcel, but, unlike the Laser 575 Xcel, it’s a twin-axle; the 830 also has an MTPLM of 1820kg.

The 830, like all Coachman models this season, also comes with Al-Ko’s Automatic Adjustment (AAA) premium brake, designed to reduce the distance a caravan needs to come to a halt.

You’re sure to notice the new Coachman branding up front. There’s no trace of the ice-blue colour that has been standard in recent years, but you will spot a new red and black badge. This includes heraldry that Coachman founder Jim Hibbs used on the very first Coachman models he introduced, way back in 1986.

Overall, the caravan’s elegant exterior doesn’t shout about its 8ft-wide exterior – instead, it exhibits all the sleekness we have come to expect from Coachman.

Lounge

The 830 makes the most of the extra width to have an L-shaped lounge, although not the longest we have seen. That’s partly because this caravan has a second dinette on the offside, opposite the kitchen.

This should be perfect for families, as even with the foldaway table in position, adults have room to stretch out in the lounge, while up to four children could group around the table in the dinette.

Settees in both lounges are very comfy, and the whole area is flooded with daylight, thanks to the large sunroof and Heki. The lounge also has four spotlights, although there are none in the second dinette.

To save space, there’s nothing much between the lounges, which can leave you with the impression that you are living in a furniture shop – you might want to distract the eye with plenty of accessories in here.

Fortunately this is easy, thanks to the sill under the front windows, with a socket for a radio, and the bigger sill on the nearside. The space above is ideal for a television, with the sockets hidden in a locker below.

Kitchen

There is a huge amount of workspace in the central kitchen. One section is at a height that taller adults might find a touch irritating, but it is next to the side dinette, so ideal for any little helpers the the chef might have.

The microwave is in a lower position, accessible to all. That means no fewer than four overhead lockers here, so more than enough space for dry food, even if one is partly taken up with a crockery rack.

On the work surface itself, you have a large sink and a four-burner dual-fuel hob with a separate oven and grill below.

The pan locker under the oven, a cupboard under the 133-litre fridge, and the bottom of the main double cupboard under the sink are partly obscured by the wheel arch. But to the right of all this there is a tall cupboard with a pull-out shelf, plus all the space in the smaller sideboard, too. You shouldn’t want for storage here.

Washroom

The end washroom comes with a very large shower cubicle, although it only has one drainage hole and there’s no rooflight.

The salad-bowl-style handbasin sits in front of a huge mirror, with a small cupboard below. Next to the toilet on the left is a radiator. There’s another cupboard up high here, and it is a sign of Coachman’s attention to detail that although the window is opaque, you still get a roller blind.

Beds

Each bunk has its own reading light and curtain. The extra width of the van means children shouldn’t be disturbed by adults passing to use the washroom. If you don’t want the hassle of platforms and cushions, the lounge provides a large single across the front, with a side single that is smaller than the bunks.

Storage

Underseat storage can be limited in L-shaped lounges. The 830 does have some, although it’s probably best reserved for items you only need occasionally. There are three overhead lockers in this lounge, and three more over the dinette. In the front lounge, there is also more storage in the cupboard on the nearside.

Further back, whoever gets to sleep in the bunks has a huge wardrobe right next to them, with two large drawers underneath.

Verdict

The 830 is a useful addition to the new-ish Acadia line-up, with a family-friendly layout that is well thought out. Storage in the front may be a little limited, but there is plenty at the back, and provision in the kitchen is great. You’ll need a large tow car, however.

Thumbs up: Great space for families, with individual bunks and clothes storage nearby

Thumbs down: No spotlights in second dinette, and no roof light in the shower

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