Coachman’s quality and attention to detail shine through wherever you might look in the 545, and the base offering has been enhanced by RJC’s very thoughtful additions.
The make-up double bed in the front lounge is very comfortable, but we see this as a luxury van for couples, who might have occasional guests staying overnight. Grandchildren could be invited, and use the sofas as single beds. These measure up to 148 x 70cm.
We weren’t lucky with the weather on our test days (heavy rain, high winds), but inside, the Avocet was an oasis of calm and warmth. In simple terms, this is a lavish hotel suite on wheels – especially if you measure 5’10” or less in height.
Luxury feel; service light; stylish central washroom; touch-sensitive reading lights
No lounge USB sockets; bed mattress is on the shorter side
Based on the accomplished Coachman Acadia 545, this Raymond James Caravans dealer special takes an already luxurious tourer to new heights with an extensive list of additional features.
Even in its factory form, the 545 has more extras than Ben Hur, but RJC has somehow enhanced the offering yet further, with everything from heavy-duty corner steadies to wireless mobile phone-charging, an Omnivent roof fan and exclusive Avocet soft furnishings.
This tourer unashamedly targets couples who like to indulge themselves. The layout features an island bed in the rear, a super-stylish central washroom, and a very well-appointed kitchen and comfortable lounge at the front.
We stayed in the van in early January for a couple of days away in the Midlands. Pitched in North Warwickshire, the Avocet was the perfect base to come back to after a day of sightseeing.
This tourer unashamedly targets couples who like to indulge themselves, with a super-stylish, very comfortable layout
Pitching & Setting-up
The Avocet has exclusive and eye-catching graphics. Its wide walls are aluminium, with GRP front and back panels. It’s so well screwed/bonded together that Coachman feels confident enough to offer customers a 10-year water-ingress warranty.
The spare wheel is slung underneath the van and, as already mentioned, the 545 also features heavy-duty corner steadies.
Al-Ko ATC comes as standard, while RJC has added a really handy service light above the Aquaroll and battery compartment.
The lounge provides mid-length sofas with very thick, plush seat bases and backs, and exclusive Avocet scatter cushions.
It oozes cosiness and is exactly the kind of place you want to curl up in after a day on your feet. I’m 6’2″, and the sofas are an ideal length for sitting longways on, feet up, reading a book or watching a movie.
The whole ‘lounging’ experience is also made that much better by the Alde central heating. The radiators sit behind the sofas, and their gentle warmth emanates silently around the whole van.
That system might take a few minutes longer than blown-air heating to get the tourer up to temperature, but many people say that the heat is then much more evenly spread – more all-enveloping.
RJC seems to favour simple and stylish upholstery choices, and the Avocet is no exception. The overall effect is a pleasingly elegant cream and grey in a tiny ‘check’, which matches the medium-dark interior wood effect. It’s unlikely to offend, so should be good for resale values. The traditional ‘buttoned’ styling adds to the quality feel, and might appeal to slightly older buyers.
The 545 has loose-fit carpeting throughout. This certainly adds to the sense of warmth and luxury, and as it comes in five separate parts, it is easy to handle, remove for cleaning or to avoid muddy activities, and cost-effective to replace if one section happens to be damaged.
A wide centre console separates the sofas. At floor level, there’s a large locker, the pull-out bed slats are above that, then there’s a useful deep drawer and finally, at the top is the pull-out table extension.
This extra tabletop measures 32 x 52cm, and has a clever, spring-loaded mechanism I haven’t seen before – the extension sits flush with the console top.
Size wise, it’s just big enough for two to dine on, to save pulling out the fold-up dining table. The lounge windows and sunroof have pleated blinds; the windows have curtains that coordinate with the upholstery. This is all very traditional, but does exude an air of quality. The front corner mouldings are more contemporary, because they’re in a contrasting dark brown. They house power points, light switches, and speakers connected to the Pioneer DAB stereo.
Two ceiling-mounted downlighters, concealed LED strips and pivoting reading lights provide night-time illumination. They can be used individually or together.
The reading lights are touch-sensitive. One touch lights up the base, for low-level ambient illumination, while a second turns on the LED spotlights. A third touch turns them off again. Neat.
Two large and two small overhead lockers complete the lounge offering.
Moving into the kitchen, you can really see evidence of Coachman’s excellent use of space in this interior.
With the extension folded up, you have 80 x 60cm (narrowing to 36cm) of worktop, a good-sized sink with removable drainer, and the Thetford cooker, with its domestic-sized hob (one electric hotplate and three gas burners). The cooker also has a grill and a large oven.
A Dometic fridge with freezer box sits under the counter, with a slender cutlery drawer above. Two top lockers, another drawer and two cupboards complete the generous storage options.
A very stylish Russell Hobbs microwave is mounted at head height above the hob, and RJC has also gone the extra mile by fitting an Omnivent fan in the ceiling above the kitchen. This device will extract fumes and odours, or draw fresh air into the van. In our experience, they are very effective.
Behind you is a narrow cupboard which houses the dining table (but will hold more), a 36 x 72cm worktop and tall, mid-sized top locker that’s perfect for cereal boxes.
The midships washroom is separated from the kitchen by a pleasingly solid hinged door, decorated with a coordinated wood-effect strip and chrome-style detailing.
Inside you’ll find a washroom stretching across the van, with a corner shower on the nearside and the toilet on the offside.
As the rear island bed is longitudinal, with access from both sides, the handbasin is positioned centrally in the washroom, on the bulkhead wall, with a sliding door at either side.
There’s plenty of room to manoeuvre in here, and the shower is also pretty spacious, with a curved, frosted door that slides shut on smooth runners.
The plastic shower unit includes five preformed shelves and the wheel arch protrudes into it, forming a little seat for kids. There’s also a small fold-down hook, ideal for hanging up wet gear to dry after a day out in the hills – it looks a bit like the solenoid indicators on a vintage car.
The stylish basin is a contemporary bowl design and is subtly backlit, with concealed LED lighting below an oversized mirror. I’s eye-catching and all very ’boutique hotel’.
The towel hooks above the Alde heated rail are another very appealing touch. This should ensure warm, dry towels at all times.
The Thetford swivel-bowl toilet has plenty of space around it, and ventilation in the washroom is excellent, thanks to a roof vent and a large, translucent window.
At the back of the van is the bedroom, with a fixed double bed running longitudinally, giving access from both sides. It has a thick and luxurious mattress, with a vast storage space below (although weight should be limited back here).
Each occupant gets a wardrobe. One is 40cm wide, but houses the Alde heating reservoir, while the other measures 30cm. They also get a small cupboard and shelf, and a smart Avocet-emblazoned storage pocket, perfect for holding a magazine, paperback or mobile phone.
The pivoting reading lights nearby have integral USB power sockets, making this an ideal place to charge your phone at night.
There are three generously sized lockers located above the bed.
At the foot end of the bed is a TV bracket, with aerial and power points, making this a great place for a relaxed breakfast. The mattress is super-comfortable, but the 545’s bed is best suited to those measuring 5’10” or under – unless you prefer to curl up.
|Interior Length||5.77 m|
|Shipping Length||7.39 m|
|Awning Size||TBC cm|
|External BBQ point||Yes|
|External 230V plug socket||Yes|
|Bespoke upholstery and furnishings||Yes|
|Large front sunroof||Yes|
|USB sockets in bedroom||Yes|
|Offside service light||Yes|