The Coachman Laser Xcel 850 is one of only two new(ish) models in the brand’s line-up for 2024, the other being the Coachman Laser Xtra 665.
There have been a few changes in the 8ft-wide van that was our pick for the best luxury caravan at the Practical Caravan Awards 2024, including the 180° flipping of the transverse rear island bed.
Pitch and set-up
It isn’t all of the models being 8ft wide and twin-axle that sets the Xcel apart from the standard Laser. It’s also the E&P levelling system included as standard.
The caravan manufacturer has persisted with double lockers at the front, too, so you’ll never have to jostle with the jockey wheel handle to open the locker door.
This model also comes with two external lockers, for easy access to the area under the nearside settee and the bed at the rear. On the same side is an external BBQ point, a mains socket and a cold-water shower.
On the road, Coachman caravans always look sleek, thanks to their profile. This one is enhanced with silver-grey sidewalls and 10-spoke Falcon alloys. Alko’s ATC system and an AKS 3004 stabiliser are standard (as are Al-Ko wheel locks for both axles).
Lounge in the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
When you’re looking for the best caravan for your needs, a comfortable and well-lit lounge is likely to be an important factor. The lounge in the Laser Xcel 850 has an extra-wide sunroof and Heki to let in loads of light. The settee backrests are taller this year, for added comfort. The spacious table, which is stowed away by the door, takes account of this extra width. Alternatively, a shelf slides out from the central chest to create a level surface large enough for two. Nearby is a wireless charging pad.
New this year are matt-black spotlights, with USBs, in each corner of the lounge.
Kitchen in the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
This is where you’ll find the most notable changes from 2023 models, like the Coachman Laser 665. A few years ago, Coachman was heading towards sourcing all major appliances from Dometic, but there has been an about-face this year.
This kitchen has a 159-litre Thetford electronic fridge and freezer, a Thetford dual-fuel four-burner hob and a Thetford oven and grill. The microwave is a plateless model, and the large sink is graced with a swan-neck tap in classy matt black.
The ‘L’ shape of the worktop means you have plenty of space where you need it, with a socket nearby. It’s well lit, too, with a large window and a striplight.
Washroom in the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
Doors on both sides of the washroom can create a dressing space, but this season, they are swing doors, not sliding. The rear of the door going out to the front includes a towel ring. There’s a roof vent here, but not in the shower itself, which Coachman has tried to make a little less like a white plastic box, with some panelling. It includes two unlipped shelves, a good riser bar and a clothes rail. The wheel arch protrudes, but you could use it as a handy ledge. This year’s model also includes a 40-litre onboard water tank.
In the main washroom on the offside (away from any awning), you will find a large roller blind on the opaque window behind the toilet. A salad-bowl-style basin with a chrome tap sits in front of a large mirror. You also get a ladder radiator in here.
Beds in the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
Those stylish matt-black spotlights also grace the head of the big transverse island bed beyond the washroom. The large space on the offside wall at the foot of the bed is clearly designed for a television (check out our best caravan TV guide if you’re looking for one).
The settees up front can work as single beds, or you could pull out the slats to make a generous double, but either way, you might need to turn the base cushions over, as the kneeroll is quite pronounced.
Storage in the Coachman Laser Xcel 850
With two lockers up front, and two locker doors at the side accessing the nearside underseat area and the space under the bed, there are plenty of options for storing bulky outdoor items and caravan essentials in this tourer.
There is one large overhead locker on each side of the lounge, as well as a corner locker up front and the chest of drawers in the middle. Three more lockers sit above the bed in the rear bedroom, where there is an almost full-height wardrobe with two drawers below, plus the small dressers and two cupboards with shelves under the TV area. The bedside tables also have two drawers each.
In the kitchen, you get a large double basket rack that slides out from under the L-shape, with three big drawers next to it. Then there is a large overhead locker with a cutlery and mug rack by the microwave, and a pan locker below the fridge. There are two more cupboards in the washroom.
The orientation of the bed in this latest iteration of the Laser Xcel 850 is possibly a matter of taste. But reducing the number of sliding doors seems a wise move in this large caravan. We’re less sure about moving the wardrobe into the rear bedroom, because that makes it harder to reach for anyone in the front. But all in all, this remains a very comfortable, spacious tourer, which would be ideal for a seasonal caravan pitch.
- Interested in a towing option instead? Then check out our best caravan tow car guide to see our top picks on the market.
What we like
- Feeling of space, quality lighting, good kitchen workspace
What we don’t like
- Larger wardrobe is now only in rear bedroom
- Price: £46,095
- Berths: 4
- MTPLM: 1929kg
- MiRO: 1769kg
- Payload: 160kg
- Interior length: 6.27m
- Overall length: 7.90m
- Overall width: 2.44m
- Al-Ko galvanised steel chassis
- ATC and AKS 3004 stabiliser
- Two Al-Ko wheel locks
- 10-spoke Falcon alloys
- Heavy-duty corner steadies
- E&P levelling system
- Exterior shower
- BBQ point and mains socket
- Thetford four-burner dual-fuel hob with separate oven and grill
- 159-litre Thetford fridge/freezer
- Plateless microwave
- LED lighting
- DAB radio
- Spotlights with integrated USBs
- Alde wet central heating and hot-water system
- 40-litre onboard water tank
- Front double bed: 2.18 x 1.40m or two singles: 1.50 x 0.71m
- Rear double bed: 1.88 x 1.37m
Or you could try:
- Bailey Phoenix GT75 762: coming with an adaptable and family-friendly layout, this six-berth tourer has a bright interior.
- Swift Bessacarr 845: caravanners looking to tour in comfort and style will find the Bessacarr 845 has a lot to offer.
- La Mancelle Liberty 490 SA: a stylish appearance and brilliant build quality make this a tempting tourer.
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|Interior Length||6.27 m|
|Shipping Length||7.90 m|