Despite slimming down to 20 models for 2023, Coachman has still found time to introduce new caravans in its line-up. Chief among them is this addition to its twin-axle 8ft-wide Laser Xcel range. The Coachman Laser Xcel 855 takes full advantage of the extra width, with an L-shaped lounge; but further back is something you might expect to see more often in a motorhome.

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Pitch and set-up

With alloy wheels, silver side panels and 3D-effect graphics, it will look stylish on the road. And it should be relatively easy to set up once you are on site, thanks to the E&P self-levelling system.

The twin gas locker doors are easy to access; the main exterior locker, meanwhile, is on the offside. You also get an external BBQ point, mains socket and cold shower.

Lounge

The L-shaped lounge includes a 32-inch TV on the nearside wall, which is why you only get a trompe l’oeil window on the outside. This is the only model in the range offering the Avtex TV as standard this season.

The arrangement here feels slightly more sociable than other layouts, where the TV is on the opposite part of the wall, because the main settee faces the door, ready to welcome people as they come in.

Large windows and sunroof allow natural light to flood in
Large windows and sunroof flood the area with natural light

Even with no front nearside window, daylight floods in through the windows and the characteristically large sunroof. There are three spotlights at either end of the ‘L’ and in the corner, plus ambient lighting, a mains socket and a wireless charging pad.

The table accommodates at least four, but Coachman doesn’t provide an extra seat for the table edge facing away from the settees – one snag of the L-shaped layout.

Kitchen

Here is where this caravan starts looking more like a motorhome. Unusually, most of the kitchen is on the nearside, to the right of the door as you walk in, not across the way as it is in most caravans today.

This gives you an L-shaped unit with a large circular sink and a cover that doubles up as a chopping board. The four-burner dual-fuel hob above a separate oven and grill comes with a domestic-style trivet.

There are two sockets and plenty of space to use whatever you choose to plug in, as the ample worktop has an extension.

Across the way, by the two-way opening, 153-litre fridge and freezer, is a sideboard with two USBs. Above this is a microwave.

Our test model had air-con, a £1950 extra that takes up one of the rooflights.

Washroom

The washroom straddles the centre of the van. Unfortunately, though, the nearside shower is a touch disappointing. It is wider than it is deep, mainly because the wheel arch from the twin axle takes up space. But the shelves have no retainers, and there is no roof vent, plus only one small light.

However, the main washroom on the offside is more promising, with light streaming through an opaque window, a large lit mirror behind the salad-bowl-style basin, and two robe hooks.

Beds in the Coachman Laser Xcel 855

Coachman has left fittings for another TV in the rear lounge – take a look at our guide to the best caravan TVs if you’re after one. There is a set of small shelves immediately below, and a dresser in the rear nearside corner, complete with a mirror and a socket for a hairdryer.

The luxurious bed rolls back to make a relaxing daybed, and comes furnished with two spotlights (with USB sockets) and a couple of branded fabric pockets for stashing books or magazines.

The bed rolls out for use as a daybed
The bed rolls out for use as a daybed, and there are fixings for a second TV here, too

During the day, plenty of light can get in through the large window at the back.

The generous double bed in the front lounge is easily made up by using the base cushions and backrests.

Storage in the Coachman Laser Xcel 855

Along with the externally accessible space under the bed, there is good storage below the settee, unusual in an L-shaped layout. The bed lifts easily to leave a clear space. There are three lockers in the lounge, shelving by the TV, and three more lockers in the bedroom. Kitchen storage is ample, with two lockers, one with a crockery rack.

Down below you’ll find three drawers, a pan locker and a set of pull-out basket shelves. There are similar shelves in the sideboard across the way.

The washroom includes two cupboards: under the basin and above the window.

Verdict

The slightly spare shower room is a minor niggle, but with its L-shaped lounge and fitted TV, comfortable rear bedroom and a more than ample kitchen, the Laser Xcel 855 would be a great van for a seasonal pitch.

What we like

  • Spacious kitchen
  • Well-equipped bedroom

What we don’t like

  • Shower might be a little poky for some

Technical spec

  • Price: £47,085
  • Berths: 4
  • MTPLM: 1950kg
  • MiRO: 1790kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • Shipping length: 7.90m
  • Interior length: 6.27m
  • Width: 2.44m

Spec list

  • Al-Ko galvanised steel chassis
  • AKS 3004 stabiliser
  • ATC
  • E&P self-levelling
  • Steel spare wheel in carrier
  • Falcon alloys
  • Two Al-Ko wheel locks
  • Exterior cold shower
  • Mains socket and barbecue point
  • Offside service light
  • Kitchen extractor fan
  • Dual-fuel four-burner hob
  • Separate oven and grill
  • Microwave
  • 153-litre Dometic Series 10.5T fridge with separate freezer
  • DAB radio
  • Avtex TV
  • Status 570 aerial
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Alde wet heating and hot water system
  • Phantom Vanguard alarm

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