First look: Coachman Laser 650
Merged with the VIP only a year ago, for 2019 the Laser is once more a stand-alone line-up. But will this breathe new life into this top-notch range? Peter Baber finds out
Now back as a standalone range, we check out one of its island bed offerings
Coachman has brought the Laser back as an all-twin-axle range, just a year after merging it with the VIP. It turns out customers did want the kind of luxury the Lasers represent, in its own clearly identifiable range. Still, has the year off given Coachman the chance to breathe new life into its top-notch range? At the season launch, we had a chance to find out with the rear transverse island bed Laser 650.
Pitch and set-up
Serious Coachman fans should notice the changes from the word go. In the 2017 season – the last time Laser made an appearance – these vans had only the sleekest of decals. Now they come with a more obvious ‘go faster’ band, with Vip-style 3D graphics in black and gold down the side. The front panels, however, which were previously heavily indented, are much sleeker now, while the rear panel is just as minimalist as before. This is a top-of-the-range model, so you will get an underfloor insulated 36-litre tank for your fresh water, plus a mobile waste water carrier. This season Coachman has also introduced an external cold shower, in addition to the external barbecue unit. Most of these external inlets are neatly shut off with slidedown panels, too, so they won’t flap about while you are en route. There are two external locker doors, while the entrance door itself has a good solid handle that you can grab hold of.
With so much at the back in this 6.26m-long van, the front lounge is only an average size, but it should still be fine for four. While the settees might also look fairly standard, in brown and grey tones, their comfort level is significantly enhanced by the inclusion this season of sprung upholstery. A huge sunroof extending almost entirely across the width of the front panel lets in loads of light, and there are two LED lights included in the housing for it, so that when you also take into account the four spotlights, this lounge should be just as well lit at night-time as it is during the day. This area is also well catered for electronically. There’s a new Pioneer stereo with USB connectivity in the offside corner, with speakers for it at the top of the window in both corners. There are sockets at the bottom of one of these corners, but to the right of the door, where there is shelving and housing for a TV, you will find two more mains sockets and two USB sockets, in addition to the TV connections. So you could plug in considerably more than just a TV here.
The abundance of electrical connections continues into the side kitchen, because there are two further mains sockets above the spacious worktop with a large sink and a pull-out extension. A large cupboard on the left underneath contains a slide-out basket shelf that complements three drawers in the centre. On the right is a Dometic oven with separate grill. The pan locker below, however, is smaller than it looks on the outside, thanks to the wheel arch. Across the way is a 153-litre Dometic 10 series fridge/freezer,
Serious Coachman fans should notice the changes here from the word go
which you can open from either side. With a small locker above and overhead lockers on the other side, kitchenware storage is perfectly adequate.
The rear bedroom is a real oasis because you can partition it off. The bed is large and comfy, and the two bedside tables each have their own mirror, as well as two individually controlled spotlights, complete with USB sockets, and two little shelves for glasses. What really catches your attention is the huge indented space on the rear wall. Coachman has made use of a structure that would normally house a vanity unit in an end-washroom model to give you space here to mount a second, possibly quite large TV. You don’t need to worry about losing any daylight as a result of this – there’s enough of that if you want it streaming through the large rooflight or the nearside window. The only thing you might need to watch is the TV’S weight – on our test model, the bracket had a maximum loadbearing capacity of 7.5kg. The dresser to the right includes another mirror, a small set of shelves and a cubbyhole. The front settees make up a double with slats that roll out from the front chest, but it’s only an average size.
The central washroom provides a huge dressing space right next to the wardrobe. The Dometic toilet on the offside sits beneath an opaque window which allows in plenty of light but maintains privacy, and there is lots of shelving here, too. The basin in the middle is a Belfast style and is lit both by LED lights and lighting within the large mirror. There is a small cabinet below. The shower on the nearside is three-quarters circular, with lots of GRP moulding inside and good LED lighting, but no roof vent. Coachman has also included a sturdy fold-out coat hook, a useful addition if you are more inclined to use campsite showers and store outdoor clothing here.
Storage in the 650 is good, with two spacious overhead lockers complemented by two cleverly designed corner lockers up front, and three more overhead lockers, along with the dresser unit in the bedroom. The wardrobe located in the washroom is large enough for four, and has another smaller cupboard underneath. Then there are the underbed and underseat areas. Neither can be accessed internally through flaps, but the slats lift easily and stay up to give you large, mostly clear areas for bulky items.
The settees make up an average-sized double with slats that roll out from the front chest The huge sunroof extending across almost the whole width of the lounge floods the area with natural light
The rear bedroom, with its large and comfortable island bed, provides plenty of storage space and room for a second wall-mounted TV set
The exterior upgrades to the Laser 650 for the 2019 season include Vip-style 3D graphics in black and gold running down the side panels
LEFT Well-equipped kitchen has a good amount of work surface RIGHT Spacious washroom includes shower with GRP mouldings