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

Practical Caravan - - Contents -

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.

Lounge

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.

Kitchen

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.

Beds

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.

Wash­room

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

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

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