Are Coachman caravans going downmarket?

brissle replied on 14/04/2021 09:04

Posted on 14/04/2021 09:04

My wife and i have been Coachman caravan owners for many years and we have usually changed the van at 5 years old.  We have been very happy and hugely proud of our Coachman vans.

Our VIP575 was planned for replacement  this year and we could hardly wait to visit our dealer to see the new model yesterday.

What a disappointment !

The van design has changed so much it was barely recognisable.  It may still be a well-built van, but corners have been cut in the design and spec - presumably to reduce cost.  Locker space is severely reduced and less practical, decor is plain, upholstery options are almost non-existent (and pale unpractical colours).  It looks like an entry level van.

Simple cost saving changes just spoil the look - e.g. the microwave is no longer hidden behind a matching hinged door and now has a mirror door instead (at an impractical height for many people).  The useful corner cupboard in the bedroom area has gone - replaced by an extension of the already useless long narrow shelf above the window (you can't leave anything on that shelf when travelling).  The cupboards above the off-side above the sink  have been reduced from 5 to 3 larger ones - not practical for storing different types of item.  There is no solar panel - now an optional extra.

Sadly we are limited in towing weight by our Volvo XC60 which we cannot afford to change.

We need an island fixed bed, and prefer an end bathroom. 

Can anyone suggest an alternative van of a quality and finish we used to get from Coachman?

 

paulfrompontefract replied on 17/04/2021 16:44

Posted on 17/04/2021 16:44

We changed our pastiche 560/4 2012 dealer special for a vip 575 2018 model.  It’s a well made and pleasant to be inside.  The gripes we have are the dometic toilet which has let us down twice, once with the waste tank bursting when it was being emptied! And then the electronics when wrong.  The van has also had water ingress via the rear drivers side awning rail, some thing we are rally disappointed with.  

Im looking to swap the toilet for the much better stronger thetford at my cost. 

If we had our chance again we would have stuck with the previous van, which did have a few minor niggles but was much more solidly made - good old wood and screws holding it together.

 

Stick with what you know, it’s not an old van and I bet it looks supeb

 

Briang replied on 17/04/2021 17:17

Posted on 17/04/2021 17:17

We have just picked our new 2021 Coachman Laser Twin axle 675. We have had a for 4 days what a fantastic caravan loads of room and very stylish still putting thinks back in the van there is so much storage don't know where to put things. We have a twin auto motor mover fitted and it works a dream, as for electric cars what a waste of time and money. I will keep my Toyota Land Cruiser LC4 until I die or falls apart which I don't think will happen

Wherenext replied on 17/04/2021 20:06

Posted on 17/04/2021 20:06

I happen to agree with the OPs original thoughts about Coachmans newer models. 

We had to replace a Lunar 2 years ago. Bought a 2017 Coachman 460 VIP. This was in September and fhe dealer had the 2019 models on display with a 460 VIP so we had a shufti. Disappointed? You bet. We told the salesman we wouldn't have bought that outfit.

Hope to keep the current one for many a year. I tend to agree with Pontefract Paul. If it ain't broke then keep it.

brissle replied on 18/04/2021 08:09

Posted on 18/04/2021 08:09

Heddlo - we could well have met at Bel Ombrage as we go there almost every year and spend 3 or 4 weeks there in June / July on pitch 140.

Our names are Chris & Dawn.

First went there in 1979 with a tent and small kids and fell in love with the site, the area and the company!  We always see familiar faces. Have only missed 3 or 4 years (including last year and probably this year....).

Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex won't be quite the same this year but we are enjoying exploring the UK........

AnotherDavid replied on 18/04/2021 08:44

Posted on 18/04/2021 08:09 by brissle

Heddlo - we could well have met at Bel Ombrage as we go there almost every year and spend 3 or 4 weeks there in June / July on pitch 140.

Our names are Chris & Dawn.

First went there in 1979 with a tent and small kids and fell in love with the site, the area and the company!  We always see familiar faces. Have only missed 3 or 4 years (including last year and probably this year....).

Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex won't be quite the same this year but we are enjoying exploring the UK........

Posted on 18/04/2021 08:44

OT but I have been there too and have fond memories.  We also enjoy familiar  places  especially  those where we have been meeting the same people over the years and it's great to hit the "ground running"and not spend the first days sorting ourselves  out with shopping etc.

MDD10 replied on 18/04/2021 10:24

Posted on 18/04/2021 10:24

Honestly...having changed mine in 2017 and spent the first three years with constant grief and visits to the dealer, if you are happy with your current one then stick with it.  I think mine is just about sorted out...I m. It going to look to change it and start all this pallava again.  If you do change, go for a local dealer as having nearly gone down the legal route all the communications and liability sits with dealer and not the manufacturer 

Bought a new Kampa awning last year....is being collected by the supplier to test it as it was still leaking when last used used before lockdown.  I think quality is utter rubbish at the moment 

vbfg replied on 18/04/2021 11:24

Posted on 18/04/2021 11:24

Reading this post (as well as some others and talking to people in general) it is rather alarming that so many newer vans seem to have problems, including damp and even water ingress.  Surely with newer innovations, the very opposite should be the case and I am very surprised that solar panels should be classed as an extra and not an  essential. As for the decor or furnishings, I find it ludicrous that they are putting in very light coloured (usually cream) seating, carpets and curtains, especially as so many owners have dogs.

brissle replied on 18/04/2021 19:55

Posted on 18/04/2021 19:55

Update - at the risk of boring everyone....

We looked at the Adria today.  Very impressed in many respects, but the end bathroom was a disaster (for our needs).  If it's home for 3 months we want a decent bathroom.  This was cramped and dark.

So we started looking around and found the Bailey Unicorn Vigo.

This seems to be a nice van - decor to our taste, design and layout good, equipment levels good.  Price OK.

So I'm back to square one and now have to research the quality and reliability of recent Bailey vans.

Reading posts above there are good and bad reviews of almost any van, so I need to find an average.

Someone said "if it ain't broke ...." but the issue with us in early 80s is that we don't know how many more years we've got caravanning - at least caravanning to the far corners of Europe.  If we hang on to our current van for another 3 or 4 or 5 years and then need to change, we won't get the benefit of the new van.  At least that was our argument 6 years ago when we changed to this van.....