Caravan review - Sussex Caravan Centre Coachman dealer special
The new 2020 dealer special from Sussex Caravan centre
Wednesday, 30, Sep 2020 11:43
By William Coleman
We visited the Sussex Caravan Centre in Grinstead, which has dealer special models in both caravans and motorhomes from several leading manufacturers on offer. The one we really wanted to see was the twin axle eight-foot Laser Xcel 875.
What makes this particular model from the centre unique is the interior furnishings, exterior decor and additional special features. These elements can only be found on its forecourt in Sussex.
This eight-foot Coachman Laser Xcel has only been on the market for a few months and features all the new decals and branding of Coachman, so it is a brand spanking new model.
Xcel models are a larger touring caravan and from looking at the outside you may not realise just how much extra space there is inside. It really is quite impressive how much additional interior room you get from such a small chassis increase.
Dealer special features
The Sussex Caravan Centre added some special touches to give its van an interior upgrade and set it aside from what usually comes off the production line at Coachman.
The limited edition Kingsham features silver sides and incorporates a silver exterior door. The exterior decals display the company name, as well as a very smart dark red colour scheme set against the light chassis. This will have heads turning on site.
If you like comfort then you're in for a treat, as this comes with exclusive contemporary Sussex soft furnishings, as well as six scatter cushions for advanced luxury. If you opt for the fixed bed model, the cushion count goes up to ten.
To keep the features modern and fun you will find a Pioneer DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect your phone to the stereo and have a sing-along while cooking dinner in the large kitchenette.
One other little touch that stood out is the Sussex special door mat. The little things make the biggest difference!
Inside this caravan, and the entire Xcel range, you will find very high specifications that are more in line with what you would have at home. This van is very much based on the domestic comforts you have indoors, a home away from home.
As mentioned above, the interior floor space is quite impressive and you will have no issue fitting a family of four inside for both day and night living.
The colour scheme of soft grey feels modern, fresh and comfortable. You can really see the design has been based on modern interior decorating. This caravan feels more homely than vans from years gone by, and dare I say current models on the market.
Daytime and lounge area
The front lounge really benefits from the extra space of the eight-foot van. You can have four people sitting in the lounge with a dinning table in the middle and still have more than enough space to manoeuvre round to get to the kitchen and back.
Large window in the lounge let in a fantastic amount of light during the day. On those brighter days, you will find that the natural sunlight will illuminate the van perfectly. Also at the front by the three windows you will find a wireless fast-charging plate for modern phones.
Throughout the caravan there is a mixture of plug sockets as well as USBs. There seems to be more USB points added to caravans each year to keep up with the growing amount of tech that requires a USB charging cable everyone takes on holiday with them.
This is a four-berth van that comes with a fixed island double bed at the rear. What makes this layout so appealing is that the bedroom and the lounge are totally separate. When you are in the bedroom you really do feel like you're in a different room.
As you would expect, the lounge bench sofas can be made into a good size double bed for kids or guests.
The sliding divider between the bedroom and kitchen really does isolate the two areas, but of an evening, you do have to travel through the bedroom to get to the washroom. It is here where I would imagine having little ones aboard can get noisy should they need the toilet in the evening.
Washroom and cooking
The 875 features an end washroom with a full-size shower. The benefit of having a rear washroom is the amount of space it provides. The shower seems larger than most showers at home.
Above the sink you will find a large mirror that helps bounce light around the washroom and the storage beneath the sink is ample.
A good size kitchen can make all the difference to a holiday, and here you will find a great size kitchen. The workspace is large and is not overshadowed by the sink. Smaller vans can sometimes feel a bit restrictive with the workspace and sink combo.
The cooker is extremely smart with the silver linings. There are three gas hobs and a fourth ceramic plate, so you really can have a lot on the go at once. The oven does not look anything like what you'd expect from a touring van. It would fit perfectly in shops like Currys as a domestic free-standing cooker.
This twin axle model is quite large, but do not let that put you off. With a length of 25' 11" you are pulling a lot of van behind you.
Once you've pulled up on site, you will be able to set up with ease with the onboard self-levelling system. This is such a great feature for saving time and effort after a long drive.
Towing details and specs
MTPLM- 1885 kg
Mass in running order- 1725 kg
Personal payload- 160 kg
Options payload- TBC
Total/maximum user payload- 160 kg
Maximum Hitch Weight- 100 kg
Upper MTPLM- (Optional weight plate upgrade) 2000 kg