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Coachman Avocet 630: Live-In Test

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2017
  • Class : Twin Axle
  • Berths : 5
  • Internal Length (m) : 6.33
  • Shipping Length (m) : 7.96
  • MRO (kg) : 1531
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1701
  • Max Width (m) : 2.26
  • External Height (m) : 2.6

The Verdict

The result of this partnership between Coachman and Raymond James is a well-proportioned offering with the caravan equivalent of 'good bone structure'. As a consequence, it needs very little in the way of smoke and mirrors to sell itself. Stylish, understated and chic – everything has its place.Based on Coachman's popular Vision range, the Avocet is a dealer special exclusive to Raymond James Caravans.

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AT A GLANCE

Based on Coachman's popular Vision range, the Avocet is a dealer special exclusive to Raymond James Caravans. Their range, comprised of eight layouts, includes one two-berth, five four-berths and two five-berths. And we got to meet the daddy of them all – the twin-axle 630.

Pros
  • Twin-axle stability
  • Great washroom
  • Highly-spec kitchen
Cons
  • Novice caravanners will need a two-tonne towcar

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2017
Manufacturer
Coachman Caravans
Class
Twin Axle
Range
Raymond James Avocet
Price From (£)
Berths
5
Shipping Length (m)
7.96
MRO (kg)
1531
MTPLM (kg)
1701
Max Width (m)
2.26
External Height (m)
2.6
End Washroom
No
Island Double
No
Fixed Singles/Bunks
Yes
Triple Bunks
No
End Kitchen
No
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
Yes
Caravan Test Date
Caravan Buyer Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

Based on Coachman's popular Vision range, the Avocet is a dealer special exclusive to Raymond James Caravans. Their range, comprised of eight layouts, includes one two-berth, five four-berths and two five-berths. And we got to meet the daddy of them all – the twin-axle 630.

On the outside, it's an attractive van with simple graphics and clean lines and inside, there's plenty of potential for personalisation. As a consequence, it needs very little in the way of smoke and mirrors to sell itself. Stylish, understated and chic – everything has its place.

Washroom

Could this be one of the poshest and largest showers in its class? With a domestic-style shower door and chrome taps, it certainly feels luxurious. The showerhead itself is an Ecocamel Jetstorm Plus that utilises ground-breaking technology to deliver a power shower using less water than you'd typically need.

The contrasting splash back is a nice touch and brings the look together, and there's plenty of space to stow toiletries within the shower. This model has a wardrobe with integrated laundry bag – so there's no excuse for the kids or your other half to leave dirty clothes slung around the van.

And when you step out of the shower, there’s plenty of room to dry off. You can even dance yourself dry if you like, it’s that spacious. Just make sure you close the blinds before you get started. Exclusive to this dealer special, both flyscreen and blinds in the bathroom are soft closing.

The Thetford C260 swivel toilet coordinates perfectly with the Belfast-style sink suggesting a premium porcelain. A caravan loo? Its toilet is more like a luxurious hotel – and if you've got a beauty routine that would put a reality star to shame, then you'll love all the storage and the huge mirror! The shelf above the sink is perfect for the bottles you'd like to show off, but for all the less glamorous items, there's plenty of space to hide them away.

Sleeping

The Coachman Avocet 630 is a real family van with two smart bunks to the rear, a single bed in the centre dinette and to the front, a spacious double which is easy to make up thanks to an aluminium framed sliding mechanism. Unlike some vans, using the cushions to make the bed is simple with none of that ‘does this fit here?' business. Measuring 2m by 1.37m, it’s roomy too.

And once you’ve closed the pleated blinds and drawn the curtains, you’ll find it cosy without being cramped. The touch-controlled LED reading spotlights are a great new addition and have a night-light setting while the downlighter spotlights keep the ambience soft, and dare I say it, a little romantic.

Storage

You won’t find any dead space in this van. Within half an hour of getting in it, I’d found a place for everything from my stack of books to the vase of flowers I’d carefully transported from home.

I particularly liked all the shelving, which gives the van a more homely touch – the space below the front skylight is narrow, but perfect for ornaments. And there are plenty of other nooks and crannies that are crying out to be adorned with treasures. I do love my home comforts!

In the lounge, the overhead lockers also have shelves to enable you to make even more of the space – dividing up the socks and pants, if you so desire. Look up, look down – there’s storage everywhere.

Dining

There's a discreet slim cupboard that houses the dining table – so narrow in fact; you might miss it. The cupboard is a fantastic space-saving addition and keeps the table secure when not in use. At first, the table was a little tricky to erect, but once up, you'll find there's plenty of legroom to seat four comfortably.

Lounging

Roof window, your words or theirs?

One of the key features of the 630 is the central, fixed panoramic roof window, which floods the van with light and offers a chance to get an entirely different view. The window, combined with the exclusive full-sized Heki roof light, positively bathes this van in natural light.

The soft furnishings are unique to the Avocet, and the colour scheme in this van is cream and grey with light blue piping. But it's not just cute to look at – it's also super comfortable with scatter cushions and sculpted armrests made of Ozio hypoallergenic fabrics.

This polyester fibre is only used in leisure vehicles and is 30% lighter than other products saving you much-needed weight. It also has the benefit of being mainly recycled and recyclable, so it's a greener choice too. That's the science bit over. What's it feel like for relaxing? I found my book, plumped a cushion and reclined. I read one chapter, then another. Sofa, so good. There is no drama here.

The front chest of drawers with extending table top has a natural finish and is the ideal height on which to rest a cup of tea or glass of wine. Or a fondant fancy.

When there's two of you lolling about, you've got a sofa each, so spread out and enjoy yourself. But if you've got the kids with you, let them decamp to the side dinette where there is plenty of space for all the accessories that children are born with these days – laptops, tablets and hopefully a large pair of headphones.

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the best bits of the 630 and ideal for those who enjoy proper cooking while on tour. The Thetford Caprice oven and grill have been given a facelift for 2017 with a chrome finish.

The hob is dual fuel, so if you're without hook-up, you can still knock up a decent meal, but that doesn't mean everyone else wriggles out of the jobs because there's plenty of room for everyone to share duties with an extra worktop area to prepare vegetables.

Coachman doesn't scrimp on its fridge freezers, and the Thetford 3000 series in the 630 has a capacity of 140 litres, which means you can fit in all the essentials – Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. And milk, of course. The catch is secure too, so there's no chance you'll be crying over that spilt milk later on.

One of the most innovative developments within the fridge is its ability to automatically find the power source which means you'll be spending less time setting it up when you arrive on site and more time enjoy a nice cold glass of something you fancy.

Treat a couple of overhead cupboards as a larder, and you'll still have plenty of space to store the crockery. The microwave is neatly tucked away above the hob in its dedicated space – another example of Coachman combining function and style.

And of course, if you’re preparing a large meal, you can use the area behind in the dinette too.

Extras

The Avocet 630 costs? , that’s just £??? More than the standard Coachman, but you get £???? Worth of stylish extras:

  • Central fixed panoramic roof window £500
  • Two Al-Ko Secure Wheel locks £510
  • Al-Ko Jack £119
  • Heavy duty corner steadies £35 EACH X 4 £140
  • Full-size Heki roof light £250
  • External mains socket £125
  • Access locker with internal mains £250 socket
  • External BBQ point £150
  • Offside service light £99
  • Omnivent roof fan £195
  • Pleated blinds with flyscreens to all windows except for kitchen & bathroom £200
  • ‘Soft close’ blinds and flyscreens to kitchen and bathroom windows
  • Avocet soft furnishings with four scatter cushions - £250
  • Avocet graphics £99

Total £2888 value

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