The new Coachman Pastiche 470, Britain’s first fixed-bed two-berth caravan is set to win many fans, we believe. In particular, buyers for whom a big, comfortable bed, of the dimensions you’d have at home, is a priority, will love this caravan. Buyers who are very tall will go for it, too. And those for whom the desire to buy a caravan that’s unique will also love the new Pastiche 470. This is one real wow-factor caravan that’s destined to cause a sensation.
Coachman Caravans introduces a unique two-berth, fixed-bed caravan layout for 2016, with a double bed at the front of the caravan.
The new 2016 Coachman Pastiche 470 is a breath of fresh air on the British caravan market. It’s a two-berth layout like no other, with a central dining area, a double bed across the front of the caravan, and a weight of only 1295kg.
Caravan magazine was at the Coachman factory when the first one emerged from the production line, to compile this exclusive review.
The idea of putting a double bed at the front of the caravan comes from European caravan design; it’s a layout often seen among caravans designed for sale on the Continent. But this is a first for Britain.
Enter the Pastiche 470, a layout with three distinct sections, a bit like a tiny apartment. There’s a bedroom, with a full-sized double bed. There’s a dining-kitchen. And there’s a full-width shower room.
Alde heating is introduced to the Pastiche range for the first time for 2016. There are styling changes for 2016; the woodwork is paler, there’s a new kitchen splashback, a new-style tap, a new look for the kitchen worktop, and something new in the shower room.
Along with the arrival of Alde heating in the Pastiche range for 2016 comes a heated towel rail, on the rear wall of the 470’s shower room, to the left of the basin. Exceptionally bright white lights are inset into the mirror above the basin, making this the perfect place for perfectly applying the make-up perfectly.
The preening department has plenty of places to stow away washroom paraphernalia, with two cabinets, a shelf along the offside wall and along shelf running under the mirror.
The shower is amply sized, at 78cm x 65cm, and has a rose with an air inlet which increases the flow rate, so that you use less water. The sparklingly clear shower door is a one-piece unit, 72cm wide, which pivots on a hinge set a few centimetres inside the door frame. That’s to enable the door to open without colliding with the washbasin.
Floor space stretches 78cm forward of the caravan’s rear wall, which is more than adequate. Coachman aficionados, though, will notice that this shower room is a departure from typical Coachman style. It isn’t as large as in most models from the Coachman stable. That’s because the wardrobe isn’t in there. In the 470, it’s just forward of the shower room, with the fridge below it. This design has enabled Coachman to achieve this groundbreaking layout within a body length of just 4.7m.
It’s not only the position of the bedroom that makes the new 470 unique. It’s the absence of bed-shape cut-offs and rounded corners. This is a full-sized bed, at 1.38m wide and 2.2m long; that’s 6feet 8inches! So this is a caravan tailor-made for tall people.
The bedroom’s cosiness is enhanced by a lovely deep, plush headboard, made of two types of tactile fabric.
The mattress is the Ozio type, introduced to Coachman caravans for the 2015 model year. It’s a sandwich construction of vertically-aligned polyester fibres and a foam core, designed for exceptional breathability.
Assessing a mattress’s comfort is never easy when you’re not sleeping a night on it. Lying down on the job isn’t politically correct, especially when we’re working outside a caravan factory! But cameraman John did volunteer to try out the bed for a couple of minutes while no Coachman staff were looking. His verdict? “Reasonably firm. And comfortable.”
The cameraman’s next task was less restful. We needed to take a close look at the 470’s greatest storage asset, the space under the bed. Just like the layout, this is under-bed storage like no other caravan.
The space is just over 2m wide, the same width as the bed above it. But it’s not as wide as the bed, because there’s a rectangular recess in the bed base, to create extra floor space, in the central area of the shape. So part of the storage space is 96cm deep and the rest (that’s portions on either side) is 1.40m deep. You lose some space to the Alde heating unit, the battery box, the alarm unit and the hub of the electrical installations. But this is nonetheless a practical space for storage. Its shape will dictate what items easily go where, and there’s an exterior hatch, on the nearside, to enable you to slide in folding chairs, for example.
Five top lockers line the bedroom and dining area. And there’s additional space under the dining seats. You get access here by sliding back the webbing-linked slatted base to the seating.
Overall, and bearing in mind you don’t need to find a storage space for bedding (because it stays on the bed), storage is fine for the needs of two.
At 76cm wide the seats are several centimetres wider than those you’d expect to find in a side dining area. But then this is no ordinary side dining area. It has side bolsters, and scatter cushions, so that you can nestle into the corners and get cosy. That’s important, because the dining area of the 470 is also your lounge.
Your television goes on the cabinet at the forward end of the kitchen (aerial and power sockets are here). So the person sitting in the forward seat would turn around, with their back against the bolster, to face the television. We sat here, for several minutes, during our review day, to make sure we could place a tick against any question marked “comfort”. We could; a big, bold tick. Which actually surprised us, given that caravanners (the Caravan review team included) are accustomed to lounges of very different designs and dimensions from those in the Pastiche 470.
By now, we had become convinced that this innovative layout really will work well in use. Time to consider its kitchen credentials…
The kitchen surface is 79cm wide, with a lower section (although, admittedly, there will be competition here from your television) giving you an additional 48cm of surface width. That’s fine for the needs of two, we think.
Storage is excellent, with a 72cm-wide double-doored cabinet and drawer of the same width above it, plus a second cabinet, under the TV surface; this one is 42cm wide, and contains two shelf spaces.
We love the position of the microwave, at a level that will suit cooks of short stature. And there’s a departure from Coachman tradition here; this (smart brushed steel) microwave is not disguised by a door, as is the style in almost all other kitchens from this manufacturer. One more way in which the new 470 is distinctive, then.
A row of large bright white LEDs runs below the top lockers to shine down on the surface. And there’s a nice extra touch, introduced by Coachman for 2015 and here again for 2016. It’s a smart grey freestanding drainer, made by kitchen design specialists Joseph Joseph. The whole styling is attractive, enhanced by a new-for-2016 pale cream matt limestone-look surface.
Like sleeping, towing wasn’t on the agenda for this test, because we were at the factory for a private preview before the 470 had been unveiled. It was no surprise that Coachman didn’t want us to parade it through the roads of Hull! Suffice to say it’s equipped with the AL-KO ATC automatic snake control system, and we’ve towed previous Pastiches of this length and always found their road behaviour to be impeccable.