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brilock1

New coachman vip Range

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I have a 2012 vip coachman and despite initial grumbles and bits needing fixing i have found the van to be very good quality, reliable and well built to last. So 8 years old soon we thought we should look for a newer one. So far i have found to my dismay the pull out bed has been replaced with just plain bits of wood that used to be used 20 plus years ago in low end vans, dodgy sunroof blinds and front blind wont close upwards. The clothes drawers in the bathroom are so small you cant get much in them and the nearside wet locker is now a hole into the van under the bed! I can seem to find a review that is not biased in some way and it feels to me that whilst it looks good, quality of materials used is well below what you would expect for a 25k van.   What i would like to do is hear from anyone who has an 18, 19, 20, vip what their views on these vans to help me decide if i should buy another coachman? Thanks in advance.

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I've owned three caravans of which two were from new.

All had ABS rear panels. The first van started with small cracks and as out if warranty we traded it in following that discovery.

The latest van is awaiting a new rear panel due to cracking which is more extensive.

We use the van quite a lot, not just for a couple of weeks vacation and my main criteria is to avoid vans with an ABS rear panel...

None of mine were Coachman though but I think their rear panels are moulded ABS.

Edited by PandR
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We have had five VIP's over the years, our current van is of 2014 vintage, we decided to change it last year like for like (520/4) and as we use the sofas as single beds we found out that in their wisdom Coachman had shortened the sofas to an extent that I, being over 6 foot tall no longer fit.

We have had issues over the years new front end two rear ends and other odds and sods that have been fixed under warranty thank God, we would be reluctant to move away from Coachman so at the moment we are sticking to what we have 

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We have had 2002 Amara, 2010 560 Pastiche,  2015 520 VIP, 2019 VIP (for 9 months) and now 2020 520 VIP. Personally forget the 2018 & 2019 models they have Dometic toilets fitted and they are not the best design, we got rid of our 2019 with Dometic toilet and cooker just after 9 months, lost a fortune. We now have the 2020 and only thing we are not 100% with is the poorly manufactured material used for the upholstery after 2 weeks use the area sat in has already become baggy. 

 

Edited by kiaboy
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We previously had a 2013 VIP, solidly built and probably much the same as your 2012 van. In 2017 we “down-graded” to the Pastiche range as we couldn't justify the £3k+ additional cost for the VIP and we didn't need the 2ins extra width as we were buying the fixed single beds model. It’s true that the furniture in the van feels less solid than our 2013 one, but the van is still better built, in our opinion, than other manufacturers in the same price band. We struggled to get used to smaller drawers at the base of the wardrobe - we’d had that big double door wardrobe in the old van - but we have managed. New layout = new use of space = new ways of storing things. 

 

It’s also fair to say that Coachman have removed a lot of the finer things enjoyed on the old VIP and made them “options” - but so have other manufacturers. Making the vans lighter meant changing the upholstery and for the 2017/18 models there were real problems - ours was refilled twice then we insisted on a complete new set. They’re ok, but not the lovely sprung seating that looked as good as new when we traded it in after 4 years use. The newer vans do now have a “sprung” element to the upholstery, but I don’t believe it’s as good as it was. Likewise, all manufacturers have changed in this area.

 

Our Pastiche has just had its 3rd service - no faults reported by us when it went in and none found, so I still believe that Coachman make good vans, but you will find a big difference in models since your 2012 one and I would probably advise you, if you can, to pay a visit to the NEC and take a close look at what’s on offer from all manufacturers - for comparison purposes.  In particular, as Les Medes says above, take note of the bed sizes as these have been “squeezed” too.

 

Good Luck.

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Thank you guys so much for your helpful replies which i have taken on board.  Any further comments will always help and i now feel more confident about making the right choice of new van.

I would like to know more about the Dometic ovens and toilets if anyone can enlighten me. I have read that the ovens dont work well, something to do with temperatures i believe?

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Never had a Dometic toilet but have read enough that they need to be avoided at all cost. Double full stop...

 

Our Dometic fridge is fine.

 

Never had a Dometic oven - always Thetford - and ALWAYS with one electric hot plate. And all been fine.

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40 minutes ago, brilock1 said:

Thank you guys so much for your helpful replies which i have taken on board.  Any further comments will always help and i now feel more confident about making the right choice of new van.

I would like to know more about the Dometic ovens and toilets if anyone can enlighten me. I have read that the ovens dont work well, something to do with temperatures i believe?

Our Dometic oven door seal broke on the 3rd time used, requested replacement via dealer, told 2 weeks for delivery, after 2 weeks I called dealer who said they had not heard anything, so I contacted Dometic direct, total rubbish customer service, ended up contacting Coachman who then took over, had an email from one of Dometic senior managers who then tried to find out why I had not received the replacement seal, he got no where, We were away for 6 weeks and needed a door seal. I ended up buying a generic door seal for £14.99 from a local appliance shop, sent the invoice to dealer asking for Dometic to refund me. We returned home to find the seal had still not arrived, again another email to senior manager telling them their service is well below rubbish. I finally received the seal without an apology, and still had to push them for the refund. You only get one shelf in the oven OEM are £30+ unlike 2 in a Thetford, we bought adjustable shelves, (so have 2 spare if anyone wants them).

The toilet  (Dometic) leaked when removed from the housing, the operating lever for the trap is not well placed neither is the design too flimsy and needed lubricating every other day. Pity as the rest of the van was the best van we had. We wished we could have taken the upholstery out of our 2019 and had it in our 2020 model. 

To sort out the side locker I fitted a box to pit my wooden blocks and wired the socket so now have 2 x 240v sockets.

 

Edited by kiaboy
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We have a 2019 VIP, which has had a catalogue of faults (30+ and counting), but touch wood, the Dometic toilet, cooker and fridge aren’t on the list - yet!

 

We had a Dometic toilet in our previous Lunar Clubman, and never had any problems with it. I accept that in some ways, the design of the Dometic toilet isn’t as good as the Thetford ones that we’re more used to, BUT my own personal experience is good. 

 

The Dometic cooker in our opinion (especially the oven) is better than the Thetford ones we’ve previously experienced too - the oven actually gets hotter.

 

 

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1 hour ago, nigel207 said:

We have a 2019 VIP, which has had a catalogue of faults (30+ and counting), but touch wood, the Dometic toilet, cooker and fridge aren’t on the list - yet!

 

We had a Dometic toilet in our previous Lunar Clubman, and never had any problems with it. I accept that in some ways, the design of the Dometic toilet isn’t as good as the Thetford ones that we’re more used to, BUT my own personal experience is good. 

 

The Dometic cooker in our opinion (especially the oven) is better than the Thetford ones we’ve previously experienced too - the oven actually gets hotter.

 

 

Can not fault the Thetford oven in the 2020 model, both oven and grill are very good and uses less gas than our Dometic in the 2019 model, unlike the previous Thetford cookers where the grill was next to useless, but then we always used a toaster on mains during our ownership .  The Dometic fridge is fault free on the 2020 model too. (At the moment ;))

 

I am pleased you have had no issues yet with your Dometic toilet and cooker, you must be one of the lucky ones our friends also changed their 2018 VIP this year for the same problems we had.

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We have had Coachman VIPs and our current one is a 2018 VIP Special Edition from Sussex Caravans which be bought back in March 2018. Our dealer special has additional items to the standard VIP and Sussex always have there own upholstery supplied and installed in their versions - much firmer and thicker fabric. We go abroad with ours a couple of times a year or more for 6 to 7 weeks at a time so the seating certainly gets used but ours still looks and feels as good as new.

As for the Dometic oven we  have had no problems and works well apart from the fan noise but that is not isolated to Dometic. The toilet was a pain to start with but we have got used to it and soon get used to the silly handle to open the seal.

The only real issues we have had is the Alko brake squeal problem - common to many caravans and the Whale water inlet has been an issue with it leaking etc. - again not a problem isolated to Coachman and I have made repairs on a couple of other UK caravans who have had a problem with this whilst abroad.

In all I think the quality of the furniture, fixture and fittings are very good and up to or better than previous Coachman vans. Despite initial trepidation at first with the double lockers at the front we now find them very good and amazing what you can store in them, plus it makes for a very good looking caravan in our eyes.

We would certainly recommend our Coachman to anyone.

Alan   

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Is the Coachman VIP due a major upgrade this new caravan year? In September 2020

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We were poised today to finalise a new coachman acadia 860. But at last minute have went with an elddis.  I know the elddis has a poorer reputation but to be honest it has shed loads more spec than the coachman and is coming in more than 4K cheaper. For that price i can afford to replace a panel and still wirk out cheaper.

 

Sorry but coachman lost out this time due to their price. Shame, my current van is a coachman and best one we have owned by far.

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It's not about the price or amount of toys. I'd like a van that will last for a couple of decades without issues.

 

You say you'd be happy to pay for a new panel but over what period. Once every 3 years, 5 years?? 

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10 hours ago, Lee E said:

We were poised today to finalise a new coachman acadia 860. But at last minute have went with an elddis.  I know the elddis has a poorer reputation but to be honest it has shed loads more spec than the coachman and is coming in more than 4K cheaper. For that price i can afford to replace a panel and still wirk out cheaper.

 

Sorry but coachman lost out this time due to their price. Shame, my current van is a coachman and best one we have owned by far.

Hope you are not disappointed Lee

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11 hours ago, Lee E said:

Sorry but coachman lost out this time due to their price. Shame, my current van is a coachman and best one we have owned by far.

If it was the best van you’ve owned by far, perhaps that explains why there’s a higher price. I hope your decision doesn’t prove to be a rash one. 

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50 minutes ago, Fat Albert said:

If it was the best van you’ve owned by far, perhaps that explains why there’s a higher price. I hope your decision doesn’t prove to be a rash one. 

So do i and i would agree with you largely. The price difference was just too great to justify. If it had been a couple of grand dearer then i would have probably went with the coachman again.

11 hours ago, PandR said:

It's not about the price or amount of toys. I'd like a van that will last for a couple of decades without issues.

 

You say you'd be happy to pay for a new panel but over what period. Once every 3 years, 5 years?? 

I agree with you totally. The problem is that none of them last for decades without significant financial help when they need repair. As i said my current van is the best i have ever owned but it showed damp around front windows and slightly in the washroom this year so it would have cost me 5-700 to fix if i wasnt selling.

 

If any manufacturer was so confident that they could  stand over a 10 year proper water ingress warranty (and not get out of it by using loopholes) then i would definitely stump up the money.

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15 hours ago, Tradewinds said:

Is the Coachman VIP due a major upgrade this new caravan year? In September 2020

Looked at one yesterday, silver curtains plain cream seating (very poor quality see Kiaboys comments). Toilet and cooker now Thetford cream carpet. Upgrade available to seating fabric £250.

4 hours ago, Les Medes said:

Hope you are not disappointed Lee

 

15 hours ago, Lee E said:

We were poised today to finalise a new coachman acadia 860. But at last minute have went with an elddis.  I know the elddis has a poorer reputation but to be honest it has shed loads more spec than the coachman and is coming in more than 4K cheaper. For that price i can afford to replace a panel and still wirk out cheaper.

 

Sorry but coachman lost out this time due to their price. Shame, my current van is a coachman and best one we have owned by far.

Looked at both of these vans yesterday and i can see why you choose the Elddis much more VFM.

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We did the same-looked at the Coachman LAser xcel and bought a Bucanneer-perceived quality feels the same at least if not better in the Buc! and we did a lot of poking and prodding. Very happy so far.

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just to finalize my question, thanks to all for some very helpful comments. I have bought a van, my wife fell in love with it i liked it. I bought it as i cant fault it no damp anywhere and great VFM. Its  a near new Lunar CK not my much loved Coachman but until they make one i like with no rubbish bed slats, bigger sunroof then this will do nicely. I have full damp warranty by the way from the dealer.  Brave or foolish time will tell?

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On 30/01/2020 at 18:22, brilock1 said:

just to finalize my question, thanks to all for some very helpful comments. I have bought a van, my wife fell in love with it i liked it. I bought it as i cant fault it no damp anywhere and great VFM. Its  a near new Lunar CK not my much loved Coachman but until they make one i like with no rubbish bed slats, bigger sunroof then this will do nicely. I have full damp warranty by the way from the dealer.  Brave or foolish time will tell?

 

We looked at a Lunar Clubman SB in January and was very impressed and at a massive discount, Mrs M fell in love with it immediatley ,, but being a belt and braces sort managed to put her off it, if it wasn't for the problems at Lunar we would have gone for it. 

We were hoping to go to the NEC next week but four weeks ago I had a Cataract Op that went wrong that has left me with blurred vision in one eye, so we have had to cancel our weeks booking at Broadway CMC site, very disappointed

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Poor you Les; that is awful for you-can it be corrected?

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On 15/02/2020 at 08:24, Les Medes said:

We were hoping to go to the NEC next week but four weeks ago I had a Cataract Op that went wrong that has left me with blurred vision in one eye, so we have had to cancel our weeks booking at Broadway CMC site, very disappointed

Sorry to hear this and hope it either sorts itself out or can be rectified. It will be strange not seeing your van at Broadway. We are booked in from Wednesday - hopefully all the flood water around here will have subsided by then. 🤞

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1 hour ago, Glen and Les said:

Sorry to hear this and hope it either sorts itself out or can be rectified. It will be strange not seeing your van at Broadway. We are booked in from Wednesday - hopefully all the flood water around here will have subsided by then. 🤞

 

Thanks Glen & Les, since the operation I have seen three consultants and another on Thursday, the problem is that the Cornea has been damaged during the op and if the drops prescribed do not do the trick I will have to have a Cornea Transplant which at present very likely as there has been no improvement since I had the op on 10th January, as I said we are very disappointed that we cannot make Broadway, so it will have to be a visit to our joint favourite dealer !!!!!!!  :wub:

The way the weather has been maybe it is a good thing we have had to cancel, as the whole Towy Valley is flooded, we had a tree come down in the high winds narrowly missing our garage by less than a foot, thank goodness.

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3 hours ago, Les Medes said:

 

Thanks Glen & Les, since the operation I have seen three consultants and another on Thursday, the problem is that the Cornea has been damaged during the op and if the drops prescribed do not do the trick I will have to have a Cornea Transplant which at present very likely as there has been no improvement since I had the op on 10th January, as I said we are very disappointed that we cannot make Broadway, so it will have to be a visit to our joint favourite dealer !!!!!!!  :wub:

The way the weather has been maybe it is a good thing we have had to cancel, as the whole Towy Valley is flooded, we had a tree come down in the high winds narrowly missing our garage by less than a foot, thank goodness.

Lets hope you get it sorted out quickly Les and you can get back to enjoying your hobby.

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