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Are Coachmans As Good As People Say


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I bought a 1994 mirage 505 brand new and the locker lid covering the water pump hose was so tight it was hard to close,the dealer modified it, or should I say butchered it, to give more clearance,two years later over the winter all the window rubbers shrunk causing gaps at every corner,they were replaced after my other half complained to coachman and the dealer at a caravan show.

Kept it for eight years though with little or no other problems, forgot,one of the michelin tyres was faulty after 2 years

Mondeo 2. 0TDCI 140bhp/ Coachman festival 550

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This topic comes up over and over again. There are no industry statistics available in the public domain to look at so the responses are always personal experiences and that's never a balanced / sci

TBH every new van we have had, be it Avondale, ABI or Coachman, they have all leaked within the first year except the present one. .. which is a Coachman

Makes me wonder why they don't put the drainer in the middle of the shower tray, same as the sink,that would be too easy though.

 

I had an Avondale with the drain in the middle, not a good idea, the plastic cracked round the plug hole, due to the fact that you can stand on it.

 

I think the drain is ok to one side, provided the tray moulding has a drop of to the drain, just like the bath or shower at home.

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The Avante model I have has a duck board in the shower which I suppose would stop the pressure on the drain area?

Mondeo 2. 0TDCI 140bhp/ Coachman festival 550

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Hi All,

Picking up our 1st van next friday, took us 6 months to decide which one to have looked at hundreds and finally decided that the Coachman Pastiche 460/2 was the van for us. Read all your comments and believe we have made the right choice (please God be gentle with us).

1st timers need all the help they can get and this site is worth it's weight in gold.

 

Thank you all and keep your fingers crossed for us!!!

 

 

Hi Philma we were going to purchase a Bailey Unicorn Seville and after taking a much closer look at the build quality we have now changed to a Coachman pastiche 460/2 which looked to be a much sturdier caravan. When we lifted up the bed bases in the Bailey I could not believe it the shoddy workmanship and general poor finish. we were so disappointed as we had our hearts set on the Unicorn.

 

The Dealer then showed us the Coachman and the finish seemed so much better. We pick up the Pastiche on Friday week so how have you got on Philma with your new purchase.

Audi A6 and 2011 Coachman Pastiche 460/2

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Hi Barry,

Well, picked up the van on friday and towed it home 17 miles, 1st time tower and loved it.

She's on the drive now and we are planning our 1st outing in 2 weeks time, that's if I can get the wife out of it for enough time to pack!!

 

Now here is the spooky bit, we have a dealer less than a mile away, I was adamant that we were buying a Bailey unicorn Seville from him as we looked at loads and always returned to the Seville (my choice) my wife liked the Coachman best.

 

On the day we were finally going to buy, went again and looked at it and the salesman could really not have been bothered to get a sale, even said if it's that good I'd go and buy the Coachman. Guess what, best bit of advice I got from any salesman, now we have it and i have been over it from nose to tail we realise how good it is and I believe we have made a really good choice. Baileys loss Coachmans gain (ours too).

 

Love it to bits really good build quality, I realise that caravanners are loyal to their make of van which is good but a mate over the road who has been vanning for years came over for a couple of hours and he was really impressed, he has a Bailer Unicorn Madrid, lovely van but he is doubting some of the build.

 

You will love your van and I hope you are as happy as us.

 

Give me a shout on pmabe11@hotmail. co. uk when you get it if you want.

I keep checking the site but don't know how to get replies from the forum without physically checking it.

 

All the best, Phil

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Hi Barry,

Well, picked up the van on friday and towed it home 17 miles, 1st time tower and loved it.

She's on the drive now and we are planning our 1st outing in 2 weeks time, that's if I can get the wife out of it for enough time to pack!!

 

Now here is the spooky bit, we have a dealer less than a mile away, I was adamant that we were buying a Bailey unicorn Seville from him as we looked at loads and always returned to the Seville (my choice) my wife liked the Coachman best.

 

On the day we were finally going to buy, went again and looked at it and the salesman could really not have been bothered to get a sale, even said if it's that good I'd go and buy the Coachman. Guess what, best bit of advice I got from any salesman, now we have it and i have been over it from nose to tail we realise how good it is and I believe we have made a really good choice. Baileys loss Coachmans gain (ours too).

 

Love it to bits really good build quality, I realise that caravanners are loyal to their make of van which is good but a mate over the road who has been vanning for years came over for a couple of hours and he was really impressed, he has a Bailer Unicorn Madrid, lovely van but he is doubting some of the build.

 

You will love your van and I hope you are as happy as us.

 

Give me a shout on pmabe11@hotmail. co. uk when you get it if you want.

I keep checking the site but don't know how to get replies from the forum without physically checking it.

 

All the best, Phil

 

Hi Phil,

 

Thanks for the reply and I hope you have an enjoyable first trip in the new van. I will email you after we collect ours as we will be staying away two nights in her after we collect.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Barry.

Audi A6 and 2011 Coachman Pastiche 460/2

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This topic is now 5 pages long! It all seems to be horses for courses. Bailey and Swift look to a different segment from Coachman, Vanmaster (I typed Vanwaster first and nearly kept it in!) and such. The monetary differences are now less than a few years ago, interestingly but the attributes are still there. We had a classic Challenger 490/5 years ago when the children were small and it was fabulous; towed it all over Europe and we all had fun - I can't really remember anything much ever going wrong except a tyre I burst in La Rochelle. However, when we came back to caravanning last year differences in build quality and materials choice were stark. We bought a second-hand Pastiche, and after a lot of pressure from SWMBO that was traded for an Amara fixed bed this year. However, we went over each manufacturer's fixed bed. The Swift offerings had a flimsy light plastic sill under the front window with power sockets embedded. Everything looked rough and felt flimsy. The Baileys were unbelievably ugly and limited inside - the new design might be strong but you sure pay the price with the appearance of the walls inside. The bed on the demonstrator was broken. The Coachman offerings were well made and solid, if heavy. That wasn't an issue at all. The Vanmasters are from a bygone age, with hopelessly old-fashioned trim. We only went for the Amara because the Pastiche soft furnishings were so drab. Has it been perfect? No; the Sargent alarm is temperamental, some trim has come loose from cupboard edges, the switch panel over the door has come loose as it was only held in with a dob of hot glue and there was far too much mastic everywhere. The water pump stopped working after 2 weeks. Compare that with my BMW which is now 18 months old, has covered over 30,000 miles in that time, towing for 6,000 of those and the following things have gone wrong with it.

 

Yes, nothing at all. But then they turn out thousands a month in highly automated systems.

 

In conclusion, I think all UK caravan manufacturers are too small to test their products properly and to automate production, which is the only way to improve quality - hand building is frankly too variable and too difficult to QI and QC. The price differences are small now, but they all could and should improve their products dramatically, as others have said here and other hints (the Bailey wheel issue for example) appear in other threads.

Enjoy every minute of every day. It doesn't last nearly as long as you'd like, and there's no guarantee of coming this way again.

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Guess what, my wife wanted the Pastiche over the Amara because she loved the soft furnishings. That must prove that one mans meat is anothers poison, or make that one womans. Whatever, we are not all the same or they would only make one model of van.

 

Rejoice, Live and Let Live.

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I'll definitely raise a glass to that!:)

Enjoy every minute of every day. It doesn't last nearly as long as you'd like, and there's no guarantee of coming this way again.

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Barry,

Gold Wing I presume if so you have too much in life!!!!!!

 

Hi Phil,

 

Yes a 2006 GL 1800 American import with all the Bells and Whistles.

 

Life can be trying.

 

Regards,

 

Barry :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

 

Just Delivered my trade in today to the dealer in northern Ireland and they seemed quite pleased with it. So collecting the Pastiche 460/2 next Friday cant wait.

 

Barry.

Audi A6 and 2011 Coachman Pastiche 460/2

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Hi Barry (you lucky *****).

Had ours on the drive a week not seen the wife as she is almost living in it!!

 

Given it the old fine tooth comb thingy and cannot find a fault, as soon as the daughter goes on to uni (next sunday) we are off on our 1st little camp, only 30 miles or so but we want to learn the van so on site will be a good experience we hope!!

 

Like you can't wait, enjoy your van I know you will they are so well put together.

 

keep us informed and all the best.

 

Phil + Jen

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Hi Barry (you lucky *****).

Had ours on the drive a week not seen the wife as she is almost living in it!!

 

Given it the old fine tooth comb thingy and cannot find a fault, as soon as the daughter goes on to uni (next sunday) we are off on our 1st little camp, only 30 miles or so but we want to learn the van so on site will be a good experience we hope!!

 

Like you can't wait, enjoy your van I know you will they are so well put together.

 

keep us informed and all the best.

 

Phil + Jen

Hi Phil and Jen,

 

We will let you know how we get on with the new van after next weekend.

 

Regards,

 

Barry and Jennifer.

Audi A6 and 2011 Coachman Pastiche 460/2

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  • 2 months later...

We purchased a coachman pastiche 545 brand new in March 2010. A few minor faults in first year - and all fixed by dealer on first service with no quibble and very quick - including the charging unit catching fire - quire alarming! I think they are stronger than most vans and I expect ours to last quite a few years. Slightly heavier than most but really solid, very stable on the road when towing. Would I buy another one - Yes, would I recommend them, Yes, could other manufacturers learn from their build quality - most definately, are there better vans on the market, probably. I dont think us caravanners will ever find the perfect van but ours is pretty close - build and material quality is good but not excellent but each to their own! (Pastiche 545/4 march 2010 with Apache Buckingham steel framed awning - huge! and attracts load of attention)

 

Can supply pics if required

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  • 5 years later...

Bought a eldis cruiser 2016 got back with the van about two weeks later got phone call from the dealer saying could I take it back, the back panel had got air line cracks on looking closer they where around the handles. on the helki roof light had a crack in the inside took it back to the dealer they had it for six to eight weeks nothing done with it not happy. Went to the nec in October we bought a coachman laser 650 hope they are better

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In response to the title, yes they are.

 

An example, last year we looked at a new Swift Challenger, opening the small cupboard rear of the offside wheel we were met with the plastic inner wheel well and a clump of wires.

Coachman Pastiche same cupboard insulation on the inner wheel well and all the wires and cables hidden away.

Edited by Simple Life
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Alternative view. ..(addressing the original question in relation to the last answer)....

 

Having spent most of the last 12 months arguing over water flooding through faulty sealant around the rooflight, warped wardrobe wall, leaking gas locker door, gaps around same door allowing rainwater to flood the locker, intermittent wiring in 2 separate locations, loose locker door handles, split furniture panels, creaking floor, leaking window, faulty tv aerial, wrong front panel on the radio, rusty screws on glass sink cover hinges, faulty water tap in the kitchen, faulty shower mixer valve. ..

 

Altogether more faults in the Coachman than in all 9 previous vans put together. ..topped off by stubborn un-cooperative dealer and poor support from the factory.

 

While I don't suppose they're all as bad as mine, I'll be glad to see the back of this one, so from my own experience, no, they're not better, just heavier because they put heavier materials together in a similarly inconsistent fashion to the other factories. If I'm doomed to have faults I might as well have them on a lighter, more modern designed van with a somewhat lower price tag and hopefully better support from dealer and factory. ...

 

Yer pays yer money and takes yer chance. ...

Edited by Coriolis
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This topic comes up over and over again. There are no industry statistics available in the public domain to look at so the responses are always personal experiences and that's never a balanced / scientific view.

 

My own experience is that they are no better - 3 serious leaks in 4 years from brand new on our Pastiche, however I also have a theory on why that is.

 

IT IS ONLY A THEORY AND I MAKE NO APOLOGIES IF IT'S WRONG!!!

 

Back in the 90's and early nougthies there were a large number of caravan manufacturers in the UK (remember ACI, Abbey, Fleetwood, Avondale etc were all around as well as Swift, Bailey, Coachman and Lunar).

 

In 2008 we had the economic crash. Many of the smaller manufacturers couldn't survive and either went bust or were bought out by the bigger ones.

 

In the mainstream market this only left Swift, Lunar, Coachman, Bailey and Adria. Whilst demand for new caravans had dipped it was still higher for each of these remaining manufacturers than historically because of the overall reduction in supply to the UK market due to the removal of many other makes.

 

Historically caravan manufacture has predominantly been a manually intensive activity and most people associate 'hand built' with quality. However that is only true when dealing with low volumes. As volumes grew for the remaining manufacturers the quality started to suffer.

 

Coachman is a really good example because it previously did produce high quality solid caravans but then couldn't maintain the same quality when dealing with higher volumes.

 

All manufacturers go through this maturity problem caused by growth. At some point they need to move into automation. When they do the quality starts to improve again because tolerances are smaller, production is more accurate and repeatable etc.

 

Car manufacturers went through this many years ago and my belief is that caravan manufacturers are on the cusp of it now with Swift leading the way due the scale of their sales in comparison to the rest.

 

IT IS ONLY A THEORY FROM SOMEONE NOT IN THE CARAVAN INDUSTRY SO I EXPECT TO BE CORRECTED!!!!

 

But having swapped the Coachman for a Swift Conquerer and having owned / looked at many caravans over the years I can definitely see a significant difference now in the way the Swift is put together. The panels are tighter, there are just more clearly reusable components, where there are more of one there are no variances in size / quality etc.

 

Anyway that's my tuppence worth, I'd be interested to hear what others think.

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Fire. Now there's a hot topic!

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Hmm. , I remember our "soggy swift", so they had room to improve! I hope your new found confidence stands the test of time.

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Camperick,

 

I follow your theory and believe it has great merit. As applied to my own experience it works very well.

 

Let us hope the various factories read some of our comments and hoist them on board before their credibility drops any further.

 

I still compare the 10 flawless years we had from our new Sprite Musketeer in 1985 with what I've had from 6 vans (4 used, 2 new) in the last 5 years and wish I could have the same quality now as then. Admittedly we carry more toys now, but I can add toys myself if I want them, but trust the factory to make the damned thing watertight. ..if they would simply do that it would dramatically improve our perception of them. ...

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. .and now, Hymer have bought the explorer group. Significant change in the air? Which brands will go? Will the quality change?

 

Interesting to speculate! But will there be a "knock -on" throughout the whole industry?

 

Adrian

Edited by standrewac
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To be honest I don't think the quality of any make will improve until the buyers demand it in the only way they can. ...by returning the thing and demanding a refund.

 

I don't think that's likely because we all want it cheaper, and cheaper means less care (whether that's at the design or production stage).

 

Eveything built comes from a tripod of cost, quality and delivery date. ...and you can pick any two. ....

 

You want perfect and on time? It'll cost a fortune.

You want it cheap and on time? It'll be rubbish.

You want it cheap and perfect? It'll take forever.

 

Extreme I know, but you get the point

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I bought my first Coachman in July of 2016 having been a Bailey man for many years. It is a new VIP 545. We were full of anticipation because of the Coachman reputation. .......and so disappointed at how many things had not been tightened, fell off, broke or didn't work properly. Visits to the dealer sorted everything out and we look forward to years of happy caravanning but build quality remains a concern.

Coachman VIP 575 2019

SEAT Tarraco Excellence First Edition Plus 4Drive Auto 2.0 TDI

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Pretty much matches my experience. ..except our dealer was, shall we say, less than optimum, when it came to meeting his obligations. ...and now has stopped trading, so I'm hoping the dealer who now holds the Coachman flag will be willing to get the remaining things fixed under warranty.

 

I've had good dealings with them in the past and only bought elsewhere because they didn't carry the marques we were interested in.

 

I'm edging towards other marques with better support instead of fixating on the actual van we'd like. ...which is making my head ache as all I want is a properly put together caravan which doesn't leak. I was hoping to be able to choose from a selection but I think they all have problems, so maybe better to focus on minimisation of the inevitable hassle. ...what a crazy world :(

Edited by Coriolis
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Guest Allyearcamper

Have had several caravans; always yearned after an Elddis but settled with Swift Conqueror for my last 3 caravans - all been excellent. Wanted to downsize from double axle to single. Looked at everything available having sold a Conqueror 645. Looked at the Conqueror 580 but it lacked a shelf by the entrance - so bought a Coachman VIP 575; very pleased with it so far. From snippets I have picked up along the way at the Caravan Show, from dealers and other caravanners, Coachman has a good name. Build quality seems good too; pleased with it so far . .. my opinion, having had several caravans over the years is, for what it's worth, go for Coachman. Good luck ('cause a bit of luck always helps!

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