The Coachburg

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street

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A look at the new Coachburg motorhome from Auckland manufacturer Coachcraft

The Coachburg
The Coachburg
  • Plenty of storage
  • Handles well and easy to drive on car licence
  • Six-speed VW Shiftmatic AMT gearbox
  • Vacuum-moulded composite panel construction with fibreglass mouldings
  • Comfortable and workable internal layout

The Coachburg is a further development of the Veneto and Sandpipe models.

Built on a VW Crafter 35 cab chassis, the Coachburg is 7.65m (25ft) in length and has a GVM of 4490kg making it driveable on a normal car licence. The tare weight of 3840kg gives plenty of load capacity – good because there is plenty of storage capacity both inside and out.

On the road the 2.5-litre 100kW turbo diesel handled the motorhome without any difficulty at all, even in the Coromandel hills and dales.

My Crafter came with a six-speed VW Shiftmatic AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) gearbox. I don’t particularly like the sometimes hesitant gear changes, which are characteristic of most AMT gearboxes, not just VW’s. The dash-mounted gearshift can also be used in manual mode (sans clutch) and that was my preference in the hill country.

Like any of the Euro-built light commercials – the Crafter was more car-like than truck-like and a breeze to drive.

The body is built with vacuum-moulded composite panel construction with fibreglass mouldings for the front and rear.

Seitz acrylic hopper windows are used and the door is a Dometic half-window style.

External bin storage is quite generous with wash-out style bins behind the driver’s cab on either side plus a large bin at the rear nearside that extends under the main bed. It also holds the all-essential BBQ, which sits neatly on the clip-on bench that attaches to the open bin.

At the rear, the gas locker contains three 4.0kg cylinders, while the other two on the off-side hold the Thetford cassette and the external shower. It also features a roll-out awning, roof-mounted satellite system and roof-mounted solar panels.

Coachcraft has come up with a very workable layout. Under the Luton peak bed, both the driver and passenger seats swivel around. They are used in conjunction with the side-facing lounges to form up a comfortable lounge/dining area.

Mid-motorhome holds the kitchen area, and the rear is set aside for the bed and bathroom.

Measuring 2m x 1.36m, the double bed is built into the rear nearside corner. It comes with an overhead locker along the nearside wall, reading lights and, fitted to the rear wall, sound system speakers and a clock. Two large windows on both walls plus a large roof hatch give plenty of light and ventilation.

At the foot of the bed a small wardrobe has a hanging rail and two drawers. The under-bed storage area can also be accessed from inside the motorhome.

Alongside the bed, the relatively spacious bathroom has a separate shower cubicle, Thetford cassette toilet and a vanity cabinet with wall mirror above. A concertina curtain gives privacy for both bedroom and bathroom areas.

Set along the off-side wall, the kitchen bench is fitted with a three-burner cooktop with grill/oven underneath, a stainless steel sink avec drainer and a scraps bin. There’s a moderate amount of bench top area and a hinged extension at the front end. In addition to the under bench slide-out pantry, there is a good assortment of drawers. Above the kitchen, an overhead locker is fitted with the trademark Coachcraft roller shutter.

Built into the opposite wall is the rest of the kitchen essentials – a 175-litre two-door Dometic fridge with a Sharp microwave mounted above it. On a shelf above the microwave oven the control gear for the digital TV and satellite receiver is mounted.

All ‘necessary technology’ is included: a satellite TV system, two 110-amp hour deep-cycle batteries to deliver the 12v load, which are charged by both a 15-amp charger and a 125W solar panel. Most of the electric controls are mounted above the entry door and lighting is a mixture of halogen and fluorescent fittings. The diesel fired heater is standard, but the house air conditioning is optional.

To read in-depth motorhome reviews see the latest issue of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations magazine, on sale now.


Manufacturer Coachcraft
Model Coachburg
Base vehicle VW Crafter
Engine 2.5 litre turbo diesel
Max power 100kW@3500rpm
Max torque 300Nm@2000rpm
Gearbox Shiftmatic 6 speed auto
Brakes Disc
External length 7.65m (25ft 1in)
External width 2.39m (7ft 10in)
External height 3.15m (10ft 4in)
Internal height 2.05m (6ft 9in)
Tare weight 3840kg
GVM 44990kg
Cooktop Cramer three-burner and Smev grill/oven
Fridge Dometic three-way 175-litre
Microwave oven Sharp Carousel
Lighting 12v halogen
Shower Separate cubicle
Toilet Thetford cassette
Gas 3 x 4.0kg
Hot water Truma 14-litre
House battery 2 x 110-amp hour
Fresh water tank 135-litre
Grey water tank 135-litre
Price $195,000

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