Review: Coastal Chateau 820

By: Claire Smith, Photography by: Claire Smith


Coastal Chateau 820 Escape to the Chateau Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 Plenty of storage in the kitchen Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 Additional external storage Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 The wall-mounted light switch can be removed and used remotely Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 The shower stall is generously sized Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 The separate toilet is practical and tidy Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 LPG tanks are stored on individual sliders for easy access Coastal Chateau 820
Coastal Chateau 820 The lounge area includes storage aplenty Coastal Chateau 820

NZMCD heads to Whakatane to take a look at Coastal Motorhome’s bold new addition

A chateau, as defined, is the residence of the lord of the manor, or a country house of nobility or gentry. A fitting name then, for Coastal Motorhomes’ latest build—the 8.2-metre Chateau.

Gleaming in a finish of gold, silver, and bronze tones, this impressive motorhome is built on a Mercedes cab chassis, with all the robust quality and design hallmarks the Coastal marque is renowned for.

Coastal Motorhomes is one of a small handful of Kiwi motorhome manufacturers. Based in the sunny seaside township of Whakatane, in the eastern Bay of Plenty, the family-owned business has been producing custom-built motorhomes since 2001. Owners and siblings Paul and Toni take pride in the quality of workmanship in their motorhomes, each of which is built by local craftsmen.

Exterior 

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Backdropped by a beautifully sunny Whakatane sky, the Chateau looked stately in its regal paintwork, but because they’re built to order, your Chateau can be finished in the colour of your choosing.

Like all Coastal builds, the walls, roof, and rear panels of this model are built using the ‘sandwich board’ technique, which involves bonding together several layers by vacuum. This helps eliminate delamination while also strengthening the panels. And to help keep the temperature cosy inside, insulating foam is used between the frame and outer layers.

One of the great things about a motorhome of this size is the abundance of space available for carrying those essential extras. The garage (driver side) can easily handle bulky outdoor furniture with plenty of room left for an e-bike.

The kerbside opening lets you easily slide out the fishing rods or beach chairs on those quick picnic stops. The two nine-litre gas bottles are stored in their own compartment, each on its own slide-out shelf to make access even easier. 

Battery power

Battery -powered

One of the very cool features—now standard in all 2018 Coastal motorhomes—is the inclusion of lithium batteries. As Paul explains, the benefits of lithium batteries are big.

"Not only are they considerably lighter and smaller than standard batteries, but the brand we’ve chosen, Enerdrive, includes both an intelligent battery management system (BMS) and Wi-Fi function, allowing you to access real-time info on your battery status from your phone or device. Lithium also recharges faster than other batteries, so by having these, plus solar on the roof, the opportunities for going off-grid are increased."

First impressions

Stepping into the Chateau, an electronic entry step slides down smoothly into place at the touch of a button, and what’s more, it automatically retracts if you start the RV ready to drive off (for those of us who think we’ll remember to retract it, but don’t!).

The Camec keyless entry door is included as standard and features a unique fob system, eliminating the need to carry around your RV key. Stepping inside, first impressions are of a spacious apartment. As with every Coastal motorhome, the signature rosewood trim finish is featured throughout.

Wood trim can lend a dated look to any interior, be it house or motorhome. But when done well, it creates a sense of warmth and luxury. And Coastal do know how to do it well. In the Chateau, the trim brings together the champagne tones of the kitchen cabinetry with the off-white woodgrain cabinetry in the lounge and bedroom.

Lounge

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In the cab, both the driver’s and passenger’s seat swivel fully, adding extra seating to the twin face-to-face lounge settees. In the centre, the dining table has drop sides, taking it from coffee table to dining table. And if extra bedding is required, the table can be removed altogether, allowing the settees to be transformed into a double bed.

A must-have for any motorhome, be it six metres or eight, is clever storage—and plenty of it. And the living areas of the Chateau certainly offer just that. As well as a plentiful array of overhead cabins and cupboards, there are handy shelves and nooks throughout.

With winter looming, thoughts turn to lighting and heating. The Chateau is equipped with a diesel heater (your choice of 2kW or 4kW), which promises to keep the chills at bay. Good LED lighting throughout adds to the light and open atmosphere. A cool feature is the detachable wall-mounted switch, which can be popped off the wall and used from anywhere within the motorhome.

You can manage the lights individually or turn them all off with just one switch, which is very handy. A second remote is located on the bedroom wall.

For entertaining, a Furrion stereo with CD player, Bluetooth, and USB ports is included as standard in the lounge as are two RSE TVs—one in the lounge and the other in the bedroom.

Kitchen

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Moving into the kitchen, I’m immediately impressed with the generous bench space and generously deep sink. And for extra space, a pull-out bench extension sits above the top drawer. Beneath the bench, the five drawers are all soft close with magnetic locks, and 

a handy slide-out pantry above the 190-litre fridge is ideal for food storage. The full-size Thetford Caprice MK3 stove includes a four-burner hob with separate grill and cooker, perfect for those bacon and egg breakfasts or a hot roast dinner. Noticeably absent was a microwave oven—something I’d consider a must-have for most.

Bathroom

Sitting between the kitchen and the bedroom, the bathroom is separated into a full-size shower, offering plenty of room for the big and tall, with a detachable handpiece and turbo-fan vent in the ceiling, and a tempered glass door.

Opposite, kerbside is the separate Thetford swivel toilet and handbasin with a cupboard below and overhead cabinet. Because the bathroom door swings 90 degrees, it can be used as the toilet door only or to close off the kitchen and lounge area from the bathroom and bedroom.

Bedroom

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Into the bedroom, the east–west double bed sits between ‘his and hers’ wardrobes, plus a draw and nightstand, and additional overhead cabins. While there are windows east and west, a rear window wasn’t to the new owner’s liking, but one could easily be installed on request (it really does need it). Cupboards beneath the wardrobes would also be on my request list.

But, of course, that’s one of Coastal’s key selling points—that you can create a request list of personal touches and have them incorporated into the design.

Overall, the Chateau is another fine example of Coastal’s commitment to creating quality builds for New Zealand conditions. And let’s face it, wouldn’t it be just a bit special to tell your friends or colleagues that you’ll be spending next summer relaxing in "the chateau by the lake"? I could certainly see myself there.

Coastal Chateu 820 Specifications

Vehicle make and model Coastal Chateau 820
Engine Mercedes V6 3L 
Transmission Automatic
Berths 4
Approx. overall length 8200mm
Approx. overall height 3100mm
Tanks

236L grey 
236L fresh
120L black

Gas 2 x 9L
GVM 5300kg

Coastal Chateau 820 price (as reviewed): $283,000

Pluses

  • Lithium batteries with BMS and Wi-Fi capability
  • Excellent off-grid capability
  • Custom built to include your personal touches

Minuses

  • Bedroom could use more storage space
  • No microwave

Optional Inclusions

  • Towball
  • Solar panel 
  • Inverter 
  • Bike rack

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