Coronet XT-2 5650: Review
Customer satisfaction is key with the highly customisable Coronet XT-2 5650.
Straight off the brochure, a Coronet XT-2 is already very well-endowed to cope with most rough road travelling that extended touring might entail. Its G&S chassis comes with solid 150mm rails, and a similar diameter extended A-frame with a mesh insert and your choice of articulated hitch – usually a Hyland ball or a Vehicle Components DO35 (the review XT-2 had the former).
Underneath, there’s rugged independent Control Rider coil spring and telescopic shock absorber suspension. This particular chassis was hot-dipped galvanised – a $990 option that’s worthwhile when a van is likely to spend extended time in a coastal environment – but painted and cold-dipped finishes are also available to save money and weight.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
With an offroad van, a key factor is how it performs in the rough and the Coronet appears to be well up to the task. Apart from its sturdy G&S underpinnings, Coronet uses marine grade plywood on both side of its meranti timber-famed walls, into which the modular furniture is glued and screwed from both sides. So with their styrene foam insulation, the walls are both light and very strong.
You can feel this strength on the road, with the XT-2 tracking squarely and easily behind my Discovery tow vehicle at maximum freeway speeds. It felt firm on its Control Rider suspension, but easily soaked up bumps and corrugations when we took it off the blacktop. And if there’s any doubt, Al-Ko’s electronic stability control – usually an option costing $1000-$1500 from some caravan makers – is a standard fitting on all XT-2 Coronets. And despite strong cross winds and passing B-doubles it never cut in on our test.
Inside, the XT-2 was further customised to suit its new owners’ needs – something that Coronet is very accustomed to doing. For a start, the front window was forgone, and smaller than normal bedroom windows were fitted for privacy.
Because of its purchasers’ height restriction, the reverse-cycle air-conditioner was changed from a roof-mounted unit to a ducted Aircommand Sandpiper system housed under the front bed, sharing space with the van’s twin 105Ah AGM batteries and the Truma gas space heater and its ducting. However, twin 125W solar panels were left on the roof.
Locating all this hardware under the bed severely compromised the storage space, but the Coronet’s shallow, but unencumbered, front boot and the spacious full tunnel behind, made up for that. The Coronet’s usual roof hatches were also left off for the same height reasons, so ventilation in the ensuite was handled by separate zippered side vents in the pop-top and the TV antenna was a free-standing portable one, rather than the Coronet’s standard roof-mounted Winegard. A single rear bumper-mounted spare wheel, instead of the usual two fitted to Coronet XT-2 tandem-axle vans, was also specified, in the interest of weight saving.
HITS & MISSES
- Value for money
- Custom-built care
- Fit-for-purpose design
I would have liked...
- More storage room under bed
- Larger side windows
CORONET XT-2 5650 SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.3m (27ft 3in)
- External body length 5.65m (18ft 6in)
- External body width 2.44m (8ft)
- Travel height 2.55m (8ft 4in)
- Internal height 2.04m (6ft 8in)
- Tare 2480kg
- ATM 3080kg
- Ball weight 138kg
- Frame Meranti
- Cladding Aluminium
- Chassis 150x50mm G&S hot-dipped galvanised steel
- Suspension Control Rider independent coil spring tandem
- Brakes Al-Ko 10in electric
- Wheels 16in alloy with LT245/75-16 tyres
- Battery 2x105Ah deep-cycle
- Water 2x95L (fresh); 55L (grey)
- Solar 2x125W
- Air conditioner Aircommand Sandpiper
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Thetford Caprice Mk III four-burner cooktop, grill, oven
- Fridge Thetford 190L
- Microwave Daewoo
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate fibreglass cubicle
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Attwood 22.7L gas/electric
- Hot dipped galvanised chassis $990; Truma gas heater $2250; Camec 2.5kg top-loading washing machine $730; leather upholstery $1100; gas oven $1100; pressure hatch $220; grey water tank $550; two lift-up kitchen bench ‘wings’
Price as shown
- $66,789 (ex-factory, Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #540 August 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!