Coromal Lifestyle 635
Perth-based Coromal Caravans has been part of the Australian RV industry for more than three decades. Its Australian-made pedigree suggests this should be a touring caravan suited to the harsh Australian conditions.
At first glance, sitting in behind our Nissan Navara tow vehicle, the Coromal looked fine. As for the Nissan, it has the sex appeal to look good up against anything. This is certainly no humble work ute. More importantly, it had the chutzpah to pull most caravans. The Coromal Lifestyle 635 with a tare weight of just under two tonnes was not going to give the Nissan any trouble.
After finding a beaut hinterland location overlooking Lennox Head, it was time to take a serious look at the Coromal.
The Coromal Lifestyle 635 boasts independent leaf spring suspension typical of many caravans these days. This sort of suspension is okay over most road conditions, as long as drivers remember to slow and drive within their capabilities and to the prevailing conditions.
While suspension is about stability and manoeuvrability, the chassis is about strength and sturdiness. There is no point in towing a caravan onto a slightly rougher road if the chassis won't take that sort of rough and tumble. To its credit, the Coromal has a full-length galvanised steel chassis that provides support right from the front boot to the rear. This is an entry-level caravan and that means low cost, but the Coromal chassis is 150x50mm RHS with a 3mm wall thickness.
The drawbar is made from SupaGal, which is far stronger than mild steel and galvanised both inside and out during the manufacturing process. The 3-5mm wall thickness SupaGal should overcome the design of the drawbar construction that is arguably a little light with no bracing whatsoever. Coromal points out that this configuration has proven successful for over 30 years.
It is worth noting that Coromal lists the 635 with on-road and offroad specifications for the drawbar and chassis. While the standard on road configuration has only 100mm steel drawbar members, the XC Pack upgrade is an off-road configuration with 150mm depth on the drawbar and extra 100mm front and rear members on the chassis.
The strength of chassis construction is very important if you think you might venture down some country byway rather than staying on the smooth open highway, but remember to always drive to the road conditions.
When it is on the road, the Lifestyle 635's sloping roof should improve aerodynamics and produce better fuel efficiency. This worthwhile design feature leaves you wondering why more manufacturers of entry-level caravans don't consider aerodynamics more often. It's a simple and relatively inexpensive goal to achieve. On that score, my hat's off to Coromal.
Above the chassis, an aluminium frame supports the caravan and includes a galvanised steel plate above the door. This is a positive point, as that is exactly where many caravans tend to crack. A quick tour of a repair yard will soon show you what I mean.
The Coromal looks after those inside the caravan with insulated walls and roof, meaning it should keep out the heat of summer and the chill of winter.
On the inside, the Coromal is a homely and welcoming caravan. It has that certain sense of familiar about it that at once makes you feel comfortable – secure in the knowledge that you have chosen a van that isn't taking on someone's radical design ideas. This is a tried and true layout, and it feels good.
The interior is about the little touches of home. It's about the soft curtains in the bedroom, the ample cupboard space, the extra power point above the bedroom cupboard, and the effective kitchen design that included a pull-out pantry right by the stove – convenient and sensible.
Although the kitchen is a basic flat pack style, the drawers are made to a simple but efficient design. There are no rough edges likely to snare you when you're rummaging around looking for the potato peeler.
As for the other features, everything from the simple but stylish L-shaped lounge to the Dometic stove, air-con and LG microwave ensure that your weekend away is spent with reliable equipment. Now that's reassuring.
Beyond style, the ensuite had those little touches that make it friendlier, such as a towel rack, toilet roll holder and soap and toothbrush holders. Full marks here. When on a weekend away, Coromal clearly understands that while you can carry your dirty Y-fronts home, you do need somewhere to put your toothbrush and soap. Too many other manufacturers overlook these touches.
Caravanning is about travelling as much as the destination. This is a caravan that should appeal to those on a limited budget, looking for a good level of comfort and determined to stay on the main road. If that is your ambition, then in this caravan, Coromal has provided just the right choice.
MAKE/MODEL: Coromal Lifestyle 635
CHASSIS NUMBER: C36667
EXTERNAL BODY LENGTH: 6.3m (20ft 8in)
EXTERNAL WIDTH: 2.45m (8ft)
VIN TARE WEIGHT: 1778kg
BALL WEIGHT: 132kg
NB: length and width are external measurements of the vehicle shell (and awning) only
CONTACT PERSON: Craig Blackler
NAME: Perkins Caravans (Lismore)
ADDRESS: 141–147 Union St, South Lismore
PHONE: (02) 66217 146
FAX: (02) 66217 227
MANUFACTURER: Coromal Caravans
MANUFACTURER'S EMAIL: www.coromal.com.au
Please note that current prices may vary from this review. Please confirm with the manufacturer.