It has been 25 years since Andrew Phillips purchased the Coronet brand from the late Ian Farren, who founded the business in Ballarat, Vic, in 1959. And as part of this year’s silver anniversary commemorations, Coronet released the all-new boutique FS3 Series early this year – the first being a tandem-axle pop-top with rear ensuite.
Coronet’s business manager Peter Wright emphasises that the FS3 Series is not simply a clone of the superseded FS2 Series. “I prefer the terms ‘facelift’, ‘evolved’ or ‘redefined’ rather than ‘clone’, as there are subtle changes to the design, plus the inclusion of more standard equipment,” he said
And I’m in Peter’s corner – in my opinion, in terms of standard features for price, this is one of the best specced pop-tops I’ve seen.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
Some of the new additions that now come as standard above and beyond the outgoing FS2 include a new Swift 12V heat exchanger floor heater, a new BM Pro Battery Plus 35, Swift 27L hot water system, 62L grey water tank, high-mount rear stop lights, Fusion CD/radio with in-built speakers and antenna, Thetford china bowl toilet, and a more spacious ensuite.
Coronet also provides a five-year warranty on the caravan’s construction and materials and offers niche custom designs with a flexible range of interior layouts and colour choices.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
The front boudoir is a modish area underlined by a strut-assisted lift-up island bed with innerspring mattress, three overhead lockers above the bedhead, corner dressing tables and robes, reading lamps, USB ports, a swivelling 22in 12V Finch TV with in-built DVD and USB, and good-sized Euro-designed double-glazed acrylic windows, plus magazine holders either side of the bed. There’s also plenty of ventilation once the easy-lift pop-top is deployed, which offers a comfortable 2.08m (6ft 10in) internal height.
But the piece de resistance are the Swift 12V heat exchanger floor heater and the Finch ducted air-conditioner, located under the bed. Both have thermostatic controls on the bedroom’s nearside wall.
Any Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver of the camping kind will relish cooking up a storm on the recessed Swift 500 Series combo four-burner and grill, with an adjacent 185L Thetford two-door, three-way fridge-freezer and shoulder-height Daewoo microwave at his or her disposal.
Kitchen HQ also comprises a pull-out pantry, 12V stainless steel NCE rangehood, and a large capacity deep-bowl sink with flick mixer tap assisted by mains pressure water and a 12V pump. And meal preparation is a cinch thanks to plentiful gloss benchtop space.
There is also abundant storage courtesy of the sizeable Coronet-manufactured cupboards with positive-lock catches and slide-out, soft-close drawers above and below the sink, and under the cooker where the Setec battery management system is housed. One of these cupboards conceals the BM Pro battery and water level gauges, and solar indicators along with hot water switches.
Completing the neat-and-tidy kitchen profile is a ‘Pewter Metal’ highlighted and satin-finished Motivi splashback. It not only complements the neutral interior tones, but the outcome is vibrant, warm and gives the interior a particularly spacious feel.
The full-width rear ensuite is attractive and smart with its individual fibreglass one-piece shower (900x760mm) and Thetford toilet. I reckon the timber veneer privacy screens and ceramic bowl toilet with swivel seat are real winners, especially in a pop-top. There’s also provision to install a washing machine, if you so desire.
The ensuite contains the Swift 27L hot water system, four slide-out drawers, a mirror above the washbasin, a cabinet to one side of the mirror (ideal for your bathroom accessories), an exhaust hatch with 12V fan, double powerpoints and adequate low wattage LED lighting. There’s even a toilet roll holder, toothbrush holder with cup, and a towel rack mounted on the back of the door. However, I noticed that when the ensuite door is fully opened it bangs up against the fridge when there is internal vibration through the van. I found the resultant noise slightly irritating.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Coronet dubs the FS3 the ‘Fashion Statement’ model and our review FS3 5950-4-T pop-top, at $55,999, as reviewed, incorporates all the bells and whistles.
The FS3 is a contemporary, ‘high fashion’ Coronet wearing an innovative crown!
HITS & MISSES
- Totally self-contained
- 12V floor heater
- Ensuite door encroaches on kitchen
- No stoneguard up front