Used caravans can give superb value for money without compromising on luxury – check out these two sub-£15k, fixed-bed, end-washroom, British-built options

It's hard to believe that the ubiquitous fixed-bed, end-washroom caravan has only been on the market since 2009. Since their introduction, fixed-twin beds and transverse-island beds have taken some sales, but they remain a popular choice for caravanning couples.

Some argue that fixed beds take up a lot of space in a caravan. But for a couple, what could be easier than hopping into a ready-made bed rather than going through the rigmarole of making one up?

Granted, the layout tends to be in larger single-axle tourers, and there are compromises on space elsewhere, but they’re here to stay.

Here, we take a look at two three-year-old mid-range models priced at under £15,000.

First contender: 2013 Bailey Pegasus II Verona

The 2009 Pegasus was the first of Bailey’s portfolio to sport Alu-Tech construction. This was an attempt to combat the nemesis of caravans, water ingress.

The earliest models, including our example, which was made just before the introduction of the arguably better-looking GT65, couldn’t be described as one of the prettiest vans to grace a site and the white internal walls were often described as being clinical, but there were some innovative features.

Couple that with Bailey’s ethos of offering exceptional value for money, and it’s no wonder that they remain popular on the pre-owned market.

Second contender: Lunar Lexon 540

In its previous guise, badged Lexon SE, the Lunar was one of the first models on the market to offer the end-washroom, fixed-bed layout, having been launched at the February 2009 NEC show.

Lunar has always had a reputation for manufacturing caravans that are lighter in weight than their rivals (however, there’s little to separate these two tourers).

Although the Lexon is Lunar’s mid-range, for the 2013 season they were knocking on the door of their upmarket Clubman siblings, coming equipped with things such as Alde central heating.

Pitch and set-up

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4.5 stars
      

Despite their different body constructions, both these used caravans have Al-Ko underpinnings, AKS3004 stabilisers, ATC stability control, buttonless handbrakes, and underslung steel spare wheels. And they have both been fitted with motor movers.

The Bailey caravan has three small front lockers (one on each sidewall, and a dedicated gas-locker at the front), while the Lunar has one huge one, with a parallelogram hinge.

On the nearside, the Bailey has a gas barbecue point. Both have a mains socket, the Lunar’s being inside a wet locker, and they each have access to under-bed storage.

The Bailey’s mains input and battery locker are on the nearside, which means that the mains cable would run through any awning attached. The Lunar’s is located on the offside.

The waste-water outlets are located to the rear of the offside wheel, although the Lunar’s are perhaps easier to reach as the Bailey’s are tucked underneath a little.

Both have their control panels located just inside the entrance door.

The Lunar just edges round one.

Lounge

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4.5 stars
      

With this layout it’s often the lounge area that suffers in terms of compromised dimensions, and these examples bear that out.

They’re adequate for entertaining a couple of guests for a meal, but neither has a seat that’s long enough to stretch out on. Talking of meals, both have main tables that are stored next to the kitchen, where they’re needed.

The Bailey has U-shaped seating, while the Lunar has parallel sofas separated by a centre chest and occasional table. The latter is more practical for couples because they don’t have to use the main table for every meal, as in the Bailey, although both have wide shelves under the front windows to put things on.

The Lunar gives options for siting the TV (including satellite connections), either on the front shelf or on the side dresser. The Bailey’s TV is confined to the dresser only.

Neither of these used caravans for sale at Sherwood Oaks Leisure in Mansfield at the time of writing can be faulted when it comes to lighting (both natural and artificial). Each has a large Heki rooflight and, among the artificial lights, four corner reading lights.

The practical Lunar takes this round.

Kitchen

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4.5 stars
      

Both kitchens are well equipped. They each have large Dometic fridges (manual control in the Bailey, digital in the Lunar) and microwaves, which are mounted above the dressers opposite the kitchen units.

Cookers with separate ovens and grills are the order of the day, but the Lunar’s hob is perhaps more versatile because it is dual-fuel, whereas the Bailey caravan simply has four gas burners – all with spark ignition of course.

Work surface space is good in both, because they have removable drainers and chopping boards. The sink in the Bailey Pegasus Verona is huge, too.

There aren’t likely to be many complaints about lighting, ventilation or storage in either of the kitchens. But, thanks to having the Alde heating, the Lunar has an additional large cupboard at the base of the dresser – that space is occupied by the Truma space heater in the Bailey. Otherwise, they’re evenly matched on storage.

Thanks to the electric hotplate and extra cupboard, the Lunar caravan just edges it in this round.

Beds

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4 stars
      

The fixed double bed is the main reason for buying this layout, but it’s surprising how much they vary in size from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Both examples in this secondhand shootout are a decent size, with the Lunar’s being longer but narrower than the Bailey’s. They both have significant cut-outs at the base to facilitate access to the washrooms. The Lunar Lexon's also has a small cut-out next to the washroom door.

It’s good to see that there is a pair of corner shelves on which you can put the morning cuppa in the Lunar. The Bailey only has one, but matches the Lunar by having a pair of reading lights.

Moving to the front, none of the seats are suitable for adults to use as single beds. However, they could occasionally be used by visiting grandchildren.

Both lounges convert into double beds, and here the Bailey benefits from the U-shaped seating because its bed is simply huge. The Lunar’s isn’t a bad size, but it can’t match the Bailey’s. Both lounges benefit from four reading lights.

We’ll call this round a draw.

Washroom

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 3.5 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4 stars
      

The end washroom is another compelling reason to buy this layout, especially if you use minimal-facility sites or are regular ralliers. Of the two, the Lunar’s feels the more spacious and contemporary, whereas the Bailey’s is best described as functional.

Both have fully lined shower cubicles, and the Bailey has a bi-fold door as opposed to the Lunar’s single-piece unit.

We can’t understand why clear windows are fitted in caravan washrooms, and here the Bailey’s is sited above the sink. The Lunar’s is frosted and fitted to the sidewall.

The Bailey hits back with more storage than the Lunar, which amounts to a small cupboard under the sink and a couple of small shelves. But, the Lunar has better lighting and has a domestic-style radiator thanks to that Alde heating system. Both have Thetford electric-flush toilets.

Storage aside, the Lunar edges ahead.

Storage

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4.5 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4 stars
      

Neither of these used caravans is lacking in storage. Both have the huge void underneath the fixed beds, and underneath the front nearside seat bases is clear, too. The offside bases are occupied by water heaters and electrics, plus the Bailey has its on-board water tank positioned there.

There are six roof lockers in the lounge area. And while the Bailey has more overhead locker doors in the bed area, storage is pretty similar because the Lunar’s lockers are bigger.

The Bailey has a superb double-doored wardrobe, with excellent hanging space and six good-sized shelves. The Lunar’s is a much smaller affair with a single two-thirds-height door, plus three drawers and a locker.

The Lunar has the drawers in the front chest and the one in the dresser to trump the Bailey’s specification.

But washroom and wardrobe storage win this round for the Bailey.

VERDICT

  • Bailey Pegasus II Verona – 4 stars
  • Lunar Lexon 540 – 4.5 stars
      

Both these used caravans for sale at under £15,000 are in excellent condition and will give many years of good service.

If you regularly entertain guests, then the Bailey’s U-shaped seating may be your preference, but if you tend to caravan as a couple then the Lunar’s more practical approach may be best.

Externally, the Bailey benefits from a barbecue point, but then drops points for the battery locker location. The Lunar’s washroom (storage aside) is not only better finished, but also has more floor space.

There’s nothing wrong with either tourer, but perhaps the scales are ultimately tipped in favour of the arguably better-looking Lunar caravan with its Alde heating.

Vital statistics: 2013 Bailey Pegasus II Verona

  • Price: £14,995
  • Internal length: 5.69m
  • Overall length: 7.37m
  • Overall width: 2.24m
  • MiRO: 1322kg
  • Payload: 168kg
  • MTPLM: 1490kg
      

Kit list:

  • Kit list
  • Al-Ko chassis and AKS3004 stabiliser
  • Al-Ko ATC stability control
  • Spare wheel
  • Alloy wheels
  • Directional TV aerial
  • Dometic manually controlled fridge with freezer
  • Four-burner gas hob with spark ignition
  • Separate oven and grill
  • Truma dual-fuel water heater
  • Truma dual-fuel blown-air heating
  • Heki-type rooflight
  • Radio/CD player
  • Flyscreens and blinds to all windows
  • Thetford electric-flush toilet
  • Alarm
  • External gas barbecue point
  • Flyscreen to door
  • Motor mover
       

Vital statistics: 2013 Lunar Lexon 540

  • Price: £14,495
  • Internal length: 5.78m
  • Overall length: 7.35m
  • Overall width: 2.28m
  • MiRO: 1335kg
  • Payload: 160kg
  • MTPLM: 1495kg
      

Kit list:

  • Al-Ko chassis and AKS3004 stabiliser
  • Al-Ko ATC stability control
  • Alloy wheels
  • Spare wheel
  • Dometic digitally controlled fridge with freezer
  • Three-burner gas hob with spark ignition and electric hotplate
  • Separate oven and grill
  • Alde wet central heating system
  • Directional TV aerial
  • Heki rooflight
  • Flyscreens and blinds to all windows
  • Flyscreen to door
  • Thetford electric-flush toilet
  • Remote-controlled alarm
  • Radio/CD player
  • Motor mover
       
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