Niall Hampton
Editor

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Our fleet’ written by Niall Hampton
   
OUR BAILEY HAS had a busy few months. Trips to Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds saw it cover over 1000 miles, and the entry-level tourer was out again with Claudia in the Lake District last week. Price: £13,495Berths: 4Overall length: 6.38mWidth: 2.19mMiRO: 1100kgMTPLM: 1247kg

OUR BAILEY HAS had a busy few months. Trips to Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds saw it cover over 1000 miles, and the entry-level tourer was out again with Claudia in the Lake District last week. 

 

  • Price: £13,495
  • Berths: 4
  • Overall length: 6.38m
  • Width: 2.19m
  • MiRO: 1100kg
  • MTPLM: 1247kg

 

It didn't get long to rest, though, as this week it was off out again, headed for Peterborough and V&G Caravans. I was delivering the Orion to Doug 'Fix-it' King, who would be fitting a new alarm at the caravan workshop for his 'Doug'll fix it' page in Practical Caravan. You'll be able to see how he got on in an upcoming issue.

 

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The 100-mile tow to V&G caravans was easy with our long-term Ford Mondeo. The Orion's low 1100kg MiRO means it isn't quite as stable as our Swift Charisma 480 SR, which unlike the Bailey, has its gas bottles in a front locker. As a result, the Swift has a higher noseweight and is a smoother tow. There is only a very slight difference, however, and the fact that I can tow a four-berth caravan on my standard post-1997 licence is important. The Swift, depsite being a two-berth, is slightly too heavy to match up with any of our cars.

 

Opposites attract

It was while enjoying a cup of coffee at V&G and chatting to the owner, Vince, that I noticed something special. I suppose you don't really 'notice' a Hummer H2, but somehow I'd missed it completely. As it happened, it belonged to Vince himself, and some of the figures he was quoting seemed more HGV that SUV – or SUT (Sports Utility Truck) if we're keeping things American.

 

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Firstly, the engine. A 6.0-litre V8 petrol lump is bolted to the front, producing 325bhp and 365lb-ft or torque at 4000rpm. That means the H2 will pull a braked trailer weighing up to 3182kg, and its 2909kg kerbweight gives it an 85% match figure of 2473kg. In other words, an Airstream 684 Series 2 would be a comfortable 85% match, and it's not often you write that here at Practical Caravan.

 

OK, so there are a few downsides. For instance, leafing through the brochure, you'll find a surprising 310-mile average range quoted per tank. Smiles turn to tears on the next page, though, when you learn that the H2 has a 121-litre fuel tank, setting you back an average of £155 per fill. It's also just over 2m wide and getting on for 5m long, so we reckon parking would become tiresome, or dangerous. Or probably both.

 

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New towcar

Not so with the Peugeot 3008, however, which will be joining our fleet this September. We've opted for the 112hp HDi engine with manual gearbox and a tow limit of 1300kg. At 1504kg in weight, the 3008 has an 85% match of 1278kg – perfect for our Bailey Orion and a range of other smaller tourers. We'll have more on the new addition soon.

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