Nigel Donnelly

See other News articles filed in ‘Caravans’ written by Nigel Donnelly
   
With Pegasus and Olympus models launched within the last year, Bailey has concentrated on the top end with its new models. The Unicorn is an all-new range which the Bristol-based manufacturer has launched using it’s unique Alu-tech construction system.

Since the Pegasus and Olympus launched, over 4000 caravans have been built using the technology but some customers felt that Bailey’s Pegasus lacked the traditional comfort required of a top end tourer.

With Pegasus and Olympus models launched within the last year, Bailey has concentrated on the top end with its new models. The Unicorn is an all-new range which the Bristol-based manufacturer has launched using it’s unique Alu-tech construction system.

Since the Pegasus and Olympus launched, over 4000 caravans have been built using the technology but some customers felt that Bailey’s Pegasus lacked the traditional comfort required of a top end tourer.

Unicorn is a three-model range sitting above the Pegasus and the old Senator Series 6 range. The floorplans are essential the best sellers. The Seville is an end-washroom two-berth and the Valencia is a fixed-bed end washroom four berth very similar to the Pegasus 534.

The only twin-axle in the line-up is the Barcelona which has a fixed-bed, end-washroom layout similar to the Valencia but with full-size front front lounge. 

The Unicorn is the first Bailey range to be built on the heavy duty version of the Al-Ko chassis. Externally the main difference are the bigger wheels, with 15in alloy rather than 14in fitted to other Baileys. The switch indicates new models being heavier than equivalent Pegasus models. Bailey suggests new models will be around 50kg heavier per van.
 
One reason for the extra weight is the provision of Alde central heating on all models. The Alde system uses radiators concealed behind the furniture to warm the van, rather than blown air favoured on the Pegasus and Olympus. This puts the Unicorn in line with top of the line products from other manufacuters for 2011.

As usual with Bailey products, the external specification is pretty peerless too. Al-Ko ATC stability system, Secure wheel lock and hitch-mounted stabiliser. The Tracker system for retrieving a stolen caravan is also fitted as standard.

Bailey has worked hard to woo customers who bought into the technological sophistication of Pegasus, but felt the interiors a little cold. Unicorn delivers a warm traditional interior, with a modern twist. Framed locker doors, positive locking catches and warm walnut coloured cabinetwork mean it doesn’t feel how you imagine a Bailey to feel.

There are definite signs that other customer concerns have been listened to too. A large Heki rooflight over the bed and a Mini-Heki over the kitchen, throw loads of natural light into the caravan and prevent the dark wood tone form making the interior feel gloomy. Lighting has been boosted too to further improve the light interior feel.

The twin-axle Barcelona models gets an enormous 190ltr fridge freezer while all models benefit from microwave ovens being fitted at eye level.

The washroom in the two-berth Seville model has lost the huge double shower cubicle in favour of a far more practical single unit that boosts the available storage. These are all changes that customers have asked about.

The combination of the traditionally appealing interior and cutting edge technology should ensure that Unicorn proves popular when it appears on dealer sites from September 1st.

Prices aren’t confirmed but expect a £1500 premium over equivalent Pegasus models. We’ve been told to expect a side-dinette four berth model before October due to dealer demand.

Prices (estimated)
Seville - £17050
Valencia - £17985
Barcelona - £19435

Verdict

Senator owners looking for an upgrade won’t have an easier decision to make this year. Cracking value, huge kit levels and sensible weights.

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