Simon Mortimer

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With the Bailey Pursuit 530-4, Practical Caravan's experts review what could be a best-selling layout from the British firm's new budget range

Overview

The all-new, entry-level Pursuit range replaces the Orion and Olympus ranges, offering the best of both.

This range uses Bailey’s patented Alu-Tech construction method which, the company claims, gives it a stronger shell and makes it more resistant to leaks at the seal where the panels join.

This 530-4 is a roomy four-berth with an end washroom and nearside fixed bed. Look hard and you’ll find some cost-cutting measures: there are just two pivoting reading lights in the lounge, the blinds are of the non-pleated variety, the locker doors lack both positive catches and shelves. But this is all nit-picking. The Pursuits are great starter caravans at good prices.

Pitching and setting up

This entry-level Pursuit 530-4 is a good match for the Ford Kuga, the Mazda 6 Tourer or similar estate cars.

Apparently, the radius where the rear wall meets the roof has come across from Bailey's motorhome range, which is gentler than that of the Orion – Bailey claims it significantly improves fuel economy on tow.

The Pursuit has taken one design cue from its Unicorn and Pegasus GT65 stablemates: the gas locker is on the offside close to the axle in order to reduce the van’s noseweight. Otherwise, the single front window identifies this as an entry-level tourer, as does the two-piece entry door.

Lounge

Step inside and you feel the extra internal width compared to that of the Olympus. The Pursuit 530-4's front lounge in particular feels hugely spacious, thanks in large part due to the removal of the central chest of drawers, itself a result of the gas locker’s relocation to the side of the van.

It is light and airy inside, with upmarket styling details, these influenced by Bailey’s more expensive siblings – there are chrome-look fittings and walnut-effect furniture, but the lower sections have a hessian appearance. The dark worktops have been inspired by the firm’s motorhome range.

The new soft furnishings are called ‘Spice’, with oatmeal-coloured squab cushions, while bolster and scatter cushions, backrests and curtains share the same rich copper tone.

The optional opening sunroof (£356) is transplanted from the Autograph motorhome range. It really is the icing on the cake of the Pursuit range's external good looks and provides plenty of internal light, too.

Kitchen

The kitchen’s equipment gives you all you need, but it is rather basic. It features a three-burner gas hob, a Dometic fridge-freezer and a combined oven and grill. A microwave is available as a cost option.

Sadly, the space in the galley for storing pots and pans has been lost to the offside gas locker. However, it is easy to use the occasional and free-standing tables in tandem, because they are the same height.

Washroom

The swivelling, Thetford C-260 cassette toilet and sensible basin share the ample end washroom with a separate shower cubicle.

The heating and hot water are provided by the dual-fuel Truma Combi system and controlled by means of a smart new control panel with a rotary knob rather than a touch screen.

Beds

There is a nearside fixed rear corner bed that rises on gas struts to reveal capacious storage beneath, while the facing sofas in the front lounge convert into a large double bed.

In the fixed bed there is decent headroom for reading, although the headboard is minimal. The free-standing table is stored against the nearside wall. There’s no concertina-style room divider fitted as standard for the rear bedroom.

Storage

Look under the fixed bed to find a wet tray with external access and space for the optional spare wheel.

The absence of a front gas locker permits room for some very useful wet lockers on both sides of the caravan.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1175kg
Payload202kg
MTPLM1377kg
Interior length5.713m
Shipping length7.38m
Width2.23m
Height2.61m
Awning size1045cm

Verdict

Their low weights, smart exteriors, pleasant interiors and acceptable equipment levels make the Pursuit models attractive and very welcome additions to the value market. Simple specs also help keep prices down.

This 530-4 model, the four-berth fixed double bed end washroom variant of the Pursuit range, has great internal space and is a good looking caravan, too. Kit levels are modest but the essentials are there, quality materials giving it a classy finish.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Its stylish bodyshell
  • It has a spacious interior
  • The décor looks and feels upmarket
  • Price is spot-on

Cons

  • It is heavier than rivals
  • The spec is quite basic
  • It features a combined oven and grill
  • Rivals may outshine it on a forecourt
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