Rory WhiteSee other caravan reviews written by Rory White
It seems that six-berth, fixed-bed tourers are growing in popularity, thanks to the combination of convenience and space that they can offer families. Bailey has always been among those quick to respond to such trends and its current offering brings the marque's experience and comprehensive dealer network to the fixed-bed fray.
Pitching and setting up
As a twin-axle tourer, the Bailey won't be as easy to manoeuvre on site as a single-axle van, but at least there are receivers for Al-Ko Secure wheel locks.
Among the little details that aid usability is external access to the storage area under the fixed bed. This space has a plastic tray and drain making it an ideal short-term option for storing wet items. Moreover, Bailey has introduced alloy wheels as standard.
What's more, the free-standing table is easily large enough for six when joined to the chest’s extension, although, slightly irritatingly, the table sits lower and is narrower than the extension.
During the day, the lounge is flooded with light from the one-piece front window and Heki 2 tilting rooflight. Once the sun sets, there are plenty of options for lighting thanks to the front corner lights, adjustable spotlights and ceiling lights. We particularly like the four downlights around the sunroof.
Storage is taken care of by three overhead lockers with built-in plate and cup racks, plus shelves, and three cupboards under the ovens for pots and pans. You also get two cupboards with a cutlery drawer and wire racks.
The basin is outside the washroom proper and includes a mirror lit by spotlights. Inside, there's a swivel toilet, a curtain to separate the toilet from the shower, a small sunroof and a shelf above the toilet so you can get the loo roll out of the way of any splashes from the shower.
One niggle: the light switch is up on the light itself, meaning little ones will need Mum or Dad to turn the light on.
The Bailey has a great combination of lockers, cubby holes and two small corner shelves around the fixed bed for a versatile mix of storage options. For privacy, a fabric folding door separates the fixed bed and washroom from the rest of the van.
The front lounge turns easily into a double bed, supported by slats. Six-footers will have plenty of room, and the sofas can be used as two singles – important for families with older children. Assembling the bunks is also trouble-free, the Bailey using the table as the base for the lower bunk, and providing a guard rail for the top bunk, a ladder and a privacy curtain.
The dinette cushions fold out to form the bunk mattresses. It's a quick, easy operation to perform, but the cushions don't fit quite right on the lower bunk.
A large storage locker under the front sofas gets the Bailey off to a good start in this section, and the bed boxes have slatted tops for easy access. Overhead storage, in the shape of lockers with shelves, is provided in abundance too, and there are plenty of cubby holes for smaller items.
The side dinette also provides valuable storage, with space under and above the seats. The overhead lockers are a great place to store the kids’ clothes, and are near enough to the kitchen to double as extra kitchen storage.
There is a large storage area under the fixed bed, and the space can be accessed externally. The wet-tray gives this feature added versatility.
A modest-sized wardrobe, deep enough for standard coat hangers but not full-length, completes the picture.
This is a well-built van that has all the basic requirements for a large family. It's good value for money, too.
- Wet tray under fixed bed
- Large lounge sunroof.
- Low-spec washroom
- Poorly fitting bunk mattress.