Claudia Dowell
Features Editor

See other caravan reviews written by Claudia Dowell

Indulge yourself with the Bailey Unicorn Vigo, a single-axle caravan which combines luxury accommodation for two with a top spec – read our review

Overview

Bailey’s popular prestige range, the Unicorn, is now in its third generation and sixth year. Gone are the over-fussy front mouldings and cream sidewalls of previous generations, to be replaced by a ‘Polar White’ bodyshell, flush-fit bumpers, integral grabhandles and a more aerodynamic shape at the rear. The smart sidewall graphics in red, black and grey incorporate a ‘B’ and the front panel has a slim red ‘smile’; view that with the vertical central window (the nose) and windows (the eyes) either side, and you have a van with a happy ‘face’.

The exterior tweaks are a welcome improvement. As with all Bailey models, the four-season range is built using Alu-Tech construction. Other developments to the Unicorn include an upgraded Alde central heating system with a more economical boiler, a user-friendly digital control panel and an additional washroom radiator. Security has improved, too, with a Tracker Retrieve Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, and there’s a new Truma 100-watt solar panel to give your battery a boost. The Vigo has a transverse island bed and end washroom. It’s looking good on paper, but what is it like in the metal? And to see other Bailey caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

Bailey caravans have always had a fairly boxy shape, but that allows you maximum headroom inside. The body rides an Al-Ko chassis, with a stabiliser and a trailer control system for steadier towing. The corner steadies are heavy-duty: the two at the front are more easily accessible than those at the back, where you’ll have to crouch down to find the winding nuts.

On the nearside is exterior access to two large wet lockers, plus all the accoutrements for a super pitch: hook-up point, mains socket, satellite TV socket and gas barbecue point. On the offside are a water inlet point, gas locker and cassette hatch, plus waste water outlets just behind the axle. On the roof is a Status 550 digital TV aerial and Truma solar panel. The leisure battery is stored in a dedicated locker under the floor.

The glazed two-piece entrance door has a waste bin, but it lacks a grabhandle to pull the door shut; it would be a welcome addition. There is a chrome handle adjacent to the door, plus two coat hooks and rocker-style mains switches, so you won’t need to grab your specs in order to turn the lights and water pump on. Alde heating controls are opposite in the kitchen area, alongside two mains sockets and a light switch. There are five mains sockets in all. An LED awning light sits above the door.

Lounge

The lounge is a very relaxing place to be. The vertical panoramic window, which opens and has a flyscreen and blind, gives a fantastic view, whether you are standing or sitting, and permits masses of light to enter the van.

The plush seating, with corner moulded cushions and bolsters, is dressed in tweed-style fabric in cream, purple, beige and grey, with the same colours used in the scatter cushions and curtains. The look is fresh and modern and makes a change from the usual porridge neutrality favoured by many. The pale cabinetwork is in ‘Mendip Ash’: lockers have a gloss finish at the bottom, with a strip of chrome trim and chrome handles. The overall look is clean, contemporary and pleasingly classy. It certainly has wow factor.

With the gas locker on the offside, over the axle, the front of the Bailey Unicorn Vigo has plenty of room for a deep front shelf incorporating a wide centre chest. This has two deep drawers and a locker below. The shelf sports two mains sockets and a TV point – there’s room for a TV and more.

The pull-out occasional table is not flush with the chest top, but it’s big enough for two to dine at, which is just as well because the freestanding table is stowed inconveniently under the bed, and it’s heavy.

That large front window means roof locker space is reduced: there are two short, shelved lockers either side, plus a large shelf in each corner, above one is the radio/CD player and a speaker, above the other is another speaker and light switches. There is LED lighting above the roof lockers throughout the van. Four spotlights and LED lighting in the panel that incorporates the panoramic window and rooflight illuminate the area. The TV aerial is housed in the front nearside locker.

Kitchen

The gas locker positioned on the offside wall intrudes into the lower kitchen space but designers have used this to good effect, creating a slightly L-shaped unit that separates the area from the lounge.

The circular stainless-steel sink, which in the first generation was positioned next to the lounge, is now better placed in the middle of the unit, allowing plenty of worktop to the left, which is enhanced further by a large extension flap. The curved cupboard in front of the gas locker has three very accessible shelves.

Below the sink is a good-sized cutlery drawer and below that a large, shelved cupboard. At the back of the worktop is a shallow cupboard with racking for bottles, while two roof lockers hold racks for crockery and cups.

This is a well-appointed kitchen with a microwave oven, a dual-fuel hob, and a separate oven and grill. A Dometic 133-litre tower fridge/freezer, with cream doors, is positioned opposite, with a small cupboard above and below.

Washroom

Having Alde central heating means you get a radiator in the washroom, but it’s located right next to the toilet and because the washroom is quite narrow, you risk burning your back when using the facility. Otherwise, the washroom is pretty well equipped.

Above the toilet is a large shallow cupboard and a couple of small shelves. Below the moulded white plastic basin is a large shelved cupboard and to the right, a laundry basket. Above the basin is a window (non-frosted), with a shaving mirror and toothmug holder to the right. A shelf runs above the window.

Entry to the square, fully lined, moulded shower unit is via a single, domestic-style door. The unit incorporates a long shelf, plus two LED lights and a rooflight. A long mirror and a single towel hook are positioned opposite the basin. A sliding door separates it from the bedroom.

Beds

A pleated, sliding divider separates the bedroom from the kitchen. The fixed island double bed is set transversely across the width of the van on a wood base. To allow easier access to the end washroom during the day, the bed frame pushes back and a mattress infill takes the role of a bolster. At night it pulls out to measure 6ft 1in x 4ft 8in.

Behind the bed is a grey, leather-effect, padded headboard, so if you want to sit up in bed to read or drink your morning cuppa, you will be comfy enough. Either side are matching half-length wardrobes, with a drawer and cupboard beneath a small shelf for that cuppa. A small central shelf separates two lockers above the bed. There are a further two shallow lockers above the window.

In the corner, set against the kitchen bulkhead, is a corner vanity unit, comprising a tall corner wall cupboard with three shelves above a work surface, and a cupboard below. A long mirror sits to the right-hand side. The TV and mains points are here. Two spotlights allow night-time reading.

For the occasional visitors, the front sofas convert into a large, comfortable double bed measuring 6ft 6in x 5ft, by pulling out slats from the centre chest and rearranging the cushions. At 5ft 3in (nearside) and 5ft (offside) the sofas are too short to be used as single beds by adults.

Storage

For a couple, storage space in the Bailey Unicorn Vigo is pretty comprehensive. You’ll be able to stow picnic chairs in the space below the bed, where there is also a wet locker and external access. The bedroom is well provided with lockers, wardrobes, drawers and a vanity unit with plenty of shelves, and a shallow cupboard makes good use of the space above the window.

The two cupboards and shelf in the washroom offer plenty of space for lotions and potions, while fresh towels may be stowed under the basin. In the kitchen, we like the shelving in the curved cupboard in front of the gas locker. There’s more cupboard space below the sink, and above and below the fridge, plus there are two overhead roof lockers.

At the front of the van are the two wide drawers in the chest, good shelving either side of the vertical window and two short overhead lockers on each sidewall. The offside seatbase has small front access, while the nearside base has no front access and is divided into a large wet locker area and a small dry locker.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1346kg
Payload154kg
MTPLM1500kg
Interior length5.83m
Shipping length7.37m
Width2.28m
Awning size1045cm

Verdict

The 2016 Bailey Unicorn Vigo is a super van for couples. Its fresh, contemporary interior really has wow factor, and that vertical window, coupled with the rooflight, lets plenty of daylight in, so that the living space feels bright and airy even with the divider pulled across to close off the bedroom. Kit levels are excellent and include a programmable central heating system for improved fuel economy and a 100-watt solar panel if you want to go off-grid. There is also enough storage space for belongings if you are considering a lengthy tour.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The bright, contemporary interior looks luxurious
  • It has a tall fridge
  • It has a large, square shower
  • There's plenty of storage for clothing

Cons

  • The lack of a grabhandle on the inside of the habitation door
  • There's no frosting to the washroom window
  • In the washroom, the mirror is on the opposite wall to the basin
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