Andy JenkinsonSee other Advice articles filed in ‘Caravans for sale – buying guides’ written by Andy Jenkinson
There were eight models in the launch line-up, with a good choice of layouts from two- to six-berths, and all of them came with a great specification.
The Pageant name dated back to the early 1980s. Before 2004 these Bailey caravans were still good, but weren’t as popular as they would become under the Series 5.
One of the reasons for the Series 5’s success was that it represented a complete model makeover: the Pageant got a new shell with larger front windows, as well as full-height ABS panels front and rear.
Roofs were bonded, offering greater strength – this was dramatically demonstrated by the Bailey management, with several of them standing on it as proof – and the specification was upgraded.
An Al-Ko chassis and AKS hitch, plus a spare wheel, were offered as standard, while interiors were fitted with a newly designed roof locker.
Soft furnishings were carried over, but the kit now included a Status TV aerial, a full oven, mains lounge lights, a Thetford 107-litre fridge, 3kW blown-air heating, a shower and an electric-flush cassette toilet.
Initially there were eight models in the Series 5 line-up, with an additional layout being added in 2005: the Normandie, a two-berth van with an L-shaped-kitchen and end washroom.
The Provence and Bretagne – both family models – were also new to the Pageant name, but were introduced in 2004.
The Champagne had originally made its debut in 1997, but it would be at the launch of the Series 5 when the model was taken to a new level.
It was a four-berth with a full-width end washroom, a side single dinette with kitchen opposite, and a large front lounge. It was the end washroom that proved the biggest draw, thanks to its ample size – it was big enough to act as a dressing room – and separate shower cubicle.
The Series 5 ran until mid-2006, when it was replaced by the Series 6, with the Series 7 following two years later. The Pageant range was replaced in 2010 by the Olympus, with then-new Alu-Tech construction introduced on Bailey caravans.
- Check for cracking on the moulded rear panel
- Look for cracks on the corners of the moulded front panel
- Watch for peeling and fading graphics
- Check the tyres and spare for condition
- Ensure that the electrics work
- Examine the upholstery for sagging cushions
- Inspect the enamel sink for damage, including chips and scratches
- Look for water ingress around the rear panel and sidewalls
What to pay?
Lots of Series 5s were built, so you won’t have to look too hard on the used caravans for sale pages to find one.
Entry level to the range is the Normandie, from around £4995, while examples of the six-berth Bretagne can fetch up to £7995. You’d need to pay £6499-£6995 for a 2005 Champagne.
- The Lunar Clubman 530 from 2005/6 comes with lots of kit and is light, too. It will set you back around £6995.
- If your budget is bigger, you could go for a 2007 Swift Challenger 530 at around £7995.
Offering great layouts, the Series 5 Bailey caravans were relatively light in weight and decently built.
They may look a little dated now, but they offered great specifications and were reliable, too; the end-washroom models had very spacious showers and great storage.
No matter which model you go for, do watch out for damp, and make sure that any retrofitted items work properly.
Some details on the featured 2005 Bailey Pageant Series 5 Champagne:
- Price: £6495
- Berths: 4
- MiRO: 1145kg
- Payload: 201kg
- MTPLM: 1346kg
- Internal length: 5.35m
- Width: 2.19m
- Seen at: Steve Mann Caravans, Coutances Way, Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8AS (call 01943 605 001 or go online)