OUR BAILEY HAS had a busy few months. Trips to Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds saw it cover over 1000 miles, and the entry-level tourer was out again with Claudia in the Lake District last week.
- Price: £13,495
- Berths: 4
- Overall length: 6.38m
- Width: 2.19m
- MiRO: 1100kg
- MTPLM: 1247kg
It didn't get long to rest, though, as this week it was off out again, headed for Peterborough and V&G Caravans. I was delivering the Orion to Doug 'Fix-it' King, who would be fitting a new alarm at the caravan workshop for his 'Doug'll fix it' page in Practical Caravan. You'll be able to see how he got on in an upcoming issue.
The 100-mile tow to V&G caravans was easy with our long-term Ford Mondeo. The Orion's low 1100kg MiRO means it isn't quite as stable as our Swift Charisma 480 SR, which unlike the Bailey, has its gas bottles in a front locker. As a result, the Swift has a higher noseweight and is a smoother tow. There is only a very slight difference, however, and the fact that I can tow a four-berth caravan on my standard post-1997 licence is important. The Swift, depsite being a two-berth, is slightly too heavy to match up with any of our cars.
It was while enjoying a cup of coffee at V&G and chatting to the owner, Vince, that I noticed something special. I suppose you don't really 'notice' a Hummer H2, but somehow I'd missed it completely. As it happened, it belonged to Vince himself, and some of the figures he was quoting seemed more HGV that SUV – or SUT (Sports Utility Truck) if we're keeping things American.
Firstly, the engine. A 6.0-litre V8 petrol lump is bolted to the front, producing 325bhp and 365lb-ft or torque at 4000rpm. That means the H2 will pull a braked trailer weighing up to 3182kg, and its 2909kg kerbweight gives it an 85% match figure of 2473kg. In other words, an Airstream 684 Series 2 would be a comfortable 85% match, and it's not often you write that here at Practical Caravan.
OK, so there are a few downsides. For instance, leafing through the brochure, you'll find a surprising 310-mile average range quoted per tank. Smiles turn to tears on the next page, though, when you learn that the H2 has a 121-litre fuel tank, setting you back an average of £155 per fill. It's also just over 2m wide and getting on for 5m long, so we reckon parking would become tiresome, or dangerous. Or probably both.
Not so with the Peugeot 3008, however, which will be joining our fleet this September. We've opted for the 112hp HDi engine with manual gearbox and a tow limit of 1300kg. At 1504kg in weight, the 3008 has an 85% match of 1278kg – perfect for our Bailey Orion and a range of other smaller tourers. We'll have more on the new addition soon.