Niall Hampton
Editor

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Bailey of Bristol launches its fourth entry level range in the past 10 years, and this one looks like the best yet

Bailey of Bristol has launched a new range of caravans under the Bailey Phoenix moniker, which will sit on the first rung of the Bristol brand's tourer portfolio. Seven models are available – six on single axles, and one on a twin axle. Four models have rear fixed beds, while two offer rear fixed bunks. 

MTPLMs range from 1139kg in the smallest two-berth, the 420, up to 1600kg in the six-berth 760. All Phoenix models are 2.23m wide and offer 1.96m of internal headroom. Chassis and running gear is from Al-Ko and bodyshell construction utilises Bailey's proprietary Alu-Tech system, with impact-resistant GRP skins.

For the first time in its entry level offering (Bailey prefers using a new term, 'First choice', for the new line-up), all models feature the vertical front skylight bookended by two windows, as used in the company's mid-market Pegasus and upmarket Unicorn ranges. 

Similarities with more expensive Bailey ranges 

But this is the first of many similarities between the new range and its more expensive siblings. Much design DNA has percolated down into Phoenix, from the darker cabinetwork used throughout and the lift-up flap in the kitchens (Unicorn) to the Truma Combi space and water heating system used in Pegasus, in lieu of the Whale systems that featured in Phoenix's predecessor, Pursuit.

The choice of name is significant, too – semantically, Phoenix, Pegasus and Unicorn feel like three ranges under one umbrella, where 'Pursuit' felt somewhat disconnected from the rest of Bailey's caravan collection. 

Classy interiors at this price point 

Inside, 'Eucalyptus' cabinetwork is paired with 'Brushed Champagne' overhead locker doors and 'Nordic Stone' work surfaces, with 'Soft Truffle' drop-in carpets. The 'Brockwell' soft furnishings use Ozio foam cushions. It's a pleasing ensemble that looks the part and feels classy at this price point.

Phoenix buyers are being encouraged to style their own vans; they can buy a 'Dressing pack' from Bailey, which includes four scatter cushions, two bolsters, a throw and washroom carpet, or buy their own accessories on the high street.  

Kitchens have 103-litre dual-fuel fridges as standard (134 litres in the twin-axle 760), while cookers are four-burner units supported by a combination oven and grill. An 800W microwave oven comes as standard. Washrooms feature swivel cassette toilets, fully lined shower cubicles and EcoCamel showerheads. 

Optional extras include Al-Ko's ATC anti-snaking system (dealer fit), Truma iNet control (dealer fit) and bespoke caravan bedding sets (factory fit). 

Couples and families well catered for 

The new range comprises one two-berth (the 420), four four-berths (540, 640, 642 and 644), one five-berth (650) and one six-berth (760).

Four have fixed beds (540, 640, 642 and 644), while two offer fixed bunk beds (650 and 760). The smallest van in the range, the 420, has a make-up double in the front lounge, plus parallel sofas that can each be used as 6ft 2in single beds. 

Shipping lengths of the new Phoenix vans range from the 5.56m-long 420 to the 7.86m-long 760. 

The seven Bailey Phoenix models start arriving on dealer forecourts from August, and will take a bow at October's Motorhome & Caravan show at the NEC Birmingham (16-21 October). Prices range from £16,699-£19,999, so as always with Bailey, they're certainly competitive.