BAILEY CARAVANS IS acting quickly to get to the bottom of a safety problem with its luxury Unicorn range.

The Bristol-based manufacturer was shocked by reports of recent wheel detachments on the luxury tourers and has issued a recall on all Unicorn single-axle models. The Unicorn has been a big success since launch in August 2010, but the recent spate of problems has led to the company starting an investigation and urging owners to get their tourer’s wheels checked.

Sudden spate of failures

Marketing Director Simon Howard said ‘The caravans have been in production since last year and there have been no problems reported. However, we got reports of around 10 wheel detachments over a very short period on new models delivered to customers, via their supplying dealers. Ordinarly, two detachments of this kind might be expected in a year so we had to act’

Whether it is a component, production or PDI fault is as yet unknown but investigations are ongoing in conjuction with insurance companies, VOSA and other stakeholders.

Dealers and Bailey itself are contacting owners of over the coming weeks to advise of the recall, but concerned customers can make their own checks to ensure the safety of their caravan in the meantime.

Advice for Unicorn owners

Owners are advised to check the tightness of the wheel bolts on their tourer using a torque wrench. The correct torque figure for the bolts is 81lb.ft or 110Nm, depending on which scale your prefer. The precise wording from Bailey is reproduced below.

‘The wheel bolts should be tightened in sequence (each opposite fixing in succession) using a calibrated torque wrench. Please advise them not use a corner steady brace or an electric power wrench as it as dangerous to over tighten as to under tighten the bolts. As per the instructions in the manual this should be done before every journey made with the caravan.’

The Unicorn is the only model in the Bailey line-up to use the heavier version of the Al-Ko chassis, identifiable by the use of a 15in road wheel. At present, Pegasus, Orion and Olympus models and twin-axle versions of the Unicorn are not affected.


LATEST: 05/05/11

 We’ve been in contact with Bailey today (5/5/11) and it informs us that affected caravans independently inspected so far have exhibited no obvious faults. The first three affected vehicles are being returned to the factory tomorrow where Bailey’s own engineers in the company of a VOSA approved specialist will conduct their own investigations. The results of the investigation will be reported as soon as they are made available.