As with all of you, lockdowns over the past year have severely restricted our ability to get out and enjoy the huge variety of experiences that Britain has to offer in a caravan. That is a shame, because the van we’ve had on long-term lone for much of that time, a Bailey Discovery D4-4, really impressed us on the trips that we have been able to make.
The Discovery was launched very much as a budget range, and the D4-4 has a rear corner fixed double bed in front of an end washroom, so it is very much aimed at families.
There seems to be an unwritten assumption for caravans that ‘budget’ plus ‘family’ equals cost-cutting. And in the Discovery’s case, so the wisdom goes, the main evidence of that is the fact that there is a single window at the front of the van, even if it is a large one.
It’s true that, if the main joy you get from caravanning is sitting inside nice and warm and watching the world through either one large window that stretches out horizontally or a row of three that, in effect, does the same thing, then this Discovery is probably not for you.
But you can still see a fair bit through it, and having a window so tall expands the opportunities for the sun to shine in and brighten the relatively compact interior.
If you are looking for other signs of a budget van in here, we concede you might find them in the kitchen. There is no microwave, only a combined oven and grill, and the hob is a three-burner.
The 103-litre fridge is big enough for the food of a family of four, but you’ll need to open out the kitchen extension to gain additional workspace – which, as a result, restricts some of the sitting space in the front lounge.
In this particular model, you might also miss having a sliding partition of some sort between the rear bedroom and the lounge – particularly if you accidentally step out of the washroom in the altogether and forget that anyone walking past the front of the caravan will have an unobstructed view of you!
Modern and stylish
The style of the van’s interior, however, is anything but budget. The yellow piping around the mid-grey settee cushions marks this out as a modern, youthful décor, some distance from budget caravans of old.
This far-from-budget look extends to the outside. After all, when did you last see a budget tourer with silver side panels and alloys? It’s interesting that Bailey has now added silver sides to the Phoenix+.
Even that large central window on the Discovery looks distinctive, and means that you are unlikely to miss your caravan in the sea of white boxes on-site.
One or two other neat touches also help raise the Discovery’s game. Remember those ‘sockets with pockets’ – USBs on spotlights with a pouch nearby to store your device while charging – that were such a feature of the upmarket Unicorn range when it was lit upgraded? Two are included here.
It’s just a shame the wooden hob cover that was also featured in the new Unicorns did not make the cut. That might have made the D4-4’s kitchen more spacious.
Add an awning
As with all of our long-term-test vans, when we got this Discovery D4-4, we didn’t get an awning designed to go with it. But if you would like to increase your living space, it’s good to know that for just over £1000 more, you can get an L-shaped air awning that expands the available space like no other awning on the market.
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The interior of the D4-4 is anything but budget, and this look extends to the outside as well. After all, when did you last see a budget tourer with silver side panels and alloy wheels?
|Awning Size||1156 cm|