Bailey’s Phoenix range hasn’t risen out of the ashes of anything else, despite the name. Last summer the Bristol manufacturer revamped its cheapest line-up to include some features that first made headway in the more upmarket Unicorns.

We’ve been loaned the 440, an end-washroom four-berth with a fixed corner bed, to try out as our latest long-termer. Here are our first impressions.


Bailey’s designs have been simplified quite a bit in recent years. The swirling decals and unusual mouldings – which some customers thought rather resembled moustaches – have mostly gone, and in their place, you now get something much more pared down.

The new Phoenix range, for example, doesn’t even include a gas bottle locker at the front – it’s been moved around to the side by the central kitchen.

The decals down the side do at least include a distinctive colour – purple – but they have the same pattern with the large ‘B’ at the rear that is now common on all Baileys.

The crisp whiteness of the front and rear panels is a little offset by having rather cheap-looking black plastic grab handles, and this same black plastic is included in the fairly ordinary-looking rear light clusters, too.

But we thought that the overall effect was still sleek and modern, especially when this caravan was lined up against Baileys of the past at our storage depot.

One thing that Bailey hasn’t abandoned from years gone by is the stable door. It is still a feature on this entry-level caravan. Those who take dogs with them on holiday, but occasionally like to leave them behind in the van, with plenty of air, will appreciate this.


You only get an AKS 3004 stabiliser fitted as standard in the Phoenix 440. The ATC trailer control system is a dealer-fit cost option.

But with an overall length of 6.88m, this is not the longest of caravans, and with our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV tow car, we found the Phoenix a relatively easy tow, even on busy suburban roads.

It also proved relatively nimble when it came to having to reverse it back into position at the storage depot.

It’s not difficult to believe that some of that easiness in manoeuvring could be down to having the heavy gas bottles moved away from the nose and positioned over the caravan’s axle, for greater balance.