The Phoenix+ is quite a development from the original Phoenix, with its dove-grey side panels contrasting with a polar-white front and back. Such a look is clearly designed to put clear water between Phoenix+ and the more entry-level Discovery.
When Phoenix+ arrived last year, we took a look at the 642, with fixed single beds and an end washroom. This time, we’re viewing the 440, still with an end washroom but also a corner bed, allowing half a metre to be shaved off its overall length.
If you think you’d like an extra berth on tour, the Bailey Pegasus Grande SE Ancona could be worth a look too – the five-berth made it onto our best caravan round-up, where we selected the top tourers on the market this year.
Pitch and set-up
Even after the recent price rise, the Phoenix+ range is still towards the lower-cost end of Bailey’s output, you don’t get ATC fitted as standard: it’s an optional extra. Still, with a shipping length of less than 7m, this is not the longest tourer out there, or the heaviest, with an unladen weight just shy of 1200kg. You still get an AKS 3004 stabiliser, and the corner steadies are also very easy to locate.
The relative shortness of this caravan has to lead to compromises somewhere, and they seem to be in the lounge. You could seat four here, but if you plan a party on site, you might need to think about an awning. The table has room for four, although it is stored against the wall in the aisle to the washroom, so you have to get past the chef to reach it.
The settees are comfortable, however, and plenty of daylight gets in through that huge window up front. At night, two LEDs in the window housing provide good lighting. There are also two directional spotlights, one of which includes a USB port.
For TV watching, there is a set of sockets above the shelf over the fridge, to the right of the door. From that position, everyone should have a comfortable view – except perhaps the person sitting closest to the door.
Two vents blow heat from the front chest; like its Discovery sister range, Phoenix+ models feature a Truma Combi 2 heating system.
The kitchen doesn’t have a pull-out extension, and once you have lifted the wooden cover to use the hob, there isn’t a huge amount of workspace on this side; although there are two sockets. You could use the sideboard, but you might have to contend with a TV set being there. Both areas are well lit.
The hob is gas-only, although it does have four burners. Underneath there is a separate oven and grill. The fridge is half-height and only 98 litres, which might be a touch small for a long tour with four people on board.
The microwave up top, however, is a real improvement: it has a built-in ceramic plate that won’t slide out and break on the floor if you forget to remove it when you drive off.
Bailey has left a bit of space at the entrance to the end washroom, which is wide enough to get dressed in. It is helpfully lit by an LED in the ceiling, and the roof light isn’t far away.
A large mirror stretching most of the way across the back (except for some open shelving) is useful. The handbasin is adequate, and although the shower cubicle has a single plughole and no shelves, there’s a second roof light there, and an LED. Two robe hooks are placed just outside the shower door.
Beds in the Bailey Phoenix+ 440
The large and comfortable double bed at the rear comes with useful corner shelves and a fabric headboard. As in the lounge, there are two spotlights, one with a USB port.
The size of the front lounge means the two settees would only work as single beds for people less than 4ft 11in tall. But it is easy to pull out the slats and make up the double, because the cushions and backrests are split.
Storage in the Bailey Phoenix+ 440
You have to remove the settee cushions to lift the slats for access to the underseat storage. The nearside area, which also has external access, is clear, while the offside is partly taken up with the heater. The two overhead lockers are half-shelved; two corner shelves, one for the radio, complete the picture.
The central wardrobe is easily big enough for the clothes of four, while the two lockers over the bed are shelved. The large area under the bed, with external access, houses a spare wheel.
Kitchen storage includes two overhead lockers, one with a crockery rack. Under the worktop is a large drawer and beneath that, a shelved cupboard. There is a small pan locker below the oven, and more locker space above the microwave. In the washroom, there are two cupboards for toiletries.
If you like to meet up with lots of friends on site, you might find the lounge a bit small 0 in which case, an awning would help. But if you’d prefer to tow a caravan that’s not too lengthy, and there will usually be no more than four of your on tour, the 440 is definitely worth a look – for couples, it’s a smart-looking, roomy option.
Are you considering a pre-owned van too? Then be sure to take a look at our round-up of the best used caravans.
- Thumbs up: Room to dress in the washroom; microwave has a built-in ceramic plate
- Thumbs down: Lounge might be a bit small for more than four
If you liked this… READ THESE:
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Caravan magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things caravan related.
The settees are comfortable, and plenty of daylight gets in through that huge window up front
|Interior Length||5.35 m|
|Shipping Length||6.88 m|
|Spec list||Dove-grey and polar-white Alu-Tech body shell, 14-inch alloy wheels, AKS 3004 stabiliser; DAB radio with USB connectivity, Pre-wired for Wi-Fi, Four spotlights, two with USB ports, Thetford K-series oven with separate grill, Dometic 98-litre fridge, 700W microwave with fixed ceramic plate, Thetford Combi 2 heater|