If a caravan manufacturer can get a tourer’s layout right, make some careful choices about what equipment is included and ensure the whole package doesn’t weigh too much, it will have covered most of the important bases. With this Ranger, Bailey has hit the spot on all three counts, and it shows. There are one or two niggles, but nothing to spoil what is essentially a very worthy product.
Generous standard equipment list, but in conjunction with a manageable MiRO
Great interior layout, ample kitchen work surfaces and an excellent, large rooflight
Plenty of storage space.
Badly sited power point in the kitchen, and the same for the two spotlights over the fixed bed
Small wetroom with basin sited outside.
Pitching & Setting-up
The steadies are easy to access and the wide jockey wheel takes the sweat out of moving the van around by hand, should you need to.
You can fit two gas bottles in the sizeable front locker, the door of which is well supported by a strong central strut.
Well-shaped knee rolls on the Ranger’s sofa cushions help make the lounge a really comfortable place to spend time. The U-shaped layout also allows more flexibility for relaxing than does the facing-sofas-with-central-locker arrangement. The styling, too, is smart without being fussy.
You might not be able to stretch out as much as in some L-shaped layouts, but the feel is light and airy, thanks not least to the large rooflight.
The radio/CD/MP3 player is of a high quality (nice work, JVC) and the choice of differing lighting arrangements is pretty wide. We’re less sure about the plastic surrounds on the moulded corner lights though; they look a bit cheap.
If you like to keep your food stocks high, you’ll be pleased to learn that here’s plenty of storage space in the kitchen. A cup rack would complement the plate rack nicely, but you can’t have everything in this life…
There is adequate work space too, especially with the sideboard opposite. The sideboard is a bit too low for chopping vegetables, but it is good to have the extra space to move things to when you are preparing a meal. Even if you had your TV there, it would still provide a handy surface.
There’s no extractor fan, however, and the removable drainer looks a bit messy stacked in its place on the kitchen wall. More annoyingly, the power point is on the far side of the kitchen near the sink and behind only a small strip of work surface. A kettle, for instance, could do with a bit more room than this, so we’d rather see the plug on the other, more spacious side of the sink.
In the 520/4 the shower and toilet are located inside a wetroom, while the basin is outside in the fixed-bed area. There isn’t enough room in the wetroom to dry off and get dressed, but you can close off the fixed-bed area with a solid door: so to change in the van you only need to close the blinds.
Some might not like the fact that the basin is outside the washroom, but we warmed to the overall layout of this area. Once again, a good deal of thought has been given to storage.
Taller people might find the fixed bed a bit of a squeeze if they want to stretch out completely; it’s exactly six feet long. Most owners will be happy with the bed’s size though, and with the shelving provided for books and bits and bobs.
You’ll be comfortable too, although the two spotlights (the only lights in this area) become a little too close for comfort if you want to sit up in bed. On a happier note, the wooden blind separating the fixed bed and the kitchen looks smart.
The front lounge offers the chance to make up a second double bed (or use the sofas as two singles for small children). The slats roll out easily enough, but the task of finding somewhere to store all the bolster cushions is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Storage provision is excellent, especially around and under the fixed bed. The wardrobe, which is next to the kitchen, isn’t a huge space but it does have shelves as well as hanging space, boosting its practicality.
Many people would instantly cross a tourer off their shortlist if it didn’t have an externally accessed wet locker, but the Bailey passes that particular test.