Some will take one look at the Bailey Unicorn Barcelona and make up their minds before they’ve even stepped inside. Those looks may divide opinion, but we think Bailey deserves praise for avoiding bland, ‘me-too’ design with its most luxurious range. Inside, the Unicorn Barcelona reveals itself to be a well thought out, comfortable tourer. The fixed bed is a decent size, and the end washroom takes full advantage of the body’s 7’6” (2.28m) width. The lounge is an unexpected highlight. Even in dull weather the huge front window lets light flood in, and to our eyes the ‘walnut’ finish is warm and welcoming. For such a large tourer the MTPLM is not excessive, and the Barcelona’s comprehensive specification comes at a reasonable price. We have a few minor criticisms, but all told it’s hard not to be impressed by the Unicorn Barcelona.
Luxurious specification, spacious lounge with plenty of natural light and very competitive pricing
Fussy dining table storage, toilet is very close to the wash basin and the front end looks are divisive
Pitching & Setting-up
The Barcelona has an Al-Ko galvanised steel chassis with the ATC Trailer Control System to counteract snaking. The hitch has an AKS 3004 stabiliser, and the chassis has shock absorbers for a smoother, more secure ride. It’s surprising to see the jockey wheel mounted on the side of the A-frame of a luxury van, but this does making changing the jockey wheel much easier.
Manoeuvring a big twin-axle caravan onto a pitch is always going to be more challenging than pitching a smaller single axle van, but once you are in place you’ll be glad that the steadies are easy to access. They’re heavy duty at the rear. To reduce the noseweight, the gas locker sits just ahead of the axles rather than in the front of the van.
One of the disadvantages of a fixed bed, end washroom design can be limited space at the front of the van. That’s not a problem with the Bailey Unicorn Barcelona. Thanks to the long, twin-axle chassis there’s room for two comfortable sofas on either side of the lounge, one measuring 1.58 metres, the other 1.71 metres. That’s more than enough room for four to stretch out, and even if a couple of extra guests pop over there’s still space to sit comfortably. The dining table will be a squeeze for more than four, though.
What’s really striking about the lounge is the natural light which the full-height front window allows in, even on a gloomy day. Having 6’ 5” of headroom throughout is a definite plus, too.
The highlight of the kitchen is the huge fridge-freezer. Whereas the rest of the Unicorn range makes do with a 103-litre fridge, the Barcelona gets 190 litres. Other equipment includes a Daewoo 800-watt microwave and a Thetford Caprice dual-fuel hob with an electric hotplate and three gas burners.
Most of the work surface is sandwiched between the fridge and the circular sink. There’s another surface on the other side of the van which could also be used when preparing food, but its lower to the ground and owners may prefer to put a television here. The glass-fronted drinks cabinet is a nice touch and there’s a reasonable amount of storage,
although we’d like a taller, shelf-free space for big cereal packets and the like.
The luxury spec continues in the bathroom. We particularly like the heated towel rail, one of the advantages of the Alde central heating system. There’s a push-button flush for the toilet, a roomy separate shower cubicle complete with its own lighting, and four hooks on the wall for towels or dressing gowns. It’s good to see a linen basket, too. There’s a half-length mirror, an extendible shaving mirror which adjusts every which way, and plenty of room to store toiletries.
If we have a criticism, it’s that the loo seat is rather hemmed in on one side by the sink, even with a swivelling seat. It’s a sign that although the room runs the full width of the van the space isn’t very deep. Otherwise the Bailey’s washroom offers all the comfort you’d expect to find in an upmarket touring caravan.
If a fixed bed van doesn’t offer a comfortable night’s rest, something has gone seriously wrong somewhere. The Barcelona’s double bed is a respectable 188cm long and 130cm wide. As is usual in this style of tourer, one corner of the bed has been cut away to give space to walk through to the bathroom, but sleepers of most shapes and sizes should be comfortable. However, very tall people will find their feet sticking out beyond the end of the mattress.
There’s a padded headboard, small bedside tables and spotlights overhead for night-time reading. A sliding partition divides the bedroom from the front of the van.
The lounge can serve as a second bedroom with two singles, or you can convert it to a double.
You’ll find aircraft-style overhead lockers with robust metal handles throughout much of the van, supplemented by the three drawers of the front chest and some open shelving at the front of the lounge. The bedroom wardrobe is a generous size and as you’d expect, there’s lots of room under the fixed bed, which can be accessed from inside or outside the caravan. The mattress lifts up on self-supporting struts. This is where the dining table is stored. We found this a little awkward, since it means making a mess of the bed whenever you want to get the table in or out. The wet locker is under the fixed bed, and there’s additional external storage either side of the front of the van instead of a traditional front locker.
|Shipping Length||7.89 m|