Andy Jenkinson

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Bailey is clearly focusing on first-time buyers with its distinctive-looking, lightweight Discovery range. Andrew Jenkinson checks out a compact two-berth.

Overview

Bailey has been very busy of late, with plenty of new models launched from its base in Bristol. Its surprise offering in July was its new lightweight range, using an old name.

In fact, since the Alu-Tech days, no old names have been used (except on a Phoenix dealer special). So the new entry-level range, Discovery, revives a name first used in 1992, then again in 1995. It was the later Discovery models (based on Rangers) that were more successful.

So will the new Discovery prove a sales success? With just three models in its line-up at present, that does limit sales, but they do include a fixed-bed model, the D4-4, which we feel could be the bestseller of the three.

Pitching and setting up

Alu-Tech construction does limit the tourer profile, so Bailey has clearly worked hard to produce a simple yet distinctive profile. The curved front has a single portrait-style window, while the long Al-Ko drawbar has no fairing, but there is room for an optional Thule bike rack.

The GRP sides are finished in grey with smart decals and, as in all Bailey models, there is no front gas locker, so a side locker is provided for storing other items.

The gas locker is placed in the offside, a feature of Bailey models since the Orion in 2011. Perhaps the Discovery could be classed as the Orion's modern equivalent?

The rear has 1950s retro-style radius corners, which Bailey says should help air flow. AKS hitch and Status TV aerial are fitted and Bailey has designed an awning that stretches right around the rear of the D4-2. However, owners might find that site pitches restrict use of this large awning.

Setting up the D4-2 should be simple, with easy-access corner steadies, and its light weight means it ought to be easy to manoeuvre, too.

Overall, the Discovery is quirkily different - although that might deter some buyers.

Lounge

The D4-2 provides a fairly simplistic interior, as the price and weight suggest.

The layout is traditional, with a front lounge, side kitchen and dresser opposite, plus end washroom; although the wardrobe is separate, so the washroom is positioned further into the corner.

In the lounge, the front window is reasonable; but we think Bailey would have fared better with a conventional landscape panoramic design, so you wouldn't have to crane your neck to see out, and it would let in more daylight.

The seating is supportive and smartly finished in grey, with yellow scatter cushions and piping that make it look very contemporary.

LED corner spots add light in the lounge, while plain overhead lockers are used for storage. No curtains are fitted, but some mock ones would have given a more finished look.

The interior is quite basic, but finish on the prototype D4-2 is generally very good and its compact size will be ideal for couples on tour.

Truma's Combi heater has several blown-air outlets, which will keep the D4-2 very cosy, even on chillier days.

Kitchen

The small L-shaped kitchen works well in the Discovery. It has a window and twin LED downlighters, plus overhead lockers with integrated lighting. You also get an oven with a three-burner hob.

The work surface here might be a tad restricted for some, but a fold-up extension helps out. The stainless-steel sink has a clip-on drainer, while opposite, the dresser unit offers more worktop, plus a 103-litre Dometic fridge.

There are mains and 12V sockets here, along with the control panel for the electrics. The control for the Truma heating is next to twin mains sockets in the kitchen itself.

No microwave is fitted, but that's to be expected, and this adds to the overhead storage capacity. However, cupboard storage is limited, because of the side gas locker.

In general, this is a practical kitchen, so works quite well.

Washroom

The small corner washroom has a Thetford electric-flush toilet and a shower, but there's no window here and you only get a shower curtain.

Showering could prove a bit of a squeeze for some users, but for those of you who mainly use the site facilities, the washroom should be fine.

Beds

The seating in the Discovery is quite good; it's supportive and comfortable, too. We liked the colour scheme, but we thought some matching mock curtains would have made the interior look more finished.

The settees provide two 6ft 7in single beds, or convert easily into a double, using slats.

Storage

For two people touring, storage is ample, but it does rely mainly on overhead lockers. Cupboard space is in shorter supply. The washroom has no storage at all, while the wardrobe offers some hanging space and a cupboard below. The freestanding table clips into a storage section on the edge of the side dresser.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO884kg
MTPLM995kg
Interior length3.86m
Shipping length5.61m
Width2.23m

Verdict

If you're looking for a compact, lightweight, reasonably priced tourer, the Discovery might be the one for you. The front window is a bit small and the rear corners make it look a little boxy. We do like the idea of bringing caravan ownership to more buyers, though.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Relatively cheap
  • Good seating

Cons

  • Small window
  • Awning could be too big for some

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