Rory White

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Aggressive pricing and generous equipment levels are the main weapons Bailey has given its new Pageant, but will they be sufficient to draw still more buyers in for the marque?

Pitching and setting up

Once you've used a buttonless handbrake you won't want any other kind. And on the Pageant, you won't have to, as you get one fitted as standard, along with Al-Ko's stabilser control to help keep the van steady on the road.

Once you arrive, you'll appreciate the fact that Bailey has made the front locker bigger, although the door could do with opening a bit higher.

Lounge

The teak-effect wood might not suit all tastes, but the clean lines of the overhead lockers, with their concealed handles, lend the interior a smart, contemporary air, even if the cabinets' catches don't look especially durable.

Bailey's caravans normally excel when it comes to lighting, yet this one looks like it could do with one or two more spots to complement the main light and under-locker strip lighting.

Still, the seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. The model we tested was fitted with the optional 'Savoy' upholstery rather than the standard 'Hilton' pattern, and the former comes with a deep-pile carpet, which is suitably luxurious. Bolsters and scatter cushions complete the opulent look.

The centre chest has a sturdy pull-out table and there are plenty of places to store your belongings, even though there's nothing much in the way of open shelving.

Kitchen

Cooks will be pleased to learn that there's been no scrimping in the design of the long, nearside kitchen. There are loads of storage options and the cutlery drawer is one of the few we've seen that can cope with potato mashers, bread knives and other larger utensils.

It's always nice to have a microwave oven even if this one is set rather high, which won't impress shorter cooks. One other niggle; the kitchen mains socket faces the lounge and the lead from a plugged-in kettle would be at the perfect height for kids to play with.

Washroom

'Palatial' is a word rarely used to describe washrooms in caravans, but it's appropriate here. It's ideal for getting kids ready because there's so much space. The separate walk-in shower cubicle is a particular draw, and the side-facing vanity unit is also a success. Then there's the huge wardrobe that occupies the nearside corner of the washroom. It's very flexible, with shelves for jumpers and other folded clothing, plus space at the bottom for wellies etc.

The only real drawback is that a clear window, above the toilet, is fitted as standard. It makes everything a little bit public, although a clouded window is available as an option.

Beds

Making up the beds is a pretty standard operation, and the double bed in the front lounge is impressively flat. Those seat cushions help ensure that the mattress will be comfortable and supportive.

The side bunks are easy to assemble, too. As is common with side bunks, the mattress cushions are a sloppy fit but the overall impression is positive. The lack of halogen spotlights over the bunks is a shame, but there's a reason for this. Normal caravan spotlights get very hot, so the LED lighting makes sense here. It stays cooler, which makes it fine for lighting up the top bunk. The bottom bunk, though, is very dark.

The front double is comfortable, but if you're in bed and want to read a book, you'll have to lie on the side of the bed next to the kitchen because this is the only place with an adjustable spotlight. There’s no spot lamp on the other side of the bed. There is one at the foot of the bed, but that is no good for night-time reading. Some, though, will find the LED strip lights will be bright enough to read by.

Storage

Apart from that swish washroom, it's the plentiful storage that is sure to turn buyers' heads in the Pageant's direction. It's not just in the overhead lockers but also in the kitchen, washroom, and under the beds.

A little more external access might improve things still further, but that's a minor criticism in this context.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1207kg
Payload203kg
MTPLM1410kg
Interior length5.44m
Shipping length7.03m
Width2.29m
Height2.5m
Awning size991cm

Verdict

Some of the improvements over the Series 6 have really hit the spot, most notably the uprated specification and top-grade washroom. We think the lighting could have been better designed, but the fact that Bailey has covered all the important bases without letting the asking price get out of control makes the Pageant a serious contender in this market.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Terrific, spacious washroom with a large shower
  • Great storage provision
  • Double bed is sizeable and easy to make up
  • ATC system is a good addition.

Cons

  • Main dining table is heavy and difficult to clean
  • Tiny hands could easily find their way to the mains sockets
  • Rather short on lights, particularly at the front.
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