Alastair ClementsSee other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements
For flexible family touring, can the largest model in the new Pursuit range of Bailey caravans hit the spot? Let's step aboard this six-berth and find out
This caravan is an important arrival for Bailey, a manufacturer once known for its top-notch family caravans, but whose focus on multi-berth models has slipped in recent years.
Unlike the majority of Bailey caravans, the 570-6 has its washroom in the centre (on the offside) rather than to the rear. Facing it is the kitchen, with the lounge up front and a pair of bunk beds plus a dinette at the rear.
The message couldn’t be clearer: kids live at the back of the van, while the front is the place where mum and dad can relax.
The Pursuit utilises Bailey’s Alu-Tech construction system and looks familiar, albeit now in white rather than the grey of the first-generation model – it’s less distinctive, but likely to appeal to a wider audience.
The big news is that what you see is what you get: there’s no options pack to get a door flyscreen, stereo, microwave, alloys, spare wheel or hitch stabiliser. Even the front sunroof is fitted as standard.
Aside from the dealer delivery charge – in Bailey’s case a strong £565 – there’s nothing more to pay unless you want one of the few options, such as a wheel lock (£225), ATC (£425) or an iNet upgrade for the Truma Combi 4E heating system (£275).
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Pitching and setting up
And it’s easy to set up once you’re onto your pitch: the front steadies are accessed via sill cutouts, the rears a short way under the back panel, but with handy guides.
Frustratingly, both the battery box – and hence the hook-up – and the central gas locker are on the nearside, so could present a bit of a pain if you have an awning up, but the rest of the main services are on the offside.
And moving that gas locker to the middle frees up space for a pair of external lockers up front, plus you’ll also find a hatch to access a lined storage space beneath the rear bunks – a real plus on an entry-level model.
The large front shelf is an attractive feature, and the ideal place for a TV – with sockets in the nearside corner – because you can site it here without it obstructing the pull-out coffee table beneath.
You can’t recline while watching unless you’re on the shorter sofa that butts up to the wardrobe, but that’s a common failing with this layout.
There are end bolsters and a couple of scatter cushions, but the main improvement in comfort comes from higher seat backs than the old Pursuit.
The 570-6's lounge isn’t enormous, but should seat six at a squeeze on its uneven-length sofas – and of course if it’s getting crowded you can send the kids to the dinette at the rear of the van.
It’s a shame that there’s no TV point here, though, bearing in mind how much children enjoy their home entertainment – although there is at least a 230V socket and another pair of cushions.
It’s good to see the sink beside the door rather than the hob – reducing the risk of burns from kids running in – but the lift-up worktop flap does obscure the doorway. Not that you are likely to need it most of the time, such is the quantity of worktop available.
The kit count is high, too, with a standard microwave, two 230V sockets, a new square sink from Bailey’s motorhomes and a Thetford Triplex combined oven and grill, with a three-burner gas hob beneath a glass lid.
It’s good to see the microwave sited over the sink rather than the hob, and there’s a drop-in chopping board and clip-on drainer, too – though Bailey has had to make the latter rather small to fit in the narrow slot between the sink and the wall.
A small window and LED task lights provide illumination.
A clear window adds to the daylight – though we’d rather it was smoked for privacy – and the room feels generous for a caravan with this layout.
Beneath the central sink is a cabinet and shelves, with the electric-flush loo to the left along with a lone outlet for the blown-air heating.
For adults, the sofas are too small to be used as single beds, but the double is a huge 6ft 8in x 4ft 10in, albeit with a step in it. Unfortunately, there are only two reading lights, and both are at the front of the van.
It’s a shame the rear kids’ zone can’t be shut off from the rest of the tourer, but at least the centre washroom means you won’t disturb them with any night-time ablutions.
And those in the offside fixed bunks should be happy: they are large, at 5ft 10in x 2ft 3in, and each has a light and a window – the lower one bigger to keep things bright.
If you’ve more than two kids, or they bring friends on tour, the dinette can be turned into another couple of berths: the lower one by dropping the table, and the upper by folding out a bunk.
Usefully, no additional cushions are needed thanks to some clever design, though the mattresses are fairly thin.
There are four huge aircraft-style lockers – plus a small fifth at the front beneath the sunroof – and lots of room for bedding beneath the sofas, though there’s neither external access nor drop-down flaps for these areas.
There’s further storage beneath the rear dinette seats and the lower fixed bunk – which is also where you’ll find the spare wheel.
The central gas locker limits kitchen storage, though there is a cutlery drawer, three overhead lockers and a pan cupboard.
Including all the items that are usually optional on entry-level models makes for clearer pricing for this range of Bailey caravans, and that can only be a good thing for buyers on a budget.
Likewise, this layout adds the flexibility that families need, with accommodation for up to four kids and beds that should be large enough for teens.
It’s not the cheapest van with this layout, or the lightest, but the Bailey Pursuit 570-6 offers a tempting blend of space, towability and affordability.
- There are no hidden costs in the list price
- Kids and grown-ups get separate areas
- It has good kit levels for an entry-level model
- The kitchen layout could be improved
- There's no fabric screen to close off the rear bedroom
- Some rivals are cheaper