Niall HamptonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Niall Hampton
With the passing of summer, while some are packing up their ’van for the winter, others are preparing for some low-season adventures!
Earlier this year, our Niall travelled to Finland with Bailey as the manufacturer subjected its motorhomes to a real-life, extreme-weather test.
So, how were the ’vans prepared for this trip? How far from standard were they? Read on!
How did they do it?
The Bailey Autograph 75-2 driven to Finland and back was a standard production version – the only modifications were the addition of Gaslow’s refillable gas bottle system and the fitting of winter tyres.
Heating came courtesy of a dual-fuel Alde system (used on electricity only in Finland where there was no way of refilling the gas), while the insulation did a fine job of retaining warmth.
And despite sub-zero overnight temperatures, the AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid didn’t freeze.
The science bit
Leisure vehicle manufacturers like to talk about bodyshell integrity and insulation qualities. Although not the most glamorous aspects you’ll find in the sales brochure, they’re still very important.
Bailey initiated the current wave of branded bodyshell construction methods with the introduction of Alu-Tech in its touring caravans in 2010.
Comprising sandwich panels held together in an interlocking aluminium framework, with no external fixing points, Alu-Tech has featured in the company’s motorhomes right from the start, in 2011.
Based on the results of accelerated life testing of its leisure vehicles, at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, Bailey offers a six-year body integrity warranty as standard.
But how about putting Alu-Tech through a real-life test way beyond the demands of most users?
How the Arctic Adventure came about
It just so happens that Millbrook owns Ivalo Test World in northern Finland, so surely a 4830-mile trip between the two would be an ideal way to assess the endurance of the vehicles.
From this seed of an idea, a mighty acorn grew.
“Our Arctic Adventure has shown that modern caravans and motorhomes are tough vehicles,” said Bailey’s marketing director, Simon Howard.
“The insulation and heating systems mean you really can go where you want at any time of year.
“We do cold chamber testing to make sure our new products meet with the standards, but nothing beats doing it in the metal.”
Watch our video and see it for yourself!
A few essential details on the Bailey Autograph 75-2 we took to the Arctic:
- Price: £53,299 OTR
- Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer
- Berths: 4
- Belts: 2
- Length: 7.51m
- MTPLM: 3500kg
- Payload: 315kg