Peter BaberSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Peter Baber
Bailey has been on something of a roll these past few months - not that you'd have noticed if your interest is strictly to do with motorhomes.
Nonetheless, your caravanning friends might have told you that in the past six months, the Bristol-based manufacturer has launched not one, but two, completely new ranges - both highly innovative - and impressed our judges in the Tourer of the Year Awards in much the same way that the Bailey Advance impressed in the Motorhome of the Year Awards.
However, Bailey, it seems, is not even content with that, because now comes more interest on the motorhome front - a new range, in fact, to sit between the Advance and the Autograph.
So for the first time since it began motorhome manufacturing in 2011, the company is offering three different ranges in its line-up.
The new Bailey Alliance, as the range is known, borrows bits from both its cheaper and its more expensive sister ranges (the bigger 160bhp engine being a fine example of what it shares with the Autograph).
Eventually, it is planned for there to be seven models in the range, although only five made their debut at the NEC in October.
These include the 66-2, a two-berth with parallel sofas similar in layout to the Advance 66-2 (our 2019 Motorhome of the Year); the 76-2 and 76-2T, end-washroom, two-berths with, respectively, a French bed and two single beds; the 76-4T, like the 76-2T but with an extra double in the front dinette; and the 70-6, a six-berth with rear lounge and a drop-down bed over a Pullman-style dinette with four full travel seats. The four-berth equivalent of the 76-2, the 76-4, and a shorter end-kitchen two-berth, the 59-2, should follow early next year.
In terms of spec, while all Alliances come with a 160bhp engine, like the Autograph, it's probably easier to say what they have fitted as standard in addition to the Advance range, to see where the extra money is going.
Outside, this includes a graphite cab, a roll-out awning, a 110W solar panel on the roof, and a Status TV aerial. The habitation door is superior to the Advance's, with a window, a blind and a bin with an integrated dustpan - the door also opens on gas struts.
In the cab you get sat nav; although a rear-view camera is a cost option, at least the pre-wiring for it is standard.
Inside the 'van itself, meanwhile, there is an illuminated surround to the sunroof, USB sockets in some spotlights (which are also directional and dimmable), a superior 35oz-pile Pebble Shore carpet, and, of course, distinctive soft furnishings.
Portland - a bright purple/magenta check scheme with four scatter cushions - is the standard offering, with Wandsworth as a cost option.
Kitchen worktops are also now a Natural Slate laminate finish. The kitchens, however, are much the same as you would find in the Advance: still a three-burner gas-only hob, and a Thetford Triplex combination oven.
But a new launch is always a time for innovation, so we were pleased to see a new wet locker included, with cassette toilet access on some end-washroom models. Such a totally enclosed wet space - which seems much more practical than wet lockers we have seen elsewhere - has been included on some Bailey caravans, but this is its first time in a motorhome.
We also liked seeing the travel seat backrests split in two vertically. This makes them much easier to pull out from behind the seatbelts when you are making up the bed.
And if you are ever stuck for a place to store those small infill cushions, Bailey has cleverly provided a space for them - behind the base cushions on these seats.
Ahead of the launch at the NEC, we were given access to three of these new models. Keep an eye out for the reviews coming soon!