Sarah Wakely

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Check out the all-new, six-strong Advance line-up, with straightforward pricing and a revamped look, as the latest range of Bailey motorhomes is revealed

Bailey’s Advance – one of two coachbuilt-motorhome ranges in its stable – was launched in 2015.

Over the years it’s been tweaked and improved, but recently it has started to look and feel a bit dated, particularly in comparison with its more luxurious sister line-up, the Autograph.

So a refresh for the range this year felt appropriate and we were among the first to see the new models – so new, in fact, not all of the ’vans had been finished – at the company’s factory before their public reveal at this week’s NEC Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show.

Six new Bailey motorhomes

The new Advance range of Bailey motorhomes features six models – up from the previous four – with a variety of layouts to choose from.

What’s key to the range is that it features ‘modular’ sections to cut costs.

This means buyers can easily opt for additional belted seats over facing sofas if that better suits their needs (depending on the model).

What’s more, the new Advance feels much classier than the old version.

Borrowing the Unicorn magic

Bailey is known for its touring caravans, and the second-generation Advance borrows heavily from its flagship caravan range, the Unicorn.

The body is the same 7ft 6in width, and uses the same new graphics, rear bumpers and flush-fitting new windows for the Alu-Tech-constructed habitation area.

It looks a generation more modern than the old Advance, and brings the entry-level motorhome range much more in line with the Autograph.

It’s two inches wider than the old Advance, too – and that difference is really noticeable inside.

Ultra-low profile

Like the previous range, it sits on an Al-Ko ultra-low-profile AMC chassis, but key differences betweeen it and the flagship Autograph on the outside include the lack of alloy wheels and, under the bonnet, the 130bhp version of the Peugeot Boxer’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel, rather than the 160.

It’s fair to say the interior of the old Advance was a bit controversial – the black and red fabrics divided opinion and added to a rather austere feel that wasn’t helped by the spartan spec.

But for the new version, there’s a much more attractive oatmeal, matched in the cab seats by a pale suede effect.

The woodwork and lockers throughout match those of the Unicorn, too, with gloss white and darker ‘Eucalyptus’.

All feel bright and spacious inside, helped in part by the inclusion of a new, larger overcab rooflight.

In addition, despite this being Bailey’s entry-level range, the cab boasts air-con, a DAB radio, twin airbags and concertina blinds all round.

Everything is included

So high is the specification for these models, no options packs are available – all kit is now fitted as standard.

All six models have an MTPLM of 3500kg, but there are some impressive payloads, nevertheless – the two-berth 66-2, for example, boasts a whopping 800kg payload, a huge amount for a couple on tour.

The first-generation Advance has been something of a slow seller for Bailey, a company best known for offering plenty of luxury features for a surprisingly low price.

This new version does cost more – from £45,500 to £47,500 – but you can see and feel the extra cash throughout, in a ’van that feels as if it wants for nothing in terms of style and spec.

New Bailey Advance at a glance

  • Peugeot Boxer Euro 6 base vehicle with three-year/100,000-mile warranty
  • 2.0-litre Blue HDi 130bhp engine
  • Six-speed manual gearbox
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Alu-Tech bodyshell habitation area
  • Opening Skyview rooflight over the cab
  • Updated upholstery design
  • Updated locker design
  • 80Ah leisure battery
  • Truma Combi 4E heating
  • 95-litre fresh-water tank
  • One option available (bespoke bedding set)
  • Six-year bodyshell-integrity warranty

Bailey Advance 66-2

  • Price: £45,500
  • Berths: 2
  • Belted seats: 2
  • Length: 6.6m/21”7’
  • Payload: 800kg

The Bailey Advance 66-2 that we saw in Bristol was so new, the overcab area hadn’t even been finished, but we were very impressed with what we saw.

Ideal for couples who don’t mind making up a lounge bed each night, this two-berth takes its layout from the previous 635 model.

It features twin facing sofas up front, which pull together to become a good-sized double – they’re also long enough to be used as single beds.

A washroom stretches right across the back – it’s large enough for you to get dressed in – and there’s a separate shower cubicle here.

The kitchen, meanwhile, sits in the offside centre of the ’van.

Bailey Advance 74-2

  • Price: £46,000
  • Berths: 4
  • Belted seats: 2
  • Length: 7.4m/24”3’
  • Payload: 695kg

The 74-2 is the first island-bed model in the Bailey Advance range.

In this case, it’s a transverse bed, allowing both occupants plenty of space to walk around on either side.

Further forward in this ’van you’ll find a nearside-centre kitchen with the washroom more or less opposite.

This arrangement does result in a bit of a pinch point, particularly because the washroom door opens outwards, towards the kitchen.

Up front you will find a pair of facing sofas, which form a very comfortable lounge.

Bear in mind that this means there are only two belted seats, so if you want more, consider the 74-4.

Bailey Advance 76-4

  • Price: £47,500
  • Berths: 4
  • Belted seats: 4
  • Length: 7.6m/24”9’
  • Payload: 655kg

Like the spaciousness of a caravan-style layout? This might be the model for you.

This interior feels very much like the touring caravans on which Bailey built its reputation.

There’s a roomy and bright lounge up front, with a French bed further back.

What makes this a luxurious layout for two, though, is the washroom stretching across the back of the motorhome.

It has a separate shower cubicle and is plenty big enough to allow you to get dressed in.

The old French-bed model – the 640 – had a corner washroom, but this layout is a vast improvement.

The 76-2 is similar, but with fewer belted seats up front.

Bailey Advance 70-6

  • Price: £47,500
  • Berths: 6
  • Belted seats: 6
  • Length: 7.0m/22”9’
  • Payload: 610kg

If you’re a family of six, take a look at the six-berth Advance 70-6, which replaces – and is shorter than – the 665.

Featuring a rear lounge with facing sofas, with a dinette and kitchen up front, it also has a drop-down bed over the lounge, making this a great model for multiple occupants.

The central offside washroom is opposite a good-size wardrobe.

Bailey Advance 74-4

  • Price: £47,000
  • Berths: 4
  • Belted seats: 4
  • Length: 7.4m/24”3’
  • Payload: 650kg

The 74-4 is identical to the 74-2, with one difference.

It has a half-dinette up front, rather than twin sofas, which gives you an extra pair of belted seats.

At the rear you’ll find the master bedroom with its transverse island bed, with an offside washroom and nearside kitchen in the centre of the ’van.

Bailey Advance 76-2

  • Price: £46,500
  • Berths: 4
  • Belted seats: 2
  • Length: 7.6m/24”9’
  • Payload: 700kg

Like the new 76-4, the 76-2 has a French bed, with a full-width washroom at the rear.

However, due to having twin sofas in the lounge, there are two fewer belted seats.

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