MILLBROOK PROVING GROUND once again put Bailey’s Approach Autograph through rigorous testing.


Last month, Bailey of Bristol took the new Approach Autograph for a gruelling simulated six year structural durability test, a regular product quality check used on both caravans and motorhomes.


The Approach Autograph completed the tests and also achieved a Grade ||| standard in the standard automotive thermal insulation classification test at Truma UK’s testing centre.


Why the Approach Autograph?

This new ‘van has many structural changes from previous models; with new front and rear bodyshell profiles, new cab interfaces and an additional large opening skylight on the front dome.


They also used this opportunity to test the new standard-fit Michelin tyres, to make sure they could provide quality endurance.


What did the testing involve?

The track at Millbrook is designed to test all sorts of everyday hazards and potentially damaging situations.


The Millbrook tests include the following areas: pave, curb strike, pot holes, the high speed circuit, driveway ramps, twist humps and the hill route.


It took over three weeks to complete the testing, with more than 1000 miles driven across the different areas, simulating six years of normal use.


Recording of results:

At regular intervals throughout testing, all the different areas of the design were evaluated to ensure structural stability and endurance. They also continue this testing even once the product has gone to market to ensure constant high standards.


Testing at Truma UK

The Bailey Approach Autograph was also take to the Truma UK centre where they have a temperature controlled chamber where the all-season status of the vehicle was tested.


The testing here was the standard automotive thermal insulation classification test (EN1646-|), looking at the thermal performance and efficiency in temperatures as low as -15 degrees centigrade.


The Autograph achieved the Grade ||| classification, with all other Alu-Tech vehicles achieve. Therefore the thermal insulation of the bodyshell combined with the new Alde heating system performed well in these challenging conditions.


Alu-Tech construction

Much of the success in these tests can be put down to the improved Alu-Tech construction which aims to keep the motorhome waterproof and structurally sound. 


They start with an aluminium framework which cuts the external joints and fixing points by 90%, cutting the number of access points where water ingress may occur, and the timber-free shell panels mean that if ingress does occur, the possible damage is limited.


All panels are fully laminated with a GRP outer skin which enhances the rigidity, durability and stability of the entire structure.


Bailey’s Regular Testing


Since 2008 when Alu-Tech construction was first developed at Millbrook, Bailey has taken its caravans and motorhomes back to the testing site to continue to do accellerated life, thermal chamber and crash simulation tests.

They also carry out in-house testing and collect feedback from the 25,000+ owners of Alu-Tech leisure vehicles.


These constant quality checks mean that Bailey’s range development year on year is based on real-life testing as well as customer feedback.


Jeremiah introduces the new Bailey range for the 2014 season which was announced in Bristol on July 18th, and a second new range, the Approach Compacts, will be showcased at the October NEC Motorhome and Caravan show.