BAILEY HAS LAUNCHED THE UK’S FIRST drop-down bed low-profile motorhome, the six-berth Peugeot Boxer-based Approach Autograph 765.
Continental manufacturers have been building drop-down bed low-profiles since 2008, when Burstner launched its pioneering Quadro range. Today nearly every Continental manufacturer retails a range of such ’vans, and these have eaten into sales of traditional overcab coachbuilts. However, UK manufacturers have been slow to embrace the new design.
That changes today, with the Autograph 765, part of Bristol-based motorhome manufacturer Bailey’s newly-launched Approach Autograph range. It features a rear U-shaped lounge and a front dinette lounge, both of which make up into double beds. Together with the electric drop-down bed over the front lounge, this gives the 765 six berths for adults, as well as six belted travelling seats.
BAILEY ALSO SCORES A EUROPEAN FIRST
Bailey hasn’t simply aped the design of Continental models, though – the 765’s drop-down bed is mounted longitudinally rather than transversely, which makes it a European first. The design retains corridor space alongside the drop-down bed, meaning that unlike with Continental drop-down bed ’vans you can move through to the cab even when the bed’s set up, and the habitation door, kitchen and washroom remain fully useable at all times.
DROP-DOWN BED IS A GOOD SIZE
Despite being longitudinally mounted, the 765’s drop-down bed is sizeable. At 1.23m x 1.84m, it will house most adults comfortably. Bailey has achieved this thanks to the extra-wide habitation bodies that it fits to Approach Autographs. At 2.42 metres, they’re as wide as Peugeot will permit.
Thanks to Al-Ko AMC super-low chassis, as well as redesigned habitation bodies, the Approach Autographs are 7cm lower and 12cm taller than the models they replace, and as a result there’s lots of headroom throughout the 765, even under the drop-down bed.
GOOD VALUE FOR SUCH A HIGH-SPEC MOTORHOME
The 765 will retail for £47,450 on the road – a premium of just £2000 over Bailey’s previous six-berth, the much more traditional overcab coachbuilt Approach SE 760, which has been discontinued. Considering the spec level, which includes Alde wet heating and double floor sections, the 765’s pricing is very keen – you won’t find a drop-down bed ’van with as good a spec for this kind of money anywhere else.
NEW COMPACT MOTORHOME TO BE LAUNCHED THIS AUTUMN
Later this year, Bailey plans to launch what will be the UK’s second home-grown drop-down bed low-profile. Called the Approach Compact 540, it will be part of an all-new Compact range that is scheduled to debut at The Motorhome & Caravan Show from 15-20 October 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham. It will be a sub-six-metre two-berth with a narrower 2.1-metre wide body and a rear kitchen layout, and will be fitted with a more conventional transverse drop-down bed.
Tests Editor, Practical Motorhome magazine
Reporting from Bailey’s 2014-season motorhome launch in Bristol
18 July, 2013