JUST TWO YEARS in the motorhome market has seen respected caravan maker Bailey produce more than 1000 of its Approach SE range of overcab and low-profile coachbuilts.
High levels of upmarket kit and equally upmarket construction methods are just two of the reasons for Approach SE’s success. But great value for money is a factor, too: very keen pricing pitched Approach SE halfway between rivals’ entry level and mid-range offerings.
Bailey acts on customer feedback
As a range, Approach SE wasn’t perfect. Criticisms have highlighted some models being a tad too wide, while interiors have been less upmarket than the kit levels and methods of construction might suggest. Styling has also attracted a brickbat or two for its rather plain and boxy exterior.
The refreshing news is that Bailey actually listens to the concerns of owners, the press and dealers – all the while using the product: the big bosses at Bailey regularly take extended holidays in their motorhomes, complete with their families.
Kit upgrades and improvements
Enter Approach for 2014 – the range loses its SE suffix, gaining the moniker ‘Autograph’ in its place. Approach Autograph incorporates many changes that represent a well-considered evolution. The exterior styling is now much improved, with a rounded rump and a new overcab with sides that curve inwards subtly.
The overcab is adorned with a large sunroof, too. ‘Graphite’ black cab and graphics, and ‘Polar white’ body join in to help create a cleaner, more modern look, where once it was all rather staid and square in magnolia and grey. Also, a compact model is to come; it will be slimmed down, making it far more country lane-friendly.
Improvements across the board
Underneath, the Al-Ko chassis is now the Ultra Low version, which helps give lowest low-profile status. Inside improvements include a new curvy kitchen and duo-tone furniture, while details such as an underfloor battery compartment and a fully-insulated fresh water tank impress. The other big news inside is the introduction of Alde’s Hydronic boiler, which feeds a wet-radiator heating system.
Approach Autograph offers five models as before, but loses two of the old designs – initially gaining two more in the process. The compact front-lounge 620 and the only overcab, the family-sized 760, are gone – replaced by Autograph 750 and 765. The 750 offers the Continental arrangement of twin-single beds above a large rear garage.
2014 Bailey Approach Autograph range
Price: £44,460. Berths: 2. MTPLM: 3500kg. Body length: 6.64m. Re-sized for 2014, the 625 features a UK-friendly wraparound rear lounge, that’s ideal for the adventurous and economical couple.
Price: £45,960. Berths: 2. MTPLM: 3500kg. Body length: 7.45m. The classic French-bed motorhome for two. With a large twin-sofa lounge, capable kitchen, generous double bed and spacious washroom, the 740 was a best-seller in its original Approach SE format.
Price: £46,960. Berths: 4. MTPLM: 3500kg. Body length: 7.45m. The French-bed four-berth, much like the 740, only with a pair of rear travel seats, a second double bed and generous dining facilities. Also works as a luxury two-berth.
Price: £46,950. Berths: 4. MTPLM: 3850kg. Body length: 7.45m. This brand new four-berth layout provides twin-single beds above a large rear garage. It offers convenient sleeping and plenty of space to stow all your bulky holiday kit.
Price: £47,450. Berths: 6. MTPLM: 3850kg. Body length: 7.45m. The Autograph 765 is a six berth low-profile, with a unique longitudinal drop-down bed above its dinette. A great motorhome for families and friends alike.