When Bailey entered the motorhome market in 2011 with its Approach SE coachbuilt, we were confident it would be successful. What we weren’t prepared for was how significant that success would be. Bailey’s ’vans shook up the established order by entering at a unique price point – somewhere between rivals’ mid-range and entry-level offerings – and offering a spec level more associated with pricier models. The company also hit upon the ingenious tactic of using Al-Ko chassis and extra-wide habitation bodies to differentiate its products.

For 2014, Bailey has introduced two all-new motorhome ranges to replace the Approach SE: Approach Autograph and Approach Compact. By replacing the SEs all at once with a two-tier product stable, Bailey is signalling that it’s in the motorhome game for the long run, and expects to do well without the help of novelty value.  

The Approach Autographs were launched a couple of months ahead of the Compacts, and they’re the like-for-like replacement for the SEs. Most of the models in the range have the same layouts as outgoing SEs, but with a higher equipment level that includes Alde wet heating, as well as new chassis and habitation designs that allow for double floor sections. There are also a couple of all-new layouts. The most exciting is this, the six-berth rear lounge 765: the UK’s first drop-down-bed low-profile. 

Bürstner was the first company to fit drop-down beds in a low-profile back in 2008, and since then the design has spread to most other Continental manufacturers. So far, UK manufacturers have eschewed them, despite the fact that they have almost totally displaced overcab coachbuilts in Continental motorhome ranges. Bailey’s bold move to introduce them here will further differentiate the Bristol-based brand from its competitors. But is its debut drop-down-bed model any good? Read on to find out.