Alastair ClementsSee other motorhome reviews written by Alastair Clements
Bailey has added just one new layout to its Approach Autograph range for 2015 – our expert tests the 730, a four-berth motorhome with a fixed island bed
Since it introduced its first motorhome in 2011, development at motorhome and caravan-maker Bailey’s Bristol manufacturing base has been frenetic. Two years ago came the Approach Autograph range, along with the more car-park-friendly Compact, and this year the firm launched the entry-level Approach Advance range.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that changes to the top-spec Autograph for 2015 have been minimal. There’s a switch to the new Peugeot cab, and the arrival of a new layout, the four-berth Bailey Approach Autograph 730.
At the time of its launch and our test, the Approach Autograph 730 starts at £46,965 on the road, and our test vehicle cost £47,373.
Boxy it may be, but it’s kept low by the lack of an overcab and the use of Al-Ko’s ultra-low-profile AMC chassis. It’s a shame the toilet cassette has to be emptied from the awning side – not ideal if you have a table and chairs set up outside.
On the road
Like all Autographs, the 730 uses the smaller 130bhp 2.2-litre HDi turbodiesel. That’s not a lot of power for a ’van of this size, but if you stir the six-speed manual gearbox it rows along perfectly happily. The 2015 cab is a big improvement in terms of fit and finish, and features a DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity.
It’s also good to see such a huge motorhome sneaking under the 3500kg limit for B licence holders, but with its 25ft length we’d have liked to see a rear-view camera (it is pre-wired should you choose to fit one). At least there’s a rear window to make reversing easier.
Lounging & dining
It works well, too. The lounge feels huge thanks to the Autograph’s 2.4m (7ft 11in) width, and to our eyes the optional (£199) ‘Piccadilly’ upholstery works better in a larger ’van. We’re less keen on the flimsy table, though, which is stored under the rear bed.
The microwave is concealed in a cupboard, though we’d rather it wasn’t directly over the four-burner dual-fuel hob, which tops the separate oven and grill.
and a radiator in here.
Bailey has even added a couple of underfloor lockers for valuables – very handy.
|Layout||Transverse rear island bed|
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 100L|
|Leisure battery||110 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||10kg|
|Number of gas bottles||2|
Dometic Fridge, 4-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Thetford C-250 toilet
Like its Autograph siblings, the Bailey Approach Autograph 730 offers an exhaustive specification list for a hyper-competitive price tag. It’s also vastly spacious, with a huge ‘spare’ bed, so the lack of additional belted travel seats is frustrating.
- It's ideal for couples
- Luxurious bedroom area
- External access to underbed storage area
- Front double bed is 2.23m (7'4
- Plenty of light
- Alde wet central heating
- Good storage
- No reversing camera
- Fixed bed is only 1.77m (5'10
- Only two travel seats with seatbelts in this four-berth