BAILEY’S BACKGROUND IN caravan construction – it only began motorhome production in 2011, after more than 60 years of caravan building – originally had a big influence on its motorhomes: early models featured caravan-style layouts and traditional furnishings.
Since then, Bailey has explored new floorpans and styles, but never has the boundary been pushed as far as it is with this range, the new Adamo.
This three-model lineup features a trio of European-style layouts, all the while retaining the features that have proved popular with UK buyers.
Adamo – which is Latin for ‘to fall in love with’ – models are all less than 7.5m long and have an MTPLM of 3500kg. Garages and drop-down beds feature heavily. All models are crash-tested, and – surprisingly – all three are based on the Ford Transit, a departure from Bailey’s usual Peugeot base.
The 75-4L has an island bed and a second, drop-down bed, while the 75-4DL has four berths as standard, but can be specified with an extraordinary eight berths in four double beds.
For the Van Live! New ‘Van Launch, we took a close look at the Adamo four-berth 69-4, which features a drop-down bed over the lounge, and a transverse washroom in front of a large garage.
Exterior and cab
The Ford Transit base has a distinctive look; our testers felt the graphics work well, the silver/blue ‘swoops’ blending with the cab’s silver paintwork.
The garage is the most notable exterior feature: it’s double-doored, and the door on the offside is huge. Elsewhere, there’s a panoramic roof light, a locker for two 11kg gas bottles, fixing points for a rear cycle rack, and even a point where you can tether your dog.
Step inside and the Transit cab looks smart, although it might be a little dark-coloured for some tastes. The cab is well specified and features cruise control, air conditioning, driver and front-passenger airbags, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and more. There’s also a Dometic reversing camera: useful, because there’s no view rearwards otherwise.
Underneath the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre engine offering 160bhp – we didn’t get the chance for a test drive, but this is a powerful unit that should get you to your destination with no fuss. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Other features include ESP and ABS, and the Transit cab gets a three-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Lounging and dining
Facing-sofa lounges tend to be more comfortable for relaxing in than dinettes, but the latter are usually necessary if you want to have belted seats in the rear.
You can have the best of both worlds here, though: the area – called the ‘Flexi-lounge’ by Bailey – features two Aguti travel seats, which can be folded out from beneath the sofas when you’re about to hit the road.
Those sofas feel quite firm, but look smart: they’re finished in ‘Odyssey’ soft furnishings, and four scatter cushions add a pleasing accent.
Spotlights above the area – complete with USB sockets – help keep it bright during the evening, and the slide-out TV bracket, located beside the accommodation door, is well placed to allow all occupants to view it.
Both cab seats can swivel to join the facing sofas, so there’s masses of room for up to six people to relax in comfort.
The dining table in the centre should be big enough for all of the occupants to dine comfortably, too; it feels sturdy and looks good, with its smart ‘Nebula Silver’-finished top.
The cleverly designed table is on a telescopic leg and can be raised and lowered electrically – handy for finding the dining height that suits everyone in your party.
There’s a notable lack of lockers up above, because of the inclusion of the drop-down bed, so you’ll need to store your books and board games elsewhere. However, despite the bed up above, the headroom is good here.
‘Dove-Grey’ loose-fit drop-in carpets help keep your feet warm, too.
The Adamo 69-4’s kitchen is located in the centre of the vehicle, on the offside, and it’s an impressive size – there should be plenty of room here for a keen cook to whip up a tasty dish or two with ease.
The smart work surface is finished in ‘Nebula Silver’ laminate, and this extends to the handy worktop flap to the front of the galley, which helps extend the amount of room available. The window surround is finished in the same colour.
A Thetford K-Series combined oven, grill and hob with electronic ignition is fitted; the hob has an electric hotplate and three gas burners, as well as a glass cover – handy as additional preparation space.
Opposite the kitchen area is a tall, 142-litre Thetford combined tower fridge with freezer compartment; it’s a great size, and should be more than capable of swallowing the provisions for four, even on a longer tour. The ktichen’s stainless-steel sink is large and round; a Kitchen Pack, featuring accessories such as a chopping board, drainer and more, is a cost option.
Storage is good, with a drawer and a cutlery tray beneath the worktop, and cupboards below that. Lockers up above offer plenty more space.
There’s room for a microwave here, with a plug socket nearby; the Dometic microwave kit pack costs £170.
The 69-4 is a four-berth; two berths are available in the bed that drops down electrically over the lounge, with the other two made up from the lounge seats below.
The drop-down bed is a great size, and very comfortable; you can also leave plenty of headroom in the double bed below, as it can be positioned at one of three levels.
Lowering the bed is simple: the button is on a panel by the cab door. The table below needs to be lowered first, also at the touch of a button. The ladder for the upper bed is stored in the washroom, and a black-out curtain separates the cab at night.
Large transverse washrooms are something that Bailey has always done well, and so it is in the 69-4: its washroom is roomy and stretches right across the ‘van.
There’s plenty of space for a separate shower on the left-hand side as you walk in; it’s roomy, and has a pair of plugholes – handy for draining if the ‘van isn’t quite level. Up above is a small Heki rooflight for ventilation, and within that, a drop-down hanging rail, perfect for holding wet clothes or towels while they dry.
Opposite the shower cubicle is the Thetford swivel cassette toilet, and a smart, white, square handbasin with a chrome swan-neck tap.
Washroom storage is excellent: there’s a small shelved locker unit just below the handbasin, and a mirrored unit above. The latter opens up to reveal further useful shelving and a toothbrush beaker.
A pair of large mirrored doors along the rear wall open up to reveal the enormous over-garage storage area; there’s also a sliding door below, which allows you to reach kit in the garage.
Storage is one of the 69-4’s strongest suits – there’s masses of space to store your kit. The most notable area is, of course, that large garage, which features enough room for adult-sized bikes, and is heated and lit, too.
There’s a 230V and 12V power supply available in here, and floor-mounted lashing rings to help keep everything secure on the road.
You can reach into the garage from the washroom – handy for retrieving something when you’re pitched at night in the pouring rain.
Up above the garage, and accessed from inside, is a further deep-cupboard behind a pair of mirrored doors. This enormous area is shelved and has a hanging rail, so it’s perfect for storing lighter items such as clothing.
The payload of the 69-4 is 410kg; you’ll need to take a little care not to put too much kit in the rear storage areas when you’re on the road, though, to help spread the weight distribution around the vehicle.
Elsewhere, there’s plenty of space in the kitchen, and for lighter items, in the cubbyholes above the cab.
The specification of the Adamo is impressively high, given the price tag. The options kit list is short, with the vast majority of gadgets and features fitted as standard.
Among these items is a Truma 80W solar panel; a 110Ah leisure battery; a Thetford oven, grill and hob, the latter featuring both an electric hotplate and a trio of gas burners; a large, 142-litre fridge with freezer compartment; concertina blinds; Trim Combiner’s 4E space- and water heating; a reversing camera; a Status 550 telescopic directional digital TV aerial… the list goes on. A control panel sits close to the Dometic habitation door. The latter has a window, blind flyscreen and dustbin; there’s a large grab handle to help you in, too.
If you do decide to delve into the options list, it won’t take you long to read through. Among the options are the Can protection pack, which costs £230; a Kitchen Pack, from £36; and a Microwave kit pack for £170. A bespoke bedding pack is also available, to match the 69-4’s furnishings; it costs £229.99.
With the new Adamo range, Bailey has infused a healthy dose of European style and practicality into Brit-friendly layouts – and the result is extremely impressive. The Adamo 69-4 feels stylish and very spacious inside, and the specification level is high. The lounge is bright and airy, and the drop-down bed above doesn’t make the area feel claustrophobic.
We reckon that most 69-4 models will be bought by couples, but having the opportunity to make up an additional two travel seats in the lounge is a useful feature. The garage is also a winner, particularly as you can access it from the inside – ideal in bad weather.
We’re looking forward to testing the two other models in the range, but if the 69-4 is anything to go by, all three in this line-up deserve to be very popular.
Buy if… you love exploring the great outdoors all year round, and need a motorhome that has plenty of storage space for all your kit. Or if you’re looking for a vehicle for a longe tour south in the winter, with the comfort of a fixed bed.
- Spacious washroom has enough room to dress in, and there’s a wardrobe in here, too
- Enormous garage that’s perfect for storing bikes, wet clothes and other outdoor kit
- Drop-down bed is a great size and comfortable, and lowers quickly and easily
- Lots of neat touches, such as the dog-tethering point
- Lounge sofas are a touch firm
- You’ll need to take care not to overload the rear garage and wardrobe on the road
- Chassis Ford Transit
- Engine 2.0-litre, 160bhp Ford EcoBlue
- Power N/A Torque N/A
- Transmission Six-speed automatic
- Features include Metallic Silver cab with colour-coded bumpers, DRLs, cruise control, cab air con, driver and passenger airbags, heated wing mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, ESP, ABS, radio with Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls, swivelling cab seats with twin armrests, Dometic reversing camera
- High-performance GRP-skinned ‘Glacier White’ Flu-Tech body shell; double-glazed opening sky view window; pleated flatscreens and blinds; fixing points for rear-mounted cycle rack; external dog-tethering point; Dometic slimline flush-fit habitation door with window; garage with 230V and 12V power supply, plus heating outlet and lashing rings; six-year transfer able body shell integrity warranty
LOUNGING AND DINING
- Flexi-lounge with twin Aguti convertible travel seats; electric pedestal table with multidirectional swivel; ‘Odyssey’ soft furnishings and scatter cushions; ‘Dove Grey’ split-section drop-in carpets
- Thetford K-Series oven, grill and dual-fuel hob with electric hotplate and three gas burners; Thetford 142-litre tower fridge with freezer compartment; drop-down worktop extension
- Front double, 2.22 x 1.30m (7’3″ x 4’3″)
- Front drop-down double, 1.84 x 1.56m (6’0″ x 5’1″)
- Truma Combi 4E space- and water heating; 80W solar panel; 100-litre fresh-water tank; 100-litre waste-water tank; Whale water pump; ‘Fix and Go’ tyre repair kit; Status 550 directional TV aerial; flyscreen door; fixing point for cycle rack; four mains sockets
- Cab protection pack, £230; Kitchen pack, from £36; Microwave kit pack, £170
Bailey has infused a healthy dose of European style and practicality into Brit-friendly layouts