Are Bailey Caravans any good? (a story)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are Bailey Caravans any good? We will write a short review about the Bailey Caravans and we will decide together whether it is with our money. 

Are Bailey Caravans any good?

Bailey Caravans are good motorhomes that offer stability and ease of towing. Even with small external dimensions, there is quite a lot of space inside. Below you can read about the basic conditions while aboard a Bailey caravan:

  • Behaviour on the road: it offers you control and stability even when driving fast;
  • Sleeping conditions: lots of space and a  very comfortable bed even after years of use;
  • Kitchen: the kitchen faucet is inconvenient, control sensors are installed very close to the gas stove burner, and there is very little light in the kitchen. But despite these inconveniences, all the owners rated the kitchen as “good” or “excellent”;
  • Toilet, shower: All Bailey owners are satisfied with the quality of the washroom. Some have pointed out that the room in the toilet area doesn’t have a window. And also that the step made in the toilet reduces the ease of use;
  • Living quarters. Bailey owners noted the convenience of a table that folds out. The general assessment of the trailers is comfort and practicality, good ventilation and illumination. 
  • Service (equipment). The control panel is not very clear. Some rated the equipment as “excellent”, but one of the owners noted that the thermostat broke very soon, the other that the wastewater was discharged very far under the caravan.
  • Quality and reliability. 86.4% of Bailey owners would recommend this caravan to a friend. 

The history and evolution of Bailey caravans 

Bailey is a British motorhome manufacturer with a history of 70 years. The first Bailey-branded caravan, the Maestro, was created in 1947 by company founder Martin Bailey in the garage of his South Bristol home. 

Almost immediately after production, this trailer was sold for 333 pounds sterling – the amount that later became the start-up capital of the new company. A year later, in 1948, a company was registered under the name FG Bailey LTD, and the staff was replenished with mechanics and engineers.

After World War II, the demand for caravans grew rapidly and new models were added to the Bailey range on a quarterly basis. The Minor and Maritza caravans, and the Maison, an 18-foot (~ 5.5 m) mobile home designed as a quick fix for housing shortages, were undoubted hits. 

With the expansion of the model range, technologies have also developed that made it possible to increase the level of comfort in mobile homes. Towards the end of 1949, Bailey models began to feature compact cooking ranges, and the interior was becoming more thoughtful and practical.

By the mid-1950s, the company employed more than 40 people, assembling more than 100 mobile homes in a year. Demand continued to rise and Bailey relocated South Liberty Lane to expand production. All production and assembly facilities of Bailey are located there to this day.

Since 1960, buyers from other countries have become actively interested in Bailey caravans. In just five years, the company achieved a record for the British motorhome manufacturer – 60% of all Bailey RVs were exported to neighbouring European countries.

In 1977, Bailey was acquired by brothers Patrick and Stephen Howard, who remain the sole owners of Bailey today. At the time of the transaction, the Howards owned the British Caravan Company, as part of the expansion of which, the brothers bought Martin Bailey’s share in his business.

In the early 1980s, in order to expand production, Bailey bought out the territories adjacent to its assembly shops. This allowed the company to increase the number of models produced per year and use new technologies to create mobile homes. The focus was on sandwich panels used for the production of caravan hulls and the use of lighter composite materials for interior decoration.

In 1983, in honour of the 35th anniversary of the company, the legendary Bailey Pageant was released – the most successful caravan in the history of Bailey, which was produced with minor changes over the next 25 years.

Bailey engineers significantly changed the market in 1987, starting to install air heating systems and cassette dry closets in all their caravans. Today, these solutions are found in almost all modern caravans, but in the 80s of the last century, only luxury sets of mobile homes could boast of such equipment.

In 2004, in search of new solutions, Bailey approached its customers, studying for a long time their preferences and wishes for the equipment and technical characteristics of the caravans. The result of this step was the launch of the Pageant Series 5 line, in which models were designed based on customer needs. 

Naturally, caravans of this line fell in love with customers and became a bestseller, comparing favourably with competitors’ models. Over the next three years, Pageant Series 5 RVs held the leading position in sales in the UK and several EU countries.

Bailey took its next big step in 2012 with its first motorhome based on the Peugeot Boxer chassis. The model was named Approach SE, state-of-the-art equipment, 2.2L engine, six-year warranty and low cost. 

At the start of sales, Approach SE could be purchased for 36,000 pounds, which was on average 15% cheaper than comparable models from competitors. The success of the model was confirmed by high sales and first place in the prestigious 2012 Caravan Clubs Design and Drive competition.

2012 was a year for Bailey to enter new markets. The company first opens offices in South Korea and New Zealand and then launches a caravan and motorhome assembly plant in Melbourne, Australia.

When Bailey celebrated its 65th, Queen Elizabeth II visited the company. At the gala event, co-owner Patrick Howard gave a speech in which he said: “We are very proud of what the company has accomplished over the past 65 years and to be part of an industry that remains one of the greatest success stories of British manufacturing.

In 2016, Bailey opened its subsidiary Bailey Parts and Accessories and entered into the market of spare parts for mobile homes and camping accessories. For the daughter, new storage facilities were erected near the Bailey headquarters in South Liberty Lane.

Bailey caravans nowadays

Today Bailey RVs can be found almost all over the world. The brand enjoys great success due to its approach to the production of mobile homes. All conditions have been created for various tests for the quality of products. 

All motorhomes and caravans are tested in refrigerated chambers to meet the stated parameters at any time of the year. The company regularly performs simulation crash tests to improve the design of motorhomes.

Bailey developers have created a special and unique technology Alu-Tech. Thanks to the use of a special aluminium frame, it became possible to create a more stable case that protects against adverse weather conditions. 

Specially selected laminated panels protect against heat loss during the cold season. The use of plastic and fibreglass reduces the weight of the RV, which is a definite advantage when travelling.

The bottom line

Another guarantee of product quality is the attitude towards its employees. Thanks to a flat rate rather than a percentage of sales, workers place more emphasis on quality over quantity.

Due to its approach to its work, Bailey deserves close attention from a potential consumer.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions on the content. 

FAQ on Are Bailey Caravans any good?

What is the best Bailey caravan?

The best Bailey caravan is also the newest one: Bailey Alicanto Grande is a top of the range caravan. 

What are Bailey caravans made of?

Bailey caravans are made from Alu Tech. Bailey developers have created a special and unique technology. Thanks to the use of a special aluminium frame, it became possible to create a more stable case that protects against adverse weather conditions. 

Are Bailey Caravans good quality?

Bailey Caravans are made from good quality materials. 86.4% of Bailey owners would recommend this caravan to a friend. 

References

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