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Bailey Unicorn Cartagena - caravan review

Posted on 27 Mar 2013

Val Chapman

Key Features

  • 2013 model
  • 7.89m shipping length
  • 4 berth
  • 6.23m internal length
  • MTPLM 1679kg
  • 2.28m max width
  • MIRO 1519kg
  • From £22,249 new

The Verdict

Think of the Cartagena as a little apartment on wheels and you’re some way to understanding why this maximum length caravan works so well

The Score

80/100  
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Full Details
Tech Spec
Pros & Cons

At A Glance

Ideal for a couple who need sleeping space for two occasional visitors

  • Big fridge
  • Enhanced stability of twin axles
  • High-arching central front window
  • Long settees
  • Having to get the table in and out from its cradle every time you delve into the storage space under the bed

Technical Specification


Model Year 2013
Manufacturer Bailey Caravans
Class Twin Axle
Range Unicorn
Base Vehicle -
Price From (£)22249
Berths4
Shipping Length (m)7.89
MRO (kg)1519
MTPLM (kg)1679
Max Width (m)2.28
External Height (m)2.61
End WashroomYes
Island DoubleYes
Fixed Singles/BunksNo
Triple BunksNo
End KitchenNo
Back & Front DinetteNo
Side DinetteNo
Caravan Buyer Test Date2/2013
Caravan Test Date4/2013
View the full Buyers Guide entry

Detailed Review

Exterior

You can’t miss a Unicorn. Put simply, these are currently Britain’s most eye-catching caravans. That’s mostly due to the sunroof (only fully appreciated from the inside) but also due to the striking graphics. And the lack of front locker. And deeply curved front mouldings. Oh, and the enormous rear light clusters.

The Cartagena is one of two twin-axles in Bailey’s top-spec Unicorn line-up. They’re equipped with the ATC electronic braking stability enhancement system, making them extremely stable.

Interior

The Cartagena has a fixed-bed layout with a difference – it’s a little further to the back of the caravan. That’s because the bed is aligned across, rather than down the caravan, resulting in more living space. The shower room runs across the caravan behind the bedroom, with a sliding door forming a bedroom wall. This increases the feeling of the bedroom as a separate entity.

By day, the bed can be retracted by about 20cm, to create more corridor space towards the shower room. You simply raise a 20cm section of mattress at the pillow end, then push the foot of the bed towards the wall. Mind you, we found walking around the end of the bed in its night-time position was no problem. The bedroom has a corner dressing table, complete with TV points so that you can use the Avtex television that comes with the caravan.

There are two wardrobes, one on each side of the bed. Each has a cabinet for shoes, and a drawer beneath it. Luxurious and practical as this bedroom is, one feature won’t meet with every buyer’s approval. The freestanding table stores under the bed, in a four-point cradle suspended from the bed base structure. At first this seems a great idea. But we quickly realised that you have to remove the table in order to get at items stored under the bed. It’s not an arduous task, more of a nuisance. And replacing it, with accuracy, onto its four-point cradle takes a bit of back-bending strength.

The Cartagena’s kitchen worktop and lower cabinet arrangement, though, is highly practical. The worktop is on two levels, with the sink in the raised section, and exactly the right amount of space behind for the draining board. The lower surface section is 54cm wide and 66cm deep – add in the area around the sink when you’re not using the drainer and this amounts to caravan kitchen luxury.

The Cartagena’s other big kitchen asset is the 175-litre fridge and separate freezer, opposite the main kitchen area, with the microwave above it. Lower kitchen accommodation is a 54cm-wide cabinet with a drawer of the same width above it, plus three semi-circular shelves (one fitted for cutlery) in the curved cabinet that forms the forward end of the kitchen.

At first glance you’d wonder why this cabinet’s shelves are only 24cm deep, until you realise that the gas bottle compartment is behind it. Taking the weight of gas bottles away from the front and placing them over the axle makes complete sense in terms of stability, although the benefits are less important in the twin-axle models, where nose weight and stability are less of an issue.

A big plus-point is the length of this caravan’s settees. They’re long enough to make single beds or to create seating comfort for at least six people; ideal for entertaining. This spacious lounge is a welcoming environment, with its centre window extending high up into the roofline. The huge windowsill, extending to a depth of 49cm at the centre, helps make the lounge seem big, too. Three drawers are accommodated within the windowsill; that’s made possible by using the whole length of the caravan here at the front, without having to apportion length to gas bottle accommodation. When two people want to dine here, you can pull out a small table from under the windowsill.

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