Bailey Pegasus Grande Messina: Why G doesn’t just stand for Grande!
Caravan Test Editor Val Chapman discovers the brilliance of her long-term-test Bailey Pegasus Grande Messina’s amazing storage secret.
Grande, of course, refers to the eight-foot-width of the Messina – and, for sure, space everywhere is a theme of all eight-foot-wide caravans, of which there are now 33, from five manufacturers.
The secret G-plan
The Messina, though, has a feature that none of the other models share, except three different models in the Pegasus range, the Rimini, Brindisi and Bologna. In the case of these four caravans, G doesn’t just stand for Grande. It stands for G-shaped lounge.
The G-shape gives you a wide open seating area – and something else: a vast, secret storage configuration. Secret? That’s because the vastness isn’t apparent until you explore.
Pegasus models don’t have front gas bottle lockers. (The gas compartment is on the offside, in the middle.)
Open the exterior hatch door on the nearside front, and you get one clue to the Messina’s amazing storage secret. Reach inside the locker – and you can’t touch the back of it. That’s because – well, there isn’t one.
This locker reaches all of the way across the front of the Messina, to a larger locker door on the offside. That aperture is plenty large enough for you put in some sizeable folding chairs, an awning table, too, perhaps. And a couple of disposable barbecues.
Keep your outdoor accessories organised
In our case, also our long-handled, soft-bristle caravan-washing brush (essential kit!). And in between our ‘chair department’ and our loo chem stash on the nearside? There’s a large wok in a box (stir fries are a vital part of easy caravan cuisine for us), a folding Outwell Collaps caravan-wash bucket, a folding (Outwell Collaps again) washing-up bowl, some more loo chemicals, and there’s still space for more.
This is an extraordinary storage space which is roomy enough to be put to all sorts of uses. Fishing tackle, golf clubs possibly (though neither of those pursuits is ever going to be a part of the Chapman caravanning lifestyle).
This brilliant storage configuration design is only made possible by Bailey’s invention of the G-shaped lounge. For those who haven’t yet investigated these lounges, there’s a two-person table on the nearside plus seating all around the front of the caravan.
That means you can remove the table and have a complete U-shaped seating area. There’s a freestanding table, of course – and, when that’s in use as well as the side table, six can sit here to dine.
The Messina’s first class storage arrangements don’t end under the G-shaped lounge.
The double bed rises easily – and its structure means the space beneath it is uninterrupted by the framework. In every caravan we’ve owned and used since fixed double beds were invented we’ve stored our chairs under them.
Because the Bailey Pegasus Grande Messina’s fantastic whole-front storage area takes care of the chairs, we’ve not yet managed to come anywhere close to filling the space under the bed – although a forthcoming holiday might present an opportunity to try!