21/07/2017
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Bailey Unicorn 2018 Island-Bed Models: Exclusive Launch Special

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Caravan gets a sneak preview of the new, luxury island-bed touring caravans in Bailey’s top-selling range

Words by Clare Howcutt-Kelly
Photos by Matty Graham

I’ve towed a lot of caravans and I’ve visited a lot of campsites, but it’s not often that someone pulls over, winds down the window and shouts across the pitch: “Ooh! Is that the new Unicorn then?”

Sound dramatic? I guess it does, but let’s put it like this, this new range is the fourth generation of Unicorn, so like a seasoned gentlemen, it’s refined and a lot more attractive than it was in its youth. It’s like George Clooney. Would he be as dreamy without the grey hair? I don’t think so.

But, enough about that. You’re here for the caravans and that, my esteemed readers, is what I’m going to give you.

First introduced to the market in 2011, the Unicorn range is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most popular series of caravans.

Watch Clare's video review!

Let’s meet the 2018 line up…

The baby of the bunch, the Seville single axle is perfect for two or the solo traveller with an end kitchen and an easy to make up double bed. While the Madrid, still a single axle, accommodates two growns up and a little one.

There are seven four-berths to choose from: Cadiz, Valencia, Vigo, Cabrera, Cartagena, Pamplona and Barcelona – basically, there’s a configuration for everyone.

Bailey Unicorn Cabrera 2018

Three of these are twin-axle vans. When it comes to deciding between single or twin axle, it really is a matter of preference – some state a reduction is tyre pressure is a reason to go with the twin axle, or their perceived better towing manners, but there are also the licence constraints and weights to consider.

Bailey Unicorn Cartagena 2018

Of course, if you really want a super-sized van then the Unicorn’s big daddy is no doubt the Segovia twin axle. This sleeps six and benefits from a central washroom, which will avoid waking up everyone in the night when you go to the loo.

Like its namesake, there’s something magical about the Unicorn that appeals to the masses but will you fall under its spell? Let’s find out about the extremely popular island-bed models.

Flash

 MTPLM and MRO weights below.

MODEL 
MTPLM
MRO
CADIZ
1499KG / 29.5CWT
1344KG / 26.5CWT
VIGO
1449KG / 29.5CWT 1344KG / 26.5CWT
VALENCIA
1498KG / 29.5CWT
1343KG / 26.4CWT
MADRID
TBC
TBC
SEVILLE
1322KG / 23.0CWT
1198KG / 23.6CWT
CABRERA
1550KG / 30.5CWT
1395KG / 27.5CWT
SEGOVIA TA
1756KG / 34.5CWT
1576KG / 31.0CWT
PAMPLONA TA
1725KG / 33.9CWT
1565KG / 30.8CWT
CARTAGENA TA
1706KG / 33.6CWT
1546KG / 30.4CWT
BARCELONA TA
TBC
TBC

Bailey Vigo

We were given exclusive access to the Vigo and I’m glad to be able to tell you about some of its key features for 2018. Let’s take a look at the outside first.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 leftside

With a super-streamlined look, it’s modern without frightening the horses, as it were. The graphics are simple and understated in russet tones but the real difference lies at the front of the van where Bailey’s ever-popular trademark Skylight has been given an update too. The front opening vertical skylight is made of aerodynamically profiled Polyplastic with the addition of two new black decorative panels for a sleek and symmetrical look.

Get a grip with the grab handles

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 rear

You’ll also notice that the chrome grab handles are gone and, in their place, you’ll find black handles integrated into the single piece highline bumper. It’s a subtle change from the 2016 Vigo, but it makes a big difference especially when coupled with the rear of the van where you’ll find a full-width black grab handle. And this is where it gets really clever.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 front grab handle

Anyone who’s ever needed help manually swinging a caravan round will know only too well how frustrating it is when you are unable to get a good grip on the grab handles. This takes care of that. In fact, with a full-width handle, you could employ a five-a-side football team to move it for you, should you so desire.

And if you need somewhere to dry your towel outside? Well...Bailey doesn’t sell it as a towel rail but for me, it certainly has more than one use.

Bailey responds to customer feedback

While I’ve got you round the back, metaphorically speaking, take a look at the lights which are arranged in smart cluster, it’s a small touch and while it won’t swerve your decision to purchase the van, it gives an even more considered look than its predecessor.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 rear lights unit

Beauty is one thing, but the Unicorn is big on practicality too – you won’t find any unnecessary fuss. Bailey works continually to respond to customer feedback and some of the changes you see will have been directly influenced by it.

The much maligned gas locker cannot be ignored. Bailey did away with the traditional front gas locker a few years back and rightly so. The space could be awkward to reach and, when loaded with heavy gas bottles, adversely affected noseweights. Today, you’ll be happier with the space-saving, easy access offside gas locker. This keeps all the weight near to the axle, so very neutral, and is concealed from the inside behind the stylish kitchen units.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 external gas locker

Want to cook outside? Make use of the Truma external gas barbecue point. It’s simple, discreet and saves dragging another heavy gas bottle along.

Talking about caravan security

Before I take you inside, I want to talk to you about security features. It’s no secret that caravan thefts happen all over the country, so, more than ever, you need that peace of mind that all is well once you lock-up and leave. Bailey has taken this very seriously, and there’s a lot of safety features integrated into Unicorns.

The major additions to this security suite are two trackers – the Tracker Monitor Thatcham Cat 7-approved, stolen vehicle recovery system (which includes three-months subscription fee) and the Tracker PIR intruder alarm with tilt sensor and key fob operation.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 front

As you’d expect, to keep you safe on the road and on the site, there’s a roster of highly-regarded AL-KO products too, including ATC trailer control system, AKS 3004 stabiliser, shock absorbers, caravan jack and that all important wheel-lock.

I’ll park the technical stuff for now and tell you about what the van actually feels like.

Inside the caravan

For starters, they feel really spacious, with a body width of 2.28m (7ft 6in) and internal headroom of 1.96m (6ft 5in).

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 lounge

There’s no better place to do that, than in the lounge, which is where you’ll likely spend most of your waking time.

For years now, I’ve had a bit of a thing with caravan upholstery. I honestly believe it’s an area that can make a good-looking van ugly. Do we want dingy dark patterns? Must everything be brown? Is this the 1970s? No. No. No.

So I’m pleasantly surprised by the fabric choice – oatmeal upholstery with coordinated piping that yields beautifully when you sit on it, it’s neutral yes, but not in a boring way. Instead they are paired with a soft lilac floral pattern which features on the cushions, the curtains and later on, when I show you the bedroom, you’ll find it there too. Bailey has called the range ‘Finsbury’ (the optional upholstery). Alternatively 'Brompton' comes as standard in all the Unicorn vans

More lounging space

The keen-eyed among you will notice that, thanks to the gas bottle being moved, all the space that was once wasted below the front window sill is now usable lounging space. There’s still a decent-sized occasional table, but those longer-limbed caravanners among you will appreciate the extra five per cent legroom for stretched-out, daytime relaxing or sleeping.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 lounge unit

This space is filled with glorious daylight and has excellent ventilation on warm days thanks to four good-sized standard windows and Bailey’s spectacular, vertically-arcing front skylight. All this window space also offers great views.

The Unicorn’s overhead lockers curve in slightly at the front, as they follow the contours of the van and make the most of the available space. It’s up here that you’ll find the DAB Radio/MP3 player which can also be connected to your phone via Bluetooth.

But what if your phone runs out of charge? Look closely at the light fittings and you’ll notice something really clever. There are USB charging ports here, too, so you can charge your phone wherever you’re sitting.

A caravan kitchen like no other

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 kitchen surface

If you can drag yourself off the super-comfy seating and want to knock up a meal that’s worthy of five stars then you’re in the right place! This is like NO other caravan kitchen ever. Boasting a Basalt-stone finish, it’s pretty swish with plenty of touches that will really make you feel at home, plus some new innovations, too.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo 2018 kitchen-to-bedroom

Even in the biggest vans, work surfaces are often confined, which can make preparing meals a faff, but there’s a secret here – the Basalt-stone-effect hob panel, sits on top of the cooker’s glass cover and doubles as an extra work surface. The splash-back is made of tough and stylish Perspex and is Unicorn branded – just in case you’ve forgotten what van you’re in.

You can’t deny there’s a sense of fun about this van and there was one thing in particular that made me smile. Go to the bin on the back of the door and open it. There’s a mini dustpan and brush hidden in the lid!

Night manoeuvres

Enough excitement I know. Once it’s time to turn in for the night, just pull across the concertina door and you’ve got total privacy. During the day, the bed length can be reduced to give more space to walk to and from the bathroom, just remove the fill cushion and drop down the ‘leaf’ at the end. In the evening, just reverse the process.

There’s space for reading material, and you can sit up in bed and lean against the individual headboard-style panels upholstered in the Finsbury fabric and relax. The beauty of the island bed set up is that it’s simple, no making up required.

Normally in the washroom you’d find a window, but Bailey has done away with that which makes total sense because after all, if there’s anywhere you want privacy, it’s in here.

Instead, it’s been replaced with a full-width mirror with discreet LEDs tucked away under the top ledge which are much more flattering when you’re doing your face in the morning. Ventilation comes from a clear-canopy Heki rooflight.

There’s a generous cupboard for hiding away those less desirable items. The single-piece, fully-sealed shower cubicle is luxurious and all those details have once again been thought of. Look up and there’s a nifty ceiling-mounted, pull-down hanging rail on which to put towels or wet clothing if you’ve been out for the day.

And chuck that dirty laundry in the linen basket under the sink while you’re at it. As you’d expect, you can hide that away too.


So, the 2018 Unicorn IV island-bed models, really bring a fabulous sense of luxury to caravanning, in stylish and lightweight packages that should retain much of their value due to the enduring popularity of the ranges.

While all the 2018 Unicorn models share most of these well-thought-out attributes, there is a range of layouts to suit all buyers.

The island bed versions are the Cabrera, Cartagena and Pamplona. Let’s see how they vary.


 

Unicorn Cabrera

The Cabrera is a single-axle tourer, which will suit those who like the idea of a full-width central washroom that divides the living spaces from the bedroom. This design is a great if you have kids or guests on the front bed(s), as they don’t have to pass through the bedroom to use the facilities during the night.

bailey unicorn cabrera layout 2018

Unicorn Cartagena

The Cartagena (which incidentally is pronounced Carta-hayna)

shares the same brilliant, transverse island bed/rear washroom layout as the Vigo, but runs on twin axles, for improved stability when towing. Naturally, it weighs a bit more than it’s two-wheeled sibling, so the choice will come down to personal requirements and tastes.

bailey unicorn cartagena layout 2018

Unicorn Pamplona

The Pamplona has a similar layout to the Cabrera, but on a twin-axle. Walk through the centrally-positioned washroom into the bedroom with its island bed that projects from the back wall.

Like their mythical namesakes, Bailey’s Unicorn ranges of caravans are gaining legendary status, making them the company’s best-selling tourer and one of the most popular ranges from any UK manufacturer.

Once they hit the dealerships, 2018 Unicorn IV caravans will be snapped up in double-quick time, so check out the full range online and see if there’s one to suit your needs. You don’t want to be left out when they’re attracting admiring glances at a campsite near you.

bailey unicorn pamplona layout 2018

For a full spec list, download the FREE document here!

Our Top 20 Bailey Unicorn IV design features

  1. NEW TRACKER Monitor Thatcham Cat 7 approved Stolen Vehicle Recovery System (including first 3 months subscription fee)
  2. NEW TRACKER PIR intruder alarm with tilt sensor and key fob operation
  3. NEW design, space-saving, easy-access gas locker
  4. Truma gas BBQ point
  5. AL-KO Secure portable wheel lock (two for twin axle models)
  6. WSL individually laser balanced wheels fitted with premium brand tyres and anti-tamper WSL safety bolts
  7. AL-KO ATC trailer control system
  8. Concealed security data chip within caravan construction
  9. Upper body built using Bailey’s timber free patented Alu-Tech construction technology, cloaked in a GRP outer skin with no external fixing points.  
  10. Dometic 190 litre fridge and freezer with electronic ignition and NEW black door panel (twin axles only)
  11. NEW branded DAB Radio/CD/MP3 player with iPod/MP3 player USB connection point & bluetooth capability
  12. NEW branded perspex kitchen splash-back
  13. NEW Basalt-finish kitchen and washroom worktop laminate
  14. NEW domestic style sofa seating featuring premium quality fabrics, high density filling and superior foam construction for enhanced comfort
  15. NEW standard ‘Brompton’ soft furnishings with co-ordinating curtains, two bolster cushions, two large square and two small rectangular scatter cushions
  16. Kitchen worktop space up to 30% larger**(model specific)
  17. Centrally located under floor leisure battery storage locker
  18. Alde Hydronic Compact 3020 programmable radiator heating system with combined water heating
  19. On-board 40L water tank (twin axles only)
  20. NEW exclusive Thetford C-260 cassette toilet with remote header tank 

 

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