Two aspects of the Rimini grabbed our attention within five minutes of unhitching and lowering the corner steadies. In the chill-wind day at the start of our test week we were keen to make switching on the heating system the first task. The big, clear symbols on the Whale unit’s control panel by the door told us the caravan’s interior temperature was 10ºC. In less than five minutes it was 14ºC and in five more minutes it was 17ºC. That is efficiency by any standards.
All the ducting is inside the caravan, and the system takes its air intake from inside the caravan, so it’s not heating cold air, and pumps out warm air almost straight away. The volume and temperature of the air coming out from the outlets is impressive. The second attention-grabber about the Rimini is about appearance. Our test example was upholstered in the optional Amaro fabrics. Rich burgundy communicates an instant look of warmth. It’s predominantly on the cushions, here the dominant colour is teamed with a scattering of leaves in pinks and greys. On the curtains the burgundy is less dominant, in among some greys and mauves in a pattern that vaguely suggests hydrangea flowers but is anything but fussy. Burgundy edges the curtain tie backs, too. And seating is plain fawn. The whole effect is stunning.
This Amaro fabric scheme will add £199 to the cost of your Rimini but, to our eyes, it transforms the look totally from the more sombre fawn tones of the standard upholstery. The Pegasus GT65 range arrived to celebrate Bailey’s 65th year in production and is complete with the ATC stability control system and AL-KO Secure wheel locks. The Rimini’s layout gives you an offside kitchen with a dresser opposite, twin beds and a full-width rear shower room. But then so do many caravans. There’s one layout feature that distinguishes the Rimini from everything else except a Bailey Unicorn Cadiz, and that’s in the shower room…
The Rimini and its Unicorn twin-bed stablemate are the only caravans to have toilets mounted on the back wall. There’s a large wardrobe on the offside of the shower room; its rail is 71cm wide. There’s a shelf above the full-depth hanging space. And at the base of the wardrobe you can lift a lightweight wooden cover.
Beneath here is a cavernous space that is ideal for footwear; it’s 52cm deep! The mirror, above the washbasin, is long. The shower is rectangular, measuring around 80cm x 70cm. There’s a cabinet below the basin and a small shelf above the window; that’s your sum total of shampoo-stowing opportunities. But what the shower room lacks in shelving and cabinet space it makes up for with its generously-proportioned wardrobe. There’s a power point on the base of the nearside bed in a place within hairdryer-cable reach of the shower room mirror.
The twin-bed layout zoomed from obscurity to rank among best-sellers within a couple of years. As we’ve often said, although twin beds were invented principally for couples, this is a layout concept that can appeal to families too. Teenage caravanners will love the twin-bed room in the Rimini. It feels quite separate from the lounge double bed area; that’s because the gap between the rear kitchen wall and the dresser wall is only 59cm (bridged by a pleated partition).
The offside bed is 1.9m (6ft 3in) long and the nearside bed is slightly shorter, at 1.82m. Alternative sleeping arrangements that will suit younger families are for parents to take the single beds and children to make single beds in the lounge; the settees are long enough, at 1.72m and 1.54m. This flexibility is the key to the Rimini’s wide appeal. The double bed structure is a base that extracts from under the offside settee.
The front apertures to the undersettee storage areas are only 56cm long, which means that delving inside for most stuff necessitates raising the top. The nearside bed base is supported on spring-hinges. The offside one has gas-filled struts because the heavier weight of the bed base needs more support; neither is heavy to lift. The bases of the twin beds are also supported on gas-filled struts.
There is no front access to the storage areas here, although there is an exterior hatch to the nearside space. Both under-bed lockers are uncluttered; only the Whale heating unit interrupts space on the offside. And the beds are high, at 45cm, which means there’s plenty of storage depth below. Six top lockers are in the bedroom; all have shelves, which is a major plus-point as shelves double the amount of storage space. Four more lockers are above the lounge but only one of these has a shelf.
The four-seater dining table is stored under the nearside bed. It sits on four brackets. It’s easy enough to extract but less easy to place back on the brackets because you’re lifting quite a heavy object at an awkward angle. There’s an increasing trend for storing tables under seating and beds; in almost every instance the tables require strength to extract and replace. That won’t suit all caravanners, and for that reason Caravan Buyer favours verticallystored tables because they slide in and out with minimal effort.
A small table for two pulls out from under the Rimini’s deep (49cm) windowsill. But because it’s 3cm lower than the windowsill, the usable table area is only 39cm wide, which is barely sufficient for plates and cutlery. Lounging The Rimini’s long (1.72m and 1.54m) settees create a great kick-back and unwind room. But it’s not just ample dimensions that make lounging in this Rimini a joy. It’s the ambience. And much of that is down to the optional Amaro fabric scheme. The pale seating and light-reflective sheen of the curtains, plus those gorgeously rich burgundy and pink shades create a most inviting lounge. Add in the opening, high-arched sunroof – and a tranquil view of the lake at Woodland Waters during our test – and you begin to get the idea that Pegasus lounges are stylish and enjoyable environments.
After we’d switched on the Whale heating at the start of our test, our next task involved coffee and an electric kettle that we’d brought along to feature in the photographs. There are two power points in the kitchen and two more by the dresser opposite. We plugged the kettle in at the dresser, probably by chance – and decided that’s an ideal place for it, because it leaves the main kitchen surface clear. Although the dresser has TV connection points, you don’t have to put your TV here if you’d rather let the kettle have the space; there are TV points in the lounge, too.
The kitchen surface is 1.10m long, with space around all sides of the circular sink and 60cm to the right of it. That adds up to an amply-proportioned kitchen by any caravan standards. The fridge is in the centre of the kitchen, between the cooker and the three-shelf cabinet under the sink. This cabinet is only 19cm deep although the furniture at this point in the kitchen is 81cm deep. That’s because the gas compartment is on the other side of this cabinet.
Upper storage comprises a three-section cabinet run fronted by five doors. Plate and mug racks are in the cabinet on the right; the centre one is suitable for tall items and the forward cabinet has two shelf areas. So far, kitchen storage is OK but not enormous – until you factor in the cabinet under the dresser opposite. It’s large, even through the wheel arch makes a minor intrusion. And there’s another cabinet above the microwave. Taken as a whole, storage opportunities are ample.
If we say the Rimini’s test tow was unremarkable, we’re actually paying the caravan a compliment. A gusty wind was doing its best to wake up the Rimini’s stability control system as we sped along the A1 but so far as I was aware it didn’t activate. Or did it? The driver is seldom aware that a small box of electronic trickery hidden within the chassis shape is keeping caravan and car and occupants safe from the possible perils of snaking.
It’s just great to know it’s part of the spec, unseen (except for the drawbar indicator light) and silent (except for the loud zzz-sound as you plug in the caravan’s electrics when you hitch up), and it’s there to look after you. The 1472kg MTPLM of the Rimini places it firmly in the towable-by-modest vehicles category and, as we had expected, its presence made only slightly discernible impact on the power of our Sorento.