Bailey gives its Pegasus models names that inspire holiday travel. On a chill spring day when the efficiency of the rapid warm-up Whale blown-air heating system was especially appreciated, we began our test week with thoughts of warmer climes wafting across our minds. The name of the caravan, after the capital city of Italy’s Piedmont region, was beginning to distract us into holiday mode, to thoughts of how we’d use this caravan if we bought it. A tourist website, the first to come up when we tapped Turin into a phone, told us: “The city has a rich culture and history and is know for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, palaces, theatres… Baroque rococo neo-classical architecture…” We turned the phone off to avoid further distraction from the task on hand, and imagined this Turin on holiday in that Turin. How would it fare?
Well, it would be ideal for the long journey, with twin-axle stability and ease of towing, so the driver would arrive having not worked too hard. It’s large enough not to necessitate putting up an awning after that long tow. And beds for four of the six in your party are pretty much ready-made (one double and two full-length lounge singles).
The Turin is a caravan designed for easy holidays. Its kitchen is large, so creating good meals from the foodie delights you find on your travels will be easy and enjoyable. There are two dining areas (just in case the weather’s not always perfect for dining outside). And there’s an external gas point so that you can connect a barbecue to your caravan’s gas supply.
When it comes to showering time, it's likely that all six Turin occupants will head for the campsite’s showers, which is just as well…
Even in a maximum-length caravan like this one, there have to be compromises in order to achieve a double bed, a large kitchen, plus a lounge long enough to make single beds. The compromise in the Turin is its shower compartment. By caravan standards, it's small, with the shower forward of the toilet. Even though there’s a substantial folding plastic door to prevent shower water from reaching the loo and the wooden cabinet on the rear wall, you’d still have to thoroughly dry the shower tray after each use because you have to walk through it to reach the loo. But who cares when the weather is Italy-warm and the walk to the caravan site’s showers is thus not a chore?
Two towel hooks are in the shower compartment and two more, plus a loop, are in the washbasin area alongside the double bed; that’s five towels accommodated. An extra hook for the sixth would be desirable, though.
This is where the Turin really scores. It’s designed for a family and it caters really well for either four or six. Parents get the luxury of a double bed, with a sprung mattress. Two children get bunk beds that make up in the side dining area, and two more get single beds in the lounge. These are 1.85m and 1.72m long.
The mattresses of the dining area beds are created by folding out the seating units, so that they become half-thickness, which is fine for young, small, lightweight caravanners.
This is a caravan to consider for four, as well as six. In four-berth mode, using the lounge as single beds for children, you can keep the dining area in day-mode permanently. So the first two people to get up can grab this area for breakfast. Or, if your children are younger, when bunk beds are fun as well as practical, you can pop them into the bunks, close the curtain around the bunk area, and enjoy evening lounge-time.
In a 7.93m caravan you'd expect storage to be generous. And it is. Well up to the task of accommodating stuff for six. Three big shelf areas under the wardrobe hanging space ensure footwear could always be tidied away. Spaces under four seating areas and the double bed may tempt you to exceed the Turin’s allowable payload of 183kg, just because there is so much space, so care and calculation would be needed.
Top storage is ample, too, with four lockers in the lounge, four more over the bed and and three over the dining area.
Raising the bed to get to the area beneath is easy but letting it down again can turn into a finger-trapping task because there is no recess for your hands. We find the same problem in our long-term test Unicorn and have to remember to get around it by gripping the metal bed base from its top, rather than underneath it, which is somewhat awkward but that way we no longer get bruised knuckles. But if you think a Turin is the right caravan for you, don’t let this aspect put you off, just be aware of the need to handle the bed carefully to avoid the word “ouch” (or worse) becoming heard too often!
The four-seater freestanding dining table is stored under the nearside settee. It's a bit awkward to extract, compared with a table stored vertically, simply because you have to lift a flat and quite heavy object at a difficult angle. But when almost everything else about the Turin is so well designed, the table housing is something most potential buyers will forgive.
The Turin’s dining versatility gives you three choices. There’s the table for two opposite the kitchen. A second, small table for two draws out from under the deep windowsill. And of course there’s the freestanding table for four that you can use in the lounge – or outside when weather inspires alfresco meals.
At 1.85m and 1.72m long, the settees give you not just feet-up relaxing comfort but shoulders-down, feet-up reclining. The armrests are too low to support your shoulders, though, so grab a couple of the firm scatter cushions and you’ll soon get cosy.
The great thing about a lounge this length is not so much about feet-up relaxing, it's about the fact that six can all sit together, when you want to. And quality time spent together, watching television or a DVD, or eating, is surely the essence of family holidays.
It’s worth noting that the Turin has a total of five mains sockets and two television positions, one in the lounge and a second within the structure that divides the kitchen from the bedroom; a television placed here could be watched from the bedroom or from the offside dining-bunk area.
The Turin makes the eating element of a holiday easy. It has two kitchen surface areas, separated by the dual-fuel hob. The forward surface, to the right of the hob, is above a three-shelf cabinet. It’s slightly wedge-shaped, to create corridor space. But even though a chunk is missing compared with a rectangular cabinet, there’s still adequate space inside. To the left of the fridge, a second cabinet gives you three shelves, one of which is fitted for cutlery. This cabinet isn’t as deep as the surface beneath it, because the gas compartment is behind it; it’s large enough for two 6kg propane cylinders.
The Turin’s kitchen has an interesting trick up its sleeve. Part of the divider between the kitchen and the double bed behind it provides a hinge-down extension of extra kitchen surface. Although you can’t stand in front of it for kitchen tasks, because it's over the bed, it is somewhere useful to put salads ready for the table, for example. And it's easy to envisage putting this extra surface to another use: Breakfast in bed! Note to younger members of prospective Turin buyers: Toast and coffee for your parents is a great way to curry favour when you're trying to get your own way about that day’s holiday activities!
It was predictable that we were going to enjoy the Turin’s test tow. That’s because the strong winds of the day focused thoughts on the stability advantage of having four caravan wheels rather than two. Yes, we were side-swiped by significant gusts. But they didn’t deflect the Turin-Sorento combination from straight-line progress. Maybe the electronic braking stability system helped but we weren’t aware of its intervention. We were aware, though, that the Turin’s gusty test tow didn’t give us a moment of concern, in high-wind conditions that might have made towing a single-axle caravan hard work.