The Bailey Pursuit ethos is all about appeal to new caravanners; about activity holidays, light tow weights, affordable prices and bright, ultra-modern styling. The 530-4 fulfils those ideals perfectly, and with a layout and size that’s as ideal for a family as it is for just two people. Add in its phenomenal storage capacity for its size, plus its excellent kitchen surface length and the 530-4 looks every inch an ambassador for new caravanners.
The new Bailey Pursuit 530-4 has pure white sides, more spec as standard, white top locker doors and larger fridges.
Amid the fashion for bedrooms at the rear of caravans, it’s great to see the side fixed bed concept is alive and well – in the new, budget, lightweight Pursuit range. This range offers two side bed layouts, the 430-4 and the longer 530-4; this is the one that’s almost certainly destined to top the new Pursuit popularity poll, which is why we chose it for this review, to be the ambassador for the new-look Pursuit range.
The layouts in the Pursuit range stay the same, but this is no mere makeover. The new Pursuits have dramatically different exterior looks, with bright turquoise graphics on pure white sides and the big, bold “B” standing for Bailey that is also on the Pegasus and Unicorns. In other respects, too, Pursuits are now very much like Bailey’s Pegasus and Unicorn-models, with curved rear panels. There are similarities inside, too; among them something you won’t see. The shower compartment is fully lined, and the shower tray now fits totally flush with the plastic wall lining.
And there’s a significant change to the spec. The new Pursuits have, as standard and included in the price, the new spec which they term the Premium Pack. That’s a hitch head stabiliser, microwave, spare wheel, door flyscreen and radio/
Lots of new additions elevate the Pursuit above its supposed budget status, yet it remains very much a get-up-and-go tourer to pick as a base for your favourite “pursuits”. Among these new additions are four bright spotlights set around a new-style rectangular central skylight; new square sinks, bigger fridges and, in the 530-4, two drawers, and a pull-out table for two at the front.
The 530’s shower room is at the rear.
The shower is almost square. (We prefer them over round ones. They’re more spacious thab square showers). But there is no shelf in the shower cubicle for shampoo bottles.
There’s plenty of shelving elsewhere, though; one stretches the whole width of the back wall between the shower and the cabinet on the offside wall. Two shorter ones adjoin the cabinet, and another runs under the mirror on the offside wall.
A large two-shelf cabinet sits under the washbasin. The 530 shower room’s storage capacity is generous. And two double towel hooks take care of four towels – full marks there! But caravanners who use hairdryers would have to get a long extension cable; the nearest mains socket to the mirror is in the dresser area. It’s easy for a dealer to fit an extra socket, though.
This proven layout, with the shower room stretching the width of the caravan behind the bedroom, is diminishing in numbers; there are now only 12 single-axle, four-berth, rear washroom variants. So the 530, which is surprisingly spacious for its modest body length, has fewer competitors than had the original Pursuit 530 when Bailey launched it two years ago.
The bedroom is a cosy area; two elements of its structure create this look. The nicely padded upholstered headboard is set in a recess; the entrance to the shower room curves slightly forward alongside the bed. And the part-wall at the foot of the bed, in line with the wall at the rear of the kitchen, creates the illusion of a separate room.
The bed is a generous 1.9mlong and 1.4m wide, with not much of a cut-off to diminish space. The mattress construction is Ozio layered fibre technology designed to keep you cool in summer.
The bedroom offers plenty of places to put stuff. Alongside the bed, three shelves stretch between the wardrobe and the shower room door. Two little shelves are beside the bed for phones and wristwatches. A large shelf area curves around the corner between the two top cabinets.
One of these cabinets is 60cm wide and 30cm deep; the other, on the nearside, is 1.21m long and 28cm cm deep. Altogether the bedroom’s capacity for containing clothing is brilliant. And that’s before we’ve investigated the wardrobe. The rail is a generous 74cm long, but the door is only 33cm wide, which means you have to reach around the closet wall to get at clothes hanging above the two shelves in the right-hand side sector of the wardrobe.
My male photographer colleague quipped something about people just having to take less clothing on holiday, but I easily won that one when I analysed the amount of space clearly purpose-built for shoes.
Three shelf areas, each 74cm long and 49cm at their deepest point stretch out in the base of the wardrobe. How many pairs of shoes would they contain? I stopped counting at 12… And I know it’s right because these shelves are a similar dimension to those in our long-term-test Barcelona!
There are sleeping possibilities at the front of the 530, too. Single beds 1.8m long, and 15.6m put the 530-4 firmly in the class of fixed-bed caravans that are as suitable for a family with two children as they are for a couple. Or you can make a second double bed by pulling out webbing-linked slats from beneath the two drawers at the front.
There’s plenty of space under the settees, but it’s top access only; metal spring hinges support the bases.
The space under the double bed has a practical element – a plastic tray, 67cm deep and accessed through an outside hatch 77cm wide, is designed for wet or muddy items. The spare wheel is under the bed, but there’s still an enormous amount of space here.
Forward upper storage consists of three lockers, each vertically divided into two sections. The side ones give you 1.10m and 1m of locker length; the much shallower front locker is 1.09m long. When you assess all of the 530’s storage possibilities, it adds up to a surprising amount considering this is a medium-sized caravan. Especially when you factor in the two exterior lockers on each side at the front, each reaching 73cm into the caravan; these are the places for your loo chemicals, chocks and other boring necessities.
You can store the table conveniently under the shelves alongside the bed. During our review, though, we merely used the pull-out table, which extends the 53cm-deep windowsill (a Bailey hallmark which we love) by 40cm; there’s plenty of space for coffees, biscuits and a laptop here.
Ozio seating comfort is proven in the caravan industry; it’s been around for several years now. The 530’s lounge is amply long enough for five or six to sit, or two to relax with feet up. The armrests are low (the same height as the windowsill) but the firm scatter cushions make cosiness easy to achieve, we quickly discovered. And, as light faded on the day of our review, we also learned that the four LED clusters set around the skylight plus two smaller corner spotlights (adjustable in direction) provide good pools of warm hue light.
Interior décor of the new 530 comes into sharp focus in the lounge; the curtains are plain sea-green, the seating is plain cream, and the cushions bring together those colours and introduce purples and mauves in an elliptical pattern. The plain look continues above, in pure white flat locker doors with long chrome handles (with positive catches). It’s a very on-trend scheme; we love it!
The matt white locker front theme continues around the whole caravan except in the kitchen.
Here the locker fronts are also matt, this time in a taupe shade. There are three doors, leading into two cabinets, one 28cm wide, the other 60cm wide. Below the combination oven-grill is a cabinet 43cm wide and 48cm deep. There’s a 33cm wide fitted cutlery drawer – and, below it, something that at first glance you might expect to be a cabinet – but there’s no spring-knob to open it. This is a cabinet, though, but its door is on the outside, and it’s the gas cylinder compartment. The dresser opposite provides the central lower kitchen cupboard, 50cm wide, with two shelf areas, and an additional top locker, too. The 530’s kitchen storage credentials are first rate, as is its amount of surface space. When the extension is in position, the surface stretches 74cm forward of the three-burner hob. With the chopping board cover over the square sink, there’s another 56cm-wide surface. The size and capacity of the kitchen reinforce the 5390’s efficacy as a caravan for families as well as for couples.
It’s brilliant news that hitch head stabilisers and spare wheels are now standard on Pursuits, along with the other items that were formerly in the plus pack; Bailey includes all of that in the cost. It’s also great news that the ATC stability control system is still an optional extra; one that we’d always advocate buyers go for, to enhance safety margin.