THE 620/6 is a roomy six-berth twin-axle complete with side dinette and fixed rear bed.
It’s also light enough to tow with a family estate car or people carrier and costs less than £12,000.
Re-launched last year, the Series 5 Ranger has proved immensely popular as a solid entry level family caravan, but this is the first time Bailey has built a twin-axle Ranger and boy, has it crammed in a lot.
Fleetwood and Adria must take credit for first introducing this particular floorplan to the UK - but Bailey has stretched it and mounted it on a twin axle platform to provide even more space for a big family.
Step inside through the windowless stable door and you’re greeted by a huge front lounge with long opposing sofas comfortably capable of seating six adults.
The Ranger's interior
The customary fold-over and pull-out coffee table sits atop a central chest of drawers which is perfect for tea for two.
The larger dining table is cleverly stowed in the bulkhead between the rear sleeping quarters and the huge kitchen.
It’s a reasonable size for four - but inadequate for six, leaving owners with a dilemma when faced with feeding all the campers on board.
Happily, there’s a choice of solutions. Either park two of the children in the side dinette while the remaining diners sit around the main table or alternatively, why not push the boat out by combining the stowaway table with the front occasional table to form a six-person banqueting suite and throw a proper dinner party?
This isn’t as daft as it sounds once you’ve experienced the Ranger 620/6’s kitchen.
Located amidships on the nearside, the galley is as big as anything I’ve ever encountered in a UK caravan.
Not only is it fully equipped with separate domestic-style oven and grill plus a 96-litre fridge, there’s also a cupboard either side of the oven and fridge, three overhead lockers and ample preparation space which can be further increased by a large drop-down work surface over the foot of the fixed bed.
The kitchen area
Opposite the kitchen is a side dinette, which converts to a brace of bunks.
Come night-time, with six aboard, it’s always going to be a tight squeeze, but with two smallish kids in the side dinette, there’s ample room to accommodate a brace of larger children on the two front sofas, without going to the trouble of making up the mammoth double bed by extending the pull-out slats between the two sofas.
Unbelievably, this still leaves a cosy and private double bedroom with en suite facilities at the back for mum and dad.
A lightweight concertina partition screens parents off from the kids - although they will obviously need to trundle through the rear bedroom if they need the loo.
The washroom itself is where Bailey has chosen to compromise. Whilst offering a separate swivel toilet and shower - just - it’s a tiny affair which really wouldn’t cope with ablutions for a family of four - let alone six.
When it comes to storage, however, the 620 really excels. Eye-level lockers, with varying shelf schemes contained within, circle virtually the entire caravan and there’s a huge void - incorporating a lined wet locker, under that generous fixed bed at the back. The only area where the big Ranger is lacking is its wardrobe.
In terms of creature comforts, the interior décor is friendly and warm, combining coppery tones with pastel blue and beige.
The mid-brown drop-in carpets are practical and hard-wearing and the cabinetry, while not exactly expensive-looking, is pleasant enough to live with.
Although natural light - particularly towards the back of the ‘van - is at a premium, Bailey has addressed this issue with a vast array of electric lights.
Whilst it’s billed as a six-berth and, indeed is capable of sleeping and feeding six in comfort, in the same way that a lot of four-berth ‘vans are actually used as spacious two-berths, this big Ranger is most likely going to be used as flexible four-berth.
Bailey has arguably done more to make caravanning accessible to young families on a budget than any other UK manufacturer. The Ranger 620/6 takes this campaign into twin-axle territory.
• A full version of this review appeared in the March 2007 issue of Which Caravan. To order a road test reprint contact Tina Beaumont on 01778 391187.
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