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Bailey Unicorn Merida - caravan review

4a293bd5-ccd9-4191-bb5e-d3e6b6f74019

Key Features

  • Model Year : 2019
  • Class : Single Axle
  • Berths : 2
  • Internal Length (m) : 4.81
  • Shipping Length (m) : 6.18
  • MRO (kg) : 1217
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1330
  • Max Width (m) : 2.28
  • External Height (m) : 2.61

The Verdict

The new two-berth Merida has brilliant storage provision in all areas, especially in the kitchen. It has a spacious washroom, spanning the width of the caravan at the rear, and containing the wardrobe. Kitchen surface is more than ample, especially when you factor in the dresser opposite. The kitchen is nothing short of fantastic for a compact-length caravan. Definitely one for keen cooks.


Bailey Caravans View more details about the manufacturer of this vehicle over in our manufacturers section.

AT A GLANCE

Bailey’s new two-berth Merida, with an MTPLM of 1330kg, brings the Unicorn models to 11; that’s more models than any other range

Pros
  • The ‘wet locker’
  • The show cabinet by the door
  • The amount of kitchen surface
  • The amount of storage space
Cons
  • Having to stretch TV cables across the fridge top
  • A towel hook above the radiator would be a nice addition

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2019
Manufacturer
Bailey Caravans
Class
Single Axle
Range
Unicorn
Price From (£)
23299
Berths
2
Shipping Length (m)
6.18
MRO (kg)
1217
MTPLM (kg)
1330
Max Width (m)
2.28
External Height (m)
2.61
End Washroom
Yes
Island Double
No
Fixed Singles/Bunks
No
Triple Bunks
No
End Kitchen
No
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
No
Caravan Test Date
Caravan Buyer Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

Bailey's new two-berth Merida, with an MTPLM of 1330kg, brings the Unicorn models to 11; that's more models than any other range

Bailey unveils its second two-berth Unicorn, the Merida, in response to a rise in demand for two-berth caravans.

The Unicorn range is a dramatic success story. With Alde heating, Unicorns are designed for year-round caravanning and, since the first ones were unveiled in 2011, these models have enjoyed best-seller status.

The Merida, like all the other models in the range, is named after a Spanish town. This new model has a full-width end shower room and an offside kitchen.

Unicorn is the only range among British caravan manufacturers to have more than one two-berth layout. There are two reasons for the arrival of an additional two-berth. One reason, Bailey tells us, is a resurgence in the popularity of two-berth caravans.

Another is some owners of the original two-berth Unicorn Seville, which had a similar layout, have voiced their preference for this layout when they come to update. The current Seville has a different layout, with an end kitchen and a shower room alongside it.

Buyers are sure to compare the new Merida with the Seville. Apart from the layout, there are small differences in size and weight. The internal length of the Merida is 15cm longer than the Seville, at 4.81m, although it's the same length.

The Merida's MTPLM is 4kg more than the Seville. The payload is worth bearing in mind, too – the Merida's payload is 113kg, whereas the Seville's is 123kg.

Equipment in all Unicorns includes Alde heating, ATC stability control, external satellite connections, a power point and gas barbecue point, 100-watt solar panels, USB sockets, Tracker system and alarm.

The Merida, though, has a feature it shares with only one other Unicorn (the Cadiz). The toilet hatch incorporates a large "wet locker", the ideal place to store toilet chemicals and chocks. There's even space for welly boots in there.

Showering

The shower is on the nearside, the washbasin is in the centre and the entire offside wall is given over to a generously-sized wardrobe and a shelved cupboard. In the base of this cupboard is a linen bag suspended on four hooks; that's one of Unicorns' defining features.

Floor space in the centre of the shower room is almost a metre square. A panel radiator is on the forward wall but we think Bailey has missed a small trick here; above it would have been a perfect position for a towel hook so that towels placed here would dry rapidly in the warm air that rises from the radiator.

There is, however, a towel hook beside the shower and, inside the shower compartment, a hinge-down towel bar; good towel provision, then.

Forward of the shower is a cabinet in which the table is stowed; there's space alongside it for other stuff, plus a shelf above. The cabinet below the basin has three shelf spaces. The top shelf has a recess for the toothbrush mug that comes with the caravan – out of sight and neat!

Little features like that add up to Unicorn refinement, as does the lighting arrangement – strips of bright LEDs run above and below the mirror that spans the entire wall area between the shower and the wardrobe. This is a superb washroom with plenty of storage.

Sleeping

Single beds 1.93m long or a double bed makes up to 1.95m x 1.49m – the choice is yours.

The slatted centre section of the bed base pulls out from under the two front-central drawers; it's a simple and smooth operation.

Storage

Storage in the shower room is first-rate. Under-settee storage is well-planned, with front access to the space on the offside beside the Alde heating unit and, on the nearside, exterior access to the storage area, as well as the ability to raise the top.

Inside this locker is a black plastic tray, so that you can put wet or muddy items like your mains cable or a small water container in here. So, you'd use the offside locker for bedding and the nearside locker for outdoor necessities.

Seven top lockers are above the lounge, including the two, deep triangular corner lockers.

And there's a storage element which we love – a shoe cabinet alongside the door. Most Unicorns have this feature, including our long-term-test Barcelona – and we know how much we, as caravanners, appreciate this practical feature.

Then there's the 'wet locker' in the toilet hatch to factor in, plus a locker under the front drawers… Storage, Merida-style, is nothing short of excellent, hence a rare A-star rating.

Dining

Getting the table out from its store alongside the shower is easy because the cabinet is much wider than the table so it's easy to get hold of.

Most meals, though, will be eaten at the pull-out table, amply large enough, at 37cm x 62cm. Even though it's not level with the 52cm x 80cm windowsill, you have all that space on which to put serving dishes, salads, wine, perhaps.

Lounging

With settees 1.91m long there's plenty of space for when guests arrive. Squashy bolster-style backrests and armrests make for comfortable relaxing.

And after dark, the plentiful lighting that's a feature of current Unicorns will be appreciated by Merida buyers, just as we do in our long-term-test Barcelona. Lights are above all the lockers, two bright lights are set into the frame of the sunroof, plus four spotlights – and all of it white light.

A nice practical touch is the two forward spotlights have LED ports set into the bases; you can place phones in the lockers above while they are charging.

Kitchen

The amount of surface space is amazing – a 1.63m stretch of space interrupted only by the sink, plus two areas opposite, of which more later.

Unicorns' double hob covers enable the hob to be considered part of the surface; the top cover which hinges down over the glass lid is level with the rest of the surface.

Again, referring to our Barcelona, we know just how well this works.

Three drawers, each 73cm wide and 25cm deep, are under the sink area of the kitchen. The cabinet forward of the cooker is 35cm wide and contains three shelves. Two top lockers, with positive catches, are each divided into three shelf sectors.

Opposite, the 103-litre capacity fridge has a 71cm x 66cm surface area above it. The surface forward of this is 43cm x 60cm and sits 10cm lower.

This would be the ideal place for your TV but the connections for it are on the other side of the over-fridge surface, so you'd have to stretch the power and aerial cables over it, which would look a tad untidy.

Two 40cm-wide drawers and a drop-down-door cabinet sit forward of the fridge. Above, there's a 64cm-wide cabinet. On the rear side of the fridge is a little extra storage space – two shelves in a 15cm-wide cabinet. So, kitchen storage is excellent.

Only the position of the microwave could draw some criticism; people of short stature may find it too high.

Towing

The Merida – in common with all Unicorns – is equipped with AL-KO's electronic stability control system. At 1330kg it's definitely in the lightweight class.

We haven't yet tow-tested a Merida – we went to the Bailey factory to review it before it was unveiled to the public so, understandably, Bailey didn't want us to take it out in public gaze.

But, with its cooker and fridge in the centre, we can be pretty sure it will be inherently stable and, with ATC present to correct the first sign of a snaking motion, the Merida's tow credentials merit our 'good' rating.

Verdict

The new two-berth Merida has brilliant storage provision in all areas, especially in the kitchen. It has a spacious washroom, spanning the width of the caravan at the rear, and containing the wardrobe.

Kitchen surface is more than ample, especially when you factor in the dresser opposite. The kitchen is nothing short of fantastic for a compact-length caravan. Definitely one for keen cooks.

Lowdhams (Huddersfield)


Crosland Hill
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
HD4 5NU
http://www.lowdhams.com
[email protected]
New Bailey, Chausson, Compass, Dethleffs, Hymer, HymerCar, Sunlight and Swift motorhomes. New Airstream, Eriba, Bailey, and Swift caravans. Also used, base & habitation service, finance, accessories.

Lowdhams (Nottingham)


Lowdham Road
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
NG14 7ES
http://www.lowdhams.com
[email protected]
New Bailey, Chausson, Compass, Dethleffs, Hymer, HymerCar, Sunlight and Swift motorhomes. New Airstream, Eriba, Bailey, and Swift caravans. Also used, base & habitation service, finance, accessories.

Marquis Motorhomes (Surrey)


Station Approach
Guildford
Surrey
GU5 9NX
https://www.marquisleisure.co.uk/locations/surrey
[email protected]
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Habitation service, finance.

Bardsea Leisure

Bardsea Leisure Park
Priory Road
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 9QE
http://www.bardsealeisure.co.uk
[email protected]
New & used tourers, statics & motorhomes. Bailey & Swift motorhomes. Service, repair, awnings, accessories. Based at Bardsea Leisure Park. Habitation service.

Blazers Caravans

Elba Crescent
Crymlyn Burrows
Swansea
West Glamorgan
SA1 8QQ
https://www.baileywales.com
Bailey new and used caravans and accessory shop. BP Gas Light. Motor movers.

Campbells Caravans and Motorhomes


Watkin Lane
Preston
Lancashire
PR5 5RD
http://www.campbellscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans, motorhomes, awnings and accessories. Motorhome habitation service.

Chichester Caravans (Bromsgrove)


A38 Worcester Road
Bromsgrove
Worcestershire
B61 7EX
http://www.chichester-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. New and used caravans.

Chichester Caravans (Chichester)


Main Road
Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 8RL
http://www.chichester-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. New and used caravans.

Chichester Caravans (Uckfield)


London Road
Uckfield
East Sussex
TN22 2EA
http://www.chichester-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. New and used caravans.

Chipping Sodbury Caravans


Badminton Road
Chipping Sodbury
Gloucestershire
BS37 6LH
http://www.chippingsodburycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey new caravans and motorhomes. Also used caravans and motorhomes. Accessories, awnings, finance and workshop.

Cosford Caravans and Motorhomes (Salop)


Newport Road
Wolverhampton
Staffordshire
WV7 3NA
http://www.cosfordcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey new caravans and motorhomes. New and used motorhomes and caravans. Accessory shop. Awning showroom. Caravan service & repair.

Couplands Caravans

Tattershall Way
Northolme Road
Louth
Lincolnshire
LN11 0YZ
http://www.couplandscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan new and used sales. Habitation service, repairs & accessories. Bailey, Bessacarr, Coachman, Swift caravans. Motor movers.

Cruisin’ Motorhomes Pty Ltd

3
Runway Place
Cambridge
Tasmania
NA
http://www.cruisinmotorhomes.com.au
[email protected]
2-6 berth vans for hire across Australia's east coast. Deports at Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, Gold Coast & Sydney.

Dinmore Leisure


Hope-under-Dinmore
Leominster
Herefordshire
HR6 0PJ
https://www.dinmoreleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
New caravans. Base & habitation service & repairs. New motorhomes. Awnings, parts, accessories. Tents & gas bottles.

Dumfries Caravan Centre

308
Annan Road
Dumfries
Dumfries and Galloway
DG1 3JE
http://www.dumfriescaravans.com
[email protected]
New and used motorhomes and caravans. Accident/damage and bodywork repair (also mobile). Habitation service. Accessory shop.

Duncan Caravans

186
Wishaw Road
Wishaw
Lanarkshire
ML2 8ES
http://www.duncancaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Caravan and motorhome awnings, accessories and tents. Caravan habitation service.

Dyce Caravans Ltd


Pitmedden Road
Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire
AB21 0EY
http://www.dycecaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan & motorhome storage. CaSSOA Gold award. Bailey & Swift motorhomes, new & used caravans, awnings, accessories, service & repairs. Tyron bands. Gaslow.

Ebor Leisure World


Malton Road
York
North Yorkshire
YO60 7SE
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing.

Eglinton Caravans


Shewalton Road
Irvine
Ayrshire
KA11 5DB
http://www.eglinton-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and awnings. Caravan motor movers. Finance. Storage.

Forest of Dean Caravans


Parkend
Lydney
Gloucestershire
GL15 4JN
http://www.forestofdeancaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey & Swift caravans. New and used sales, service & supplies.

GNR Sutherland


Edderton
Nr Tain
Highland
IV19 1JY
http://www.sutherlandcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Tourers and static sales. Accessory shop. New Bailey & Swift caravans.

Grants Caravans (Craigmills)


Strathmartine
Dundee
Angus
DD3 0PH
http://www.grantscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Used caravans. Accessories, habitation service and repairs.

GT Towing


Great North Road
Hatfield
Hertfordshire
AL9 5SD
http://gttowing.co.uk
[email protected]
Towbars, trailers. Bailey caravans, servicing, repairs. Parts & accessories. Calor gas.

Knowepark Caravans and Motorhomes


Hardie Road
Livingston
West Lothian
EH54 8BA
http://www.kpcm.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing.

Lee Davey Caravans Ltd


A20 East Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME17 1HN
http://www.leedaveycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Accessories and repairs.

Leisure Sales


Brereton Green
Sandbach
Cheshire
CW11 1SD
http://www.leisuresales.co.uk
[email protected]
Cheshire’s principal main dealer for Lunar and Bailey and Coachman caravans. Parts & accessory shop. Service centre. Caravans only.

Let's Go Motorhomes (Around Australia)

11/10
Pioneer Ave
Thornleigh
New South Wales
NA
https://www.letsgomotorhomes.com.au
[email protected]letsgomotorhomes.com
Campervan hire in Australia. Offices in Brisbane & Sydney, depots across Australia.

M & M Leisure Centre (Haverhill)


Sturmer Road
Haverhill
Suffolk
CB9 7UU
http://www.mmleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey caravans. Accessories, service and repairs. Motor movers.

Milestone Caravans

32-34
Canterbury Road
Folkestone
Kent
CT18 7BP
http://www.milestonecaravans.co.uk
Fully stocked accessory shop.

Northam Farm Caravan Sales Ltd


South Road
Burnham-on-Sea
Somerset
TA8 2SE
http://www.northamfarm.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Caravan sales and workshop.

Oxford Caravan Centre


Oxford Road (A418)
Thame
Oxfordshire
OX9 2LH
http://www.swindoncaravansgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Habitation service.

Penrose Touring


Scorrier
Redruth
Cornwall
TR16 5BP
http://www.penrosetouring.co.uk
New Bailey and used caravans. Awnings, parts and accessories.

Perthshire Caravans


Dundee Road
Perth
Perth and Kinross
PH2 7SR
http://www.perthshire-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New motorhomes, caravans, holiday homes & accessories. Service & sprays.

Pioneer Caravans


Thorney Road
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE6 7UB
http://www.pioneercaravans.co.uk
New Swift motorhomes. New Swift & Bailey caravans. Willerby & ABI new statics. Awnings, accessories, service & repair. Storage. CaSSOA Gold award.

Raymond James Caravans


Carlyon Road
Atherstone
Warwickshire
CV9 1JE
http://www.raymondjamescaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Awnings, accessories and servicing. Motorhome habitation servicing.

Reading Caravan Centre

16a
Church Lane
Reading
Berkshire
RG7 1HB
http://www.swindoncaravansgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans.

Ropers Leisure


Gatherley Road
Catterick
North Yorkshire
DL10 7SL
http://www.ropersleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan and motorhome sales and online accessories. Caravan & motorhome habitation service & repairs.

Ryedale Caravan & Leisure Ltd


Ashby Road West
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE12 9EF
https://www.ryedaleleisure.com
[email protected]
Bailey, Sterling & Swift new and used caravans. Awnings, accessories, habitation service & repairs,

Spinney Flintshire

76
Station Road
Deeside
Flintshire
CH5 2TE
https://www.spinney.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes. Habitation service, repairs and accessories. Dorema, Isabella, Ventura and Sunncamp awnings. Paint shop.

Spinney Staffordshire


Stonewall Place
Newcastle-under-Lyme
Staffordshire
ST5 6NR
http://www.spinney.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey & Coachman caravans. Accessory shop, workshop - insurance, repair work, body repairs, servicing and fitting of related accessories. Auto-Trail, Bailey, Swift new motorhomes.

Stewart Longton Caravans (Chorley)


Friday Street
Chorley
Lancashire
PR6 0AH
http://www.stewartlongton.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Well stocked accessory shop. Servicing & repairs. Previously Swift limited edition Safari range.

Stowford Leisure (Devon)


Berry Down
Combe Martin
Devon
EX34 0PW
http://stowfordcaravancentre.co.uk
[email protected]
Storage. CaSSOA Gold award. Caravan sales, holiday home sales. Awning display and accessory shop. New Bailey caravans & Elddis Stowford. Also touring park, and campervan converter. Branch in Wales.

Stowford Leisure (Wales)


Ely Valley Road
Porth
Mid Glamorgan
CF39 8FP
https://stowfordsouthwales.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan centre and accessory shop. Bailey motorhomes & caravans.

Sunnyhaven Caravan Distribution Ltd


Gorseinon Road
Swansea
West Glamorgan
SA4 9GE
https://www.baileywales.com
Bailey new and used caravans and accessory shop. BP Gaslight. Motor movers.

Swindon Caravan Centre


Greatfield
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN4 8EQ
http://www.swindoncaravansgroup.com
[email protected]
Bailey, Lunar, Sprite, Sterling and Swift caravans. Also used caravans, hire, camping and accessory superstore, workshop facilities.

Teesside Caravans


Teesside Industrial Estate
Stockton-on-Tees
Co Durham
TS17 9JZ
http://www.teessidecaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan & motorhome storage. CaSSOA Gold award. New and used caravans. Used motorhome sales and habitation servicing. Tyron bands.

The Motorhome Showroom

Crusader Park
Bath Road
Warminster
Wiltshire
BA12 8BT
http://themotorhomeshowroom.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used motorhomes. Service centre, MoTs, accessory shop. Redline campervans. McLouis dealer. Base & habitation service.

Venture Caravans (Daventry)

Toll House
Watling Street
Watford Gap
Northamptonshire
NN6 7UJ
http://www.venture-caravans.com
[email protected]
Adria, Bailey new caravans. Bailey and Elddis new motorhomes. Base & habitation service and MoT. Awnings and accessories.

Wandahome (Knottingley) Ltd


Great North Road
Knottingley
West Yorkshire
WF11 0AE
http://www.wandahome.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey, Coachman and Elddis special edition caravans. Also used caravans, awnings. Caravan service.

Wandahome South Cave Ltd


Brough Road
Brough
East Yorkshire
HU15 2DB
http://www.wandahome.online
[email protected]
Roller Team, Swift new motorhomes. Buccaneer, Bailey, Coachman, Elddis, Sprite, Swift, Xplore new caravans. NCC approved workshops. Gold storage.

White Arches Caravans


Wellingborough Road
Rushden
Northamptonshire
NN10 6AY
http://white-arches.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Awnings and accessories. Bailey, Coachman, Swift new caravans. 12 bay workshop. Finance. Accessories.

Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes

Clayfield Park
Main Road
Winchester
Hampshire
SO21 1TD
http://www.winchestercaravans.com
[email protected]
Bailey and Swift new and used. Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. Finance available.

Yorkshire Coast Caravans


Lancaster Road
Bridlington
East Yorkshire
YO15 3QY
http://www.yorkshirecoastcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey, Coachman, Swift new caravans. Used motorhomes. Static sales. Workshop. Habitation service. Finance and accessories. Mobile caravan service offered.