Brilliant shower room, brilliant lounge, domestic-style settees - The new Pamplona has some stunning new elements. Add in the practical surface-matching hob cover, the eight USB charging points, the dimmable spotlights and the wiring already installed for a motor mover, and this new incarnation of the Pamplona is an impressive package of well-designed caravan. Only the bed extension lip and lack of hairdryer point near to the mirror mars this otherwise excellent newcomer.
The Pamplona name isn’t new, but the bedroom and shower room layout certainly is. And there’s more. Changes to the kitchen and lounge make this an entirely new Pamplona. In addition, aesthetic changes give it a refreshing new character.
The Bailey Unicorn Pamplona gets a new bedroom and shower room layout for 2018; longer settees, eight USB points and a redesigned kitchen.
The Pamplona name isn’t new, but the bedroom and shower room layout certainly is.
And there’s more. Changes to the kitchen and lounge make this an entirely new Pamplona. In addition, aesthetic changes give it a refreshing new character.
The kitchen has been redesigned, with two new key elements. The hob now has two covers – a glass one, plus an additional cover to hinge down over the top of the glass one. This cover matches the work-surface – effectively, then, the kitchen surface becomes 1.4m long, even before you’ve hinged up the extension on the fore end. The second key kitchen element is the lower storage – now drawers rather than cupboards.
The Pamplona’s redesign comes as part of sweeping new changes throughout the Unicorn range that include the arrival of USB charging points built into dimmable spotlights; there are eight in the Pamplona. And there are six power points – two in the lounge, two in the kitchen and two more designed for TV use, one above the television-sized over-cabinet ledge close to the door and another in the bedroom.
The settees are longer than in previous Pamplonas, reaching further to the front of the caravan. This increases the Pamplona’s appeal as a four-berth; the settees, at 1.9m long, make excellent single beds.
At almost 1.12m long the new Pamplona’s central shower room is one of the largest in any caravan. The shower is on the nearside, measuring 80cm x 73cm. A towel rail hinges down from the ceiling. A domestic-style chrome basket for shampoo bottles hangs from the base of the shower riser bar.
Alongside the shower, a 20cm-wide, full height cabinet accommodates the table plus three shelves. Opposite, a wall cabinet above the toilet gives you three shelves for more pampering paraphernalia and the top shelf contains a frosted plastic toothbrush mug sitting in a recess; neat!
The washbasin is matt white, oval and with a rise-and-fall plug; that’s a minor new refinement for 2018, again in modern domestic bathroom style. Beneath, a linen bag is suspended on four hooks; it’s intended for clothing waiting to be washed but, in our long-term-test Unicorns with this facility, we’ve always assigned these bags a cleaner task: they’re the perfect place for rolled-up, clean towels.
Four hooks, each large enough to hang two towels or other items, are ideally-placed, above the Alde panel radiator on the forward wall of the washbasin area.
The size of the shower and washing area, and the amount of towel provision, easily quality it for our ‘A’ rating.
A sliding door divides the bedroom from the shower room. The bedroom layout is simple: rear island bed flanked by wardrobes. But there, any similarity with other rear island bed layouts ends. For this bed has a construction never before seen in a caravan.
At the foot of the bed, a semi-circular ‘shelf’ hinges up into a horizontal position from flat against the end of the bed. A semi circular section of mattress fits on this ledge, held in place by a four-centimetre-deep plastic lip.
That’s how you extend the bed for night time mode to its full 1.85m length. But when the mattress ‘shelf’ is in its vertical position we discovered it was too easy to catch our feet on the plastic lip as we walked around the bedroom, hence only a ‘B’ rating.
When the bed is shortened to give maximum floor space for daytime, the semi-circular mattress section sits behind the pillows –against an upholstered panel that reaches right up to meet the lower edges of the top lockers.
The effect is sumptuous luxury, visually – and creates a daytime recline-retreat enclave; feet up, television on the triangular shelf on the offside… This is caravan cosiness in the extreme!
A second triangular shelf, on the offside, forms a dressing table, with a deep mirror on the forward wall. But, even though the new Pamplona has six mains sockets, there isn’t one here. The nearest is the TV point on the nearside – and that’s more than a standard hairdryer cable stretch away.
This, and our concern about the bed-edge lip, unfortunately means only a ‘C’ rating – a pity for such a cosy bedroom.
When, or if, you need to transform the lounge into a giant double bed, it’s done in seconds by rolling out the webbing link slats from beneath the two central-front drawers and using the backrests to complete the mattress.
The slatted bed base is constructed in two halves. Each raises to give good access to the storage area. The mattress is also in two halves, linked by fabric, so that each half raises along with the base. It’s a simple and easy-to-use system.
The under-lounge storage arrangement is unchanged from the previous Pamplona model. The offside box has top access (with spring hinges to hold it up). The nearside box has three entrances – one from the top, one from the outside and a smaller entrance beside the door, for shoes.
It’s an arrangement that works brilliantly, as experience with our long-term-test Series 3 Pamplona teaches us.
All manner of toilet chemical, chocks and mains cable type necessities go in here and there’s always space for more. And being able to post shoes into their own hideaway by the door, meaning that they don’t form trip-hazards on the mat, is super-convenient!
Upper lounge storage gets a redesign, with the arrival of corner cabinets replacing shelves, so creating around 30 per cent more storage space on each side in this area.
The table slides into its own cabinet alongside the shower, with space alongside it for items including kitchen rolls (another lesson we’ve learned from our long-term test Pamplona of similar design).
For lesser mealtimes, coffees and drinks, the pull-out table at the top of the chest of drawers gives you a table that’s 62cm x 37cm. It’s not level with the windowsill, though, which may draw adverse comment from some, although, again with live-in Unicorn experience, we’d say it’s workable – your plates go on the pull-out section and your mugs, glasses and wine bottle, perhaps, go on the windowsill.
The settees are 1.92m long; that’s considerably longer than those in the previous Pamplona (offside 1.79m; nearside 1.69m) – because they reach further to the front of the caravan, a change made possible by the absence of a windowsill on each side of the chest of drawers.
The entire lounge seating look has changed for 2018, moving away from knee-rolls to domestic sofa style upholstery style, with backrests and armrests in four sections on each side. During our brief lounge assessment for this review, we can say they’re definitely comfortable. The accent colour is mauve, in a floral pattern on the curtains and two of the cushions. It’s a relaxing, calming look.
The hinge-down work-surface top over the hob means that, with the kitchen’s 32-cm extension hinged up for use, the total surface is 1.73m long, interrupted only by the sink – and that has a white cover, which sits flush with the rim. That amounts to significant surface!
The sink is square (32cm), and has a drainer of the same size, which sits alongside the sink or can be placed over the top.
Lower storage gets a complete redesign, with a move away from cupboards to drawers. There is one cupboard, though, alongside the oven, with a specific use; it contains three bottle clips.
The two drawers are 66cm wide and 25cm deep – the top one contains a cutlery tray. A drop-down front cabinet beneath creates more storage space, of the same width. There are cabinets above and alongside the 90-litre Dometic fridge-freezer. Altogether, we think the storage space and surface area will prove to be well up to expectations for keen caravan cooks.
Having towed the previous Pamplona model many hundreds of miles, the latest journey being from Grantham to Cornwall (via central Bristol to avoid a closed section of M5!) I can vouch for the tow-ease of Pamplonas.
Twin-axle predictability and surefootedness never cease to impress; and, at 1725kg MTPLM, it’s among the lightest in its class. Plus, as you’d expect, ATC is part of the kit.
Brilliant shower room, brilliant lounge, domestic-style settees… The new Pamplona has some stunning new elements. Add in the practical surface-matching hob cover, the eight USB charging points, the dimmable spotlights and the wiring already installed for a motor mover (in recognition that most buyers get movers installed at the time of purchase), and this new incarnation of the Pamplona must be regarded as an impressive package of well-designed caravan. Only the bed extension lip and lack of hairdryer point near to the mirror mars this otherwise excellent newcomer.