There’s a lot to like about the Faro, with its ultra-luxury finish. At 1,790kg MTPLM, it’s by no means a heavyweight for its 7.86m overall length. It’s also well priced in its category – definitely good value.
Price from: £30,699 (plus £565 delivery) Berths: 4 Length: Body – 6.33m; Overall – 7.86m Width: 2.45m Headroom: 1.96m Heating system: Alde Weight: MIRO – 1,630kg; MTPLM – 1,790kg
Words: Val Chapman Photography: Richard Chapman
Bailey launched its flagship, eight-foot-wide Alicanto Grande range in the summer of 2019, three models were unveiled.
One with twin beds and two with double beds; one of these with the shower room at the rear, the other with the shower in the centre and the bedroom at the rear.
Something for everyone looking in the top-spec, fixed bed bracket, one might say.
Then came the Faro, launched in February 2020 and also with a double bed. This model, though, is a rear-bedroom caravan with a twist; a shower room twist.
Yes, the shower room is in the centre but, instead of having the shower on one side and the toilet-washbasin room opposite, with a corridor in between, the Faro’s washing department is one single, room on the nearside.
This layout is unique. Will it be preferred to the same-size, same-price Alicanto Grande Porto, which has the popular two-part central shower toilet area?
We’re not sure. The Porto and the Faro will inevitably be closely compared by buyers. So, just as if we were in the market, we spent a day at Campbells Caravans, at Lostock Hall in Lancashire, to scrutinise the Faro, alongside the Porto.
Both have twin axles, Alde heating, the ATC stability control system, tracker monitor systems – and the benefit of eight-foot width.
They also have Dometic’s 153-litre capacity fridge/freezer with a double hinged door that can be opened from either the left or the right side. A gimmick, some may say.
We’d say it’s not; this is a practical invention which means that you can stand anywhere in a semi-circle of space in front of the fridge and extract your can of cola, bottle of rosé, or food for the meal you’re about to prepare.
The lounge is spacious, thanks to the eight-foot width. The settees are 1.8m long making them well suitable for use as single beds.
The kitchen’s L-shaped surface gives you ample space in which to concoct meals easily. The L-shape stretches 94cm towards the centre of the caravan and 1.24m along the side.
Storage is provided by two 30cm-wide drawers and a drop-down hatch cabinet, plus a central cabinet that is a clever design, reaching behind the drawers, making the best use of space. The Faro even has a wine rack, on the aft end of the kitchen.
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So far so excellent. But what of the Faro’s unique shower room? Cleverly, the 80cm-wide door aft of the kitchen has two purposes. It closes off the kitchen from the shower room, dividing the caravan into two rooms. When you open it, the door closes off the shower room allowing for privacy.
At first glance we thought the shower room rather cramped, given inevitable comparisons with full-width end shower rooms and central ones that span the entire width of the caravan.
This is a shower room like no other. It’s almost square, with a cut-off section for the angle of the door. You couldn’t say it’s spacious but there is certainly enough room in here for the showering/drying routine. When the door is open, though, the shower room becomes an adjunct to the bedroom. This is how it’s best used, so that you have more space.
There’s another difference, apart from the shape, between this and all other shower rooms. Above the toilet is a 50cm-wide cabinet with three shelves. Perfect for all manner of clothes that you don’t need to hang in the two wardrobes in the bedroom.
A hinged bar in the ceiling of the shower cubicle is ideal for drying towels or hanging wet coats. And, just outside, on the forward wall of the bedroom, are two hooks. Actually, the more time we spent in the little room, the more we came to like it.
So, on into the lovely bedroom, where there is another Faro unique feature. This bedroom has two dressing tables. It feels – and looks – boutique hotel. And, of course, the caravan’s eight-foot width makes this bedroom spacious as well as luxurious.
Cabinet accommodation is superb. Under the forward dressing table is a double cabinet, 70cm wide, with two shelves alongside it. The second, smaller dressing table is 76cm wide. It also has a cabinet beneath it and one above, too. Two lockers are above the bed.
The wardrobes are quite narrow; the forward one has a rail 20cm wide but the door aperture is only 14cm wide, so it’s a tad awkward to get stuff in and out, we discovered. The hanging width in the aft wardrobe is 30cm wide and the door is much wider; there’s a shelf above the rail, too.
Eight-foot width gives several advantages. In the Faro, there’s one that is not obvious until you delve deep into the detail, as we did; specifically, under the bed. For that is where the dining table is stored.
We’ve never been fans of tables stored under beds, especially really substantial (and therefore quite heavy) ones like this. Yes, it’s heavy to lift in and out – but, forgive it that, because this table is 24cm wider than standard caravan tables.
It’s of a clever design, unique to Bailey, with hinged sections on each side, creating the extra width, so that it is perfectly dimensioned for the 84cm space between the settees. We love it.
So, super-big dining table, gorgeous boutique-style bedroom, all the bells and whistles you’d expect with a £30,000-plus caravan, twin-axle stability and a general feeling and look of quality. The Faro (named after the capital of Portugal’s Algarve region) is stacked with plus-points if you're looking for a new caravan.
Only the shower room set-up will divide opinion between the Faro and its Porto sibling.