The Phoenix+ is an eye-catching caravan with grey sides and two bold sweeps of purple and grey graphics. They set the tone for an impressively stylish tourer that packs a punch in terms of value and lightweight appeal. There’s nothing ‘budget’ about this caravan’s looks. With first-rate kitchen storage, a lovely luxuriously secluded bedroom and en suite that closes off completely from the rest of the caravan, this is a charming and proven layout very well executed.
Price from: £19,999 (plus £565 delivery) Berths: 4 Length – Body: 5.84m, Overall: 7.36m Width: 2.21m Headroom: 1.96m Heating system: Truma Weight – MIRO: 1,257kg, MTPLM: 1,411kg
Words: Val Chapman Photos: Richard Chapman
Comfort, affordability, lightweight, versatility… These are Bailey’s key words to introduce the new-for-2021 Phoenix+ caravan range. This bright new caravan range is clearly designed to appeal to buyers taking their first venture into touring; all six models are under £20,000, and all come in well under 1,500kg MTPLM.
If your preference is for a caravan with a double bed, the Phoenix+ range has that covered twice, with a model in which the bed is aligned across the caravan, with the showering arrangements behind it, and another with the bed at the rear and the washing department amidships. That’s our review caravan, the 640.
One of the first retailers to receive the Phoenix+ range was Campbells Caravans at Lostock Hall, Preston – and Caravan magazine was there the day after the 640’s arrival to take a detailed look for you.
First impressions? A super-modern fabric scheme; soft greys with purple accents are a stunning combination.
Tthe layout is proven, practical and with a gorgeously secluded rear bedroom. At 1.89m long, the bed will suit most statures. The usual twin wardrobe arrangement, each with 32cm of hanging width and cabinets underneath, plus overbed lockers, offers a reasonable amount of storage space.
There’s a little dressing table on the offside and, on the nearside, something that, for us, puts this bedroom in the top bracket in terms of practicality. It’s a triangular table, large enough for iPads and even a small laptop, with a mains power socket perfectly placed for charging.
So, we’ll call it the charging table… We fell in love with this arrangement last year during our time with a long-term-test Bailey Pegasus Grande Messina and we’re delighted to see it replicated in the new 640, which is a shorter, narrower version of the Messina.
So, if you fancy a Messina bedroom but would rather have a lighter caravan that’s also £5,900 cheaper, the Bailey Phoenix + 640 provides that. The showering-washing arrangements are pretty similar to those in the Messina, too; just a little more confined. But all you need is here – shower on the nearside, toilet and washbasin on the offside and a door to close off the entire en suite and bedroom area from the kitchen.
The kitchen in the Bailey Phoenix + 640 excels on storage, with a 73cm-wide double-doored cabinet and a deep drawer above it, plus two deep overhead lockers (with soft-close mechanisms), and opposite, in the dresser that houses the fridge and microwave, an additional top locker. Two power points are in the main kitchen area and a third, together with TV connections, is by the fridge.
The sink is a good size at 36cm in diameter and working surface around it is more than adequate. We love Bailey’s double hob covers, with a top that matches the work surface to hinge down over the glass top, to create extra work surface before you cook.
The lounge settees are a generous 1.81m long, which means you can use them as single beds (or make up a double which measures 1.88m by 1.4m). These settees have a noticeably comfortable feel, with good-sized knee rolls. Interestingly, the base cushions are fully sprung.
After a few years of absence, sprung upholstery is creeping back into fashion; Bailey even uses it in its entry-level, ultra-lightweight Discovery range, and Coachman also puts springs in its seating.
When you convert the lounge into a dining room you need to raise the bed to get out the table. It sits on a frame that keeps it above the underbed storage area. Tables under beds can draw adverse comment in terms of convenience but this is one arrangement that creates no problem for us.
So, a super package with value written right through it. What more could you want? Well, for our money, the option of the ATC stability control system would be £514 well spent.
And if you want your 640 to look show-caravan perfect, you could get Bailey’s bedding set, which coordinates with the lounge fabrics, at £229.
Our thanks to review location: Campbells Caravans, Lostock Hall, Preston