Its 7.60m overall length will put it into competition with island bed rivals, but where the Advance motorhome scores is in its comprehensive spec, Al-Ko chassis and good payload on a 3,500kg base vehicle
Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 655kg
Bailey has just launched a brand-new Advance range of coachbuilt motorhomes, with six models designed to tackle entry-level best-sellers such as the Elddis Autoquest and Swift Escape, plus numerous imported marques, too. The two-berth (66-2) and six-berth (70-6) layouts are clearly inspired by their predecessors, but this French bed model (76-4) gains around a metre in overall length, because the washroom now runs across the full width of the ’van, aft of the bed, instead of squeezing in alongside the mattress.
The Peugeot Boxer cab comes with all the essential stuff as standard: two airbags, cruise control, air-conditioning, electric mirrors and a DAB radio with Bluetooth (but no CD slot), ESP, Remis cab blinds, and a giant overcab sunroof. You don’t get sat-nav, a reversing camera (pre-wiring for one is in place, though) or a leather helm but the wheel does have switches for phone/radio operation.
Power comes from Peugeot’s 130bhp Euro VI unit, which requires AdBlue but seems smoother and generally a little more sophisticated than Fiat’s equivalent 2.3-litre motor.
On site, the cab seats join the dinette to create a comfy six-seater lounge. It’s a tiny 70mm step down from cab to lounge and a further 150mm drop from lounge to kitchen, but the seats are all at a comfortable height. A shoe locker is found in the raised floor, with the battery compartment recessed below that.
The table is not too heavy to manoeuvre and has a small slot-in extension panel to enable anyone in the passenger cab seat or on the side settee to reach their food.
Lighting – natural and artificial – is anything but entry-level and the reading lights (are even dimmable. The flat pull-down blinds are the only down-market feature here. Storage can be found under the forward-facing seat and in the extra-large top lockers (with more of these over the rear bed). Not only are these very tall cupboards but their doors are wide and, in many cases, their interiors are unshelved.
The conversion of the front lounge into a bed is surprisingly easy and remarkably successful. The lounge bed is secondary to the French bed here. It is good-sized, with a luxuriously thick mattress and loads of room to sit up, back against the headboard, to read. There are even little corner shelves to put your cuppa down, as well as a low surface at the foot of the bed with adjacent TV point.
Alongside the bed is a tall, narrow wardrobe (drop from the hanging rail is an impressive 1.25m) and a wall-mounted mirror with cupboard below. A convenient mains socket makes this area ideal for sitting on the mattress with a hairdryer, etc. The French bed rises on gas struts for easy access to the area below. Even with the fresh water tank being located here (in a properly winterised location), there’s still plenty of room for your outdoor chairs. The internal height of the locker is 500mm but more restrictive will be the small (630mm by 330mm) external hatch.
The galley is sandwiched between the back of the half-dinette and the wardrobe, along the offside wall. Headroom here is a lofty 2.10m and the top cupboards are deep enough to store cereal packets. Better still, the standard-fit 800W microwave is mounted at a typical eye level. There is just enough room for a kettle next to the hob, and there are two mains sockets here. The cooker is a Thetford Triplex with three gas rings and a combined oven/grill, while the sink comes with a plastic washing-up bowl, chopping board cover and a portable draining board.
Underneath is a 95-litre three-way fridge with removable freezer compartment. As usual in a Bailey, it’s a basic model with push-button ignition for gas operation. Low-level storage is quite limited and the only drawer is a shallow one under the oven.
The French bed arrangement results in a class-leading amount of room for your ablutions. As you enter, the first feature you see is the usual swivel cassette toilet. Then there’s a small opening window in the rear wall, followed by a traditional-type inset washbasin and, finally, in the nearside corner, a separate shower. There’s plenty of space to get your fizzog over the basin for a good splash, though there’s a lack of flat surfaces for your potions. And the wall cupboard over the toilet has no fiddle rails (and too few shelves). Better is the shower, which is generous in size, while there there’s no shortage of legroom or shoulder-room when sat on the throne.
A six-year bodyshell warranty (with optional extension to 10 years) and a three-year manufacturer’s component warranty (extendable to six years) are reassuring. Heating is by gas/mains Truma Combi 4, controlled via the newer, simpler to use, iNet-ready panel. Bike rack mountings and pre-wiring for satellite TV are included but awnings, rooftop dishes, etc, will have to be fitted by your dealer.
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