Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer Al-Ko Price from: £51,999 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 7.58m Width: 2.28m Height: 2.76m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 593kg
At the NEC show last October, Bailey introduced a third motorhome range based on its entry-level Advance (unveiled earlier in the year) but with increased spec. In addition to adopting the most popular layouts from the Advance (all except the transverse island bed models), the new Alliance also sees the addition of two single bed floorplans.
In common with the cheaper Advance, the Alliance gets a Peugeot cab and low Al-Ko chassis, as well as a 3,500kg gross weight across the range, but the new line-up is immediately identifiable by the graphite-coloured base vehicle. More importantly, all Alliances get the 160bhp HDi engine (rather than 130bhp), as well as Peugeot’s built-in sat-nav (but no leather steering wheel or chrome-ringed dials). Air-conditioning, cruise control, ESP and twin airbags are standard.
Of course, Bailey’s Alu-Tech construction is shared by the newcomers and the exterior benefits from a factory-fitted Fiamma awning and a 100W solar panel as part of the upgrade.
Inside, there are further enhancements to justify the additional £3,999 on the list price. There’s a new Natural Slate finish for the worktops (with matching kitchen splashback), mated to Portland soft furnishings (or optional Wandsworth trim) with Pebble Shore loose-fit carpets, so the Alliance has a look of its own. An illuminated rooflight surround has been added, too.
Most interesting is the new layout seen here, which is offered in both Alliance and Advance ranges. There’s also a 76-2T version of each, with two parallel sofas up front in place of the half-dinette seen here. Bailey’s numbering system explains the difference – the first number is the length (7.6m approx) and the second is the number of travel seats. The ‘T’ here refers to twin beds, as there’s already a 76-4 with a French bed and end washroom.
The bedroom area is not separated from the rest of the Alliance’s living space as you might expect. There’s not even a curtain, so make sure your duvets are neat before you invite friends in. The beds do, however, come with a headboard and small bedside shelf, as well as a reading light with USB port, while lengths are a generous 1.93m on the nearside and a modest 1.80m on the offside (Bailey’s figures).
Under the longer bed there’s plenty of storage, as well as a small external loading hatch, while opposite the bed base houses the 95-litre fresh water tank (and a bit more stowage space). The wardrobe is in the washroom, rather than over the foot of each bed as often seen with this type of layout, creating a more open-plan feel, but you’ll need to consider where else to keep the infill cushions if you plan to use the front lounge bed (2.10m by 1.30m).
The bathroom door sits between the beds and, as you enter, the washbasin and a large mirror with shelf below face you. To the right is a well-proportioned separate shower with massive headroom. The solitary drain for the shower tray is our only gripe in this hard-to-fault washroom.
Up front, the big overcab sunroof and cab reading lights are pluses in a conventional half-dinette lounge but, if you plan to carry rear passengers, the crash-tested seating is reassuring. The fact that the wall-mounted table can be removed for travel is another safety feature, while flat blinds (and habitation windows that sit proud of the bodywork outside) are signs of the Alliance’s more modest roots in the entry-level Advance.
The kitchen incorporates a fitted microwave and Triplex cooker with oven/grill but low-level storage is limited and there’s just one drawer here (under the oven). A folding worktop extension adds vital preparation space alongside the hob but you’ll need to be extra careful to avoid spillages onto the bedding underneath.