Things have moved quickly for Bailey’s flagship Unicorn range. Introduced in 2011, we’re already into the third generation. Cartagena is one of three twin-axle models, joining what is now an eight-strong total line-up in 2013.
Its focus is well and truly on the current growing fashion for island beds, although Bailey adds a slight twist here – literally – by aligning its main double transversely. There’s also space to squeeze past at the foot end en route to the full-width washroom across the back.
Intrigued? When you get beyond the distinctive front – thanks to that deep central window-cum-sunroof – you can begin to appreciate things all the more when you’re sat in the lounge and can start admiring the levels of luxury in this Unicorn.
You’re sat on reassuringly firm cushioning, for starters, helped by bolsters at the end of each settee and four scatter cushions. This lounge can also offer “just about” single beds of 1.75m (nearside) and 1.82m (offside, both x 0.65m wide) or a 1.98m x 1.75m double. Above, the locker doors – supplied by Italy’s Tecnoform – have a part-gloss finish that’s very much in vogue.
Like, every other locker and drawer, there’s a soft-close function to these. There’s a small sliding table for occasional use, plus the usual free-stander for full mealtimes. There are also plenty of curves to the furniture throughout that help to get over the feeling this is a caravan that’s a class above. However, you might not find the storage location for the latter table ideal – you have to hinge up the rear bed’s substantial frame to access it.
As is so often the way, that all-important rear bed is just a tad on the short side, even when fully extended. Officially, it’s 1.86m long and 1.43m wide, but they key thing here is, of course, there’s space to dangle to all three open edges from the deep “Honeycore” mattress!
There’s also a pleated divider to close off the whole bedroom, although such are the facilities here you can still watch TV (you supply) from bed. Wardrobes-cum-bedside tabletops, each with a drawer and a locker, flank each side of the bed.
There’s sliding door access to the washroom, which has a step-in shower cubicle in the nearside corner and a swivel-bowl toilet offside, with the sink pretty much centre-stage. The two cupboards should take care of any of the usual things that need storing here, while the extending shaving/make-up mirror and top-hinged laundry locker are thoughtful touches.
As for the on-board catering, a generous enough kitchen extends along the offside. As well as an extended worktop plus a flip-up extension, there’s a full Thetford cooker with dual-fuel hob and separate oven and grill, plus a Daewoo microwave oven.
Supplementing the kitchen is the massive capacity 190-litre Dometic fridge/freezer, directly across the corridor.
And of course, it’s the fully programmable Alde heating system that’s a big, comforting attraction here. It heads a list of star attractions that also includes features ranging from a 100Watt solar panel to a DAB stereo radio/CD/MP3 player. A standard fit Tracker Retrieve security system, AL-KO Secure axle wheel lock and AL-KO ATC electronic anti snaking device will certainly result in caravan insurance premium discounts.
If you like the transverse island bed/end washroom concept – and are prepared to tackle a twin-axle – there’s simply no way this Unicorn Cartagena is not going to be on your shortlist. Indeed, it could actually be the benchmark.
Verdict: Bailey does luxury… and keeps the pricing ever-competitive
Plus: Highly comfortable and ore than fully equipped for two (or even four)
Minus: Table storage
In-a-nutshell: Island bed comfort with all the trimmings, Bristol-fashion
Cost to insure: £380*
- Bailey Unicorn Cartagena
- Dimensions 7.92m L, 2.28m W, 2.61m H
- Internal length 6.38m
- Berths 4
- MTPLM 1,717kg
- MIRO 1,554kg
- Payload 163kg
- Key options: Alternative Trafalgar upholstery (£199), Bedding set £209)
- Safety and security: Tracker Retrieve, Al-Ko ATC and stabiliser, WSL wheel bolts, TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) compatibility, Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock (two), shock absorbers, Michelin tyres and WSL tamper-proof bolts, spare wheel and carrier, single-key operation
Recommended retail price from £23,700**
There’s more information on the Unicorn range on the Bailey website and to find out more about low cost premiums visit the caravan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Buccaneer Cruiser, Compass Rallye 644, Elddis Crusader Storm, Lunar Delta TI, Sterling Continental 645/Swift Conqueror 645, Swift Elegance 645
*Caravan insurance cost based on 2015 Bailey Unicorn Cartagena retailing at £23,700 fitted with hitchlock, Tracker Retrieve, AL-KO Secure wheel lock and Al-KO ATC. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. £100 excess. 180 days European cover and up to £75 per day for up to 15 days emergency accommodation cover included. Legal expenses cover, extended European cover and other emergency accommodation expenses cover options are available at extra cost. Quote includes 10% online discount and 6% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 28/05/2015.
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%.