Not so trivial
Budget? What budget? Couple? Or a family with kids? Here’s a caravan for all reasons as well as seasons. But first, a question: who sleeps where?
It’s a genuine dilemma in a layout like this, with its two permanent single beds and front lounge that forms a transverse double or two short singles. Do the kids get the more comfortable fixed beds, allowing parents to stay up later and make use of the lounge? Or do the elders assert their rights to the main sleeping berths? There’s always an awning to consider, too, of course.
Then again, there’s no doubt plenty of couples who will buy such a ‘van on the basis of all the interior space as well as a floorplan that retains the front seating whilst also having those fixed beds.
Indeed, overall length is about as long as you’ll get on a single axle. It’s pretty light, too, for a 7.40m long caravan.
There are the usual pointers that this is a value-for-money tourer. There’s the single front window (although there’s an opening sunroof overhead). The door is a stable-type, without a window. And it’s only a 2kW Truma Combi for the heating and hot water. Standard kit is far from fully pared-back, however. There’s a JVC stereo radio/CD player with MP3 and USB connections (front speakers only). Lighting throughout is LED units (there are no ambient strips, though). A 230V socket in the nearside settee base is the only outlet in the lounge, although the most likely spot you’ll put a TV is on the unit the other side of the entrance (where there are relevant sockets plus 230V).
It’s certainly very open plan and doesn’t really suffer from lack of daylight getting in.
A point of criticism for some will be the storage for the lounge table. It slots into the very back of the wardrobe for travel, making it tricky enough to retrieve when you also have clothes stowed… but even more hazardous when you realise it has to make the journey from the back of the caravan to the front every time you set up on site.
That wardrobe itself is in the washroom, where it takes up the offside corner. Next to it, a swivel-bowl toilet is squeezed in with a deep bowl basin to its immediate right. There’s a window on the back wall, but you’ll have to bring along your own mirrors. A plastic-lined shower cubicle with bi-folding doors occupies the nearside corner. There’s just a soap tray in here to help with your cleaning regime.
The kitchen, too, has a few compromises of note. It’s not the biggest fridge by modern standards, and it’s a push-button ignition if you’re powering it by gas. A Thetford Triplex cooker suffices (three gas rings, combined oven and grill). Doors and drawers lack a soft-close function. For plenty of caravanners, though, such details won’t matter because there’s still plenty of worktop and kitchen storage space, (despite the gas locker intruding). And a microwave oven – set above the sink – is standard, as is a generous sized cutlery drawer.
Beyond the kitchen, those single beds are differing lengths – 1.90m nearside, 1.79m offside – but the same 0.70m width. Add pillows and you’ll have adequate support to sit upright on either bed, should you wish, and the one-piece mattresses are set at what most will consider an easy height for access. Slightly surprisingly, there’s nothing to offer a bit of privacy between the main sleeping area and the rest of the ‘van.
It’s the keen pricing that keeps this Pursuit so attractive, though. It’s certainly not trivial. More like a Pursuit for the masses, you might say
Verdict: Worth it for two. Or four
Plus: Permanent single beds, full-width washroom
Minus: Check the compromises
In-a-nutshell: The search for value starts here
There’s more information on the Pursuit range on the Bailey website. To find out more about insuring this or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance discounts page
Alternatives: Adria Altea 542 DK Severn, Elddis Avante/Compass Capiro 574, Lunar Venus 550/4, Swift Challenger 565
Bailey Pursuit 550/4 factfile
|Model||Bailey Pursuit 550/4|
|Dimensions||7.40m L, 2.24m W, 2.59m H|
|RRP||from £18,264 on the road|
|Safety & security||Al-Ko AKS stabiliser, laser-balanced wheels with security tyres and anti-tamper bolts, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, CRiS, floor-mounted spare wheel|
|Key options||Al-Ko Secure wheel lock (£225), Al-Ko ATC (£425), Truma iNet (£275), four-year extension to bodyshell warranty (£265), three-year extension to manufacturing warranty (£439)|