Serving up a sixer
Plenty of folk buy a six-berth motorhome, not because they want to cater for half a dozen people on board, but because they want the flexibility that such floorplans can offer – for two, three or more.
When Bailey announced its most recent Alliance motorhome range, it was plugging a gap in its own market. The 70-6 here tops the Alliance line-up, but you also find its equivalent for some £3,500 less in the Advance series. Or, some £8,000 more as an Autograph model.
Full marks to Bailey, though, for its “no messing” pricing. It’s always been consistent with its “one-specification-suits-all” policy, covering both the base vehicle and the conversion. True, it means there’s not much in the way of factory-fit options (your dealer can always, of course, offer plenty of add-ons), but it also helps keep production efficiency up and prices down.
For the Alliance, that means starting on the usual Peugeot Boxer/Al-Ko running gear, but with the more powerful and sophisticated 160bhp engine as standard. You also get items like the wind-out awning, solar panel, digital radio and satnav at no extra cost. And that’s enough to tell you Bailey is already onto something of a winner.
Maximum weight is maintained at 3,500kg, so anyone with a full licence can drive this motorhome. And it has an adequate payload.
As with all Baileys, it uses the company’s Alu-Tech body construction, with GRP exterior and interior panelling, backed up by a six-year integrity warranty.
The Al-Ko chassis also contributes to a better drive, thanks to a lower overall centre of gravity (low enough for no retractable step needed at the habitation door), as well as softer springing compared to the standard Peugeot offering. Traction+ and Hill-hold are also fitted to the Peugeot base, at Bailey’s behest.
There’s certainly no problem catering for up to six when it comes to seating and sleeping. Apart from the swivelling cab seats, there’s a double dinette offering four travel seats immediately behind the driver.
Plus, there are twin settees at the back – making the latter the ideal place for lounging, while the dinette, across from the kitchen, is more suited to dining.
The 70-6 has a single table, with extension section, for use in either seating area. For safe travel, both pieces stow in the wardrobe.
The kitchen itself is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a Thetford Triplex cooker (three gas rings and a combined oven/grill), supplemented by a microwave oven (its location, over the sink, is preferable to directly above the hob). Worktop is pretty generous and there’s a flip-up extension to the left of the sink. The fridge, under the sink, only has a 95-lite capacity, although you can use all the space for chilling if you remove the freezer compartment. The cutlery drawer, too, isn’t the largest.
Similarly, you’ll want to scrutinise the washroom. It’s a good size, but there’s no separate shower cubicle – instead, an area can be curtained off for washing, via an Ecocamel showerhead. There’s also only a rooflight for ventilation. Details do extend to a towel holder and clothes hook, but arguably there could be more for all-family use. There’s just the one locker in here, too.
Come night-time, you’re looking at a choice of three double beds: the lounge converts, thanks to pull-out slats between the two settee bases; there’s an electrically-operated drop-down longitudinal double with a one-piece mattress over the lounge, and then there’s the re-arranging of the dinette seating.
So, it’s under 7m long and it really does cater for up to six. At a rather attractive price, too.
Verdict: Very practical floorplan, excellent base vehicle/chassis set-up
Plus: Keenly priced, 3,500kg chassis rating, seating and bedding flexibility
Minus: No engine/transmission choices
In-a-nutshell: A flexible friend
There’s more information on the Alliance range on the Bailey website or you can look at our earlier range review. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Trail Tribute 736, Elddis Autoquest 196/Compass Avantgarde 196
Bailey Alliance 70-6 factfile
|Bailey Alliance 70-6
|6.96m L x 2.49m W x 2.76m H
|From £51,999 on the road
|Safety & security
|Al-Ko chassis with outriggers, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), ABS with monitoring system, engine immobiliser, driver’s airbag, “Fix and Go” tyre repair kit.
|Four-year extension to bodywork warranty (£265), three-year extension to manufacturer’s warranty (£849)