Bunking up to take things lightly
Accommodating six folk and weighing in at 1,600kg could qualify this as a lightweight. It’s all relative, of course. But, something adds up in this twin axle family caravan at a keen-as-mustard price.
Keeping both price and weight down means there’s the occasional bit of detail missing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – kids and caravan luxuries don’t always go together.
You can expect the usual twin axle on-road stability, however. That’s one of the instant attractions of this family-friendly Phoenix 760 caravan.
Bodywork sports minimal graphics and the overall look is perfunctory, as is is so often the Bailey way. But look beyond these and there aren’t so many differences between a Phoenix and the next range up the Bailey portfolio. If you feel like drifting upmarket there’s always the same floorplan Unicorn Segovia. Your local Bailey dealer will surely be happy to point out the differences.
Of course, all Bailey caravans go down the same production lines and using the same build techniques, notably the Alu-Tech bodywork construction, and backed by a minimum six-year integrity warranty.
All ancillaries, except the mains hook-up point, are along the offside where they’ll be out of the way from your awning space. Inside, it’s worth noting aspects like how Bailey optimises the interior space by pushing the seating right to the front wall, with bolster cushions either side of the two-drawer chest and slide-out tabletop. Overhead, open cubby holes extending into each corner, help alleviate the boxed-in feeling you might get with closed-off lockers.
You still get TV, 12V and mains electrics points at the front of the lounge (on the side of the drawer unit). Also, a USB outlet in the base of one of the two reading lights – plus there are two conventional three-pin sockets beyond the lounge (two in the kitchen, one over the ledge for a TV just inside the doorway).
In truth, the upholstery doesn’t feel the highest quality, but cushioning seems supportive enough. And there’s plenty of natural daylight, thanks to the central window following the curve of the roofline. Plus, there’s a Heki Midi between the kitchen and lounge areas.
The kitchen itself has a Thetford Caprice cooker (four gas rings, separate grill and oven), with a stainless steel sink to its immediate left, allowing space on the worktop on its left for an add-on drainer. Note, also, the cover for the cooker matches the rest of the worktop.
Under the sink, there’s a large drawer and an equally capacious double-doored cupboard with fixed shelf. Overhead are two further lockers (one with a shelf). To the right of the cooker, a tall cupboard is home to the free-standing dining table, but there’s still space for your kitchen fare. Plus, there’s open shelving above.
Directly opposite, there’s a Dometic 134-litre fridge with a freezer box that – in theory, at least, is removable. However, such is the fridge’s location you can’t open its main door fully to perform such a task. Or, indeed, remove any of the shelves.
On the plus side, the fridge itself is at a convenient height (with lockers above and below), with a high-level Russell Hobbs microwave oven to its right, that’s equally easy to access.
Aft of the kitchen, there’s a solid door to close off the washing and cleaning facilities. These are split between a generous shower cubicle on the nearside and toilet and handbasin on the offside. The former sits on the wheel arch but that shouldn’t be too intrusive. Walls are plastic-lined and there’s an Ecocamel showerhead – the lack of a riser bar and a second plug hole are obvious cost-cutting measures here, as is nowhere to put your shampoo bottle, soap or anything else.
The rest of the washroom area is taken by the swivel-bowl toilet and fixed basin. There’s good storage on this side. Again, the lack of a window keeps costs down.
A sliding door offers privacy for the children’s zone at the back. Highlights here are the two fixed bunks in the offside corner, and a dinette that converts into two further sleeping berths in time-honoured fashion. Has Bailey missed a trick in not including USB sockets to the reading lamp for each bunk, as per the one in the lounge? That said, there’s the usual trio of mains, 12V and TV aerial sockets nearby. Plus, there’s exterior access to the lower bunk (as indeed there is to the nearside front settee).
Like its six Phoenix sisters, the 760 may lack the curves and frills of more upmarket models. But, canny buyers won’t be worried.
Verdict: Cut-price family caravanning looks good the Phoenix way
Plus: Outstanding value-for-money for family fun caravanning, classic family-friendly layout
Minus: Fridge location may need a rethink
In-a-nutshell: Take six
There’s more information on the Phoenix 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, Lunar Quasar 696
Bailey Phoenix 760 factfile
|Bailey Phoenix 760
|7.86m L, 2.21m W, 2.62m H
|from £21,564 on the road
|Safety & security
|Al-Ko AKS stabiliser, laser-balanced wheels with security tyres and anti-tamper bolts, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, floor-mounted spare wheel, CRiS
|Al-Ko ATC (£425), Truma iNet upgrade (£275), four-year extension to bodyshell warranty (£265), three-year extension to manufacturing warranty (£439), Dressing Pack (£229)