At the time of writing (late May 2021), there was already evidence of new caravan stocks running low, but more enterprising dealers are happy to promise to keep prices at current levels if you pre-order a 2021 model like this.
Upping the ante – and the price, ironically – has worked for Bailey since last September, when the six-model Phoenix+ caravan range took over from the standard (less exciting, perhaps?) Phoenix models that, themselves, were only introduced in 2018.
All out for an island
The 640 isn’t the only Phoenix+ caravan that offers an island bed, but it is the only one that has it running lengthways (sister model the 644 has its bed located transversely with a full-width washroom at the back).
As ever, it’s Bailey’s own Alu-Tech bodywork on Al-Ko running gear. Key features are the GRP-clad sides with silver exterior, alloy wheels are standard, and the distinctive three-windowed front arrangement instantly marks this out as a product of the Bristol-based manufacturer.
The interior of the Phoenix+ 640 caravan, also has that instant Bailey style. Not just because of the décor, but details like the open shelving in each front corner, the worktops and – perhaps most notably – the ease with which everything works, from the access to the storage under the island bed to the hinged worktop over the cooker.
With nearly 6m of interior to play with, Bailey’s designers have given prominence to the front lounge and rear bedroom, with a bit of a squeeze on the en-suite facilities (separate toilet room and shower cubicle) and the kitchen.
The latter includes a four-burner hob (there’s no electric hotplate) with separate oven and grill, as well as a microwave oven.
The circular sink is stainless steel, immediately left of the hob allowing, in turn, the drainer to be added to its left. Worktop space is a little on the tight side, but otherwise all is in order here – right down to two mains sockets, plate racking, cutlery tray etc.
Directly opposite the cooker – and therefore within easy reach – there’s a Dometic 103-litre fridge, with removable freezer, under some handy worktop, while the microwave oven is also at a convenient height.
The toilet room in the Bailey Phoenix+ 640 is bereft of frills – or, indeed, a window – but nevertheless fulfils its mains duties. There’s a swivel-bowl toilet with fixed basin over a locker adjacent (it sits on the wheel arch), with a second locker overhead.
Across the corridor, the shower cubicle is plastic-lined, with a low-level moulding that’s ideal for placing shampoo bottles etc. As is the way with these arrangements, the whole shower/toilet room area can be shut off to create a full-width washroom, thanks to a sliding partition and a proper door.
It’s a proper bedroom at the back of the Phoenix+ 640 caravan, with wardrobes and drawers (with small ledges) either side of the bed (which is also retractable), as well as lockers overhead. It’s all set up for watching TV in here, as well as enjoying good views out via the generous side windows, but just a standard-size rooflight above.
There are two extra sleeping berths at the front, too, of course – go for two singles (they’re just shy of 6ft in length) or a generous double, 1.88m x 1.40m at its maximum.
Details? Having to retrieve the table from it storage location on the underside of the bed will surely prove a niggle for some (at least you know it’s safely tucked away in transit). And dare we say, despite generally extensive LED lighting (including USB ports in the lounge reading lamps) there’s a tendency to be too bright?
Bailey does have a happy knack of providing the right caravans at the right prices. That 1,411kg MTPLM, too, puts the Phoenix+ 640 within reach of plenty of folk who want an island bed tourer.
Indeed, do feel free to spend a bit more. As well as the key optional extras listed opposite, don’t forget Bailey also offers a wide range of themed accessories via its own Prima Leisure arm.
Verdict: Keenly priced but more than adequately specified
Plus: Separate bedroom with comfy island double
Minus: Main table storage location, washroom facilities are a bit restricted
In-a-nutshell: Island love
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 Dart, Elddis Avanté / Compass Casita 550, Swift Sprite Major 4EB
Bailey Phoenix+ 640 factfile
|Model||Bailey Phoenix+ 640|
|Dimensions||7.37m L, 2.21m W, 2.63m H|
|MTPLM||1,411kg (upgradable to 1,500kg)|
|RRP||from £21,264 on the road|
|Safety & security||AKS 3004 stabiliser, laser-balanced wheels with security tyres and anti-tamper bolts, internal spare wheel storage, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, spare wheel stored in underbed area, CRiS with concealed data chip.|
|Key options||Al-Ko Trailer Control System (£514.99), Truma iNet (£199), bedding set (£229.99), four-year extension to bodyshell warranty (£265), three-year extension to manufacturing warranty (£439)|