The Plus factor
There are just about enough subtle changes for Bailey to justify calling its latest caravan range Phoenix+, usurping the previous standard Phoenix.
It’s an almost imperceptible shift upmarket for a line-up that covers the six most popular single axle floorplans – all executed the Bailey way, keeping weights and prices down. but also offering enough specification to hover just above its most obvious rivals.
There’s certainly no skimping on the bodyshell. It’s the usual Alu-Tech GRP-skinned coachbuilding, backed by the same warranties you get with any Bailey.
Silver sides help put the “+” in Phoenix+, with alloy wheels as standard, adding to the upmarket air. That three-windowed front, with its extended, opening centre section is hallmark Bailey, too.
Inside, the four-berth Phoenix+ 644 caravan has that most popular of current layouts, featuring an extending transverse island double bed with a full-width washroom beyond.
Up front, there’s a roomy lounge – settees long enough to be considered as (admittedly, slightly short, at 1.81m) singles or a decently commodious 1.88m x 1.40m transverse double.
In daytime mode, there’s a good level of support to those settees, and there are plenty of other details to show Bailey hasn’t skimped – the two heater outlets, curved locker doors with a two-tone finish, granite-effect worktops etc.
The angled front corner cubbies make things seem narrower than they actually are, though.
Likewise in the kitchen of the Phoenix 644+ caravan, there’s a good combination of specification and practicality, but an obvious cost-saver is the lack of any worktop extension. Otherwise, you get a Thetford cooker with four gas rings and separate grill and oven to the right, and a central circular sink with worktop space to its left where you can add the drainer when needed.
Directly across the corridor, there’s further worktop space over the Dometic 103-litre fridge, plus a microwave oven set at what will be a convenient height for most adult users.
Beyond, the food preparation area, the bedroom has space for wardrobe and locker units either side of the bed, both also providing very small ledge areas. There’s some padding for the headboard area, plus two overhead lockers and a short section of open shelving between them.
It’s easy to see where savings have been made – there’s just a standard rooflight overhead and the smallest of corner vanity/dresser units – but they’re hardly deal breakers.
The bed is 1.89m at its longest point, whilst still allowing access around the foot end to the washroom via a sliding door.
There’s a toilet just inside the doorway, while the shower cubicle is in the far corner, with a fixed basin immediately adjacent. There’s no washroom window, but fittings do include towel and toilet roll holders, plus storage units under the basin, on the back wall and over the toilet.
Other kit on this Bailey Phoenix+ 644 caravan extends to 2kW-rated Truma Combi heating and hot water, Status 550 TV aerial, DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB socket, plus further USB outlets in the lounge reading lights. Forgive the horrible term, these may be Bailey’s “starter” models, but its nevertheless just a little bit more upmarket than the base ranges of its rivals.
Bailey keeps the factory-fitted options to a minimum, but don’t forget you can call on a range of accessories – including awnings, towing covers and lots more – from sister company, Prima.
Verdict: A little extra luxury that’s light on price as well as weight
Plus: Popular island bed/rear washroom formula, lightweight caravan
Minus: Key rivals start cheaper
In-a-nutshell: Re-freshened Phoenix rises again
There’s more information on the Phoenix+ caravan range on the Bailey website. To find out more about insuring this or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance discounts page
Alternatives: Elddis Avanté 554/Compass Casita 554, Swift Sprite Major 4SB
Bailey Phoenix+ 644 factfile
|Model||Bailey Phoenix+ 644|
|Dimensions||7.37m L, 2.21m W, 2.63m H|
|RRP||from £20,564 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)|