The interesting thing about this low-profile coachbuilt is the emphasis it puts on seating. It certainly qualifies as a compact – it’s less than 6m long – yet it offers two lounges.
There’s a forward seating/travel area for four, with a double rear travel seat and swivel cab chairs. Then, a U-shaped lounge at the back, with windows giving views out to three sides.
There’s a choice of tables, too. A side-fixing unit with handy swing-out extension is fitted in the forward lounge, while a free-stander – retrieved from under the nearside settee – is at the rear.
Sleeping accommodation is limited to the 2.05m x 1.34m transverse double bed created in the rear lounge. Consider a pup tent or drive-away awning if you want more bed space. Of course, if it’s just a couple using this ‘van, you could leave that rear lounge as a permanently made bed.
All this still leaves space mid-‘van for the kitchen (nearside) and washroom (offside). It also creates a slightly constricted corridor effect, which isn’t helped by a floor that is far from flat, featuring a step up as you get to each separate area.
Kitchen facilities start with a three-ring hob and combined grill and oven. There’s an 85-litre fridge with removable freezer box and a stainless steel sink with swan-neck mixer tap. Hot water and heating are courtesy of a Whale 4kW system. Kitchen storage is generous enough, but there is a lack of worktop.
The washroom is between the double travel seat and that rear lounge. It’s certainly spacious, offering a fixed corner sink and swivel-bowl toilet. When it comes to showering, there’s a curtain to draw round to protect the toilet and basin.
As with all Bailey motorhomes, the underpinnings are consistent. It’s a Peugeot Boxer cab allied to an Al-Ko chassis extension, which includes a spare wheel and carrier. Bodywork is GRP-clad using Bailey’s timber-free Alu-Tech construction and backed by a six-year bodyshell warranty (extendable to ten). It’s the matching white cab and caravan body that set these Approach Advances apart from their more upmarket Autograph stablemates and their black cabs.
Whilst on-board storage is pretty good (especially bearing in mind this is essentially a two-berth), with generous upper lockers and underseat space, it’s a bit disappointing to note there’s no exterior access to, say, the settee areas. True, there are fixings for a bike rack and/or roof rack and ladder. And there’s certainly plenty of payload.
In fact, there are a few other aspects to remind you this is a product where price has been kept razor sharp. The furniture is flat (no curves), the fridge’s gas operation has a manual ignition, that sort of thing…
Then again, all credit to Bailey for producing a motorhome like this at a sub-£40,000 price mark. We’re including the Premium Pack which surely all buyers will go for – it’s £1,199 and covers off “essentials” like cab air conditioning, passenger airbag, Remis windscreen blind, cab carpet and a stereo upgrade to a DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, and a dashboard USB port.
For more information on the Approach Advance 615 visit www.baileyofbristol.co.uk.
To find out more about insuring this motorhome visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Verdict: Bailey value, in short
Plus: Keenly priced
Minus: No auto transmission option, no exterior access storage
In-a-nutshell: Seats first in the compact class
Alternatives: Elddis Accordo 135, Swift Escape 644
|Base vehicle||Peugeot Boxer/Al-Ko, 2.2-litre, 130bhp, Euro V+|
|Dimensions||5.99m L x 2.35m W x 2.79m H|
|MPG estimate||Estimate 30-34|
|Safety & security||ABS with monitoring system, ESP, EBD, EBA, engine immobiliser, driver’s airbag, Al-Ko chassis outriggers, tyre pressure sensors|
|Key options||Premium Pack (£1,199), microwave oven (£149), four-year extension to bodywork warranty (£239), three-year extension to manufacturer’s warranty (£795)|
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Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Bailey Approach Advance 615 retailing at £38,515 with standard fit equipment and immobiliser. UK travel only. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 9.5% and are correct at 12.01.16.