Bailey’s most popular model ever? That’ll be the Pageant Champagne, which ruled the roost between 1996 and 2010.
Meet its modern-day counterpart, the Pegasus II Milan, featuring the exact same versatile floorplan that made the Champagne such a winner. To recap, that’s four-berth accommodation thanks to a large front lounge, generous end washroom/changing area, kitchen nearside, and dinette-cum-bunk beds on the offside.
Attention has swung from this kind of set-up as fixed beds in their various guises – double permutations or twin singles – have become the fashion. Having said that, there’s an inkling of tide-turning here, with some folk starting to move back from their fixed beds to something like this.
Why? Living space. That’s what it’s all about here. There’s just so much of it, for a tourer that’s a decent weight and length – it really does make the most of its 18ft 8in internal length.
But, poor Pegasus. Launched with the usual Bailey fanfare, and then almost as immediately trumped by an even more upmarket sister range, Unicorn. Which, in turn, led to Pegasus 2… and customer consternation.
Things have certainly settled down now, so maybe it’s time for a closer look at what makes Milan so amenable.
Not just popular with families, this kind of layout has always found favour with couples, too, who simply want the versatility of the dinette (for ready meals?) alongside the kind of lounge both of you can really sprawl out in.
It’s hard to pick on anything glaringly bad, it’s that good. Maybe there are a few areas where quality could be improved: the fixing point for the side table; the drawer bases are just about the right side of acceptable; plastic edging to the lockers doors, curtain material, all ditto.
Quality fittings and touches far outweigh all this. Concertina blinds to all the windows, LED lighting, good upholstery and cushion comfort, easy access to underseat storage… the list goes on.
The kitchen is generous in specification with a four-ring hob, microwave oven at just the right height, fridge with removable freeze section, heating and hot water are gas and/or electric, etc etc. It’s an add-on drainer for the sink, but that does leave a generous amount of worktop.
Likewise the washroom, where you get a fully lined shower, clever sink, two wardrobes as well as other clothes storage… and still sufficient room for changing.
It’s all here, in very much modern guise. That Alu-Tech bodywork has proved itself more than just hype (ironically, it was Pegasus that first came with this). And Bailey has scored a bit of a coup over its near rivals by offering as standard Al-Ko’s ATC – a traction control system for more reassured handling which also earns you a 5% caravan insurance discount.
Ultimately, it’s down to a layout that works. It’s not necessarily a comeback for this kind of floorplan. More like, it’s never really gone away. Time for a rethink, maybe.
This time of the year does leave some good deals, too. The example previewed here was on the forecourt at £15,999, a saving of some £1,861 off the official £17,860 list price.
Bang on the nail for specification, price and quality… this is how Bailey works its magic, and it could be time to look again at a former favourite layout
Plus: Alu-Tech body with six-year warranty. Spacious, versatile interior. Al-Ko ATC as standard. Modern take on a proven formula.
Minus: A few flimsy bits
Summed up in one word: Considered
Cost to insure: £212*
- Price from £17,860 on the road (£15,999, as tested)
- Berths: 4
- Overall length 7.25m
- Body length 5.68m
- Width 2.28m
- Headroom 1.96m
- MIRO 1331kg
- MTPLM 1499kg
- Key options Alternative upholstery £260, Chest of drawers (in lieu of seating) £286, wheel arch cover £41
- Security And Safety: Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock, stabiliser, shock absorbers and ATC, spare wheel and carrier, single-key operation
- More info Bailey Caravans (www.bailey-caravans.co.uk)
- Alternatives: Swift Challenger 530, Coachman Amara 520/4, Lunar Quasar 494
*Caravan insurance cost based on Bailey Pegasus 2 Milan, £17,860. Fitted with hitchlock and Al-Ko Secure Axle wheel lock and ATC. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. Quote includes 10% online discount and 6% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 23.08.12. Thanks to Venture Caravans for their assistance with this review.