First look at the all new Bailey Approach Autograph range

Published in Motorhome Reviews on   - 20 Comments

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  1. Grant says:

    We bought a Bailey 745 in Oct 2014. We are very disappointed with the quality and poor heating. We are abroad at the moment, but will be returning it to Elite when return to uk for rectification, or more, if they cant resolve the heat problem. It is freezing. We have also had so many faults, and so many things I have had to fix I have detailed them on a blog,

  2. Andrew Harcourt says:

    There are some British motorhomes I would buy, and some I would not. I used to go to shows and look carefully at the construction. Some were expensively made where each cupboard door was made of a frame on which was fixed thin plywood. On others the doors would be cut from MDF. This weighs a whole lot more than the framed type so you would be braking and accelerating an unnecessary weight all the time. Mind you they are all better than the USA ones where you are likely to get a huge splinter when you open the bed drawer. The ones I looked at were made of old tea chests and had 2″ long spikes of wood sticking out just where you were going to reach in. And the tassels on the curtain rails were just glitzy tin foil, falling off even on an unregistered new model. Drive carefully and you might get all of 7mpg, but when you get to a camp site, you cannot get in the gate, even if its a Camping Club El Posh site. Any British one is better than that!

  3. Lee Clark says:

    Looking at these reports just confirms why I would not buy a British motorhome, stay with German or French!.

  4. Mr T clowsley says:

    Problems with bailey 745 approach se who knows what

  5. Andrew Harcourt says:

    Message to Angela: I’m sorry to hear of your troubles. It reminds me of two occasions in my life when I have bought vehicles from unsatisfactory dealers. One was a motorbike. The bike was probably excellent: the reviews said it was the best handling bike on the market. However the dealer was terrible and their lack of action made me hate the bike and sell it fairly soon. When I say terrible, the motorbike was sold to me with no speedo cable, and no passenger footrests, so although it was supposed to be new, it was in fact illegal. The dealer wouldn’t assist. The second was a new Jaguar which had terrible steering and roadholding, Not what you expect from a Jag. The results of three return trips to the dealer was always a variation of ‘there’s nothing wrong with it’ and ‘they all do that’. If you are driving along a straight flat road you don’t expect the steering wheel to be vibrating in your hands and the car trying to veer off to the left or right at random. I quickly sold it (obviously at considerable loss) and will never go back to that dealer again.
    Looking back I wish I had kept the motorbike and the car. Looking at the owners forum of the car it appears that indeed they do all suffer from this terrible steering, and to cure it all you do is dump the Pirelli P Zero tyres and put another make of tyre on. However I don’t see why I should pay £600 for new tyres when I have just bought a new car. So I harrumphed and sold it back to the dealer.
    My point is, please don’t let the lack of dealer backup or assistance from the manufacturer make you get to dislike the MH. Forget them and get on enjoying your excursions. You sound as if you have fixed it to your satisfaction so cast them out of your mind.

  6. Phil Firth says:

    Sorry – the above request for the double bed insert information is for Angela who modified it to fit – could you post any pics or further details?

  7. Phil Firth says:

    Hi Louise,
    We have just bought a 750 and would like some way of converting the twin singles into a double. Are you able to supply any pictures of your final set up?

  8. Louise Witherington says:

    Parents have bought the new autograph 540 and it has been back with the dealer twice now for electrical faults just wondering if anyone has heard of similar issues! They now have a specialist coming out to try and find out what is causing it (dealer had motorhomes now more than parents have gad it)

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Louie,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Hopefully it’s an isolated incident but if not I’m sure someone here on the blog will be able to help.
      Caravan Guard

  9. Angela hardy says:

    Brought the new 750 ordered from the show last year, at that time they were offering a centre bed insert to make the fixed single beds into a large double bed which we paid £295 for. We picked our motorhome up from lowdhams on 1st march and went away for the weekend. We discovered that the wardrobes which are sited below each single bed could not be opened once the double was made up as the centre piece insert has a metal bar resting over the top of the single bed slats. We informed lowdhams straight away, I also contacted baileys direct. It is a simple solution, fix the top of the wardrobe door so the bar can still rest on the slats and cut it 3″ below. I suggested this to baileys, their reply was that I would have to make compromises and they would not do bespoke cabinets. To stop ourselves getting stressed with their response, we have taken the wardrobe doors off and took them to a cabinet makes who has fixed this solution for £100. We have also had the metal bar which rests on the bed slats removed as it was too flimsy and bent once the ladder was up and we climbed into bed and had a steel one produced. We have still had no response from lowdhams after ringing four times. I suppose once they have had your £50,000, after sales is not at the top of their list. On a plus note, the van is amazing and have no other fault with it. It is also nice to be able to put the bed back to singles and climb up the stairs to bed when you have fell out!!!! Lol

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Angela,

      Many thanks for getting in touch. It’s a shame to hear that you’ve been having some problems with your new Bailey.

      We have spoken to a contact at Lowdhams and understand they are currently in talks with you and are working to resolve the matter.

      If you would like to speak to Jayne Kerins, Customer Care Manager at Lowdhams on 0115 9663838, she will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

      Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you in the meantime.

      Many thanks

      Caravan Guard

  10. David Brown says:


    Yes, raised it with our dealer and checked the 740 on their forecourt. The lock was likewise ineffective. Seems like a design fault. Our dealer is arranging a couple of lockable push catches similar to those fitted on the gas locker.



  11. David Brown says:

    Just boought a new 740 and on our first trip out found that the under bed storage door is will not lock properly. Press it closed, turn the key in the central lock, press the two outer catches and with a gentle pull it opens, with the central lock being completely ineffective.

    Has anyone else had a similar problem. Went back to the dealer and tried it on their demonstrator and the same thing happened, the lock just doesn’t do the job.

    Would welcome any views. Insurance companies should be very interested.

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi David,

      Have you raised this issue with your dealer or someone at Bailey? It will be interesting to see whether this is a common problem. Anyone else experienced something similar?



  12. Andrew Harcourt says:

    Lloyd’s comment surely deserves a reply from someone who knows the reason. It may be that Fiat / Ford or whoever do not make an automatic van / chassis cab, but it would be nice to know the reason. I would not have thought that there is any difference to the caravan work Bailey would have to do to fit their body on an automatic van or one of a different engine size. I cannot think that Fiat or Ford would say to them OK take 1,000 of this exact model over the next 6 months and you can have them for £X, and we refuse to sell you any automatics or ones with different engine sizes. Obviously the market for the less popular base vehicles would be less than the mainstream, but surely they could at least be offered, provided they don’t disturb the regular production line processes. I know the insurance on a 1995cc based van is cheaper than one over 2 litres, so I dont know why they all seem to be big engines nowadays. It might be that as we all know, commercial vans belt along the motorway at 90mph with no regard to the law, or to fuel consumption, but I would think that most of us campers are happy to do 60, unless of course we are late for a ferry. My 1995cc camper has more than enough power. I would want a sub-2000cc camper, sub 6 metres long that does 70 if necessary, but I don’t want to do 90 so I don’t need 3 litres of turbo engine.

  13. Lloyd Le Tiec says:

    I actually saw one recently, very impressed, then looked on the Bailey website, sadly they do not offer their Approach vans in Automatic gearboxes and only on engine size!

  14. gwyn thomas says:

    does bailey make a van under 3.500 tons

  15. Andrew Harcourt says:

    I have always been confused by manufacturers of cars, vans, motorbikes and motorhomes who use meaningless letters and numbers for their vehicles. If they feel desperate to give a vehicle a number, why not relate the number to either the cc of the engine, or in the case of motorhomes, to the length and / or the berths. Caravan manufacturers used to do this, but why is a 6.0metre long, 6 berth motorhome given a number of 620? It doesn’t have 6.2 litre engine, nor I suspect is it 620 cu. in. as the yanks would have it, nor does it sleep 620 people and it isn’t 6.20 metres long. In years to come when we dont have the reviews to read any more, these numbers could well put us off buying one. I would assume from the numbering system that a ‘620’ is 6.2 m long, and therefore longer than I want, therefore I would not bother to enquire about it. Cars and motorbikes are just as bad.

  16. roger ford says:

    very nice motorhomes but why don,t you build some models less than 19.5 to 20 feet in length.

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Roger. Bailey’s original Autograph range does feature a two berth model – the Approach SE 620 – which is 5.966m/19’7″ in length. See here for details. The new model (featured here) does sleep six so presumably it’s difficult to fit more beds in a smaller sized model.

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