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Sunday, 23 November 2014


It is with some sadness that the Bailey Orion Blog has come to an end.

We have traded in our 440/4 for a new Bailey Unicorn 3 from YC Leisure which should be delivered next February/March so there is now a caravan shaped hole in our lives.

We were intending to carry on vanning further into winter than we had done previously but one or two health issues affecting both myself and SWMBO sadly prevented this so we have decided to call it a day for this year.

The blog of course will remain on the net for anyone who wishes to refer to it.

Just as an aside when we took the van to the dealers to have the part-ex confirmed,they found 28% damp in the rear right hand corner ( the toilet cassette side ) which has presumably come about since we had it serviced in September.I was told this was not unusual in this area for Orions so this may be worth keeping an eye on as the Orion range ages.

Many thanks to the people who have e-mailed me over the last three years and to everyone who has made the blog the success that it has been with just short of 73,000 hits.

You can't get rid of me as easily as that though as I will be creating a new Unicorn Cadiz blog sometime prior to delivery of the new van.

Cheerio for now.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

For Sale..........Genuine Bespoke Bailey Bedding Set

Further to our ordering a new Unicorn we have for sale a genuine bespoke Bailey bedding set that is for the rear fixed bed on the Orion 430/4 ( corner cut off ).

It has only been used twice as we preferred to use the front bed.

It comprises of a quilt,quilt cover and two pillowcases.

There should be a purple runner with it that we can't find at the minute but if it turns up at some stage the buyer can have that as well.

We are asking £50 ( cost £199 ).

Because of the bulk of it would of course be preferable if someone could collect ( Wakefield,West Yorks ) but if anyone wants it posting I will get a price but I imagine it will be expensive.

Give me an e-mail if anyone is interested.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Better Late Than Never SoTo Speak.

Apologies for the late posting of our trip to the NEC but I had to have a new HD installed in my computer,anyway all done now.

We thought it was a bit quiet on the Thursday when we visited the show but reports from other days,especially Friday and Saturday,said it was rammed with people especially around the Bailey stand and more especially around the new Unicorn 3.

Well we succumbed and ordered a Unicorn 3 Cadiz for delivery sometime in March/February.

Got a good deal from Yorkshire Caravans where we bought the Orion,it was about £1200+ more than another quote we got.

Will be quite sad to see the Orion go as we have had some good holidays in it but we wanted two fixed singles and a bit more space so the Unicorn it had to be.

To judge from the interest in it I think Bailey are on to a winner,especially after listening to customers ( me included ) and moved the front nearside locker door nearer the front to better accommodate a porch awning.

The Orion will will be going in part-ex sometime before Christmas so we will be vanless until delivery of the Unicorn.

On another tack we were amazed at the number of motorhomes of all shapes and sizes at the show,they appeared to outnumber caravans to a great degree,there were literally hundreds of them,motorhoming must be really taking off.

Incidentally we stopped overnight at the Hilton Metropole on the NEC site,according to a lot of posts on Trip Advisor it wasn't up to much but we found it very acceptable with the bar food being very good value.Just one downer,beware of getting a room to the rear of the hotel as there is an air-conditioning unit on a flat roof which drones away all night,SWMBO was not amused.Next year I think we will book an executive room at the front.

I will be renaming the blog when we get the new van but have decided against starting a new one so all the Orion stuff will still be there to help anyone who needs it,just got to think of a catchy new title now..............................


Friday, 10 October 2014

Back Safe and Sound

Well,further to my last post and after a tussle with Green Flag,the Orion was returned safely to our storage yesterday by a firm from Thirsk that is used by them.

( I didn't realise until the recovery chap told me that GF do not have any patrols of their own and use local firms exclusively for their call outs,unlike the AA,RAC etc. )

They still demanded to see a doctors letter ( which I had eventually obtained ) before even considering arranging transport,naturally my scanner wasn't working so I had to post it,more delay.

They [GF] still seem to be in the age of the fax machine and woe betide you if you don't use e-mail or haven't got a smart phone.

I can understand them being wary of people abusing the system to get them home on the cheap but as I said previously,just do what is necessary,ask for a doctors note within so-many days,if this is not produced then send a bill and terminate membership.

Anyway they have said that in the light of my problems they are going to re-examine their rules and regulations so there may be a change sometime in the future,we shall see.

Many thanks to the owners of Hillside Park who let us leave the van on their site at no charge until it was collected and even offered us a discount on a future booking as we went home early.

The back is slowly improving but in the midst of it,to cut a very long story short I also have a slight heart problem that I wasn't aware of so I can't drive for at least a month so that probably rules out any more vanning for this year.

Thank you to the people that have enquired.

SWMBO has said she will go on the CC manouvering/driving course next year so we will be prepared if there is a next time,God forbid..

We are going to the NEC show next week to probably order a Unicorn 3,the Orion has served us very well and we love the van but we want one with fixed single beds so that we aren't climbing over each other in the night and is a bit bigger if we are going to accommodate grandchildren.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Hillside Park

We had planned to have four nights at Hillside Park just to the north of Thirsk but events overtook us and we only managed two and had to return early.

Hillside Park is a lovely little site ( 50 pitches ) that has won awards for its eco-friendliness,the owners are very friendly and obliging.

The site wasn't very busy but as they also store vans a lot of the pitches had empty vans on them for some reason which unfortunately gave it a sort of "ghost town" appearance.

When we were moving the van to hitch up at our storage for some strange reason the offside Reich motor mover wouldn't move onto the wheel,anyway with a bit of help from the chap who serviced our van who happened to be there we eventually got it sorted and were on our way.

Visits to Rievelaux Abbey and Helmsley on the Thursday passed a very pleasant day but on the Friday morning my back went as I was getting a shower and agony barely described it.

We therefore decided to pack up and go home,SWMBO was a star as I wasn't much help,she packed everything up including the awning ( with help from a friendly neighbouring vanner for the awning ,thanks Phil ).

We intended to ask Mayday-Green Flag to get the van home as I was in too much pain to drive and SWMBO doesn't tow but they refused until I produced a medical certificate,not the most helpful of responses when you are in agony in a caravan field out in the sticks,will think twice when renewal comes.

Why not just do it and ask for a certificate within seven days or so,but no,so the owners said we could leave the van on the site and I will collect it in a few days when my back has hopefully improved.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

CalorLite Recall

In case any of my readers haven't seen it elsewhere,Calor are recalling all CalorLite cylinders from years 2008,2009,2010 and 2011 because of a possible defect leading to gas escape.

See here for full details :-

Calorlite Recall

Got ours swapped today in Castleford,came at just the right time as well as it was virtually empty.

Thank you Calor.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Service With A Smile.

Had the old girl serviced today ( the van not SWMBO ) at our storage,given a clean bill of health and no damp found,thank goodness.

For the first time I used a mobile chap from Leeds ( Karranvan ) and was very impressed by the workmanship and attention to detail.

We received a far more detailed report than I have ever had from the two dealers that we have been to previously,he picked up that the front table support was cracked and I didn't even realise,now superglued.

He is AWS certified so it keeps the warranty in order and the price was very good indeed.


So if you are in the West Yorkshire area it might be worth considering.

Doesn't help you much if you live in Cornwall but you can't have everything.

I have no connection apart from being a customer.


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Washing Up

When stopping on sites with washing up facilities we usually make use of them as the sinks are bigger and it saves a bit of water.

I used to use the washing up bowl to transport the dirty dishes and SWMBO kept saying we could use something better.

Eventually I succumbed and bought one ot these :-

Ortlieb 10L Bowl

It does the job very well and also has other uses such as washing your feet etc.

This site ( All Outdoor ) was the cheapest I could find.


Saturday, 23 August 2014


Just had four nights at Beechwood Grange just outside York which it has to be said didn't pass off without one or two minor incidents.

First of all we arrived at storage to pick the Orion up only to discover I had left the caravan keys at home.

Fortunately I carry a spare set in the car glovebox so that saved the day.

Secondly,someone who shall remain nameless ( SWMBO ) managed to reverse our twelve week old Passat Alltrack into the caravan hitch,inflicting damage to the rear bumper.

As can be seen it's not massive damage,BUT IT'S A THREE MONTH OLD CAR !!!!

Managed to keep calm,just glad it wasn't me what did it,off to the reapair man after the Bank Holiday

Next,when we arrived on site I proceeded to put the awning up in the face of rapidly approaching black clouds only to find that for some reason some of the awning poles had got stuck inside each other and it took a great deal of effort to remove them,all this while the heavens opened.

Since returning home I have rubbed them down with WD40,hopefully it won't happen again.

Then I came to open our very expensive,top of the range Kamei Corvara roof box only to find that the lock had jammed and the key wouldn't turn.

As the box had within it the grandkids bedding,bicycles etc. ( oh yes we had two grand kids with us ) this was a sticky one,no amount of persuasion was going to make that bugger open.

After tussling with it for a while,SWMBO put in an appearance and I explained the dilemma,she looked at the box and said " You do know there is a lock on the other side",of course I did I was just waiting to see how long it would take her to spot it.

Anyway got the box open and after a few calls and e-mails to the Roof Box Company,it is going back to be replaced/repaired.

Don't you just love it when you spend shed loads of money on what you think are quality goods only to have them break.

Anyway the following day SWMBO was sat at the front of the van and suddenly piped up " Do you know there is a crack in this window ? "

Sure enough there is star shaped crack in the front window which has originated from who knows where.

We are having the van serviced by a mobile chap on Thursday so I will ask if a repair can be done,if not I will put some clear tape over it as it is not leaking water and I am not paying the silly money that a replacement window will be.

After all this everything went smoothly,if you can call being pitched in front of the childrens playground,smooth.

Never again.

Don't you just love caravanning.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Isabella Videos

I have just been looking at some videos on You Tube made by Isabella.

I have watched many of these over and over mostly in relation to erecting our Magnum awning and have found them very useful as Isabella's paper instructions leave a lot to be desired.

It occurred to me that anyone new to caravanning may not know of their existence and be struggling with the sometimes complex business that is awnings.

So if you want some assistance head over to You Tube and enter "Isabella" in the search box and receive plenty of help and advice.