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Saturday, 19 October 2013

The NEC Show & Bailey Pursuit

SWMBO and I visited the NEC show on Thursday and found it rather quiet than on Thursdays we have attended in previous years however a stallholder told us that 27,000 advanced tickets had been sold for the Saturday ( today ) plus those paying on the door so it looks like a busy one today.

 One of the main things we wanted to view was the new Bailey Pursuit with an intention to perhaps swap the Orion next year for a single fixed bed Pursuit ( the 550-4 ),sad to say we came away rather disappointed.

My comments concentrate on the 550-4 as this is the van we were interested in but obviously there are some common generic factors across the range.

First the good points,I rather liked the exterior of the Pursuit,in particular the grey colour scheme which I admit I prefer to the cream of the Orion.

The door now hinges the other way to avoid colliding with the front window and the wet locker has a much larger access door with a plastic tray for wet items.

There is now a front chest with a wide "window sill" area with a pull out table but what this does to the noseweight I don't know.

The electrics/fuse box are sited in the bottom of this chest which avoids the melee of cables in an exposed position in the Orion near side bed base.

Talking of tables,we couldn't find a second table stored anywhere and neither could a salesman although we were assured that there should be one,so if you decide to order a Pursuit make sure there is a table present.

Bailey have retained the large one piece front window but I hope they have uprated the stays as on the Orion they aren't strong enough to support it.

There is now a bowl shaped sink in the bathroom so drainage is simplified over the Orions flat bottomed "difficult to drain unles perfectly flat" Belfast style sink.

The kitchen and TV surfaces now have a shiny finish which I rather liked.

There are up to five 240v plug sockets.

The spare wheel is now stored under one of the fixed beds in a cover which does away with the dreaded Al-Ko carrier,where it is stored in a non-fixed bed van I don't know.

Incidentally Bailey have been rather crafty as the spare is included as an option,not on its own,but as part of a Premium Pack at £399 so if you want a spare,and who won't, you will have to also buy the Al-Ko AKS 3004 stabiliser,door flyscreen,microwave ( yes it's now an extra ) and radio/CD/mP3 player whether you want them or not.

My suspicion is that the Premium Pack will become more or less "standard" which jacks the price up by about £400.

The wheels are attached by the new WSL wheel bolts. 

There are also separate stand alone options of an Al-Ko wheel lock ( £194 ),Al-Ko ATC ( £399 ) and a sunroof ( £356 ).

SWMBO wasn't keen on the sunroof and much prefered the large panoramic window of the Pegasus and Unicorn.

Now to the not so good in our opinion.

The interior look of medium hue wood,or "The Log Cabin Look" as someone on CT called it,is beginning to look rather tired and old fashioned against some other more contemporary fitted out vans.

Money seems to have been saved in the shower area which remains unlined as in the Orion.There were a couple of areas of dodgy sealing as well.

Doubtless these would be attended to by the dealer but even so.

The bi-fold shower door in the Orion has been replaced with a flimsy shower curtain which did not reach to the bottom of the shower tray leading to a possible wet floor,the shower curtain did not go down well with SWMBO and from what I overheard many other people.

I managed to have a word with Mr.Howard ,one of the Bailey head honchos and mentioned the shower curtain,he said that the fittings for a bi-fold door are there and one could be retro-fitted by the dealer.

This leads me to think that a door was in the original specification but was dropped for perhaps weight or financial reasons as why put the fittings in in the first place if they weren't going to be used..

Moving to the kitchen,the draining board when in place overlaps the hob.

If the hob is still hot you will have a melted draining board.

The ( optional ) microwave is positioned over the sink so if removing a hot or heavy dish there is nowhere immediately beneath the oven to put it down,you have move over the the left hand side of the hob.

The large bottom cupboard under the sink which is presumably for pans is obstructed by heating ducting which limits its usefulness besides putting the ducting at risk of damage.

Finally we come to the upholstery.

The "seat" areas are in a chocolate brown colour whilst the seat back cushions are in a ( horror of horrors )  lighter pattern.

Everyone to their own but we found the backrest pattern,shall we say,not to our taste.

According to Mr.Howard there is no alternative,take it or leave it.

 That just about sums up our thoughts of the new Bailey Pursuit.

Please don't run away with the idea that this is a crap caravan,it's not,but certainly for us it lacked the "wow" factor that perhaps we were expecting.

There seemed little to entice us to swap to the Pursuit from our Orion 440/4.

More details of the Pursuit range,including weights and measurements can be downloaded from here:-

 Pursuit Flyer



  1. We only really looked at 430 as our tow vehicle is not large enough for anything bigger, we did like the colour outside but not inside OH liked roof window wants me to inquire if one could be retro fitted to ours as front looks Orion ,other than that its still our 440/4 for us now the heating has been sorted .email has gone to Bailey

  2. John,

    That sounds interesting,let me know if it can be fitted,not that we particularly want one but someone else might.

    I can't really see a reason why it could not be fitted I suppose it will be whether the dealer is willing to take on the job,or will it be a "back to the factory" scenario.

    Mind you I can't see it being cheap,offered as an option it is £356 then there would obviously be labour on top of that.