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Should we buy a New Bailey Unicorn ?


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Hello Bailey users. My wife and I have had a gap of 16 years since we last had a caravan and sold due to the children being older and no longer wishing to come with us. We have now decided to buy another so we can go away and occasionally take our grandchildren with us and we have narrowed down our search to a new 2022 Bailey Unicorn Cabrera. We went to our local dealer to see a 2021 model just to gauge the space inside with having a fixed bed which is a new thing for us and we had a few concerns. Firstly the front panel around the windows was hanging down as though it hadn't been stuck correctly ! Very worrying as I have seen feedback to this effect on another site - has anyone had this problem also ? Then the toilet door when closed towards the toilet had a big gap and on the 2022 model video it doesn't seem to have a gap. The salesman explained that on the video it is often a prototype and therefore when you get the caravan in you often see it isn't the same as on the video ! That is crazy especially if you order before the showroom model arrives in, you are relying on what you see on the video. There is a choice of 2 materials for the furnishings but there's no way of seeing what the difference is of them. I ended up contacting Bailey for a sample or picture showing the 2 - Chiswick or Temple and they haven't responded. So, why would I pay extra for a different material when I don't know what it is like ? On the positive, one of the main selling points for us is the feeling of space with the large front window and I know it is a matter of taste but for us it sells it. From reading reviews I am concerned about the wooden floors and rot but we didn't have any of those problems 16-25 years ago so surely floors must have improved since then - where do they leak ? From the shower / bathroom ? £28k is a lot of money to spend and we just want to make sure and have confidence that we are buying the right caravan. The video certainly sells it well, I just wish we could see one now and get our order in confidently as I am worrying that by the time our local dealer gets one in, the orders will be up to their allocation and we will miss out.  I would love to hear some feedback from others who own a Cabrera and how they find it. Thank you all. 

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I do agree with the salesman that the video is probably a prototype but even then they should have got it right.

The problem with the front panel should not be there but a decent dealer should fix that so I would check the dealers service reports on Google.

The man next to us in our storage has just bought a new Bailey and is leased with it, but did have some issues. He used an excellent dealer though and they sorted them out to his satisfaction.

Bailey are pretty much average when it comes to quality according to the surveys of purchasers in the surveys carried out by Practical Caravan magazine. 

The purchase should be covered by the Consumer Protection Act and any faults would allow you to reject, it so do be aware of that and inspect it very carefully. You should also pay any deposit by credit cad to get the protection they offer. You also get this protection if you use HP but not a bank loan.

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It’s lovely to buy new but due to the way mass produced caravans are built I believe it is unrealistic to expect perfection on a new build and with our van I felt if my snagging list was under 10 I would be doing well! In fact it was only five but a couple more issues have come up since. Non insurmountable or spoiling our use of the van and still under 10 😀
Ours was one of the last two the dealer had prior to closing down for Covid so was being used as a show model but once we had given notice of intent to buy was moved off the sales area, we then went down and spent a good hour or two going over and inspecting it and giving our list of things to be sorted.
Not the same model but the window surround was hanging down at the top end, dealer did a lovely job of repairing and not been a problem. The other major problem was the sink hadn’t been set in correctly, again fixed. Bailey had managed to fit the wrong tracker, now replaced.

Since using it I noticed several small areas in the bathroom where the inner ceiling panel wasn’t correctly bonded causing small bumps, only noticed because from the shower there were some odd shadows but Bailey are sending out their remedial team to fix it. Oddly, I have also had four of the wiring glue pads detach from under the floor but sorted those myself.

So, in summary I wasn’t expecting perfection so not getting it wasn’t a disappointment, as often iterated you need a great dealer. I would suggest if possible inspect your van before they do a PDI so they can add anything you are not happy with to their list and sort before you finally take it away. Worked for us. Really enjoying our Bailey!

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google baileys of bristol , they have an on line 'helper'.  When you do a  hand over ,  you pick up on any faults to be rectified. Also it is advised to film this part, when they explain how everything works.  :blink: never be rushed either.   So far we have been very lucky with our caravans, the last one had a screw loose on the outside corner to do with the awning rail, honestly , that was it.  I was disappointed that they didn't supply the waste pipe for outside as ours went with our last van  and we were touring the next day, so they gave us one, although we did buy a better one when  we could. The battery we had didn't fit as the Bailey one went into a cavity in the floor , so they exchanged one for one. However as you are buying new with no exchange make sure that you get a good deal and plenty of freebies. Good Luck.

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I know some people are quick to knock Baileys, but we had a U3 Barcelona for four years from new and were generally very pleased with it.  There were a few minor issues that had to be sorted out - but the only real problems we had were poor quality foam in the seat bases (which I paid to have replaced with better quality foam but I understand Bailey now use sprung seat bases) - and a leaking shower tray (twice).  The second time it cost me £500 to have a repair done since it was, by then, out of warranty. Why UK manufacturers don't do what Knaus do and have an upstand moulded into the shower tray to stop this happening, is beyond me - it's such a simple solution and much better than relying solely on a bead of silicone for a seal.

I have to say that as much as we love the Knaus - and its build quality, there were some very good design features in the Bailey which we have compromised on with the present van.

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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On this forum a member said.

second hand vans have already had all the snags and problems sorted .

 

I agree that’s true.

 

so maybe a near new van would be better value in the long run.

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55 minutes ago, Stagn8 said:

It’s lovely to buy new but due to the way mass produced caravans are built I believe it is unrealistic to expect perfection on a new build and with our van I felt if my snagging list was under 10 I would be doing well! In fact it was only five but a couple more issues have come up since. Non insurmountable or spoiling our use of the van and still under 10 😀
Ours was one of the last two the dealer had prior to closing down for Covid so was being used as a show model but once we had given notice of intent to buy was moved off the sales area, we then went down and spent a good hour or two going over and inspecting it and giving our list of things to be sorted.
Not the same model but the window surround was hanging down at the top end, dealer did a lovely job of repairing and not been a problem. The other major problem was the sink hadn’t been set in correctly, again fixed. Bailey had managed to fit the wrong tracker, now replaced.

Since using it I noticed several small areas in the bathroom where the inner ceiling panel wasn’t correctly bonded causing small bumps, only noticed because from the shower there were some odd shadows but Bailey are sending out their remedial team to fix it. Oddly, I have also had four of the wiring glue pads detach from under the floor but sorted those myself.

So, in summary I wasn’t expecting perfection so not getting it wasn’t a disappointment, as often iterated you need a great dealer. I would suggest if possible inspect your van before they do a PDI so they can add anything you are not happy with to their list and sort before you finally take it away. Worked for us. Really enjoying our Bailey!

 

 

I would suggest if possible inspect your van before they do a PDI so they can add anything you are not happy with to their list and sort before you finally take it away. Worked for us. Really enjoying our Bailey!

 

 

Good idea, if you they remember to call you in good time...

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We have a Phoenix + 640 which is the same layout as the Cabrera but cheaper. We have have had it a few months now, and had a few teething problems which were sorted efficiently, and are now over the moon with it. 
 

It’s a great layout and works perfectly for us. If you look at other manufacturers version of the layout there is always a compromise, normally in the kitchen or front seat length. The Bailey is really well designed and still has long front seats. I’m not missing the front gas locker either. 
 

I would say Bailey caravans are very well engineered, very practically designed and excellent value for money. Where they let themselves down is in finish. I think they have got better though and if they took longer to build them then they wouldn’t be able to sell them at the price they do. 
 

Should you buy a Bailey? - Yes definitely, as long as you have a good dealer and are prepared for a few teething problems!

Edited by handyandy
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33 minutes ago, handyandy said:

We have a Phoenix + 640 which is the same layout as the Cabrera but cheaper. We have have had it a few months now, and had a few teething problems which were sorted efficiently, and are now over the moon with it. 
 

It’s a great layout and works perfectly for us. If you look at other manufacturers version of the layout there is always a compromise, normally in the kitchen or front seat length. The Bailey is really well designed and still has long front seats. I’m not missing the front gas locker either. 
 

I would say Bailey caravans are very well engineered, very practically designed and excellent value for money. Where they let themselves down is in finish. I think they have got better though and if they took longer to build them then they wouldn’t be able to sell them at the price they do. 
 

Should you buy a Bailey? - Yes definitely, as long as you have a good dealer and are prepared for a few teething problems!

:Plus1:

 

I have owned a Phoenix 640 dealer special for two and a half years. I had a few niggles, but I expected that, but overall I am very pleased with it. Especially when I compare it to the Cabrera which is basically the identical Caravan with a few upgraded fittings, but nothing like £6k’s worth which is the price differential between the two models. £6k buys me a lot of campsite nights and ferry crossings ;)

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 hour ago, Sonar said:

On this forum a member said.

second hand vans have already had all the snags and problems sorted .

 

I agree that’s true.

 

so maybe a near new van would be better value in the long run.


The downside of that is that often the warranty is a lot shorter when a caravan leaves the original purchaser.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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hi i bought a new 2018 vigo after a few months past i reported the some of the blinds very tight to open and close ,the bathroom door had a massive warp in it i reported it to Campbells who after a while said they would order a new one and they would be in touch when it comes in ,,,a couple  months later i called them about the door ,,they said oh we sent it back to bailys because i never came for it ?? i said i was waiting on it coming in ,,they said they would need to send for another, then gets a call from saying the door is only covered for the first year ,,this was 13 months later ,,after lots of verbals they agreed to get me one free i waited 4 months called them several times i gave up sold the van and bought a motor home just think about there 3 year warranty doesn't cover everything ,,saying that it was a nice caravan ,, 

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1 hour ago, gtepete said:

 

 

I would suggest if possible inspect your van before they do a PDI so they can add anything you are not happy with to their list and sort before you finally take it away. Worked for us. Really enjoying our Bailey!

 

 

Good idea, if you they remember to call you in good time...

 Inspect everything Including any missing fridge shelves.

 

if it is NOT. Compleat do not except delivery.

 

if they think they can fob you off by saying items can be sorted out afterwards then that’s the time to take a giant step back and think why not now…

 

you be more than surprised how quick they then sort stuff out if your going to pay only on completion.

 

not a good response form the dealer look elsewhere.

 

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57 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

:Plus1:

 

I have owned a Phoenix 640 dealer special for two and a half years. I had a few niggles, but I expected that, but overall I am very pleased with it. Especially when I compare it to the Cabrera which is basically the identical Caravan with a few upgraded fittings, but nothing like £6k’s worth which is the price differential between the two models. £6k buys me a lot of campsite nights and ferry crossings ;)

if we were buying a new caravan now , I would have the Brindisi, transverse bed ,  shower room at the rear and 8ft wide also with the truma combi heating which I prefer, but  the Phoenix 640  is quite alright for now.  :D

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Generally a second hand model is likely to have the bugs sorted. There are though some where the previous owners have had enough and just swapped it, I know we did it. 

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1 hour ago, Wildwood said:

Generally a second hand model is likely to have the bugs sorted. There are though some where the previous owners have had enough and just swapped it, I know we did it. 

 

Which seems a bit daft to me.

 

All the time and effort taken to get (nearly all) matters sorted out and then  someone else benefits and you end up starting all over again with a new/different caravan.  

 

Not the most logical of courses of action really is it?

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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We had a Bailey Pegasus Verona from new-lovely caravan-snags-too much sealant everywhere-not really an issue till we tried to get the awing through the channel-needed picking out via screwdriver/tweezers,  slightly sticky bathroom door after a few months use, (those were the only two faults you could blame Bailey for) chrome bubbled on a tap and the thetford loo cassette leaked-really nothing-and sorted instantly -the latter two by post, by the dealer. I checked the floor regularly-never an issue-never any sign of damp-super caravans-wouldn't hesitate to have another . That being said our new van has only had one tiny issue after nearly 2 years of use so maybe caravan makers are getting the message!

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We have a 3 year old Cadiz which we are very pleased with, no major faults as the dealership,carry out a good pdi and handover.

It's our sixth over a long period, all bought new from Cosford Caravans. None have had major faults.

The current one. In 3 years. Sticking mains rcd. Squealing brakes( Al Ko issue not just Bailey) Water pump intermittent and spare wheel winch stuck after use.

All put right under warranty.

We use the van a lot as we are retired.

I like the designs but there does seem to be a lack of consistent quality control in the British Caravan industry, not good.

Edited by 664DaveS
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22 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Which seems a bit daft to me.

 

All the time and effort taken to get (nearly all) matters sorted out and then  someone else benefits and you end up starting all over again with a new/different caravan.  

 

Not the most logical of courses of action really is it?

I do agree it might sound a bit daft. We had a second damp area the year after the first was dealt with under warranty and we simply lost confidence and had doubts for the future. One of the recurring themes on here is damp problems returning on a regular basis which made us wary of the caravan. 

We got a good trade in on the old one with the dealer agreeing to repair the caravan under the warranty again, so took the trade in and so far the decision has been right, except that it was a Lunar, so no warranty on that. 

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