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Swift Turn Into Bailey


henrypartridge
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Swift today revealed the new Elegance range. Some innovative ideas: GRP walls, joined with aluminium, variable mood lighting, modern ambiance. ..... reminiscent of the U2 Baileys that came out in 2012.

 

Joking apart the floor construction looks genuinely innovative. They realise that the more you simplify and automate the construction process the less errors you will get: bit like cars made by robots.

 

Layouts at first glance are a tad disappointing. Lighter weight has allowed overall length increase of up to four inches, but still the same lack-of-work-surface kitchens with that stupid flap. And with the range pitched firmly at more mature (i. e. better off) couples I'm surprised to see only one twin axle with a transverse bed, a layout that is already declining in popularity. Single beds, big ones, that's the way forward.

 

The electronics binnacle at the front, with connections for. ...well, everything, is brilliant. I've criticised Swift in the past for gimmicks like stupid acronyms (SMART) but have to say they are genuinely looking forward and trying to make a better product. This launch is brave, it will surely smash sales of their other ranges as customers wait for the trickle down effect. Who can doubt that next years Sprite, Challenger etc ranges will be HT.

 

I can see the day coming, and quite soon, when Swift and Bailey will be the only two British manufacturers left. That would be a real shame. If I were a caravan manufacturer now I'd be monitoring internet forums, like CT, and look to put problems customers have right. Now, before it's too late.

 

 

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

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Swift today revealed the new Elegance range. Some innovative ideas: GRP walls, joined with aluminium, variable mood lighting, modern ambiance. ..... reminiscent of the U2 Baileys that came out in 2012.

 

Joking apart the floor construction looks genuinely innovative. They realise that the more you simplify and automate the construction process the less errors you will get: bit like cars made by robots.

 

Layouts at first glance are a tad disappointing. Lighter weight has allowed overall length increase of up to four inches, but still the same lack-of-work-surface kitchens with that stupid flap. And with the range pitched firmly at more mature (i. e. better off) couples I'm surprised to see only one twin axle with a transverse bed, a layout that is already declining in popularity. Single beds, big ones, that's the way forward.

 

The electronics binnacle at the front, with connections for. ...well, everything, is brilliant. I've criticised Swift in the past for gimmicks like stupid acronyms (SMART) but have to say they are genuinely looking forward and trying to make a better product. This launch is brave, it will surely smash sales of their other ranges as customers wait for the trickle down effect. Who can doubt that next years Sprite, Challenger etc ranges will be HT.

 

I can see the day coming, and quite soon, when Swift and Bailey will be the only two British manufacturers left. That would be a real shame. If I were a caravan manufacturer now I'd be monitoring internet forums, like CT, and look to put problems customers have right. Now, before it's too late.

 

 

Good post.

 

Looking at the same layout as our Valencia 2. I had to ask myself, would I change ?

 

Loved the construction a cross between Alu-tech and Solid with hopefully the best of both, (except roof so below). The composite floor, (I'll take bets Bailey are due to release something similar soon so good on all fronts. The interior is typical top range Swift If you like their take on Bling you will be happy. The exterior is visually stunning, but they are till using ABS plastic for the rear panel. As a material it cracks as we all know. The rep claimed it had been reinforced to prevent this but their are better products available. And they have missed a trick on the roof construction. It may not have any wood but it's still 'stick and hope' for the front and rear panel joins.

 

Negatives (not counting decor preferences) :-

The front is far to cramped after you have got used to the Bailey Recessed chest of drawers. I was surprised they did not copy this. I prefer Baileys methods for furniture construction. lighter and stronger is my professional opinion but there is not much in it.

The weight. It's 200 kilos heavier than a Unicorn. That's a lot of weight to deal with. The price of about £5,000 more than the Unicorn takes a lot of swallowing as well. yes it has a bit of extra kit but not £5 k worth.

 

If the shell has the strength it should have then Swift will be rolling it out though the range. If you are in the market for a cheaper range then I would hang on. If Swift do not change the construction on the cheaper models then you will know they are only interested in your money.

Kia KX 3 auto / Bailey Alicanto Grande Estoril and Swift Challenger 570 (2010 model Not towed - used as a static)
 

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The issue for me is that neither manufacturer produce a family friendly top spec van. Love this new elegance range, but can't get a family version. I know its a question of demand etc, but its not even offered

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I've no doubt Swift will roll out the construction across their ranges. Can't see people rushing to buy Challengers etc till they do, I would hold off for sure. Even money Bailey change their floor construction soon leaving you to wonder why the huge price difference.

 

I'm helping a friend choose a new motorhome: he likes Bailey Autograaph and Swift Bolero. Both very similar though I'm not sure the Swift is GRP panels. He asked me why the Swift is nine grand more. Beats me.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

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Alan

 

Although we got rid of our Bailey mostly because of damp problems and swapped back to Swift, I too prefer the Bailey furniture construction. It always seemed more solid to me.

As for Swift's new construction, from a distance, it looks really good but some have commented that they could have put the gas bottles in the middle of the van and done something with the spare wheel.

 

Knocks spots of the Bailey bricks for design and aerodynamics but why the huge price difference? They look very much like a replacement for the Conqueror and Elite ranges but at those prices I would want a slideout!!!!!!

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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I agree. My Bailey U2 is quite ugly outside but so what, I don't stand and admire it from outside, more interested in what the interior is like. The pay off is the usable space at the front, high headroom coupled with the recessed chest gives longer seating and more front space. Trade off is ugly front end, to me a trade worth doing.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

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I agree. My Bailey U2 is quite ugly outside but so what, I don't stand and admire it from outside, more interested in what the interior is like. The pay off is the usable space at the front, high headroom coupled with the recessed chest gives longer seating and more front space. Trade off is ugly front end, to me a trade worth doing.

 

Trouble is . ........... Some folks pay good money for other people to admire them from the outside ;)

 

From their video, the new Swift does look like the best looking caravan I've yet seen yet, with its latest LCV model lines. B)

Edited by Gaz40
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  • 3 months later...

Watch out 'though. Some new owners of the SMART construction models are still reporting problems with banging or cracking noises from the roof at the front of the van (internally), so this hasn't been addressed or resolved by Swift. It indicates poor standard of construction allowing lack of consistency and control, rather than necessarily poor design, as not all their caravans are affected. Expect no sympathy from swift however as they declare that a purchase of one of their leisure vehicles should not lead customer/owner to expect good night's sleep or peace & quiet from the caravan!

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I'm with henrypartridge on this. This seems to be a brave move by Swift with such a large capital investment and innovative design. They seem to have identified the weaknesses with other solutions (condensation, part wooden construction) and their solutions look to be well conceived, well designed and executed.

 

Although looks are a personal thing, I think the Elegance/Continentals are the best looking vans I have seen - but what looks to be a high strength of the construction is the most important factor for me.

 

Let's hope that our circular tour of Iceland proves the strength point! (see post in the section)

Touareg + Sterling Elite Searcher

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Lets hope they all raise their quality control game and we can consider buying British in future ourselves as would love to.

With a couple of friends now who have certainly had some relatively major works done on practically new Swift group vans, won't be looking anytime soon.

 

Lets hope its solving such issues not papering over them.

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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Where ever humans are involved in manufacturing in a bonus payment system you will always have bad practice,and its not always the workers fault.

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Well we've bit the bullet today, so to speak, after three Baileys, we've put a deposit down on a Elegance 570, the Unicorn for us on the outside is ugly, sorry but it is, never had any serious problems with Bailey, but the Elegance is the first van since we set foot into a California that had the wow factor.

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Where ever humans are involved in manufacturing in a bonus payment system you will always have bad practice,and its not always the workers fault.

 

As far as I am aware Bailey don't have a bonus system,everyone is on a wage/salary regardless.

 

Ian

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Well we've bit the bullet today, so to speak, after three Baileys, we've put a deposit down on a Elegance 570, the Unicorn for us on the outside is ugly, sorry but it is, never had any serious problems with Bailey, but the Elegance is the first van since we set foot into a California that had the wow factor.

Congratulations, when do you expect to take delivery? I agree that the Unicorn 2 is ugly on the outside and I am also disappointed on the inside compared with Unicorn 1.

 

Tandem Man,

I went on a Bailey factory tour a couple of years ago and I was generally impressed. They told me that production staff were on a group bonus scheme. With this type of scheme the cost of correcting poor workmanship often comes out the bonus pot but,I do not know if this applies to the Bailey scheme.

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