Bailey Pegasus Ancona
Friday, 14, Oct 2011 11:22
Make & Model
Bailey Pegasus Ancona
The layout is perfect for us, and we can see ourselves in this van for a decade or more. Highlights for the van would defiantly be the space you get for your £'s. Admittedly there were only three of us in the van, and it might be a different story with 5 or 6 people. The finishing of this van seems high quality as well, for the price of the van. The low lights would be the tape placement and bunk window catch. Maybe if there was just a little more testing done, for example given to someone to use for a week or so, these would have been highlighted.
For a final conclusion, for a family of four or less this is an amazing van and well worth the money.
Space & Practicality
This caravan has epic amounts of space. I mean oodles of it. The corridor is nice and wide, and there is more than enough room for two people to get past each other, or a pram to be set up (we had many night with our son miles in the pram rocking him back to sleep in our old van). The head room is abundant in this van. With the front of the van being much more square it gives more head room inside at the front. This also allows for huge overhead lockers over the front windows, which have more than enough room from two weeks of clothes for two adults. All the locker doors have good positive catches and nice metal handles. The lockers run all down one side, across the front and to the kitchen. Add these to the under seat storage at the front and the side dinette and the ability to lift the bottom buck up, give you more than enough storage than any family will need. When we ordered our van we decided not to go for the front chest of draws. Firstly, it's expensive. Second it's heavy, but also because not having it, gives you more room to sit. Without it, four kids and two adults could sit in the main seating area. With it, two people wold be relegated to the side dinette. Not having it also means that the front bed becomes epically big if all the cushions are turned over
Moving to the kitchen, the sides are quite deep, which allows for a large sink, but there is a distinct lack of work space in here, if you have the hob on, and the sink draining board out, there is no room at all. So it's one or the other. We use the side dinette table as a prep area to get around this. overhead cupboards are nice and big with a frosted glass front. They come with cup and plate holder attached to one of the cupboards as well.
The salad draw in the fridge and the freezer compartment can be removed to give you extra room. It also has a very cool blue light in it. The main kitchen storage cupboard next to the oven housed three pull out trays for cutlery and such and has a large storage are under that. This is also where the main table is placed for transit storage. The main pan cupboard is located under the oven.
Between the side dinette and the main seating area is yet another humongous cupboard. It has two shelves and is the depth of the side Dennett. We were going to use this for storing Miles's stuff. Nappies, toys etc, but found that it we could get so much more in it.
The side dinette converts in a full size single bed. It also has good under seat storage. With us only having one child at the moment, we use the top bunk for bedding storage and we have removed the matters from the bottom bunk and lifted the buck up. This allows us to store things like water and waste barrels securely for transit. In the bathroom there is a large sink, with a big cupboard under it. The shower is nice and big, and can accommodate a baby bath in the show tray, so no more trying to walk through the van with a bath. I can comfortably show in it, and the pressure is nice and strong. You don't struggle to get wet in it like other van showers I've used. There is a corner cupboard which goes from the top of the toilet to the celling of the van and has five shelves in it.
Quality & Reliability
The first thing I noticed about the van is how solid it felt. Walking up and down the van, there is zero movement, no sound and seems to hold fast to the ground.
All the cupboard doors have good solid positive catches on that won't come open during transit, even if something falls against the door from inside the cupboard. All the light switches are nice and firm, and don't seem loose in the fitting. Bathroom door has a proper internal door handle and a proper door. One our first trip out, I noticed that the towel rail on that back of the door was a little loose, then it eventually came off. Luckily I always carry a small selection of tools with us, so I have to give it some attention with a screw driver to fix. Admittedly this should have been picked up in the PDI by the dealer.
All the window catches are of good quality and don't bend. I think Baily have missed a trick with the windows for the bunks. The screw lock catch for the windows is on the right hand side, which is fine for the middle and the bottom bunk, but if an adult has to shut the top one it is difficult to reach without having to shimmy half way up the fixed ladder to get to it. It would have been much easier to get to if the catch was on the left of the window frame. The blind pulls across to cover all three bunks and fixed to the bathroom wall with a magnet. It is partially away from the edge of the bunk so does allow for air moment between the beds, which is important in hot climes.
The AluTech body shell means as long as you keep up with the servicing, the water ingress warranty is a ten year one.
Equipment & Comfort
This van is a Santa's grotto of equipment. Starting at the front, you have the 13 pin plug. We have dual electrics on our car, so we use an adapter. We paid £15 for it from our local caravan service guy. In the camping shop at dealerships they are around £20-£30.
The trailer features the Al-Ko ATC system. (ATC= Alko Trailer Control System). This is powered from the white plug and has a LED on the A frame of the van. It works by monitoring the movement of the van by a sensor in the middle of the axel. If the van starts to snake it applies the brakes to the van, which gently pulls it into line. To be honest you can't feel it working, but you notice that towing is much more stable. For example you hardly get a pull from a HGV passing at speed. It really is an excellent piece of kit. Here is the technical stuff for it http://www.al-ko.co.uk/pages/al-ko-atc.html . This summer we went to France, and the only issue we had was the ferry movements set it off. It has a threshold to the number of activations and turns itself off. It needs to be reset once this has happened. This is indicated by the LED turning from green to red. To reset it, it needs to be unplugged for 5 seconds then plugged back in. It seems a bit daft to me that it should do this. Surly it should just continue to work, why turn off? The tow hitch is fitted with the ALKO 3004 stabiliser, which again, is an excellent piece of kit. With it being brand new it is a little stiff to get on and take off though. If, like us you have a 4x4 with a wheel on the back, you will experience issues getting it off and on due the handle. It needs to be vertical to remove and put on and the wheel gets in the way. Alko to a retro fit handle to get round this. You remove the red handle and put the retrofit handle on and us it to life the stabiliser arms. You must take this off when towing, as it isn't fixed. You can read more about it here http://shop.al-ko.co.uk/products/4x4-retro-fit-stabliliser-handle.html . It is cheaper to buy it direct from the Alko website rather than a 3rd party. The jockey wheel is encased centrally in the A frame rather than at the edge. This seems to be a trend with new vans.
The front on the van consists of three lockers, the front belly locker and two side lockers. The front locker is smaller than other vans and houses two gas bottles, a few smaller items but not much else. The two side lockers are wet lockers with a drain. There are deceptively big. For example, I can fit a windbreak, levellers, two power cables, water pipes; two washing up bowls and the locker is only half full. They have a good seal and a positive catch on the doors, and can be left unlocked without falling open. They use the main door key to unlock and lock them. The door awning light is a large LED light. It covers the whole top of the door and floods out quite a bit of light. We still have a 2nd awning light for our full awning though. The front legs are easily accessed; however the back legs are a little tricky to do. The nut is set quite a bit back from the edge of the van, so you have to get on your knees and poke around under the van to seat the winder. Winding at that angle is difficult though, my wife, Kim, has washed her hands of the task after a few grazed knuckles from the floor. The rear lights on the van are built into a unit that is attached to the corner of the van. This makes it simple to replace if anything goes wrong with the unit and doesn't compromise the shell, reducing the chances of water ingress around the lights. This is all parts and parcel of the Alu Tech design and construction. You can tell that sacrifices have been made though, for example all the lights are bulb lights, I was expecting on a new van that they would be LED lights, but I guess they have to keep the cost down, and save something for the Unicorn models. There BBQ point is at the front of the van, and the adapter for it comes with the van. The 2320v socket is housed in its own covered area, so you don't have to access one of the side lockers like a lot of vans. It's also in the middle of the van, so if have a porch awning it will be in it.
Starting at the front of the van, there is a power socket and an aerial to the left of the front window. Then there is another socket, a 12v outlet and an aerial socket on top of the large cupboard that separates the main sitting area and the side dinette. Here is also a clock; however this is covered when you place a TV there.
The microwave is above this at eye level height. Slightly lower than other integral microwaves I've seen but much easier to use and see what going on inside. It's got a few power settings to match the capability of the EHU you are attached to. It would have been nice to see a 12v attachment for this for use on the battery.
The kitchen sink tap is located on the wrong side of the sink I think, to the left. Next to the sink on the other side of the wall unit, at an angle is a power socket. If you get air in the water line, and it spits out, it splashes perilously close to the socket, so be very very careful. It's so worth noting here that this is as far to the rear of the caravan as the sockets go. There are no power points past here. There should be at least one under the side dinette table I think. The lights in the kitchen are on two levels. There are the main overhead sports that run along the front of the cupboards and some spots that run under the cupboard to illuminate the working area.
The hob is a four gas burner hob. Underneath this is the grill and over, both of which are bigger than our last van. The gas isolation taps are located in the pan cupboard under the over and are easy to get to. The 3 way fridge is nice and big and was able to keep a full load cool and freeze large freezer blocks in 30+ temperatures in France. The salad draw and the freezer compartment can be removed to give you extra room. It also has a very cool blue light in it. The heater is located underneath the wardrobe; the switch for this is just above the heater its self. Not the best place for this Bailey! It would have been better suited next to the kitchen lights or on the main panel as you walk in, small children like to switch switches.
The side dinette converts in a full size single bed. It also has good under seat storage. The table is a little low for my liking. When I sit at it, the table touches the top of my leg, might just be because the cushions are new and need "bedding in". The table remains in place for towing, but there is nowhere to store the table if you wanted to remove it completely.
When we ordered our van we decided not to go for the front chest of draws. Firstly, it's expensive. Second it's heavy, but also because not having it, gives you more room to sit. Without it, four kids and two adults could sit in the main seating area. With it, two people wold be relegated to the side dinette. Not having it also means that the front bed becomes especially big if all the cushions are turned over.
Value for Money
With a price tag of £1750 delivered, you get quite a lot for your money. Granted there are a few issues that maybe wouldn't have been there if it were tested a little more before production, or perhaps they are there for good reason.
Reviewed by MartinMacDonald
Comments - What do you think?