7th December 2018
After a gap of 20 years, Bailey of Bristol have returned to the factory-built Dealer Special caravan marketplace. You may ask, what exactly is a Dealer Special caravan? And, if you are considering purchasing a caravan, are Dealer Special caravans worth investigating further?
What is a Dealer Special caravan?
A Dealer Special starts with a standard product such as the Bailey Phoenix, the dealer then customises the interior by choosing their own fabric colour schemes, make changes to the overall specification and choose a unique name for the new model and create custom exterior graphics.
Extra equipment is also installed and the finished caravan is sold exclusively by the dealer. With all the changes, the caravan feels very different to the Phoenix that the new caravan is based upon. All the layouts that the Phoenix line up offers are available for the Dealer Special transformation.
Where can you see these Dealer Specials?
Currently, Bailey have included 10 dealerships from around the UK to create their very own special caravan, here is a list of the dealerships (As of Nov 2018) and the names the dealers have selected.
|Dyce Caravans||Phoenix Xtreme|
|Ropers Caravan World||Jive Titanium|
|Swindon Caravans Group||Ridgeway|
|White Arches||Phoenix GTX|
As discussed, Dealer Special caravans are unique to the dealers and the specification of the caravan will also reflect this. You will likely find that specification changes from dealer to dealer, but some common and frequent upgrades include:
- Truma gas BBQ point
- Exterior 230v socket and 230v power inlet for mains hook-up
- Truma 100 watt solar panel
- Hartal two-part large aperture door with window, waste bin and dustpan & brush
- Dual fuel Thetford Caprice combined oven, grill and hob
- Drop-down kitchen worktop extension
- TRACKER PIR activated intruder alarm
- Bespoke entrance door mat
- Bespoke graphics scheme
- Bespoke soft furnishings
- Swan-neck kitchen mixer tap
- Remis pleated fly screen and blinds to principal windows
On top of this list, some dealers have also added in further specification changes including the ALKO ATC and the ALKO Wheel Secure.
You may well think that adding this level of specification will have an impact on the retail price. The price increase from the base Phoenix model in some cases is only few hundred pounds and not thousands that it would cost to have this equipment retro fitted.
Why buy a Phoenix and not a Dealer Special?
There are a few reasons why the Phoenix may still be a better option to purchase rather than a Dealer Special, so here are a few reasons why.
The price is possibly the biggest reason. Dealer Special caravans are great value, but their price will be higher than that of the Phoenix.
Another reason maybe that you may not need or want the upgraded options. For instance, if you are always going to be pitched up on a caravan site with electric hook-up, do you really need a solar panel?
Dealer Specials increase the specification and increase the weight of the caravan too. If you have a driving licence restriction (Such as no B+E category), this could push the caravan over your available weight allowance. So, if you are interested in a Dealer Special caravan, check the MTPLM of the caravan and that it conforms with any driving licence restrictions.
It would be hypocritical of me to be discussing the merits of a Dealer Special if I did not own one. In fact, we bought a Ridgeway from Swindon Caravans and collected it in October. The Ridgeway 640 is an ideal layout for us. A fixed island bed at the rear and a washroom in the middle of the caravan means we have 2 zones in the caravan, perfect for my wife and our daughter to have some space and privacy at night.
Swindon Caravans chose a neutral fabric with gold and cream curtains, which we really like as this is how our home is also furnished. The extra cupboard at the front of the caravan hides the radio, and gives extra storage space to hide odds and ends. Other huge selling points for us were the extra USB sockets at the front, the additional worktop and upgraded kitchen tap, and of course the BBQ point that allows me to cook outside.
You can follow our adventures with our new Ridgeway 640, from paying the deposit to collecting and using it on our YouTube channel - We also have plenty of useful “how-to” videos in our vast library. So, why not subscribe to our channel.