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11th January 2019

After being invited to the Bailey Phoenix product launch, alongside a number of other bloggers, vloggers and press, we were given the opportunity to try out one of their new caravans. 

Having looked around the range of Phoenix caravans (spending most of our time in the family ‘vans!), we decided the Phoenix 650 would be a good one to try.  Loving the style and layout of the 650, we wondered whether it would offer us the storage space, we require as a family of five.

On first impressions, it appeared to have less storage space than our own caravan. The only way to find out for sure was to try it. So, throughout the month of November we took the Phoenix 650 to a different site each weekend, including two independent sites, one Camping and Caravanning Club site and a Certified Location, in the Caravan and Motorhome Club network.

This enabled us to put the Phoenix 650 to the test on a range of slightly different sites, we have created a new playlist for these trips away on our YouTube channel, so you can see first-hand our experiences.

After stripping bare our Caravan we loaded our possessions into the Phoenix 650 and still had plenty of room to spare.  Considering our initial scepticism, we were pleasantly surprised by how deceptively roomy the cupboards were. 

 

 

Our clothes were comfortably stored in the overhead lockers, along with an abundance of toys, games and crafts to keep the rugrats entertained during our ‘tech free’ weekends.  We particularly liked the wardrobe in the bathroom for coats, towels and shoes and the cupboard under the wash basin housed all our toiletries, along with my hairdryer, straighteners and makeup. I had to try and find things to fill up the kitchen cupboards, as they felt almost too empty! The fridge offered ample space and we made sure it was well stocked too.

Being November, the weather was damp and cold. However, the cold outside the caravan was no match for the Truma heating system, which quickly warmed up the caravan and kept it feeling cosy throughout each of our stays.  Having visited the onsite facilities on one weekend, we couldn’t have been more elated that the Phoenix 650 offered such a spacious rear bathroom! Showering in the caravan was a first for all of us. The girls were particularly pleased that they didn’t have to run back from the shower block in the cold.  

During our stay at Lickhill Manor, we made use of our fully serviced pitch and thought rather naively that you could take a shower for as long as you wanted – having unlimited water coming into the caravan.

 

 

Of course, once the hot water tank had been emptied, the shower ran cold. We later realised that the best thing to do is to set the Water to Boost mode, which prioritises heating of the water system over heating the caravan, this allowing us to mix more cold water and as such increase the time before the hot water ran cold. We challenged ourselves to be as economical with water as possible and even managed 4 people to shower on one Aquaroll!  

As a family who like to cook when we go away, we certainly put the oven through its paces firstly, baking cupcakes, followed by a roast dinner.  The cakes were a success, though the girls, as usual, were more interested in the icing and less concerned about the cake itself. 

We (I say we, I actually mean me!) then cooked a medium sized chicken which fitted into the oven leaving enough space to roast potatoes, onions and stuffing. The sausages went under the grill and the veg on the hob.

 

 

At this point, we started to wonder if we were going to have enough gas to see dinner through to finish! Fortunately, there was no need for a trip to the local take away and the dinner was a success.  Using the worktop that covers the hob and the worktop above the fridge, I had plenty of space to plate up our roast. 

So would we trade in our beloved Elddis for the new Bailey Phoenix 650? Our month with the Phoenix was a highly positive experience. We loved the layout, the décor, the rear bathroom and the storage space on offer.  The only changes we would make would be minor ones and it has given us a lot to think about.