22nd March 2016
Back in the day, caravans had gas lighting and a heater, fridge or oven was probably an option, or just not available. Times have changed.
Things have moved on, but if you were asked to name the best changes to caravan and motorhomes in the last eight years (so since 2008), what would you say? Bigger rooflights and sunroofs maybe? Or energy-saving LED lighting?
After swopping straight from their 2008 Bailey Pageant to a new Bailey Pegasus, one young couple would probably say the best improvement is heating and insulation. That’s because they’re living in Austria all winter in the new Pegasus, as they have done for the last few years in their Pageant, which makes an interesting comparison in levels of warmth and general comfort.
They are, of course, the Bailey snowboarding ambassadors, Faye Young and Simon Cudlip. You may have already enjoyed their #BaileySnowSeason blogs about their experiences so far.
First impressions? “Noticeably warmer", they said.
The Pageant has certainly served them well, and kept them warm and cosy in Austria’s Alpine conditions, proving that older models still cope with touring all winter too, so what does “noticeably warmer” mean? The Pageant and Pegasus both have a Truma heating system using blown-air to distribute their heat, so what’s new?
Well, quite a lot actually. You may not have noticed, or given it much thought when choosing a new caravan or motorhome, but heating systems have improved, and so has something called ‘thermal efficiency’ – how quickly the interior gets warm and retains its heat.
Since their Pageant was produced in 2008, Alu-Tech construction system was introduced which was a significant step towards improving thermal efficiency thanks to its thicker side walls. We also have to thank Truma. The latest Truma combi heating and hot water system in the Pegasus not only takes up less space and uses less power, but has also been specifically designed as a blown-air system, pumping real heat direct in a dedicated pipe to each outlet (without going underneath the caravan and losing valuable heat), making it much more efficient and effective one than the older model in the Pageant which had the popular, standalone, floor-mounted heating unit with blown air added to it. In fact, the new Pegasus even set new records for ‘warm-up’ times, with tests also showing an excellent distribution of heat around the interior, making it noticeably warmer and more comfortable wherever you’re sitting or sleeping.
Another subtle but important difference is the way you can now control and use the heating. Today, we have programmable digital displays like the ones we have at home, and the latest electronic wizardry of being able to use a smart phone or tablet while you’re away from the caravan to check the inside temperature or turn the heating or hot water on, so you don’t have to come back to a cold interior or no hot water. Back in the day, that would have sounded like something from a science fiction movie!