25th September 2019
Testing for the 37th Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year Competition took place during August at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, where a wide cross section of vehicles from leading car manufacturers were put rigorously through their paces by an independent panel of driving judges over a four-day period.
Bailey of Bristol were invited by The Caravan and Motorhome Club to supply the caravans used in this prestigious event for the 22nd consecutive year. Whilst the purpose of the testing is to assess the performance of the individual tow vehicles, this competition also provides a thorough examination of the participating caravans in terms of product durability and stability.
A selection of ten Bailey Phoenix, Pegasus Grande and Unicorn caravans were chosen for the testing process to provide each of the 36 entrants with a suitable tow match. Every caravan was ballasted to 85 per cent of the towcar’s kerb weight, or its maximum towing limit, if lower, and had any stability aids disabled to ensure each car’s reactions to the demanding series of tests could be fully assessed.
Bailey Of Bristol caravan lineup with their towcars
With towcars getting lighter, Bailey has designed its caravans to be a suitable weight match for as many of today’s cars as possible. The Alu-Tech construction system not only makes them lighter than those built using conventional methods but also more stable as a greater percentage of the overall weight is concentrated in the centre of the caravan.
Research by leading industry experts The University of Bath identifies this as one of the key factors affecting trailer stability and as a result, Bailey has also re-positioned heavy items such as gas bottle lockers, battery storage boxes and spare wheel carriers nearer to the caravan axle to further enhance the performance of its vehicles in this area.
During the evaluation period over 250 circuits of the Millbrook track featuring a lap of the high speed circular track and a demanding hill route (equating to over 1,375 test miles), were successfully completed by the test units without incident.
Navigating the twists and turns of the Millbrook circuit
Bailey Marketing Director, Simon Howard, who was one of the Bailey Technical Support team in attendance during test week commented: “Working at Millbrook you get first-hand experience of the level of professionalism involved in the testing and the lengths which The Caravan and Motorhome Club goes to ensure that every entrant is evaluated both thoroughly and fairly in order to determine the overall winner.”
“From the Bailey point of view, Towcar of the Year always represents a very stern test for our caravans. Seeing how well they perform being towed by a wide variety of tow vehicles on a very demanding circuit is always very reassuring.” He added.
Participating in this competition is one of many ways Bailey of Bristol like putting their caravans and motorhomes through their paces. Click here to find out more about the industry’s most comprehensive product validation programme.
The Bailey Unicorn putting a towcar through its paces
Grenville Chamberlain OBE, Caravan and Motorhome Club Chairman, said: “Here at the Caravan and Motorhome Club we are proud of our 37-year heritage with this competition and the wealth of data and information we are able to offer people on their choice of towcar. Our sincere congratulations go to all the worthy winners in the Caravan and Motorhome Club Towcar of the Year 2020.”
The full results of the competition were announced at The RAC Club in London on 20th September and details of the winners can be found by clicking here