26th September 2017
Testing for the 34th Caravan 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 was invited by The Caravan Club to participate by supplying the caravans used in this prestigious event for the 19th 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 current Bailey Pursuit, Pegasus and Unicorn caravans were chosen for the testing process to provide each of the 47 completion entrants with a suitable tow match. Each caravan was ballasted to 85 per cent of the towcar’s kerb weight, or its maximum towing limit, if lower, and had any electronic stability aids disabled to ensure each car’s reactions to the demanding series of tests could be fully assessed.
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 the University of Bath, the leading independent authority in this field, has identified 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 300 circuits of the Millbrook track featuring a lap of the high speed circular track and a demanding hill route (equating to over 1,650 test miles), were successfully completed by the test units without incident.
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 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.
Nikki Nichol, External Communications and Sponsorship Manager at The Caravan Club added: “The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year is its 34th year and continues to go from strength to strength. Club members eagerly await the results before buying their next towcar. The fact this competition runs so smoothly and professionally is in no small part due to the dedication of the Bailey of Bristol team.”
The full results of the competition were announced at The RAC Club in London on September 22nd and details of the winners can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/news-and-events/awards/towcar-of-the-year