Caravan Line drawing
 

1 Opening front vertical skylight floods the caravan with natural light as well being a source of extra ventilation.

2 GRP cloaked outer skin provides greater impact resistance and superior thermal performance.
3 Market leading Truma (range specific) or Alde (range specific) heating and water systems combined with market leading Alu-Tech insulation to keep you comfortable and warm whatever the weather.
4 Our centrally mounted gas locker improves vehicle stability and easy access to the bottles.
5 Super safe wheel assemblies, including pre-balanced alloy wheels and bespoke caravan tyres, provide you with enhanced peace of mind when on your travels.
6 Our central floor mounted battery box improves vehicle stability and frees up bed box storage space.

7 Pre-wired for motor mover fitment for ease of installation, of this popular retailer fit accessory.

8 All our caravans comply with current British and European Health and Safety standards to provide you with the peace of mind knowing everything is legal and safe.
9 Our caravans achieve the highest classification of thermal insulation (grade III) in cold chamber testing, making them genuine four-season vehicles.
10 Alu-Tech Bodyshell construction improves resistance to the elements and increases durability and longevity of the vehicle.

 
unique selling points of a Bailey Motorhome
 

1 Double glazed opening sky view over cab window floods the cab with natural light as well being a source of extra ventilation.

2 GRP cloaked outer skin provides greater impact resistance and superior thermal performance.
3 Our motorhomes achieve the highest classification of thermal insulation (grade III) in cold chamber testing, making them genuine four-season vehicles.
4 Market leading Truma (range specific) or Alde (range specific) heating and water systems combined with market leading Alu-Tech insulation to keep you comfortable and warm whatever the weather.
5 Ultra-low profile AL-KO AMC chassis creates a lower centre of gravity for a better drive, and easier access in to the living area.
6 Large capacity fresh water tanks (90L+) and waste water tanks (95L+) give you the freedom to travel for extended periods off-grid.

Fitted with a premium leisure battery as standard for enhanced electrical performance, in a dedicated floor mounted housing.

We were the first leisure vehicle company to crash test our vehicles during development. As a result our models feature reinforced floors and strengthened furniture to enhance passenger protection and safety.
All our motorhomes comply with current British and European Health and Safety standards to provide you with the peace of mind knowing everything is legal and safe.
10 The Peugeot Euro 6 130bhp/160bhp Boxer engine with 6-speed manual gear box provides superior performance with lower vehicle emissions.
11 The fully specified Peugeot Boxer cab has air-con, cruise control, driver and front passenger airbags and concertina windscreen blinds included as standard, providing enhanced comfort and practicality.
12 Alu-Tech Bodyshell construction improves resistance to the elements and increases durability and longevity of the vehicle.

Maintenance and winter storage

You will need to have the living area of your motorhome serviced annually, which will normally be completed by a specialist motorhome retailer or workshop.

This 'habitation' service will include the water, gas, electrical and heating systems, which will all need to be checked and maintained. The fridge will be checked too but any major servicing is usually done separately.

It is a requirement for your annual service to be carried out at an Approved Workshop (AWS). The Camping and Caravanning Club, the Caravan and Motorhome Club and the National Caravan Council (NCC) run this scheme. Approved Workshops are required to have certain standards of facilities and appropriately trained technicians.

Winter Storage

An indoor and preferably secure location is recommended if you want to put your motorhome into winter storage. There are covers, which can be purchased from car manufacturers while the van is in storage to stop moisture coming into contact with the brake discs.

For the record, we don’t put our motorhome into storage. Come rain or shine or even snow, owning a motorhoming gives us the freedom to explore all year round.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S7 1
The Overnighters
 

First time you arrive on site

When you arrive at a site, you will usually be greeted at reception by one of the camp wardens. Sometimes you will be given a choice of pitches so here are a few things to consider:

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 1

Hard or soft-standing pitches? Hard-standing pitches are more suitable for motorhomes, but if using grass then check how soft the ground is before you drive onto it.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 2

Flat ground? The flatter the ground the less you’ll have to worry about using blocks under your wheels to level your motorhome.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 3

Toilets and showers nearby? Being near the wash-blocks is convenient for night-time trips to the loo and speedy washing up, but it can also lead to people walking around or across your pitch.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 4

Playground nearby? If you have kids, then it’s great to have play areas nearby so you can keep an eye on them. If you’re travelling without kids, you may well prefer to be away from the noise.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 5

Sunrise & sunset. Some sites will stipulate the motorhome faces a certain way on the pitch. If it’s your call, then think which side of the van your habitation door is and work out where the sun will be when you’re enjoying your breakfast or teatime beer.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 6

Open or closed pitch? Hedges or walls can form great windbreaks on an exposed site.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 7

Tree cover? A bit of tree shade is brilliant in warmer conditions, but the grass is often poor because it’s protected from the rain, and birds and squirrels will deposit all manner of detritus onto the roof of your motorhome. Also, trees will continue to drip long after a shower has passed.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 7

Check surrounding water. Rainwater has to go somewhere, so try to make sure it won’t travel under your motorhome on its way. This is particularly important if you are using an awning.

When you arrive at a site there are a number of things to consider, particularly if it’s your first time. From which pitch to choose to hard or soft standing, we discuss a few things to consider in this video.

Before you get to your pitch

Once you have finished with the warden at reception and before you drive onto your pitch, there are a couple of jobs that you may need to take care of.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 7.1

Water - now is a good time to fill up your water tank. You can fill from the outside or from the inside, as we prefer (pictured), to keep an eye on the level.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 7.2

Grey waste disposal - if you have created some waste during your journey now is a good opportunity to expel it from the van. Park the motorhome so that the grey waste pipe is directly above a designated drain and empty.

With the motorhome in place, what else do you need to do?

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 8

1. If you’re using an electric hook-up, connect the cable between your motorhome and the electrical hook-up bollard on your pitch – for safety, plug the cable into the motorhome first, then the bollard.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 2

2. Turn on the gas. Turn the valve anti-clockwise, then press the large green button followed by the small green button. This will allow the gas to flow into the manifolds switches (see next step) and then into your applicances. When you leave the site, you just need to turn the valve off by turning it anti-clockwise.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S6 7.5

3. Turn on the manifolds that control the four main appliances in the motorhome, ensuring all switches have been turned on. The switches are on when they are in the horizontal position.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 2

4. Turn on the electrics control panel and make sure the pump is on as well. When turning on the water pump, keep the hot tap open until you get a steady flow.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 9
beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 9

5. Choose whether you want your fridge to be on GAS or ELECTRIC using the fridge dial. There are 4 icons on the fridge dial:  OFF, ELECTRIC, LEISURE BATTERY and GAS. (Tip: When going on a day trip, switch your fridge on the day before to give it time to chill ).

To use gas, switch to the GAS icon, then push in and turn the thermostat dial to full, and continue to hold the dial in. Start continually pressing the gas ignition button for 15 seconds until the red line on the ignition gauge has moved over to the right. You can then release the thermostat dial and turn it to where you want your gas level to be - the higher the gas, the colder the fridge will be.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 2

6. Turn on the water heater and habitation heating if required. The heating panel will typically show specific items. With our Truma system we use a dial to scroll across 4 icons (heater, water heater, electric or gas, fan speed) and click the dial to choose the desired setting.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 2

7. Add the toilet chemicals. You'll generally need pink for the flush and blue/green for the waste tank.

The Overnighters

Packing the essentials and payload

If you’re a hard-core boy/girl scout, you may be happy with one mug, one plate and a Swiss army knife. Most of us though like a little more luxury; it is a motor HOME after all.

Let’s assume that everyone knows how to pack their clothes and their toiletries. All we would add is don’t over-pack. You’ll be surprised how little you need for a few days away. And, as we always say to our teenage daughter, "it’s not a fashion parade!"

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S5 1
beginnersguidetomotorhoming S5 2

Again, with food, we are not going to tell you what and how to eat. Our only tip is to not be too set with your dinner plans. One of the joys of touring is finding quality local produce to cook in the van that night. And that’s before you catch the waft of a full English or Sunday roast as you pass the local pub.

You don’t want to be throwing food away and we tend to have plenty of cupboard food with a long shelf life at the ready, just in case.

In all other departments, it’s about finding more ways to make your motorhoming life as easy as possible.

Here’s a very simple (but far from definitive) checklist:

 

Simple kit checklist
1. Kitchen equipment including pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, plastic glasses, sharp knives and scissors, colander
2. Road safety equipment – warning triangles, hi-visibility vests, jacks etc.
3. Maps/GPS
4. External equipment – Water hose, electrical cable, adapters for hooking up to mains electricity and levelling blocks
5. Gas bottles
6. Cleaning equipment – dustpan & brush
7. Washing up bowl/liquids, sponges, tea-towels
8. Basic ‘drawer’ stuff! Mini-torch, gaffer-tape, string, adjustable spanner, strong glue, spirit level (for levelling)
9. Entertainment - Books, games, tablets, speakers and TV

 

When it comes to cooking utensils and pans, we recommend you invest in a few bits that will live in the van. Transporting bottle openers and potato peelers back and forth from your home kitchen drawers is a pain and confusing. Best that those bits are stowed in the van, ready for an impulsive weekend away. The same goes for plates and mugs.

There is a wide range of plastic plates, bowls, mugs and drinking glasses available to buy at the Prima Leisure stores at various Caravan and Motorhome Club sites as well as online.

Payload

There is also a practical reason for travelling as light as possible, your motorhome’s payload.

It’s easy to overload a motorhome and yet driving an overladen vehicle is dangerous and illegal. You must stay safe and within the law.

Working out your payload

Your payload is the difference between the maximum weight (MTPLM) of your motorhome and what it actually weighs (MRO*) before you’ve added all your kit and accessories.

Subtract the latter from the former and you have your payload. This is the maximum weight you can add to your motorhome.

 

Example

MTPLM = 3500kg

MRO = 2850kg

3500kg – 2850kg = Payload of 650kg

ItemWeight
Clothes and toiletries 20kg
Food 10kg
Pots and Pans 5kg
Crockery etc 5kg
Total 40kg

 

*The MRO is the weight of the vehicle plus included kit as it is when it leaves the factory. Further details can be found in the user handbook.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S5 3

Don't forget to allow for the weight of passengers, water (some manufacturers allow this in their calculations and some don't), fuel, spare gas bottles etc. which are all easy items to overlook. 

Then you need to consider the weight of all the options you have added, such as cycle rack, air-con unit etc. Then add in the weight of all your touring items (levelling blocks, awning, sports equipment, portable fridge, barbeques etc.).

While you can weight each item, you can get a rough idea of your weight by using an online weighing calculator. But the most accurate method is to get the motorhome weighed with all your touring kit on board. For this you'll need to visit a DVSA approved weighbridge.

Before you set off

Whatever you have packed, make sure it is secure. Use towels, soft clothing and tea towels to stop items rattling in transit. Cupboard doors and windows must be locked shut.

Finding the right route

Driving a decent sized motorhome can present a challenge to find the best route to your campsite.

Route planning is another consideration. Satnavs are great for finding your way to a town or general area, but if your chosen campsite suggests a particular route then go with that, even if it doesn’t match what the satnav is telling you.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S5 4

If you follow a satnav’s postcode facility in rural districts, you could find yourself miles off course. A decent old school A-Z road map is definitely worth investing in as well, to cover those moments when you lose your 4G signal.

Planning your first trip

Where to Stay?

What do you want from your motorhome holiday?

There are thousands of sites across the UK and Europe. At one extreme, you’ll find busy campsites with every amenity known to man. Restaurants, bars, mini-supermarkets, playgrounds, swimming pools, Wi-Fi, super-pitches with TV aerial and evening entertainment to suit all ages.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 1
beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 2

At the other end is a quiet spot of tranquillity in the back of beyond. No Wi-Fi, no electricity, just a decent supply of gas and your own personal sunset. Most of us will be hoping for somewhere between these two extremes.

 

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 3

From the largest parks to the smallest CL (Certified Location) sites, there is something for everyone. In the video above, we talk you through choosing where to stay and where to park your motorhome.

Getting about and parking

If you are planning on exploring the local area, there is one key consideration. Are you leaving the motorhome on site or will you be unhooking and driving off for the day? If it is the former, you may want to consider a campsite within walking distance of beaches, villages, shops and castles. Are there decent public transport links nearby? If not, is it walkable? Is it cycle-able?

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 5
beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 6

If you are planning to take the motorhome out when you explore, then you should consider your parking options. Many towns have motorhome parking available. In the larger towns and cities there may also be park and ride facilities. Do your research and you’ll be fine.

In more rural areas, there will always be some trepidation about driving on those narrow country lanes. Just remember that articulated lorries and buses go in and out of rural villages every day. If they can do it then so, can you. Yes, you may need to pull your motorhome into a layby, every so often. But, what’s the rush? We’re on an adventure aren’t we?

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 7

The Clubs

There are two main clubs that you should consider joining.

Being a member of one, if not both of these will give you many benefits. A wider range of touring destinations, free monthly magazines with features on all aspects of motorhoming and great discounts on travel insurance, tourist attractions and of course pitch fees.

Both clubs have annual events for motorhomers to get together for long weekends featuring all manner of sporting, music and outdoor fun.

Of course, there are other organisations to join such as National Trust (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk) or English Heritage (https://www.english-heritage.org.uk) that provide days out opportunities as well as camping/ touring options.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S4 10

Look out for publications and websites such as ‘Brit Stops’ (http://www.britstops.com) which feature country pubs, farm shops, vineyards and breweries that allow you stay overnight free of charge. These aren’t campsites, so won’t have shower blocks or toilet facilities, but great if you fancy something different.

The Overnighters
 

Getting to know your van and manoeuvring

Before you head off to the Outer Hebrides, or Dordogne or even a week in Cornwall, we recommend a night or two, not too far away from home. Just yourselves and your motorhome.

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S3 1

Like any relationship, the early days of motorhoming are all about discovery and learning.

For that first trip, choose somewhere within easy reach, where you can get to know your vehicle and familiarise yourself with the owners manual. Get the experience of driving onto a pitch and practice driving out on the open road.

It’s also worth taking some time going through your own drive away checklist. Here’s ours:

When you leave home the first couple of points may already be covered, but you’ll need to remember them when you leave a campsite. 

Drive away checklist
1. Turn off the gas at the cylinder
2. Empty the fresh and waste-water tanks and empty the toilet cassette in an appropriate place
3. Check the motorhome’s windows and roof lights are closed, internal doors and cupboards are closed, loads are safely secured and the habitation door is locked
4. Remove any chocks or levelling blocks
5. Make sure you’ve unhooked your electricity
6. Pull clear of the pitch and check the area for anything left behind
beginnersguidetomotorhoming S3 2

For many of us a motorhome will be the largest vehicle we’ve ever driven. Both the Caravan and Motorhome Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club run manoeuvring courses where you can learn everything you need to know about driving your new motorhome.

The more experience and knowledge we gain, the more confident we become.

For example, driving a motorhome requires a little more time to manoeuver than other vehicles, with braking and accelerating taking longer. You must also consider the size of your van when approaching a corner and make sure you give yourself plenty of clearance. When reversing, be aware of the distance between the back of the motorhome and the rear wheels. A sizeable overhang must be taken into account.

Overtaking needs to be done with great caution, especially if there are cyclists or horses involved. Speed restrictions are in place for motorhomes and it will depend on the weight and class of the vehicle, which you can check online.

Most importantly, you need to know the dimensions of your motorhome, particularly when approaching narrow roads and low bridges. We keep a note of ours on the dashboard at all times!

Here’s Mel taking the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s manoeuvering course with the lovely Bernie.

The Overnighters

Which motorhome?

If you’re reading this now, there’s a good chance you’ve already decided which motorhome best suits you. You know what you need.

However, there’s a world of choice and if you are undecided, there are certain considerations for you and your future travelling companions.

What size and what layout?

If you’re a family, you will be looking at a larger four or six berth van with at least four seats for travelling in. If it’s just the two of you, two travel seats and one double bed should be enough. What about a bed for the grandchildren? Where do the dogs sleep?

The permutations are endless. Anyway, as we said at the top of this section, only you know what you really need.

 

 

beginnersguidetomotorhoming S2 2

 

 

Interior versus exterior.

The more space on the inside, the bigger the motorhome. If you want a large double bed, open sitting area, a vast kitchen worktop, large fridge/freezer, that’s great. We’re suckers for bigger motorhomes. Our current van is an Advance 76-4 and is most definitely a home on wheels.

However, a larger van requires certain considerations. If you want to go out food shopping or visit popular attractions, you may need to find car parks where you can park across two bays.

Alternatively, you may be happy to forgo the larger interior and go instead for a more compact living set-up, like the Alliance 59-2. At under six metres, this comfortably fits into all standard parking spaces. But, generally, we’ve always found somewhere to safely park our vans.

To see the full range of Bailey motorhomes click here

 

Licences

The first thing you need to do is check when you passed your driving test.

If it was before 1 January 1997 (and you’re not yet 70) you will automatically be able to drive a heavier motorhome than if you passed after that date.

Have you passed your test SINCE 1 January 1997?

The standard driving licence covers categories B and B1. This means you can drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg (B) and tow a trailer up to 750kg behind it. As a result, many new motorhomes are built with a Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) of 3,500kg.

If you want to drive a larger motorhome (up to 7,500kg), you will need to pass an additional driving test to add the C1 category to your licence.

Did you pass your test BEFORE 1 January 1997?

If you passed your test before 1 January 1997, you will automatically have category C1 entitlement on your licence, meaning you can drive vehicles up to 7,500kg. Your driving licence will show the categories you are entitled to drive.

You can check these details with the DVLA here

Aged 70 +

When you reach 70, you will need to renew your driving licence. If you use the standard renewal procedure, you will lose your C1 entitlement and no longer be able to drive motorhomes between 3,500kg and 7,500kg. To avoid this, ask your GP to fill in a medical report form D4.

 

 

 

The Overnighters

Hello from the Overnighters

You’ve always wanted this. You’ve talked about this for years. You’ve sat at traffic lights, gazed longingly at the latest motorhomes, and fantasised about that epic road trip. Now the stars have aligned. You have the time, you have the money and you’ve done the maths.

We are the Philpott family AKA The Overnighters and two years ago, we had never set foot in a motorhome, let alone driven one or ‘hooked up’ on a campsite. We knew nothing. What we needed was a simple but comprehensive guide. Like this one!

Bon voyage!

 

 

The Overnighters

Get ahead of the traffic and find the best route for your journey.

Plan your trip

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Rain or shine, make sure you check the forecast before you go!

 

 

Below you will find forthcoming events which may be of interest to you.

 

April 2017

 

Flintshire Caravans

1st - 30th April 2017

Retailer offer: Free Powrtouch Motormover with all new Bailey caravans. Contact Flintshire Caravans for further details.


 

Campbells Caravans

1st - 30th April 2017

Great offers on new Bailey caravans between the 1st and 30th April. Contact Campbells for further details.


 

Bardsea Leisure

10th - 30th April 2017

Retailer offer: Buy any new 2017 Bailey Caravan and receive a free Powrtouch Manual Motormover worth over £1000. We have most caravans in stock, factory fresh and available for immediate delivery. This offer only applies to straight sales and not part exchange deals. Offer valid until close of business on Sunday 30th April. Contact Bardsea Leisure for further details.


 

Pioneer Caravans

1st - 30th April 2017

Great offers on new Bailey caravans between the 1st and 30th April. Contact Pioneer for further details.


 

United British Caravans

1st - 30th April 2017

Great offers on new Bailey caravans between the 1st and 30th April. Contact United British Caravans for further details.


 

Robinsons Caravans Chesterfield

1st April - 7th May 2017

Great offers on new Bailey caravans between the 1st April and 7th May. Contact Robinsons Caravans for further details.


 

Robinsons Caravans Worksop

1st April - 7th May 2017

Great offers on new Bailey caravans between the 1st April and 7th May. Contact Robinsons Caravans for further details.


 

Sunnyhaven April Offer

1st - 17th April 2017

Great deals on new Bailey caravans between the 1st and 17th April including a free gift. Contact Sunnyhaven for further details.


 

Ryedale Leisure April Offer

1st - 30th April 2017

Great deals on new Bailey caravans including a free Nemisis Wheel Lock with any new Bailey Pursuit or Pegasus caravan between the 1st and 30th April. Also a free motormover on every new Bailey caravan purchased in April. Contact Ryedale Leisure for further details.


 

Blazers Caravans April Offer

1st - 17th April 2017

Great deals on new Bailey caravans between the 1st and 17th April including a free gift. Contact Blazers Caravans for further details.


 

Chichester Caravans Uckfield April Offer

1st - 14th April 2017

Retailer offer: Get a free Nemisis Wheel Lock with any new Bailey Pursuit or Pegasus caravan between the 1st and 14th April. Also a free motormover on selected new Bailey caravans between the same dates. Contact the sales team at Chichester Caravans Uckfield for further details.


 

Lee Davey Caravans April Offer

31st March - 17th April 2017

Retailer offer: Get a free motormover with selected new Bailey caravans between the 31st March and the 17th April. Contact Lee Davey Caravans for further details.


 

Chipping Sodbury Caravans April Offer

31st March - 17th April 2017

Retailer offer: Get a free motormover with selected new Bailey caravans between the 31st March and the 17th April. Contact Chipping Sodbury Caravans for further details.


 

Forest of Dean Caravans April Offer

31st March - 30th April 2017

Fantastic deals on new Bailey caravans including a free gift. From 31st March - 17th April only. Contact Forest of Dean Caravans for further details.


 

Michael Jordan April Offer

28th March - 17th April 2017

Retailer offer: Get a free motormover with selected new Bailey caravans between the 28th March and the 17th April. Contact Michael Jordan for further details.


 

Dinmore Leisure April Offer

28th March - 17th April 2017

Retailer offer: Get a free motormover with selected new Bailey caravans between the 28th March and the 17th April. Contact Dinmore Leisure for further details.


Avoid those long jams on your journey by checking the latest traffic updates here.