25th September 2017
Testing for the 35th Caravan & 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 was invited by The Caravan and Motorhome Club to supply the caravans used in this prestigious event for the 20th 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 44 completion entrants with a suitable tow match. Each caravan was ballasted to 85 percent 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.
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.
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 & Motorhome Club added: “This is an incredibly important competition to help our members choose the best cars to tow with and be as safe as possible, so we are hugely grateful to Bailey of Bristol for supporting it for so long.”
The full results of the competition were announced at The RAC Club in London on 22nd September and details of the winners can be found by clicking here. You can also watch a video of the competition below.