Parts & Accessories

17 Bailey Leisure Vehicles and Counting

17th May 2024 | Bailey of Bristol
In 1994, Tony and Julie Lorton bought their first Bailey caravan, a 1980 model, that they purchased second-hand, rebuilt, and took on their first trip to France. A lavish upgrade from their old trailer tent that they used to share with their two young girls. Since then, the Lorton's have never looked back! 30 years later, they have collected their 17th brand new Bailey leisure vehicle.

Tony and Julie Lorton, a retired post office clerk and a medical secretary, have a long history with Bailey. With 15 brand-new Bailey caravans and two motorhomes under their belts, the Lorton’s are two of our most loyal customers.

The story began in 1994 when they upgraded their trailer tent to their first-ever Bailey caravan. They wanted more comfort, but with a family onboard, camping was much cheaper than other types of holidays.

Very soon, the Lorton’s fell in love with the freedom and flexibility of caravanning. Their children made lots of friends, and they weren’t tied to any timetables, having the freedom to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. Nearly 80% of Bailey caravan buyers highlight freedom and flexibility as one of the motivators to buy a leisure vehicle.

Julie Lorton with her daughters Stacy and Stephanie in the 90s

Which Bailey Leisure Vehicles Have The Lorton's Owned?

In 1999, Julie and Tony bought their first brand new Bailey caravan, a Bailey Ranger. Their girls, Stacy and Stephanie, were now a bit older, so their needs changed. That year, they also got involved with Cornwall DA and the Camping and Caravanning Club local rallies. Being from Truro, surrounded by beautiful holiday destinations, they joined the committee and, to this day, still help set up Camping and Caravanning Club rallies and Temporary Holiday Sites in the area.

With people coming from all over the country and regulars that visit every year, Julie, Tony and their two daughters have been able to make friends from across the country, friendships that have now been passed down through generations, with their grandchildren becoming friends of their friends’ grandchildren.

Tony and Julie have been involved with Cornwall DA and the Camping and Caravanning Club rallies since the 1999

In 2002, Tony and Julie bought their second brand new Bailey, a Pageant, which they later upgraded to a Pageant Loire, Senator Arizona, Senator Indiana and Senator 6 Wyoming in 2007, their first caravan with a fixed bed now the children were old enough to sleep in the awning, and so far their favourite van of all the ones they’ve bought over the years.

A few years later, in 2010, the Lorton’s bought their first Alu-Tech caravan, a Pegasus Series 1 624, followed by a Unicorn Series 1 Barcelona not long after. By then, Bailey was developing their first motorhome range, something Tony and Julie were keen to try.

That’s when they got in touch with Stephen Richard, lead engineer at Bailey at the time, and got involved in the development of Bailey motorhomes by providing feedback on the recently launched Bailey Approach. In 2012, they took the plunge and traded their caravan for an Approach 740, followed by the next-generation Approach Autograph 745, this one with Alde heating.

In 2012, Tony and Julie bought their first ever motorhome, a Bailey Approach 740, and took it to France

The motorhome gave them great flexibility to go to Europe, and it was a fantastic travelling enabler for their trips to France, but they missed the extra space and the ability to drive their car everywhere, especially when back to the UK.

For that reason, in 2014, they decided to move back to caravans with a Unicorn Series 3 Madrid first, then Valencia, Barcelona, Unicorn IV Cartagena, Unicorn Black Edition Pamplona and their last Unicorn, a Series 5 Pamplona.

This month, Tony and Julie collected their 17th brand new Bailey caravan from Penrose Touring and their first 8ft wide one: The Alicanto Grande Porto.

When asked why they upgrade their caravan so often, Julie and Tony say that this is their hobby. From March to November, they use their caravan every weekend, joining the Camping and Caravanning Club Rallies and holidays with family and friends. In August, they take their caravan to France, their time to relax and spend time as a couple.

Tony and Julie have owned a total of 17 new Bailey caravans and motorhomes over the past 25 years

Family Affairs

Caravanning is a family affair for the Lorton family. All generations love caravanning!

Stacey, their eldest daughter, owns a Bailey Pegasus and uses it for holidays with her husband, children and two dogs. Julie and Tony love to see their daughter doing with her family all the things they used to do as a young family.

Tony and Julie's daughter Stacy now takes her own family on caravan holidays and visit some of the places she used to go to as a child

Stephanie, their youngest daughter, used to own an older Bailey. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep it at home and couldn’t use it enough due to work commitments, but they hope she’s back caravanning soon.

All three generations have had family holidays together, with their three Baileys proudly set up in a row. The best part? They can all be together but have their own space when things get too manic.

Dogs are also part of the family, and Julie, Tony and their daughter Stephanie take theirs everywhere.

Tony and Julie’s Sheltie loves sitting in the caravan looking out the window, patiently waiting on the porch for his turn to jump in the car when it’s time to go away.

Tony and Julie's Sheltie enjoying the view from their Bailey Unicorn

Why Bailey?

For Julie and Tony, Bailey offers the best interiors and value for money.

Julie loves the interior design of Bailey caravans, and the Alu-Tech construction is a big deal for both, as they find the GRP sides much more resistant, and it’s easier to keep like new.

The excellent service received by Penrose Touring in Cornwall also helps to make the experience even better. They can only praise their local retailer and have received fantastic service over the years!

Advice for new caravanners

When asked what advice they would give someone looking to buy their first caravan, they insist the most important thing is to find the correct layout. They prompt new caravanners to look at the way to envision themselves using the caravan, and how the different layout options would work for them.

And, of course, they would advise anyone to buy a Bailey. They have owned 17 new Bailey Leisure vehicles throughout the years, so it is fair to say they are experts.

Tony and Julie Lorton with their grandchildren