The latest updates on our long-term Bailey Phoenix 640 and Volvo V90 D4 AWD Cross Country
Tested by Nigel Hutson Price £18,499 Berths 4 MIRO 1227kg Payload 155kg MTPLM 1382kg
IN A NUTSHELL The Phoenix 640 is an absolute cracker of a caravan
WHEN BAILEY LAUNCHED the Phoenix range in July, my first thoughts were that they had a hit on their hands. It had the same face, back and sides as its more upmarket siblings, Pegasus and Unicorn. I recently took a Phoenix 640 to northern France. So has my opinion changed? Not one bit. The layout in this model is the currently fashionable rear island bed, centre washroom and front lounge. I towed it with our long-term Volvo V90 Cross Country (right), about a 74% match (the van was lightly loaded), and a new Hyundai Santa Fe, and it never caused a moment’s concern. Once it was set up, I found the lounge very comfortable. I had no need to use the freestanding table (stored under the fixed bed), but simply slid out the occasional table at mealtimes. During the day, light flooded in through the huge centre front window and, at night, there was lots of LED lighting. I was impressed to see the USB sockets in the reading lights – so they’re not reserved for the Unicorn. Well done, Bailey! The kitchen had everything the caravan chef could need, with a four-burner gas hob, oven and separate grill, and a microwave. The fridge was opposite, which freed up space in the kitchen unit for storage. There was an area of worktop above the fridge, although this would be where a TV could be sited. Speaking of work surface, the Phoenix has also inherited Bailey’s fold-down hob cover, so there’s no shortage. In the washroom, the toilet and basin are on the offside, with a fully lined shower on the nearside. Although the shower is over the wheel arch, encroachment isn’t a problem. My only slight gripe was that the door from the kitchen opened into the washroom, which meant stepping into the bedroom to close it. So the bedroom might not be quite as private as you thought. But saving the best to last, I can honestly say that I’ve never slept on such a comfortable bed. It was superb! I like all of the bells and whistles in a caravan, so I do tend to look at more expensive models. But after spending a week in the Phoenix, I was mightily impressed. What a really cracking caravan!
ABOVE Phoenix sports those upmarket Bailey looks on the outside RIGHT Nigel found the slide-out occasional table perfectly adequate at mealtimes