Editor’s Note: The following article appears on Out & About Live, a UK-based website and publisher dealing with outdoor leisure, offering a first-hand report on the rigorous testing employed by Bailey Motorhomes.
Prior to launching its new motorhomes in October, Bailey Motorhomes has embarked on the most intensive pre-production motorhome testing program we have ever heard of.
This has included assessing its revolutionary motorhome bodywork construction that’s capable of taking those aforementioned bangs, wallops and more, plus crash-testing exercises.
Factor in some initial “in the field” testing that has already been undertaken by key Bailey staff and their families. That goes right up to company boss Nick Howard, who took his family to France for some touring, in the process becoming a convert to the motorcaravanning way of life.
Meanwhile, as well as using the services of institutions such as the University of Bath, there has been an extensive formal testing programme at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, one of the leading test centres for all kinds of automotive vehicles.
But, you could say the story starts some 63 years ago. From its Bristol base, Bailey has been manufacturing touring caravans since 1948. Today, it is the biggest brand name in that market. The company has long threatened to enter the motorhome sector, and the reality is about to happen, with an official launch firmly penned in for this October’s Motorhome and Caravan Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
But it was the move towards its Alu-Tech bodywork system in 2009, now used for all its touring caravans, that paved the way for motorhome production. Indeed, its applicability for motorhomes was very much part of the initial design and production brief for this, something of a revolutionary move in the caravan field. Early proving of its motorhome potential was also considered key.
During the testing at Millbrook, the prototype motorhomes were subject to cold chamber (for insulating and heating performance) testing and accelerated life (road testing exaggerating real life conditions), as well as the crash testing of the body structure, rear seating, interior furniture and fittings.
To read the entire story and see photos of the process click here.