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.
Bristol, England-based Bailey Motorhomes has confirmed it will introduce its new range of models at the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2011, NEC, Birmingham on Oct. 11, according to Out and About Live.
The first vehicles will be a range of motorhomes featuring the award-winning Alu-Tech body shell construction system. This state-of-the-art technology, conceived initially for the company’s touring caravan ranges, is seen by many as the most significant development in leisure vehicle production technology for over 30 years.
Bailey says that because it is engineered to ensure it remains weatherproof and structurally sound, the Alu-Tech body shell sets the standards in terms of durability. A new design interlocking external framework provides greater strength and rigidity as well as significantly reducing the number of external joints and fixing points, thus minimizing the potential for water ingress and improving the overall integrity of the protective shell.
At the same time timber free upper body shell panels, featuring a composite plastic internal skeleton, also offer a second line of defense by limiting the impact any possible ingress may cause.
The body assembly incorporates thicker laminated panels which combine with additional supplementary insulation in traditional cold-spot areas to improve the thermal properties of the shell, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer as well as making the vehicle more economical to own.
Over the past 12 months Bailey has been working on modifying the Alu-Tech system using the latest 3-D modeling computer software to specifically suit the needs of a motorhome. The resulting vehicles have then been subjected to a series of accelerated life and structural tests as well as being given a thorough examination in a climate control chamber at the internationally renowned Millbrook Proving Ground to ensure that every aspect of the new designs have been thoroughly evaluated.
An introductory Bailey Motorhome website is now live at www.bailey-mhomes.co.uk and this will be updated with regular news and product information prior to the official public launch in October later this year.