A new company, Bailey Australia, has been appointed as the official importer of Bailey Caravans to Australia, and is currently setting up a nationwide network of dealers to distribute three cutting-edge models from the groundbreaking British RV manufacturer.
The new Bailey range will be officially launched at the Melbourne Leisurefest show at Sandown Racecourse from October 6-9, where new Victorian agent Canterbury Caravans will have six vans on display, from the entry-level Orion, mid-spec Pegasus and range-topping Unicorn model ranges.
Established in 1948, Bailey Caravans is the second biggest caravan manufacturer in the UK, building around 9000 vans a year from its state-of-the-art factory in Bristol.
Most of its models utilise an innovative, high strength construction system called Alu-Tech, which incorporates just five panels for the body shell in order to reduce weight and improve weather resistance.
Adrian Van Geelen from Bailey Australia said that Bailey Caravans "was the only (UK) manufacturer that can actually put a station wagon on the roof of a van... and they're the only one that has their vans tested at the Millgrove Proving Ground".
Since the first batch of Bailey vans arrived in the country a few weeks ago, only a few minor changes, including new tyres and some different appliances, have been made in order to achieve ADR compliance.
Leading European RV brands including Al-Ko, Dometic, and Thetford, have also been involved to ensure the caravans are suitable for local conditions.
"The goal for us is that the vans will be exported from the UK fully compliant," Van Geelen said.
According to Van Geelen, the advantages of the award-winning Bailey caravans are that they are "500 to 600kg lighter than anything else on the market, they're competitively priced and they're arguably the best built and finished (caravans) in the world".
"The appeal with us is even our biggest (21ft) caravan can be towed with a Holden Commodore," he said.
"The reasons to bring them out (to Australia) are fairly self evident. There's a niche in the market; people don’t have to go out and buy a four-wheel drive, so you don’t have a $140,000 investment of $70,000 in a van and $70,000 in a car going down the road, you can use your normal car."
Van Geelen said the stylish, feature-packed Bailey vans would also appeal to those buyers who might have traditionally opted for a custom-built luxury van.
"When you see the finish and fitment and the size of some of the bathrooms and ensuites and so on, we're in another level again," he said.
Pricing will be "more than competitive" with locally-built vans with similar layouts and appointments.
"The entry level will be in the low $40,000s, up to about mid-$50,000s for the top of the range," he said.
See the Bailey Australia website for further details.