Hi, thought I would put out a short review of our 2004 Bailey Pageant Champagne. Having decided to purchase a caravan after owning an old trailer tent, we have decided it is not for us, and a newer trailer tent will suit us better.
(Our very old tent!)
A lot of people may be put off from buying an old van, so here is my input. We have only been the owners of our van for less than a year. We were able to use it over winter, and was surprised how well the heating works. We took and extra heater with us on the first trip, but it was not needed. The old Truma gas / electric blown air heater worked perfectly, after 30mins, we had to turn it down! The only thing to note in the colder months, is the end bathroom does not get too warm. With this in mind, I fitted a heated towel rail.
We have recently completed our holiday in Devon and it towed perfect (considering we traveled in Storm Francis!). Only around 1300kg, it is not a heavy van, but ignore all those that say 'never knew it was there!' as you do. Remember, it affects cornering, braking, and acceleration, and can make the bumps more obvious when on undulating roads. On site, the old Bailey performed well and kept us all warm and comfortable in the horrific winds! Plenty of USB points had been fitted so no issues charging phones and tablets.
The Pageant has a main seating area at the front, with plenty of storage under the seats and above the windows. Considering it is an old caravan, the fly screens and black out blinds all worked perfectly. For sleeping, this converts with slats pulling out from the draws to create a double bed.
The side dinette converts into bunks.
But it has to be said, if your children are quite tall, these are not very comfortable. These are less than 6ft long, and the top bunk is quite narrow.
We used our porch awning and had the eldest sleeping in there.
The van does not have an electric flush on board toilet, it is done through a manual pump on the top. Do not make the mistake we made and put too much pink fluid in, as we had black bits coming out the flush for a very long time! The end bathroom may not suit everyone, but we felt it was ideal. You had somewhere to get dressed, and the separate shower meant everything else stayed dry. You also get extra storage in here. One thing to mention if new to these, is the water does not go very far when showering - 2 very quick showers if lucky before the water runs out.
The kitchen area obviously has a small sink / drainer, 4 burner gas hob and integrated gas grill and oven. These are still in very good condition, and working perfectly. No real comments to be made on these, they just work.
There is a small gas / electric fridge with freezer compartment, and although it seems to take a while to initially cool, again, works a treat. We did end up taking out a shelf, as nothing seemed to fit in otherwise.
In general, it has to be said, the Bailey Pageant has stood up well over the years. Although it is not for us, it is through no fault of the van. People seem to ask which make to go for, and everyone has an opinion. My advice would be, forget the make. When looking at an old caravan, use common sense. At this age, it is mainly down to how it has been treated over its lifetime, not the badge stuck to it. Check for damp on the walls, spongy floors, and that everything does what it should. Buy it, enjoy it!!