Bailey Unicorn Cadiz
Rob McCabe takes a look through Bailey's huge 'infinity window' at the revised for 2022 Unicorn Cadiz to see whether the fixed-single bed four berth is destined to maintain its popularity.
Who says the unicorn is a mythical beast? Take a walk around any busy Club site and you’ll see plenty of them, albeit I’m talking about the kind that comes out of a factory in Bristol.
The reason you see lots of them is that the Bailey Unicorn is one of the UK’s best-selling caravan ranges, so the launch of a comprehensively revised line-up for 2022 is big news.
The most significant change is just as in-your-face as a unicorn’s horn – a vast sunroof, called an ‘infinity window’ in Bailey-speak, which heads up a raft of new features that includes a sleekly reshaped front panel, exterior graphics (very loud!), overhauled lighting and a smartly co-ordinated interior décor.
Five of the most popular Unicorns from the 2021 range – the Cadiz, Vigo and Cabrera single-axle four-berthers, plus the twin-axle four-berth Cartagena and Pamplona – are joined by two newcomers, the two-berth Seville and four-berth Madrid. Both the Seville and Madrid are single-axle, end-washroom models.
The focus of our attention here is the 2022 Unicorn Cadiz with the enduringly in-demand fixed-single bed/end-washroom layout.
BUILD QUALITY – 82%
There’s no denying the aerodynamically re-nosed body shape is very handsome, and the visual impact of the infinity window sweeping up on to the roof is immediate. The heavy-duty corner steadies are good to see and the Alu-Tech-constructed body is finished off with a GRP outer skin that feels sleek and rigid.
Our test caravan was an early pre-production model and, stepping inside, there were some noticeable panel-gapping issues especially around both of the little curved overhead lockers at the front. Hopefully such things will have been sorted by the time these caravans go on sale –the interior is otherwise beautifully styled and co-ordinated.
TOWING – 91%
The Cadiz is quite weighty but get the outfit match right and the Unicorn is a great beast to tow with. As well as all the heavy kitchen appliances being grouped over or around the axle for optimum weight distribution when hitched up, the gas locker also gets in on the act, sited as it is midway along the offside wall. You get a built-in hitch stabiliser together with the guiding hand of Al-Ko’s ATC.
DAYTIME – 90%
The headline act lives up to its star billing. The infinity window is a tremendous focal point that floods the interior with light. In the evening or if you just want more shade on a sunny afternoon, a two-part concertina blind converges in the middle of it from above and below. A wide-opening sunroof between the lounge and the kitchen is a nice addition that also contributes to the airiness of the interior.
Full marks to Bailey’s designers for the very comfortable sofas’ grey upholstery, which passes the would-you-be-happy-to-have-this-at-home test, and for the tastefully coordinated scatter cushions. But it’s a decisive no from me for the net curtains, and while the slide-out extension to the front chest is always welcome, the fact that it doesn’t sit level with the rest of the surface limits its practicality.
Connectivity on board the Unicorn is outstanding. Including the sealed one on the exterior sidewall, there are seven mains sockets (including two dedicated to TV viewing). There are also six USB slots sprinkled liberally throughout the caravan – including one built into each of the lounge and bedroom reading lights. Add in a satellite connection point, a roof solar panel for keeping your battery healthy, and a built-in stereo with DAB radio and Bluetooth and you’re about as future-proofed as you can be.
Storage provision is fantastic – your main problem may be trying to remember where you put everything.
NIGHT TIME – 94%
To offer any criticism of the bedroom would almost be churlish – it does all the important things really well. Most important of all are the beds which are outstandingly comfortable; and at 6ft 4in long they’ll cosset all but the very tallest. Each is served by two shelves for overnight paraphernalia.
The low-level mains socket is within a hairdryer’s- lead reach of the mirror in the washroom and a bracket for a TV is already in place on the wall at the foot of the nearside bed. A compact sunroof lets the daylight in while the blinds are still closed and a concertina blind neatly shuts off the room from the rest of the interior.
Up front, slats whizz out with buttery smoothness to provide the base for the big double bed. You do need to rearrange the upholstery sections so that the kneerolls are at head and toe level respectively but, that done, you’ll have an impressively comfy bed for overnighting guests.
KITCHEN – 88%
Three things stand out. Most obvious is the shouty, partly-mirror-finished, branded splashback panel. Its garishness is seriously at odds with the calm, stylish restraint exhibited in the adjacent front lounge, and with the lovely drawer unit that curves outwards from the rest of the kitchen and whose elegant lines are enhanced by the gentle mood lighting on the underside of its overhanging lip.
The merits of the new wine rack fall somewhere in between. When I get back to the caravan after a long day’s holidaying, I’m all for getting my hands on a bottle of wine as quickly as possible but the rack does take up a fair bit of space. Also, because it’s right next to the cooker the upper part of it gets pretty warm.
The oven is complemented by a separate grill, dual-fuel hob and very smartly fitted microwave to give the full-house of cooking options. Can a fridge be beautiful? The slimline, glossy, built-in Dometic structure on the nearside wall suggests that the answer is very much ‘yes’.
WASHROOM – 89%
Its position right at the back of the caravan makes it a de facto ensuite facility for a couple but guests would have to tiptoe into the bedroom to pay a middle-of-the-night visit. It’s a well-turned-out washroom: compact, but the separate shower cubicle is a good size and features a generous shelf for your shampoo and gels. The big mirror above the attractive wash basin is nicely lit and there’s a decent range of storage options, including some open shelving. The wardrobe lives back here, too, and offers plenty of hanging space for two.
LIGHTING – 98%
It’s a shame there are just two reading lamps in the lounge – but in every other regard, the Cadiz’s lighting provision gets a glowing report. Staying with the lounge, two flush-fitters in the sunroof surround binnacle provide serious firepower, while the subtlety comes from two layers of ambient lighting strips – one above the overhead lockers and another above the side windows, operating independently of each other.
In the kitchen there is a bright LED strip that turns the entire area into daylight, an overhead ambient strip and the really cool aforementioned ambient lighting on the underside of the overhanging worktop.
Two reading lamps and above-locker lighting look after the bedroom perfectly well, while a tug of the cord in the end washroom brings on a pin light over the door, a strip above the mirror and a bright ceiling lamp in the shower cubicle – just the job.
The attention to detail even extends outside, where an offside services light joins the usual awning light.
VERDICT – 90%
This was a striking, well-equipped and comfortable caravan, pre-production niggles aside. The lounge and the bedroom are both great places to be which will surely ensure that this will emulate its predecessor’s lofty position in the sales charts.