Nick Harding tests the new six-berth, mid-range model
Bailey has squeezed a new range in between its budget Advances and premium Autographs. There are six motorhomes under the Alliance banner, all hovering around the £50,000 mark.
The six-berth 70-6 is the range-topper and comes with awning, solar panel, digital radio and sat-nav as part of the ‘infotainment’ system, and a 160bhp engine as standard.
Build quality - 72%
All Alliances get Bailey’s Alu-Tech system with GRP-skinned sides and roof. The only wood is in the floor section and it’s all backed by a six-year integrity warranty.
The 70-6 is mounted on a Peugeot Boxer cab with Al-Ko chassis extension. You won’t get another brand new motorhome with Al-Ko chassis on the road for this sort of price.
Another plus is that the maximum weight has been kept to 3,500kg although the payload could be considered a bit tight if you are going to cater for six.
Driving - 80%
The lower overall centre of gravity afforded by the Al-Ko chassis is a real benefit when it comes to driving. Handling is better than average – the short tail overhang is another contributor here – and it’s likely you’ll eke out decent fuel economy.
Once you’ve driven with a 160bhp engine, you won’t want to go back to the standard 130bhp Peugeot product. There’s a certain amount of what-you-see-is-what-you-get about the cab but it’s good to note Traction+ and hill-hold facilities.
Daytime - 82%
You can’t complain about seating options in the 70-6. Both cab seats swivel, there’s a double dinette behind the driver, and there are the inward-facing settees at the back. The latter share the same wall-fixing tabletop, complete with a slot-in extension section – all of which stows in the wardrobe when not in use.
The opening sunroof over the cab is a boon, allowing daylight to flood in to the living area, while the angled wardrobe and washroom doors help alleviate the pinch effect you can sometimes get with a layout like this.
Night-time - 79%
There’s a choice of three doubles, starting at the back, where there are pull-out slats to bridge the gap between the two settee bases.
The drop-down double over the lounge glides into place electrically, with a ladder neatly stowed on the wardrobe door. The one-piece, single-purpose mattress makes the drop-down the most comfortable bed, but it’s not the longest or widest.
The third double is made from the lounge seating with the table filling the gap between the seat bases. You have to admire the flexibility of such an arrangement, but a divider between the rear and the front ends to create privacy would have been useful.
Kitchen - 75%
The Thetford Triplex cooker offers three gas rings and a combined oven and grill while there’s also a microwave oven set over the sink. There’s a generous bit of worktop space along with a handy flip-up worktop extension to the left of the sink.
A Dometic 95-litre fridge is set under the sink – not large by today’s standards, but you can remove the freezer box if you want to use the whole thing as a chiller. There’s also a good array of storage: a small cutlery drawer, a large shelved cupboard and a floor locker.
Washroom - 65%
There is no separate shower cubicle in the washroom so you’ll find yourself having to use a curtain for a rather small corner of the room under the Ecocamel showerhead.
There’s a towel holder on the back of the door but, disappointingly, only a single clothes hook (for six people?), with mirror and just the one locker adjacent. A rooflight provides the only ventilation.
Among the pluses, it’s a heavy-duty plastic floor – a deeply lipped panel with two plugholes. Also, the fixed basin is deep and Bailey has resisted the current fad for setting the toilet high.
Details - 70%
A major plus is that there’s plenty of space to store your gear, with particularly tall flat-fronted lockers around the lounge, plus open corner units.
However, there’s just the occasional feel of corner-cutting – some trim seems a bit “stuck on”, the washroom wall flexes and habitation windows only get sprung roller blinds.
Verdict - 75%
You’ve got a three-way choice to make if you want a six-berth Bailey. Alliance 70-6 costs £3,500 more than the Advance 70-6 and £8,000 less than the Autograph 79-6. From its graphite cab to the fixings for a bike rack on the rear panel, the Alliance puts its case forward well.
(all figures correct when tested in February 2019)
Price as tested: £51,999
Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer
Engine: 2.0-litre Euro 6
Power: 160bhp @ 3,750rpm
Torque: 258lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, FWD
User payload: 610kg
Overall length: 22ft 10in
Overall width: 8ft 2in
Overall height: 9ft 0in
Max internal height: 6ft 10in
About the author
Nick is well into his fourth decade as a journalist specialising in all aspects of caravanning and motorhoming, during which time he’s reviewed thousands of motorhomes and toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Nick has also edited a number of caravan and motorhome publications.