Swift, Bailey or Coachman?

calico6 replied on 11/02/2020 12:26

Posted on 11/02/2020 12:26

I have heard varying reports about these caravans. Which is the best in terms of build quality and reliability?
Many thanks

Jazzybaby replied on 11/02/2020 12:38

Posted on 11/02/2020 12:38

There is no one size fits all when it comes to caravans.  We are awaiting our 9th one at the moment. Had  an Abi, Avondale, Compass, Swift x 3, Elddis and a Fleetwood.  Each one has been better than the last one imo. Have never owned a Bailey as I dont like the look of them so cant comment on them.  Our next one is going to be a Coachman they only produce about 40 a week as opposed to Swift and Bailey who churn them out in the 100's a week.  If its your first purchase than my advice is visit as many different dealers as you can and weigh up the pros and cons for each one. 

Tinwheeler replied on 11/02/2020 12:41

Posted on 11/02/2020 12:41

They all have problems, they all have Friday afternoon jobs and they all have good ones in the mix. It’s pot luck so you might just as well buy whichever you fancy from a dealer who's within easy reach for when you want to go back for warranty work.

PS. I see you have personal experience of Swift. Don’t expect the others to be any better or any worse.👍🏻

AnotherDavid replied on 11/02/2020 13:38

Posted on 11/02/2020 13:38

If build quality is your priority I wouldn't buy any of them. 

I have had  5 new vans in 20 years and used them heavily ie 4 months a year and around 5-6k miles on the road. The 2 UK built vans suffered from persistent and ongoing issues with body integrity  and leaks. The 3 German vans were bone dry and the only warranty  repair was a new fridge of the same make widely fitted in all vans.


richardandros replied on 11/02/2020 13:59

Posted on 11/02/2020 13:59

I'm inclined to agree with David.  Our last van was a Bailey Barcelona and whilst we didn't have any major issues other than a leaking shower tray just before we sold it, the build quality of our present Knaus is in a different league.  Everything inside is just so much more substantial, of better quality and better put together - and that said, the MIRO is actually 10kg less than the Barcelona. At its first service, last November, the highest damp reading was 4%. Being full UK spec, with the door on the 'correct' side, it has everything (and more) that the Bailey had, except for a solar panel.

The only real issue we have had with it has been in relation to the Dometic toilet (which has now been changed for a Thetford) to the extent that I would never, ever, buy another van with a Dometic toilet fitted.

JVB66 replied on 11/02/2020 14:14

Posted on 11/02/2020 14:14

Few caravans/or motor caravan for that matter, where ever built ,can ever be these days ,fault free,most internal equipment is the same on all makes, no matter how some try to say about the model they have, most modern c/vans have very little in way of materials that will give "damp problems" the sealant used these days is also very good, its who puts them together,is where some times lets them down, there are normally good anti water ingress warranties  of up to ten years.

One mistake a lot of purchasers seem to make, is trying, to save a few pounds by, at shows maybe,,and buying,from dealers many miles from home only to find if warranty work is needed ,the problem surfaces, we have been in the situation in the past, so now find a dealer much nearer and buy from them,our Bailey dealer (on our second now , and have not had many warranty issues in either) is 6 miles away, they also sell Coachman,,the dealer admits that if warranty work is required Bailey are far better to deal with

calico6 replied on 11/02/2020 15:07

Posted on 11/02/2020 15:07

Thanks, that's all helpful information. If I could find a two berth German built caravan with a cooker I would jump at it, but I don't think there is one. (?)

BoleroBoy replied on 11/02/2020 15:41

Posted on 11/02/2020 15:41

Hymer also have 'UK packs' for their MHs which means the addition of a cooker....no doubt their caravans can be similarly specified.

As said, Knaus fit cookers and i would also look at Hobby (really lovely vans)...and talk to dealers about cookers...

our previous Carthago came with a Tec Tower (oven/grill above large fridge/freezer) which was OK bit a bit high for OH..

With this one, the dealer fitted a UK Thetford Duplex in lieu of one of the drawers....

so it is certainly possible with any van given a cooperative and competant dealer.

good luck. 

AnotherDavid replied on 11/02/2020 16:32

Posted on 11/02/2020 15:07 by calico6

Thanks, that's all helpful information. If I could find a two berth German built caravan with a cooker I would jump at it, but I don't think there is one. (?)

Posted on 11/02/2020 16:32

 My Hobby is a 4 berth but for the UK market it does have an oven which actually we could do without as we cook in the awning and use a small electric oven if required. If you were interested I would speak to a dealer  as the brochures don't tend to reflect what changes are made for the UK market.

cyberyacht replied on 12/02/2020 09:36

Posted on 12/02/2020 09:36

The Carthago is my dream motorhome except for what I consider inadequate kitchen provision. This seems a common feature of continental LVs. Do the continentals always eat out or barbecue?