2005 Bailey Ranger 500/5

So, we have been asked on a few occasions why did we choose the layout in our caravan. Well as previously mentioned in our back story, we spent many hours walking round local and non- local dealers, much to the dismay of the children.

To be honest I’m not sure that this is a good plan, as you look at so many different models you forget what it is that you first saw. The one thing that I had decided was that I really liked the end wash room design, as we thought we would like to make use of the many CL’s and CS’s.

As it transpires we didn’t get an end washroom. We had many things to consider and this unfortunately limited us to how heavy our van could be. Firstly, the car we had at the time, well let’s just say it is not the sort of vehicle you would have of expected to be towing, was a Citroen Xsara Picasso 2.0 auto, which we believed could tow up to 1.3 tons.

We also had to take into account that the main person towing (hubby Iain) had a baby license, which for those who are not in the know, meant he can only tow a combined weight of 3.5 tons, so take off the weight of the car, just under 2 tons, we are now limited to a caravan weighing no more than 1.5. Ah but wait, we also must consider the limit on the car and the 85% rule for newbies. Confused! Well I was, thankfully hubby had a handle on it and I relied on him to tell me what we could have.

So, after looking at some lovely vans we had to go back to the drawing board. Now we could still have our end wash room, but after some consideration we felt that this did take up a lot of living space, bearing in mind that we are a family our 4 with our large fluffy pooch, we felt we needed more day time room, than sleeping room.

Also, our eldest daughter was growing like she was sleeping in a grow bag! And after trying her on a few bunks she didn’t feel comfortable on them, they also seemed to be on the heavy side, so they were out. Fixed bed I hear you cry… yes I like the fix bed, but to be honest I feel this is better suited for couples as your daytime living area is compromised, unless you can get a twin axle, which was most off the list.

So, again back to the drawing board. By chance one day hubby was looking on a dealer’s website and a double dinette popped up. Now we hadn’t up to then considered them as the washrooms were very small and this didn’t appeal.

Having said this, we had looked at so many different layouts that we figured we would give it a look, so we brought up the details of the van and to our surprise, we liked it and we started to give it some serious consideration. We made a list of the pro’s and con’s, the only con was the small washroom.

The reason we were so hung up on washrooms is that, hubby and I are not the smallest of people and felt we simply wouldn’t be able to use it, at all. Yes, I know, I know we can use the facilities on site, but as I said earlier, we really wanted to use CL’s for that cheap get away.

So, we made a call to the dealer, to see if it was still for sale, and it was indeed. The very nice man on the end of the phone said he would hold it for us until the weekend, when we could go and see it.

The weekend arrives, and a very excited family jump into the car to make their way to view, what could potentially be our new caravan. Now here I would say, don’t be afraid to travel a little from home to find what you are looking for, especially if you are looking at the second-hand market, which in our case we were. To give you an idea we live in Bedfordshire and we drove to Warwickshire to view the van.

Once there we announced our arrival to the lady at the desk and she very kindly called a sales man to show us to our reserved van. After being given the blurb, we were left alone to have a play. Firstly, hubby tried the washroom, which by today’s standards is known as a wet room. To our total amazement, he fitted, and had more room than expected, which of course meant that the rest of us would be just fine.

So, that made up our mind, we loved the fact that there were several different sleeping arrangements, with the double bed at the back with the pull up bunk over and the larger double at the front. It gave us a large amount of living space during the day, and the kitchenette was of a good size too. We finalized our deal and announced to the world after months of debate, that we had finally purchased our caravan.