25 July 2013

Bailey six year endurance test


Bailey Approach Autograph motorhome completes Millbrook six year endurance test

Bailey of Bristol returned to the Millbrook Proving Ground last month to complete a simulated six year structural durability test on their new Bailey Approach Autograph motorhome as part of its on-going product validation process.

The company has already tested both caravans and motorhomes many times before in this manner. However it was felt that as the Approach Autograph range features new front and rear bodyshell profiles, new cab interfaces plus an additional large opening skylight in the front dome there was enough of a change in the structure to warrant further examination on the track. It also represented an opportunity to test the performance of the new standard fit Michelin tyres at the same time.

The test, specified by Millbrook themselves, took over three weeks to complete and covered seven different areas of the facility: Pave, Kerb Strikes, Pot Holes, the High Speed Circuit, Driveway Ramps, Twist Humps and the Hill Route. The inputs experienced during the 1,000+ miles of testing on the Millbrook facilities simulates 6 years service use and provides Bailey customers with confidence in the structural integrity of the vehicle.

The results were recorded at regular intervals throughout the test sequence to ensure that every element of the designs have been thoroughly evaluated. It is important to remember however that this is not a one-off 'tick-the-box' exercise but part of a programme of continuous product development which does not stop once a vehicle has been brought to market.

Bailey also took the opportunity to put the same motorhome inside the new temperature controlled chamber at Truma UK to confirm its status as a genuine four-season vehicle. There it was subjected to the standard automotive thermal insulation classification test (EN1646-I) covering both thermal performance and efficiency in temperatures as low as -15 degrees centigrade. As with all other Alu-Tech vehicles the Autograph successfully achieved the Grade III classification, testimony to the market-leading thermal insulation properties of the bodyshell and the capabilities of the new Alde heating system.

The development of the original Alu-Tech construction vehicles began at Millbrook in 2008 and since then Bailey has been back to the facility every year to carry out further accelerated life, thermal chamber and crash simulation testing on its caravans and motorhomes. This coupled with supplementary in-house testing and owner feedback from the 25,000+ Alu-Tech leisure vehicles currently in use has allowed the company to make numerous in-build enhancements to its products during their lifespan to further improve their performance. As a result of this policy our caravans and motorhomes are some of the best engineered and the most technically advanced products on the market and ones which offer real and tangible benefits of ownership to our customers.

Designed to ensure it remains weatherproof and structurally sound, the Alu-Tech body shell sets new standards in durability. Starting with an interlocking aluminium framework that cuts the number of external joints and fixing points by 90%, every conceivable effort has been made to reduce the number of potential water access points and thus improve the overall integrity of the protective shell. While timber free body shell panels featuring a composite plastic internal skeleton offers a second line of defence, limiting the impact any possible ingress may cause. The bodyshell assembly, including the interface sections between cab and habitation area, consists solely of fully laminated panels cloaked in a GRP outer skin enhancing the strength, durability and rigidity of the structure.

For more information on the industry's most comprehensive product validation programme please visit: http://www.baileyalu-tech.co.uk/product-development-process.php 

For more information on the range of Bailey Approach Autograph Motorhomes available from our showroom please take a look at our dedicated Bailey Motorhome Page