Bailey Adamo 69-4 Review

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: BILL SAVIDAN / LOCATION: MT MAUNGANUI BEACHSIDE HOLIDAY PARK


A smooth performer, comfortable, stylish, spacious… it’s easy to fall for the many charms of the Adamo 69-4, says Bill Savidan

Bailey Adamo ford
Pairing the Adamo 69-4 with the Ford Transit is a match made in heaven

With 70 years of caravan-building experience under their belt, Bailey launched their first motorhomes in 2011. Today, roughly half the motorhomes bought in the UK annually are European-built, and Bailey’s new Adamo range, with its European-style twin facing settees, is aimed at securing a share of this market.

Adamo offers three innovative layouts, all with GVWs of 3500kg and under 7.5 metres long. One is a twin lounge model with the second lounge at the back; one an island bed model; and the Adamo 69-4 from RV Mega being reviewed has a dropdown bed in the lounge as its main bed. All have a pair of side settees that face one another – known as a flexi lounge – and each settee converts into an Aguti travel seat.

Base vehicle

Bailey usually build on Peugeots, but this time they’ve partnered with Ford for the base vehicle. The Ford Transit has a 2-litre turbo-diesel motor (160 BHP, 450Nms) powering the front wheels through a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. This motor uses AdBlue to meet the Euro 6d emission standard. Fitted with Ford’s new ‘skeletal’ chassis, it has a floor level 100mm lower and is 200kg lighter than the standard front-wheel drive cab/chassis model.

According to one-time professional track racing driver, now RV Mega salesman Gavin Sokolich, pairing the Adamo with the Transit is a match made in heaven. Gavin drove the Adamo from Tauranga to Mystery Creek for the recent motorhome show and home again, and was most impressed with its performance.

"Seamless gear changes kept the 2-litre motor in the middle of the rev range, where it didn’t miss a beat," he said. "It is a very driver-friendly vehicle with a display panel that is programmable, from simple to sophisticated, whatever the owner is comfortable with."

Safety is a feature

Bailey continue with their Alu-Tech construction system and its GRP outer envelope. They have built 65,000 RVs this way and it has served both Bailey and their customers well. Light, robust and durable, it protects their RVs from the elements and has high insulation ratings.

In 2011/12, Bailey conducted crash tests on their newly minted motorhome bodies mounted on AL-KO chassis. As a result, they now fit AL-KO chassis outriggers that reinforce the floors. This offers better crash protection and more robust attachment points for the passenger seats, fridge, and oven. The Ford Transit’s contribution to safety includes ABS, ESP, driver/passenger airbags and a built-in tyre pressure management system that reports the tyre pressure and temperature while the vehicle is on the move.

Entry

Level with the body skirt, the stairwell has just one step up to floor level. A handrail on the right is part of a smart cabinet housing an instrument cluster, the TV and a couple of shelves.

Mounted on a sliding bracket, the TV can be repositioned for optimum viewing from the lounge.

Lounge

I find it hard to resist sitting on a good-looking settee, especially if it is comfy too, and the ones in the Adamo were no exception. They are nearly a metre apart, so you don’t feel crowded. Both settees convert into travel seats. Aguti travel seat frames, complete with seat belts, unfold from underneath each one. The cushions become the seat and the back cushions make for comfortable travel. Reverse the procedure to reinstate the settee. This is a superior travel seat system to any I’ve seen thus far.

And if that is not enough for the settees to do, with help from the table, they convert into a (2220mm x 1290mm) double bed.

The table is equally user-friendly. It folds lengthwise and slides to the side. Rotate it 90 degrees and it reaches both side settees to accommodate four diners.

Bailey Adamo lounge
Twin settees facing, cab seats rotating... it all adds up to a very convivial seating arrangement

Lighting and heating

There is plenty of lighting: six downlights above the table, a reader over each cab seat, and two more over the driver’s side settee, each having two intensity settings and built-in USB ports. These two lights also serve the bed occupants once the bed is lowered. There is no shortage of 230-volt either. Lounge heating and water heating is provided by a Truma Combi 4 ‘all-in-one’ system that also heats the garage.

Decor

I found the interior decor stimulating and interesting. The charcoal, battleship grey and mid-grey cabinetry panels, grey carpets and subtle cushion upholstery are brought to life by the cream walls, grape coloured window surround panels and the cab shelf trim. Timber finishes are used sparingly, and the mirror doors and cabinet back-panels provide points of interest. These good ‘decor bones’ give new owners the chance to add their own splashes of colour.

Dropdown bed

This big bed (1840mm x 1560mm) lowers to lounge seat height or can be partly lowered if lounge seats are converted to a bed. An access ladder is provided, and the bed can be left made up when stowed. A pair of curtains screen off the cab windows when privacy is needed. Note, the Adamo series has wider beds than previous Bailey models. The headroom under the dropdown is around two metres, while in the kitchen it is around 200mm more.

Bailey Adamo bed
Having a dropdown bed that lowers to regular bed height is a real bonus

Kitchen

Tall and narrow (1500mm x 400mm) with a single door, the 142-litre Thetford fridge – with a freezer compartment at the top and a wine bottle deep slide-out bin at the bottom – is a winner when it comes to usable space. Opposite, extra benchtop width provides a 250mm wide strip of workspace behind the sink, with more available on the bench extension to the left when needed.

Bailey Adamo kitchen
Tall and narrow, the 142-litre Thetford fridge is a winner when it comes to usable space

To the right is the new Thetford K series oven with a 3LPG+1 electric cooktop and a separate grill. Below the bench is a cutlery drawer and a small cupboard. Above, there’s plenty storage space behind the flat four-door array of cupboards. It is these doors that give the kitchen its distinctive character. Apartment-like, they draw attention to the extra height in the kitchen.

Bailey Adamo kitchen cupboards
The flat four-door array of cupboards draw attention to the extra height in the kitchen

Timber is used sparingly throughout; shelf trim and lighting backboards in the cab and lounge, and cabinet doors in the washroom and kitchen. Used this way, it gives continuity to the interior decor.

Bailey Adamo kitchen sink
There’s storage aplenty in the kitchen and extra bench space when the extension is raised

Washroom/garage

The designers have made subtle changes at the rear of the 69-4. The washroom is full width but stops short of the rear wall, leaving a space of around 800mm the full width of the Adamo; space for a garage below, and a wardrobe/storage above. Both can be accessed from the washroom; the garage via a sliding door and the wardrobe/storage above via a pair of mirrored doors.

Bailey Adamo bathroom
A practical washroom; good storage, lighting and ventilation with a usefully sized handbasin

The wardrobe is huge; it has a rail for hanging clothes and shelves for folded clothing and personal items. It more than makes up for the overhead lockers lost to the dropdown in the lounge. And it very conveniently turns the washroom into a dressing room.

An orthodox washroom layout, it has the Thetford swivel bowl toilet kerbside alongside a square, benchtop-mounted handbasin, with the shower stall on the opposite side wall. The basin is just clear of the medicine cabinet above; so mind your head if you plan to wash your face in the basin. The shower stall size is adequate and it has a small ventilation hatch in the ceiling and twin plug-holes in the tray.

Bailey Adamo shower
Sloping site; can’t park level? Then two plugholes are better than one

There are lights over and under the mirror and a downlight in the shower. A modest array of accent lighting adds interest. Clothes hooks and a toilet room holder are fitted but no towel rails.

A tambour door closes off the washroom from the kitchen. This was left open all the time I was aboard, and I suspect it will always be open more often than closed. When open, the shower or toilet are not visible, and it certainly adds to the feeling of space.

Bailey Adamo garage
The garage has two doors, tall on one side for fishing rods and wide on the other side for bikes

Summary

The automatic Transit is a good choice to underpin the Adamo. Outside, the 69-4 is quite plain. A couple of decal slashes each side of the white body and a metallic silver cab are the only distinguishing exterior adornments. Inside, however, the Adamo 69-4 has got what it takes. It has a great sense of space. With someone sitting on a settee and another working in the kitchen you can still walk from the cab to the bathroom unimpeded. The decor is modern and relaxed and it’s fitted out to a high standard. Another plus; it is a WOF vehicle that can be driven on a car licence.

Bailey Adamo exterior
Fitted with Ford’s new ‘skeletal’ chassis, the Transit floor level is 100mm lower and overall weight is 200kg lighter than the standard model

Adamo is Latin meaning ‘I fall in love with / take a fancy to / find pleasure in / covet’. I own up to all of those things as far as the Adamo 69-4 is concerned.

 

Day

Bailey Adamo 69.4 floor plan.jpg

Night

Adamo-Night-69-4.jpg 

Bailey Adamo 69-4 specifications

Chassis

Ford Transit

Engine

2-litre turbo-diesel

Gearbox

6-speed automatic

Berths

4

Length / width /height 

6987mm / 2379mm / 2849mm

Fresh/grey water 

100L/100L

GVW 

3500kg

Tare

3090kg

Payload

410kg

Price as reviewed: From $151,990

Pros

  • I like the layout and the interior décor
  • Excellent dropdown bed. Easy to get in and out of
  • Excellent rear storage and wardrobe space
  • The automatic Transit has been worth waiting for

Cons

  • Towel rails in the washroom, please

For more information visit rvmega.co.nz

 

Find motorhomes, caravans and RVs for sale in NZ 

Keep up to date with news by signing up to nzmcd.co.nz's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook