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Unstable Bailey Unicorn Cabrera

Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 6 years ago
Unstable Bailey Unicorn Cabrera

My wife and I purchased a Bailey Unicorn Cabrera in December 2011 and have found this unit to be very unstable and we are wondering whether any other Cabrera owners found the same.

I have been towing for 30+ years and have not had this with any other caravan, 4 different vans.

We went to Scotland for our main holiday with a trip of 385 miles each way. Going there through the night was quiet but I still felt the van swaying and it did not feel stable. On the return trip the caravan was very unstable and at times very scary. Coming through Glen Coe a coach came from the other direction and our van started to snake violently and took up the full width of the road, we were lucky that there were no cars behind the coach .All I could do was decelerate and hold on until it levelled out then accelerated out of it, we were only doing about 40 m/hr.

The rest of the journey was very tiring as I was not able to take a hand off the steering due to the caravan shaking the car. Even on the motorway we were lucky to reach 50m/hr. Glad to get home.
On the way home even a car passing would make the unit unstable. On the way home we stopped to check the loading of the van which had not changed, with the nose weight at 75kg and any heavy items like awnings were still over the axle, and they were.

We tow with an X-Trail with the back filled with an inflatable boat and 20hp. Motor so there was plenty of weight to hold the road I am glad to say.

We went to see our caravan dealers to talk this over. They asked us to take the van in for inspection packed the same way as we had travelled home. Up to now they have had the van on the road twice to test and the short distance they travelled using their heavy van as a tow vehicle they noticed what they called a wobble. They have been in touch with Bailey caravans and Al-ko and they have suggested that they try and rebalance the wheels and change the wheel sides ? We are still waiting to hear the results of this adjustment.

I know that previously with Bailey Alu-Tech bodies people have found them to be unstable and I was wandering if there have been any more reports of unstable Cabreras.
Total Posts: 270
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Posted: 6 years ago
Howdo...Funny you should say that but I think it may be a trait with Baileys. We have a pegasus 2 Rimini and when we first picked it up it felt very skittish which I put down to the cross wind on the day however, it's still not the most confident of tows not like the old 2004 Swift we had, I thought it was my imagination but I'm not so sure now. I think this could be the start of something big in the forum world..
Ozzy
Total Posts: 270
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Posted: 6 years ago
Meant to say, please keep us advised on this, I'd be intrigued to know if the dealer finds anything or if there's a safety issue.
Ozz.
Total Posts: 110
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Posted: 6 years ago
H i we have a 2009 bailey california which has the ATC system fitted and we have found that it is very sensitive to tyre presures on both the caravan and the car we took our van back to the dealer and after they had checked it over the fitter there how we have known for some time told us that there had been lots of vans coming back with the same problem and the dealer could not find any thing wrong with them but since we have been very fussy about tyres the problems seems to have gone away and when i say fussy even 2PSI can cause a problem
Total Posts: 18
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Posted: 6 years ago
Have had two Baileys, a Senator Vermont and currently an Unicorn Valencia.
As long as your tow vehicle is suitable to tow the van ie van is approx 85% (or less) weight of towcar, tyre pressures are correct, and van not overloaded then you should have a good towing experience. Both my Baileys have been very stable in all conditions - never a scary moment! With a built in stabiliser on your towing head and ATC you should never have a problem.
Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 6 years ago
Update on Unstable Bailey Unicorn Cabrera

After 2 months our caravan dealer, who had the caravan for two months, gave us a phone call to say that they had discovered the problem.
We called in to speak to them and were told that they had checked out for loose bolts throughout and checked out the wheels and pressures.
It took them quite awhile before they found a weigh bridge that would carry out a weight check on the caravan. The only one near was a scrap yard.
This showed that the van was over weight. At first it took some time to sink in as I always tried not to overload the caravans. We only had in the van the same items as we had carried in our previous vans, but with it being bigger and heavier we did not realise the difference in the pay load.
We removed most of the items ie.awning, water containers. Any food and clothes etc.
They then did a test tow for us and informed us that they were happy with it and we could pick it up. At home we check weighed each item and was surprised how the weight added up.
The pay load that the van can carry is only 157kg and we had a mover fitted that is 35kg which only leaves 122kg.
With this in mind we prepared the caravan for a trip away carrying the minimum in the van.
I bought a Reich Portable caravan weight control and used it to check the nose weight and the weight of each wheel. The total weight was 30 kg less than max.with a nose weight of 95kg with 2 full light weight gas bottles fitted. The heavier nose weight was suggested by several on forums, as I normally set at 75kg. We travelled down to Salisbury, Dartmouth, Devizes and back home in Cheshire around 660 miles on all types of roads from motorways to a single track road with no trouble..
I hope this can be a warning to other caravans and motor homes that Weight and distribution does matter.
Thanks to every one that gave comments on the forums and the CAMPING AND CARAVAN CLUB.
Total Posts: 270
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Posted: 6 years ago
Evening Pete.
Thanks for the tips on this one, well worth a thought, our payload is slightly higher at 169Kg, we had the front drawer unit fitted so I guess that this along with the 2 gas bottles and all the sundry bits in the nose cupboards, motor mover, heavy duty battery, waste & water carriers, tv, staellite, lounge chairs etc not to mention 'Er indoors clothes and her spare kitchen sink soon eats up the payload capacity. Glad you got sorted in the end albeit it a bit long winded for you.
Ozzy
Total Posts: 314
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Posted: 6 years ago
maybe thats why bailey are now starting to put the gas locker in the side (over the axle) on the unicorn range. I am picking up our new bailey pegasus genoa on sat so will let you know how it tows, i use a 2002 mondeo estate. By the way I work for an LPG compamy & the 'Calor Lite' (6kg) is a very good buy for any caravaner as 2 'normal 6kgs add about 8kg!