Bailey of Bristol were celebrating this week as the 20,000th Alu-Tech construction leisure vehicle rolled off its South Liberty Lane production line.The result of the most comprehensive product design programme the industry has ever undertaken known Alu-Tech is seen by many as the most significant development in leisure vehicle production technology for over thirty years.
Providing genuine design innovation is it a construction system so unique that it has five new patents registered and one which has required the creation of over one hundred new bespoke component parts to build it. As a result Bailey leisure vehicles are now 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.
The first product to feature this ground-breaking technology was the Pegasus touring caravan range which debuted at the Motorhome & Caravan Show three years ago in October 2009. Since then Bailey has rolled out the Alu-Tech system across its whole portfolio, highlighting its flexibility, and to date it has produced seven touring caravan ranges, one motorhome range and one leisure home range using this production method.
To put this in perspective if these caravans and motorhome were positioned nose to tail in a straight line they would stretch for over 120 miles which is equivalent to the distance from Bristol to London.
Prior to the development of the Alu-Tech construction system in 2007 there had been little change in leisure vehicle body shell design for over thirty years. Conventional assemblies consisted of sandwich construction timber frame laminated and semi-laminated panels cloaked in exterior plastic mouldings which were secured together using a combination of adhesives and exterior fastenings.
With Alu-Tech Bailey adopted a different approach through the introduction an interlocking aluminium extrusion external framework which clamps the body panels together to produce a shell that is inherently more rigid and more durable. This method of assembly also helped to significantly reduce the number of external joints and fixing points, thus minimising the number of potential water access points and improving the overall integrity of the protective shell.
Bailey also implemented a series of design changes to the body shell panels themselves increasing their thickness to provide vehicles with unrivalled strength and thermal insulation capabilities. In addition, more radically, the Development Team removed all the timber components in the sides and roof and replaced them with a composite plastic internal skeleton and a GRP inner wall lining to limit the impact any possible water ingress may cause. When you consider that these all these benefits of ownership were achieved without a cost or a weight penalty you can begin to see why the Alu-Tech construction system is so unique.