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Product Development - Caravan accelerated life & cold chamber testing at the Millbrook Proving Ground



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With the creation of the Alu-Tech bodyshell construction system Bailey was breaking completely new ground and consequently it was necessary for the company to commit to the most comprehensive testing and validation programme it had ever undertaken in order to ensure every aspect of the design had been thoroughly evaluated before bringing the resulting products to market.

Seven years later and the development process remains on-going as the company continues to refine and enhance the design of its products to further improve their performance in use. As a result our caravans and motorhomes remain some of the best engineered and the most technically advanced leisure vehicles available today and ones which provide real and tangible benefits of ownership to our customers.

Two key elements of this product validation process were the accelerated life and thermal chamber testing of caravan proto types at the internationally renowned Millbrook Proving Ground.

The accelerated life tests, specified by Millbrook themselves, were carried out to assess the structural durability and longevity of the Alu-Tech bodyshell. Covering six different areas of the facility: Pave, Kerb Strikes, Pot Holes, the High Speed Circuit, Twist Humps and the Hill Route and these tests took over two weeks to complete and the inputs experienced during the 1,000+ miles of testing simulated 6 years service in use.

The cold chamber tests were conducted to determine the thermal capabilities of the new Alu-Tech bodyshell design. In order to do so the caravan was subjected to a standard automotive thermal insulation classification test (EN1645-I), which involves the measurement of both performance and efficiency, in temperatures as low as -15 degrees centigrade. This Bailey caravan successfully achieved the highest possible Grade III classification rating and in doing so confirmed its status as a genuine four-season vehicle.

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