Review: Swift Lifestyle 4SB

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


MCD reviews the Swift Lifestyle 4SB, distributed by Country Caravans and RV Super Centre in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Country Caravans in Mt Maunganui is the distributor and Country Caravans and the RV SuperCentre in Auckland and Christchurch retail the brand.

The -caravan

All Lifestyle models incorporate SMART Plus—Swift’s enhanced intelligent construction technology.

With the GRP outer to the floor and a hail-resistant GRP roof, the complete outer body shell of the caravan is now GRP. Strength comes from the corner jointing system that locks body panels into position, saving weight and increasing internal space.

This technique is designed to produce stronger, lighter bodies that resist water ingress and minimise negative effects if it occurs.

Exterior

Being -towed

The Lifestyle 4SB is long for a single-axle caravan but easy to manoeuver when reversing. It is distinctive in appearance with its body graphics effectively disguising the windows, so they become part of the decorative scheme.

There are three opening windows across the front with a fixed panorama skylight above, four more windows on the driver’s side, but just one kerbside. All are awning style and double-glazed.

Mounts are factory-fitted to the rear panel making retrofitting a bike-rack easier.

Across the front of the caravan is an LPG locker for two 9kg bottles. Just around the corner is an LPG connection for a BBQ. The standa

rd hitch is an Alko 3000 anti-sway and trailer control (ATC) can be retrofitted if required. With alloy wheels and PowerTouch motor movers, this Lifestyle was shaping up as a well-equipped caravan, and I hadn’t seen the inside yet.

Interior

Interior

The interior decor is anchored by the familiar timber grained laminate surfaces on the cabinetry (in this case, milk chocolate in colour) and autumn tones of light brown upholstery fabrics.

The cushion fabrics are a hardwearing linen weave and the bench-top laminates are textured rather than smooth.

There are four overhead lockers, two in the bedroom and one above each settee. At their core are Swift’s unique injection moulded frames that ensure the lockers fit accurately during construction and remain tight and rattle-free thereafter.

These lockers, and the cupboards in the kitchen, have flat vertical doors, giving the interior a residential feel.

Lounge

Lounge -2

There is a locker beneath the cabinet and more storage under the kerbside settee but not under the other. That is reserved for utilities equipment—the water pump, hot water boiler, and electronics.

Both settees have a headrest-shaped end cushion and I found the kerbside settee was long enough to stretch out on when reading a book or watching TV but not long enough for those more than 1450mm to sleep on. So at bedtime, when needed, the short twin singles convert to a large double bed.

Kitchen

Kitchen

With the bench extension raised, there is ample room for meal preparation on the bench-top. Set into the top is a round sink and a three-burner hob, part of the Thetford oven, and a separate griller below.

At the other end of the bench cabinet is a Thetford 113-litre fridge with electronic ignition and LED controls. This model has an easily removed freezer compartment, allowing the whole interior to be used as a fridge.

Beside it is a cupboard housing the rubbish bin, a wire shelf for dishwashing equipment, and a home for another UK institution—the dish-draining tray.

Above the bench, the microwave is neatly housed between two cupboards with white lacquered doors that complement the timber cabinetry.

Opposite the bench, beside the entry, is another single cupboard cabinet, yet there is not a lot of room for storing food after the crockery and cutlery and pots and pans are stowed away.

There is no range hood but ventilation shouldn’t be a problem with a window behind the bench, the entry door opposite, and a large ceiling hatch above.

A ceiling light over the settees, two reading lights over each settee and three spots, and a strip light over the kitchen bench light the lounge and kitchen area.

The TV connections—a 230-volt plug, a 12-volt plug, and the aerial—are to the right of the entry door, so when mounted there, the TV is easy to see from the lounge settees.

Bedroom

Bedroom (2)

A concertina screen door closes off the bedroom and bathroom beyond. The east–west bolster bed has a padded headboard and a small shelf on each side sufficient for holding a bedtime cuppa.

The Duvalay memory foam mattress with its hypoallergenic cover sits on a sprung slat base, promising sweet dreams. The injection-moulded plastic bed base, unique to Swift caravans, provides a substantial amount of uncluttered storage space under the mattress.

It is just as well because the Lifestyle 4SB has a Luna Aircamp porch awning included in the standard price, and this is the perfect place to carry it.

A gas strut helps lift the mattress, making it easier to access the storage area. At each side of the bed is an adjustable reading light, a hanging locker, and either two wide drawers or a narrow cupboard, depending on the side of the bed you get allocated.

There is no ceiling light but there is a ceiling hatch as well as a window at the foot of the bed, ensuring good natural lighting and ventilation.

Bathroom

Bathroom

A solid sliding door closes off the bathroom, giving the occupants privacy and protection for others in the motorhome.

The shower stall is a sensible shape and size and features the new Ecocamel Orbit showerhead, which provides a powerful shower while using less water.

The shower doesn’t have its own ceiling hatch, but the one over the vanity and the opaque glazed window behind the toilet should make up for that.

A heater vent provides winter warmth. The mirror is sensibly mounted clear of the handbasin to avoid being splashed.

Toiletries can be stored in the medicine cabinet beside the mirror and the cupboard below.

Lighting is a bit subdued; there are three spotlights above the mirror and the shower has its own separate light. Essential wall-mounted hardware provides places for the toilet roll, a drinking glass, and hanging your clothes and towel.

Towing

Towing

I towed the Lifestyle 4SB for around 100km on residential roads, highways, and motorways behind a nine-year-old two-litre turbodiesel VW Passat.

It towed well, was easy to manoeuvre, and while the effect on the car’s performance seemed negligible, the fuel consumption increased in line with towing other caravans of similar weight, from an average six litres per kilometre to 11.5 litres per kilometre.

The Lifestyle 4SB was easy to back into place on the sales yard when I returned and generally, I felt comfortable with it behind the Passat in all the situations I encountered.

Verdict

While the Lifestyle 4SB is a relatively plain caravan, it is well-equipped, featuring items such as motor movers, the Luna Aircamp porch awning, the 100-watt solar panel, and alloy wheels in the standard package.

Being on a single axle, it is easily manoeuvred, either when being towed or positioned by hand when parking.

Inside, there is room to move in all the important areas: bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and lounge. It is a wonderful caravan for two people and can accommodate two more overnight when needed.

Swift Lifestyle 4SB specifications

Make: Swift

Model: Lifestyle 4SB

Type: Caravan

Berths: 4

Fresh/Greywater (both portable): 40/40L

Solar panel: 100W House battery 80amp/hr deep cycle

Bike rack (optional extra): Anchor points installed as standard

Overall length: 7480mm

Overall body length: 6400mm

Overall internal length; 5830mm

Overall width: 2230mm

Overall height: 2680mm

Maximum headroom: 1950mm

Main bed: 1850 x 1330mm

Front bed (near/offside): 1590/1590 x 720mm

Tare weight: 1274kg

GVW: 1430kg

Payload (fitting optional extras adds to the tare weight and diminishes the payload): 156kg

Pluses

  • Lots of extras included in standard price
  • A functional bathroom
  • Easily handled single axle caravan with lots of room

Minuses

  • None worth mentioning

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