With its practical kitchen with dual-fuel hob, big fridge, light, bright lounge, programmable Alde central heating and spacious rear dressing-showering room, this is a luxury touring caravan.
Add in the greater stability of two axles and the plus points of this caravan tot up even higher.
There are caravan insurance discounts available too, thanks to its AL-KO secure wheel lock and infra red tilt sensor alarm.
Swift’s designers have given a lot of thought to small details that add up to a Sterling Elite Explorer loaded with convenient features.
For example, the microwave is about 10cm lower than is usual in caravans, a safety point that will be appreciated by short-stature buyers.
But the flagship-bracket, high-spec Explorer also exhibits three cheap-looking visual features which we find surprising in a caravan of this price.
All of them are plastic – and, in our eyes, all of them matter. The most obvious is the brown plastic moulding which forms the bed. It looks more bath tub than bed base.
The second plastic moulding we dislike is also in the bedroom. The wheel arch intrudes into the base of the triangular dressing table.
But instead of making the woodwork fit the wheel arch, thereby hiding it, the designers have interrupted the cabinetry and allowed a large section of wheel arch to protrude. They’ve covered it with the same plastic as the bed base.
The third plastic intrusion into the looks of this otherwise refined caravan is common to all the Sterling Elite and Swift Conqueror caravans. All have plastic mouldings beneath each front side window. Their colour doesn’t match that of the central phone-charging arrangement and they’re held in place by undisguised screws.
There are many details we do like though.
The retracting transverse bed concept is utterly brilliant. In day mode the bed is about 15cm shorter than at night. That creates extra corridor space to the shower room.
The spec list is a long one and contains some important stuff. Alde central heating and a 40-litre water tank make the Explorer ideal for year-round caravanning.
Next in importance has to be the tower fridge with its separate freezer. The corner dressing table has two mains sockets and there are TV points here, too.
We also found that the caravan’s sun roof keeps the front end light for longer into the evening than models without this lovely feature.
But the bedroom soon began to need a boost from the 12 volt system as daylight receded because there is only one window. And, we discovered, only three small spotlights plus mood lighting above the lockers.
We used a dressing table lamp so problem solved. The Explorer is by no means alone in lacking brightness in the bedroom; in this model, the rectification is easier than most as there’s a dressing table that might well have been designed with a lamp in mind!
On the whole, this big, stunning-looking grey-sided Swift with its deep grey and black exterior styling is a true example of caravanning excellence.
And the caravan insurance discounts available are favourable too!
Lengths: Body 6.27m, Overall 7.95m
Weight: 1532kg (MRO) 1815kg (MTPLM)
Insurance cost: £298 *
*Caravan insurance cost based on 2011 Sterling Elite Explorer valued at an estimated £21,308, fitted with hitchlock, Al-Ko secure wheel lock and alarm (Al-Ko and alarm are standard on this model). Also fitted with approved tracking device. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE behind 24 hour locked gates. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. Premium includes online discount of 10% and insurance premium tax at 6% and is correct as of 18.03.11.
Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.