The style pile
New season, more Eccles. That’s the central theme here as two island bed newcomers – the 635 and 645 – become the twin-axle models at the top of the range for the season ahead. They take Sterling’s Eccles to a nine-strong range (don’t forget, also, parent company Swift mirrors this in its Challenger line-up).
There are certainly plenty of new features to look out for, beyond the usual (subtle, in this instance) change of graphics, with Swift’s Smart Plus construction extending to GRP inner and outer walls for the season ahead, adding to the GRP underskin that was added in 2016. Subtle upgrades to the exterior include a carbon fibre-effect gas locker door, chrome-effect grab handles, LED number plate and rear light clusters.
Swift Command is now available on all 2017 Eccles, too. Previously only on top-of-the-range Elite Sterlings, the multi-functional control system can also be supplemented by an app downloaded to Smartphones and tablets, for full remote control of key facilities.
There’s more. Alde heating is available as an option across the whole of the Sterling Eccles 2017 – and the early signs are this is how they’ll be ordered. The Lux Pack is another key optional offering that’s going to prove almost impossible to turn down – offering everything from external gas and 230V sockets, to key fob-operated alarm system, to external locker door, to illuminated kitchen splashback.
You’ll certainly save on your insurance if you take up the option to subscribe to the caravan’s pre-fitted Swift Command pro-active tracking device which is Thatcham Category 6 approved – this tracking system will be fitted to all 2017 Swift Group caravans and motorhomes and replaces the Tracker Retrieve system found on 2013-2016 models. Unlike the Retrieve system which came with a free three month subscription, buyers will have to pay the full cost of an annual subscription to activate the device. But we think it’s a positive move given the new device is pro-active and therefore can alert owners if there is unauthorised movement of the caravan. We’ll feature more details about this new tracking device in future blogs.
As for the 635 floorplan, it’s almost a caravan of two halves, with a solid door on the halfway line to emphasise the fact. Although designated a four-berth, it’s most likely the main appeal will be with couples who want that proper bedroom at the back beyond that door, where the transverse island double extends when you want to optimise the bed length.
The bedroom also boasts windows to two sides, with just a standard rooflight overhead. There are twin bedside units with drawers, plus two reading lamps. Or, if watching TV in bed is more your thing, there’s a corner unit with suitable connections and a bracket for a flatscreen monitor on the wall adjacent.
Forward of the bedroom are the washroom facilities, comprising a full-size, part-circular shower (nearside), swivel-bowl Thetford toilet (offside) and a centre fixed basin with full mirror. The wardrobe is here too, along with plenty of other storage and a good array of LED lighting.
There’s a bit of a squeeze on as far as the kitchen’s concerned. Worktop space is salvaged by a flip-up extension, while the kitchen has its focus on the Thetford Aspire 2 cooker with dual-fuel hob and circular sink with add-on drainer. It’s a pretty stingy cutlery drawer, but otherwise kitchen storage – which includes overhead lockers either side of the microwave oven – is adequate.
A space-efficient, narrow-bodied fridge opposite the kitchen will certainly take care of your chilling and freezing needs. All Swift products for 2017 get Dometic fridges.
The lounge comprises the usual twin settees and chest of drawers as standard, with Swift retaining the option to provide full wraparound seating. Swift AirWave is the name given to the cushioning here – designed to provide different support for seating or, when flipped over, and used as a mattress.
Dealer-fit options also include Al-Ko secure Wheel Lock (£255), Swift Command (£95), Oyster satellite TV systems (from £2,141), etc.
It’s a colour scheme that bodes well for relaxing on site. At the same time, there’s always scope for you to add a splash of colour for that all-important individuality.
Tell us what you think about Swift’s new model.
Verdict: Proper bedroom tops the list of appeal here
Plus: Interesting new full bedroom floorplan, tempting options. Pro-active tracking device as standard.
Minus: Only a fixed sunroof over the lounge, short kitchen
In-a-nutshell: Cranking up the style in the most affordable Sterlings
There’s more information on the Sterling Eccles range on the Swift Group website. To find out more about insuring this or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Coachman Laser 650, Lunar Delta RI, Swift Challenger 645
Sterling Eccles 635 factfile
|Model||Sterling Eccles 635|
|Dimensions||7.98m L, 2.23m W, 2.61m H|
|RRP||from £21,490 on the road|
|Safety & security||Thatcham Category 6 approved tracking device, receiver for Al-Ko Secure wheel lock, AKS 3004 stabiliser, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, interior deadlock facility, CRiS.|
|Key options||Lux Pack (£595), alternative upholstery (£195), SwiftShield upholstery (£395), Alde heating (£995)|
Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.
*Caravan insurance cost based on Sterling Eccles 635 caravan retailing at £21,490 fitted with hitchlock, Al-Ko secure wheel lock, alarm system and Thatcham 6 tracker. Kept on drive at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. £100 excess. 180 days European cover and up to £75 per day for up to 15 days emergency accommodation cover included. Legal expenses cover, extended European cover and other emergency accommodation expenses cover options are available at extra cost. Quote includes 10% online discount and 9.5% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 12.8.16.