The Escape 686 Exterior
This is not just a great value motorhome (just over £33,000 on-the-road) but it’s a big one, at nearly seven metres long.
One way that Swift has managed to keep the Escape’s pricing so keen is to keep it simple.
If you camp solo, or with just your significant other then the 686 is not the obvious choice in the range, but if you have a family then this is the one. It has two separate dining/lounging areas and plenty of space.
Inside the Escape 686
Of course, this sort of floor plan is as old as the hills and was pretty much popularised by Swift’s Kon-Tiki 640 of many moons ago. Now there are derivatives of this design in their Sundance, Voyager and Kon-Tiki ranges, all of them slightly different, as indeed is this Escape, which is not just significantly cheaper but shorter than the rest.
Part of the reason for this is the rear lounge, which is a decent size but not nearly long enough to offer single beds. But the rest of the layout is as you’d expect – front pullman dinette with seats for four around a wall-mounted table and kitchen alongside the dinette; centrally sited wardrobe, bathroom and habitation door; and of course U-shaped relaxing space around the hind quarters of the motorhome.
The Escape’s Kitchen
The kitchen has an oven and grill (combined) and a three-burner hob. There’s a large stainless steel sink too, with a good expanse of worktop alongside. They even provide the usual removable draining board (and a chopping board cover for the sink). And you get plate and cup racks in the upper cupboards, too.
The obvious place to dine is the front pullman seating, where the lightweight table clips to the wall. There’s room for four here and if there are more than four of you onboard, or if the view is better astern, then there’s also an island leg table for the rear lounge.
Inside the washroom there’s no clever swing-wall, nor a separate shower, but you do get the latest look loo, plenty of storage and a good-sized basin.
When it’s time for bed you’ll have few complaints. The overcab bed doesn’t have as much headroom as some and the simple, single lamp is at one side rather than overhead. There’s one opening window but no roof vent.
The washroom inside the 686
But if you have a teenager, though, they’re sure to appreciate their own private space up here and we were most impressed by the tip-up bed base retaining an easy walk through to the cab during the day.
The master bedroom is at the back where the third double bed makes up quite easily into a flat, transverse berth. There’s a privacy curtain between the two downstairs bedrooms, as well as for the overcab bedroom, and the three domed ceiling lights give plenty of general illumination.
It may not have it all, but the Escape certainly has all the essentials. And one of the key essentials is plenty of storage space. The Escape brochure says it is “designed to offer a well equipped motorhome with all the essentials at a price that makes owning a new motorhome an affordable proposition”. It feels really well built and we actually rather liked its plain but modern interior style. In these credit-crunched times this could just be the most relevant new motorhome of 2009.
Price from: £33,245 OTR
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato
Engine:2.2 litre Diesel Multijet (100bhp)
Travel seats: 6
Insurance cost: £264.75*
*Motorhome insurance cost based on 2009 Escape 686 valued at £33,245. Fitted with manufacturers immobiliser and kept at home behind 24 hr locked gates at SN4 7DP. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 7000 miles annually. £250 excess applies. European cover £25 extra, European Breakdown £42 extra. Premium includes insurance premium tax at 5% and are correct as of 18/08/09.