The Sport 544 is one of a new breed of lighter caravans from the Swift Group for 2012 – but its layout is already a proven success.
Swift last year launched the Charisma 545, which comes with a U-shaped dining area that converts to a double bed.
This converted the classic fixed bed, end-washroom layout from a caravan which would chiefly appeal to couples, to a true family caravan with flexibility and now Swift’s design team has built on this concept by producing the Sterling Eccles Sport 544 – with a more sporty image than the Charisma, and 50kg lighter.
It also gets the ATC stability control system which of course qualifies for caravan insurance discounts. With a receiver already fitted, buyers can also purchase AL-KO’s Secure wheel lock as an option to further lower their insurance costs.
The 544’s central dining area creates not just a space for eating but it’s also a place to relax, as the seating is extremely comfortable with big rounded corners.
When you convert the dining area to a double bed, the 544 looks identical to a fixed double bed model. You can leave the bed in position all day, if you wish.
We’d have liked to see an additional power point in the dining room. There is, though, a socket thoughtfully positioned next to the mirror and shelf that’s in a recess to the rear of the wardrobe. Perfect for a hairdryer.
The wardrobe doors hinge back almost flat to the exterior, so people can still walk among the corridor when the wardrobe doors are open. Two usefully deep shelves hide on the right-hand side of the wardrobe, although these would be difficult to access if the rail is fully occupied by clothes.
Below the hanging area is a shelf, with a large space for shoes. We know weight saving has been a keynote in the design of this range, but a shelf in this area would have doubled its capacity, creating enough space for eight pairs of shoes instead of four.
The shower room is larger than you’d expect in a caravan of this size. The shower is rectangular and the floor space in the toilet-basin areas is more than sufficient for dressing. Two cupboards and quantities of shelving take care of the shampoo-type necessities amply.
Sports models get Swift’s gorgeous sunroof design as an optional extra and we love it. There are also speakers mounted into the roof on either side of the sunroof and five white lights are all in a frosted plastic casing above it.
It’s another cool feature that helps to give the Eccles Sport an intensely modern look.
We love the looks, the washroom and the useful small exterior hatch for the under-settee dining area storage department. Most of all we love the layout’s flexibility; it’s your choice whether to leave the bed made up or put it away.
It was predictably easy to handle on the road and we appreciate the reassurance of the ATC stability control system.
Lengths: Body 5.60m / overall 7.25m
Weight: 1282kg MRO / 1435kg (MTPLM)
Cost to insure: £241 *
Cost to insure this caravan based on 2012 Sterling Eccles Sport 544 valued at £15,815. Fitted with hitchlock, Al-Ko Secure wheel lock (receiver fitted as standard, lock purchased as optional extra) and Al-Ko ATC stabiliser (standard on this model) and kept on drive behind 24 hour locked gates at HX4 0BE. Caravanners over 30 years old, claim free for 3 years and a member of a caravanning club. Quote includes 10% online discount and 6% Insurance Premium Tax and is correct as of 07.10.11.