2012 Swift Bolero 712 SB – Dancing on nice

Published in Motorhome Reviews on   - 17 Comments

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  1. Bob Astill says:

    This is not a new idea, we stumbled upon our Hymer B564 after we had bought a fixed bed Chausson. I agree with ‘Robin Hood’ that fixed beds take up too much living space. Our Hymer has the dropdown bed over the cab, another (made up) bed in the middle, more storage space both in and under the van than we’ve ever seen before, a full width usable rear bathroom with a full size shower (yes, we use the shower on site as we don’t need to dress and undress on a wet cold floor). All this in a length of 6 metres! The only complaint we would have is the lack of a draining board, solved by using a (new) cat litter tray with a rack which, when not in use stores in one of the many drawers.

  2. David Williams says:

    A couple of yrs ago i bought a Swift 590rl 1998, mint condition, £12thousand, have spent £1thousand on it and its magic a good solid van and i get a good 35 driven reasonably, a pal wants to buy it next year and has offered £15,000. I will buy another Swift; D.W.

  3. Clive Sandham says:

    yes the sink needed a splash back I put a perspex up-stand to stop the water splashes. Even with this we need to put a towel down to protect the seat.
    Swift dont seem to get it! I dont think their designers use these vans.
    The number of times we cut ourselves get knives out of the stupid carousel made me change it.
    Swift are hopeless at follow up or supplying spares as well

  4. M.N. Wilkinson says:

    This van is ideal for those who like single made beds as do myself and my wife but it is let down by the lounging area because of the lack of extra seat belts for the other possible passengers. Safety must be a priority here. Also it is very long and heavy. I shudder to think what the MPG will be.

  5. Jon Stafford says:

    Right idea with a large washroom and fixex beds but we still need a double bed so there is much space wasted hence the size. What a ridiculous place for the sink with no protection for the sofa, and finally the cost. A compact two berth with a fixed double and a good washroom-what more would a couple want!

  6. Doug King says:

    Hardly compact at 7.7m long and over 3500Kg

  7. Clive Sandham says:

    We have the 2011 680FB and the same kitchen as this. The Kitchen needs a lot of rethinking. The Carousel is useless so I converted them to drawers by cutting the Carousel in half and putting them on the drawer fronts.
    The crockery cupboard does not hold the plates so they rattle and is to high for short ladies to reach. not big enough for plates etc for 4 people.
    The pot store under the stove will not hold a frying pan.
    To serve food we must have the table up then there is no bench space to do the washing up
    There is no ware to store food as a shorter people cant reach high and the space over the fridge get to hot for food
    The Swift is a nice finished van good layout but the disaster they call a kitchen lets it down badly.
    Tidy this up and we will buy another one

  8. peter roberts says:

    Sorry cannot agree with your “holy Grail” the Swift is to long to heavy fixed beds take up valuable space and only two seat belts very poor.
    Priced to high but some people will like it.
    Why cant British manufactures take a lesson from overseas vans?
    One day maybe but not yet i think

  9. Alan Hubbard says:

    Like Tom I purchased a nearly new Swift 630G this year and my wife and I are more than pleased with the comfort, equipment, fuel economy at 29 mpg, (yes this was on our last trip to Norfolk). and we have four seat belts which took a while to find on a motorhome when we were looking to buy one. So the Bolero is a no go for us.

  10. Les says:

    I’m not convinced that a van with a length of 7.71 metres and a width of 2.35 metres can be described as “reasonably compact overall dimensions”. This to my mind is a BIG van.

  11. Tom Webster says:

    I have just purchased a new swift 630G, and it is unsurpassable for comfort and equipment, i think swift has got it right with more than just the Bolero

  12. john burgess says:

    This is clearly a very nice motorhome but please do not use terms like “Holy Grail” to describe it. It may well be your Holy Grail but, for example, my requirements are for a two berth van which can be used as a second car and will be used on narrow Devon roads. My wife and I still like to share a double bed and we use our camper mainly for short trips and occasional longer ones abroad. We never plan but just go and pick up our supplies at the local supermarkets, very often stopping in small towns to absorb the culture, hence it must be parkable in normal parking bays. For us therefor this van is almost useless although it may be ideal for many. This demonstrates why there are so many different chassis and layouts everyone has a different lifestyle and they will chose a van which most nearly suits them. Failing that you could design a van yourself which was ideal for you but unsaleable to anyone else.
    Design is about specifying your target market and attempting to serve that market. The larger that market is the more likely you are to be successful. This undoubtedly will be successful but I will not be buying one because it fails to tick my personal boxes.

  13. Rob says:

    Looks to be a very nice van. But not for us. Too long, too heavy. Too expensive. Fixed beds take up living space. Quite sure there will be plenty who do like it enough to buy though.

  14. Robin Hood says:

    I regret that I cannot agree with the definition given here of near perfection.

    Most people of course love their own campers and are emotionally geared to being so accustomed to them as to think anything else ‘unthinkable’ apart from the inevitable ‘this or that could be better’ detail.

    But, British Mfrs.all, I must add an objective view from which you can make up your own minds – as well as the above subjective one – of our present second motorhome, the last Benimar Sports ever built (very sadly), and a special fitted-out version to my own specification brilliantly executed by the Benimar builders in Spain in 10 yrs ago.

    It has has a huge, comfortable mansard double-bed (how we personally loathe fitted beds in the back as a sheer waste of space or ‘play-with-the-biscuits’ make-up beds….) with a window at each ‘end’ so each of you can have a window to yourself – if you want to.

    It has and incredible 14 sq.feet of worktop space (inc. sink) all down the utilities side from the side door and across the back until the generous washroom (does anyone ever use the shower at the back of the w/room for anything other than a fruit&veg tier-stand, furniture store and of course indoor towel hanging?).

    The conventional dining side area has pull-out bars at the end of each benchseat (intended to support the downstairs make-up bed extension) which make comfortable footrests when lying down on the seats.

    There’s a generous bookshelf (fwd-facing but with a fall-safe bar) above the rear benchseat. Benimar even took on board – to the millimetre! – our need to store a little red gas bbq in a cupboard between fridge & oven. (Try asking the French even to remove heaters or spare wheels from unusable cupboards, let alone making any special changes at customer’s request – as in rival ‘Autostar’ of the same year).

    There’s a bed-high wardrobe cupboard between bed and sidedoor. We use the lower half for storing shoes and towels & bedlinen in 2 boxes one on top of the other, with a fabric ‘drop-down’ store all the way down one side for rolled-up underwear, pyjamas, socks, swimming costumes, etc.

    There are 3′ wide windows to the kitchen side and rear, 2′ in side of washroom and a 4’6″ x 19″ window by the dining area.

    All this in – how long?? – 5.5 metres… (sic)
    So one can easily get into any beachside front-row pitches which some people (we certainly) cannot be without for long waterside stays in Italy (nowadays, just Elba & Lago Maggiore) with a folding/dismantlable sailing boat on the roof.
    …And the cost new 10 years ago – £24,000 to which Benimar added only an extra £3,000 for all the extensive changes I wanted from their existing 2 Sport options. Benimar were apparently so pleased with their end-result in this case that – according to our then Kent dealer – they intended to add it as a permanent standard option. Unfortunately, they were promptly taken-over and the small Sport models were abandoned in favour of the large builds for the hire market..

    There’s no ‘patent’ on the layout so far as I’m aware as it was basically my own ideas. Swifts are probably best-equiped of our home mfrs. to take a constructive look at this unique small motorhome and my only interest in telling you about it is by no means the ego-trip it may appear but a feeling of sadness that it is unique and likely to stay quietly so…. Quite a lot of fellow campers have expressed interest over the years, but as we only use it to go to Italy or occasionally N/France (it’s intentionally LHD with r/h side door for continental safety), they’ve all been foreign! A burglar stole my digi-camera as I was leaving in early April, and no ref.pix available: but if a Swift – or any other representative – would like to have a look on return mid-July, please get in touch.

    PS Surely, say you with worldly wisdom, there simply has to be one major disadvantage. The Fiat Ducato motor SWB unit was the only one available at the Benimar works at the time when we urgently needed the new van as our faithful old Bedford Autohome went out to grass (and started growing it). At only 87 bhp it is underpowered (though, as our tremendously helpful and sadly lamented dealer observed ‘You’ll think it fast compared to your Bedford Opel’ and how right he was).

  15. Mike says:

    The main question and never mentioned. What is the expected/claimed average miles to the gallon? So important these days with fuel costs as they are. I know weight of vehicle, contents and drivers heavy foot play a part in fuel consumption but Motorhome suppliers should include the MPG if they dare.

  16. Eric Sambell says:

    Another british manufacturer fails to provide adequate safety with 4 beds but only 2 seats fitted with safety belts. That’s why we have a foreign van and will continue to look abroad.

  17. another british failure 4 beds but only 2 seat belts. thats why we have a foreign van and will continue to look abroad. says:

    Another british failure, 4 beds but only 2 seat belts. Thats why we have a foreign van and will continue to look abroad.

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