Alastair Clements
Group editor

See other caravan reviews written by Alastair Clements

The Practical Caravan review of the luxurious 2015 Sterling Continental 630 reveals why this could be an appealing choice for seasonal-pitch fans

Overview

Swift Group’s twin flagship ranges, the Swift Elegance and Sterling Continental, cater for both traditional and contemporary tastes, as is the case with the new Sterling Continental 630.

The firm’s timber-free SMART HT construction system has won plenty of praise. Launched in February 2014, the line has been extended to seven models for 2015 with the addition of the 530, 565 and 630. The last is the second Continental four-berth, twin-axle model, and offers an in-line fixed double, rather than the 645’s transverse island bed. It’s a great-looking caravan: sculpted corners and a streamlined shape, the company claims, improve both fuel efficiency and stability on tow.

Pitching and setting up

Aside from the new layouts, other changes for 2015 are the addition of standard Al-Ko Secure wheel locks, plus wiring for the motor mover that Swift anticipates most buyers will want. You can certainly see why: the Sterling Continental 630 is hefty, with an MTPLM of 1900kg.

The Practical Caravan review team report that the van is also packed with kit, boasting an external 230V socket, barbecue point and shower, plus mains and Aquaroll water inlets. It sits on an Al-Ko chassis with stylish 15in alloy wheels, has ATC anti-snaking control and an AKS 3004 stabiliser.

Lounge

Inside, the Sterling Continental 630 features contemporary fabrics, hessian-finish walls, leather-effect vinyl and piano-black locker doors. These are set off by white worktops and matt-black doors in the kitchen.

Such bold modernity splits opinion. The Continental is comfortably outsold by the Elegance, but we think it’s a breath of fresh air. There are also some thoroughly useful touches, such as a tiny spirit level built into the front shelf to help you get pitch-perfect.

The large lounge is bathed in light by the fixed panoramic skylight, and the brown sofas are comfortable, without an overly pronounced knee roll.

Kitchen

The galley in the Sterling Continental 630 is impressive, with a huge nearside Dometic fridge and separate freezer and, opposite, a dual-fuel four-ring hob, and separate Thetford oven and grill. An Omnivent is overhead – one of four rooflights throughout the tourer.

The worktop area initially seems meagre, but a fold-up flap gives more preparation space, and a small sideboard sits opposite, beneath the drinks cabinet.

Beside the cabinet is the touch-screen control panel for the Alde 3020 wet central heating, which replaces the 3010 system for 2015.

Washroom

There’s a good-sized shower and plenty of elbow room in the Sterling Continental 630's full-width washroom, a boon on your caravan holidays. And it is filled with thoughtful touches, such as stereo speakers, attractive lighting and a heated towel rail. The hidden storage for the freestanding table is neat.

Beds

At the front of the Sterling Continental 630 is the lounge, whose sofa cushions can be fitted onto a pull-out slatted base to form a slightly awkward but reasonably sized double bed for guests. The nearside single bunk is short for adults at 5ft 4in, but on the offside it’s a useful 6ft 3in.

The master suite to the rear is separated by a fabric screen. The nearside fixed double has a corner missing to ease access to the washroom, but it’s big enough for six-footers and has a firm, comfortable Duvalay Duvalite memory-foam mattress. There’s a huge padded headboard, too, and individual reading lights.

You’ll also find a TV mounting point and clever LED lighting in the bedroom mirror and backlit kitchen splashback.

Storage

The Sterling Continental 630 provides plenty of stowage, according to the Practical Caravan review team. A vast space beneath the fixed bed can be accessed from outside, with further ‘wet’ storage in the large front gas locker.

There’s a front-mounted chest of drawers with a pull-out table, a sideboard to boost kitchen storage and wire vegetable drawers. Plenty of overhead lockers and a large wardrobe opposite the bed complete the storage spec.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1679kg
Payload221kg
MTPLM1900kg
Interior length6.38m
Shipping length7.94m
Width2.26m
Height2.62m
Awning size1047cm

Verdict

At a shade over £28k and weighing 1900kg, the Sterling Continental 630 is a van for the well-heeled, who will need a large 4x4 to tow it easily. Its modern finish doesn’t shout luxury, but there’s a sense of quality to the components, while the timberless construction will appeal to anyone who leaves their vans out in all weathers. In the Practical Caravan Sterling Continental 630 review, the tourer received a four-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • A large caravan that provides plenty of living space
  • A wealth of storage options throughout and a generous payload
  • An especially good-looking tourer that will appeal to a wide range of caravanners

Cons

  • The nearside front single bed is really only appropriate for young children
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