Techno Tom BedworthSee other Advice articles filed in ‘General caravan advice’ written by Techno Tom Bedworth
If you're buying a new Swift caravan this season, it will feature the company's new handy control-panel system. Called Command, it feels like a huge leap forward in technology – and it's really rather clever.
Swift Command was launched at the October 2015 NEC show. Initially it was rolled out on the Swift Conqueror and Sterling Elite ranges, as well as the flagship Swift Elegance and Sterling Continental. But for the 2017 season, it's fitted as standard to all Swift Group caravans, including the daring and funky new Basecamp.
How it works
At the heart of a caravan’s electrical system is a big box in a locker. A data link then connects this to a control panel, often over or alongside the entrance door.
In Swift Group caravans, the main box is the Sargent EC 600 series, and it links to the new Command control panel using a CAN two-wire data bus.
An addition to this system is the EC640 communications module, which allows all control panel features to be accessed via your mobile. The SIM card supplied in the module is pre-paid for three years, and remote communication is via Bluetooth or the mobile phone network.
Using your smartphone, you can program the heating for up to a week in advance, consult your service history, control the lights and water pump, and check the vehicle’s position on a map. You can even monitor fluid levels and battery-charging.
And there’s more! You can use your smartphone to limit your mains-power consumption. So when you have a 6A electric hook-up, for example, the system will temporarily switch off loads such as the heating when you use the kettle.
Swift Command gives you access to, and control of, the following systems in your caravan (please click through the picture gallery at the top of the page to see them in detail):
- The water system;
- Vehicle tracking;
- Power limitation;
- Alerts and notifications;
- Account and system settings.
The system comes with a user manual and provides access to the Swift website.
Command will allow Swift to track and locate any caravan fitted with the system at any given time. This will benefit owners by enabling alerts, for example, about relevant recalls.
It is evident from this level of communication that the system’s possibilities are limited only by software engineers’ imagination.