The Sterling Eccles has offered slick, cutting-edge style to Swift Group’s mid-range line up. With the 2011 update, however, Eccles gets a razor-sharp exterior appearance to go with the cool interior. New front and rear panels, thicker sidewalls and a bonded roof mean this is more than a simple makeover.
Pitching and setting up
The gas locker door is enormous and lifts high, giving excellent access to the front locker, although the temptation to overload it means owners must load with care.
All aspects of hitching up and setting up on site are easy to use and access. Once on site, the majority of electrical controls are uniquely gathered in a roof locker, rather than buried under a seat. This makes turning the mains appliances on and off, and checking fuses, a very simple, eye-level operation.
There are four LED spotlights in the lounge and a single central light in place of two corner ones. Concealed lighting at roof level adds a degree of subtlety to the interior finish. A trinket tray on the front shelf, with easily accessible mains sockets and TV points, saves scrabbling around on the floor when charging mobile phones or plugging in the television.
The microwave is lower than in previous Swift models, which is a definite improvement, but it will still be a stretch for shorter caravanners. Lockers either side of the microwave provide good storage although roof lockers on the opposite side of the van will most likely end up being used for kitchen kit, too. Lighting over the working area is good and a pair of mains sockets mean your kettle or toaster have an obvious home.
Lighting is pretty good in the washroom. There’s a dedicated light for the shower and natural light comes courtesy of an obscured window above the toilet and a standard pop-top rooflight.
The shower cubicle is fairly compact to make space for all the storage, but will prove adequate for most needs. The Thetford C-250 electric flush toilet is standard.
The seat cushions are fairly flat, without the pronounced knee rolls of many rival products, and this makes it easy to get comfortable. The beds are long and wide enough to see service as twin single beds if required.
Washroom storage is massive and kitchen storage is fine. The huge front and side-accessed wet lockers mean there is good external provision too.
The Topaz combines cutting edge style with a traditional layout. Impressive.
- Sharp looks, plenty of practical improvements and a good implementation of a classic design
- Heavier than some rivals