Alex Newby

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More and more caravan manufacturers are adding models with fixed single beds and a rear full-width washroom to their catalogues, and the Conqueror 565 is Swift’s top-end version. It looks smart and is packed with practical features and equipment, including an Al-Ko Secure wheel lock, a 30-litre water tank for genuine all-weather touring, and a huge rooflight that brings tons of natural illumination to the front half of the caravan – and it all fits on a single-axle chassis.

Pitching and setting up

You can easily reach corner steadies and drains in the Conqueror, and access to the vast gas locker is excellent. The water system takes a little getting used to, as the 565 has an inboard tank as well as an external supply.
The control panel looks trickier to operate than it actually is. Like the Alde heating control panel, it's mounted high up, but shorter owners can reach it easily. The consumer unit and mains appliance controls are in a roof locker – great for easy access.

Lounge

Although not enormous, the lounge space in the Conqueror is big enough for four to sit in comfort. The seats are supportive and the curved corner cushions at the front are welcome additions. it all looks appealing, too. Our test caravan was fitted with the 'Impala' stain-proof upholstery (a £300 option). The whole area is really well illuminated – as well as the large roof window, there are LED spotlamps, mood lighting and a roof-mounted light.
You could place a television on the centre chest, but it'll be too close to view comfortably. A better option is to mount the television on the extending arm at the foot of the nearside bed. This pulls out into the aisle so you can watch TV from the lounge, but it means that only smaller sets can be used. A word of warning – don't rest an elbow on the back of the pull-out chest, because it can tip-up.

Kitchen

Kitchen space is limited, but it's well used. The cooker has three gas burners, one electric hotplate, and a separate grill and oven.
The microwave is at a sensible height and the side-opening storage cupboards on either side of it are just about big enough for cups and plates. A cutlery drawer sits between the fridge and the cooker, with a tall locker underneath that houses pull-out wire baskets.
The sink has an integrated drainer, but this is tiny and of limited use for washing up after a meal. Lighting is excellent.

Washroom

Practical shelving over the Thetford swivel bowl toilet, and a cupboard below the modern basin, provide good storage – not what you'd expect in such a compact washroom. A Heki rooflight and large downlight on the ceiling provide illumination. A large mirror, toothbrush holder and towel rail are nice touches.
The separate shower cubicle has a flat floor and adequate bottle storage. The showerhead has a valve on it, so you can shut off the water without turning the mixer off, which is good for saving water.

Beds

When it comes to working out who gets which bed, there will definitely be a winner and a loser. The outside bed is roughly 10cm longer than the nearside, so if one of you is tall, the decision over who gets which side is already made. The mattresses are supportive, and the spotlamps and shelves at the head of the beds are welcome.
The occasional double at the front of the van is hardly generous, but most couples will cope. There is an LED spotlamp in each corner of the bed and the centre chest provides a handy shelf for books or reading glasses. The bed is flat and easy to assemble, thanks to the bed slats sitting in runners.

Storage

The panoramic roof window means there are no roof lockers across the front wall, but the lockers on either side compensate by being big and roomy. The TV aerial cuts the available hanging space in the half-height wardrobe, but there's still enough room for a couple's clothing. There are six roof lockers above the fixed beds, although those on the nearside are smaller to allow space for a wall mirror.
Both rear bed boxes are huge and you can get into the nearside one from outside. At the front, only the nearside seat bed box has storage space – the offside one houses the Alde boiler, inboard water tank and various plumbing controls.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO1481kg
Payload154kg
MTPLM1635kg
Interior length5.6m
Shipping length7.32m
Width2.31m
Height2.67m
Awning size998cm

Verdict

The Conqueror 565 is Swift’s luxury take on the twin single-bed layout with full-width rear washroom. Clever use of space, and plenty of practical kit, mean you get a very useable caravan on a single-axle chassis.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The 565 cuts a contemporary dash, outside and in
  • For 2012, all Conquerors have much-improved specification including the Al-Ko ATC stability system, plus a 10-year body warranty.

Cons

  • Many areas feel as though they have been squeezed to get them into a single-axle caravan, particularly the washroom and the kitchen, which is short on workspace.
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