Niall Hampton
Editor

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Exciting changes for 2018's Conqueror line-up of Swift caravans mean they're now lighter and wider – join us for a look inside the baby of the range

Overview

Time was when Conqueror was the portfolio-topping range from Swift caravans.

That all ended with the launch of Elegance in 2014 and since then it’s fair to say that Conqueror has received a few changes, which themselves have seen changes.

For 2018, further tweaks have been unveiled, leading with the move to a wider but lighter bodyshell, plus a better kit list.

Conqueror charges into 2018 with seven models – four single-axles, and three twin-axles – with the 480 on test here providing the only non-fixed-bed floorplan.

With the classic parallel lounge and end washroom layout, it’s Conqueror’s only pitch to couples who consider fixed beds to be a waste of space.

And to see other Swift caravans for sale, click here.

Pitching and setting up

With a shipping length of around 6.5m, the two-berth Swift Conqueror 480 will be a straightforward van to tow and pitch.

And the latter task will be even easier, with the new rear-view camera.

The Al-Ko chassis comes with a buttonless handbrake, the ATC anti-snaking system and heavy-duty corner steadies.

Swift’s SMART Plus bodyshell is now preferred, instead of last season’s heavier SMART HT, and the new Conqueror is 2cm wider than last season’s van.

Services connect on the offside, with the high-spec toys – barbecue point and mains socket – on the nearside.

Entering via a one-piece door, the control panel for Swift Command – now with added Command Tracker functionality (subscription extra) – sits up above it.

Lounge

Although the lounge gangway is more narrow than that of the kitchen, there’s still a really spacious feel.

Off-white features prominently, in the ‘Graceland’ soft furnishings and plastic mouldings around the sunroof and rooflight, with aubergine curtains and scatter cushions adding a pleasing dash of colour.

Gloss-faced overhead lockers in Swift’s ubiquitous ‘Aralie Sen’ wood grain look the part – not surprising as they’re supplied by Technoform in Italy.

Natural daylight is not in short supply in the Swift Conqueror 480’s lounge, with seven windows including a wider sunroof for 2018.

Artificial illumination is called up via ambient over-locker lighting, four spotlights and corner lights that call to mind grabhandles.

Thanks to a whopping nearside dresser, the 480 can accommodate a large flatscreen TV, for which all the necessary connections are provided.

Bizarrely, for a van that costs from £23,735, no USB sockets are provided.

Kitchen

With an internal length of around 5m, the 480’s offside compact galley puts everything close at hand.

The low-profile granite-effect Fenix NTM worktop looks decidedly upmarket, and together with an illuminated splashback and cream-faced lockers, sets the aesthetic agenda.

Equipment includes a Dometic cooker with separate oven and grill, and a space-efficient ‘skinny’ fridge mounted at a very agreeable height (the same can’t be said about the microwave, though, which perches between the kitchen’s two overhead lockers).

A round sink and mixer tap lay down more style markers for the 480’s galley, with practicality points awarded for the double mains sockets rotated through 90 degrees to nullify cable foul.

Task lighting is provided by a striplight on the underside of the overhead lockers, with three spotlights looking down from just under the ceiling.

Washroom

As it provides the only private area in the van for dressing, the Conqueror 480’s end washroom needs to major on space.

And it certainly fulfils this criterion, with a centrally positioned door providing plenty of room to stand around the vanity unit, which features a large sink and half-length mirror.

A big shower compartment sits to the right, in the nearside rear corner, and is formed from a moulded plastic pod that stops close to head height, where it meets wallboard, so it’ll be best to keep the EcoCamel Orbit showerhead pointing down.

The Swift’s shower is plumbed into a backlit black riser, which you would reasonably expect to see at this price point.

A swivel loo sits at the opposite end of the washroom, under a frosted window.

Next to that is an Alde radiator that will keep this area warm and toasty.

Beds

The parallel lounge in this Swift caravan makes up into a spacious double bed (2.00m x 1.78m) by using pull-out slats. Then it’s just a case of moving the scatter cushions and rearranging the seat cushions.

The cast foam seat cushions and backs form a comfortable sleeping surface and feel like they’ll last well.

The four lounge spotlights mean there’s a place to read whichever side you decide to sleep on.

Fans of the moving image will welcome the deep nearside dresser which will make finding the ideal TV viewing angle from the bed very straightforward.

If you’d rather use the sofas as singles, that on the nearside measures 1.88m x 0.67m, while the offside bed is 1.78m x 0.67m.

Storage

Eight overhead lockers feature in the lounge of the 2018 Swift Conqueror 480, with another two in the kitchen, so a couple will find plenty of places to stow lighter items.

There are large cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and under the dresser, and the washroom’s large wardrobe has a half-length drop with three large shelves – six if you count under the rail and the floor.

Other storage highlights include two large slide-out racks in the kitchen, and space in the nearside lounge seat base that can be accessed from outside the van via a hatch.

Technical specs

Berth2
MiRO1304kg
Payload126kg
MTPLM1430kg
Interior length4.98m
Shipping length6.59m
Width2.28m
Height2.59m
Awning size904cm

Verdict

Reducing weight but increasing the overall width is a good trade-off for 2018’s Conqueror, and the 480 carries a tried-and-tested layout that works well.

Adding a selection of new kit including a rear-view camera and a wider sunroof should prove popular with well-heeled touring couples who will settle for nothing less than alloy wheels, Alde heating, a solar panel and a TV aerial.

The only odd omission is USB sockets. Come on, Swift – it’s 2017!

Conclusion

Pros

  • Its wide-open aspect gives a great feeling of space
  • We like its lighter weight
  • It's a popular, tried-and-tested floorplan
  • It has a huge TV-accommodating nearside dresser
  • A rear-view camera is a useful addition

Cons

  • There's no clean-sweep interior refresh to go with the new bodyshell
  • No USB sockets are fitted
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