Since the Basecamp launched in 2016, new versions have emerged, with different numbers of berths, but the same package of rugged good looks and units that fold to leave room for bikes. The latest incarnation, the Swift Basecamp 3, sports a more or less fixed bed for the first time.

We visited Stewart Longton Caravans, in Chorley, Lancashire, to take a look at the tourer that was shortlisted three times at the Practical Caravan Awards 2023.

Pitch and set-up

Swift, who you can find out more about in our best caravan manufacturer guide, has designed the Basecamp to look striking on the road, and with its blue decals, alloys and GRP mouldings, it certainly does.

Unusually, you enter through a door at the back, but that makes it easier to load bicycles inside. Basecamp customers can also buy a Vango airbeam porch awning that is designed to fit over the back.

Entrance door to Basecamp 3
Entrance door is at the back of the van

The Basecamp comes with conventional corner steadies, and an outside barbecue point (see our caravan barbecue guide if you’re looking for one), mains socket and cold-water shower point. There is a gas bottle locker up front. But there are no external locker doors, mainly because there are no underseat areas providing those lockers inside.


The Swift Basecamp 3 is so called because it can sleep three people, but it’s likely only two would want to spend much time inside during the day. In that case, the dinette to the left of the door would be perfectly comfortable.

The large window helps to compensate for the dinette not being up at the front, by the even bigger central window. The area is well lit at night, with an LED.

Pedestal table
Pedestal table stands between dinette seats to accommodate two at mealtimes

The pedestal table, stored in the kitchen, fits between the seats to accommodate two at mealtimes. A third person might have to eat sitting on the bed at the front.

That might be why Swift has included a much larger foldaway table, with its own storage slot in the wardrobe. This can be used outside or in an awning.

There are TV sockets above the fridge, in front of the side dinette, although from this position, the TV would be difficult to view. The assumption might be that active types buying this type of caravan don’t want to watch that much television, although if you want the option to and need a set, our best caravan TV guide is the place to look.


With its flush-fitting hob and black work surface, the kitchen is very stylish. It has a three-burner hob, too, and the sink is big. Folding out the extension requires a little manoeuvring with the mattress, but it’s worth doing, because with this and the space above the fridge, the worktop is as good as in any conventionally sized caravan.

Basecamp 3 kitchen
Stylish kitchen has flush-fitting hob set into smart black worktop

You don’t get a microwave, however, and only a combined oven and grill, while your caravan kettle or toaster would have to go above the fridge, where the two sockets are located.


The washroom has a marble-effect wall lining. The shower shares space with the rest of the washroom, and there is only one plughole, but you get a separate showerhead. The basin is a good size, with a big mirror. Headroom is fine throughout. You get a roof vent and a heating vent.

Beds in the Swift Basecamp 3

The fixed bed folds to make room for bikes, and when down, makes a comfortable double. You might be tempted to use it as a daybed, because of the great view through the window.

At night, two spots add to the ambient lighting. There is also a cubbyhole with two USBs – a great place to charge your phone. In addition, you get a USB in each of the spotlights and two more by the door.

The single bed is made up by sliding out slatted platforms from under the seats. At 5ft 9in, it’s really for shorter adults and kids.

Storage in the Swift Basecamp 3

Both bed and dinette fold to leave space for three bikes, complete with holds – although that does mean there’s no underseat storage. Along the top of the nearside, however, there are overhead lockers with cleverly designed fabric baskets. These can be zipped open or removed for loading. There are also two corner shelves. The wardrobe houses the table, but still has plenty of hanging space.

Dinette seating folded up
Fold up the dinette seating for even more storage space

The kitchen has two overhead lockers, a double cupboard with two pull-out shelves, another drawer and a pan locker. The washroom has one overhead locker. The gas bottle locker up front is also roomy.

That said, with three bikes on board, you’ll need to keep an eye on your weight, because the payload is only 126kg.

If you have a suitable tow car, you could go for the weight plate upgrade that is an optional extra – at just £50, we think this is well worth it.


We shortlisted the Basecamp 3 for our best caravan for couples category at our 2023 Awards because we think it makes a great living space for an active couple. A third person in here full-time might feel a bit short-changed – you’d potentially need an awning with furniture for additional space when you’re relaxing on site.

However, the fixed bed is a marked improvement, and the kitchen and washroom are far more accommodating than you’d find in many other models aimed at the active market.

  • Not sure what to take on tour with you? Our caravan essentials guide talks you through the ones that will make a real difference to your touring experience.

What we like

  • Good kitchen workspace, great lighting, comfortable bed, loads of USBs

What we don’t like

  • Payload a bit restrictive, living space rather limited for three people

Technical spec

  • Price: £25,495
  • Berths: 3
  • MiRO: 1020kg
  • Payload: 126kg
  • MTPLM: 1146kg
  • Interior length: 3.91m
  • Shipping length: 5.59m
  • Overall width: 2.28m

Spec list

  • Al-Ko chassis
  • Alloy wheels
  • Exterior mains socket
  • Cold-water shower point
  • BBQ point
  • Thetford combined oven and grill
  • 83-litre fridge
  • Thetford toilet
  • Ecocamel Jetstorm showerhead
  • Swift Command control system
  • DAB/FM radio
  • Underfloor Whale heating
  • Four mains sockets
  • Six USBs
  • Fold-down double: 1.92 x 1.32m
  • Rear single: 1.77 x 0.63m

Or you could try:

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