There’s no denying that if you were touring with this caravan, you’d certainly be doing it in style. It’s an imposing looking thing, but in a good way.
However, it’s still flawed. Kitchen space is compromised perhaps a little too much given the size of van, and it’s a squeeze around the base of the bed, especially when it’s extended. On the one hand, the attention to detail is great (speakers in the washroom, anyone?), but then small things also let it down. The main table storage is poor and the lack of heating in the washroom could be inadequate. Those flaws aside, it’s still one heck of a caravan.
Island bed, high equipment levels and spacious luxury
High weight, poor washroom access and lack of kitchen work surface
With their distinctive silver sides, striking graphics and black sunroof surrounds, all based around a smart bodyshell, Swift’s Conquerors are bang up to date aesthetically. This continues inside with a good blend of traditional and modern, and you’ll have more bells and whistles than you can ring or blow. With an MTPLM of 1804kg, a very hefty tow car will be needed to pull one of these giants, though.
Fixed-bed, end-washroom caravans are currently the most popular layouts on the market. But there are compromises: twin single beds are, well, singles, and nearside doubles require the person next to the wall having to climb over their partner (and disturb them) for night-time access to the washroom. The transverse island bed attempts to address both these issues. Let’s see how it works in practice.
Pitching & Setting-up
Al-Ko running gear with an AKS 3004 stabilser, the ATC anti-snaking system, buttonless handbrake, wheel-locks, side-lift jack and spare wheel are all standard items. Access to the heavy duty corner steadies is excellent, and the rear ones have guide tubes. The huge front locker has a lid which is held up by a pair of gas struts.
On the nearside, you’ll find a gas BBQ point, mains socket and hatches giving under-bunk access and, further back, the bed. Moving to the offside, water inlets are towards the front (including the feed for the on-board tank), and there’s a shower point, with the battery/mains locker just to the rear. The waste water outlets are behind the offside wheels. The main electrical controls are above the caravan door, so are readily accessible.
The lounge area of the Conqueror 645 actually feels more spacious than its dimensions would suggest. This could be down to the amount of light (natural and artificial) that floods in, but whatever the reason it’s certainly a very comfortable place to entertain a couple of guests.
The only TV point for the lounge is on the unit to the rear of the entrance door. A pair of smart roof-mounted speakers for the CD/radio directs the sound where you can hear it. When it comes to meal times, the slide-out occasional table will be adequate for most couples. That’s good because the main table is stored in the wardrobe and has to be lifted over a lip to get it out.
Boasting all the equipment a practised chef could ever want is probably the best way to describe the 645’s kitchen – there are even two cutlery drawers. The microwave is 1.47m from the floor, and there’s a dual-fuel hob with separate grill and oven. The huge 190-litre fridge/freezer is opposite the main kitchen unit, within easy reach. An Omnivent helps to get rid of unwanted smells, and a couple of sensibly placed mains sockets complete the specification.
When it’s dark, the back-lit panel behind the kitchen unit creates a really pleasing ambience, especially when coupled with the plethora of other lighting. Only a real lack of work surface lets the kitchen down. A removable drainer and an extension flap help a little.
Listening to the CD/radio through the pair of roof-mounted speakers whilst carrying out ablutions gives an indication of the opulence (and the attention to detail) of this caravan. A bi-fold door gives access to the fully lined shower cubicle that also has a useful hanging rail for wet towels and clothes.
There are plenty of cupboards and shelves for all your toiletries and other nick-nacks. A heated towel rail provides all the heating for the washroom. It’s only large enough to dry a hand towel, and we question whether it alone will be enough to warm the room adequately; experience of this type of heating used in isolation suggests it will struggle. Plenty of artificial lighting, including a back-lit mirror, completes the washroom.
During the day, the fixed bed can be shortened by 0.19m to give better access to the washroom. That’s no bad thing, because there’s still only 0.46m in which to squeeze past. That might sound adequate, but the Alde heating system’s pipes are boxed in at floor level and eat into this space.
When extended, the bed measures 1.85m x 1.32m and is certainly very comfortable, but that only leaves 0.27m in which to get to the toilet (and doesn’t take into account those Alde pipes or overhanging bedding). Again there’s plenty of lighting, and also shelves on which to put the morning cuppa. The front converts to a double (2.06m x 1.12m) or a pair of singles (each 1.56m x 0.71m).
If you were to use all the available storage in this caravan, it would probably collapse on its wheels – to say nothing of exceeding its MTPLM by a huge margin! This is in no way casting aspersions on Swift’s build quality, though: it’s just that there are cupboards and drawers everywhere you look.
For example, in the bed area alone, there are his’n’hers wardrobes, with drawers beneath the larger one and a shelved cupboard under the other. There are two roof-mounted lockers, and around the unit at the base of the bed there are shelves concealed behind an opening mirror, with another cupboard beneath.
That’s without taking into account the storage available under the fixed bed. Although the front offside seat box is lost to the on-board water tank, the nearside one is completely empty.
|Shipping Length||7.99 m|