Swift Group’s new hi-tech flagship caravan ranges
Swift Group is proud to announce the most exciting breakthrough in caravan construction since their inception in the 1960’s, with two stunning new flagship caravan ranges, the Swift Elegance and Sterling Continental, which will be launched at the Caravan & Camping Show, NEC, 18th-23rd February 2014. The new ranges have been in research and development for five years and take the recently launched SMART intelligent construction system to a new level with the use of hi-tech materials, designated as SMART HT. The exterior styling is totally new as is the internal styling, both of which offer an exciting array of new features.
Such is the advance in design and construction many elements have been filed with the UK patent office.
SMART HT Intelligent construction system
SMART HT is the product of a challenge set to the design team at the Swift Group to take all the knowledge gathered over many years, strip down every aspect of caravan design and look afresh at caravan construction using the best modern materials available. The result is a strong construction system that is completely timberless, including the floor, and fully engineered to make it consistent, reliable and repeatable time after time to deliver exceptionally high quality. The SMART HT system uses GRP for the exterior and interior side walls and roof to produce a balanced panel with excellent durability and impact resistance. Like SMART, ‘PURe’ blocks are sealed within the insulated core of the panels in strategic positions where fixing strength is required and all components are CNC machined (computer numerically controlled) to provide accuracy and consistency time after time to give a high quality engineered product.
On the inside, Swift are one of the first UK manufacturers to bond a decorative paper to GRP as part of the interior panel production to provide an appealing interior finish. The front and rear panels have been designed using the aid of Computational Fluid Dynamics to help shape the bodyshell for better fuel consumption and safer towing, resulting in the most stylish, aerodynamic exterior yet. A massive drag saving of nearly 20% has been achieved over the Conqueror/Elite body shell which was already far ahead of the competition.
The biggest advance in caravan construction, since they were first made in the 1960’s, can be found in the completely timberless floor construction. It uses unique materials and specially developed processes and laminating solutions, the combination of which has been filed for patent protection. The floor is a 5 layer sandwich with insulating Styrofoam at the core, clad with a rigid honey comb matrix that is incredibly strong and lightweight. This is then all covered in GRP with a special woven glass structure that gives the whole floor a tough, impervious finish.
The result is a composite floor that is so strong it has been tested to carry over 8 tons or the equivalent of 100 people. All the exterior panels including the floor, front and rear panels are locked into a patent pending aluminium and SRIM corner jointing system which gives an enormous amount of strength and rigidity to the structure. The panels are secured firmly in place using a bonded system that uses such a strong adhesive, the number of mechanical fixings required are significantly reduced which all contributes to important weight savings.
The bonding system was chosen after extensive testing and the adhesive and sealants used were chosen to meet Swift’s exact requirements. The SRIM corner structure technology has been used in cars such as Lotus and Aston Martin and has enabled the Swift designers to add form in to the front and rear body panels and increase the internal packing space by 106mm. A breakthrough patent pending cold bridge, located within the aluminium side framing, prevents the internal surface from cooling preventing the formation of condensation.
Swift believes the cold bridge, combined with a fully timberless body shell which will not degrade, delivers the best caravan construction in the UK to combat water ingress. Inside, even the furniture construction has been re-engineered and is made from thicker composite panels some with a foam core that is light yet incredibly strong. Again the engineering allows for bespoke fitting and accuracy giving consistency time after time to give a high quality product. New furniture fixings have also been developed to suit the new construction, which are the strongest fixings Swift has ever made. Cast foam bedding gives greater durability and superior comfort.
With over five years in development, numerous prototypes have been made and tested around the Millbrook test track to test all aspects of durability. The new technology has also allowed more specification to be added whilst keeping weights very similar to current Conqueror and Elite models.
Nick page, Swift Group Commercial Director commented, ‘We have spent over five years carefully researching materials and construction methods to ensure the new SMART HT construction system provides that best engineered caravans Swift has ever made. Our customers can be confident that by taking this time, and learning from industry mistakes we are confident SMART HT is superior to any construction system currently on the market.’
Exterior features and styling
The rounded corner panels, completely new full GRP front with windows that are flush to the body and curved one piece rear panel give the new Swift Elegance and Sterling Continental ranges a sleek silhouette that exudes quality. Swift models have burgundy and silver graphics and Sterling models have black and cobalt blue graphics on the sleek white GRP sides. Everything is flush fitting, from the exterior and service doors, to all the body connections including the streamlined awning channel which helps air flow slip over the body and reduce turbulence that causes drag.
A redesigned skirting system is surface mounted and impact resistant and the exterior door has a handy magnetic stay. All exterior side locks have convenient one key operation. LED front marker lights and exclusive LED rear light clusters, sealed against water ingress, follow the trends of today’s modern cars. The key fob operated LED awning light incorporates a red flashing LED to indicate when the alarm is activated. The front panoramic sunroof is wider and the gas locker door has a single handle operated three point locking system for easy of use and improved security.
Alloy wheels are an exclusive Swift Group design with a spoke pattern called ‘Scorpion’ and the step on graphite hitch and lower valance give a more sporty appearance. High specification features like 40W solar panel, BBQ point, shower point, heavy duty corner steadies, alarm, Thatcham approved TRACKER Retrieve, carrier mounted spare wheel and Status 550 TV aerial all come as standard.
Interior features and styling
Thanks to the new construction system the useable interior space is increased without adding to the external dimensions. This is especially notable in the front bed area. The lightweight, front bolsters do not have to be stored when the bed is made up allowing them to double as a headboard without impacting on the bed length.
Cast foam seating cushions offer superior comfort. Thermoform plastic vent boards with a chimney effect are more efficient and aesthetically pleasing and they have also been beveled back to allow a better backrest cushion angle. Restyled lockers have a soft close action on the lower doors as do the drawers. All catches are chrome push button for secure storage. The chrome accent is also taken through the light switches and sockets.
Swift models have rich gloss ‘Mali Acacia’ upper locker doors and accenting matt white kitchen doors. The Loretta furnishing scheme creates a warm welcoming feeling, teaming woven cream and ribbed brown bedding fabric with natural bronze tones of the leaf design feature fabric. Sterling models have a modern style with leather effect vinyl upper locker doors with a smoked oak effect gloss woodgrain insert and matt black kitchen doors .The Ronda furnishing scheme has a modern edge with textural contrast between ribbed, embellished and flat fabrics. A sophisticated contrast of strong and subtle neutral tones is brought to life with accents of pale metallic gold. Both ranges have the option of a part cream leather and ‘Impala’ furnishing scheme. ‘ Impala’ offers exceptional stain resistance and is still exclusive to Swift Group. Lighting throughout is low energy LED with dimmable spot lights. New LED front pillar lights and down lighting in the ceiling provides a stunning effect. The restyled kitchen area has a HI-MACS® natural acrylic stone solid work surface with a fold down extension flap and stainless steel underslung sink with LED lit acrylic splashback. Features such as a microwave, dual fuel hob, omnivent and additional cutlery draw come as standard. A stylish cocktail cabinet has see through doors, glass and bottle holders, mirror and LED lighting.
To cater for the hi-tech world we all live in, the front binnacle now has a USB socket and a jack plug audio link to the radio in addition to 230V sockets. A handy spirit level also helps assist with leveling of the caravan. Fixed bed models have a deep padded headboard and still exclusive to the Swift Group, is the fitting of a ‘Duvalay Duvalite’ mattress as standard. The Alde radiator central heating now comes with domestic chrome towel radiators in all washrooms as standard and a new re-designed bi-fold shower door which slides on tracks for improved use and can be locked down for transit. The Ecocamel shower head provides a powerful shower and a handy hanging rail clips down from the shower ceiling. Wardrobe doors on some models now have a space saving sliding action and ceiling coving provides a nice finishing touch, whilst concealing cables.