Review: Swift Basecamp 4

If you’re into getting off the beaten track and looking for a leisure vehicle that boasts both comfort and style, look no further than the new Swift Basecamp, writes Peta Stavelli 

Fresh off the Cook Strait ferry, we wound our way to Plimmerton in the pouring rain. The conditions were not ideal for an outdoor photo shoot, but the day brightened considerably as soon as the Swift Basecamp 4 came into sight.

The Basecamp is the type of recreational vehicle that immediately puts a smile on your face. It has adventure and fun times for the whole family written all over it. Externally, you see a compact, easy-to-tow vehicle that gives off an air of solidity. Inside, it’s a different story. Sure, it’s compact, but you can very quickly see that what it lacks in size it makes up for in versatility and functionality. The copilot – an engineer by trade – immediately called it a multi-tool. And as I went through the features of the Swift Basecamp 4, I quickly came to see exactly what he meant. This is the RV equivalent of a Swiss army knife.

The Basecamp has a surprisingly spacious and light-filled interior

Real-time Tardis

Dr Who fans will know exactly what I mean when I refer to the Basecamp as the Tardis, but even if you’re not a fan of the time-travelling doctor, you’ll likely be familiar with the simile. The Tardis, a telephone box on the outside and a galactic spaceship on the inside, has a lot in common with this vehicle. It is certainly not a case of what you see, you get. In this instance, you get a great deal of bang for your buck out of what looks from the outside to be a little spaceship. It’s actually better described as a pocket rocket. 

It’s solid, functional and just a little bit racy

As we go through the features, I begin to see that what it lacks in size, it makes up for with function – and then some. Seating converts to bike racks; a dining area converts to a bed, or bunks complete with a privacy curtain, if you prefer; the list goes on. This is a vehicle you can customise to suit your needs when you reach your own (base) camp. And yet, as flexible as the options are in this functional vehicle, the fixed items, like the stove, sink, storage, bench space and bathroom are not only extremely well-executed, but more than ample for a comfortable get away. 


The forward lounge converts easily to a double bed

Soft on the inside

Form meets function head on in this versatile little vehicle, which allows you to take your toys as well as your home comforts with you when you head off-road. The first point of difference to most RVs is the wide rear entry door. Very smart thinking. I loved that the overhead storage came in the form of four deep canvas totes, or baskets. Each traveller can take his or hers away to fill at source and return to stow away for the trip. Of course, there’s plenty of storage overall, including a full-sized pantry. The open kitchen comprises a round sink, an oven grill with three stove-top elements, and an 83-litre under-bench ‘fridge. Extra bench space is provided with a flip-up. And – surprise! There’s also a second, full-sized table hidden in the pantry for when you have a full complement of passengers, and if the dinette, which converts to bunks, does not suffice. Also hidden away in the aforesaid pantry is a ladder for when the double bunks have been deployed. The dinette/ bunk area would be perfect for one or two, and a great little office space for when you’re home on the road. 

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A full and workable kitchen is yet another surprise find

Contemporary connectivity has been taken into account (and very seriously) in the Basecamp. There are charging points and power plugs within reach, no matter where you are in the vehicle. Another high point is the bathroom. It has a really smart design and is not at all cramped, despite the compact nature of the overall size of the Basecamp. Of course, all lights are LED and if you’re off-grid, a 100 watt streamlined solar panel should top your power up nicely. 

Rear door entry for all your bikes and bits makes perfect sense

Inside out

Internally and externally, the no-nonsense design of the Swift Basecamp leaves little to be desired. It’s solid, functional and just a little bit racy. The external graphics lend it the stylish air, while the rest of the design offers a solid assurance, underpinned by Swift’s Smart construction GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) construction method; the AL-KO galvanised steel chassis and Euro-axle. RV Direct provides gas certification and electrical WOF, as well as a new three-year vehicle WOF and 12-month registration. You will l eave their lot with a full 9kg gas bottle, and there is also room for a second one to be stowed away. The new deep-cycle battery is 120ah and you’ll also have roll away tanks for your fresh and grey water. Underfloor heating and gas cooking, complete with grade-three thermal insulation ensure the off-grid comforts this compact traveller affords. Plus there’s a generous zip on the awning tent available as an added extra to increase your floor space. Smart thinking. 

You will not feel cramped in the bathroom, either

In summary

If you’re tired of the tent or over the pop-up camper, the Swift-Basecamp is the upgrade you could be looking for. It’s small enough to tow with the average family car, easy to store when not in use, and ready to rumble when you are keen for a new adventure. This nifty little traveller tells you that you can take it all, and have it all when you reach your own base camp. 

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Nifty tote baskets for all four passengers make for easy packing and unpacking

The Swift Basecamp offers two-, three-and four-berth models. If you’re looking for fun for the whole family and a place to stash all of your toys as you get underway, you might want to get onboard with this cute (and capacious) little camper. 

FLOORPLAN Swift Basecamp 4

 

SPECIFICATIONS 
MAKE & MODEL:Swift Basecamp 4
CHASSIS:AL-KO
BERTHS:4
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT:5.59m/2.28m/1.95m
FRESH/GREY WATER:51/48
UNLADED MASS (TARE):1030kg
PAYLOAD:420kg
PRICE:$64,995

 

 

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