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Are swift’s a better caravan?


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The mrs and I did a round trip yesterday of nearly 200 miles ( to drop daughter back to her mother) and to pass time we did some caravan spotting. ( sad I know). It seemed to us that the most popular van is the swift (80% of vans we passed)

 

So now the mrs is wondering why this is. So thought I’d ask on here. 
 

I’ve told her no matter what she can’t have a new van for few years as ours is still good 😊

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To answer the thread title-NO!

But that's my opinion however, I did ask my independent service workshop what vans had the least amount of problems.

He said that there used to be one or two that stood out but now-they are all as bad as each other!

 

As for the vans you have seen, while it varies its quite common for the most prevalent vans we see when travelling to be Baileys.

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37 minutes ago, James749 said:

The mrs and I did a round trip yesterday of nearly 200 miles ( to drop daughter back to her mother) and to pass time we did some caravan spotting. ( sad I know). It seemed to us that the most popular van is the swift (80% of vans we passed)

 

So now the mrs is wondering why this is. So thought I’d ask on here. 
 

I’ve told her no matter what she can’t have a new van for few years as ours is still good 😊


All down to price of van average I believe 

The most popular van I see at sites and road is Bailey - I don’t have one but good vans 

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Swift Group are the UKs biggest caravan manufacturer, so plenty of people clearly think that they are the best.

Others may disagree.

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25 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Swift Group are the UKs biggest caravan manufacturer, so plenty of people clearly think that they are the best.

Others may disagree.

 

makes sense if they are biggest manufacture inUK 

29 minutes ago, Buck5555 said:


All down to price of van average I believe 

The most popular van I see at sites and road is Bailey - I don’t have one but good vans 


Im happy with our old Bailey to be honest. 

Must just be us seeing swift’s lol. 

 

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Swift and Bailey have by far the largest sales in this country although I think in caravans Bailey sell slightly more. Given these two firms dominance of the market they will appear far more frequently and they now have only two competitors Elddis/Compass and Coachman with largish sales. If you check the magazines customer surveys though, both firms come out as average. 

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We see more Swifts than any other, but then they’ve a strong dealer presence in the north west.

 

I’m not keep on their layouts, so wouldn’t consider one, but would have thought they will be no better or worse than other makes, they’re all on the same AL-KO chassis.

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We have had six Swift's, two Elddis and one Coachman, out of them all I prefer Swift.  Personally I prefer their construction methods and after looking round various other models I think the fit & finish of Swift are better than others, but we all have our own view on things.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Quantity does not necessarily equate to quality. IMO with few exceptions, there is little to choose regarding build quality between the various makes of caravans currently available.

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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4 minutes ago, Gordon said:

Quantity does not necessarily equate to quality. IMO with few exceptions, there is little to choose regarding build quality between the various makes of caravans currently available.

Undoubtedly true, although lots of buyers who are willing to buy again suggests that they are not rubbish.

Of course excellent products often fail the popularity stakes for no apparent reason.

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Perception is formed on whatever we see before us.  Back in the late 2000's we were looking to replace our (awful) 2007 Elddis Avante 540 with something else, back then caravan construction was pretty much the same throughout so choice came down to layout and fit/finish.  Our local dealer is a Bailey and Swift dealer, looking around the various Bailey demonstrators saw warped shower cubicles, very messy sealant and a general "out of alignment" with the internal fixtures, one even had mis-aligned graphics on the outside.  The Swift demonstrators were much better and we plumped for a 2010 Swift Charisma, changed to a 2012 Sterling Eccles Sport 554 after a surprise windfall, then the manufacturers got competitive on construction methods.  I personally prefer the Swift method and we changed several times again for various reasons that weren't driven by quality issues.

 

Some folks get into a rut with one manufacturer/supplier in all areas of life, I have no particular allegiance to Swift other than (for me) they tick all of my boxes.  Whenever we change I always look around at others, but (so far) I have kept coming back to Swift.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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My first Compass and happy with the van, the layout suits us, and after 6 weeks of holidays so far we've found no apparent issues apart from the pump, so van quality seems good.  The dealer is a 20 minute drive away so would probably go with the same brand if we bought new again unless they changed their layouts.

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It is a bit like saying Fords are the best car as there are more on the road. Not at all, more dealers, keen prices ,people liking a certain colour design etc mean it really has nothing to do with quality. Fords are good cars of course!

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1 hour ago, Jezzerb said:

It is a bit like saying Fords are the best car as there are more on the road. Not at all, more dealers, keen prices ,people liking a certain colour design etc mean it really has nothing to do with quality. Fords are good cars of course!

But it does explain why you won't see many Wartburg, Reliant or Rover cars around. To name but three.

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My swift has no wood in the roof sides or floor, its worth buying just to avoid ingress which plagued my last Bailey with a rotting floor (a Unicorn).

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I’ve owned three Swifts, a Hymer and a Bailey.

The Hymer was the best by a million miles but I am very happy with our current Swift and would gladly buy another.

After four years I have had zero faults with it.

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Been `vanning for well over 30 years ago, and bought our first Swift in 2016. Loved the layout and everything about it appeared just what we wanted. The SMART construction appeared to be the way ahead, so we took the plunge. Sadly, the van has had little use, but we`ve managed to have trims falling off, doors being poorly aligned and coming open in transit depositing the contents of the cupboards on the floor, locker fronts dropping off, the oven continually trying to make an escape due to pathetic little retaining screws, and the kitchen sink having a drainage pipe that is too short (falls off in transit, then deposits the sink contents into the floor soaking the carpets when the plug is removed) which apparently is quite common. 

The TV aerial packed up after 4 months ( I know it`s a `bought-in` product) but we were on holiday so I stripped it down (they say you can`t because it`s sealed) and repaired it. Oh, and it needed new tyres at two years old due to the cheap junk fitted as new which was paid for by Swift, but even so......

Sadly, due to illness one service was missed (which has invalidated my warranty) and a badly fitted awning rail capping  resulted in it lifting clear of the roof so the rainwater was channelled into the van rather than off it. So a £20K van which has only been used three times a year had landed me with a bill the wrong side of £2K to repair.

 

So, back to the O.P`s question "Are Swifts a better caravan?"...........

 

Give me few minutes to ponder.......

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Like all “Which are best” type questions the majority of people (but not all) will say what they currently own (be that a caravan, car or mobile phone etc) is the best. And possibly tell a tale of something they have owned in the past being awful. 

 

There are horror stories doing the rounds for most makes of caravan failing in some way. But don’t lose sight of the fact that most caravan owners are pretty happy with what they have, so don’t shout about it. But those who have had issues are more than happy to tell everyone else. 

 

I have no intention of identifying what caravan I have (and am very happy with), but if anyone is really interested it’s shown in my profile. 

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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3 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Like all “Which are best” type questions the majority of people (but not all) will say what they currently own (be that a caravan, car or mobile phone etc) is the best. And possibly tell a tale of something they have owned in the past being awful. 

 

There are horror stories doing the rounds for most makes of caravan failing in some way. But don’t lose sight of the fact that most caravan owners are pretty happy with what they have, so don’t shout about it. But those who have had issues are more than happy to tell everyone else. 

 

I have no intention of identifying what caravan I have (and am very happy with), but if anyone is really interested it’s shown in my profile. 

This is exactly correct , when people say which is best thing . 

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I started caravanning with a Compass Omega before moving onto an Elddis Super Sirocco each owned for several years. Neither were faultless but any faults were minor and most probably related to reasonable age related failure as much as anything. Nothing in either van that would have me decrying the manufacturer, so no horror stories to tell here. Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've also always been very careful and particular in selecting the specific van I purchase.

Finally after much searching and comparison I invested in my first new van, a Knaus Starclass. This isn't without fault - still trying to resolve some 12v issues. But the overall impression, particularly the strength and quality of construction, is very favourable and appeared to me better than everything else we considered. I look forward to years of happy use, Covid permitting.

Personally I'd be surprised if any manufacturer consistently supplies a noticeably poor product, they wouldn't last long if that were the case. Possibly some makes rate overall slightly better than others but there won't be a lot in it, and variances between individual vans is possibly more significant, particularly if 2nd hand. History of use and maintenance are more important than the badge on the front. You will find advocates and critics of all makes but there will inevitably nearly always be instances of bad individual vans of whatever make.

 

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Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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When we decided to buy our current van we narrowed it down to two which were the Swift we still own and the Unicorn Cartagena. Wife liked the Unicorn interior slightly more than the Conqueror but in the flesh neither of us liked the big window and hideous graphics. No front locker was another minus point. Nail in the coffin was the rain already leaking into the demonstrator van through the roof strap. 
We’ve been pleased with the Swift overall. It’s needed a few sessions with the screwdriver from time to time but nothing has broken or fallen off. The panoramic roof was replaced under warranty when it distorted with the sun on it and the blind closed.  I’m glad we shied away from the Bailey because since then I’ve been amazed how many people you chat to on site have had water ingress problems with their Baileys  with the AluTec system. Styling is still decidedly off in my eyes so wouldn’t consider one if we change our van. Our next caravan will probably be a motorhome anyway. 

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In answer to the original question.........

 

Have a read of this Recent CT thread  Just the last few pages should be enough!! 

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 31/10/2020 at 11:34, Dave Capiro owner said:

 

 

I’m not keep on their layouts, so wouldn’t consider one, but would have thought they will be no better or worse than other makes, they’re all on the same AL-KO chassis.

 

So if I put a scabby old shed on an AL-KO chassis it will be as good as a Bai - Oh never mind. :D

 

I have just bought a 2014 Swift Challenger and what a change to the 2 x Lunar, 2 x Coachman and Freedom 1st clas Jetstream. It tows well - looks good - luxurious interior and the best thing is that it does not leak, rust, get like an icebox  and is all round great. I hope I can say this again in a couple of years time.

 

 

 

 

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I did a year's research before opting for a Swift as my first caravan and putting the money down.  Firstly, it was the layout of that particular caravan which worked best for me.  Additionally, Swift agreed to upgrades on my upholstery and fittings because I couldn't obtain the layout in one of their more expensive vans.  In the process of investigating, I ended up getting to know an independent van designer.  He told me that the main Swift build process is one of the best, but that I should always carry glue and a screwdriver as the finishing off process can leave you with tiny niggles.  His view was to aim for layout first - it can be the best build in the world but if a door is missing where you want it, or the kitchen doesn't provide enough storage, or your knees knock on something every time you go to the loo, then you will constantly feel dissatisfied.

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