REVIEW: JAYCO SWIFT ON ROAD
The Jayco Swift is a simple, entry-level camper perfect for young families dreaming of lazy days by the beach.
JAYCO SWIFT ON ROAD SPECIFICATIONS
While many people who own or are looking to own a camper trailer have grand visions of offroad journeys across hair-raising terrain in the most remote corners of Australia, there’s a decent chunk of the market that just wants a comfy home away from home for the occasional long weekend camped by the beach. Enter the on-road Jayco Swift.
CONSTRUCTION AND OFF ROAD ABILITY
I found the Swift’s simplicity to be a breath of fresh air. At just 778kg, I hardly noticed it behind CTA’s Pajero, its modest width and low profile contributing to the ease of towing and affording great visibility from the driver’s seat. This manageability on the road is an attractive quality indeed for the first timers who are likely to be the target market for this camper. And with a ball weight of 63kg, it’ll be suitable for most mid-size family cars.
Jayco’s "Maxiframe" construction comprises an aluminium frame, plywood inner and fibreglass outer with a high-gloss gelcoat finish, which Jayco claims to be hail-resistant. The quality of finish seems very good, and the blue and grey decals soften the white exterior nicely.
The roof has been newly redesigned in 2013, and features an interlocking design, ABS corner moulds and a one-piece fibreglass skin.
The camper rides on a hot-dipped galvanised chassis and alloy wheels, and is fitted with electric brakes. A 9kg gas bottle rides on the drawbar, and up here you’ll also find a standard 50mm ball coupling and removable jockey wheel.
The beauty of this wind-up, wing style camper trailer is that set-up is a breeze. Simply unlatch the roof clips and use the wind-up arm to raise the roof — quite literally. While this is all very straightforward, the receiving end of the wind-up system on the test camper was angled slightly too high, resulting in the winding arm hitting the side of the camper with every rotation.
Once the roof is raised, it’s a case of rolling out the two beds at the front and rear, positioning the supporting poles and Velcroing the canvas in place over the beds. Drop down the stabiliser legs and the door and voila! Your home away from home awaits.
LAYOUT AND COMFORT
For what is effectively a small camper, the Swift is spacious. With the two beds pushed out either end, the full length of the trailer is living space, and Jayco has made excellent use of it. There’s a decent-sized dinette that would seat four adults who don’t mind one another’s company, or two adults and two kids with ease. The cushions are fire-retardant Dunlop foam and the table can fold down for easy movement around the camper. There are storage compartments underneath both seats.
Both beds have innerspring mattresses, the front being a double and the rear being a full-size single, thus suitable for an adult or two kids. It has a mesh safety rail to prevent any offspring from toppling to the floor in the middle of the night and happily so, as it’s quite a way up. It’s too high, in fact, for younger kids to get into bed on their own. A ladder or inbuilt step of some sort would be a thoughtful addition for young families.
Both beds are well ventilated with internally opening windows on all three sides, while the bench-to-roof central windows are fitted with internally opening clears and rubber-backed curtains.
The kitchen is fitted with a two-burner Dometic stove and a stainless steel sink with cutting board insert and plumbed tap, plus there’s plenty of storage in the three drawers and three cupboards underneath the bench. There’s a fire extinguisher at hand in the stairwell, just in case. Turn around and you’ll find additional bench space above the Thetford three-way swing-open fridge. There’s an additional bench/storage area to the left of the stairwell.
All in all, the Jayco Swift is a modest yet functional camper trailer whose core philosophy is one of simplicity and ease-of-use. It has a surprisingly spacious internal living area for its slim dimensions, and with the addition of the optional awning and walls would comfortably accommodate a young family of four on its memory-making outdoor adventures.
- The simple, easy-to-use concept and manageable size
- Breezy interior
- Great use of internal space
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
- A step up to the rear bed
The full version of this review appeared in CamperTrailer Australia #74, March 2014. Why not subscribe today for the latest camper trailer reviews and travel features.
Find Jayco camper trailers for sale at TradeRVs.com.au.