Jayco Swift: Review
The family friendly Jayco Swift camper will win you over with its easy set up and surprising off-road capabilities.
Travellers will recognise Jayco camper trailers from their wind-up roofs and slide-out beds. They emerged on the Australian market in the late 1970s and have stood the test of time, remaining as a go-to entry-level product for many campers moving on from tents.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
While Jayco doesn’t endorse extreme offroading with any of its campers, the Swift OB will go deeper into the bush than you might expect as it’s now fitted with Jayco’s JTECH independent trailing arm suspension, with coil and Aeon springs and Pedders dampers.
Replacing the low-slung beam axle and extending the wheel travel has afforded JTECH-equipped campers greater towing comfort and capability off the beaten track; and it’s Jayco’s entry-level Swift, with its compact dimensions, that benefits most from this upgrade included in the Outback pack.
The Swift OB also comes with a sturdier 150x50mm chassis members coupled to a 125x50mm A-frame, Al-Ko offroad brake magnets, Al-Ko corner drop-down jacks, 15in alloy wheels with 235 section tyres, protective aluminium checkerplate side cladding, a 100Ah deep-cycle battery, solar provision, an external gas bayonet and an external 12V plug. If you’re serious, you can opt for a fully articulated hitch, or 16in wheels with 245 section tyres for even more ground clearance.
Inside, the Swift OB comes with two large transverse beds with innerspring mattresses – 940mm wide at the front and 1310mm wide at the rear. A net makes the front bed ideal and secure for two small children. A third child – or another adult – can sleep on the bed formed by dropping the table between the dinette seats and shifting the cushions.
There’s not a huge amount of storage space – the body of the Swift is just 2.8m long after all – but there are enough nooks and crannies under the cooker and sink and beside the 90L Dometic fridge for all the camping essentials.
Having a small footprint and not too much bling gives the Swift OB its other long suit: its light weight.
At its Tare of just 1080kg and with a rated carrying capacity of 300kg, the Swift is like a flea on the back of a capable 4WD. And when you’re there, two can easily spin it around to take advantage of the very best spot by that creek where the trout or barra are jumping.
With a bit of DIY bush-proofing, like bungy cords to hold down the fridge, attention on the cabinetry and a bit of dust-proof sealing, the Swift OB will serve as a flexible base in some pretty remote destinations. And with its compact dimensions enabling you to camp almost by the side of the road or river, you’ll be surprised at how close you can get to the action.
JAYCO SWIFT SPECS
- Tare 1080kg
- ATM 1380kg
- Suspension Jayco JTECH independent trailing arm coil spring with single Pedders shock absorbers per wheel
- Brakes 10in offroad electric drum
- Coupling 50mm ball
- Chassis 150x50mm galvanised
Drawbar 125x50mm galvanised
Body Aluminium square tube frame with hail-resistant fibreglass and aluminium checkerplate cladding
- Wheel/tyre 15in alloys with 235/75 R15 offroad tyres
- Style Wind-up
- Body 2790x2240mm
- Length (hitch to tail lights) 4140mm
- Gas cylinders 1x9kg
- Water 75L
- Cooktop Spinflo two-burner gas
- Kitchen Internal stainless steel sink, laminate benchtops and 90L Dometic fridge
- Battery 1x100Ah deep-cycle
Price as shown
- $21,993 (plus on-road costs, Vic)
Click here for more Camper Trailer Australia reviews
Check out the full feature in issue #100 May 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.