2019 saw the introduction of some wonderfully good looking, South African-made caravans, really top of the range stuff for which I applaud our local manufacturers. They lifted the industry out of the ‘same old/same old’ doldrums by becoming caravan designers and manufacturers, launching innovative, stylish, modern products. So much so that, I believe, their caravans are good enough for display on the world’s biggest caravan stage in Düsseldorf.
However, if I had to nominate the best caravan I saw in South Africa during 2019 it would be the imported Swift Atlantic.
Now, let me establish from the outset that I am as patriotic as the next guy. I even have the T-shirt that says, ‘local is lekker’. Admittedly, my wife only lets me wear it when I work in the garage or do the vacuuming, for it has seen better days. But to be impartial, we can’t claim to be the best caravan producers in the global village if we are not (as yet). So, bear with me as to why I like the Swift Atlantic. Before doing so, let me reaffirm my sentiments with the fact that this Swift Atlantic (made by Sprite in the UK) has been rated as Europe’s top-selling brand in recent years. The Swift model featured in this review is the basic model, there is a new deluxe version coming soon, which I am told is even better.
Probably the biggest attraction for me is that front-end styling, it is just so different with the key element being the ‘glass’ panoramic roof over the front dinette. I love it. That view of the sky and the stars at night is what camping is all about. To me, this looks really classy and upmarket, and it sets the Atlantic apart from more traditional, conventional caravan designs.
Going to the rear-end of the Atlantic, it is somewhat boxy and square, but it is a caravan after all. It’s not entirely unattractive, for it has style – probably thanks to the tail-light design – and there is a fitting for a Thule bike carrier.
The exterior is further complemented with seven, grey tinted, double-glazed acrylic windows that perhaps casts a mystery over who may be languishing inside having an afternoon nap.
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