So with the European Challenge Tour complete, our 2015 Swift Bessecarr 496 has served us exceptionally well. The Fiat based 2.3jTD is a little jem delivering power far beyond what you expect with it pulling 24ft of habitation behind it. The finish of the cabinets and soft furnishings are exactly what you would expect from the UK’s most respected leisure vehicle maker Swift Group. The functionality of this double dinette, side washroom 6 Berth is a bit like jumping into a Porsche 911. Its had the benefit of many years of evolution ironing out the nuances until every locker, fitting, and catch works perfectly in unison.
But did it work for us and what did we think of it – Here are our Top 5 good bits about this corner stone of British motorhome layouts.
5.) Engine Power
I have already said how impressed I was with the Multijet 2.3jTD diesel engine. Considering its pulling 23ft of habitation it really pulls well. With 6 gears – the top gear really being for economic cruising – it can generate good pulling power getting the Bessecarr’s brawn up to speed without a fuss. On the German open roads this motorhome cruised at 75mph and could easily have done more. This with the fuel economy of 32mpg over the 2300 miles we covered seems to me like a very good package.
4.) The Front Electric Drop Down Bed
Me and Sara used this new electric drop down double bed that houses in a small hump on the motorhomes roof. This unique way of delivering the final 2 berths allows the front of the motohome to effectively be a Low Profile with a fantastic panoramic rooflight which opens electrically. What I love with this design is that you don’t loose headroom in ‘Daytime’ mode when the bed is tucked up into the roof, and the side top lockers are a decent size.
The bed is also exceptionally easy to make as you have access to it from the back of the bed and the front (standing between the front cab seats). Its also easy to dis-embark the bed at night as both sides can be accessed. I really think this is the future of mid ship bed storage – I love it!
3.) Overall Storage
With some layouts you loose a degree of functionality for the pursuit of good ‘form’. Not in the Bessecarr 496. Locker space is plentiful and wardrobe space if fitting for the 6 berths the layout sleeps. Sallie also commented on how the lockers are a decent depth allowing for un-creased clothing when stored. Three of the 6 bed lockers are available for storage and access to 2 of them via drop down lockers even housing my inflatable paddleboard for the trip. The kitchen has great storage and a nifty cutlery tray over the fridge. The washroom is compact but has very good storage over the toilet and benefits from a shower door to protect your toiletries from getting soaked when showering. Overall,we all really loved the storage in this motorhome and the practicality of the design.
2.) The Heating Ability When Driving
We kept noticing that this motorhome really delivers its heat from the front cab heater effectively whilst driving. The weather has not been that good with a cold Northerly wind biting into you unless you were rugged up but the rear of the motorhome stays as warm, if not warmer than the cab at times!
Then the penny dropped – the habitation heating was working whilst we were travelling keeping the rear of the motorhome the temperature we had set it to when stationary………..brilliant!!. No more having to check the rear passenger hasn’t got hypothermia during the journey. Great feature Swift…… 10/10 from us!
1.) Build Quality
Yeah, I know its not glamorous but its true. I consistently find that Swift products really do get an attention to detail few other European makers give. From locker fits to covering open screw heads, this motorhome delivers the satisfaction of owning a really beautifully built machine…….. a little like owning a German car!.
Nothings falls off in your hand, Nothing squeaks whilst you go along yet everything works quietly and knowingly without ‘whistles and Bells’. That confident quality is what I think all customers would like……… I for one certainly do!
So there you are – My thoughts on the 2015 Bessecarr 496 which held its nerve with one mindless windsurfer and his errrr…… 2 hapless helpers. It all worked and never boggled us with its simple-to-use electrical system. Its cab drives superbly meaning even Sallie could drive for a bit in Europe. We loved using this Swift motorhome and look forward to the next adventure somewhere in the world or UK.
It’s a simple layout that works on all levels ……….. no pun intended!!