The Practical Motorhome Swift Sundance 530 LP review – get the expert verdict on this Fiat Ducato based motorhome

Design

Swift builds its Sundance using a GRP (glass reinforced plastic) overcab and roof section, with GRP side panels, and colour-coded bumpers and side skirts. However, the Sundance we tested had uneven panel gaps and unfinished edges.
Decent insulation in all four motorhomes means it could competently tour in spring and autumn, but freezing weather may prove more of a challenge.
The Sundance has an external locker door that permits access to the storage space under the left-hand lounge seat but this could allow draughts when camping during colder weather. It also has an electrically folding side doorstep.

On the road

The Sundance employs the Fiat Ducato as its chassis, and comes with an 85bhp 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that can be found wanting on steep roads. To get round that, you can specify a 2.3-litre turbo-diesel, but it costs £1950. Whichever you choose, it’s linked to a five-speed manual gearbox with the gear lever mounted high on the dashboard. It’s a cinch to reach but we wish the shift quality was slicker and the gate more clearly defined as it’s too easy to find fifth gear when aiming for third.
You get ABS braking as standard and a driver’s airbag included in the base price, as well as electric cab door windows and mirrors and a CD/radio. There’s a good mix of easy-to-read instruments, plenty of storage space in the glovebox and door pockets and a dash-mounted pop-up clipboard for maps. There’s also a 12V socket in the dashboard for charging a mobile phone or powering aftermarket satellite navigation.
The driving position shows up the age of the Boxer/Ducato cabin and the steering wheel will not adjust sufficiently to allow a comfortable seating position for some drivers. A new Ducato range is due out later this year but it may take a while to filter through to convertors.

Lounging & dining

The Sundance has two lounge seats – one on either side of the ’van – and this straightforward approach makes it easy to fit people in when entertaining. It also makes it easy to use the passenger’s rotating captain chair as a seat when dining. However, the table isn’t quite big enough to allow more than four people to dine simultaneously.
The dining table is stored inside the wardrobe, which can be awkward when there are clothes in there, and a certain amount of dexterity is required when putting the tables away.
For watching TV, the Sundance has a TV locker (with aerial point and power socket within) against the wardrobe’s outer wall, so the TV can be secured while in transit. Unfortunately, it’s not very practical for viewers sitting on the right-hand bench.
If you prefer to read rather than watch television, the Sundance has two large side windows in the lounge area, though the curtain arrangement means that slightly less sunlight can enter. A large skylight helps to brighten the living area and directional spotlights mean that reading is easy on the eyes.

Kitchen

The kitchen is at the rear nearside, and offers a decent-sized workspace on the hob and sink. There’s plenty of kitchen cupboard space, crockery storage and cutlery drawers.
The Swift’s fridge is positioned beneath the sink. You get a wine locker to keep glasses and bottles securely fastened on the left-hand wall on the other side of the door from the sink.

Sleeping

Creating the double bed is a simple matter of pulling the bases of the two benches together in the centre of the lounge area. You lift the upper bench cushions and slide the bases back into place, and place the upper seat cushions down – all in a matter of seconds. This creates a large double bed.

Washroom

The Sundance has a deep sink, with it and the shower sharing the same mixer tap and head – an awkward arrangement to use because the hose is difficult to coil back into its housing after it has been used in the shower.
The shower door system is unnecessarily complicated. A clear plastic panel hinges into the centre of the washroom from the door, to meet the moulded plastic sink unit panel which also swings into the centre – they then close together via magnetic strips. Why Swift does not fit a simple shower curtain, as found in Auto-Sleeper’s Nuevo, or a concertina plastic door, as in the Auto-Trail Tracker EKS, we don’t know. The arrangement is not easy to use and does not feel sturdy.
The Sundance also doesn’t have a washroom window and this compounds the cramped feeling of its washroom. At least it has a skylight. There’s an electric-flush Thetford cassette toilet, but it doesn’t swivel for greater ease of use.
Storage provision is, however, good, so you will have no problems stacking away towels. There’s also a towel rail and toilet roll holder.

Storage

The wardrobe is in the main cabin, on the right-hand side just in front of the washroom. The dining table is stored here when it’s not in use, and this pinches a little space.
There are useful lockers above the lounge area, as well as large lockers in the overcab section.
Beneath the lounge seats is a reasonably sized storage area, with external access to the left-hand under-seat locker. This may be handy when retrieving bulkier items but it may also mean draughts when touring outside of summer months.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3000kg
Payload315kg
Length5.59m18′4″
Width2.2m7′3″
Height2.94m9′8″
Waste water80L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

A low-cost way into this class, but it may not stand up to prolonged use as well as its rivals.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The low price tag appeals
  • Easy-to-work double bed arrangement

Cons

  • Quality and finish are not up to the standards of its rivals
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