Swift decision which made me an overnight convert


Henry Wild, directomers feel…

The obvious choice would have been the Discovery. We had a whole stack of miles in front of us, from tiny upland roads in the Lake District to twisting leafy lanes in Dorset. And in between, the endless mind-numbing tarmac of the M6 and M5. The Discovery is always up for these type of challenges, and I knew it would keep us both sane, comfortable and stress-free throughout.

This Kon-tiki has a lot of tarmac ahead of it

The grown-ups on the journey were to visit some of my colleagues’ holiday parks en-route.

But with the departure for our seven-day odyssey just days away, I was suddenly struck with an idea which bordered on the brilliant. You see, a few months earlier at Skelwith Fold our vehicle fleet had been joined by a new motorhome – and it was a real stunner. And that wasn’t just my opinion: it had proved a crowd-puller from the moment it arrived on the park.

This head-turner was a spanking new 2014 Swift Kon-tiki, plucked from the to holidaymakers wondering if they could take a quick peek inside. And they always left with a big, big smile on their faces.

Well, I decided, the park would just have to one of its star attractions for a week. This beauty was coming with me, Hannah, and William on our Southern sojourn, and I was suddenly getting rather more excited about the trip than I’d imagined possible.

 Quiet, comfortable, spacious: just my kind of cab
Quiet, comfortable, spacious: just my kind of cab

Let me explain why. Fact is, there are not many modes of transport left for me towed caravans big and small, and operated a lot of often quite scary plant.

Finally time

But I had never seriously driven a moto look them in the eye, and say “Ah, yes – you can’t help feeling sorry for those who haven’t yet discovered the joys of mororhome life, can you?”

In fact, the first joy came after just five minutes. Here we were, bowling along an itsy-bitsy single track Lakeland road, climbing, dropping, bending, and enjoying the elevated views from our cab, when I was suddenly struck with the realisation that I’d completely forgotten what I was driving.

Computerised keypad puts you in complete control
Computerised keypad puts you in complete control

Yes, I was in command of five to please as, dare I say it, a Discovery.

I was enjoying this. A lot. And just then, a Volvo came hurtling round the corner, and we sto reverse I went.

That’s when the second joy of the day announced itself. Backward navigation simply isn’t a problem with the Kon-tiki’s superb rear vision, and the single-axle chassis allows for surprisingly tight manoeuvring. Add torhome was having no truck with reversing or parking issues.

Going forward

But now it was all forward motion as we joined the M6 and headed south for what I knew would be, for me, one of the Kon-tiki’s biggest tests. Could this beast really pull it off by keeping my adrenalin levels as low as the Discovery does? Would it have the power tobart’s finest?

Just as crucially, would I be constantly shifting around to make myself heard above the tyre and engine noise?

Believe me, these things make all the difference between arriving at the other end as sprightly as a young pup, or falling from the cab spitting blood and vowing vengeance on the world.

There’s so much space, all cleverly thought out
There’s so much space, all cleverly thought out

I needn’t have worried. The Kon-tiki’s 3-litre engine is a very lively performer, and often just dropping down a gear provides all the grunt you need to quickly put the upcoming Argos delivery truck in the rear view mirror. Noise levels? Well, I don’t know how Swift have done it, but the Kon-tiki just purrs along even at speed, leaving you feeling blissfully insulated from everything outside.

As for the comfort of the seating and the driving position, I was seriously impressed. There’s plenty of adjustment to angle all your body bits just so, and the ergonomically shaped seat achieved the perfect combination of support and armchair-style cossetting.

It was only after a few hours when we stoilet in its hind quarters.

Class act

My conviction that this motour proper. Through picture-postcard West Country villages, along the Dorset and Devon coast, and via B-roads the width of our holiday park’s brochure, the Kon-tiki just kept gobbling up the miles with no effort required from either of us.

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Swift’s determination to a luxury apartment, and within minutes we’d be sitting back in the plush seating with a mug of tea in our hands.

It’s only at times like this when you look around and appreciate just how spacious the Kon-tiki is, despite having all the essential components and conveniences of a full-size holiday home. Swift has always been lauded for its inspired and imaginative approach to design, and here that expertise is in full evidence throughout.

There’s not a wasted square centimetre of space, with everything fitted stylishly to the comfort and convenience of its occupiers.

The Kon-tiki also ensures that, almost regardless of how much paraphernalia you bring, you’ll not be living amongst your own clutter. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to generate.

And even with William’s travel cot erected, Hannah and I could ebb and flow around the Kon-tiki without feeling we were negotiating an obstacle course.


As a park owner, I know that our to share a cuppa, or something stronger, after they’ve got settled in.

I always wondered if I’d be gregarious enough to see a fellow-traveller stroll across – usually wearing a big grin –  as soon as I stepped down from the cab.

The visitorhome’s inner secrets.

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The other camp were tour.

Yup: the Kon-tiki is certainly a conversation starter. And to honest, I actually learned a lot from many of these civilian experts. Who would have guessed, for example, that the mega-comfortable mattress on our bed was first seen on Dragon’s Den and is now backed by Hilary Devey? I could even give you a lecture about its lightweight hypoallergenic memory fibre technology.

Design delight

But what I did find out for myself is that this moto a superbly engineered design concept.

And it’s this faff-free approach to the water stream providing a powerful jet which uses less water.

As we settled down for our final night in the Kon-tiki, Hannah and I agreed that Swift had made the moto sacrifice a single scintilla of comfort.

The Kon-tiki has now resumed its pride of place in the Skelwith Fold fleet, and continues to tell you all about it!”

* For more information about the Kon-tiki and other motouring facilities, visit www.skelwith.com