Automotive

Swift mini-camper van packs work-to-weekend flex and pop-out bathroom

Swift mini-camper van packs wo...
The new Swift Monza brings a fully loaded package and versatile design good for everyday driving and holiday camping alike
The new Swift Monza brings a fully loaded package and versatile design good for everyday driving and holiday camping alike
View 16 Images
The new Swift Monza brings a fully loaded package and versatile design good for everyday driving and holiday camping alike
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The new Swift Monza brings a fully loaded package and versatile design good for everyday driving and holiday camping alike
The two-legged removable table appears larger than the tables in many small camper vans, offering space for everyone to dine together
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The two-legged removable table appears larger than the tables in many small camper vans, offering space for everyone to dine together
The kitchen includes a fridge and optional Dometic broiler grill
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The kitchen includes a fridge and optional Dometic broiler grill
Dometic's dual-burner stove and sink combo with flush lids
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Dometic's dual-burner stove and sink combo with flush lids
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The Swift Monza is based on the Ford Tourneo Custom Titanium and includes an 8-in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a rear-view camera
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The Swift Monza is based on the Ford Tourneo Custom Titanium and includes an 8-in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a rear-view camera
The slim slide-out pantry helps the Swift Monza make the most of its small kitchen
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The slim slide-out pantry helps the Swift Monza make the most of its small kitchen
A rear wardrobe adds storage space for clothing
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A rear wardrobe adds storage space for clothing
Under-bed storage in the tailgate area
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Under-bed storage in the tailgate area
The Monza camper van sleeps four on its fold-out Reimo lower bed and pop-up roof upper bed
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The Monza camper van sleeps four on its fold-out Reimo lower bed and pop-up roof upper bed
The Swift Monza comes powered by a 128-hp 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine
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The Swift Monza comes powered by a 128-hp 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine
Popping open at base camp
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Popping open at base camp
The Swift Monza mini-camper comes in four colors, including Chrome Blue
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The Swift Monza mini-camper comes in four colors, including Chrome Blue
The Swift Monza measures just under 5 meters long, making it a true mini-camper van in our book
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The Swift Monza measures just under 5 meters long, making it a true mini-camper van in our book
Swift Monza pop-up sleeping area
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Swift Monza pop-up sleeping area
Rather than stow the toilet below a seating bench, like many other camper vans, Swift packages it into an outdoor bathroom space, making it easy to slide out and use outside
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Rather than stow the toilet below a seating bench, like many other camper vans, Swift packages it into an outdoor bathroom space, making it easy to slide out and use outside
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British road trip and holiday specialist Swift Group has a range of mobile homes that runs the spectrum from prefab holiday houses to small micro-camper trailers. Its latest offering, the all-new Monza is a mini-camper van that slots in toward the smaller end of that lineup as a 196-in Ford Tourneo Custom that can comfortably split the difference between everyday MPV and family getaway RV. Its versatile floor plan includes a flexible three-seat rear bench, fully loaded kitchen block, and user-friendly outdoor bathroom with pop-out portable toilet and shower.

The Ford Transit/Tourneo Custom has long struck us as the Goldilocks of Ford camper van base vehicles. Not so tiny as to necessitate the outdoor slide-out kitchens of the Transit Connect, and not so big and bulky out on the highway and trail as the full-size Transit, the Custom feels like just the right balance of on-road maneuverability and at-camp comfort and flexibility, as exemplified by Ford's own Nugget and Nugget Plus.

The two-legged removable table appears larger than the tables in many small camper vans, offering space for everyone to dine together
The two-legged removable table appears larger than the tables in many small camper vans, offering space for everyone to dine together

With the new Monza, Swift has used the Tourneo Custom in a classic midsize camper layout with a couple of clever twists. The five-seater relies on a floor rail-mounted rear bench that can adjust forward or backward as needed. So during the week or on a gear-heavy ride to camp, it can slide forward to clear out plenty of cargo space in back. At camp, it slides back to add legroom and create a comfortable mini-lodge on wheels.

The three seats on Reimo's Variotech 3000 rear bench are likely to be a little cramped for adults or older children because the bench width is narrowed to make room for the driver-side kitchen and wardrobe. A modern block with rounded edges and neutral colors, the kitchen is compact but generously equipped, carrying a dual-burner stove and sink combo, 42-L fridge and available broiler grill. Those who prefer to cook outside can take advantage of the BBQ hookup.

Dometic's dual-burner stove and sink combo with flush lids
Dometic's dual-burner stove and sink combo with flush lids

Once dinner's ready, the interior transforms into a dining room with help from the swivel cab seats, adjustable rear bench and generously sized freestanding dining table. At night, the table stores back away behind the seats, and the bench folds out into an 81 x 44-in (205 x 111-cm) bed. The second bed in the sleeper pop-top offers 74 x 43-in (189 x 110-cm) of sleeping area, giving the Monza a total of four berths.

Perhaps our favorite part of the Monza design comes on the outside. What at first looks like a design flaw – a kitchen block that takes up the entire driver-side sliding doorway – becomes the Monza's best feature, a convenient outdoor bathroom area. Swift has put a water hookup on the outside of the kitchen, supporting an outdoor shower/hose, and tucked a portable toilet away in a lower compartment on the outside of the kitchen block, making it easy to grab and use in the great outdoors. The only thing missing to make it the perfect mini-camper van outdoor bathroom is a roof-mounted drop-down privacy tent, like the Peregrine from 23Zero.

Rather than stow the toilet below a seating bench, like many other camper vans, Swift packages it into an outdoor bathroom space, making it easy to slide out and use outside
Rather than stow the toilet below a seating bench, like many other camper vans, Swift packages it into an outdoor bathroom space, making it easy to slide out and use outside

The Monza comes standard with a 95-Ah leisure battery charged with help from a 100-W solar panel. Also included as standard equipment are the 2.2-kW Eberspacher diesel heater, 40-L fresh and waste water tanks, and electrical control panel with USB ports. The camper is built atop a Tourneo Custom Titanium trim with 128-hp (94-kW) 2.0-liter Ford EcoBlue engine and six-speed manual transmission. Buyers can upgrade with an available automatic transmission and 167-hp (123-kW) engine.

Swift plans to launch the Monza this month, and on-the-road (OTR) pricing starts at £58,395 (approx. US$79,000).

Source: Swift Group

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