Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 525kg
Described by Swift as ‘the ideal first motorhome’, the Edge is the brand-new entry-level range from Britain’s largest leisure vehicle manufacturer. It’s a five-model line-up that sits below the existing Escape and sees a return of the overcab body style for this island bed model and two of its contemporaries.
The luton overcab – and bold orange graphics – differentiates the Edge from its many (mostly imported) rivals, all of which adopt a sleeker low-profile shape, plus a drop-down bed if four berths are required. The upper bed here simply hinges down for use and, while headroom is somewhat restricted, the kids can be settled here without disturbing the lounge below. It’s a 1.90m by 1.33m bed with a comfortable Duvalay mattress but that sits on a solid, non-vented base. A small window on the nearside is the only ventilation.
Another key difference with the Edge 494 is that the island bed runs transversely. Most competitors (Bailey excepted) have a lengthways bed. The mattress here is only 1.65m long (by 1.33m wide) to give easy access around the foot of the bed – a simple slot-in infill cushion at the head of the bed extends the mattress to 1.86m, still leaving enough space to shuffle past the end of the bed. There’s a window here, too, giving you a view in the morning, but just a blank wall at the back and only a small rooflight above. The bedroom is completed by ultra-slim wardrobes on either side of the bed, plus corner cupboards at the foot. While the tops of these may prove useful, they are open-fronted, so of limited practicality on the move.
The bed frame lifts on gas struts to reveal the Truma Combi boiler below, along with some storage, although this cannot be accessed from outside. That means lugging outdoor gear through the ’van.
The kitchen has plenty of worktop, once the extension panel at the forward end has been raised, and it includes a Triplex cooker (oven, grill and three burners). A microwave is mounted above if you order the Living Pack, while the fridge is a rather modest 85-litre three-way model with removable freezer section. A drawer is fitted under the oven and a tiny cutlery holder is hidden in the centre cupboard between the fridge and oven.
The washroom is very simple, with just a basic plastic unit incorporating a basin and cupboard and a swivel cassette toilet. The tap pulls out to become the showerhead, at which point you’ll need to deploy the shower curtain. If you plan to use these facilities more than those of a campsite, you’ll want to seek out a rival with a separate shower.
The front lounge has a half-dinette, swivel cab seats and a side settee – all very usual, but the fact that the table can be stowed away is a plus, both for safety and for spaciousness. A TV point is mounted by the B-pillar but the lack of any big sunroof/rooflights can make the lounge seem a little gloomy.
Like most rivals, the Edge is Fiat Ducato-based but it sits quite tall on a standard-height (not lowered) chassis and you’ll need to add the Drivers Pack for the essential cab spec goodies.