If you’ve had a camper trailer and want a little more space, but aren’t ready for a full-on caravan, then the SWAG hybrid camper could be for you. It gives you a dry bed, eating area and even an internal toilet and shower without any canvas, but is still easy to tow. By taking the kitchen outside under an awning you have the best of both worlds. The SWAG SCT16 Max ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great example of a hybrid camper.
From Fraser to Exmouth and the Gibb River Road
Checking out the images SWAG show off, sent in by owners, will show every type of tow vehicle from utes, 4x4 wagons and even a Porsche. Beaches and corrugations are all part of the adventures that SWAG owners enjoy. The company is family owned and has been around since 2008, with its head office in southeast Queensland.
How do you create reals Aussie jobs, build a quality camper and keep the price affordable for the average family? SWAG gets the shell of the camper built overseas to their quality standards, and then get Aussie tradies to carry out the fit-out of the shell including all the electrical and gas components in Brisbane. This is reassuring as, if any components need replacing, they’re readily available.
The body of the SWAG SCT16 sits on a full length hot dipped galvanised chassis to keep everything strong and safe on those rough outback roads. To soften the ride, suspension is proven Aussie heavy duty independent trailing arm suspension combined with Monroe HD off road shocks. This combination has showed its resilience on the roughest of tracks across Australia.
Construction of the body is primarily German engineered composite sandwich panel. This has a number of benefits including its insulation properties keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. Composite panel is also lighter and less prone to water or dust ingress than other materials. To protect the outside lower sections of the body, it’s coated with Body Coat that is again lighter than the standard, often using aluminium siding.
The popular McHitch 3.5t uniglide coupling is used to connect to the tow vehicle. This hitch is particularly easy to back onto when leaving camp for the next part of your adventure. The camper rests on the ARK XO 750 jockey wheel while off the vehicle. This is another good quality component that is both easy to use and solid in its construction. Alloy wheels with 265/75 16 tyres complement the suspension and look of the camper.
On top of the camper are mounted two 150w solar panels to charge the 3 x 100ah batteries via the PWM solar regulator and Project Smart Charger. A 1000w inverter comes standard which can be upgraded to a 1800w inverter. Also mounted on the roof is a Dometic FJ2200 reverse cycle air conditioner that will be used when connected to 240v power in campgrounds.
Above the main bed is a large skylight/vent which provides plenty of light and air circulation into the camper. An omnidirectional antenna is also fitted to the roof to provide television reception where available to watch those finals footy matches.
The travel height of the camper is 2.6m with the a/c fitted. Travel length is 7.2m and width is 2.235m. The gas strut assisted pop up roof is both simple and easy to put up and down while providing plenty of head room while in the camper. A large wind out awning provides plenty of shade over the cooking area. It is manually operated which both reduces cost and more importantly, keeps it simple so there are no electric motors that may cause problems in the future.
This is a hybrid camper with the internal space dedicated to relaxing while on the road. The north/south king size bed has plenty of space to spread out and enjoying the outside views even when lying in bed. There are two large windows on either side of the sleeping/living area of the camper as well as seven in the pop-top. These provide plenty of light and fresh air to keep you cool on the hottest of days.
At the foot of the bed, part of the mattress is able to be folded up to reveal one of sides of the L-shaped lounge. The longer part of the lounge and table can be used with the mattress being folded up if the bed and lounge need to be used at the same time. Under the table are 240v outlets in case you need to use a laptop computer on the table. Perfect if you need to do some work while travelling. Next to the lounge is wardrobe storage suitable for clothes.
On the opposite side of the camper to the lounge is a large bench with a sink built in. This is perfect for washing hands, cleaning teeth or even grabbing a glass of water without need to go outside to the main kitchen. I would like to see a 240v outlet over or next to this bench as it could then be used for a kettle or coffee maker. Below the bench are some good-sized drawers for storage.
On the end of this bench as you walk into the camper, is the well laid out control panel housing switches, circuit breakers and gauges where you can quickly see the battery health and water levels. There is no shortage of 12v outlets throughout the camper to charge all those phones and tablets we all have these days.
There is a good sized internal ensuite which is great for those not wanting to rough it while enjoying the outdoors. The toilet is a Thetford swivel toilet which helps maximise the space when showering. Above the ensuite is a vent/skylight so hot, moist air can escape outside reducing the amount of moisture inside the camper. The toilet cassette is accessed from the outside of the camper when needing to empty it at a dump point.
There is either a 4 berth or 2 berth configuration for this camper. The one reviewed here is the 4 berth. The two beds at the rear of the camper are 2m long but only 60cm wide which would be perfect for smaller kids, but large teenagers may find it a bit tight. More storage is found under one side of these bunks. If not travelling with kids these spaces could be used for extra storage of light items. The 2 berth model utilises this space by putting in an extra tall boy storage cupboard. Either way, you still get a king size main bed.
A Galley Kitchen
The beauty of a hybrid camper is that you are not constrained by internal dimensions of a van when designing the kitchen. The galley kitchen of the SWAG SCT16 is great as there is plenty of space for preparation, cooking and storage which will make using this kitchen a pleasure.
Cold storage is provided by a 75lt dual zone SCT fridge that is easily accessible via a pullout slide. This can be accessed for morning tea stops when on the road and when at camp cooking up a gourmet meal. The four burner fully plumbed gas hob means you can have four pots on the go at once. A slide out drawer under the hob gives access to all the cutlery you would need and a stainless steel preparation area next to the stove gives plenty of space.
On the other side of the stove is the sink and drying space and a neat twin shelf area to go vertically. This has a locking mechanism so it stays in place. Between the sink and the fridge are two long and deep drawers for food, and pots and pans. All in all, this is a fabulous kitchen ready to support the most demanding of chefs.
The Bottom Line
The SWAG SCT16 ticks a lot of the requirements of a great hybrid camper. The composite panel construction is light and insulating while creating a strong barrier against dust, water and extreme temperatures. It also durable and long lasting. The suspension and chassis supports the camper over rough terrain, making it easy to tow in all road conditions.
The interior of the camper is light and airy with a good amount of storage. External storage is also good. The pop top roof is simple and provides all the head room you need as well as adding to the ventilation of the camper. An interior ensuite is going to win a lot of people over. The kitchen is well laid out and has been thoughtfully designed.
This camper comes with a lot of the luxuries without a high price tag. Both the design and production process have been considered so that quality is maintained while keeping the cost affordable.
FIT FOR INTENDED PURPOSE: 8
QUALITY OF FINISH: 8
BUILD QUALITY: 8
EASE OF USE: 8
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8
CAMPER TRAILER SPECS
SWAG SCT16 MAX
Tare 1920kg (2180kg with fixed inclusions)
ATM 2500kg or 2700kg depending on tow vehicle
Payload up to 520kg
Ball weight 125kg
Suspension SWAG Heavy Duty Independent Coil Suspension
Coupling McHitch 3.5t uniglide Coupling
Chassis Hot dipped Q345
Body Composite panel
Wheels & tyres alloy wheels 265/75R16
Style Hybrid camper
Body size 2235 (W) x 2600mm (H)
Towed length 7200mm
Gas cylinders space for 2 x 9kg
Water 240L fresh water
Hot water service Truma Ultra Rapid gas hot water system
Kitchen external 75lt Fridge, fully plumbed 4 burner gas hob, sink and bench space;
Electrical Projects smart charger
Battery 3 x 100Ah AGM Battery
Inverter 1000w or 1800w
Solar 2 x 150w fixed panels
Aircon Dometic FJ2200 Reverse cycle
TV 12v TV/USB player
PRICE AS TESTED
Address 39 Collinsvale St, Rocklea Qld
Phone 1800 792 422