Challenger is a range that is well known in caravanning circles. First launched for the 1985 season, it still offers great layouts and specification.

Another plus point for the Challenger is that there are plenty around – so many years down the line, these tourers are still providing excellent service to caravan buyers.

Combining good spec and value for money, they have also been popular as dealer specials, in versions offering an even higher level of specification at affordable prices.

For 2007, the Swift Challenger 540 had its exterior freshened-up, with tough new one-piece aluminium sides. Other updates included a new entrance door, flyscreen and pressurised water system, as well as a body width that was increased to 7ft 6in.

The 540 was a best-seller for the Challenger range and, years after its launch, it still offers customers excellent spec and good build quality, as does the 2014 Swift Challenger 480 SE.

Model history of the Swift Challenger 540

The 540, launched for 2006, sold very well. The caravan layout, offering a side fixed bed and corner washroom, proved popular with buyers.

The 2007 models came with an integrated microwave, a new battery box and new corner spotlights in the front lounge.

The cosy front lounge
Cosy front lounge provides twin singles or a large double bed

The improved spec also included an alarm, BBQ point, exterior mains socket, spare wheel, blown-air heating, a full oven and a dual-fuel hob.

General storage space was excellent, with generous roof lockers and a wardrobe, and the spacious front gas locker had room for other items.

The 540 was produced until 2011, but there are still plenty of good examples to be found on the dealers’ forecourts.

Alternatives to the Swift Challenger 540 (2007)

Check out a 2013 Elddis Affinity 574, with twin single beds and an end washroom. This costs more, but has a very good spec, including Alde heating and an alarm. You’ll be looking at £13,495 to £14,000.

The 2013 Elddis Affinity 574
The 2013 Elddis Affinity 574

Another possible is a 2009 Bailey Pageant Bordeaux, which is lighter, yet for around £9995 it also offers excellent spec.

You can also get more pre-owned tourer inspiration in our best used caravan round-up, where we share our top picks.

Price checker

Our Challenger 540 benefited from an interior that had been well looked after. The exterior was in good condition, too, although the plastic caps on the grab handles were missing. But it did have a mover fitted.

When looking around at other 540s, we found prices varied. The cheapest we saw, a private sale, was £8500. One dealer was asking £9995 for an example that also had a mover.

There were quite a few about, mostly priced at around £8995 like our example. That seems right for its year and condition, although some private sellers might also include an awning.

For the rest of the range, you could expect to pay:

  • 480 £6795-£7995
  • 490 £8995-£9595
  • 530 £8495-£8995
  • 510 £8995-£9495
  • 560 £8995-£9995

Things to check for

  • Damp on back panel
  • Functioning fridge
  • Rust on the hob
  • Damage to alloys
  • Replaced central window in front lounge
  • Age and condition of tyres, which might need replacing
  • Support and comfort of mattress on fixed bed

Verdict

Well specified and generally well made, the Challenger offers a lot of tourer for the cash. It will always command a good price, even for models older than our 2007 example.

Some might find the 540 a bit dated now, but it is still a classy choice, especially for first-time buyers. The 540 we saw was an attractive offering, and come January, should soon fly off the forecourt. Carry out the usual checks before buying and you will have a cracking tourer.

Technical spec

  • Berths: 4
  • MTPLM: 1480kg
  • MiRO: 1274kg
  • Payload: 206kg
  • Internal length: 5.50m
  • Width 2.29m

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