Swift Challenger 570SR – Practical Caravan's Tourer of the Year 2011
SOMETIMES A CARAVAN arrives that just can’t be ignored, whether it’s because of cutting-edge technology, a revolutionary layout or simply because it moves things forward. The Swift Challenger 570SR does all that and more.
The Challenger’s striking front-end appearance mean this van looks every inch the desirable, top-of-the-line touring caravan. Move inside, and in models fitted with the panoramic roof window, the amount of natural light makes the caravan seem spacious and inviting.
The 570’s layout is the popular nearside fixed-bed floorplan with a full-width washroom behind. A best-seller for a couple of seasons now, the 2011 Challenger 570 offers a top layout in a hugely appealing package.
If the Challenger were all flash and no substance, however, it would not be winning this award. Swift has served up a host of practical improvements, too, and it is those that push the Challenger to the top of the heap. Grouping all electrical controls into an eye-level locker is far preferable to crawling around in a floor-level locker when the power has gone off. Putting mains sockets on the front shelf rather at floor level is sensible, as is boosting the number of them.
A revised system for holding bed slats in place when slid into position may not seem important, but it is the sort of improvement that would make it tough to revert to a caravan without it. Structurally, there are also big enhancements. The switch to thicker sidewalls means these are the warmest caravans Swift has ever produced.
Roof window is a must
Inevitably it’s not all good news. Rivals weigh less and have more kit. And in order to get the full effect of the 2011 update, the £500 optional roof window is a must. With that box ticked, though, we think it gets much of the glamour of the posher Conqueror and at a more attractive price and weight.
In truth, however, plenty of people will buy this caravan because it looks sensational both inside and out. We wouldn’t argue with them.
Price £16,975 MTPLM 1600kg MiRO 1436kg
Find out more about the Swift Challenger 570SR here
2009: Bailey Pegasus 534
2008: Bailey Ranger GT60 S6 540/6
2007: Lunar Clubman ES
2006: Swift Charisma 620
2005: Bailey Senator S5 Indiana