Swift has added to its 8ft-wide line-up with the Challenger X range, which features a transverse fixed bed. Andrew Jenkinson finds out more.
In September 1984, Swift launched a range of tourers that were not only aerodynamic on the outside and very stylish on the inside, but also light in weight and well specified.
This new line-up was the Challenger, and 2020 sees this popular range celebrating its 35th year, making it one of the longest-running, alongside Lunar’s Clubman.
The Challenger has been very successful in both new and pre-owned markets.
Now, for the 2020 season, the Challenger is joining the 8ft-wide club, with the new X range.
A key selling point in this line-up will no doubt be its well-finished GRP sidewalls and the latest in caravan construction. With a good selection of layouts, it also offers lots of additional space.
Pitching and setting up
Those GRP sides add to the Swift’s toughness – the roof also has a GRP finish. There’s an 80W solar panel fitted up there, too, and the latest Status TV aerial. The AKS hitch adds to towing stability.
The Challenger X has a super-smart profile, but is still eminently practical. The large front gas locker is ideal for storing other caravanning kit, and you also get a sunroof and a front side locker.
Rather surprisingly, however, ATC isn’t standard fit in the Challenger X. Nor will you find heavy-duty corner steadies offered as standard, which again seems a little surprising on a tourer in this price band.
LED spotlights, plus ceiling lights and overhead locker lighting, mean the lounge is brightly illuminated at night.
There is a mains socket and a USB point on the windowsill, but we reckon another mains socket here would not go amiss. You do get a DAB radio, and Swift’s Command system, plus a Thatcham tracker.
Access flaps are fitted in the lounge seat bases and there are comfortable bolster cushions and four smart scatter cushions. A spacious area, this will appeal to buyers who like to stretch out and relax.
Other kit here includes an integral microwave above the kitchen area. This is placed centrally, allowing space for overhead lockers on either side.
You’ll also find a 113-litre Series 10 Dometic fridge, and the latest Thetford oven, complete with dual-fuel hob.
The kitchen has a useful twin mains socket, placed on the lounge side for easy access. The large stainless-steel sink comes with a clip-on drainer, and while there isn’t a huge amount of work surface, it is boosted by a folding flap extension, which will prove handy when preparing meals.
Storage is a little restricted, with one narrow cupboard, plus another cupboard below the oven. However, we think that a cupboard by the entrance door would also help out with extra kitchen storage.
But overall, this kitchen is well planned, combining practical design with attractive good looks. For night-time lighting, three integral LED lights are fitted above, providing plenty of illumination when needed.
Although it’s full-width, the washroom doesn’t have much depth, and does have a slight corridor effect. But there is a radiator, and the deep basin has a cupboard underneath.
A large mirror is fitted above the handbasin and there is LED lighting to keep the washroom well illuminated. More storage comes with a wall-mounted cupboard, plus useful shelving. The large shower cubicle is a fully moulded unit.
As you might expect, it’s a good size, and fitted with the super-comfortable Duvalay foam mattress, guaranteeing a great night’s sleep.
The bedroom corner unit also has a cupboard, with a wall-mounted cabinet above. And there’s plentiful space under the double bed.
Already an excellent offering, the Challenger X scores some bonus points with its generous provision of storage, especially if you are two on tour.
The 880 is probably one of the best-looking tourers on the market – they really do cut a dash. The Lux pack adds to the upmarket air. But ATC could be standard and perhaps a 100W solar panel, too. The Challenger X 880 is roomy for four, so for two, it should feel palatial.
- Great storage and large lounge
- Well planned-kitchen
- ATC and BBQ are not standard fit