Claudia DowellSee other caravan reviews written by Claudia Dowell
Pitching and setting up
Winding down the steadies is simple, thanks to guides at the front and exposed winding bolts at the rear. External access to the storage area under the fixed-bed and an LED awning light are also welcome features. Improved controls are above the doorway. The waste pipes and an external locker are at the offside rear.
For night-time illumination there are two spots, two corner lights and one overhead lamp. The four front lockers are solid and provide good space; one of them houses the radio/CD/MP3 player. The seat and back cushions are very comfortable, and can be lifted easily to access the switchgear beneath.
Worktop space is very generous and an extendable work surface can be opened to provide extra room. The removable drainage board means this space is even more flexible. The new pull-out wire baskets fitted in the kitchen cupboard are very handy.
However, outside the washroom in the vanity area, a good-sized cupboard has all the space you'll need for toiletries. A neat basin and large mirror complete the package. While you won't be able to dry off in the washroom with any ease, there is room for dressing between the fixed bed and vanity unit.
At the rear is a sprung-mattress fixed bed, measuring 1.88m long and 1.37m wide. The bed can easily be lifted using gas struts to access the storage space underneath. The area is well lit thanks to a Heki rooflight, large side window and twin spotlights. The front lounge and rear bed can be kept separate with a folding fabric divider.
At the top right of the kitchen, on one side, is a useful raised area for mugs or cups. Opposite this is a space for a flat-screen TV, which can be manoeuvred using the extendable wall bracket. To finish things off, a very large wardrobe provides ample hanging space and drawers beneath it.
A fixed-bed design is always a challenge for those tasked with designing a caravan's interior layout, and although the Charisma provides ample wardrobe and kitchen worktop space, overall it doesn't exude the spacious feel managed by some rivals.
The bedding, however, has been cleverly designed, and those who appreciate a user-friendly, well equipped kitchen may well want to beat a path to Swift's door.
- Despite the squeeze on space, the Charisma packs a lot into the kitchen, including an ample worktop
- The special TV compartment is well thought out, as is the wardrobe
- There's plenty of light and storage.
- The washroom is too cramped, even though pressure has been taken off by the vanity unit
- The lack of a central chest of drawers and the provision of only two bolster cushions may bother some buyers.