The Swift Challenger 560 SE is a tourer with an inline island bed and a central washroom, offering caravanners a good spec and plenty of comfort.

The Challenger has been a stalwart of the Swift line-up for so long now that rumours of its impending final demise seem to resurface every year or so.

This season saw the introduction of the higher-spec Challenger Exclusive, which included the Swift Challenger Exclusive 580, our winner of the best 4 berth caravan category at the Practical Caravan Awards 2024, which impressed us with the comfortable and stylish touring base it offered. However, the range is only available at certain dealerships.

For all its dealers, Swift is still continuing with the four-model SE range. I thought it would be worth seeing what the Challenger 560 SE has to offer, so headed to Stewart Longton Caravans in Chorley, Lancashire.

If you’re still unsure on exactly what the right tourer for you is, our overview of the different types of caravan will help you settle on the model for you.

Pitch and set-up

This van is well equipped on the outside. Even for what might be called a mid-weight caravan, you get heavy-duty corner steadies. You also have a barbecue point, mains socket, TV point and cold-water shower point, all on the exterior.

This is one tourer that is really well set up for one of the best caravan awnings, or at the very least for plenty of outdoor living.

Unusually, you get a garage of sorts, as well as external access to the nearside underseat locker. Two doors at the rear of the side panel lead to a shallow area – also accessible from the bed locker inside – that would be ideal to store chairs or a parasol, although you would need equally weighty items up front for balance while towing.

Lounge in the Swift Challenger 560 SE

The entrance door has a proper handle, a bin and a window. Two little shelves up high provide a useful place for keys and fobs, while there is a small mirror and a coat hook here, too. The sideboard below could serve as a place for the best caravan TV to go.

Light floods into the lounge through the large sunroof, side windows and Heki. At night, two LEDs in the housing for the sunroof and four spotlights, in addition to the ambient light, keep things bright.

Lounge area, with parallel settees and overhead lockers
Lounge settees make up small singles or a generous double

Many of these are individually switched, so you can really experiment with lighting. There is good electrical connection, too, with a mains socket on one corner of the front sill, two USBs in the other corner and a USB in each of the spotlights.

However, this is not the largest of seating areas. It would seat four comfortably, but no more. Added to that, the foldaway table is stored in the nearside wardrobe in the bedroom. If there are just the two of you, you’re more likely to use the pull-out shelf above the central chest.

Kitchen in the Swift Challenger 560 SE

There is a large fold-out extension to the side kitchen, but if you have a crowd in the lounge, there is still enough space to prepare food around the large sink without making use of this. There are two sockets nearby. You get a dual-fuel four-burner hob above a separate oven and grill, with an Omnivent in the ceiling.

The kitchen area, with a dual-fuel four-burner hob, fridge, sink and microwave
Well-lit kitchen has a dual-fuel four-burner hob, and a microwave up above

The area is well lit with a striplight and a large window. There is a flatbed microwave between the overhead lockers, too. The only downside, perhaps, is the fridge. At half-height and 98 litres, it could be a bit compact for four on a long tour.

Washroom in the Swift Challenger 560 SE

The layout of the central washroom, with a basin in the middle in front of a pillar with a mirror, was very fashionable a few years ago. But it’s not difficult to see why other makes of caravan have since moved away from this.

Washroom includes toilet under a cupboard
Layout limits washroom floor space, with toilet tucked in under a cupboard

Having two doors into the rear bedroom means you need two gangways, and that limits your space for washroom furniture. The toilet on the offside here, for example, is tucked right under a cupboard.

The nearside shower cubicle has a light, a towel ring and a small shelf.

Sleeping in the Swift Challenger 560 SE

In the bedroom, that pillar offers a good place (with sockets) for a second TV. Only those over 6ft 2in will find the bed cramped. There’s a full headboard, a shelf on each side, and two spotlights with USBs.

The lounge settees are only 1.50m long, but would work as singles for children. Pull the slats out from under the central chest and you get a great double.

Storage in the Swift Challenger 560 SE

The underseat areas are relatively clear and have great internal access. You shouldn’t have to lift the slats (although they stay up). There are also two large overhead lockers on each side, two corner lockers and the sideboard by the door.

There is plenty of space under the bed (but accessing it is trickier thanks to this layout), two wardrobes with small cupboards below and two overhead lockers.

The kitchen has an overhead locker either side of the microwave, one with a crockery rack. You get two cutlery drawers, and pull-out baskets between the oven and the fridge. The washroom has a cupboard below the basin and another over the toilet.

Alternatives to consider

As a celebration edition, the Bailey Pegasus Grande GT75 Messina comes with lots of extras and a spacious interior, although, unlike the Swift Challenger 560 SE, it is a twin-axle. The Elddis Avanté 550 is another tourer to consider, providing comfort and space for families on the road, as well as providing impressive towing stability.

Technical spec

  • Price: £31,995
  • Berths: 4
  • MiRO: 1467kg
  • Payload: 157kg
  • MTPLM: 1624kg
  • Interior length: 5.93m
  • Shipping length: 7.63m
  • Overall width: 2.28m

Spec list

  • Al-Ko steel chassis
  • LED exterior lights
  • Alloy wheels
  • Spare wheel
  • Wheel lock
  • Corner steadies, 100W solar panel
  • Exterior mains socket
  • BBQ point
  • Shower
  • TV pointdoor flyscreen
  • Blinds and flyscreens to all windows
  • Four-burner dual fuel hob with separate oven and grill
  • Microwave oven
  • 98-litre Dometic fridge
  • Omnivent
  • Jetstream showerhead
  • Thetford toilet
  • Hanging rail
  • Rear double bed: 1.90 x 1.30m Front double bed: 2.02 x 1.24m. Or two single beds: 1.50 x 0.68m

Still not certain which tourer is right for you? We can help, as we talk you through how to choose the right caravan.

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