Caravans are really a box of compromises. Every year, manufacturers have to decide where a line between acceptable and unacceptable is drawn.

For the past couple of seasons, the trendometer has pointed firmly towards centre washrooms and transverse island beds. The Swift Challenger 635 tested here puts both in the same layout.

That in itself is not particularly remarkable. Lunar and Elddis have similar layouts. But this van undercuts rivals by the thick end of £5000. That pays for a lot of holidays.

So has Swift cut corners that deliver uncomfortable compromises, or performed the sort of packaging magic trick which just wrong-foots rivals? This was what we sought to find out on a week-long test on the French Atlantic coast.

Externally, the Challenger is fairly standard Swift Group fare – and that is no bad thing.

High-gloss GRP sidewalls are tough enough to cope with the occasional awning pole dropping against them, but look great, too.

Graphics are discreet on this very large caravan and there is a lot of sidewall on show, with not many windows. If you don’t like your caravans big, white and boxy, look elsewhere.

Full-height front and rear panels ensure there are minimal chances for water ingress.

As is standard nowadays, the front end looks automotive, with transfers infilling the gaps between the windows, roof window and the gutter mouldings to make the whole thing look very uniform.

This also helps hide flies and midges after a long tow, minimising the time you spend ensuring that the van looks smart.

The rear panel has rails fitted for adding a Thule bike rack. Alloy wheels are standard.

And to see other Swift caravans for sale, click here.