For the 2013 season, Swift Group radically revamped the Challenger range, replacing it with the new Challenger SE, and it stole the headlines at Swift Group’s 2013 model launch. We also declared the Challenger SE 570 to be the ‘Best Caravan for Couples’ in our 2013 Tourer of the Year Awards.

The Challenger name has always been synonymous with mid-range comfort, but if a criticism could be levelled at it in recent seasons, it would be that the caravans have been on the heavy side, and a bit light on kit when compared to rival tourers in its sector.

The launch of the SE range (which stands for ‘special equipment’) put this situation right. First, it upgrades the upper mid-market Challenger to better differentiate it from the previous season’s runaway success, the Challenger Sport models, which stole some of its sales.

The new SE vans share the Sport’s narrower, lighter bodyshell, which significantly reduces overall weight: in the case of the 565 tested here, it’s 51kg lighter than the outgoing model in full touring trim. Now weighing 1553kg fully laden, it can be towed comfortably by a BMW X3 or similar. And crucially, while it’s 6cm narrower than 2012’s model, there is no reduction in interior length, which remains at 5.6m. Other models within the SE range were significantly shortened in order to achieve these standout overall weight reductions.

The layout featured here is very much in vogue right now, featuring fixed single beds and a full-width rear washroom. Of course, the strength of this layout is its flexibility: they’re mostly bought by couples who prefer the comfort of their own, single bed sleeping space when on tour. But those with young children or grandchildren may also be swayed by the ability to make up the lounge sofas into a double bed for occasional guests who are prepared to share a bed.

And don’t forget that all Swift Group tourers benefit from a factory-backed, 10-year warranty, plus new for 2013, a Tracker Retrieve tracking system.