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Swift Challenger 530 - caravan review

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2016
  • Class : Single Axle
  • Berths : 4
  • Internal Length (m) : 5.29
  • Shipping Length (m) : 7.00
  • MRO (kg) : 1279
  • MTPLM (kg) : 1448
  • Max Width (m) : 2.23
  • External Height (m) : 2.61

The Verdict

It could be easy to overlook Challenger, sitting between the great-value Sprite range and the higher spec Elegance and Continental ranges. But 2016 Challengers have a distinctive character of their own, with charming turquoise fabrics, enhanced anti water ingress construction and the options of Alde heating and stain-resistant upholstery. The 530, with a versatile layout, a weight that makes it suitable for a wide range of cars, and lovely interior looks, is a very appealing caravan.

Score


Swift Caravans View more details about the manufacturer of this vehicle over in our manufacturers section.

AT A GLANCE

Swift Challengers have new floor, roof and upholstery construction for 2016, and now the option of Alde heating; Challengers move up several gears for the new model year.

Pros
  • The Alde option
  • The enhanced moisture resistance in the new floor construction
  • The hail-damage-resistant roof
  • The versatile layout
Cons
  • The lack of a power point near to the mirror

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2016
Manufacturer
Swift Caravans
Class
Single Axle
Range
Challenger
Price From (£)
18595
Berths
4
Shipping Length (m)
7.00
MRO (kg)
1279
MTPLM (kg)
1448
Max Width (m)
2.23
External Height (m)
2.61
End Washroom
Yes
Island Double
No
Fixed Singles/Bunks
No
Triple Bunks
No
End Kitchen
No
Back & Front Dinette
No
Side Dinette
Yes
Caravan Test Date
Caravan Buyer Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

Some layouts are specifically designed to appeal to couples, some for families. There’s one, though, that has a foot in both camps. That’s the side dining area arrangement. Couples choose it because they get a permanent dining area. A dining kitchen, you might say. Families pick this layout because the dining area can be transformed into bunk beds.

There’s a third group of buyers who consider this layout to be ideal. It’s grandparents. They get the advantage of the permanent dining area and, when the kids join them, there’s a neat little bed arrangement to make up. So they get family accommodation when they need it, and an ideal couples’ layout when the children aren’t there.

The Swift group has three caravans of this layout for 2016, a Conqueror, an Eccles, and this one, in the Challenger range.

For 2016 Swift has simplified its ranges, dropping the Challenger Sport and Eccles SE ranges, and changing the naming of some models. This model is based on the layout formerly called 524.

There’s much more than a number change to the side-dining-area Challenger. The method of construction is new. Called SMART Plus, this moves Challenger closer to the higher-spec Conqueror and Sterling Elite ranges in appearance, with a new front line around the flush-fitting windows.

The floor construction now incorporates a honeycomb centre section, 44mm deep, and framed with polyurethane that’s highly resistant to moisture.

Another element of Smart Plus construction is the introduction of a hail-resistant GRP for the roof.

Challenger gas bottle compartment doors are new, too; they now have a three-point locking system (operated by a single handle).

Changes for the new model year inside the 530 focus on fabrics, plus and the introduction of a gloss finish for the upper locker doors.

There’s a change in the 530’s shower room, too…
 

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Showering

A new air-inlet shower rose is introduced, with jets arranged in a circular shape, and an on-off button to enhance water saving possibilities.

The 530’s shower is nicely proportioned, at 84cm x 61cm. There’s plenty of space in the washroom. Although it’s slightly wedge-shaped, it’s 94cm at its deepest point and there’s still a good 80cm of depth as it narrows in front of the wardrobe; it’s of a size that can comfortably be described as a dressing room.

The washbasin, at 48cm wide, is also a good size. The mirror above it is enormous, filling the washbasin recess area in width. But preening perfection isn’t quite achieved here in the 530 because there is no mains socket within cable-stretch of either this mirror or the one alongside the door. That would have been an ideal place for a mains socket for hairdryer use. Most caravan retailers are amenable to adding mains sockets where you require them, though.

The wardrobe gives you 30cm of hanging width, plus an array of shelving spaces of different sizes, perfectly designed for both fold-up clothing and shoes. Confining all clothing and shoes to the wardrobe would never be a problem in a 530, even with four aboard.

Storage

Storage possibilities elsewhere are well up to the task for four, too, with drop-down locker doors under the settees and, unusually, also front access to the spaces under the dining seating. Three top lockers over this area and four more over the lounge are the icing on a very good storage cake.

Sleeping

You could make single beds in the lounge provided you’re not tall; you’d get beds that are 1.77cm long. You’d be more likely, though, to unfurl the slatted base from under the drawers, turn over the settee bases and covert the seating into a mattress. During our review it took us just a couple of minutes; these are lightweight seat units which are easy to lift. Their construction is another new feature for 2016. Called Swift AirWave, it’s a foam construction which is designed to provide a firm mattress with a comfortably flat surface. Sleeping is not part of our review task, of course, so we can’t vouch for comfort, but we can say it feels nicely firm when we sit on it.

The bunk beds that your can create in the dining area are 1.78m long. The seating upholstery sections are made in two parts, so that you can fold them out to make the mattress of the lower bunk. It’s half the thickness of the upholstery when it’s in seating mode; that’s fine for lightweight occupants, though. The mattress for the upper bunk is stored separately, ideally under the front seating.

Dining

Dining options are a big plus-point in the 530. There are three; a table for two that extends from the chest of drawers at the front; the “dining room”: opposite the kitchen and, when all four want to dine together, you can get the freestanding table out from its cabinet alongside the shower.

There’s a neat bit of design in the dining area; when the curtain isn’t drawn around the bunk area at night it  slides into its own aperture, perfectly sized to secure it neatly in place in the dresser.

Lounging

Sit back, feel the comfort of the new foam-construction upholstery in the 530’s ample-length lounge and take in the ambience created by the combination of turquoise, pale brown woodwork with an almost grey with gloss top lockers and seating that’s essentially modern, mixing stark plan brown and cream. It’s a lovely look. The curtains and cushions, with a turquoise and grey poppies on a background that’s almost white, first appeared in Challengers last year and was so much liked that it was picked by one retailer for a range of special editions of Sprite.

Challengers have Truma Combi blown air heating as standard. For the first time, for 2016, though, buyers can opt for Alde heating, at an extra cost of £749. This option adds slightly to the caravan’s weight, taking the MIRO up from 1279kg to 1323kg and adding 26kg to the MTPLM, making it 1474kg.

There’s an option on fabrics, too; for an extra £749 you can get your Challenger with stain-resistant, wipe-clean SwiftShield material, of the type that’s standard on the higher-priced Elegance range.

Kitchen

The 530 is a star performer in the kitchen area, with a surface that stretches 1.31m forward from the (dual fuel) hob.  A cavernous cabinet is on the fore end of the kitchen (it's 52cm wide and 60cm deep, with two shelf spaces. a smaller (18cm wide) cabinet is to the rear of the fridge; this one contains two pull-out shelves. Two more of these pull-out metal basket-style shelves are in a third cabinet, this time 29cm wide, that divides the lounge from the dining area. The kitchen has four drawers; one fitted for cutlery, another ideal for kitchen utensils and two more, 52cm wide, above the large cabinet on the fore end of the kitchen.

The microwave is set neatly flush within the triple top locker run which has a matt linen-look surface; very smart, crisp and modern. And the wallboard adds to the attractive styling; it’s rather like wallpaper, pure white with a subtle swirling design.

Towing

Challengers don’t have ATC as standard. It’s a £315 option. We’d go for that, to enhance stability and safety. On its brief tow test, though, the 530 felt reassuringly well balanced, and its mid-range length means that manoeuvring into pitches is pretty easy. It’s not a heavyweight, even if you go for the Alde option, so if you do have to manually push your caravan to get it into a confined space, in your garden, perhaps, the 530 won’t present too much of a challenge.
 

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Black Country Caravans


Corngreaves Road
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Staffordshire
B64 7DA
http://www.blackcountrycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans, trailer tents, folding campers for sale. Habitation repairs & service, accessory shop and awning showroom.

Golden Castle Caravans and Motorhomes


Tewkesbury Road
Gloucester
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GL2 9PX
http://www.goldencastle.co.uk
[email protected]
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Lowdhams (Huddersfield)


Crosland Hill
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West Yorkshire
HD4 5NU
http://www.lowdhams.com
[email protected]
New Bailey, Chausson, Compass, Dethleffs, Hymer, HymerCar, Sunlight and Swift motorhomes. New Airstream, Eriba, Bailey, and Swift caravans. Also used, base & habitation service, finance, accessories.

Lowdhams (Nottingham)


Lowdham Road
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NG14 7ES
http://www.lowdhams.com
[email protected]
New Bailey, Chausson, Compass, Dethleffs, Hymer, HymerCar, Sunlight and Swift motorhomes. New Airstream, Eriba, Bailey, and Swift caravans. Also used, base & habitation service, finance, accessories.

Marquis Motorhomes (Dorset)

41-45
Old Wareham Road
Poole
Dorset
BH12 4QN
http://www.marquisleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Base & habitation service & repairs.

Marquis Motorhomes (Surrey)


Station Approach
Guildford
Surrey
GU5 9NX
https://www.marquisleisure.co.uk/locations/surrey
[email protected]
Adria, Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Benimar, Elddis, Majestic, Mobilvetta, Randger new motorhomes. Habitation service, finance.

3 A's Leisure (Showground)


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SA33 5DR
http://www.3acaravans.co.uk
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Adria, Autocruise, Auto-Sleepers, Bessacarr, Carthago, Chausson, Dethleffs, Elddis, Swift. Habitation service, finance, accessories, overnighters.

Atlantic Caravans


East Taphouse Industrial Estate
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 6LE
http://www.atlanticcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Caravan movers. NCC approved workshop and accessory shop. Habitation service & repair.

Bardsea Leisure

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Priory Road
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 9QE
http://www.bardsealeisure.co.uk
[email protected]
New & used tourers, statics & motorhomes. Bailey & Swift motorhomes. Service, repair, awnings, accessories. Based at Bardsea Leisure Park. Habitation service.

Brayford Leisure Caravan Centre Ltd

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Moor Lane
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Lincolnshire
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http://www.brayford-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Caravan & motorhome service (habitation only for motorhome) & repair. Motor movers.

Broad Lane Leisure (Alcester)


Birmingham Road A435
Alcester
Warwickshire
B49 5QD
http://www.broadlane.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes. Awnings and accessories.

Broad Lane Leisure (Kenilworth)


Warwick Road
Kenilworth
Warwickshire
CV35 7RD
http://www.broadlane.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Used motorhomes. Awnings and accessories.

Campbells Caravans and Motorhomes


Watkin Lane
Preston
Lancashire
PR5 5RD
http://www.campbellscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans, motorhomes, awnings and accessories. Motorhome habitation service.

Catterick Caravans


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Richmond
North Yorkshire
DL10 7JB
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans & motorhomes. Awnings, finance, insurance, spray clinic. Accessories. Habitation service & repairs. Caravan & motorhome storage.

Chichester Caravans (Chichester)


Main Road
Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 8RL
http://www.chichester-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. New and used caravans.

Chichester Caravans (Uckfield)


London Road
Uckfield
East Sussex
TN22 2EA
http://www.chichester-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. New and used caravans.

Cookstown Caravans


Cloghog Road
Cookstown
Co Tyrone
BT80 8RN
http://www.cookstowncaravans.com
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New & used caravans, awnings, accessories. Motor movers. Caravan external covers.

Couplands Caravans

Tattershall Way
Northolme Road
Louth
Lincolnshire
LN11 0YZ
http://www.couplandscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan new and used sales. Habitation service, repairs & accessories. Bailey, Bessacarr, Coachman, Swift caravans. Motor movers.

Cranham Leisure (Upminster)


Old Gailey Park
Upminster
Essex
RM14 1TJ
http://www.cranham.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Base and habitation servicing. Also branch at Chelmsford.

Davan Caravans & Motorhomes


Goosey Lane
Weston-super-Mare
Somerset
BS22 7XA
http://www.davan.co.uk
[email protected]
New caravans. New motorhomes. Habitation service.

Dee Valley Caravans


Drumoak
Banchory
Aberdeenshire
AB31 5AU
http://www.deevalleycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used touring caravans, used motorhomes and static caravans. Three caravan parks on Deeside.

Dinmore Leisure


Hope-under-Dinmore
Leominster
Herefordshire
HR6 0PJ
https://www.dinmoreleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
New caravans. Base & habitation service & repairs. New motorhomes. Awnings, parts, accessories. Tents & gas bottles.

Dumfries Caravan Centre

308
Annan Road
Dumfries
Dumfries and Galloway
DG1 3JE
http://www.dumfriescaravans.com
[email protected]
New and used motorhomes and caravans. Accident/damage and bodywork repair (also mobile). Habitation service. Accessory shop.

Duncan Caravans

186
Wishaw Road
Wishaw
Lanarkshire
ML2 8ES
http://www.duncancaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Caravan and motorhome awnings, accessories and tents. Caravan habitation service.

Ebor Leisure World


Malton Road
York
North Yorkshire
YO60 7SE
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing.

Ennis Caravans Ltd

The Caravan Centre
Carmarthen Road
Llanelli
Carmarthenshire
SA14 6SP
http://www.ennis-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used tourers, motorhomes, holiday homes and canoes & kayaks. Finance, service, accessories.

Forest of Dean Caravans


Parkend
Lydney
Gloucestershire
GL15 4JN
http://www.forestofdeancaravans.co.uk
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Bailey & Swift caravans. New and used sales, service & supplies.

Glossop Caravans


Main A57
Glossop
Derbyshire
SK13 6JF
http://www.glossopcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Base, habitation service and MoTs. Accessories and service centre.

GNR Sutherland


Edderton
Nr Tain
Highland
IV19 1JY
http://www.sutherlandcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Tourers and static sales. Accessory shop. New Bailey & Swift caravans.

Grantham Caravans


Spittlegate Level
Grantham
Lincolnshire
NG31 7UH
http://www.granthamcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Redline Camper conversions. Workshops and accessory shops. Habitation service & repairs.

Greentrees Caravan Store

Adventure House
Hurn Road
Dereham
Norfolk
NR19 1WD
https://www.greentrees-caravanstore.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used motorhomes and caravans. Awnings and workshop. HireMe caravan & motorhome hire.

Halleys Burnhouse Caravans


Lochlibo Road
Beith
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KA15 1LF
http://www.halleycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Also accessories and workshop. Motor movers and awnings. Habitation servicing. Finance.

Highbridge Caravan Centre Ltd


A38 Bristol Road
Highbridge
Somerset
TA9 4EX
http://www.highbridgecaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Motorhome & caravan dealer. Huge choice of tents, trailer tents, folding campers & accessories.

Homestead Caravans and Outdoor Leisure


Thorpe Road (B1033)
Clacton-on-Sea
Essex
CO16 9JN
http://www.homesteadcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Homestead Caravans is a main dealer of Swift caravans & motorhomes. We operate an industry 'Approved Caravan Workshop' for servicing & insurance.

Kimberley Caravans (Darlington)


Burtree Gate
Darlington
Co Durham
DL2 2XZ
http://www.kimberleycaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing. Overnight camping on site available. Motor movers.

Kirkcaldy Caravans


Randolph Place
Kirkcaldy
Fife
KY1 2YX
http://www.kirkcaldycaravans.com
[email protected]
Swift, Sterling, Sprite and Lunar caravans. Awnings, accessories, motor movers. Caravan & motorhome habitation service & repair.

Knowepark Caravans and Motorhomes


Hardie Road
Livingston
West Lothian
EH54 8BA
http://www.kpcm.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation servicing.

Leisure Sales


Brereton Green
Sandbach
Cheshire
CW11 1SD
http://www.leisuresales.co.uk
[email protected]
Cheshire’s principal main dealer for Lunar and Bailey and Coachman caravans. Parts & accessory shop. Service centre. Caravans only.

Lowe & Rhodes Leisure Ltd


Victoria Road
Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire
ST4 2HU
http://loweandrhodes.co.uk
[email protected]
Swift new caravans. Repairs, servicing and awnings.

LPC Caravans & Camping


Balloo Place
Bangor
Co Down
BT19 7BP
http://www.lpccaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Sales & service for caravans. Motorhome habitation service & repairs.

Newport Caravans


Kings Parade
Newport
Gwent
NP20 2DU
http://www.newportcaravans.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale. Habitation service & repairs.

Norwich Caravans


Cromer Road
Norwich
Norfolk
NR10 5LY
http://www.norwich-caravans.co.uk
hevingham[email protected]
Used caravans and motorhomesMotorhome habitation service & repairs.

Oxford Caravan Centre


Oxford Road (A418)
Thame
Oxfordshire
OX9 2LH
http://www.swindoncaravansgroup.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Habitation service.

Perthshire Caravans


Dundee Road
Perth
Perth and Kinross
PH2 7SR
http://www.perthshire-caravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New motorhomes, caravans, holiday homes & accessories. Service & sprays.

Pioneer Caravans


Thorney Road
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE6 7UB
http://www.pioneercaravans.co.uk
New Swift motorhomes. New Swift & Bailey caravans. Willerby & ABI new statics. Awnings, accessories, service & repair. Storage. CaSSOA Gold award.

Robinsons Caravans Ltd (Chesterfield)


Ringwood Road
Chesterfield
Derbyshire
S43 1DG
http://www.robinsonscaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
New caravans. Awnings. Workshop and accessory shop. New Bailey motorhomes.

Ryedale Caravan & Leisure Ltd


Ashby Road West
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE12 9EF
https://www.ryedaleleisure.com
[email protected]
Bailey, Sterling & Swift new and used caravans. Awnings, accessories, habitation service & repairs,

S&D Harper Ltd


Edgar Road
Elgin
Inverness-shire
IV30 6YQ
http://sdharper.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Accessories, habitation service & repairs. Indespension and Brian James trailers, towbars. Calor gas.

Salop Leisure (Shrewsbury)

Head Office
Ermstrey
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY5 6QS
http://www.salopleisure.co.uk
Touring caravans, motorhomes and statics. Sales and service. Swift motorhomes.

Spinney Flintshire

76
Station Road
Deeside
Flintshire
CH5 2TE
https://www.spinney.co.uk
[email protected].co.uk
New and used caravans and motorhomes. Habitation service, repairs and accessories. Dorema, Isabella, Ventura and Sunncamp awnings. Paint shop.

Spinney Staffordshire


Stonewall Place
Newcastle-under-Lyme
Staffordshire
ST5 6NR
http://www.spinney.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey & Coachman caravans. Accessory shop, workshop - insurance, repair work, body repairs, servicing and fitting of related accessories. Auto-Trail, Bailey, Swift new motorhomes.

Stewart Longton Caravans (Chorley)


Friday Street
Chorley
Lancashire
PR6 0AH
http://www.stewartlongton.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Well stocked accessory shop. Servicing & repairs. Previously Swift limited edition Safari range.

Swindon Caravan Centre


Greatfield
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN4 8EQ
http://www.swindoncaravansgroup.com
[email protected]
New caravans. Also used caravans, hire, camping and accessory superstore, workshop facilities.

Teesside Caravans


Teesside Industrial Estate
Stockton-on-Tees
Co Durham
TS17 9JZ
http://www.teessidecaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Caravan & motorhome storage. CaSSOA Gold award. New and used caravans. Used motorhome sales and habitation servicing. Tyron bands.

Tilshead Caravans Ltd


Stockbridge Road (A30)
Salisbury
Wiltshire
SP5 1BS
http://www.tilshead-caravans.com
[email protected]
2-6 berth Swift Sundances for UK & Europe travel. New and used caravans and motorhomes for sale or hire. Fully equipped workshops.

Torksey Caravans Ltd


Lincoln Road
Torksey
Lincolnshire
LN1 2EL
http://www.qualitycaravans.com
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Also used motorhomes, accessories, service & repair. Tents & awnings.

Tyneside Leisure World


Portobello Trading Estate
Birtley
Co Durham
DH3 2SN
http://www.leisureworldgroup.com
[email protected]
Elddis, Lunar, Swift tourers, plus Auto-Trail, Elddis, Burstner, Roller Team motorhomes. Habitation service. Caravan & motorhome storage.

Wandahome South Cave Ltd


Brough Road
Brough
East Yorkshire
HU15 2DB
http://www.wandahome.online
[email protected]
Roller Team, Swift new motorhomes. Buccaneer, Bailey, Coachman, Elddis, Sprite, Swift, Xplore new caravans. NCC approved workshops. Gold storage.

White Arches Caravans


Wellingborough Road
Rushden
Northamptonshire
NN10 6AY
http://white-arches.co.uk
[email protected]
New and used caravans. Awnings and accessories. Bailey, Coachman, Swift new caravans. 12 bay workshop. Finance. Accessories.

Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes

Clayfield Park
Main Road
Winchester
Hampshire
SO21 1TD
http://www.winchestercaravans.com
[email protected]
Bailey and Swift new and used. Service. Caravan movers. Accessories and awnings. Finance available.

Yorkshire Caravans of Bawtry Ltd


Doncaster Road
Bawtry
South Yorkshire
DN10 6DG
http://www.yorkshirecaravans.com
[email protected]
Storage. CaSSOA Gold award. New and used caravans, awnings & leisure accessories. New & used folding campers.

Yorkshire Coast Caravans


Lancaster Road
Bridlington
East Yorkshire
YO15 3QY
http://www.yorkshirecoastcaravans.co.uk
[email protected]
Bailey, Coachman, Swift new caravans. Used motorhomes. Static sales. Workshop. Habitation service. Finance and accessories. Mobile caravan service offered.