Any particular issues with Swift Challenge Sport 442 SR

Jun 29, 2020
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Hi
I am about to put my toe into the water and buy a caravan. I have been offered a 2012 Challenger Sport 442 with full service history at a reasonable price from a private seller (last serviced last year). This model will have a timber frame, should I be paying out more to get one built using the SMART system. Which model year uses the SMART system- 2014?

Are there any model specific issues that I should be aware of and check before handing out my cash. I intend doing the pre purchase checks myself. I do have a damp meter but due to it leaving small holes will not be using this on any areas that show and will have to rely on other damp tell tales for these areas.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have a similar construction Swift Sprite just prior to Smart. It developed some hairline cracks in the rear panel on the roof line. There was some damp ingress into the rear offside top corner. Could not be seen or smelt but the dealer damp check picked it up when they spotted the cracks. Rear panel repaired under warranty. I’d strongly recommend a check by a AWS approved workshop or mobile technician. They will also be conversant with potential areas. If the seller objects walk away.
Other than that the van has been fine. The Smart does have the advantage of being more resistant to damage should you get damp ingress.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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The advantage of private purchase is you generally get a better price, but the biggest disadvantage with an expensive item like a caravan is if for any reason the product is not as good as it might seem, you have much greater difficulty in getting a satisfactory resolution if there is problem.

You have already mentioned damp, and for wood framed caravans that is one of the most serious issues where the costs of correcting it can mount up, not to mention the disappointment and inconvenience of getting put right. That is where the extra cost of using a propper dealer can be worth it .

If you are not familiar with caravans, I really do suggest asking a family member or friend who caravans to view the caravan with you. Their insight may spot things you simply do not realise or know about yet.

I also recommend that when you find a caravan you think is right for you, it pays to engage a mobile caravan engineer to do a pre purchase inspection. Their expertise may spot issues you might miss. If a seller is unhappy to have the van inspected, that should be a warning sign and I'd be taking my money elsewhere.

Also do check for HP free, and the person selling it really has the right to sell it before you agree to purchase.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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If dipping the toe in for the first time take Prof's advice above and buy from a dealer paying a deposit with a credit card. If possible get some of the finance on HP for further protection. The legislation Consumer Rights Act 2015 offers you a lot of protection. I cannot recall which brand, but one of the brands had severe problems with their 2012 caravans and it was widely reported on the Watchdog program.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If dipping the toe in for the first time take Prof's advice above and buy from a dealer paying a deposit with a credit card. If possible get some of the finance on HP for further protection. The legislation Consumer Rights Act 2015 offers you a lot of protection. I cannot recall which brand, but one of the brands had severe problems with their 2012 caravans and it was widely reported on the Watchdog program.
During that period the bottom had fallen from the market and there were vans made in 2011 that were not sold and registered until well into 2013. So any buyer should check the manufactures paperwork pack just to confirm that their 2013 van isn’t 2011. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with such a van as the first buyer would have obtained the full warranty but it may show that the anticipated construction method isn’t featured. Ie Swift changed to Smart and Eldiss to theirs around that time.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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During that period the bottom had fallen from the market and there were vans made in 2011 that were not sold and registered until well into 2013. So any buyer should check the manufactures paperwork pack just to confirm that their 2013 van isn’t 2011. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with such a van as the first buyer would have obtained the full warranty but it may show that the anticipated construction method isn’t featured. Ie Swift changed to Smart and Eldiss to theirs around that time.
Maybe the OP should consider paying a bit extra and go for a 2014 caravan as by that time I think the cracked front or rear panel issue on many brands had been resolved?
 
May 7, 2012
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You might find these two reviews at the bottom useful, but I cannot find anything on line reviewing a second hand model.
The damp test is essential so if you cannot do it with your tester it might pay to get a mobile engineer do it and generally look over the caravan. Most makers did have a problem with cracks appearing near the roof line on some caravans at that time but any that did should have been dealt with by now but it is worth checking out. Otherwise I am not aware of any model specific problems.
Make sure the the seller demonstrates that all the equipment is working.
Get the VIN number and check it with CRIS and HPI to make sure it is not on HP or stolen.

 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Hi Steve Smallholder
Like I said some great in formation. Mines a great van.
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Thanks for everybody's help . I have put the stepladder in the ca already to check the front and back.

My intention is to do a good examination following a used caravan check list i.e Trudgians. I'm taking my son in law so he can check that things work and I will do the main inspection. If I identify damp I will walk away as I have no idea of the costs of fixing. Other things are less of an issue and more of a bargaining chip.

I have looked at 3 caravans so far (all older) but supposedly they were damp free only to find significant damp in two that I checked in detail. Under front window and by the rear window on the other (i didn't check the rest of the caravan as there was no point).

Wish me luck!
 
Oct 17, 2010
685
59
18,935
During that period the bottom had fallen from the market and there were vans made in 2011 that were not sold and registered until well into 2013. So any buyer should check the manufactures paperwork pack just to confirm that their 2013 van isn’t 2011. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with such a van as the first buyer would have obtained the full warranty but it may show that the anticipated construction method isn’t featured. Ie Swift changed to Smart and Eldiss to theirs around that time.
Swift Challenger Sport was first launched in 2012 is 442s first year. Would have to re-badge to become a sport.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Thanks for everybody's help . I have put the stepladder in the ca already to check the front and back.

My intention is to do a good examination following a used caravan check list i.e Trudgians. I'm taking my son in law so he can check that things work and I will do the main inspection. If I identify damp I will walk away as I have no idea of the costs of fixing. Other things are less of an issue and more of a bargaining chip.

I have looked at 3 caravans so far (all older) but supposedly they were damp free only to find significant damp in two that I checked in detail. Under front window and by the rear window on the other (i didn't check the rest of the caravan as there was no point).

Wish me luck!
Good Luck i hope the caravan is damp free and everything is in excellent condition
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Swift Challenger Sport was first launched in 2012 is 442s first year. Would have to re-badge to become a sport.

Sorry fir any confusion. I was referring to the general state of the market not specifically to the caravan of interest to the OP
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Just picked up the van, seems to have been very well looked after, no expense spared. Everything tested worked. No damp
spotted . ABS rear in very good condition with no cracks.
Just needs a good clean and polish.
Many thanks for all your help.
 
Nov 11, 2009
7,763
654
30,935
Just picked up the van, seems to have been very well looked after, no expense spared. Everything tested worked. No damp
spotted . ABS rear in very good condition with no cracks.
Just needs a good clean and polish.
Many thanks for all your help.
That’s good enjoy your trips out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Smallholder
Oct 17, 2010
685
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Just picked up the van, seems to have been very well looked after, no expense spared. Everything tested worked. No damp
spotted . ABS rear in very good condition with no cracks.
Just needs a good clean and polish.
Many thanks for all your help.
Good to hear. Enjoy your van. I find mine's the bees Knees.Andy & Vickies wedding 001.jpg
 
Last edited:
May 7, 2012
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When checking for damp, the windows can give false readings. When we were selling our Eldiss some years ago I did a check myself and found damp readings on some of them. I pulled back the rubber surround to see what I could find and it was condensation which wiped off and there was in fact no problem. If you get damp readings there do check for condensation.
 
Jan 3, 2012
1,820
161
19,735
Just picked up the van, seems to have been very well looked after, no expense spared. Everything tested worked. No damp
spotted . ABS rear in very good condition with no cracks.
Just needs a good clean and polish.
Many thanks for all your help.
Hi i am pleased everything work out for you enjoy
 

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