Sprites have always had a straightforward, no-frills exterior appearance. Sleek, clean lines and a rather rounded front end characterised these affordable caravans long before caravans had ovens, water heaters and proper heating systems.
They’ve always represented holiday value and holiday fun, in price and image.
The bold, bright blue graphics of today’s Sprites are your first clue to the fact that those values hold true today.
Big, wide, single-piece front windows mark out so-called budget caravans from higher-priced alternatives, and that’s
an advantage, for they let more light into the lounge than the
more commonly-found triple window arrangement.
The new Major 4 FB brought Britain’s most popular layout – with a fixed bed and end shower room – into the Sprite range for the first time.
It’s an appealing caravan in many ways. But perhaps most important is that its all-up weight is only 1327kg, putting it within reach of a lot of modest-sized cars. Its other strong appeal is its price. But what does your £13,945 buy in terms of specification?
If it’s some years since you looked closely at a Sprite, you may have some catching up to do. The Major 4 FB has the new Truma Combi space and water heating system. The unit is hidden away under the offside settee and propels warm air around the caravan through four floor-level exit points, importantly, including one in the shower room.
There’s a full oven and grill, a 113-litre fridge with LED controls, and a speaker system installed ready to take a radio/CD player.
Fabrics and carpets are high quality and give the impression they’re made to last. Upholstery
is supportive and there’s a general air of straightforward quality about 2013’s Sprites.
The lounge gives you settees long enough to sit with your feet up and a chest of two drawers with a top that extends to give you a coffee/snacks table. Two power points are set into a console shaped to hold phones while charging here.
The kitchen sink is big and circular; very practical, with just about enough working surface around it to make good meals.
Stay organised, though, to make the best use of the space. We’d say keep the glass top down on the hob until you’re ready to cook on the three burners. There’s no microwave but inside one of the three top kitchen cabinets there’s a mains socket. If you take out the shelf in the centre cabinet, a microwave could be installed here. Talk to your caravan retailer to make sure you get the right weight and size of microwave for the cabinet.
Lower kitchen storage is limited to a pans cupboard under the oven plus a small drawer and two-shelf cupboard between the fridge and the oven. But more storage space is at hand, across the corridor, in a dresser-style unit that divides the day area from the bedroom. Here, there is a large cabinet with two shelf spaces, and an open shelf area above it, for magazines, perhaps.
Vast storage opportunities are under the bed, which rises easily on gas-filled struts. And there’s an exterior hatch so that you are able to slide in folding chairs from outside.
Alongside, the wardrobe is bigger than you’d expect in a caravan that’s only 5.29m in body length. There’s full hanging depth from the rail that’s almost 80cm wide. Two deep shelves are within the wardrobe on the right-hand side and there’s a vast space beneath the lower shelf that’s clearly designed for more footwear than you’d usually take on holiday! There are two doors; importantly, both hinge right back so that you can still walk down the corridor between here and the bed while the wardrobe is open.
A mirror, shelf and power point are within the bedroom area, just behind the wardrobe.
In the shower room, two cabinets and three shelf areas give you plenty of places to put the preening and pampering necessities. The shower is of an ample size but, unlike most caravans in a higher price bracket, its walls are not plastic-lined. Some buyers may express concern about water getting into the structure here but, with a 10-year body integrity guarantee, we think we can all be pretty sure Swift has confidence in all areas of water contact.
There’s just one aspect of the Sprite pricing policy that may puzzle you. There’s a Diamond Pack listed as an optional extra. It costs an extra £410. Yet, in practice, all Sprites that leave the factory do so complete with the pack, as there are two really important items included in it. They are a spare wheel (be sure to never leave home without one) and a hitch-head stabiliser (there’s a reason why most caravans have them now – they’re an important safety feature). Other items you get in the pack are a door flyscreen, some comfy cushions and a radio/CD unit.