This is a caravan packed with surprises. It’s only 5.6 metres long, yet it has two wardrobes, beds for six, a kitchen that’s practical in size – and the biggest surprise of all, given the caravan’s compact size: a stepin shower that’s separate from the toilet area.
Sleeping for six in a compact caravan.
WITH a six-decade history of serving the light-weight, affordable-price sector behind it, the Major 6 had a lot to live up to… Sprites acquired a curvy new look at the start of the current model year; suddenly the caravan whose name goes back to the 1940s became more outstanding in looks than at any time in its history. Its curvy shape and sky blue image graphics cut the 2012 Sptites a summer holiday dash.
One thing hasn’t changed down the years of Sprite’s evolution; Sprites still have the single-piece front window that their early ancestors had – and it’s still just as pleasing; these windows let in more light than triple-unit windows and give the lounge a more open feel. The new face of Sprite for 2012 featured a gas bottle locker aperture that is especially wide, so lifting cylinders in and out is just about as easy as it gets. And it offers beds for six – and two of them fixed – and all in a compact caravan!
There are two seating areas; that feature alone makes the Major 6 among Britain’s most practical caravans for families. There's ample space at the front end and the upholstery is comfortable. The settees aren't long enough to make single beds for adults, though. And the offside dining area is just about wide enough for four children to sit at. This area is, variously, the play zone, the dining space – and, at night, it’s a bedroom for two; a bunk pulls up from against the wall.
Two more bunks are on the nearside – these are permanent beds, with a great storage area under the lower bunk. The lounge creates the parents’ sleeping space, with a double bed making up across the caravan. Considering that the Major 6 is only 5.6m long, the amount of storage space is phenomenal.
There are two dining areas, but some will find the two-seater table rather high in relation to the seats.
It’s perhaps in the shower room that we find the Major 6’s biggest surprise, though, given its 5.6m length and the presence of beds for six. There’s a separate, step-in shower unit – and enough usable floor space for parents to dress tiny caravanners. So few caravans in this league have seprate showers - a real bonus for families with young children.
The large amount of seating in this caravan helps – because where there are seats there are under-seating lockers. In the Sprite, those under the lounge have drop-down doors, a feature seldom found in budget caravans. And, for occasions when you want to get into the lockers from the top, there are springs to hold the lids up. Having two wardrobes is utterly brilliant.
One forms a natural divider between the lounge and the side dining area; the other sits between the fixed bunks and the shower room. The rear wardrobe has a shelf under the hanging depth, plus a cavernous space beneath, ideal for footwear.
And there are nine head-height lockers, all with strong positive catches. Storage in the Major 6 kitchen is amazing, too. There is a central cabinet giving you ample space for tall items, a drawer above it that’s amply proportioned for six sets of cutlery, then three top cabinets.
In its weight and length class, this kitchen excels in terms of surface and storage. There are no microwaves in Sprites, so you gain a cabinet here – but cooking equipment excels otherwise. There’s a full oven and grill, plus triple-burner hob. Good kitchen surface space is another pleasant surprise in a caravan of such compact overall proportions.
The Major 6 has two mains sockets in the lounge. A third socket is in the kitchen – but this one is the nearest to the mirror that’s on the door of the rear wardrobe, so anyone attempting to use a hairdryer here would have to stretch the power cable across the kitchen. This, though, was the only aspect of the Major 6 which attracted criticism during the two days we had it on loan from Grantham Caravans.
Sprites are narrower than many caravans so there’s a better view along the sides. On test, its towing characteristics were nothing short of exemplary – simply, an easy tow. And, at little over 1400kg MTPLM, a modestly-sized car will cope easily.