Gary Richardson

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Reader Gary Richardson pays tribute to the classic Sprite tourer that’s been in his family for 25 years, and still delivers the best holidays of his life

In 1988, our family holidays changed forever when we bought a new Musketeer from the 40th anniversary Sprite collection. We called her Musky and she’s since travelled over 40,000 miles with us — a holiday heroine saving us from boring breaks.

Like a playful pooch, caravans can easily become part of the family; happy memories of holidays fill the photo album and remind us of all our adventures. 

To us, it really is like taking our home on holiday with us and while the view from the window is subject to change, we can enjoy the comfort that Musky the Musketeer provides – whether we fall asleep to the sound of raindrops on the roof or wake with the sun in our eyes.

Our evergreen Sprite

But why have we stayed faithful to the old girl and never upgraded her in favour of something more spritely and exciting?

It’s simple really: we’re rather fond of her and she has never let us down. New models may come and go, but few have been able to tick as many boxes as Musky.

She is a compact and lightweight caravan, with a versatile layout and a wonderful ability to come through her annual service with flying colours – and these are just a few of her best qualities.

Back to the 80s

Then there are the memories. She has quite literally been from John o’Groats to Land’s End with us (although not all in one go) and much of the rest of the British Isles in between.

She has provided us with family holidays in the high days of summer, a cosy base camp for outdoor activities in the depths of winter, weekend escapes at short notice, a party shelter at festivals including Glastonbury and the Big Chill, and even a spare room at home whenever extra family members turn up on the doorstep. 

Most of these adventures have been captured on camera and, after a quarter of a century, we have many memories. I hope you will enjoy browsing through some of our favourite photos!

The vital statistics for our 1988 CI Sprite Musketeer S are that its original list price was £4095. It has five berths and a shipping length of 5.69m. The MiRO is 655kg and the MTPLM is 900kg. We still have the original brochure for the 40th anniversary range of CI Sprite caravans launched in 1988. 

As we took delivery of our Sprite, Kylie Minogue was at the top of the charts, singing 'I should be so lucky', while number two in the charts was 'The only way is up' by Yazz and the Plastic Population. It was a time of youth and optimism and the Top 10 soundtrack to our caravanning also included 'Nothing's gonna change my love for you' by Glen Madeiros and 'Heaven is a place on Earth' by Belinda Carlisle.

It was a fantastic start to our life with the new caravan, and our Richardson family holidays just got better and better. Of course we've looked after our little Sprite over the years, keeping her clean and well maintained to prolong her life.

We estimated the number of miles we've covered while towing the Sprite Musketeer to date and were astonished to come up with 41,500 miles. Despite this high mileage, Musky is still going strong!

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