Claudia Dowell
Features Editor

See other caravan reviews written by Claudia Dowell

Twin test, July 2009

Pitching and setting up

The Major 5 is built on an Al-Ko chassis with a button handbrake. Stabiliser and spare wheel are not standard, though they come at a very good price as part of the optional Diamond Pack. The front locker is a good size and has good access.

The two-piece entrance door doesn’t have a window or flyscreen, though a flyscreen is available as an option. Stepping inside, the digital control panel at the entrance makes it easy to find the right switch when setting up at night.

Lounge

Despite being a budget van the Sprite is very comfortable. The lounges have bolster cushions for reclining and the rooflight makes the space light and airy. A ceiling light, two corner lights and four spotlights keep the area bright after dark. There is also a pre-wired place for a Radio/CD player, which is an optional extra. At meal times, the long lounges and good-sized dining table will easily accommodate a family of five.

The only downside is the location of the TV point at a small table that lifts up over the main offside lounge. It isn’t the ideal location as a family of five will not all be able to watch at the same time.

Kids will love calling the rear lounge their own. Three will fit around the table here easily, and the ceiling light and two spotlights ensure they can use it around the clock.

Kitchen

The kitchen in this van is compact, but practical. There’s a 107-litre fridge, separate oven and grill and a three-burner hob. The large third burner is handy as it can take a family-sized saucepan. Workspace is limited, but a removable drainer leaves a strip by the power point. A glass lid for the hob means that space can be used as well.

A family of five may find the kitchen short on storage. There are two good sized overhead lockers, one with plate and cup racks, but below there is only one cupboard. Even here there isn’t much room for heavy or bulky items as the cutlery drawer and wheel arch reduce the useable space.

Washroom

The washroom was built on a budget, but it is still practical considering the small space. The shower is over the basin, but there is a separate shower head and tap. Below the basin is a large cupboard that provides plenty of storage even for a family of five. There is a large mirror above the basin, though a light above it would be useful.

Only a curtain separates the swivel toilet from the shower, and there is no way to secure it against the wall, so the toilet will get splashed. There is a shelf above the toilet to keep the loo roll out of the way.

Beds

To sleep five in this van both lounges are converted into beds. Making the front lounge into a double bed is easy. The slats are easy to pull out and the cushions fit well to make a large, comfortable bed. There are reading lights for both people, too.

Transforming the rear lounge is a little trickier. You need to take all of the cushions off to raise the bunk, then get them back on again to make the double bed below it. Extra cushions are supplied for the bunk, though they are quite thin. An extra cushion is also provided to improve the fit of the cushions for the double bed. In the end the beds are all comfortable, though quite a few extras are required and they take up valuable storage space.

Storage

Overall, storage in the Major 5 is good. The front lounge has six overhead lockers and large under-seat lockers that are easy to access thanks to the supported lids. The rear lounge only has two overhead lockers, but it too has under-seat lockers. Storage in the washroom is excellent and the wardrobe is a good size.

There are a couple of niggles. The limited space in the kitchen is the largest. Also, getting the dining table up into its storage is awkward. It’s not at floor level because the wheel arch intrudes into the cupboard space.

Technical specs

Berth5
MiRO1101kg
Payload234kg
MTPLM1335kg
Interior length5.03m
Shipping length6.67m
Width2.23m
Height2.7m
Awning size924cm

Verdict

Attractive and practical on its own but the Diamond Pack is a must – 7/10

Conclusion

Pros

  • The removable drainer creates a useful strip of work surface adjacent to the power point, which is very practical
  • The Diamond Pack is a great-value option
  • For £290 you get a stabiliser, spare wheel and carrier, door flyscreen and radio/CD player.

Cons

  • The rear lounge is great for kids, but it only has two overhead lockers so their toys may spill into other parts of the van
  • The shower curtain cannot be fixed to the wall, so is unlikely to protect the toilet from splashes
  • It’s likely to stick to users in the small space, too.
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