Norm Guthartz

See other caravan reviews written by Norm Guthartz

Practical Caravan’s experts review the 2013 Sprite Major 6, an entry-level, large-family tourer that’s knocking on the door of mid-market models

Overview

SPRITE’S MAJOR 6 was crowned the Best Caravan for Large Families in Practical Caravan's Tourer of the Year Awards 2013. Our reviewers praised it for being a great all-rounder, with a sensible weight and good price.

Launched in 2012, at the ExCeL spring show, the Major 6 features two fixed bunks in the rear-nearside corner, an offside corner washroom and a side dinette that can be converted into two bunks. Ideal for large families (which we generally define as six persons), it can also work well for families of four if the side dinette is left unconverted, or five, if the dinette base is used as a bed. 

What we most liked about the Major 6, aside from its flexibility, was its practicality. From the durable upholstery to the bundles of storage and living space, every square inch suits (and can withstand) day-to-day use.

Pitching and setting up

The Major 6 rides on an Al-Ko chassis with hitch stabiliser and buttonless handbrake. The front steadies are easy to locate, on the side, and the rear steady bolts are just under the rear skirt.

The front gas locker lid has locks at either end and rises on a central gas strut. Hook-up and water connections are made to the offside, which is where you’ll also find the toilet cassette hatch. Services drain behind the axle.

An integrated control panel sits above the windowless two-piece caravan door; to its left are the Truma Combi heating controls.

Lounge

This area features design touches from upmarket Swift Group ranges, including the plastic storage binnacle behind the centre chest, which features a pair of plug sockets and a TV aerial point, and plastic edging above the overhead lockers. The centre chest has two drawers and a slide-out tabletop.

The lounge gangway is an agreeable 0.61m and the seats are firm and comfortable. The upholstery and the cabinet work combine well, and the dark brown seats will hide dirt.

Natural light is plentiful, flooding in from the single-piece front window, sunroof (a cost option), side windows and small rooflight, which is actually one thing that bothers us; a full-size Heki would have been much better. There are four spotlights, one in each corner.

Kitchen

The Sprite’s nearside galley is generous with work surface and space for stowing food, dishes and cooking equipment. It also features a cooker with three gas burners, a separate oven and grill, and a 112-litre fridge with separate freezer compartment. There’s no microwave, although there is space and a mains socket for one in the right-hand overhead locker.

The circular sink has a clip-on drainer and a chrome mixer tap. Task lighting comes from a strip light running along the underside of the overhead lockers. A single plug socket on the upright will accommodate a toaster or kettle.

Washroom

A domestic-style door opposite the fixed bunks opens on to the washroom. It’s not particularly large, but it uses the space well. Equipment comprises an oval washbasin with vanity unit beneath, an electric-flush swivel toilet, a half-length mirror and a toothbrush holder.

A separate shower unit is in the offside-rear corner, reached via a bi-fold door. It has a wallboard finish, so you’ll have to keep a close eye on the condition of the sealant. The shower has its own light, while a roof vent looks down from above the basin.

A towel ring, fixed high next to the shower door, a frosted side window with roll blind and a toilet-roll holder complete the spec.

Beds

The front double bed measures 2.02m x 1.7m and is assembled using pull-out slats. Spotlights at each corner of the bed provide maximum flexibility for reading in the evenings.

At the rear of the caravan, a pair of fixed bunks, each measuring 1.83m x 0.57m, occupies the nearside corner. In the middle of the offside is a dinette that can be converted into a single bed measuring 1.8m x 0.83m, while a bunk that measures 1.76m x 0.59m can be assembled above it. A spotlight is fitted at both ends of the dinette for reading.

Storage

Ten overhead lockers are available, most without shelving. Bedding can be stored in the nearside seat box, and both dinette seat bases will swallow items, too.

Kitchen storage is good, with tall overhead lockers, although fitting a microwave will rob you of one of them. Under the worktop, there’s a cutlery drawer and a 0.39m-wide cupboard that features slide-out racks. Opposite the kitchen, in the dresser, there’s more cupboard space under a wardrobe with a 1.03m drop.

Another wardrobe, measuring 0.69m wide with a drop of 1.25m, is next to the fixed bunks. There are small shelves inside, on the right-hand side, and a large cupboard below provides plenty of storage options.

Technical specs

Berth6
MiRO1234kg
Payload203kg
MTPLM1437kg
Interior length5.6m
Shipping length7.12m
Width2.23m
Height2.65m
Awning size999cm

Verdict

There is little that the Sprite Major 6 does wrong, and fo each niggle there is something else that more than compensates for it. The small Heki in the lounge? No problem: large windows all around and the optional sunroof do much to compensate for that. 

The Major 6 is on the heavy and pricey side for an ostensibly budget or entry-level tourer, but it is more than anything else an all-rounder that makes sense for a large family that is new to caravanning. It is still reasonably priced and light enough to be towed by the likes of a Ford S-Max or Galaxy. Add the optional Diamond pack for just over £400 and it closes the gap on its mid-range rivals. Finally, it’s packaged in a style you wouldn’t expect of an entry-level van.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The lounge is pleasant, practical and fills with daylight
  • The washroom is compact but it is fully equipped, including a separate shower
  • There is ample storage space throughout

Cons

  • It is priced at the high end of the entry-level sector
  • The MTPLM is higher than all but two vans in the sector – both Sprites
  • Instead of the small rooflight, the lounge should have got a full-size model
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