Eight feet seems to have become the magic width for British caravan manufacturers in recent years. Continental firms may have turned out such vans for many years – Adria’s more upmarket ranges are all 8ft wide, for example, as is the Knaus Starclass line-up. 

We don’t even want to begin to talk about widths they might be towing across the pond. But with the exception of Buccaneer, British firms have preferred to stick to dimensions closer to the more conventional 7ft. 

Until recently. First, what was then the Explorer Group opted to take what it was already doing with Buccaneers and apply this further down the market, with the family-orientated Elddis Avanté and Compass Casita. 

Lunar soon followed suit with the Alarias (once it had built a pit in its factory wide enough to take such a model).

And then there was Swift, which opted for new 8ft-wide models in two of its ranges. The focus at the launch last summer was on the Elegance Grandes, but earlier in the year, it had also brought out two 8ft-wide versions of the most popular layouts in its recently enhanced Sprite range, the Sprite Supers. 

Suddenly there seemed so many to choose from – and then, by the NEC this year, we had Bailey’s Pegasus Grandes, too. 

We decided to take stock of one of the new extra-wide vans, to see how they fared on a pre-Christmas tour. Colleague Bryony was off to East Riding, and the obvious choice was the six-berth Sprite Super Quattro FB, with central dinette, nearside rear corner bed and offside rear corner washroom.

The Sprite Super range might be 8ft wide, but the Quattro FB remains recognisably a Sprite.

It still features that distinctive curvaceous Sprite front panel and, like all of the Sprites since the 2018 season, three front windows. The extra body width does make this row of windows look a little more squat on the road – as does the whole van, in fact.  But you do get even more of a view from inside.

You still get the smart Sprite lettering along the side, too, and the sleek, modern decals. Our test model came with the Diamond Pack (costing a further£610 for a twin-axle), so we also had classy ‘Edge’ alloy wheels. 

In short, you could turn up with this at a Sprite owners’ rally and it wouldn’t look out of place. It’s been a while since Sprites looked like a budget van, and the Supers are continuing in this move upmarket. 

We were impressed by the finish on the Sprite. You wouldn’t usually expect to find dimmable ambient lighting in this price range, nor generally to have such a selection of lighting. The soft furnishings and furniture are also very high quality.

Some of the equipment, however, might be at full stretch if the van has its entire quota of occupants. For a family of six, we think you would fill the 100-litre fridge to capacity very quickly. 

We were also aware that our model included the Diamond Pack. Given that this adds alloys, a microwave, AKS stabiliser, a door flyscreen, two more scatter cushions and an enhanced radio, if we can’t persuade you now that it’s definitely worth £610 extra, we probably never will. 

Without these additions, though, this comfortable and spacious caravan would still feel slightly on the entry-level side.