It takes a bit of digging to discover a brand new caravan with a French bed these days – especially one as lightweight and keenly priced as this. Then again, low prices and light weights have been the hallmarks of caravans bearing the Sprite badge for many decades now.
In fact, today’s offerings are relatively upmarket, boasting everything you need for a comfortable, caravanning trip. The likes of a radio with Bluetooth connectivity, Status 570 TV aerial, fixings for a bike rack, microwave oven and more are standard these days.
Smart, modern looks suggest more than just a cut-price caravan, too. There’s more than a hint of a smile about the front design of the all-new Swift Sprite Alpine, while even minor fittings such as the raised Sprite badge on the side point to premium aspirations. The solid, windowless entrance is a more easily identifiable cost-cutter.
The use of GRP for the sides and roof, front sunroof and more are, again, the kind of features you might not even get on more upmarket models. The toilet hatch in the Sprite Alpine 4 is nearside – something to bear in mind when you’re buying an awning?
It’s a clean-cut interior style, too. The front lounge has a flip-up coffee tabletop (there’s no chest of drawers) which can be complemented by a free-standing table at full mealtimes (for travel it has a dedicated slot to the right of the cooker). There’s also a single outlet for the Truma heating, a mains socket and double USB port down at floor level. Doors give easy access to the under-seat storage.
The Sprite Alpine 4’s kitchen has a Thetford cooker with three-ring gas hob plus separate oven and grill. Next to the hob is a large sink, with the fridge – a Dometic 98-litre model with removable freezer section – under the worktop/drainer area to its left. A single locker separates the fridge from the cooker – it includes a small cutlery drawer and storage for the sink’s draining board, with the only other kitchen storage provided by two high-level lockers.
That French bed is in the back offside corner, with the washroom occupying the other side. Like its Swift Group permanent bed siblings, it has the benefit of a one-piece Duvalay mattress, maximum dimensions 1.89m x 1.32m. There are also corner ledges either side of the padded headboard section, plus three overhead lockers. Sockets are nearby should you wish to set up for watching TV from the bedroom area.
There’s also the facility to convert the lounge into a slightly longer, but narrower transverse double, at 2.02m x 1.28m.
A concertina blind separates the Sprite Alpine 4’s bedroom from the kitchen, while night-time privacy is complete thanks to a full-height divider.
Next to the bed, the washroom is accessed via a solid door. In fact, it should really be called a toilet and shower room, because the handbasin is just outside – set on a handy cupboard unit with a towel holder on its side. It’s rather practical because it means more space for showering as well as less of a cutaway for the mattress.
The shower itself is, again, more upmarket than you might expect – with plastic wall linings and an Ecocamel showerhead.
As the name suggests, the Sprite Alpine 4 is a proper four-berth, although arguably it’s more at home as a two.
The Sprite Alpine 4’s relatively light 1,284kg maximum weight – for an 85% match you want a towing vehicle with a kerbweight of 1,511kg – will appeal to those who don’t want a hefty tow car.
As you’d expect, an Al-Ko stabiliser is standard, while the ATC (Al-Ko Traction Control) option might be a consideration for complete peace of mind when towing and for a small caravan insurance discount with Caravan Guard.
Verdict: Interesting layout from a firm favourite brand
Plus: Refreshed style and equipment levels for 2022, great value, lightweight
Minus: French bed is an acquired taste, low-rent habitation door
In-a-nutshell: Nothing lost in the VFM translation here
As viewed at Highbridge Caravans. There’s more information on the Sprite caravan range on the Swift website. To find out more about insuring this or your current caravan visit our caravan insurance page
Alternatives: Knaus Sport 500 UF
Swift Sprite Alpine 4 factfile
|Model||Swift Sprite Alpine 4|
|Dimensions||6.45m L, 2.25m W, 2.59m H|
|RRP||from £22,495 on-the-road (OTR charge estimated as £500)|
|Safety & security||Al-Ko AKS 3004 stabiliser, Al-Ko Secure wheel lock receiver, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector|
|Key options||Wraparound seating (£175), 80Watt solar panel (£275), Al-Ko ATC (£399), Yuasa leisure battery (from £174), Thule Elite G2 cycle rack (£315), Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock (£295), alarm (£260)|