Nick News, Spotlight

Nick’s News – Certificated locations, popular floorplans and bamboo crockery

Swift Sprite Super Major 4SB

Nick HardingNick’s News – Nick Harding is an expert in all things motorhomes, caravans and camping. Each week, Nick explores products, locations, holiday ideas and essential community information on our behalf – It’s a Hard-ing Life for Nick, but here is what he found this week.

My Caravan Week

April 12th in England and I was out like a shot! Off to the Cotswolds for the week. I must admit to having had some feelings of anxiety – and was fully expecting a rammed Burford Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. In fact, it was at most half-full for the first two days.

I also had two nights on a certificated location – a small site without additional infrastructure – Wolds End, a short walk into Chipping Campden. No such amenities here, of course, but again it was one occupant short of its full five-van capacity on both nights.

In the news

National Camping and Caravanning Week – a date to save?

May 31st to June 6th are dates worth noting, as it will be National Camping and Caravanning Week. This little sideline offered by the Camping and Caravanning Club is happening… well, everywhere really.

In truth, it’s a way of celebrating the caravanning lifestyle, and highlighting to others a bit of what it’s all about. But, if you’re new to the caravan or motorhome lifestyle, it’s well worth keeping an eye out for specific events near you. Indeed, this year there’s a specific event aimed at newcomers at the Club’s own site at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.

Caravan crush

Swift Sprite Super Major 4SB – a very model of a modern British caravan

Caravanning-for-the-masses brand Sprite has a new layout for this season. Unsurprisingly, Swift has gone for a transverse island bed with full-width end washroom. Well, it is the floorplan everyone’s clamouring for at the moment. Everyone? I actually have a feeling it’s more coveted by couples than those who need a full four-berth.

It’s also in an extra-wide body, meaning it’s even roomier. Have you noticed, too, how Sprites are inching ever more upmarket? The Super Major includes as standard such luxuries as GRP-skinned wood-free bodywork, front sunroof, microwave oven, DAB radio, alloy wheels, AKS 3004 stabiliser and Al-Ko Secure wheel lock receiver, Ecocamel showerhead, and Duvalay mattress. I’m sure you get the picture.

Three good: Popular floorplan in extra-wide setting, spec per pound and general Sprite popularity
Two bad: Kitchen lacks a bit of kit and a sub-160kg payload
Perfect for… the layout of the day, but keenly priced
Consider also: Adria Adora Isonzo, Bailey Phoenix+ 644, Coachman Acadia 875 Xcel

Gadget envyNick's eclectic caravan crockery collection

Crockery – bamboo shoots but melamine still scores

How often do you change your crockery? For me, it’s almost every year, but that’s arguably more through accident than design. As a VW camper owner, I’ve got my de rigueur campervan mugs, bowls and plates, but keep their use to a bit of a minimum because I don’t want too much wear and tear.

Hence, it makes sense to grab a spare set, usually when I’m shopping for something else. I’ve also tried various specialist melamine crockery cleaners, but by far the most effective product here is a bleach solution, used as sparingly as I can get away with.

More recently, I’ve been sampling bamboo crockery, which majors on being more environmentally friendly. I must admit, though, I don’t always like the actual feel of the products. I do prefer camping gear in these situations as it weighs less, too. As ever, I’d be happy to hear your advice.