Back in 2005, when the Swift Group relaunched the Sprite brand they offered three models, the Alpine, Musketeer and the Major – all classic names from when Sprite was part of the world’s largest caravan manufacturer, Caravans International.
Two years later, with the introduction of the 2 berth Alpine, the standard. Alpine became known as the Alpine 4, a designation it carries to this day.
For 2018, apart from a new body and interior, the Sprite range become part of the full Swift brand line up rather than being a separate marque. The does mean the name now is a bit long – Swift Sprite Alpine 4 doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue! Nearly as long as the Sterling Sprite Excel 450 CD from the late 1990’s
As mentioned earlier, the body is all new for 2018, taking it’s design clues from the more expensive Challenger and Elegance models and creating a family resemblance to the other Swift model ranges. At the front there is a full width gas storage locker, three front windows and optional sunroof. At The rear the are lights taken from higher level models, high level brake light is fitted and there are mounting points for the optional bike rack. One feature missing, a betrays the entry level of the caravan is the lack of window in the entrance door.
Moving inside, the Alpine 4 has kept the same layout since it was first introduced. At one time the compact fixed double layout was availble as a Bailey Ranger 460/4, Elddis Odyssey 484, Xplore 474 amongst others, this layout has been dropped by other manufacturers, leaving the Alpine 4 as the only chouce for those wanting this fixed bed in a small body layout.
At the front there is a double dinette rather than single beds. Due to the seats length there isn’t room for a front chest, however there is a lift up table, ideal for cups and a snack. Grey blue upholstery should keep away the dirt.
The offside kitchen features all that is required with Dometic fridge, 3 burner hob, oven and separate grill and optional microwave as part of the ‘Diamond pack’. A lift up flap on the left increases the worktop space. The table is stored at the end of the kitchen and to save weight (or money) there isn’t a door to conceal the table when stored, another sign that the Sprite is an entry level model.
In the rear offside corner lives the fixed bed with Duvalay Duvalite mattress. In the compact body there isn’t room for an island bed, so the corner ‘French bed’ is the only real option available here. There is access to the area under the bed from outside.
In the bedroom area and outside the toilet/shower lives the washbasin which sits upon a storage cupboard. Fitting here like in the rest of the caravan are in chrome.
The washroom is an all-in-one wet room design. Simple in style and clinical in white, the Alpine 4 uses a shower curtain rather that a folding shower door to protect the Thetford Cassette toilet. It offers all that is required.
New decor is used for 2018 with design clues taken from the Escape motorhome range. Matt white overhead locker door are teamed up with ‘Tyrion’ soft furnishings. The curtain feature a hexagonal pattern, which is also used to separate the bedroom area from the rest of the caravan.
An optional feature with the Swift Sprite is the ‘Diamond pack’ which includes alloy wheels, stabiliser hitch, secure lock receiver, door flyscreen, microwave, radio/CD and scatter cushions, all for an extra £495. The sunroof is an extra £365, Al-Ko ATC is another £349.
The RRP of the standard Alpine 4 is £15,690 plus £545 for delivery.
Overall the 2018 Swift Sprite Alpine 4 is an honest, modern design without any extra fancyness. The lower price origins are exposed with features like the missing door window, exposed table storage and curtain rather than concertina door to separate the bedroom, however if you are looking for a light weight, compact fix bed caravan, the Alpine 4 (or any of the many dealer special versions) is worth a look.
Caravanning Life rating 🔲🔲🔲🔲🔳 4 out of 5