Author Topic: Sprite Caravan  (Read 10874 times)

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #75 on: April 14, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Good thing you have that BIG back yard!

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #76 on: April 14, 2017, 06:46 PM »
This was fascinating Hm? .

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2017, 09:02 AM »
Directional Light Wiring. Found this while surfing last night. Thought it might come in handy for someone.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #78 on: April 15, 2017, 09:10 AM »
Well THAT is completely different than what I am used to seeing and using!

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2017, 10:07 AM »
 :)rotflmao Yeah me too. But then it's English. However most of the stuff I'm finding is like trying to find Black Beards Treasure. If you want to buy a Classic Sprite Caravan there's lots or information  out there. Anyone trying to restore one of these old girls especially if their  in the States or Canada my be looking for information like this. There's just not a lot of good how to  info like we cover in the Classic Winnebago section of this site. Still trying to find what kind of material was used in them. How they were constructed. All the neat stuff we have for the Classic Winnebago's.  Hm?

Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2017, 11:23 AM »
TJ:


Is the one in the link you posted yesterday gone?  It doesn't show any Sprite
"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #81 on: April 15, 2017, 01:51 PM »
Yeah! It wasn't on like 20 minutes and it was gone. Like holy cow.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2017, 03:45 PM »
:)rotflmao Yeah me too. But then it's English. However most of the stuff I'm finding is like trying to find Black Beards Treasure. If you want to buy a Classic Sprite Caravan there's lots or information  out there. Anyone trying to restore one of these old girls especially if their  in the States or Canada my be looking for information like this. There's just not a lot of good how to  info like we cover in the Classic Winnebago section of this site. Still trying to find what kind of material was used in them. How they were constructed. All the neat stuff we have for the Classic Winnebago's.  Hm?

English! That means Lucas, the prince of darkness electrics. You don't fix that stuff, you rip it out and replace it.

Offline TerryH

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2017, 03:59 PM »
Lucas electrical has to be the worst thing ever to happen to anything with wheels.
youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered - but stupid lasts forever.
Aristophanes  c450-c385 BC

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2017, 06:10 PM »
Funny you should say that. Just waiting for the weather to break and I'll spend some time tracing and wiring the stuff for  Canadian wiring.

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2017, 09:02 AM »
 Hm? Found more interesting stuff on the braking system. D:oH!

Offline stanDman

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #86 on: April 16, 2017, 06:19 PM »
mechanical cable brakes = got to love it

Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #87 on: April 17, 2017, 02:46 PM »
Yeah! It wasn't on like 20 minutes and it was gone. Like holy cow.


Geeezzzzussss!  I'm going to start looking for these around here.  Might be an investment opportunity. 


"really honey, it's an investment!"  :D


A cool read...
http://www.vintagecampertrailers.com/for-sale


I love the 62 shasta!  Makes me want to sell my Winnie.
"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #88 on: April 17, 2017, 05:46 PM »
That's all good stuff but the hole idea is light. Trick is a MGB or Mini won't pull a Shasta or a lot of the other older vintage trailers. They won't even pull a little Scotty. PUT they will pull a Sprite and that's the secret. That's the money shot. So keep your eyes peeled even it it's junk there's money in the parts. Windows, hitchs, latches etc. The Yanks are just starting to clue in.  D:oH!   

Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #89 on: April 17, 2017, 07:15 PM »
Funny how they could do it then (light)  but nobody seems to think there is a market now for something that a Mazda 626 could pull.  I wonder just how many people had to get a different car/truck than what they had to accommodate the trailer they wanted/had?


I did understand the point TJ.  My link was some site that apparently did have one at one point (but gone) and had some cool stuff.  The "Flash" helmet wings on the Shasta were too cool!
"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Online LJ-TJ

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #90 on: April 17, 2017, 08:37 PM »
Trying to find information on these things is tough. I caught your post before the Caravan it was gone. We're going to have fun chasing stuff down. Here's on of the better sites I found.

http://coolcaravanning.blogspot.ca/ 

L.J. and I are just starting to get into the way these little girls are built. There's not much to them.

Online LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #92 on: April 22, 2017, 07:10 AM »
Not far from me but that one is kind of out of the range of being pulled by a small car at 18 feet.

Offline Cameron

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Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #93 on: June 13, 2018, 03:29 PM »
Trying to find information on these things is tough. I caught your post before the Caravan it was gone. We're going to have fun chasing stuff down. Here's on of the better sites I found.

http://coolcaravanning.blogspot.ca/ 

L.J. and I are just starting to get into the way these little girls are built. There's not much to them.



Hello, I've just joined this forum. I am the author of this blog, though life got in the way of me finishing it, because I was in my early 20s when I started it and had all the free time in the world! Fast-forward a few years and I now have nine Sprite caravans from 1958-1970. They are absolutely my favourite caravan manufacturer of all time.

I've spent a lot of time and effort tracing down sales brochures, adverts, magazine clippings and various bits of paperwork for all Sprites from 1950 - 1980. I've amassed quite a lot, but very little of their venture to the US and Canada from 1968 - 1975. Here's what I have found out over the years:

Initially, Caravans International (who owned Sprite Ltd.) exported models from the UK to the U.S. in 1968 and 1969. These were basically the UK export model (with the entrance door on the opposite side to the UK, as we drive on the left) with a few modifications to meet US safety regulations such as high level running lights, American spec rear lights and a rockguard for the front window.

In 1971, Caravans International purchased the Covered Wagon Trailer Company in Nappanee, Indianna, who immediately began to construct Sprites in the US using parts and a chassis sent over from the UK. They now had stronger corrugated side panels and a one-piece entrance door, similar to those seen on Yellowstone campers. At the same time, Caravans International built up a US-wide dealership network. They even set up one of their infamous publicity stunts in 1971 by entering a Sprite 400 into the Baja 500 race. Amazingly, out of 226 entrants, the Sprite and Bronco Baja combination finished 19th overall, and were the only car/trailer outfit to participate in the race! They achieved this despite suffering five blow-outs on the Sprite, two of which went unnoticed for a while and caused the wheels to buckle. The caravan was so unscathed by the event, that Sprite's PR man in the US suggested denting the bodywork with a hammer to make it look more authentic! The only damage was the hitch bolts shaking loose, the five blow-outs, two buckled wheels and one broken curtain track! The Sprite then went on show at various Trailer Exhibitions to showcase the durability of the tourer.

Despite this extremely promising start, Sprite failed to achieve mainstream success, and year on year, the business operated at a loss. I guess few Americans were keen to embrace such an unconventional caravan by their standards. Mechanical surge brakes, in-built jack legs, a central axle and low tongue weight set the Sprite apart from any competition and afforded people to tow with smaller cars than ever. For those that did embrace Sprite in the US, the reviews were unanimously positive, glowing even. It still didn't translate into sales, and in 1973, the Covered Wagon factory was sold off, but Caravans International allowed the new owners to retain the rights to use the Sprite name.

They continued to manufacture Sprites until 1977, with a changed exterior style that suited the US market, but still resembled the iconic Sprite 400 (10ft), Alpine (12ft), Musketeer (14ft) and Major (16ft) models. After years of poor sales, they shut the factory doors for good in 1977 and Sprite caravans pulled out of America officially. Export-spec Sprites continued to be privately imported to the US by loyal fans well into the 1980s, and Sprite briefly exported US-spec models officially in 1986-1988, but again, they found very limited sales success.


That's basically the story of Sprite in the US. I have now been asked to write a book about Sprite caravans, and I'm hoping to finally piece together the story of Sprite caravans in the US properly. If anyone has any photos, adverts, scans of brochures/literature they can contribute, it will be more than appreciated and I promise that the book will deliver as being the ultimate 'Sprite Bible'! Drop me a line at cameron.39@hotmail.co.uk if you can help.

Thanks.
Cameron Burns.
 

Offline TerryH

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  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #94 on: June 13, 2018, 05:54 PM »
Good on you! It's always uplifting to hear of someone putting this much effort into preserving any type of history, more so when it spans a couple of continents.
Wish I could help.
Best of luck with your book and please keep us in the loop.
Terry
youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered - but stupid lasts forever.
Aristophanes  c450-c385 BC

Online LJ-TJ

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  • Year: 1975
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  • Model: D21
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  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Sprite Caravan
« Reply #95 on: June 16, 2018, 09:29 PM »
So Cameron is there a Type Club for Sprite in the U.S. or Canada? I'm on the hunt  for a front and rear window for ours. Any thoughts? Thanks Mate. How's the book coming?

 

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