Buyers looking for a well-built, compact tourer with ample space for a family should check out this cleverly designed new four-berth from Knaus.

Overview

German brand Knaus has been around since the early 1960s, arriving in the UK in 1974.

One market sector that does particularly well over here is the compact family line-up, so we were keen to get a close look at the Sport Silver 400LK - the model we're reviewing had in fact been sold just days before.

The 400LK has very little competition in the UK, except for the Elddis Explore 304, which is an impressive little tourer.

Priced at £16,499, the Sport looks like good value, but we wanted to assess the general build quality before we made our final judgement.

Using a layout that had reigned supreme up until the late 1980s, the Knaus has a front lounge, side kitchen plus wardrobe and washroom opposite, and a single dinette in the rear.

Pitching and setting up

Built on an Al-Ko chassis, the Knaus comes with the usual long drawbar that you'll find on Continental tourers. It doesn't have a shroud, but it does have an AKS hitch.

Heavy-duty corner steadies are another appealing feature, as are smooth aluminium sides, and smart alloy wheels and rear road light clusters.

However, there isn't a full moulded front and back panel, as you would expect to see on a UK tourer, which some buyers might think makes the profile look a little dated.

No TV aerial is fitted, but there is an external TV aerial socket, positioned by the mains input socket.

The Sport has a roomy front gas locker, which offers some additional storage space. There's a side-access locker, and a glazed stable door. The latter isn't on the UK side, which might be enough to deter some buyers.

Four sturdy grab handles are fitted and the roof is GRP and hail-resistant.

Overall, the exterior feels very well screwed together, and the mouldings are high-quality.

Our only reservation is that the front and rear windows are rather small - it would enhance the looks of this caravan if they were much bigger.

Lounge

The 400LK has two dinettes, and we looked at the main one first. This is a double dinette at the front of the van, which has seating that will comfortably accommodate four.

It also has a very large table, which might be a bit too big for some, making sliding into your seat a little difficult. There are massive overhead lockers here, which are deep and spacious, and fitted with a shelf beneath, extending around the nearside.

If you're sitting in the corner, though, you will need to watch your head when standing up, such is the depth of the locker.

We liked the spotlights just above the front window, and there is also an integral corner light fitted in the locker.

Twin blown-air outlets will keep the front lounge warm in cooler weather, and the seating is comfortable, even though it doesn't have much depth.

But if you like checking out what's happening on site while you enjoy your meal, you'll probably find that front window a bit too small.

Overall, the lounge is well lit and comfortable, and the lockers offer good storage. There is a TV bracket fitted on the wardrobe side, although viewing in the lounge might be impractical.

Kitchen

The side kitchen is very compact and comes with a three-burner hob with a glass top.

No oven or grill is fitted here, and no microwave, either. There isn't room for an oven because of the fridge and the storage drawers (one being for cutlery) in the kitchen unit.

However, there is a small stainless steel sink, and you get two overhead lockers. But worktop is limited.

There is a mains socket fitted here, and the area is bright and airy, with a window and a light, and a Heki roof vent above the kitchen, that offers plenty of ventilation and natural light.

The kitchen will no doubt work for some; others might be put off by the limited spec.

Washroom

If we had to choose the most impressive aspect of the Sport, it would be the washroom.

It's really well finished and equipped, for example with a Dometic electric-flush toilet. There is a side window and a sizeable handbasin, with storage beneath it.

However, there is one thing to bear in mind: although hot water is provided in the 400LK, there is no shower fitted in the washroom. There is a shower tray in place, should you want to fit one. Overall, there is great storage, a very upmarket feel and excellent lighting, too.

Beds

The single rear dinette makes up into a comfortable bed and, in addition, you get an easily operated fold-down bunk above. It's solid and supportive, and makes up quickly, as does the lower bed, which uses the table for its base.

There are also two blown-air heater outlets fitted here, so it should be easy to keep this area warm.

The front double bed is made up by using the very large table to bridge the gap between the settees, then simply positioning the cushions. This provides a bed that should be comfortable and large enough for two.

Storage

For such a compact tourer, the Sport packs a punch, especially in terms of storage.

The wardrobe is a good size, for example, despite the Truma heater in its base. The front overhead lockers are very deep and you also get some underseat storage in both lounges.

Kitchen storage is reasonable, with three large drawers and overhead lockers, and in the washroom, there is also plenty of space to store your kit.

We particularly liked the handy storage pouches fixed under the top bunk bed.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO900kg
Payload200kg
MTPLM1100kg
Interior length4m
Shipping length5.99m
Width2.32m
Awning size828cm

Verdict

There's a market for the likes of the 400LK, with its contemporary interior, overall build quality and reasonable pricing. We loved the top-notch washroom and easy-to-fold bunk bed. Knaus dealers are a bit thin on the ground, so you might need to travel to find one.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Well made
  • Smart décor
  • Easy-to-use bunk bed

Cons

  • Small windows
  • Options could bump up the price