Stacie Pardoe
Community editor

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Lightweight, family-friendly and sneaking under £11,000, read our Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK review to see if this transverse-bunk tourer can work for you

Overview

In spring 2015, the Knaus Tabbert Group launched the Weinsberg brand into the UK market. Here we are reviewing a model from the entry-level CaraOne range, the 400 LK

There are seven layouts in the CaraOne line-up, five of which are four-berth vans with MTPLMs not exceeding 1350kg. There's also the six-berth 550 UK and the seven-berth 740 UDF, with MTPLMs of 1500kg and 1900kg respectively, the latter marketed as a seasonal pitch.

The babies of the CaraOne range are the 390 QD and this, the 400 LK. Both are just 5.92m long and 2.2m wide, with MTPLMs of only 1100kg and 210kg payloads. The compact 400 LK we're reviewing here features a distinctive transverse-bunk layout and at just shy of £11,000, it sounds like an affordable starter van. Read on as we take a closer look at the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK, an interesting alternative for young families seeking an entry-level tourer.

Pitching and setting up

The Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK is built on a BPW chassis, complete with two hydraulic shock absorbers, a buttonless handbrake and heavy-duty corner steadies.

Using the same exterior construction methods as other Knaus caravans, the aerodynamic Weinsberg uses robust sandwich construction and has a GRP roof. The two-piece sidewalls are finished in textured, knobbly aluminium and metallic gold decals, while the front and rear panels have a smooth-finished aluminium.

The front of the van is made up of a large, one-piece window, well positioned horizontal grab handles and a spacious front locker with room to accommodate two 11kg gas bottles.

The entrance door and services are on the UK offside, but this caravan's slight 1100kg weight allows it to be spun relatively easy, if needed.

Alloy wheels, a stabiliser and a spare wheel with a carrier are all options available on the 400 LK.

Lounge

The front lounge is simple yet inviting, thanks to light grey fabrics and warm woodwork. Despite the lack of knee rolls or armrests, the parallel sofas are comfortable and spacious enough for four to relax with ease.

For dining, a detachable table, housed in the adjacent wardrobe, provides plenty of room for family mealtimes, while a wide window shelf gives additional space for overspill. A Truma heater, blown-air heater outlets and a power point are also offered in this space.

Thanks to the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK's generous front and side windows, a midi-Heki rooflight, an overhead light cluster and two reading lights, the lounge is bright and airy during the day, and well lit come evening.

Underseat storage is accessed by lifting the sofa bases, and overhead there are three good-sized lockers and two deep, open shelves.

Kitchen

The compact nearside kitchen is furnished with a circular stainless steel sink and three-burner gas hob, complete with a glass cover to provide additional workspace. There is no oven or grill, however, so only simple meals can be prepared in this area.

Provisions can be stowed in the two overhead lockers plus the deep drawer and cupboard under the sink area, while the 107-litre Dometic fridge is spacious enough to house groceries to last a few days. Two spotlights, under-counter strip LED lighting and a window ensure the 400 LK's kitchen is flooded with light during the day and at night.

Washroom

The offside washroom is small, but spacious enough to comfortably use the corner basin and the ceramic Dometic toilet, which has an electric flush and is positioned to provide ample legroom.

The basin's tap doubles as a shower hose, which attaches to a hook on the ceiling when in use, and features a shower curtain to protect the unlined walls.

Two large cupboards and three corner shelves plus a generous sideboard mean there's plenty of space to store a family's lotions and potions. A mirror, spotlights and a window complete the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK's washroom.

Beds

Arguably the stand-out feature of the 400 LK is the pair of transverse fixed bunks which run along the rear of the van. Each bunk benefits from a spotlight and they share a curtain to screen off the area. The top bunk measures 1.93m x 0.83m, is accessed via a fixed ladder and has a fixed guard, too. The bottom bed is slighter wider at 2.04m x 0.83m and lifts up when not in use to provide a useful storage area.

The front lounge makes up into a decently-sized double bed that measures 1.87m x 1.37m, and converts using the tried-and-tested method of pulling out slats and rearranging the cushions.

Storage

For a four-berth van, the compact Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK has useful storage throughout.

In the lounge there are three good-sized overhead lockers and two large open shelves. Clothing would need to be placed in these lockers and the adjacent wardrobe, so if a family of four is on board, a sensible approach will need to be taken to packing. Both sofas have underseat storage for bedding and kit, but there's no central chest.

The kitchen has a good amount of space to comfortably house crockery and groceries. There’s also a huge cutlery drawer, while the cupboard beneath it can be used to store cookware or taller items.

The washroom boasts the best storage. There is a tall cupboard with shelves next to the window, plus a similar-sized one under the basin. Three curved shelves and a generous sideboard complete the space, which is plenty for a family of four’s toiletries. It's also great to see two towel hooks, however there is no cupholder for toothbrushes.

As aforementioned, at the rear of the van the lower bunk raises to reveal a useful storage space for luggage and bulky items. Due to the lack of lockers in this area, during our test this space was very handy, enabling us to leave some clothes in suitcases, while still having them close to hand.

Technical specs

Berth4
MiRO890kg
Payload210kg
MTPLM1100kg
Interior length4m
Shipping length5.92m
Width2.2m
Height2.57m
Awning size853cm

Verdict

At nearly £11,000 and with an MTPLM of 1100kg, the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK is a very attractive option for a family looking for a lightweight and affordable caravan. The transverse bunk layout is a great use of space in a tourer with a shipping length of 5.92m and an interior length of just 4m, and the option to raise the lower bunk to create additional floor space is a clever solution that makes the most of the available room. 

The fixtures and furnishings are simple and unfussy throughout, but the van is comfortable and inviting. We can see it being a good solution for adventurous families who just want a base for their holidays. 

Option packs featuring window blinds, hot water facilities, LED spotlights, a bathroom window, a midi-Heki and more have been added to UK-specification models at no additional cost, making this Weinsberg very good value for money.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The 400 LK's 1100kg MTPLM means you don't need a massive tow car
  • It is keenly priced and represents good value for money
  • The layout is very family-friendly
  • It's from the Knaus group and high build quality is clear, inside and out

Cons

  • There's no oven or grill, and it's quite simply furnished
  • The door is on the UK offside
  • Four people may struggle to find space for all their clothes
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