The Sport & Fun from Knaus arrived in the UK in the 1990s, with some success. By 2006, it had been joined by the S-Class, a small range also designed to appeal to UK buyers.
The German manufacturer was bought by a Dutch concern in 2009. A new range, the Südwind North Star, was later ushered in, and the 590UE is part of that line-up.
Pitch and set-up
Given its upmarket status, we were expecting good specification and build in this caravan. It comes with smooth aluminium sides and a GRP roof for storm protection.
The Al-Ko chassis has an AKS stabiliser, but no ATC – this is an optional extra, as Knaus considers that it isn’t so necessary on a van with a longer A-frame than you’ll find on most British models.
The heavy-duty corner steadies are easy to use. Large grab handles are fitted, while the body finish is excellent. But a one-piece front window on a tourer of this price isn’t what UK caravanners might expect.
The large front gas locker is where the spare wheel is stored, and there is a sunroof. Our test van also had the door on the wrong’ (offside) side for the UK market.
Exterior service points and the cassette access hatch are also on the offside, and there’s external access to a storage area. The rear now features an ABS moulded road lights panel with LED lighting.
The Continental-style lounge has comfortable wraparound seating, with the corner sections having extra height for greater support.
The freestanding table is large and sturdy – and heavy. There are two corner spotlights and overhead lockers with an integrated shelf.
The sunroof is generous and well trimmed. You’ll find integrated lighting here, as well as LEDs in that sunroof trim. In addition, there’s a large Heki roof vent.
As mentioned, you only get a single front window, which could have been a bit larger to provide more of a viewing area.
There is underseat storage, but no internal access flaps to reach it. The battery is also stored in one of the seat bases.
Just by the entrance door is a small angled cupboard, where a TV can be placed. All the wiring is here, as well as a bracket, but no TV aerial is fitted as standard. However, above this you get a rather swish cocktail cabinet, with a smart Perspex door.
The central kitchen has a three-burner hob with a glass cover. This is to Knaus’s own design and doesn’t come with spark ignition, so you will need a lighter for it. The stainless steel sink, although not very wide, is deep.
Just above it is a small shelf, which adds a bit to the worktop – this will come in handy if you’re using both hob and sink. Our test van had no oven fitted, although we were told that a combined oven and grill is standard. Some customers might expect to be provided with a dual-fuel hob, oven and separate grill at this price point.
However, the LED lighting is good and there is a Dometic extractor fan under the overhead locker. There is also a Dometic fridge and a separate freezer, with the microwave fitted above. Storage is ample in the cupboards and drawers, along with two cubbyholes.
It’s likely this caravan will mainly be used by couples, so it’s good to know the fixed single beds at the rear are placed at a sensible height. They feel comfortable and, if you prefer, you can opt to have the extra panel that will convert the twin singles into one huge double.
The comfortable front double makes use of the large table, which folds to bridge the gap between the settees.
The small washroom is a combined toilet and shower, with a shower curtain. It comes with a Dometic cassette toilet and Alde heating, and all is well finished. But the basin is small, there’s minimal storage, and no window.
If you’re touring as a couple, the Knees should have enough storage. The areas under the seating and in the overhead lockers are reasonable. The kitchen has a big cupboard, drawers and lockers. The wardrobe opposite the kitchen is possibly large enough for the kit of four on a weekend break.
Under the twin fixed beds there is deep storage, which is accessible from outside. More overhead lockers here take the total to nine and there is useful shelving in the corners, although the washroom only has a small amount of storage. One neat touch is the bag on the entrance door.
This is a tourer that’s solid – very solid, in fact, and that’s what pushes up the weight, so you’ll need a hefty car to tow it.
You only get tow corner spotlights in the lounge, and there’s no spark ignition and no TV aerial, BBQ point or ATC. For the price, you could have a UK model with lots of kit.
The 590UE’s one-piece front window and small washroom might not win many fans, but the super-solid build, eight-foot width, durability and comfortable lounge should tick the right boxes for some customers.
- Thumbs up: Solid build, spacious front lounge and comfortable seating area
- Thumbs down: No TV aerial or barbecue point, small washroom
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The fixed single beds at the rear feel comfortable and, if you prefer, you can opt to have the extra panel that will convert the twin singles into one huge double.
|Interior Length||5.09 m|
|Shipping Length||8.07 m|
|Spec list||Spare wheel, Alde heating, Fridge/freezer, Shower, Hot water, Flyscreens and blinds, AKS hitch, Alloy wheels, Dometic flush toilet, Heavy duty corner steadies, Al-Ko chassis, Battery charger, Loose-fit carpets, Dometic extractor fan, Microwave, Exterior mains socket, On-board tank, Heki roof vent|