Knaus’s budget brand, Weinsberg, is doing its best to take on the UK market, particularly with its CaraOne range.
This is a budget line-up, designed to tempt UK buyers away from the likes of Swift and Elddis and even to make buying a new van possible for some who might otherwise go for pre-owned. But does the offer work?
We took a look at the CaraOne 400 LK, a family-friendly five-berth which can include a triple-bunk arrangement at the rear.
Pitch and set-up
“It looks a bit dated,” we overheard a fellow customer say. Well, the Weinsberg certainly isn’t slick looking, but the company has tried to keep costs down and build quality up, so perhaps styling hasn’t been a priority.
The earlier Weinsbergs still had ‘fish-scale’ aluminium sides, so it’s good to see the 2022 models now have a smooth finish. The one-piece entrance door is on the UK nearside, but it doesn’t include a window.
The caravan is built on an Al-Ko chassis and comes with AKS hitch stabiliser and alloy wheels. Heavy-duty corner steadies add to the weight and cost. The large front gas locker is easy to access. On the nearside front, there’s access to the lounge’s underseat storage.
Grab handles are placed vertically and are located at an easy-to-use height. This certainly feels like a sturdy caravan, even if styling isn’t its key selling point.
The compact’s lounge will seat four, but the large, deep overhead lockers will probably impede headroom for taller people.
To keep costs down, no sunroof is fitted, but a midi-heiki allows in some daylight. A larger front window would be even better.
The upholstery is plain and the seating isn’t overly supportive, while we reckon the mock curtains don’t quite cut it.
Two spotlights and a ceiling light, all LEDs, keep things bright at night. On the offside, a mains plug is fitted, although it’s above the window. The seat bases have no access flaps, so you need to lift the plywood panels under the cushions to reach the area below.
As expected, a Weinsberg kitchen isn’t going to be bursting with storage or equipment, but it does squeeze in as much as possible, given the size. The worktop is limited and there is no extension flap, and the large stainless steel sink doesn’t come with a cover as standard, although you can order one.
There is a Dometic fridge, a three-burner gas hob and a combined oven and grill. For 2022 the water system has a Bluuwater filter. You won’t find a microwave, but a single mains socket is fitted.
The overhead lockers have LED lighting, while the lockers themselves offer plenty of storage for crockery and dry goods.
Owing to the caravan’s length, the central washroom doesn’t have a separate shower cubicle. But it is well finished, with excellent LED lighting, and comes with good storage, including a cupboard under the basin and built-in shelves. The window is large and ideal for ventilation and natural light. The shower head comes out from the tap, so showering is something that owners might prefer to do at a site’s washroom facilities.
Beds in the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK
The 400 LK comes with twin or – as in our test model – triple bunks at the rear. Solidly built and a good width, they are ideal for children.
If you go for the triple bunk option, the middle bed doesn’t have as much headroom as the lowest one, although it is probably fine for smaller youngsters.
The middle bunk is also the only one of the three to benefit from the small rear window. The bottom bunk is close to the floor, so very little can be stored below it.
The front lounge can only be made up into a double bed with the help of the table, and the settees are both too short for single adult beds. But it is a good-sized double. A separate info cushions is supplied.
Storage in the Weinsberg CaraOne 400 LK
Storage space could be a bit limited for five. The front overhead locker is large and deep, but you only get a shelf above each of the side windows. Underseat storage isn’t bad, but the kitchen is adequate, no more.
The wardrobe, would be a tight squeeze for five people’s gear, although it might do for weekend trips. The Truma gas-only heater is fitted in the wardrobe base.
In the triple bunk layout, the rear only has a little storage. But the washroom does provide moderate space in a wall-mounted shelf unit.
The Weinsberg is the kind of family tourer that the UK market needs to see more of, being affordable and lightweight.
Add an awning and it becomes an even better proposition. It’s not a head-turner, but it’s a tough box and serves its purpose well.
There are some things we would change, such as a larger front window and a smaller overhanging front roof locker. There’s no TV aerial fitted, but a smart TV can be ordered as an option. Nor is there a microwave, and the heating is gas only, but you do get an oven and an onboard water tank. Once you add extras the price climbs, as does the weight.
- Thumbs up: Well built, large front gas locker, solid triple bunks
- Thumbs down: No separate battery locker, TV aerial, or dual-fuel heating
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This is a budget line-up, designed to tempt UK buyers away from the likes of Swift and Elddis and even to make buying a new van possible for some who might otherwise go for pre-owned
|Interior Length||4.02 m|
|Shipping Length||5.93 m|
|Spec list||Spare wheel, Truma gas-only heating, Fridge, Shower, Hot water, Flyscreens and blinds, AKS hitch, Alloy wheels, Dometic flush toilet, Heavy-duty corner steadies, Al-Ko chassis, Combined oven and grill, Battery charger, Loose-fit carpets, Onboard water tank|