We all enjoy exploring in our motorhomes, whether that’s in the UK or the more remote areas of Europe. But what if you really want to head into the wilderness for a spot of no-holds-barred adventure?
That’s where vehicles such as the Tribal limited edition version of Knaus’s Van TI come in. Produced by Premium Motorhomes in Doncaster – specialists in high-end vehicles – it takes a regular Knaus and imbues it with a touch of bad-boy style.
For starters, there’s that matte-black bodywork – pitched up among a sea of white vehicles, you’re certainly going to stand out on site, particularly with the eye-catching orange graphics.
The colour scheme and paint job are part of the Tribal Limited Edition pack, which costs £32,789; for that, you also get a Seikel lift kit and suspension for more efficient off-road driving, underbody armour, Delta alloys and all-terrain tyres, a bull bar, and an LED light bar above the cab.
Additional kit includes a gas BBQ point, 5G Wi-Fi, a 90Ah Super-B lithium battery and 150W solar panel. Other extras fitted to our test vehicle were an exclusive habitation door (£190), rear corner steadies (£318), Gross Vehicle Weight upgraded to 3850kg (£293), Alde heating (£2017: Truma 6E is standard) and 4×4 all-wheel drive with a 177hp engine and eight-speed auto-transmission (£3570). Right-hand drive is standard.
So extraordinary is the exterior that it’s something of a surprise when you step inside and find a regular, stylish habitation area. Premium Motorhomes has retained the interior look of the Knaus Van TI Plus, except for the bi-colour leather upholstery, a degree of ruggedness that doesn’t jar.
The forward-facing bench has a pair of belted seats, which can be joined by the swivelled cab seats. The table swings out, allowing four to dine.
For safety reasons, the belted seats are necessarily upright, but the cab seats are extremely comfortable. Smart angled lockers sit above the lounge, as does a television; the latter will be easily viewable by those sitting in the swivelled cab seats. A roof-mounted Oyster satellite dish is also fitted.
The MAN cab feels rather like a commercial vehicle, but as standard, the Knaus on which this is based has many safety features, including cruise control, ESP, hill-hold assist. AMB, adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping assist, fatigue detection, emergency brake assistance and more. There’s no view out of the back of the motorhome, so the included reversing camera is welcome, as is the sat nav.
The kitchen sits in the centre, on the offside. It’s well-equipped for a British audience, including a Thetford Duplex combined oven/grill unit. There’s not much work surface, but the sink is deep and there’s a two-burner hob with a glass cover. To the rear of the galley is a 142-litre fridge with auto energy selection. Storage is good, with numerous drawers and lockers.
Across the corridor is the washroom It is compact, but includes a wall unit that swings the basin out and over the Thetford bench toilet to create a shower cubicle. A folding clothes rail is also fitted. The tambour door means there’s no chance of anyone in the kitchen being inconvenienced when the washroom door is open.
At the rear are the two fixed-bed berths: an infill cushion sits between the single beds (both of which measure 2.01 x 0.80m)to create a comfortably large sleeping surface. Half-height wardrobe space is available at the foot of each bed, while three lockers sit at the head, with strip and reading lights.
The primary storage is below the two beds, in the form of a full-width garage. It has a 250kg weight limit, is well lit and heated, and has tether points.
PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS…
The standard Knaus vehicle on which the Tribal version is based (with 4×4 option) costs £78,410, so the additional kit here costs a premium of more than £85,000. But for the extra, you’ll get a motorhome that’s beautifully fitted out to take you on the adventure of a lifetime, allowing you to hit the rough road in complete comfort – and a great deal of style.
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It takes a regular Knaus and imbues it with a touch of bad-boy style