Andrew McPheeSee other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee
Find out more about the Knaus Sun Ti 600LF in the Practical Motorhome review
When it was launched at the Düsseldorf caravan show, then appeared at the Earls Court show in 2004, the Sun Ti was credited as having taken motorhome design a big step forward.
Nearly two seasons later, it still looks fresh, though it’s not been without its imitators. Bavarian manufacturer Knaus has continued to turn heads with its yet more radical C Liner – the Renault Master-based, A-class ‘van. But over time we’ve found that despite its stunning looks, form does indeed follow function here.
Access to services is good, too. The battery is found in a slide-out skirt locker behind the driver’s door and the gas bottles are at a convenient height, just above the skirts, behind the rear nearside axle. The waste drop is located just infront of that axle and unfortunately its handle is prone to collecting road dirt.
The rear storage locker, with a side-opening door akin to a garage, makes excellent use of the space created by the low chassis. The door provides better access than the long, narrow, versions on similar layouts and opens with a key so there are no fiddly catches. Best of all are the shelves along the locker’s rear wall, whose elasticated string fronts store all manner of small items.
On the road
The ‘van returned an encouraging 23.57mpg overall, though this could be bettered, bearing in mind we collected the vehicle with just 92 miles on the clock. Our last 389 miles clocked in at 28.31mpg.
The Knaus is just under 6.5m long and so fits into many car parks, provided that there’s room for an overhang, and it is easy to manoeuvre through towns. The reversing camera is an excellent addition and there are good all-round views from the side windows. Sadly, the rear-view mirror offers an insufficient view of the blind spot when overtaking.
Lounging & dining
Our only issue was with the fixed table. It’s a practical piece of design but we felt it limited potential for socialising in the lounge. The table slides back and forth so it can be moved out of the way to allow movement through the ‘van, but if you wanted to have four friends around for drinks they would have to sit behind the table. Visitors would enjoy much more room if the table were removable and could be stowed away.
The Knaus caters well for couples using the vehicle throughout the day, who want an easy-to-use dining area.
We found the oven door a little fiddly and were surprised to see no ignition button on the hob – although a minor oversight, it can be frustrating.
We found the dinette bed puzzling, because the cushions didn’t quite fit together and there was no explanation in the manual of how they might. It’s unlikely that many owners will use this bed, but it’s fine for one person for a night or two. Cab blinds make getting ready for bed quick and easy, though the basic caravan windows and pull-down blinds don’t quite match the Knaus’ upper mid-market feel.
Our only criticisms were the fiddly shower door, which might simply require adjusting, and the sink which was difficult to wash your face in due to the position of the overhead cupboard.
The Sun Ti falls short of full marks on two counts. First, though the kitchen has a good-sized cutlery drawer, its fridge is small for the price and only one of its lockers is tall enough to hold a big box of cereal. Second, an eye-level cupboard with clear plastic doors between the bed and the lounge seems completely misplaced. Its catches are too flimsy to store anything while on the road, so perhaps it’s intended as a drinks cabinet.
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Separate shower cubicle
The Sun Ti 600LF oozes style and pitches itself just right: it’s big enough to be liveable and small enough to be driveable, while all its bells and whistles serve a purpose. It will provide immense pride of ownership.
- Good standard equipment; looks; versatile under-bed storage; stylish, comfy lounge
- Blind spot when overtaking; lounge table; basic kitchen