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Knaus Sun TI 650 LF - motorhome review

Posted on 01 Feb 2012

Which Motorhome Road Test

Key Features

  • 2012 model
  • Low Profile
  • 3 berth
  • 2.3TD engine
  • Fiat Ducato base
  • Max weight 3500kg
  • French Bed layout
  • From £60,995 new

The Verdict

Another welcome return to form from Knaus with the super-stylish and innovative Sun Ti 650LF.

The Score

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Tech Spec
Pros & Cons

At A Glance

Knaus Sun TI 650 LF 2012

  • Great style and good looks
  • Double floor for all-year use
  • Effective swivelling wall washroom
  • Great kitchen with coffee machine option
  • Is it worth £8000 more than the Sky Ti?

Technical Specification

Model Year 2012
Manufacturer Knaus
Class Low Profile
Range Sun TI
Base Vehicle Fiat Ducato
Engine Size2.3TD
Maximum weight (kg)3500
Payload (kg)610
Length (m)6.99
Width (m)2.34
Height (m)2.90
Belted Seats4
Main LayoutFrench Bed
Price from (£)60995
Price from (€)-
Campervan Test Date-
View the full Buyers Guide entry

Detailed Review

Impressed by the new Knaus Sky TI? This is its upmarket cousin the Sun Ti 650 LF...

Sun TI is a familiar name to those of us who have always liked the German Knaus brand for their combination of high-class style and innovation. It was the inaugural Motorhome of the Year in the awards of MMM (our sister magazine). And with a such a pedigree, this reincarnation of the model certainly has a lot to live up to.

This latest Sun TI (as bound for the UK) not only has the slate grey metallic cab but also silver bodywork behind (complete with black and grey stripes). The mains filler and mains hook-up point, along with the waste water and heater drains, are all together within one hatch, ensuring everything is tidy, clean, winterised and accessible. This is also a feature on the Sky model but here, on the Sun TI, the hatch is larger, leaving space for some other outdoor equipment too.

Elsewhere around the body are more wet lockers within the skirts and a single door leading to the under-bed storage area. This isn’t tall enough for bikes (unless they are of the folding variety), but it is big enough to fit bulky chairs and tables inside. Also here are shelves with elastic restraining straps for smaller items, to stop them rattling around while travelling.

Click to view the full range of Knaus Sun Ti Motorhomes, available from Lowdhams.

Here, too, is the first evidence of the Sun TI’s double floor. Not only do you get the usual storage beneath the fixed bed, but there’s an extra underfloor section (beneath the washroom) that’s vehicle wide, so you can fit your surfboards or skis in. The Sun’s double floor is the main aspect that separates this range from the cheaper Sky TIs.

Inside, this 650 LF offers three hatches within the floor too, all of which can be covered by the grey carpet, making them great for hiding more valuable items. The raised floor also results in just a single step inside the living quarters – a very small one leading to the washroom. Of course, the addition of the double floor raises the total vehicle height, but the 15cm difference has little effect on handling.

The layout of this 650 LF is traditional Continental with its L-shaped settee on the nearside, inward-facing settee on the offside, and the swivelling cab seats completing the lounge. Then you have an L-shaped kitchen behind and a French bed (with the washroom alongside) at the rear. It’s not until you look closely that you notice subtle differences in décor between the Sun and Sky TIs, but these tweaks have made all the difference.

The cabinetwork is different, with a more modern catch where your hand must hook over a cupboard-wide lip before opening. There are moulded surrounds to the front and central skylights with additional roof-mounted spotlights – a theme that’s continued behind the kitchen unit where the blind’s workings are hidden by an identical plastic moulding. And you get extra windows behind the lifting TV cupboard (behind the inward-facing settee), as well as within the habitation door – although the former is an option costing £255.

The kitchen is almost identical to that in the Sky TI (see page 28), but there is one optional addition here that you can also ask for in the Sky. For £265 you get an extremely smart slide-out coffee-maker with matching cups mounted between the kitchen and lounge’s high-level lockers.

The French bed is covered by some very smart pillows and an overlay that matches the internal colour scheme. The headboard is padded and is just tall enough for sitting in bed. Alongside is the washroom with its bench cassette toilet with storage above. There’s no separate shower here, but swivel the wall (complete with washbasin) 90 degrees to cover the toilet and solid Perspex panels create an enclosed space. This isn’t a new idea, but it is a spacesaving device that works well – especially when coupled with a quick-drying duckboard.

Considering both the Sky TI and the Sun TI ranges offer similar floorplans it’s hard to see why the Sun TI is more expensive – at first. If you had the 650 LF’s layout in the Sky TI there is around an £8000 difference. But it’s the double floor that is the biggest difference between the two, and there are lots of smaller changes in both décor and spec – such as those mouldings around the skylights and the body’s external paint job.

Is the double floor and extra bling worth £8k? Only you can decide.

Click to view the full range of Knaus Sun Ti Motorhomes, available from Lowdhams.

To read the full motorhome review in PDF format exactly as it appeared in the December 2011 issue of Which Motorhome, click here.

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