The body of the Knaus Sky TI 650 mf looks sleek and low, with quite a pleasing rear view, while a lowered floor aft of the rear wheels enables the under-bed storage to be considerably deeper – and to extend below the washroom floor for long items, like windbreaks.
A floor level that requires no external step and an automatic awning light that senses you coming home are further pluses, while the habitation door (with flyscreen) closes with a reassuring feeling of solidity.
Better still, the Knaus truly impresses with not a creak, groan, squeak or rattle, even on some pretty awful British bitumen.
With its flatscreen TV that swung down out of the ceiling, the original Sun TI was bordering on futuristic, certainly flamboyant. But these are more cautious times, so the latest Knaus resists such ostentatious flourishes and goes for proven layouts too, especially in this ‘French bed’ 650 MF guise.
But sometimes taking a proven design and simply making it better is all you need to do to create something special.
As soon as you walk in the door you’ll be impressed. The fit and finish of both the cabinetwork and the upholstery is exemplary – you’d be hard pressed to find another coachbuilt at this sub-£55k price level that feels anything like as well screwed together.
The TV now simply pulls up from a cupboard behind the offside settee, while plentiful LED lighting and a good selection of mains and 12V sockets show that Knaus have thought about the little details too.
There’s a wind-up Heki sunroof above for even more daylight or fresh air and the conversion of the seat back into a half-dinette for two rear passengers to travel is one of the easiest we’ve seen.
A further example of the Knaus punching above its (surprisingly affordable) price tag is the standard fitment of Truma’s more powerful Combi 6 heater (with gas and mains power) – most rivals make do with the lower output Combi 4.
And Knaus are, strangely, one of the very few companies to use a three-burners-in-line hob to free up worktop preparation space.
Moving the (bench cassette) toilet to the back of the area, rather than having a swivel cassette in the middle, is one reason for the feeling of space, while the wide entrance and tambour door help to make the right first impressions.
For the shower, Knaus use a swing-wall design to create a shower cubicle. The basin and mirror all hinge through 90 degrees and are met by a slim shower door opposite.
Here we come to the defining aspect of the ‘MF’ layout – its French bed. There are also garage, single bed and island bed layouts in the six-strong Sky TI layout, but this derivative is not just an appealing sub-7m length but the best all-rounder. And its bed is one of the best too.
A best-selling layout refined beyond its competitors with great detailing and style. At a value of over £53,000, potential owners are advised to invest in a Thatcham Category 1 approved alarm system or a good quality proactive tracking device, not just for peace of mind but to qualify for a motorhome insurance discount.
In partnership with:
- Cost to insure: £298.50*
- Price as tested: £53,354
- Berths 4
- Travel seats (inc driver) 4
- Dimensions 6.99m L, 2.34m W, 2.75m H
- Maximum weight: (upgrade to Heavy chassis available)
- Beds: Rear fixed French bed 1.96m x 1.41m/1.24m, front transverse dinette bed 1.96m x 1.10m/1.18m
* Motorhome insurance based on Knaus Sky TI 650 MF valued at £53,354. Fitted with Manufacturer’s Immobiliser system and Approved Tracking Device. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Insured & spouse, 57 years old, professionals, with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 5 years transferred protected NCD, 5 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. European cover £18.00 extra. European Breakdown £43 extra. Premium includes Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) at 6% and is correct as of 14.02.12.