Back in 2011 Knaus celebrated 50 years of caravan production by making a limited edition run of 150 caravans based upon the Knaus Schwalbennest from the 1960s. Schwalbennest being German for ‘swallow’s nest’, very apt for a company who’s logo is a flying swallow.
There is no getting away from the fact that the Schwalbennest is a small caravan, naturally there isn’t room for a fixed bed, spacious end washroom or large double fridge freezer. What there is however is a cleverly thought through.
The layout is essentially a four seater dinette opposite the door with a wardrobe in the rear corner and compact kitchen in the front corner, and that’s about it.
The seating area makes into a fairly large double bed of 6’8″ x 4’6″.
Storage is limited, naturally, however cleaver touches abound, such as the storage area behind the rear back rest with a handy shelf above. Gas is stored below the wardrobe.
The kitchen features an enamel two gas burners and sink unit with a fold down cover and hidden behind the door complete with the Knaus logo and chrome handle is a 40 litre fridge.
Seating is in synthetic leather with an ergonomic shape. The furniture is colour is called ‘Zabrano’ with metallic beige furniture doors. Specification isn’t too bad either with a 15 litre water canister under the seat, Truma E2400 gas heater, blinds and flyscreens, mains sockets and panoramic roof window.
External lighting has been designed to give a retro look.
The front window incorporates a printed Knaus logo.
The caravan has Knott suspension with a round drawbar and the white 13′ wheels feature classical hub caps.
The front and rear look almost identical, except for the lights, number plate and lack of a drawbar. The rear window also has a Knaus logo incorporates.
As only 150 Schwalbennest 250 D models were made each one was given their own individual number, this one being number 46.
One advantage of the small size is the modest weight, press photos used the two cylinder Fiat 500C as a tow car. Maybe not ideal for a tour of the alpine region, however it does make an eye-catching outfit.
Overall the Knaus Schwalbennest 250 D is a clever little caravan. It could be argued that is just a publicity exercise and not a practical caravan, or it can be looked at as a reinterpretation of a classic design in modern/retro way.
Caravanning Life rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⬜ 4/5
Price €5990 (approx. £5200) in 2011
Internal length 8’5″ / 256 cm
Overall length 12’4″ / 377 cm
Overall width 6’10” / 208 cm
MRO 565 kg
MTPLM 750 kg