Set for four
Four? More like a two-plus-two, really. Nevertheless, the Fairford from Auto-Sleepers offers a highly flexible layout – thanks to rear and forward lounges that provide two double beds at night.
Changes for 2018 include the subtly enhanced exterior graphics and a choice of new soft furnishings– some 13 different colours across three styles: the stripes of Catalan or Sagrada, or the more floral Casa Mila. Also new is the furniture finish, which helps towards a light interior overall – so there’s now a choice of two here.
All-importantly, the layout remains the same as its introduction last season. Auto-Sleepers has successfully melded the UK penchant for a rear lounge in a van conversion motorhome, along with also providing four travel seats.
Remember, also, Auto-Sleepers is unique in converting the window version of Peugeot’s Boxer base vehicle (others use panel vans and add their own windows – the only downside to that is the athermic (heat insulating, tinted, UV-protecting) glass is non-opening – the main ventilation to the rear lounge, for example, is the large rooflight, unless you open the back doors.
The front lounge, meanwhile, is a set-up that starts by offering a double forward-facing travel seat but, once on site, can be re-configured to a settee that allows you to make the most of the views out with the sliding door open.
In between the two sleeping/seating areas, there’s a surprisingly long length of kitchen with permanent worktop either side of the sink (a drainer can be added) and a Triplex cooker (three ring hob, combined oven and grill) at its far end. A microwave oven contributes to the cooking facilities, and the surroundings are complete with an extractor unit, plus splashback. A Thetford fridge sits under the counter mid-kitchen.
Space is saved by making it not quite a full double dinette behind the driver’s seat. That’s because there’s no backrest for the forward bench. Instead, you rely on support from the reclined driver’s seat.
There’s also a clever space-saving feature in the washroom. Two, in fact. First, the tambour door, then the “fixed” basin, which can be slid across the back wall, depending on whether your washroom visit is for showering or toileting.
2018 sees Auto-Sleepers offering the latest two-litre 160bhp, Euro VI engine as the start point in its van conversions. You can actually have automatic transmission, but that involves a switch to Fiat’s Ducato and its Comfort-Matic robotised gearbox.
Realistically, too, you should be adding the £2,500 Premium Pack to that starting price. £57,200 might seem a big price to pay, but there’s not a motorhome that’s left the Auto-Sleeper factory without it since it was introduced. The latest version is a full package of Truma air conditioning, alloy wheels, cab air conditioning, cruise control, Thule Omnistor awning, colour reversing camera and Garmin satnav monitor, 80W solar panel and Al-Ko Air Top suspension plus twin-leaf rear suspension – the latter two really do make the difference in allowing you to alter a ride that can otherwise be a bit choppy.
OK, so it’s not cheap, but you might want to take some solace from the fact that, as an Auto-Sleeper, it will no doubt have better residuals than many. Also, the Trackstar Leisure CAT 6 tracking system, with the first year’s subscription paid for, and the reversing camera will knock a few ££s off your motorhome insurance premium.
Verdict: Extra long, extra spec’, extra attractions
Plus: Two lounges/double beds, big kitchen, high specification
Minus: Bedmaking isn’t the easiest
In-a-nutshell: Four up for a Fairford adventure
There’s more information on the Fairford on the Auto-Sleepers website www.auto-sleepers.com. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Trail Tribute 680, Swift Select 184
Auto-Sleeper Fairford factfile
|Base vehicle||Peugeot Boxer window van, 2.0-litre, 160bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||6.36m L x 2.26m W x 2.64m H|
|RRP||From £54,700 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to all doors, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), twin airbags, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguisher, colour reversing camera, Al-Ko Air-Top suspension, Trackstar Leisure CAT 6 tracking system, LED daytime running lights, 25-litre underfloor gas tank, Truma Drivesafe regulator|
|Key options||Premium Pack (£2,500), Winter Pack (£295), Media Pack (£995)|