Who’d have thought it? Extra long van conversions, like this Kingham from Auto-Sleepers, are set to be one of the success stories of 2014.
In fact, it’s the first of three models from Auto-Sleepers using the extra-long Peugeot Boxer– at 6.36m, it’s over a third of a metre longer than the next size down, yet the opportunities it allows for motorcaravan converters are immense.
Hence, something like this, squeezing a popular coachbuilt floorplan – featuring rear French bed and washroom, full kitchen and a single-settee lounge – into a vehicle that’s just that bit more manageable to drive. And it will still hold appeal for van conversion devotees who don’t want the inevitable extra bulk – and, some would argue, less structural integrity – of a coachbuilt motorhome.
Actually, let’s get the price right, from the start. It’s the Premium Pack that adds £2,500 to the bottom line here. But, with all the extra goodies it gives – alloy wheels, cab air conditioning, cruise control, Omnistor awning, reversing camera, daytime running lights, Al-Ko Airtop suspension – you can see why every Auto-Sleeper buyer to date has been unable to resist.
Add, also, the Winter Pack – fresh and waste water tank heater blankets, concertina cab blinds (instead of curtains), upgrade to Truma’s Combi 6 heating and hot water system, wheel arch insulation– and you’ve more of an idea of what most Kinghams will look like. That’s £51,995, then.
It’s hardly surprising, with all the gear on board, that payload is down to less than 400kg – although that should not be an issue bearing in mind this really is completely two-berth. Some 5in of the overall height is accounted for by the TV aerial, too.
But, you’ll notice a difference in ride quality compared to other van conversions on this type. Only Auto-Sleepers goes as far as specifying its Peugeot Boxer base vehicles with an extra rear leaf spring, then going on to add Al-Ko’s adjustable suspension system.
There are other differences compared to others. Again, Auto-Sleepers is unique in using athermic single-glazed, tinted glass for the side and rear windows. With upmarket concertina cassette blinds, their insulation properties are every bit as good as the cheaper acrylic units used by others. There’s just the one downside – most of them are non-opening.
Indeed, Auto-Sleepers is very proud of the fact that its van conversion line-up achieves the highest Grade Three rating for its heating and insulation – that’s something that matches any coachbuilt motorhome.
Comfort is right up there with the best, too. That one-piece mattress is memory foam, and its adjustable backrest will be a boon for many, while the settee has reflex foam that’s more suited to seating.
There’s a choice of five upholsteries here, too, all Belgium Chenille, as well as two furniture finishes. (also, four metallic paint colours for the exterior).
Indeed, of course interior space is at a slight premium (again, compared to a coachbuilt), but Auto-Sleepers has overcome much of this with plenty of clever design. The underslung refillable gas tank instead of the usual locker and cylinders arrangement is a great example.There’s no compromise in equipment in the kitchen, either – it’s very much a class leader in terms of specification, work and storage space, and even ergonomics. In contrast, the washroom is a tad cramped (perhaps inevitably), but at least give priority to the toilet and handwashing.
It’s the main table – a free-standing unit that’s arguably too large – that needs a rethink.
Verdict: Everything you’d want in a coachbuilt, but as a van conversion
Plus: Amazing equipment levels
Minus: Dining arrangements
In-a-nutshell: It’s all here, in a nutshell!
Cost to insure: £294.50*
- Auto-Sleepers Kingham
- Peugeot Boxer, 2.2-litre, 130bhp Euro V
- Dimensions 6.36m L x 2.05m W x 2.64m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 392kg
- Key options: Premium Pack (£2,500), Winter Pack (£295), Roof air conditioning (£1,200)
- MPG estimate 26-31
Security and Safety options:
- Electronic immobiliser
- Remote central locking to cab doors
- EBA (emergency brake assist)
- Twin airbags
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Fire extinguisher
- Colour reversing camera
- Al-Ko Air-Top
Recommended retail price from £49,200**
There’s more information on the Kingham on the Auto-Sleepers Website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Adria Twin 640PX, Rapido V66
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Auto-Sleepers Kingham 2014 motorhome retailing at £49,200. Motorhome must have an immobiliser and Thatcham Category 1 alarm fitted. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 11/03/2014
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%