Even with a heritage of half a century specialising in van conversions, it must have been quite a challenge for Auto-Sleepers to make a layout like this work.
Starting with just six metres of Peugeot Boxer base vehicle (the long-wheelbase variant), the result is more two-plus-two than full four-berth, but it does afford sufficient space for four travel seats that make a roomy enough lounge once you’re parked up.
Much of this is because of an interesting innovation that puts twin bunk beds across the back of the ‘van, in turn leaving sufficient space in the middle of the vehicle for a decent enough size of kitchen (nearside) and washroom (offside).
That kitchen is a good example of offering far more than you’d expect in a vehicle like this. It includes a Thetford Triplex cooker (three gas rings and a grill/oven), while the sink adjacent has a hinged glass lid that incorporates a small cutlery drainer; there’s also sufficient space here for an add-on drainer. The kitchen inventory also extends to an electric extractor and a couple of mains sockets nearby. Add in some useful storage and it’s certainly more than adequate.
It’s a similar story with the washroom, although some folk may have reservations about the sliding sink (which certainly saves space), and there’s a distinct lack of storage generally in here.
Actually, storage suffers quite a lot throughout, but features such as the gas tank fitted to the underside of the vehicle – not just saving the intrusion of a gas bottle locker, but also proving huge savings in the price of gas itself – show why Auto-Sleepers still often leads the way in van conversions.
There are plenty of other key space-saving measures in place, too, that also determinedly do not mean a compromise on luxury. It’s a Truma Combi heating and hot water system, operating from gas and mains, for example.
In keeping with its stablemates, what the Windrush doesn’t lack is specification. Everything and more is here – from reversing cameras to wind-out awning, microwave to flatscreen TV, external barbecue socket to a full set of crockery. The only choice you have to worry about is which metallic paint (from four) and which upholstery (five).
It’s not quite true to say Auto-Sleepers don’t worry about prices, either, but the company does seem to have almost a sense of pride in not offering the cheapest. Instead, it’s all about a lot of solid craftsmanship, matched by all manner of kit as part of the package.
Whilst the Windrush starts at £46,495 on the road, a more realistic price, and certainly the one owners have been paying, is the £48,995 that includes the Premium Pack option (which includes reversing camera, day time running lights, alloy wheels, Thule Oministor wind out awning) – sending an already high specification rocketing up a few stages, with some £4,000 worth of extra kit added for a nominal but impossible to resist £2,500.
For the record, bed sizes are front double 1.88m x 1.47m; bunks 1.8m x .60m, their length and width suggesting they’re aimed more at younger members of the family than full adults. Again, it’s no mean achievement in a van conversion of this size. There’s also added bunk appeal in that both beds have lockers at the foot end, LED reading lights at the head.
But what’s that round the corner? Even longer van conversions. Yes, Auto-Sleepers is well on the way to unveiling models based on the extra-long wheelbase Peugeot Boxer.
Verdict: Bunk beds are a real bonus here
Plus: Sleeps four in relative comfort
Minus: Compromised washroom and kitchen
In a nutshell: Luxury for two… plus two
Cost to insure: £284.50*
- Based on Peugeot Boxer, 2.2-litre, 130bhp, Euro V
- Dimensions 5.99m L x 2.26m W x 2.64m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 496kg
- Key options: Premium Pack £2,500
- Security and safety Central locking to all doors, ABS, driver’s and passenger’s airbags, Al-Ko Airtop and additional rear leaf springs
- MPG estimate 28-32
- Recommended retail price from £46,495
For more information on the Auto-Sleeper Windrush and other models in the range, visit www.auto-sleepers.co.uk
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Auto-Sleeper Windrush retailing for £46,495. Fitted with fitted with the optional Hal-Locate tracking device. UK travel only. Kept on driveway at home at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners retired 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. Quote correct as of 20/06/13.
Alternatives: Autocruise Quartet