Niall Hampton
Editor

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Squeezing a lot into under 6m, with a clever lounge, a good kitchen and a compact washroom, you'll want to know more – read our Auto-Sleeper Stanway review

Overview

A genuine genuine icon among British motorhome manufacturers, Auto-Sleepers produces a range of upmarket models from its base near Broadway in the Cotswolds. There are offerings in two segments – van conversions and coachbuilts – using base vehicles from Fiat, Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

The continuing popularity of van conversions among new entrants to the pastime, or those downsizing from bigger units, saw them account for approximately half of Auto-Sleepers’ 2015-season output, increasing from one-third in 2013. The popularity of recently introduced models including the Kingham, with its clever retractable fixed bed, has driven this change.

And this innovation has been sustained, with more out-of-the-box thinking in evidence on the Stanway, which was released halfway through the 2015-model year.

It’s a vehicle that meets the needs of buyers searching for a sub-6m two-berth motorhome with easy access to the front lounge via the side sliding door, as well as a well-equipped kitchen.

Design

Auto-Sleepers is highly practised at producing ’vans that are easy on the eye. Based on the Peugeot Boxer, and with tinted athermic side windows, subtle sidewall graphics and colour-coded bumpers, our test ’van looked sharp in its ‘Golden White’ metallic-paint finish (three other colours are available).

On the road

Auto-Sleepers specifies the 150bhp version of the Boxer’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine as standard; with an unladen weight of 2938kg, it makes for a perky drive. The engine is married to a six-speed manual gearbox; cruise control is available as part of the Premium Pack (£2500), alongside Al-Ko’s Air-Top suspension. Four belted seats are provided: two in the cab and two in the dinette.

Lounging & dining

Enter the Stanway via the nearside sliding door and you’ll find facing dinette seats and a table. The arrangement is a distinctive one: the backrest for the foremost seat is the rear section of the driver’s chair, and there are two small cushions under each end of the offside window. This is designed to allow you to sit with your back to the wall and enjoy the view from the sliding door; it’s one of the major advantages of a van conversion, and certainly helps bring the outside in.

The dinette table hooks onto a rail under the offside window, and has easy-to-operate folding legs.

Kitchen

Cooks who enjoy their craft will appreciate the Auto-Sleeper Stanway’s kitchen. Arranged in the offside rear corner, the L-shape makes for good ergonomics, offering a practical ‘work triangle’.

A three-burner hob sits on the rear wall, above a combination oven and grill, while a corner sink and microwave, dual-fuel fridge with separate freezer compartment and roof extractor fan complete the specification.

Sleeping

Make-up beds in multifunction lounges won’t suit all buyers, but the upside is that you get a compact ’van with a manageable 5.99m body length. Setting up the Auto-Sleeper Stanway’s bed does involve rearranging seat backs, squabs and filler cushions, but the process should soon become second nature.

In use, a comfortable sleeping surface results because the elements fit together so well.

Washroom

Another versatile space is found in the nearside corner washroom, where the shower tray doubles as the toilet floor. Accessible via tambour doors, this is a compact area, but includes all the essentials – sink, vanity unit, toilet and shower.

Storage

Storage provision in the Auto-Sleeper Stanway is primarily in the lounge, with three overhead lockers and an overcab area, and the kitchen, where a range of lockers, cubbies and drawers is on standby. Above the dual-fuel fridge there’s a half-length wardrobe that will easily meet the needs of a couple. Opposite is a tall cupboard with shelves.

Equipment

As standard, the Stanway comes with Truma Combi dual-fuel space and water heating, cassette blinds and flyscreens to all windows, removable carpets, LED spotlights, a cocktail cabinet and crystal glasses, and four 230V sockets.

The base vehicle specification includes driver and passenger airbags, a DAB radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and a spare wheel on an underslung carrier. The Premium Pack (£2500) adds extras including alloy wheels, front fog lights, cab air-con, cruise control, a wind-out canopy awning and a colour reversing camera.

For £295, the Winter Pack provides water tank heater blankets, wheelarch insulation blankets, concertina cab blinds and a 6kW upgrade for the Truma Combi heating (from 4kW).

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload562kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.26m7′5″
Height2.7m8′10″
Engine (power)150
Fresh/waste water69L / 40L
Leisure battery105 Ah
Gas tank size25kg
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Heating
Truma Combi heater

Verdict

The Stanway carries several Auto-Sleepers staples: good looks, a luxury spec and a high quality fit and finish. As well as the excellent kitchen, the ‘sideways’ aspect of the lounge has lots of appeal, but ask for a full demonstration of the bed make-up prior to purchase, to see if it meets your needs. And to see other Auto-Sleeper motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's a high spec ’van
  • Standing under 6m long, a lot is packed into a small footprint
  • The lounge's design makes the most of the van conversion layout

Cons

  • The process of making up the double bed might not be for everyone
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