Warwick (no model suffix) was part of an important rethink for Auto-Sleepers. It, Symbol and Windrush were the first among volume converters to use the window version of the Peugeot Boxer high-top panel van.

Its flush, full-length, tinted and bonded habitation glazing transformed the exterior into something far more fluid, handsome and automotive than was previously the case.

The original Warwick had a U-shaped lounge at the back and in 2009 this was changed to two longer, inward-facing settees, for the second in our series of a ‘dozen doozies’, Warwick Duo.

Thus, Duo gained the advantage of unobstructed access through the rear doors and the option of sleeping in two easy-access single beds, or an ‘all-over’ double.

View forwards in 2010 Duo. Note half-height ‘floating’ wardrobe on left. No opening windows in lounge of Duo or XL. Large opening rooflight and two doors, though

This was achieved within the same overall length as the original Warwick. The solution was to make the wardrobe half-height, to allow the feet and lower legs of the nearside bed occupant to stretch out below…simples!

Duo’s well-designed kitchen is forward on the offside and features all mod cons, including a full cooker with grill, microwave and a useful amount of worktop.

Duo’s kitchen is user-friendly and well-equipped. This 2013 example has the new, darker cabinetwork

The original powertrain consisted of a Euro 5 2.2-litre 120bhp (Ford Puma) turbodiesel mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a 150bhp motor available as an extra-cost option. The latter quickly became standard, as did an underslung LPG tank. In 2012, Duo gained new, darker cabinetwork and equipment upgrades.

Duo’s washroom is very easy to use. Fitting a bench-style toilet (instead of the swivel-bowl model) increases the available floor space and the foldaway sink adds elbow room for showering.

Washroom in Duo makes great use of the available space

The 2013 models saw a change of cabinetwork, now with contrasting finger panels on the high-level locker doors. By then, the U-shaped rear-lounge Warwick had been dropped and the Warwick XL launched, which (I feel you are ahead of me on this) was an extra-long version of the Duo.

The XL-Ducatos share the same long-wheelbase footprint, but have an extra 365mm/1’2″ of bodywork behind the rear wheels. Auto-Sleepers have used every millimetre to good effect and, by resisting the temptation to cram in extra ‘stuff’, created an amazingly spacious layout.

The kitchen migrates to the nearside adjacent to the sliding door, gaining extra storage and worktop.

Kitchen in XL is, well… XL! Acres of worktop was highly appreciated when vehicle was on test

The washroom also swaps sides and doubles in volume, allowing for a fixed vanity basin, walk-in shower, swivel-bowl toilet and a dry area to dress in.

The XL was an instant success, and continues basically unchanged – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

In 2014, Auto-Sleepers addressed the only Achilles heel of its otherwise excellent luxury PVC range. This was that Peugeot refuses to offer automatic transmission on the Boxer. Now the Fiat Ducato with auto transmission was available for those wishing for a two-pedal drive.

XL also features this palatial washroom with walk-in shower

Originally, it was the six-speed automated Comfortmatic gearbox, with a change to a ZF nine-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox from late 2019.

For 2018 and 2019, Boxers arrived with Peugeot’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel Euro 6 engine, which Auto-Sleepers ordered at 165bhp. Recently for Euro 6D, the capacity increased to 2.2-litre.

The firm offers a range of extra-cost packs to new purchasers. Don’t buy a pre-owned Warwick without the Premium Pack fitted – unless it has a diamond-sharp windscreen price.

Premium Pack includes integrated DAB radio with sat-nav, alloy wheels, air-suspension assisters, cab air-con, awning, colour rear-vision camera and monitor, cruise control and an 80W solar panel.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Base vehicle

Look for a full service history and in particular, that engine drive belts have been changed at time intervals, not mileage. Unless you are lucky enough to be looking at one with the optional (Iveco) 3.0-litre 160bhp engine, which has a chain-driven camshaft.

Very early models can be a little percussive in reverse, but this is not usually indicative of premature failure. The clutch slave cylinder is inside the gearbox; check this has been replaced if it has recently had a new clutch.

Conversion

The conversion has Athermic glass windows, which are bonded in and shouldn’t leak, but check this anyway. Strangely, the important insulation over the rear wheel arches is part of the extra-cost Winter Pack. If there is none, it can be retrofitted easily. Look for evidence of a recent habitation service and regular servicing of gas appliances.

Truma supplied its Combi boiler for all except the most recent, when a switch was made to Whale underfloor units. Replace the smoke detector and fire extinguisher on older models.

OUR PICK

Just back up to the view and open the doors. Perfect! This 2018 XL has one locker door left open to show that they lift to (almost) horizontal, to minimise cranium crunching

As mentioned, check the Premium Pack is present and correct. Duo is slightly more manoeuvrable and easier to park, and at a whisker under 6.0m will be the choice of those with shorter driveways. Duo has been in production the longest, so its prices are more approachable. However, the XL feels more spacious – because it is!

The author’s dream machine? Warwick XL on Ducato auto.

WHAT TO PAY

Pre-Covid, early Duos were available privately from around £28,000. Currently, they seem to be the same price or more expensive than warranted examples from dealers.

4Front Car Sales (Horsham) has a sharply priced 2009 (59) Duo, 46,000 miles, windscreen price £30,995.

West Country Motorhomes is currently advertising a fully loaded, low-mileage 2014 Boxer-based XL at £41,995 9New RRP inc packs £64,500 plus £3000 for Ducato auto).

ESSENTIALS

  • Auto-Sleeper Warwick Duo and XL on LWB and XL Peugeot Boxer, Fiat Ducato optional
  • Built in Broadway, Worcestershire. Duo 2009-present, XL 2013-present
  • All-steel high-top five-door window van conversion
  • Overall length: Duo 5.99m (19’8″), XL 6.36m (20’10”)

LIKES: All feature the option of sleeping in single beds; Auto-Sleeper quality furniture and soft furnishings; Elegant automotive exterior; Engaging drive; Direct-to-customer Auto-Sleeper spares department

DISLIKES: Automatic gearbox not available on Boxer; Only one armrest on each cab seat

OR YOU COULD TRY…

Auto-Trail V-Line 610 or 635, Elddis/Compass CV20, Swift Select 122.

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