With all of the heritage of the Auto-Sleepers brand behind it, the new Auto-Sleepers Air is a campervan with plenty of promise, and impressed us enough to make it onto our best campervan round-up. This is despite the fact that it’s entering what is now a very crowded market.
Based on the SWB Ford Transit Custom, the Air’s low-key exterior features subtle graphics. Our test model was smartly finished in Diffused Silver, one of a choice of four metallic colours which are a no-cost option, which also includes Chrome Blue.
The six-speed Select Shift gearbox is a £2000 extra, but park assists, sat nav and adaptive cruise control are all fitted as standard.
The campervan sleeps up to four and comes with a roof that is raised on gas struts, a Thule pull-out awning with integrated awning light and an electric step on the side entrance.
Inside, the bench seat slides via a locking lever at its base, to allow the seats to go back or further forward.
On the side of the front seat is a bracket for placing the steel table leg in position. The cab seats then swivel around to complete the circle This arrangement should be acceptable for four, but if there are just the two of you touring, the Air would be better still.
The three belted travel seats are comfortable, although sliding the bench seat forward might obscure access to the cupboard, where the toilet is placed beneath the kitchen.
There are two USB and mains sockets in the area by the door, where there is also a blown-air outlet for the Webasto diesel heating system. There’s plenty of night-time lighting, too.
The camper’s raising roof, which is straightforward to lift and lower, offers loads of headroom during the day, and a double bed at night. There’s a ladder to access the upstairs sleeping area. This area has no night-time lighting, but there are side vents.
The lounge converts easily into a flat, comfortable and generously sized bed that will suit most adults.
The side kitchen comes with a good amount of storage and an opening window with fly screens and a blind. There is integral lighting for night-time use of the kitchen area. The area is fitted with a Dometic two-burner hob and there’s a grill underneath, for the essential bacon sandwich breakfast.
The useful worktop is smartly finished in a fashionable charcoal colour. The kitchen cupboard houses the Dometic portable toilet, although when pitched, we would suggest storing this at the rear of the vehicle for easier access.
The kitchen has more mains sockets and USB ports, and a sink deep enough for washing up when needed. Overall, the grey finish combines with chrome push handles for added style.
Given the limited space available, the Air’s designers have clearly gone to great lengths to provide as much storage capacity as possible.
Lift the tailgate at the rear and you’ll see cupboards and a small wardrobe. There are two handy LED spotlights here, too. The cold shower is ideal for cleaning off muddy boots, or your dog.
In addition, there is a neat storage compartment on the rear nearside. The seat base has more storage space, which is deep and easy to access.
Finally, the sliding bench seat moves forward to provide yet more space for bulkier luggage behind.
The camper’s rear nearside corner houses the LPG filling point and a gas BBQ point. On the opposite side you’ll find the waste water emptying point and the hook-up connection. The water tank filler is placed just inside the footwell of the driver’s seat.
The Air comes equipped with a 60W solar panel, a Webasto Air Tap 2000 diesel heating system, and 40-litre fresh and waste water tanks.
PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS…
Auto-Sleepers has a successful camper on its hands with the Air, which comes with a lot of kit and feels very well made, factors which led to it making its way onto our best small campervan guide.
This neat ‘van can be used as a day-to-day drive, then as an escape to freedom at the weekends. It’s probably more suited to accommodating two, but if you take the grandchildren along, there’s room for them, too. Although the campervan market is quite crowded these, days, the Air should do well.
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This neat 'van can be used as a day-to-day drive, then as an escape to freedom at the weekends