The Marquis County Sussex Duo is built exclusively for Marquis Motorhomes by Auto-Sleepers, the dealer’s sister company within the Auto-Sleepers Group.

It’s based heavily on the Auto-Sleeper Warwick Duo, which was introduced for the 2009 season, but carries a good deal more kit as standard, making it very much a luxury, high-end camper. The most eye-catching items over and above the standard Warwick get-up are air-con for the living quarters, twin airbags and cab air-con. It chimes perfectly, then, with the stated aims of the team behind 2009’s management buyout of the Auto-Sleepers Group that they’d be focusing on boutique-style products. And it’s clearly a strategy that’s paid off: van conversions are very much back in fashion. The Sussex Duo also won the prestigious Caravan Club Design and Drive Award 2010 in its category for van conversions over £40,000, seeing off stiff competition from the likes of the Autocruise Alto, Murvi Morocco and the VW California. High praise 
indeed, then.

This model is aimed at those down-sizing from a larger coachbuilt, who don’t want to scrimp on any of the luxuries they’ve enjoyed in their last ’van. Manageable dimensions, excellent driving characteristics, road holding and rigidity, and considerably better fuel economy than coachbuilts thanks to their streamlined design, van conversions make an appealing case in these lean times.

The Sussex Duo is one of a fairly new breed of end-lounge, two-berth, twin sofa campers and the Duo’s main selling point is that its sofas are a generous 1.9m-long (6’3”). These make for better lounging and reflect a trend in coachbuilt motorhomes towards catering for couples who prefer twin single beds on tour. And if you want a double, it’s a much easier bed to make up than the double bed you find in more traditional front-lounge van conversion layouts. Plus, there’s the benefit of easy access through both the front and rear doors.