Benjamin DaviesSee other motorhome reviews written by Benjamin Davies
Read the Practical Motorhome review of the Marquis County Suffolk, built for the dealers by Auto-Sleepers
Marquis launched its four-strong County range at February 2008’s NEC show. They are built exclusively for the dealer group by Auto-Sleepers.
After testing the dedicated two-berth low-profile Devon, we were keen to lay our hands on this overcab version, the Suffolk, with its British-as-a-Sunday-roast rear lounge.
The sidewalls and rear panel are GRP too, with flush-fit white-framed windows. Fresh- and waste-water taps are neatly recessed into the sills, and the entry step retracts on engine start-up.
On the road
The Sprinter’s automatic gearbox, though, is a dream to use. We found it fine for town and country driving, with the transmission rarely hunting for the right gear, and we hardly felt the need to switch to manual override mode.
The handbrake is to your left and within easy reach, but does not significantly obstruct access to the living quarters.
Among the high level of standard-fit goodies are driver and passenger airbags, twin armrests on both cab seats, and lumbar adjustment. Our test ’van was also kitted out with the optional extras of automatic transmission, cruise control, cab air-con and alloy wheels.
Lounging & dining
Top marks again for the control panel: we first came across this in the Auto-Sleeper Nuevo we ran as a long-term test ’van in 2007. Now, it has evolved to become more intuitive, with the most often-used buttons (battery check, water and lights) at the top level of the programme cycle. Its best trick is the ability to turn on the attractive, integral lights above the lockers with a press of the key fob from 20 paces!
Oddly, there are rocker switches for the oven, heater and water beneath the base of the wardrobe. This is detailed in Auto-Sleepers’ excellent user manual but it’s not intuitive to use.
The Truma 3002 space heater can be operated from mains electricity, but the water heater is gas-fired only.
There’s a moulded crockery rack in an overhead locker and a kitchen light over the hob, but no extractor fan, although a Mini Heki rooflight sensibly placed above the kitchen should do the job adequately. A microwave oven comes as standard, too.
The premium bed is the rear lounge double. The slatted seat bases, with supporting legs, slide out to meet each other, and the jigsaw of cushions is pretty quick and easy to arrange, with just slight squab knee-rolls preventing it from being a completely flat surface.
Elsewhere, a swivel head Thetford cassette toilet, towel holder, toilet roll holder and two towel hooks complete this well thought-out, practical washroom.
There’s the usual complement of overhead and tambour-doored corner lockers, but any larger items of camping equipment will have to go on the floor in the rear lounge or clutter the washroom.
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Thetford C-250 toilet
As a luxury four-berth tourer, the Suffolk is brilliant. The journey between campsites is made hassle-free by the excellent engine, automatic gearbox and cruise control and once you’re there, the end-lounge layout is perfect for relaxing. Throw in a compact, clever washroom and this is a top-quality, all-round package.
- Well-designed lounge area; intuitive control panel; good washroom
- Some body roll on the road; beds not completely flat