Nigel Donnelly

See other motorhome reviews written by Nigel Donnelly

Check out the Auto-Sleeper Executive GLS review from the expert team at Practical Motorhome magazine

Overview

The Auto-Sleeper range of monocoque ’vans is unique, with a seamless body construction and aerodynamic shape. Inside, it’s also a unique proposition and the most affordable full-size monocoque in the Auto-Sleeper range.

Design

The GRP coachbuilt body is effectively a single piece, with no joins or seams and, as a result, Executives age well, with none of the damp problems that afflict older ’vans.

Build quality is top notch. The rounded corners of the body give it a distinctive appearance. The living-area door closes with a satisfying thump rather than the more often-heard clatter of plywood and aluminium. The rear ladder and roof rack are standard.

On the road

Ergonomics are generally good, with major controls falling easily to hand and the dashboard-mounted gear change offering a short, firm, shift. The only gripe may be for taller drivers who may find the seating position too high for comfortable forward visibility.

The 2.0-litre HDi Peugeot engine is works sufficiently hard to power this medium-sized ’van up the road with aplomb, although an upgrade to a 2.8-litre unit is available.

Lounging & dining

Twin bench seating in the Executive means that lounging is comfortable and two occupants can really stretch out.
A TV cabinet sits above the drinks cupboard adjacent to the door, which is good if you are sitting on the offside – less so if you are opposite.

The dining table is in two parts: if just two of you are sitting down to dinner, you only need put together half of the table, unless you want extra elbow room. Both parts are fixed-leg units which use traditional mountings (the legs must be detached and stowed) but the surface is very sturdy and at a good height for dining.
Lighting above the bench seats is good, due to the spotlamps and strip lights on both sides. A Heki rooflight dominates the roof section above the dinette which makes the interior feel light and airy during the day.
Usefully, the radio cut-out switch positioned in the lounge means you won’t need to ferret around in the cab to shut the radio off at bedtime.

Kitchen

With the corner kitchen layout, space for food preparation is a little limited, but if you’re sensible with the sink and hob cover, you should manage.

The shelf next to the living-area door offers extra workspace, as does a slide-out surface (which, when in use, obscures the walkway).

The full-sized oven, grill and four-burner hob is what you would expect to see in any well-specified UK motorhome, and the 77-litre fridge with its freezer compartment is standard fare.

The sink is a reasonable size and the glass cover hides a recessed drainer for piling up your clean crockery, and minimises the chances of water flooding the worktop. The mixer tap is fitted to the worksurface, which bodes well for a long life (some others, fitted to the sink, can soon work loose). The cupboard beneath the sink houses shelves and a cutlery drawer, while the small overhead lockers are ideal for crockery.

Sleeping

The benches can be used to make up two single beds which, being broad and flat, make a comfortable base for the night. An even better bed results, though, when the benches are used to make a large, transverse, double bed.

Making up the single beds is a very simple operation, but getting the cushions into the correct positions can be a bit puzzling the first time round – it soon becomes second nature, however.

The overcab bed is small and best viewed as an occasional berth for children rather than as a long-term touring berth for adults.

Washroom

A recent trend for motorhome washrooms has been for acres of space, wooden units and separate showers, but the Executive is something of a throwback in this respect.

The washroom is tiny, with a Thetford bench cassette toilet positioned along the back wall. A tip-up sink, with a built-in mixer tap, is mounted above the toilet. The domestic-style shower head with separate controls are positioned to the right of the toilet as you face it.

The washroom is well built, and if you are the sort of person who uses a campsite’s facilities in preference to your own, the small size won’t worry you. For others though, this washroom may be too small for comfort.

Storage

With overhead lockers lining the roof on both sides of the living area, storage is generous for what is, essentially, a two-person ’van.

The wardrobe, next to the corner washroom, affords half-height hanging space (it also houses power switches for the water heating and space heater). The main battery charger and RCD unit are also at the back of the ’van.

Exterior locker space is limited but there is provision for mains cables and small ramps via the locker door mounted low down in front of the rear wheel. The gas locker sits behind the passenger seat position. In the washroom, there’s a mirror-fronted storage locker mounted high on the back wall, but not much else due to the small size of the room.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats2
MTPLM3300kg
Payload551kg
Length5.73m18′10″
Width2.4m7′10″
Height2.8m9′2″
Waste water54L
External Options
GRP sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 4-burner gas hob, Oven, Separate grill
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet, Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

The Auto-Sleeper Executive GLS might appear a bit of a throwback to a bygone era, but – apart from its small washroom – is none the worse for it. Behind the handsome, traditionally fashioned, cabinetwork are all the mod cons an owner expects and a host of thoughtful design touches mean this a van that will appeal to experienced motorcaravanners who want to tour in comfort.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Durable, distinctive construction
  • Radio cut-out switch in lounge
  • It's well priced

Cons

  • Small kitchen
  • Limited exterior storage
  • The washroom is small
Share with friends

Follow us on

Recently added motorhomes for sale

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome 2018 Auto-Trail Tracker LB Lo-Line review – 1 - The Auto-Trail Tracker LB is available in Lo-Line (as pictured) or Hi-Line form (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2018 Elddis Accordo 105 review – 1 - The Elddis Accordo 105's Azure Blue aluminium sidewalls are new for the 2018 touring season (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Flash 716 review – 1 - Priced from £49,500, this new five-berth low-profile from Chausson has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel review – 1 - The Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg and is priced from £52,137 OTR (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Escape 604

£47,580OTR

The Practical Motorhome 2018 Swift Escape 604 review – 1 - The Fiat Ducato-based Swift Escape 604 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg – it is £47,580 OTR, £49,275 as tested (© Peter Spinney/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Auto-Trail Imala 732 review – 1 - The 2018 Auto-Trail Imala 732 is a four-to-six-berth, with two-to-four travel seats, depending on options (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)