You can choose twin beds or a double in the versatile Auto-Sleeper Kemerton XL high-top van conversion, as Practical Motorhome's expert reviewers discover
Auto-Sleepers launched the Kemerton XL at the Spring 2014 NEC show. It uses the XL LWB version of the Peugeot Boxer chassis, which makes it 13 inches longer than the 5.99m Kemerton.
This extra length has been put to very good use, accommodating a pair of 6’4” lounge sofas that at night convert into lengthy single beds (in contrast to the Kemerton’s double bed across the width of the ’van) and can also be joined to create a massive double bed 1.98m x 1.8m (6'5" x 5'1"). With the addition of the two swivelling cab chairs, you could comfortably seat six people, making the Kemerton XL ideal for socialising, and it will happily sleep couples as well as those touring solo or as two friends.
That extra length also adds another roof locker on both sides, more space under the sofa and an additional sofa box. For this boost in space and more versatile sleeping arrangements, the XL will set you back an extra £3000.
The MTPLM is the same as the Kemerton’s and the payload allowance, although generous, is 174kg lower.
Our test vehicle came with the £2500 Premium Pack, which included alloy wheels, cab air conditioning, cruise control, a wind-out awning, a reversing camera, daytime running lights and Al-Ko’s AirTop suspension.
There are no gas bottles taking up valuable storage space. Instead, a 20-litre LPG tank is mounted under the motorhome’s floor.
Inside, the cabinet work is in pale ‘Verada oak’ with a dark trim, chrome handles and finishing strips. The upholstery bears a geometric pattern in cream, blue and beige with blue edging that is picked up in the curtain tie-backs. Walls, trims and carpets are beige and curtains and worktops are cream. The interior is contemporary and easy to live with.
A high-top steel roof allows space for lockers and a deep shelf over the cab. The cab floor is higher than the habitation floor, so take care to avoid hitting your head as you pass between them.
On the road
We put it through its paces in Ireland on steep inclines, narrow winding roads and the occasional motorway (cruise control was fitted to our test model).
The Kemerton XL managed it all, although some of the hill starts were tricky. The handbrake is set low down on the right and reaching to release it can be awkward as you try to perform the necessary footwork. In the process, you may fail to let the handbrake off fully; it’s easy to do, but an alarm lets you know if you have.
You have to be mindful of the rear when tackling sharp corners, but the ’van has a good turning circle and in the main didn’t cause a problem.
The cab seats are adjustable, tilting forwards and backwards to suit the driver. They also swivel to face the habitation area. The height of the driver’s seat proved a problem for our 5’2” tester, who found it difficult to comfortably reach the pedals. The ’van is blind at the back so the reversing camera included in our test model was a welcome addition for parking.
The Auto-Sleeper Kemerton XL's cab was comfortable, with deep door pockets and three dashboard lockers; one will chill a bottle of water.
A plastic panel along the top of the window obscures the vision a little so, although the driver can see the road, he or she may not get the full benefit of the scenery.
Lounging & dining
Two tables are provided. The occasional table, whose single leg and top are stored in the wardrobe, slots into a hole at the edge of the raised cab floor and is specifically for use when the two cab seats face the lounge.
There are TV points above the fixed sofa, which suggests that a set should sit on the kitchen worktop unless a bracket is installed. A freestanding table is stored against the back wall of the washroom and is most easily accessed through the ’van’s back doors. Two can dine comfortably at the table; four will be a squeeze.
There’s a spotlight over the two ends of the fixed sofa and one over the third travel seat, plus LED lighting over the cab seats and a mains light. Two lots of wall pockets are useful for stashing phones.
A window illuminates the area by day. Opposite and above a low cupboard is the three-way fridge; because it is above the floor, you don’t have to bend down in a tight space to access its contents.
The fridge has a freezer compartment and is topped by work surface, which has a flip-up extension to the side and a mains socket nearby.
Storage comprises a racked cabinet above the sink for crockery and a cupboard below, which has a kitchen roll holder attached to the door. Our testers stored pans and crockery in the lower cupboard, although the sink reduces its capacity. Another cupboard is below the cutlery drawer and two shallow lockers sit above the fridge.
A locker for crystal glasses is standard Auto-Sleeper equipment. Bottles can be stashed in a dedicated locker below the third belted seat.
As well as the blinds on the two side windows, blinds are pulled up in the cab. Those on the passenger’s and driver’s windows are fan-like and work well but look delicate. The front one must be pulled up from the dash and manoeuvred over the reversing camera’s screen. This is awkward and care should be taken to avoid disconnecting the camera.
A plastic tambour door separates the shower from the electric-flush cassette toilet. A towel ring and toilet roll holder are here and, on the domestic-style washroom door are towel hooks above a large mirror. The space is big enough for someone to get changed in.
Behind the bench toilet is a deep, narrow, lidded storage space that could be used as a laundry bin or to keep toilet chemicals and the hook-up cable. Above the toilet is a roof locker for toiletries.
Behind the third seat is a square storage box that makes up the base for the sofa, which could take cushions or bedding. Above the cab is a deep shelf where you can stash cameras, bags, umbrellas, notebooks and anything you want to get to quickly. The roomy wardrobe will take dresses, although not the ankle-length kind, and has three drawers below. A locker under the fridge is ideal for shoes, while three others are above the sofa.
We love the dedicated bottle storage below the third seat. Kitchen storage includes a cocktail cabinet, crockery cupboard, roof locker, shallow cupboards under the oven and sink, and a deeper one under the cutlery drawer.
Small folding chairs can be stowed with the freestanding table against the tailgate doors while on the move. Deep pockets in the cab doors offer quick access to maps, cameras and other items.
Two people could stow their belongings with ease using the various options.
The retractable step tucks itself away automatically when the engine is switched on, and there are external TV, gas and 230V points.
Utilities include a 20-litre gas tank, 69-litre fresh water tank and a 40-litre waste tank. Inside are an easy-to-read LCD control panel, LED spotlights and low-level lighting, a gas-strut assisted bed top, a three-burner gas hob, a combined oven and grill, an extractor fan, a three-way fridge and a microwave oven.
Add on the £2500 Premium Pack for alloy wheels, cab air conditioning, cruise control, a roof-mounted awning, colour reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and Al-Ko AirTop suspension. A £295 Winter Pack will give you heater blankets for tanks and insulating blankets for wheel arches.
Here's the full specification list in more detail. The base vehicle is the Peugeot Boxer 2.2-litre turbodiesel 128bhp @ 3500rpm; torque 236lb.ft @ 2000rpm. It's a six-speed manual gearbox. The Boxer features PAS. ABS with EBD. It's front-wheel drive with ESP and traction control and driver and passenger airbags. It also has steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, Bluetooth connectivity and a spare wheel.
The van conversion has a steel panel van body with athermic privacy glass. There's a 69-litre underslung fresh-water tank and a 40-litre underslung waste-water tank, plus a 20-litre underslung LPG tank. The electric step has auto-retract.
In the lounge there are six lounge seats, and four can eat together at the table. There's a side-facing sofa and a fold-out additional sofa. A freestanding table and a cocktail table, both with dedicated storage places are included. Cassette concertina blinds and flyscreens to side and rear windows and rooflights all enhance the habitation. Gas struts help you to lift the seat base. LED lighting uses very little power.
In the kitchen area you'll find a three-burner gas hob with electric ignition, an oven/grill, a sink with glass lid and removable plastic draining board, a cutlery drainer and drawer and a kitchen roll holder. There's a dual-fuel 90-litre fridge with a freezer compartment, plus a microwave oven. There's an extractor fan and downlighters, too.
Sleeping in this two-berth is versatile, with either twin beds or a double. The nearside single is 1.98m x 0.68m (6’5” x 2’3”) and the offside single is 2m x 0.68m (6’7” x 2’3”). The front double is 1.98m x 1.8m (6’5” x 5’1”).
Equipment on board includes an electric flush toilet with separate header tank, a 105Ah leisure battery, Truma dual-fuel Combi blown-air central heating and water heater, a Carbon Monoxide alarm, a smoke alarm and a Status directional TV aerial.
Options that you can have fitted are the Premium Pack, with alloy wheels, cab air-conditioning, cruise control, Thule Omnistor awning, reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and Al-Ko AirTop suspension (£2500).
In the Winter Pack you get fresh and waste water tank heater blanket, concertina cab blinds, Truma Combi Heater upgrade and wheel arch insulation blankets (£295).
|Layout||Van conversion, rear washroom|
|Fresh/waste water||69L / 40L|
|Leisure battery||105 Ah|
|Gas tank size||20kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Microwave
Thetford C-402 bench toilet, Separate shower cubicle
That extra foot on the Auto-Sleeper Kemerton XL allows more flexibility with the sleeping configurations and, seating-wise, makes it a very sociable motorhome. You can comfortably seat six people on the two sofas and the swivel cab chairs, although with the extra sofa made up you’ll have to leave the ’van via the tailgate or the cab.
The kitchen and end washroom are very usable spaces and both are equipped with everything you need.
Storage provision is generous for two people’s belongings. The Kemerton XL is easy to manoeuvre and a breeze to drive, but you need to keep your eye on the back corners when pulling into service stations. Our testers felt the reversing camera should be a standard feature.
- Easy to drive on a tough route
- The 2.2-litre Peugeot Boxer was up to the challenges it encountered, from steep inclines to winding narrow roadways
- The Premium Pack adds desirable items including wind-out awning and cruise control, and is good value for £2500
- Single beds are quite narrow
- Shorter people may find it difficult to get a comfortable driving position