Spotlight on... Auto Campers
A brand specialising in extremely versatile conversions, primarily on the Ford Transit Custom. We caught up with Managing Director, Steve Wood, for the full lowdown…
When did Auto Campers start out?
Auto Campers began in 2011 and the campervans were built by independent Ford Transit specialist, Roy Wood Transits, in Reading. It has a heritage going back over 50 years representing various motorhome and campervan manufactures, as well as Transit sales.
In 2014, a partnership was formed between multi-award-winning Firth Campers and Roy Wood Transits, with production increasing and moving to Sheffield. We also have a hire partner in Scotland – Highland Auto Campers – which offers campervan hire as well as try-before-you-buy.
What sets you apart from the crowd?
Auto Campers are British built and have an enviable reputation for innovative and versatile campers and day vans.
Twin sliding doors are our trademark with a unique inside/outside kitchen that optimises social space, plus our bonded floor rail system which offers the foundations for so many exciting sports and hobbies.
How would you sum up the company’s ethos and values?
Integrity, pride, passion and a love of what we do. We believe in only making the very best campervans in terms of build quality, safety and usability, and we have a highly-skilled team.
But, most importantly, we believe in putting our customers at the heart of everything we do.
What do you think makes a great campervan conversion?
The best sort of campervan, I think, is a compact vehicle (such as the Transit Custom or VW Transporter) that’s so comfortable you take pleasure from driving it. A camper should also be versatile in function, intuitive in design and robust enough to deliver for years to come. Most importantly, it’s an investment that compliments and optimises your individual lifestyle.
What kinds of bespoke options do you offer?
With two base vehicles (Ford Transit Custom and VW Transporter), two wheelbases (SWB/LWB), three roof heights (regular height, high-top and pop-top) and four campervan models to choose from, we must have thousands of combinations to choose from!
Plus, we use our engineering experience to find bespoke options based around our four models to create individual space for those with mobility needs or commercial applications. Of course, there’s our multi-award-winning modular-designed day vans, too.
What’s your best seller?
All our models attract interest but it’s the Hi-line roof (Ford factory-fitted high-top) across all our campers that’s the best seller. If offers the perfect combination of a compact and attractive camper that can easily be driven anywhere, blended with an insulated roof for camping in all seasons and providing great storage space.
Have you got any exciting new developments in the pipeline?
Yes! With new campervans now reaching £50,000 and more, we wanted to build on its reputation and make our day vans more affordable, but not at the cost of innovation and quality.
The new Eco-line day van series is the only Auto Camper model to be available as a new conversion on either a new or used van. The design is a hybrid of existing models and is partly modular. It’s available in two wheelbases with a choice of three roof heights and two models, and the option of our Titan rock ‘n’ roll-style bed or a suspended bed. It's menu priced, which allows buyers to configure only those options they require to meet their lifestyle and budget.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about buying a campervan?
Take time, research and reflect. Initial consideration should be given to external length, then height and then internal layout. If you’re unsure, hire first in order to test your theory aligns with the pragmatics. Lastly, be honest, not letting your heart rule your head and think about what you really want from this vehicle and lifestyle.
What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked by a customer?
We get asked at shows if our drawer fridge is a dishwasher! I once got asked by a couple who had four children if we had anything under five metres that they could all travel and camp in, and also use as a regular van and family taxi. The answer was ‘yes’ − they bought a Day Van!
What’s the best campervan trip you’ve personally undertaken?
It was with our three children and the intention of spending three weeks in Scotland; however, we discovered Northumberland on the way up and spent seven days exploring empty beaches, castles and cycling – which has left us with a hunger to revisit Scotland now the kids are starting to fly the nest! Hopefully, we can get around to it soon as it also gives us an excuse to visit our hire partners, Highland Auto Campers in Inverness, to share a bottle of red!
The Auto Campers range...
The Day van is a true crossover luxury daily drive, plus a versatile camper, MPV or van. Based on either VW T6 or Ford Custom, both share the M1-certified six-rail bonded floor, which allows optional single seats on wheelie wheels to simply click into any position, creating travel seats for up to seven. Optional modular units and a multi-height suspended bed can be configured for work, rest and play, creating a two or four-berth camper.
Price from: £34,500
The Eco-line Day Van series is the only Auto Camper available as a conversion on a new or pre-owned Transit Custom or VW T6. It’s a semi-modular day van that has fixed furniture and multiple storage solutions, and menu pricing for affordability. The RB model (rock ‘n’ roll bed) or SB version (suspended bed) each optimises versatility with an open load space and removable fold-flat seats to allow for two to seven people to travel in comfort. Available as a two or four-berth camper.
Price from: £13,000 (conversion only)
The MRV’s uniquely engineered suspended multi-height bed and certified M1 floor track system, combined with clip in and out optional fold-flat seats, are just a few of the key elements behind the multi-award-winning design. It’s ideal for sports enthusiasts, wheelchair users, families or anyone needing a flexible everyday vehicle. It offers up to five travel seats and four berths.
Price from: £41,500
The Leisure van has a traditional side kitchen layout with a mid-mounted double seat that easily converts to a bed. Optionally available are the Vari-mount sliding seat system and twin sliding doors that exploit the inside/outside kitchen, as well as multiple awning options for more social space. Both driver and passenger seats swivel, so four can dine/relax with ample leg room. It’s available as a two or four-berth.
Price from: £41,500
Auto Campers South Roy Wood Transits, 429 Reading Road, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 5HU
Auto Campers North Firth Campers, Unit 7B Hoyle Mill Lane, Sheffield S36 9PZ
Highland Auto Campers Rivulet Cottage, Milton Redcastle, Inverness IV6 7SQ