If you want a van conversion that's a little more unusual, this is it. The Kingham has a French bed positioned lengthways instead of the more common transverse layout, a side settee and a kitchen that is better equipped than most.
Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer Price from: £56,200 Berths: 2 Travel seats: 2 Length: 6.36m Width: 2.26m Height: 2.64m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 433kg
The Kingham was introduced almost six years ago (we first tested it in the November 2013 issue) but it is still an unusual design for a van conversion. There’s a vast choice of fixed double bed layouts based on Fiat/Peugeot panel vans but most have a transverse bed at the back – as well as a half-dinette up front. The Auto-Sleeper opts instead for a lengthways French bed and a side settee behind the cab.
The unusual layout makes good use of the extra-long Boxer window van’s interior space, as well as featuring factory-fitted athermic glass aft of the cab. This gives the vehicle a clean appearance with a single sweep of dark-tinted single-glazed fenestration down each side, but it does limit the number of opening sections. In familiar Auto-Sleeper style, this model comes in a choice of exterior colours (three metallics). Inside, there are different upholsteries, each in alternative colour schemes, so there’s plenty of choice.
Powered by Peugeot’s 2-litre 160bhp Euro 6b power unit (until Euro 6d versions arrive later this year), the Kingham boasts more performance than most rivals, while the engine is more refined than earlier Boxers. For those needing an automatic, a Fiat Ducato base vehicle (with Comfort-Matic robotised transmission) can be ordered instead of the fundamentally similar Peugeot.
Whichever chassis you go for, you’ll need to budget £2,500 for the Premium Pack, which is an essential part of any Auto-Sleeper and which brings the specification up to top-drawer level. The pack includes alloy wheels, Al-Ko Air Top suspension, cab air-conditioning, cruise control, a Thule roll-out awning, colour reversing camera, Peugeot DAB radio with Bluetooth and sat-nav and a 80W solar panel. Further options are the Media Pack (£995), which adds a Mecatronic satellite system and the Winter Pack (£295) for cab blinds, water tank heaters, wheelarch insulation and a heater upgrade. New this year in the standard specification is a Sargent Category 6 vehicle tracking system.
The Kingham’s reason-to-buy is, of course, its rear bedroom, complete with a mattress that can slide back to lift the rear section, thus providing backrest support for you to sit up with your favourite book, or breakfast in bed. There’s a large storage area under the bed, too, with easy top-loading access, but the bed doesn’t fold away for garage-style stowage space as seen in most continental van conversions of this size.
Alongside the bed, the washroom has a tambour door to aid entry, while further forward is a vanity unit and washbasin with mirror. Right at the back of the washroom is the latest swivel cassette toilet, as well as the showerhead.
Completing the layout on the nearside, is the kitchen. This comes well equipped with a microwave (mounted at eye-level), a combined oven and grill, a selection of drawers and a worktop extension flap at the forward end. Generous preparation space is just one aspect that gives the Kingham an advantage over some of its rivals.
Unusually for a van conversion, the Kingham is a pure two-berth with no rear travel seats. Instead, it has a side-facing settee, complete with armrests and scatter cushions, which joins the pair of rotating cab seats (which are at a slightly higher level). Space becomes much tighter in this area with the table erected.
If you enjoyed this review, you'll find more campervan and motorhome reports and reviews here. Every issue of What Motorhome magazine includes the latest models reviewed and rated - click here to buy a digital issue.