Auto Sleeper Kensington caravan

By: Steve Vermeulen, Photography by: Steve Vermeulen


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Not so confident at towing? The new Auto Sleeper from Auckland Motorhomes makes life easy…

Auto Sleeper Kensington caravan
Auto Sleeper Kensington caravan
  • Bathroom is one of the most spacious available
  • AL-KO remote mover system makes maneuvering a breeze
  • AL-KO trailer stability for the safety conscious
  • Space for a family of four
  • Good price point

Auckland Motorhomes’ first foray into caravans means your excuses for not getting behind, or, in front of, caravans are quickly running out. This new Auto Sleeper Kensington (caravans will be branded AS caravans) is very kind on nervous towers.

AL-KO AMS Mammut system

The Kensington and its sibling, the Mayfair, are the first non-motorised accommodation to the Brit-brand. It has incorporated some handy tech into its product to make life easy, borrowing heavily from the renowned AL-KO technology supplier.

The AL-KO AMS Mammut system is, to quote the brand’s marketing material, "the state of the art remote-controlled caravan moving system". Powerful electric motors drive the caravan’s wheels and have the torque to move the van effortlessly. And it’s all controlled by a simple, easy to use joystick-operated remote control unit.

Slight inclines or lumps are all taken in stride, but the real beauty is its ability to spin 360o on its own axis. Need to squeeze into a small site, down the side of the house or even navigate a slalom of Ming vases? The mammut takes care of it.

Design and engineering

At 7.2m the Kensington isn’t a small caravan but you wouldn’t know it from behind the wheel of this medium-large Toyota Highlander. It’s a very manageable load at 1795kg.

It has been brought to the market with the AL-KO ATC trailer stability system as standard. This works in a similar way to electronic stability control on a modern car, by measuring lateral G-force and applying just enough braking force to mitigate any snaking movement.

Interior design

The interior space and layout makes the Kensington particularly good for families.

The side dinette seats four but also converts to two space-conscious bunk beds at night, and a privacy curtain retracts tidily into a specific storage cupboard. The television also retracts electrically into a compartment behind the dinette’s seat.

You can feed the family with a generously sized kitchen that also provides a sturdy bench extension when you’re preparing a feast. There’s a full oven, grill and four-burner hob, and for al-fresco dining there is an outdoor gas fitting as well as a 230-volt socket.

The fresh water supply will become an issue over a couple of days, however, as the reservoir is a mere 40 litres (plus an additional 13-litre hot water tank). This really isn’t suitable for four occupants. I’d look into upgrading that tank size to save on regular top ups, and this is something Auckland motorhomes can facilitate.

Probably the highlight of the Kensington is the full bathroom. The shower is a north-south orientation, tastefully finished in a tile effect laminate, with enough room to shower and towel off, or to conserve that water supply, double up. The toilet is off to the right behind a huge wardrobe/airing cupboard that has dual access from inside the bathroom or the living area. There’s a modern bowl sink, even an in-built hairdryer, and still room to move.

The Kensington differs from the Mayfair model in that while you gain the bunks and the big bathroom (it’s scaled down in the Mayfair), you miss out on a permanent bed. This doesn’t bother me, the front lounge transforms very easily, so it’s definitely a worthwhile trade off in my books.

In day mode the lounge table also extends for family dinners where you can immerse yourself in the scenery with the ample (fly-screened) glasshouse area. Come night mode this doubles as a handy bedside cabinet.

In addition to the space and comfort on offer here, naturally one of the big draw cards to the Kensington over a motorhome would be the price, which at $80k, is lineball with Trail-lite’s big-boy 7m van. A different approach to interior styling and layout, but the AL-KO technology is this product’s big benefit for those of us not so handy at towing.

Specifications

Length incl drawbar 7250mm
Internal length  5600mm
Width 2240mm
Internal width 2130mm
Height 2610mm
Internal height 1980mm
Weight 1795kg
Berths 4
Toilet Separate, cassette
Cooker Full oven, grill and four-burner hob
Fresh water 40-litre (13-litre hot water tank)
Grey water 40-litre

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