Motorhome review: Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo

By: Bill Savidan

Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo The target market for this 'Cotswold selection' is "discerning owners seeking the space and comfort of a large motorhome in a compact form". Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo There are many safety aids for those unfamiliar with driving vehicles heavier and less stable than the family car. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo Twin two-seater settees with deep-buttoned cushions set the scene in the lounge. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo The kitchen is compact but well equipped. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo I enjoyed the quirky glass bowl handbasin. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo Room for two 9kg LPG bottles. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo
Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo The Dometic 190L, two-door fridge/freezer. Auto-Sleepers Burford Duo

Bill Savidan took the elegant Burford Duo for a spin and found it not only looks good, but it also drives like a charm.

The Burford is built on a Mercedes cab-chassis fitted with a 316 CDI four-cylinder 122kW (163bhp) turbo diesel driving through an automatic seven-speed transmission. Its Euro V rating means it meets the current and upcoming New Zealand emission levels for CO2 and diesel particulates.

There's a lot to like about the rear-wheel drive Mercedes. The emphasis on braking, traction, and stability control is impressive. Additionally, there are five separate systems in place to assist the driver, including electronic stability assistance, anti-lock braking, and acceleration skid control.

The Burford is a joy to drive and had plenty of power in reserve should you want to take advantage of the 2000kg tow weight capacity and tow a trailer. LED daytime running lights reinforce the safety aspect Mercedes promotes, and the UV filter tinted glass reduces the negative effects of excess sunlight.

The reversing camera provides a permanent feed to the monitor screen so it can be used as a rear-vision mirror.

Bedrooms and lounge

I reviewed the Burford Duo model with twin beds in place of the fixed double bed. Otherwise, the layout is the same as the standard Burford.

At the front is a spacious lounge, amidships is a fully-featured kitchen, to the rear are the twin beds and full-width bathroom with separate shower stall across the back.

Burford _Duo _4

Twin two-seater settees with deep-buttoned cushions fashioned from reflex foam set the scene in the lounge. With the cab seats rotated, it provides a convivial entertaining area for six. It's light and airy — the large panoramic hatch over the cab plus a hatch over the lounge see to that.

A freestanding table between the settees creates a cosy dining room and the settees can be made into a double bed for unexpected guests. The Belgian chenille upholstery fabric has a palette of five tonnes and the option chosen in this Burford is Moonstone Caramel — a nice match for the carefully crafted Amarti furniture. Scatter cushions and armrest cushions add a touch of comfort.

In the bedroom, the 1900mm x 850mm memory foam mattresses are extremely comfortable, and the padded headboards look smart. At first glance, the hanging lockers at the foot of each bed appear a bit intrusive but they are a good use of space that would otherwise be unused.

Kitchen and bathroom

The kitchen is compact but well equipped to satisfy the discerning buyers RV manufacturer Auto-Sleepers seeks.

Standard equipment includes a Dometic 190-litre two-door fridge/freezer, a microwave oven, and a full-sized oven with separate grill. There are four hobs, three LPG and one electric, an extractor fan with down-lights, a cutlery drawer, kitchen roll holder, a waste bin, and a melamine crockery set to fit the plate rack provided.

No kitchen is complete without a rack for wine bottles and glasses. The glasses are in the rack, too, but alas, no bottle of wine. Must speak to the sales department about that!

The kitchen bench — sink left and stove right — is sufficiently large for meal preparation and the worktop space is augmented by the usual glass lids, as well as an extension that slides out from under the bench. And there's room for people to move past while the cook is at work, which is always a bonus.

Storage is courtesy of two lockers above the bench and one above the microwave as well as overhead lockers in the lounge and space under the kerbside settee (the other one contains the power supply unit and other equipment). It is a workable kitchen with everything you need.

The bathroom features a generous-sized shower; a swivel-bowl electric flush Thetford toilet with a separate flush water tank; a storage cupboard over the toilet; a roof vent and an opening window; LED lighting; and best of all, a hot air outlet from the heating system.

Burford _Duo _3

The verdict

The Burford from TrailLite is fully self-contained to New Zealand standards. I estimate that the Burford could freedom camp for about five days with all the essentials remaining in positive territory, except the toilet cassette. So, like many motorhomes with cassette toilets, the Burford would need to carry a spare cassette for five days of freedom camping.

With the Burford, Auto-Sleepers’ mission to satisfy 'discerning owners' is pretty much on target. The Auto-sleepers design and build quality is excellent and the Mercedes cab/chassis it is mounted on is impressive.
The Burford Duo will 'tick the boxes' for many New Zealand buyers and at $169,000, it will suit many buyers who want quality in a reasonably compact package.

For more information contact TrailLite on 0800 872 455.

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