Do you remember the day you first took delivery of your motorhome? Remember your delight in finding everything inside so new, shiny, spick, and span? Do you recall how the engine purred into life as you set off on your first outing – without a care in the world about the vehicle or the comfort it would provide?

After several outings and some memorable holidays, your motorhome might also have taken a few knocks that are in need of repair.

Keeping your motorhome in its nearly new condition and carrying out the occasional repair, therefore, means scheduling a regular service and maintenance regime. More than that, recent years have seen a significant upsurge in the popularity of motorhomes – a story in Van Life Matters on the 18th of October 2022 estimated that the number of owners was likely to grow by more than 40% by the end of this decade. That means there’s almost certain to be a lively market for your pre-loved and regularly maintained vehicle when you decide to trade it in.

All in all, therefore, you’ll find it well worth your while arranging for your motorhome to be serviced regularly – and, if you’re looking for a service that is second to none, you’ll need look no further than ourselves here at Derby Motorhomes.

Why choose us to service your Auto-Sleeper?

Because we are so familiar with Auto-Sleepers and have grown our business on the strength of that agency, you can be sure that we’re already on closer than nodding terms with your own motorhome.

Booking it in is easy – just let us know when and we’ll reserve a slot (often as not, by letting you know the very next day).

We’ll supply genuine Auto-Sleepers parts, of course, for any items that need replacing during the servicing and maintenance. We also supply most makes of battery – so the choice is yours when it comes to the power source you need.

We are skilled in the full range of servicing and maintenance work – both mechanical and habitation services. Here at Derby Motorhomes, we share the pride you take in looking after your motorhome – whether or not you actually bought it from us – and keeping it in next to perfect running condition, appearance, and comfort. So, we are pleased to offer all the servicing, maintenance and repairs you may need.

Servicing your auto-sleeper

There is rather more involved in auto-sleeper servicing, of course than the periodic services you may give the car you keep at home.

Typically, it is going to focus on two separate and distinct areas:

The vehicle

  • failure to have a valid, up to date MOT certificate may mean a fine of up to £1,000;
  • but an MOT is the most basic of checks – and certifies the vehicle’s roadworthiness on the day of the test only;
  • yet roadworthiness and the mechanical safety of the vehicle are paramount at all times – and your failure to ensure that this is so, may not only invalidate your motorhome insurance but also land you in trouble with the police;
  • so, leave your auto-sleeper servicing to us, confident in the knowledge that we will service, maintain, or repair your vehicle in accordance with the engine manufacturer’s strict requirements;

The auto-sleeper

  • the second vital part of any servicing regime for your motorhome is what is called a “habitation service” – a term that might strike some newer owners as somewhat unfamiliar and mysterious;
  • so, let’s take a closer look.

What does a motorhome habitation service include?

The Camping and Caravanning Club suggests that you have an annual “habitation” service of the interior of your auto-sleeper and its facilities – some experts insist that it is essential.

A habitation service provides a thorough and comprehensive servicing of the complete living area of your motorhome and also checks and maintains the gas, electrical, water and heating systems of your Auto-Sleeper.

The electrical system

The service of your electrical systems, for example, will include a close examination of all the wiring, the appliances you are running, and a residual current device (RCD) check to ensure that this safety device trips when it is supposed to.


Any leaks in your motorhome’s gas system will also be checked and traced using a manometer and appliances such as your cooker, heating system, water heater, and fridge are all in good working order.

Safety features such as flame-failure devices, carbon dioxide detectors, and adequate ventilation are all designed to make sure your motorhome meets stringent health and safety standards.


A potential health hazard which can otherwise go overlooked is the cleanliness of your motorhome’s (drinking) water systems – which may be harbouring more harmful bacteria than you can have imagined, especially if yours is an older auto-sleeper or you have not used it for a while.

While draining down your system and ensuring that you use it regularly – at least to run off some of the stored water – may help to some degree, this alone does not kill off the potentially harmful bacteria that might be present. To achieve that, you need to regularly flush the entire system with an antibacterial solution.

Bodywork and ventilation

Keeping your motorhome safe and health hazard free also involves longer-term care – such as fending off problems such as creeping damp, which may otherwise prove very expensive to remedy once it has taken hold.

Book your Auto-Sleeper service today

Whether it is just your annual MOT and mechanical service, or a full habitation service, too, at Derby Motorhomes, we are able to provide everything you may need – just let us know exactly what you require.

Auto-Sleepers can be the term used to describe any motorhome or campervan – regardless of its manufacturer. Since we are one of the country’s leading dealers for the Auto-Sleepers brand, however, let’s concentrate on buying a motorhome built by this iconic British manufacturer. After all, it is an established and reputable brand that has been around now for almost six decades.

Buying an Auto-Sleeper is an investment likely to pay off in so many ways. It offers comfort, convenience, flexibility, and freedom in ways that other forms of transport cannot match. With a range of models, features, and specifications to choose from, you’re practically certain to find an Auto-Sleepers motorhome that suits your travel needs and budget.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why buying an Auto-Sleeper could make such particularly good sense.

Buying an Auto-Sleeper

A few tips and suggestions might be in order to help you choose whether to aim for a top of the range luxury motorhome, a nimble and economic campervan, or something in between:


  • this is an area in which you probably strive to strike a balance between a vehicle that is manoeuvrable and compact yet also offers comfortable accommodation while touring
  • by choosing a motorhome or campervan, for example, you have already made the decision that towing a caravan maybe going a step too far;
  • Auto-Sleepers offer a huge range of different sizes and layouts from which to choose – depending on the space you need and the degree of comfort you expect from the fittings, appliances, and devices you want from your motorhome;


  • the size of your chosen motorhome is also closely related to your intended use of the Auto-Sleeper;
  • is it likely to be just you and your spouse or partner sleeping in the motorhome, for example, or do you need a family-sized vehicle to accommodate the children too;
  • will most days be spent touring in a motorhome that needs to be nimble enough to negotiate the occasional narrow, winding country lane, or will it be largely parked up for use as a well-equipped and fully-stocked base in the same place for most of your holiday;
  • as you arrive at the appropriate balance, you may be guided toward certain models in the Auto-Sleepers range;


  • a guide to buying a motorhome in the UK – published by Auto Express in May 2022 – also makes the important connection between your intended use of the motorhome, its size, and its weight;
  • it is not just a question of the larger motorhome weighing more, but the driving qualifications you may need to drive a heavier Auto-Sleeper;
  • if you didn’t take your driving test until the 1st of January 1997 or after, the category B licence you obtained qualifies you to drive vehicles with a maximum weight (Maximum Authorised Mass) of 3,500kg but to drive one of the largest, fully-laden Auto-Sleepers – weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg – you need to take an additional category C1 driving test;
  • remember, too, that the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) or Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the maximum legally permitted weight of your Auto-Sleeper when it is fully loaded – you’re breaking the law if you exceed this weight;
  • finally, also bear in mind that the unladen weight of your motorhome also determines the maximum speed limits with which you must comply;
  • Auto-Sleepers less than 3.05 tonnes – built-up areas 30mph, single carriageways 60mph, dual carriageways and motorways 70mph;
  • Auto-Sleepers more than 3.05 tonnes unladen weight – built-up areas 30mph, single carriageways 50mph, dual carriageways 60mph and motorways 70mph.

Whilst these might be the cardinal points of consideration before buying your Auto-Sleeper, there is probably nothing like seeing one close up and personal when trying to make your choice.

That is why, here at our showrooms in Derby, we maintain a permanent exhibition of branded Auto-Sleepers, together with a whole range of other new and preloved Auto-Sleepers or motorhomes.

If you are interested in buying a new or used Auto-Sleeper, why not get in touch with us today?

Further reading: Auto-Sleepers FAQs

Every year Auto-Sleepers motorhomes walk away with some of the top awards in the industry.

In 2023 alone, for instance, the company won Practical Motorhome Owners’ Gold Customer Satisfaction award for Best Manufacturer in the category for pre-owned vehicles and the Silver award as the Best Motorhome Manufacturer of New Motorhomes.

If you’re thinking motorhomes, you’re almost certainly thinking Auto-Sleepers. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from customers eager to buy.

Who are Auto-Sleepers?

Auto-Sleepers are probably the leading manufacturer of motorhomes in the UK. The company has been around for many years now and remains a family-run business – in which the passion for motorhomes runs as high as ever – with headquarters at Willersey in the Cotswolds.

Auto-Sleepers have carved out the reputation they enjoy today by concentrating on the highest craftsmanship and expertise in design. Their motorhomes are all hand-built, with top-quality fittings, fixtures and furniture that combine luxury with creative innovation. That clever use of precious space within a motorhome is one of the key features setting Auto-Sleepers apart from other brands.

What is the history of Auto-Sleepers motorhomes?

Way back at the beginning of the 1960s the Trevelyan family and their two young boys were after a more adventurous holiday than usual.

Through some ingenious, home-crafted adaptations of a Morris J2 van, they built a vehicle that took them all the way to the south of France. Inspired and encouraged by that adventure, their prototype vehicle swapped the Morris for an Austin – on which further design innovations were made. These were enough to attract the attention of the leading dealership Henleys of Bristol.

It sparked a spate of orders from which the company Auto-Sleepers was born – and, once in business, the enterprise never looked back.

What are the principal models in their range?

Ever innovative, Auto-Sleepers launch new models, variations on and upgrades of existing favourites each year but all are based on either Peugeot or Mercedes chassis and drivetrains – and, most recently, the Ford Transit van.

How are they powered?

Peugeot campervans are powered by the well-proven 160bhp turbo diesel Euro 6 engine with manual transmission as standard. For an even more comfortable ride, you might choose the optional premium package featuring Peugeot’s twin-leaf rear suspension and AL-KO dual Air-Top suspension.

Peugeot coachbuilts are also fitted with the 160bhp turbo diesel Euro 6 engine, but you also have the option of a Fiat Ducato 130/150bhp Comfort-Matic automatic transmission engine.

Peugeot AL-KO coachbuilts feature AL-KO’s wide track chassis with its generous 3,500kg Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM), powered by either the 160bhp turbo diesel Euro 6 engine or the optional Fiat Ducato 130/150bhp Comfort-Matic automatic transmission engine.

Mercedes coachbuilts are built up and handcrafted on the chassis and powertrain of the German manufacturer’s next-generation 163bhp Euro 6.2 turbo diesel engine, which may be optionally upgraded to the mighty V6 190bhp engine, and also comes with the choice of an optional 7-speed automatic transmission.

The newly released Air Camper is powered by Ford’s 2-litre EcoBlue (170 PS) unit and comes with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox or the optional automatic transmission.

What’s on the inside?

Whatever model, from whichever range, and the engine configuration that is chosen, you may be assured of top-quality luxury, making maximum use of the available space in the elegantly fitted interior.

Those interiors have clearly seen exhaustive innovation and creativity in layouts and designs which offer a whole range of different beds, galleys, and washrooms.

Layouts recognise that what you need for daytime use is going to be different to night-time, yet both make maximum use of the interior space and converting from one to the other is achieved quickly and effortlessly.

Where can I find out more about Auto-Sleepers motorhomes?

The official Auto-Sleepers website is regularly updated and refreshed and provides a wealth of information about every model in the wide range of campervans and motorhomes. Since we are proud dealers of these and other makes of motorhome, you can find out still more about new and pre-loved vehicles for sale on our website, too.

Since Auto-Sleepers regularly top the charts of owner satisfaction surveys in the UK, you are also likely to encounter plenty of examples out and about – especially during your next visit to any motorhome, caravan, or camping site. Why not ask one of those neighbours to let you have a look over their motorhome?

Where can I buy used Auto-Sleepers?

At the end of the day, of course, you’ll want to view a selection of different Auto-Sleepers from a dealer specialising in this leading marque. And that’s where Derby Motorhomes will come into its own.

Why not visit our Auto-Sleeper Exhibition Centre and immerse yourself in the motorhome experience? We display the entire range of brand new Auto-Sleeper motorhomes here in Derby, plus we also carry a good selection of used Auto-Sleepers motorhomes.

Once you’ve chosen the motorhome that suits you and your family, simply buy your favourite Auto-Sleepers directly from us.

We hanker after the sea. Maybe it’s because we’re a proud island nation that the coastline has a special allure. Whether it’s wintertime gusts to blow away the cobwebs or the gentle breezes of summer, the coastline seems always to beckon – and the memories are long-lasting.

It might be a small island, but Britain has a surprisingly long coastline. The authoritative Ordnance Survey puts the total length of our coastline at a precise 11,072.76 miles (17,819.88 km).

When it comes to exploring any part of that long, long coastline it is probably difficult to know just where to start. And whenever you’ve worked out where you want to start, you’ll also want tips on the best places to stay mid-route.

With a motorhome or auto-sleeper, of course, that’s a problem easily solved. And there are some real gems – probably not far from your doorstep – accessible by motorhome and with well-appointed campsites perfect for an overnight stay.

Here are just a few tempting stretches of coastline for your next coastal trip.

A taste of history

The coastline between Worthing and Hastings is not only a short drive from London – or anywhere in the southeast of England for that matter – it is packed full of history.

The “Haestingas” – as they were then known during Saxon times – became a still richer part of the country during the Roman occupation. Later, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 is probably one of the few dates in history likely to be remembered by most of us.

Today’s coastline also reflects the glories of those iconic English seaside resorts of ages past. Promenades abound and provide a gentle drive until you get out to stretch your legs.

The Victorian facades of the buildings still echo the times when these resorts were in their prime, yet just a mile or two along the road and you come upon some of the most well-known and stunning views of the English coastline – where the Downs meet the sea at Birling Gap or Beachy Head, for example.

Fairfields Farm Caravan and Camping Park mid-way between Eastbourne and Hastings on the Pevensey Levels, is situated within an area of natural beauty.

Poldark country

Travel far enough along England’s south coast and you will eventually hit upon one of the most popular and frequently visited parts of the UK – Poldark country.

Since the mid-1970s a succession of Poldark series have appeared on television channels and brought even more awe and wonder to the glories of the country’s most south westerly county, Cornwall.

Cornwall – a peninsula – has the longest coastline in the whole of the UK. At more than 433 miles (697km.) even a fit walker is likely to take between 8 to 10 weeks to walk its length – admiring the county’s more than 300 fine beaches.

You could be joining the estimated 4.5 million tourists who visit Cornwall each year and share one of the 25 million or so nights that visitors spend in the county – where they contribute at least £1 billion every year to the local economy.

Amidst the inevitable crowds during peak season, therefore, you might want to choose one of the campsites known to remain relatively calm and peaceful – such as Tollgate Farm Caravan and Camping Park which is quietly tucked away in the countryside yet still well within walking distance of Perranporth Beach.

The Gower Peninsula

It’s no accident that this scenic marvel of the South Wales coastline should have been designated Britain’s very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – its reputation continues to attract birdwatchers, walkers, surfers, and sunbathers.

The Gower is a haven of peace and rural tranquillity that sits a mere stone’s throw from the more built-up and industrial areas of the principality. It packs a lot into its mere 70 square miles (180km2) as the peninsula spreads westwards from the Mumbles near Swansea – taking in some dramatic cliffscapes and the underground warrens of Minchin Hole Cave and Paviland Cave.

Hillend Caravan and Camping Park lays creditable claim to being close to probably the most breathtaking of the Gower’s many fine beaches – Rhossili Bay.

Northwest Wales

The grandeur of Snowdonia National Park comes down to the sea in this wild and rugged part of northwest Wales, with the historic and rolling countryside of the Llyn Peninsula just to the west.

There are beaches accessible by motorhome, too, when it’s time to just relax, potter about in the shallows or stroll along the front.

Cae Du Farm couldn’t be better – or more spectacularly – situated within the National Park, right on the coast, and with views on a fair day of the entire Welsh coastline as far as Pembrokeshire.

The wild, wild north

If you want to give your motorhome a really good run for its money, think about driving just about as far north as you can go in mainland Britain to the wild, wild coast of northern Scotland between Durness in the west as far as John O’Groats in the east.

Views across to the northern isles – coastal scenery to die for – and the certain probability of being able to explore wild and remote beaches all to yourself.

And, yes, there are well-equipped campsites even this far north! Try out John O’Groats Caravan and Camping site. Once you’re done, if you’re up for a drive the entire length of the country, head off to Land’s End in Cornwall – some 874 miles away!

It’s very nearly that time of year once again! The days are getting longer, warmer, and the sun more reliably appears. It’s time for getting ready for summer with your motorhome.

You might not have been using it so much during the winter months, so it’s worth pausing to think about what might need doing to take to the roads once again in a motorhome that is clean, orderly and comfortable.

Servicing and maintenance

Have you given your motorhome its annual inspection and service yet?

As you’ll see from our webpage, at Derby Motorhomes we offer a wide range of mechanical and habitation services, tailored to your particular make and model, MOT tests, repairs, accessory fitting, and warranty work – just let us know what you need doing and book it in.

MOT and insurance

If your motorhome has passed its third birthday since first registration, you must hold a valid and up to date MOT certificate – that is the law and you may be fined up to £1,000 if you do not have one.

Find out how to check your MOT expiry date.

You must also make sure that your motor insurance is fully up to date, since it is illegal to drive your motorhome on the roads or in any public space without a minimum of third party insurance – and may again face stiff penalties, including the suspension of your driving licence if you fail to have the cover.

Re-familiarise yourself

If it’s been a while since you had your motorhome out on the road it may be worthwhile just spending a moment or two sitting at the wheel and familiarising yourself with all the controls once again.

It’s unlikely to take so very long – and you may be better prepared to react to the controls almost instinctively when something needs to be done.

Quick checklist

Next, follow these tips for making sure your motorhome is safe, clean and roadworthy …

  • Check your tyres: make sure the tyres are in good condition and are properly inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Change your oil: it is important to change your motorhome’s oil regularly. This helps to keep your engine running efficiently.
  • Check all lights: ensure all lights (headlights, brake lights, indicators, etc) are in working order and replace any bulbs that need to be.
  • Check for leaks: look for any water or oil leaks coming from the engine. If you find any, get them fixed as soon as possible.
  • Clean the exterior: using a mild detergent and water, wipe down the exterior of your motorhome to remove any dirt and grime.
  • Clean the interior: vacuum the interior of your motorhome and make sure all surfaces are wiped down and any mould or mildew is removed.
  • Check the battery: make sure the battery is fully charged and all connections are clean and tight.
  • Test the brakes: to ensure your brakes are working properly, take your motorhome for a test drive and check the brakes at various speeds.
  • Check the gas: make sure the gas is topped up and all connections are secure.
  • Check the coolant: check the coolant levels and top up as necessary.
  • Check the awning: make sure the awning is in good condition, with no tears or rips, and all poles and fittings are secure.
  • Check the windows: ensure all windows are clean and functioning properly.
  • Check the seals: inspect all seals around the windows, doors, and any other openings to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Check the generator: make sure the generator is in good working order and all connections are secure.
  • Check the water system: inspect the water system for any leaks or blockages.
  • Check the chassis: check the chassis for any rust or corrosion, and inspect all nuts and bolts for security.
  • Check the filters: make sure all air, oil and fuel filters are clean and in good working order.
  • Check the hitch: inspect the hitch for any damage and make sure it is securely attached to the motorhome.

Cleaning your water system

It’s not only a good spring cleaning that your motorhome is likely to need, but a thorough flushing of the water system to rid it of any lingering and potentially unhealthy bacteria – even if you had remembered to drain down the system before over-wintering.

  • first, close off all the taps – including the drain cock – pour in some proprietary antibacterial cleaner and fill up your system with fresh clean water. While it’s filling, also turn on the heating system to your hot water supply too;
  • next, run the cold taps until the water runs perfectly clear and do the same with the hot water taps. Refill the water tank and flush the entire system through once again until you have drained it down. Refill with clean water;
  • check that the gas and electricity supplies are connected and that the appliances work. Replenish gas cylinders – including any you keep as spare or in reserve;
  • check for water penetration and any areas of ingress and damp. You might want to consider further waterproofing on the exterior of your motorhome;
  • the supplementary battery is unlikely to have been used much, if at all, over the winter, so will almost certainly need re-charging. Check that the battery is still capable of holding its charge and, if not, replace it.

Finally, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your journey, including emergency supplies, first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. With the right preparation, you can make sure your motorhome is ready to take on the British summer.

You don’t have to spend all that long on the road and touring in your motorhome to appreciate the wide range of gadgets that are available these days to make life that much easier.

Helping to sort the wheat from the chaff, here at Derby Motorhomes we suggest some of those motorhome gadgets you might consider the most useful:


  • beloved of boy scouts, multi-tools are not strictly or exclusively the preserve of motorhome owners, of course;
  • but the neat way that a single tool can perform a whole range of functions can prove exceptionally handy when you’re exploring the great outdoors from the comfort of your motorhome;
  • the potential combinations are many and varied and can include tools used as knives, screwdrivers, scissors, and that indispensable gadget at the end of the day, as the sun goes down, a corkscrew for opening your favourite bottle of wine;

Solar panels

  • a portable solar energy setup is certainly something you might want to consider stowing away in your motorhome – solar panels not only provide you with a sustainable, eco-friendly source of energy, but they also provide it for free and that could help you avoid any camping site charges for an electrical hook-up;
  • if you are planning visits to more remote areas well off the beaten track, then access to your own free solar-powered energy generator will clearly be a boon;

Electronic gadgets

  • these days there is a mountain of small, electronic gadgetry – some of which few of us have learned to live without – and you can keep them all healthily charged simply by plugging into your solar panel array;
  • that includes a cellular telephone – that can not only serve as a handy navigation aid but might prove a literally life-saving device if you need to call for help;
  • thanks to the invention of e-book readers you can also pack into your motorhome a veritable library of reading material – without taking up so much space as even a single book;
  • reviews published in the Independent newspaper on the 5th of January 2023 suggest nine of the best currently available;

Universal hose pipe connectors

  • as you become a more seasoned and experienced motorhome user, you’ll realise that it’s the small things that can make the world of difference;
  • imagine the scene as you arrive at your well-equipped campsite only to find that none of the water outlets has the appropriate hose connector that you’ll need;
  • pack your own multi-purpose universal pipe connector and the problem’s solved;

Singing kettle

  • it goes by different names – a singing kettle, whistling kettle, or today’s fashionable audible kettle – but whatever you call it, you’ll get the idea;
  • they might seem a little outdated in the modern world but there’s probably nothing more annoying than settling yourself outside to enjoy those last rays of sunshine while completely forgetting you’ve left the kettle on – it boils itself dry, ruining the kettle, and wasting valuable camping gas;
  • let the kettle “sing” and you’ll know when tea’s ready;

Let there be light

  • no camping trip is ever complete without a quality torch or hanging lantern on standby;
  • thanks to the batteries in your motorhome, you might not have these trusty devices so high on your list of priorities – but they remain an essential piece of kit for anyone keen to enjoy the great outdoors;
  • a fully-charged torch and an energy-efficient lantern are likely to be considered “must-have” articles to be stowed in your motorhome;

First aid kit

  • try as you might to avoid any kind of mishap during your motorhome outings, accidents happen and minor injuries can be sustained;
  • immediate first aid can help to avoid more serious complications later so it’s worth investing in as good a travelling first aid kit as you can afford – there are plenty to choose from;

And lastly

  • once again, it’s those small things that can make all the difference – and here we’ll suggest an all-purpose, portable and compact, retractable washing line;
  • by rigging up a line – either within your van or undercover in your awning – you will have somewhere to hang all manner of kit that needs a thorough drying out after a sudden squall or downpour.

Though you might want to browse some of the suggestions we’ve made here, remember that even in the biggest motorhomes, space is usually at a premium – so focus on the essentials!

We’ve enjoyed some glorious summers these past few years. The Met Office has said that 2022 was the hottest summer in England since records began in 1884 – the sunniest too. Against that background, you can be forgiven for wanting to guard your motorhome with more than a little jealousy.

Sadly, though, there are very few of us who have the opportunity of spending every waking moment in our cherished motorhome. There are going to be too many days when it has to sit idly in storage while we are off to work to earn a living.

But the very attraction that keeps your motorhome so close to your heart is likely to captivate many other people too – those who are looking for a short break or holiday with a difference, or those who might be thinking about buying one for themselves and want a first-hand experience before doing so.

By renting out your motorhome – especially if it is one as highly sought-after as an Auto-Sleeper – you might ensure that it is not only being put to maximum good use, but you may earn a tidy amount of cash into the bargain. If nothing else, the income might help to cover the costs of maintenance, servicing and repairs. If you intend to let it out on a regular basis, the income might even allow you to invest in a higher-specification model.

Renting it out – legal considerations

As well as any income, you’ll also be taking on a degree of responsibility when renting out your motorhome – falling foul of any legal considerations could leave you with a hefty penalty.

As the owner and registered keeper of the vehicle, for example, you must continue to pay the road fund licence, maintain a valid MOT certificate if necessary, and keep valid insurance up to date. To comply with the law, the latter needs to cover a minimum of third-party risks but for your own protection, you are more likely to choose comprehensive insurance – and check with your insurer that cover remains valid during any period it is rented out to others.

Because you are still the owner of the vehicle, you will also need to ensure that the motorhome remains thoroughly safe and roadworthy – and, since renters will be sleeping in it, you might also want to arrange a comprehensive habitation service.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that anyone renting your motorhome is not only insured to drive it but also holds the appropriate driving licence.

Make sure you are also aware of any legal obligations and health and safety requirements you may have letting out your motorhome, such as gas and electricity records, carbon monoxide detectors etc.


You might already know or have been recommended by someone who wants to rent your motorhome, but in many cases, it might mean advertising its availability.

When creating your advert, remember to give clear and precise dates on which it is available, an accurate description of its condition, size and how many people it may comfortably sleep. And, of course, the daily or weekly rental charge.

As you begin to receive expressions of interest, make sure – for your own security and peace of mind – to find out as much as possible about any potential renter. It’s your motorhome after all and you’ll want to know that it’s in a safe pair of hands.

Once you have established a degree of mutual confidence – and taken care of the legal considerations we have already outlined – you may arrange to meet and hand over your motorhome for the agreed period. It is worth having put the homework into drafting a formal hire agreement, inventory and checklist of “dos” and “don’ts”.

Run through these checklists carefully and remember to accept the renter’s money before the agreement is signed and you hand over the keys to your motorhome.

Internet help

In this day and age of the internet, there are websites and apps that offer to take over all this hard work on your behalf – effectively acting as letting agents for you and your motorhome.

Many have ready-made formats for advertising and listing your motorhome, pre-screen potential renters on your behalf, have pro-forma rental agreements, and also arrange to handle the collection and processing of rental payments.

Motorhome insurance

It is worth stressing once again the importance of reliable insurance cover before you rent out your motorhome to anyone else – it is essential for both your and your renter’s peace of mind and security. You are at risk of breaking the law if the insurance cover is inappropriate or inadequate.

Depending on your current insurance policy, renting out the vehicle could invalidate the policy so you might need to arrange specialist motorhome insurance that specifically covers your renting out the vehicle to others.

Auto-Sleepers’ campervans and van conversions have retained an enviable status ahead of what is a large field of motorhomes available in the UK. They have gained a sterling reputation for quality design, practical luxury, and affordability. At Derby Motorhomes, we are proud to boast our well-established association with Peugeot van conversions and the high standards set by Auto-Sleepers.

There are 8 models in the current stable of van conversions and campervans so let’s take a brief look at the essential characteristics of each one:


  • good things come in small packages and the proof of that is in the compact Symbol;
  • its compact size makes it especially agile and manoeuvrable without sacrificing the interior’s well-built and carefully designed comfort – the 2-berth Symbol is a truly versatile motorhome;

Symbol Plus

  • just as the name suggests, the Symbol Plus is built on a somewhat longer wheelbase – allowing a greater sense of spaciousness that would make you feel at home in a much larger motorhome;
  • the innovative design of the Symbol Plus makes for adaptable use of the main living space and its twin berths while the rear of the vehicle accommodates a kitchen in one corner and a washroom in the other;

Warwick Duo

  • well-established in Auto-Sleepers’ line-up, the Warwick Duo is probably the manufacturer’s best-selling 2-berth panel van;
  • versatility and comfort make this a favourite with couples intending to tour and explore the great outdoors in all the luxury a well-made motorhome can afford;

Kemerton XL

  • the innovative design of the Kemerton XL cleverly incorporates a full-width washroom and enclosed shower cubicle – a rare feature of comfort in a motorhome of this size;
  • there is a fully-equipped galley kitchen alongside and space in the mid-section living area for either one luxurious double bed or two generously-sized singles;


  • the longest of Auto-Sleepers’ van conversions is based on the Peugeot Boxer panel van and makes full use of the extra length of this long wheelbase – giving the Fairford the very generous overall dimensions of 20ft 11in. (6,363mm), a width of 8ft 3in (2,508mm), and a height of 8ft 8in (2,640mm);
  • the size – and skilful use of innovative design – means that the Fairford offers 4 full-size berths (singles or two-doubles) in a dedicated rear compartment and convertible mid-section dining area, with a washroom and full-equipped kitchen betwixt the two;

Fairford Plus

  • while built on the same long wheelbase as the Fairford, the Fairford Plus offers still more versatility in its use of the twin living areas in the front and rear of the vehicle;
  • once again, there is space for two full-sized double beds – or the equivalent 4 singles – and in the mid-section a self-contained washroom and shower, with a kitchen opposite;


  • the royal allusion is no accident since the Kingham takes the otherwise humble van conversion to new heights of luxury;
  • that luxury is maintained by incorporating a fixed French double bed in the rear of the vehicle – with a clever innovation that allows the bed to be lifted on gas struts to access a large storage space below;
  • the forward living area and the fully-fitted kitchen lend a further degree of comfort and luxury;

Warwick XL

  • where the Warwick Duo has already established its credentials as the best-selling Peugeot van conversion by Auto-Sleepers, the Warwick XL;
  • the Warwick XL makes full use of the long, extended wheelbase of the Peugeot Boxer and allows an interior layout that is probably the most luxurious of the whole of this range of motorhomes;
  • whether you are aiming to take short breaks away from home or indulge in serious, extended touring, the Warwick XL can offer all the comfort you could want.

Common features

All Auto-Sleepers are built to an exacting standard and Peugeot van conversions share a number of important key features including either the standard 165bhp Peugeot Euro Engine or the optional Fiat Ducato 140 or 180bhp automatic gearbox (the compact Symbol offers only the 140bhp power unit).

All van conversions also incorporate an upgraded Top Drive semi-air suspension system, interior insulation and heating systems that allow all-year use in comfort, a 90W solar panel for auxiliary power, and a 25-litre LPG tank unobtrusively and safely fitted under the main floor of your motorhome.

Finding out more

Useful as we hope our descriptions have been, there’s nothing better than seeing one of these vehicles for yourself.

We’re always eager to hear from potential customers and to help them improve their motorhome knowledge. So, if you’d like to know more about Peugeot camper van conversion Auto-sleepers or get the chance to inspect one, why not contact us without delay?

Disclaimer: Please note that product features, layouts and dimensions may vary from the descriptions above.

Have motorhome, will travel – with all the freedom of the open road. And, if you are motorhoming across Europe, that might be a very long way indeed.

It’s that freedom to follow wherever the road takes you that beckons many a motorhome owner. It’s likely to be inspiration enough to drive aboard a cross-Channel ferry every once in a while and make an extended trip onto the Continent.

If you are fairly new to motorhoming or have only ventured out on a few quite local weekend breaks, you might find the prospect of driving longer distances, far from home, in a country whose language you barely speak, more than a little daunting.

As the many thousands who have gone before you are almost certain to reassure you, however, it is really not so challenging as it might first appear – and the sense of first-hand adventure and satisfaction in discovering new and exciting places well off the beaten track are likely to prove their own rewards.

However, even for shorter stints of the travelling life, there are still a number of things to take care of when planning your motorhoming across Europe.

As a posting by the Wandering Bird warns, Brexit has meant that anyone venturing to Europe from the UK is now considered a visitor from a third country – so there are inevitably some major changes of which you must be aware (notably, the need to carry your passport, arrange suitable travel insurance, and check your driving licence).


If you can handle driving your motorhome in the UK, you are likely to feel just as at home on the roads and motorways of Europe.

Perhaps some of the variables that catch out many drivers are speed limits, which naturally change according to conditions in built-up areas, on country roads, and on motorways – and may depend on the size of your motorhome, specifically whether it is more or less than 3,500kg in laden weight (the Maximum Authorised Mass, or MAM, which you are likely to find printed near your vehicle’s VIN plate).

In built-up areas, the usual speed limit is 50kph but beware of variations.

If you are driving a large motorhome of more than 3,500kg, the restriction on motorways might vary from as slow as 50kph in Gibraltar to 110kph in Portugal.

In some countries, larger motorhomes are prohibited from using the “fast” outside lane of three-lane motorways, so lowering the maximum speed at which you are permitted to drive.

Onboard essentials

Most countries in Europe have certain safety equipment and warning devices that must always be carried onboard a motor vehicle such as your motorhome.

One of the most notable changes post-Brexit is that, since late September 2021, any vehicle registered in the UK and entering the EU must bear a UK sticker (and not a GB sticker) near or incorporated into the number plate on the rear of the vehicle).

The list of additional onboard essentials varies from one country to another but might include such diverse items as hazard warning triangles (two of them in some countries), a reflective jacket, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and spare bulbs.

One of the quirks of driving in France was previously the need to keep on board a breathalyser kit. While that is no longer a legal requirement, it is worth remembering that the blood-alcohol limit when driving in France is lower than in the UK – so stay on your guard and preferably avoid alcohol altogether if you are going to be driving.

The RAC has country specific checklists on its travel pages.

Make the effort to learn a few words

Although courteous, the naturally official tone of any police that might stop you along your way is of course likely to be off-putting, especially if your knowledge of the local language is sketchy or non-existence. A trusty phrasebook – or these days, a translation app on your mobile, is likely to prove a God send.

Finally, before you travel, don’t forget to check your motorhome insurance includes continental cover and that you have carried out all the necessary safety checks for safe travels.

Maintaining your motorhome encourages you to take pride in your holiday home on wheels, of course, but also safeguards what is likely to have been a significant investment. Most important of all, perhaps, maintaining your motorhome also makes sure that it remains safe on the roads and free of health hazards when you are spending your days and nights living in it.

Given the critical importance of motorhome maintenance, therefore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about it that we receive here at Derby Motorhomes.

Do I have a legal responsibility for maintaining my motorhome?

The Caravan and Motorhome Club reminds us that, while the law does not set out the nature or extent of the maintenance you need to do, it does insist that your motorhome remains in a roadworthy condition.

If you are involved in an accident and your motorhome is shown to be unroadworthy, you are almost certain to be in trouble with the police and may also have invalidated your motorhome insurance policy.

Section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 – which continues to be in force as of the 17th of February 2023 – defines an unroadworthy condition as that which “would involve a danger of injury to any person” – and it is also unlawful to sell or offer for sale any such unroadworthy vehicle.

Isn’t the roadworthiness requirement covered by my MOT?

Your motorhome is only required to have an MOT if it is more than three years old.

Not only that but any MOT only certifies the roadworthiness of your vehicle on the day of the test – it is obviously impossible to predict any change that may occur after that date.

To stay on the right side of the law, therefore, make sure to arrange an MOT test whenever it falls due since you might be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to do so. And if you book your motorhome in for an MOT test by us here at Derby Motorhomes, there is the added benefit of our being able to arrange whatever additional maintenance may be necessary too.

There are some maintenance duties you need to perform on a more frequent basis, just as you would your own car. A regular maintenance check list should include checking the vehicle’s lights and engine coolant level once a week, tyres and engine oil every two weeks, hydraulic fluid for the power steering every month, an annual inspection of the windscreen wipers and regular checks of the windscreen (for damage), screen wash reservoir levels, and the bodywork (for dinks, dents and scrapes).

How do I maintain the interior of my motorhome?

Keeping the interior of your motorhome well-maintained, clean and orderly is a bit like the housekeeping you do at home.

Take your duster to hard surfaces, sweep up bread crumbs and other debris and give it all a thorough vacuuming from time to time, especially when you’ve just returned from a trip away.

Once a year, seriously consider what is called a “habitation” service – this is a service to check and help to maintain the interior of your motorhome and its essential facilities, such as the water supply, gas, electricity supply, and heating.

It is also a good idea not only to drain down your drinking water system from time to time and allow the water to flow through it but also to flush it through with a proprietary antibacterial cleaner.

Whilst many of your motorhome maintenance chores may be done by yourself, why not treat your Auto-sleeper to a thorough mechanical and habitation service with us here at Derby Motorhomes at least once a year?