Do you remember the day you first took delivery of your motorhome and your delight in finding everything inside so new, shiny, spick and span? Do you remember 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 maybe a holiday or two, 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.

Here at Derby Motorhomes we share the pride you take in keeping your motorhome – whether or not you actually bought in from us – 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 Camping and Caravanning Club also insists that you have an annual “habitation” service of the interior of your auto-sleeper and its facilities;
  • this not only provides a servicing of the living area of your motorhome, but also checks and maintains the gas, electrical, water and heating systems of your auto-sleeper;
  • this might prove an extremely important aspect in the servicing and maintenance of your motorhome – not just from it being safe and health hazard-free for habitation, but also to spot and prevent the longer-term problems such as creeping damp, which may otherwise prove very expensive to remedy once it has taken hold;
  • another potential health hazard which 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.

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.

If this is the year you’re looking to buy your first motorhome or upgrade to a new one, you might be looking for the best that money can buy – and the best is almost certain to come from the 2019 Auto-Sleepers range.

Don’t take our word for it, or listen to the natural sales hype of the manufacturers, just turn instead to the opinion of thousands of Camping and Caravanning Club members and readers of Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome magazines who voted Auto-Sleepers outright favourites in the Tent, Caravan and Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Awards.

Auto-Sleeper Symbol Plus 2019

Auto-Sleeper clearly listen to what their existing and potential customers have to say about what they want in a motorhome.

It has all come together in this year’s launch of the Auto-Sleeper Symbol Plus.

The Symbol Plus is based on an ever-popular sub-6metre van chassis – prized for its manoeuvrability in urban congestion or narrow country lanes – but manages to enclose a surprisingly spacious and well laid out interior.

According to What Motorhome, it combines the best of both worlds from two previous incarnations – a medium length (5.41m) van conversion that still offers the option of both double or single beds, a fully-equipped L-shaped galley, and spacious lounge.

Auto-Sleeper Corinium Duo motorhome

If you are looking for a larger Peugeot-based motorhome, a further addition to the 2019 Auto-Sleepers range is the Corinium Duo.

This has 4 full berths, with its two single beds in a separate bedroom at the rear, where there is a full-width, en suite bathroom too.

Powered by a 160bhp Peugeot Euro VI turbo-diesel engine, the Corinium Duo is equipped to the highest of standards with air-conditioning for the cab, integrated GPS, cruise control, and touch-screen radio, USB ports, mains sockets, and external BBQ.

Auto-Sleeper Broadway EB motorhome

In the medium wheelbase range once again is the Broadway EB, which combines practical manoeuvrability with clever interior layout to create 2 full berths and seating for up to 8 people (with the cab seats swivelled round).

The separate washroom is at the back of the vehicle and the galley in the middle.

Auto-Sleeper Bourton motorhome

The 2019 Auto-Sleepers range continues its choice of Peugeot (and Fiat Ducato) and Mercedes powertrains.

If you are after the engineering excellence and reliability of the 163bhp Mercedes models, this year’s re-working of the popular Bourton might be your choice of motorhome.

It, too, is a well-appointed, yet manoeuvrable 2-berth (converting between a double bed or two singles), a large sky view window that winds up from the lounge, with kitchen and bathroom to the rear. Out and About Live describes its level of luxury as “quintessential”.

Auto-Sleeper Sprinter Chassis

If your heart is set on the luxury of a coach built, Mercedes-based motorhome, you’ll welcome the introduction of the new Sprinter 2019 Auto-Sleeper range – with five different models to choose from.

Each comes with an exceptional specification and a superlative driving experience that offers more economical, more flexible, more advanced, and even safer performance than previous models in this range.

As you’ve trundled around in your cherished – but now somewhat ageing – motorhome, you might have cast envious eyes at those campsite neighbours showing off the Auto-Sleeper they’ve just bought.

Perhaps this is the year you’ll be able to earn your share of jealous looks by upgrading your motorhome to an Auto-Sleeper of your own.


For anyone with even a passing interest in motorhomes the models built by Auto-Sleeper are in a class of their own when it comes to quality and reliability – a solid reputation that has been more than 57 years in the making.

It’s not just the Mercedes chassis and power-unit, but the sheer spaciousness and clever design of the interior that one plaudits from reviewers of 2018’s models Caravan Guard.

If you are upgrading your motorhome to an Auto-Sleeper you are likely to be spoilt for choice by the range of Mercedes models alone – there are six of these to choose from, many of them award-winning and each one a customisable coachbuilt motorhome.

But it is not only the Mercedes fleet of top-quality motorhomes that emerge from Auto-Sleeper’s Orchard Works in Worcestershire. There is an equally fine range of Peugeot coachbuilts and Peugeot van conversions, with models to suit all users and pockets.


For all the magazines and brochures you might read – or even that model you spotted at a recent campsite – there is unlikely to be anything to beat a first-hand inspection up close and personal.

And nowhere are you likely to find such an extensive range of all Auto-Sleeper models on permanent exhibition under one roof than at our centre here at Derby Motorhomes – a heated indoor showroom, no less.

It’s here that you are able to step up into whichever motorhome takes your fancy, take a seat behind the wheel or in the luxurious interior, open and close the drawers and cupboards and truly imagine yourself on holiday in such a home away from home.


You’d like to upgrade your motorhome to an Auto-Sleeper, but how are you going to afford it, you might ask.

At Derby Motorhomes once again the choice is all yours.

One way we are committed to helping is by guaranteeing a fair, top-notch part-exchange price if you are looking to upgrade. Our website helps to get the ball rolling by inviting you to submit details of any motorhome or campervan you want to offer in part exchange so that we can provide you a valuation as speedily as possible.

We are also able to arrange motorhome finance at what we believe are competitive rates – even if your credit history is less than perfect. If you choose to fund your purchase that way, you may do so in the confidence that we are duly authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – who regulate the providers of such credit.

You have probably heard that all the rage in car finance these days is something called Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) – you might even be buying your car through just such a scheme. And that is yet a further method of financing the purchase of an Auto-Sleeper if you are upgrading your motorhome.

For those more comfortable with more established, traditional forms of finance, we can also offer hire purchase agreements.

If you are interested in buying a motorhome – or trading in your existing vehicle for a new one – you are almost certain to come across the term “Auto-Sleeper”.

It might mean one of two things:

  • Auto-Sleeper is the brand name of a specific manufacturer of high-quality motorhomes; but
  • the term is frequently used to describe any motorhome or campervan – they are all vehicles fitted-out for you to sleep in, after all.

Buying an Auto-Sleeper

Whether you are opting for a top-end Auto-Sleeper, a modest campervan, or anything in between, however, a few tips and suggestions might help you make your choice:


  • in choosing a motorhome, you have already made the decision that towing a caravan maybe going a step too far;
  • but Auto-Sleepers still 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 question of size 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;
  • do you expect to be mostly touring in a motorhome which 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;


  • a guide to buying Auto-Sleepers published by the motoring magazine AutoTrader 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 of 3,500kg. To drive one of the larger 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.

2019 is now on the horizon and it’s time to start thinking about those New Year expeditions!

As you may know, here at Derby Motorhomes we are devotees of Auto-Sleepers’ vehicles and for that reason, we thought we’d give you a preview of what is coming up in terms of the 2019 Auto-Sleepers – specifically the incredible Symbol Plus.

The Symbol Plus

The Symbol is one of the most familiar and longest-running of Auto-Sleepers van conversions.

It has always been immensely popular and its design goes back to an earlier generation of the Peugeot Boxer. It’s a fact that it’s the only van conversion of this range based upon the medium wheelbase window-van.

Now, the ever-popular Stanway is undoubtedly longer at 5.99 metres and has a pretty luxurious ‘L’ shaped kitchen. However, its diner-lounge can’t convert into single beds and it’s not perhaps quite as flexible for lazy lounging as is the case with the Symbol.

Having two immensely popular vehicles is great but wouldn’t it be a good idea if you could combine the best of both together into one model?

Well, no prizes for guessing that is what Auto-Sleepers has done with the new Symbol Plus. Essentially, you can consider this to be a Symbol at the front end and a Stanway at the rear – but all combined onto a long wheelbase Boxer.

It’s a triumph, as you will see if you contact us for further information!

Auto-Sleepers commitment

There are also the now almost taken-for-granted quality configurations available on Auto-Sleepers’ vehicles including things such as (variations by model):

  • Grade III insulated;
  • 25-litre underfloor-mounted LPG gas tank;
  • 160bhp Peugeot Euro VI engines;
  • flush-fitting, stylish and insulating athermically-treated privacy glass;
  • Al-Ko Air Top & twin leaf rear suspension;
  • Optional Fiat Ducato 150bhp engine;
  • Comfort-Matic engine available.

Why we love Auto-Sleepers’ vehicles

When speaking about the Symbol Plus above, we are obviously talking about design innovation and revolutionary thinking. Those characteristics have always existed in the Auto-Sleepers range but there are many other factors that explain why we think so highly of them.

It wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about this subject without mentioning build quality.

Auto-Sleepers vehicles simply do not skimp on quality fixtures, finishing and materials. It’s difficult to illustrate this other than by inviting you to try some of their fixtures and fittings within the accommodation unit. Your sense of touch will tell you in an instant that the builders here wanted to get everything absolutely right.

That almost inevitably leads into the subject of robustness.

If you read motorhome reviews, you’ll occasionally see that some motorhomes don’t always get rated very highly in terms of things going wrong with internal equipment or bits falling off etc. Those sorts of things simply don’t happen on Auto-Sleepers vehicles and that’s another reason why we are confident when putting them forward to our customers for consideration.

Finally, it’s important to conclude with the recognition of the stylish design that has gone into their interiors. An individual customer can obviously configure this to some extent to their own requirements but the choices available are all almost boutique-like in their quality.

Why not contact us and come and see these incredible vehicles for yourself?

One of the services we provide is that of part exchange.

Here we’d like to run through how Derby Motorhomes operates the system and some of the basic principles behind it.

What we exchange

It may surprise you to know that we don’t just accept motorhomes as part of a part exchange deal.

We will happily consider things such as motorcycles and motor cars as well.

The basic approach

In order to give you an initial part exchange estimate, we will need to have certain key information relating to the vehicle you are considering putting forward. Those details might include:

  • a precise description of what it is, including things such as its make, model and year;
  • an accurate indication of its current mileage;
  • how many previous owners it might have had;
  • a fairly objective review of its condition. Any major problems or damage should be highlighted at this stage to avoid wasting time later on;
  • a statement of any enhancements you might have made to it, such as anything that might affect its registration details and insurance;
  • a statement relating to whether or not there is any outstanding finance on it.

Once we have those details we will contact our trusted associates in whatever the vehicle field concerned is, to seek the best possible trade-in price we can on your behalf.

Assuming the figure we indicate is acceptable, we will then proceed with you to the next stage.

Confirmation and engagement

Almost inevitably, part exchange allowances will be dependent on the person offering the figure (or their intermediaries) getting to see the vehicle in person before agreeing an absolutely final sum.

There is absolutely no suggestion here that the part exchange specialist believes you might have misrepresented the vehicle. It is simply a question of them trying to make sure that there is nothing associated with it that you might have failed to spot.

Sometimes those things can be very technical and not immediately apparent to anyone other than a skilled mechanic and one who is an expert in the type of vehicle concerned.

However, in many cases, this is simply routine and the final figures are confirmed. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to take steps to settle any outstanding finance on the vehicle prior to offering it as part of the deal or it can be settled as part of the overall transaction.

Do please keep in mind that if you are purchasing a vehicle under hire purchase terms, it is an offence to offer it for sale or part exchange unless your HP funds provider has agreed to it in advance, with any outstanding sums being settled as part of the final transaction.


As we have said on our website, part exchange can sometimes be a little complicated even though it is an excellent way to offset some of the costs associated with purchasing a new motorhome.

We and our partners can be extremely inventive in finding ways to make your part exchange happen and in a cost-effective way for you. This can all be explained in much more detail and far more easily if you contact us for an initial discussion.

That will be entirely non-committal on your part but it will give you an excellent idea of how the process works and some of the financial advantages that it might offer you.

You might just have noticed that at Derby Motorhomes, we are enthusiastic fans of the Auto-Sleepers range.

It’s perfectly legitimate though to ask why that’s the case and why buy Auto-Sleepers?

In what follows, we’ll try to outline our thinking in this respect.


It’s very difficult to define exactly what “quality” means. When you have the experience that we have in the motorhome marketplace though, you know immediately at a glance whether a given model has it or doesn’t.

Clearly, when asked why buy Auto-Sleepers, we are going to put quality of build right up towards the top of our list.

The fact is that this company doesn’t compromise on quality in any aspect of its work. From design through to build, everything is done with a quality end product in mind. That applies as much to the fittings as it does to things such as panelling and upholstery.

Couple that accommodation quality with a superb chassis and power plant contained within an Auto-Sleepers motorhome and you have an understanding of why they get a big tick from us in this domain.


While we can wax lyrical about motorhomes in general and specifically Auto-Sleepers’ vehicles, nobody is going to pretend that there are acres of spare space inside a vehicle of this type.

That means that the layout designers have to be expert in deploying their imagination and design skills to get the best utilisation possible of the available space. We prefer to concentrate on the positives of Auto-Sleepers rather than the negatives of others but it’s worth noting that in our opinion, not all motorhomes are successful in the same way as you’ll find with an Auto-Sleepers motorhome.

This is important because comparatively few people wish to feel that their motorhome is cramped or demands extreme compromises in terms of comfort.

So, this is yet another big tick in the box as far as we are concerned.

Track record

Auto-Sleepers have been around for a long time now and their design and build expertise is second to none.

That is exceptionally important in our view.

While new faces are always welcome and the ideas they bring with them can prove to be stimulating, there is reassurance from knowing that you are purchasing from a company which has been there and done it over a period of many years rather than one which is using the motorhome concerned as a test platform for their ideas.

In fact, Auto-Sleepers are well-known for their innovation and out of box thinking coupled with delivering that in a practical way based upon extensive background knowledge.


Ultimately, the best way to see why we think it’s worth seriously looking at this manufacturer is best illustrated by using our online showroom facility to take a look inside one.

Once you do so, we suspect that you will quickly see the answer to the question “why buy Auto-Sleepers” is pretty self-evident!

Much better, of course, is to contact us for a more in-depth explanation and it’ll be even better still if you can get along to our showrooms.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Just been to the Auto-Sleepers factory for 2019 model updates prior to the NEC Show next week.

Managed to sneak a few photographs to give everyone a bit of a preview of the new Mercedes range cabs and dash and the latest wood-finish for the Mercedes range too.

The furniture finish is called Santana and is lighter than the current Valencia finish, which is still available to order.

The dash is very car-like, a huge improvement and there’s also paddle change for the “enthusiastic” drivers; still rear wheel drive and automatic too!

New Sargent control panels are very clever, updating them regularly with vital system data bursts.

Working on the Auto-Sleepers stand at the Nec next week so hopefully see some you there.

Tim – Derby Motorhomes

It’s no secret that at Derby Motorhomes we’re great fans of Auto-Sleepers motorhomes.

We developed a huge amount of experience with them over many years and we’d like to share that with you in the following Auto-Sleepers FAQs.

Do Auto-Sleepers build motorhomes?

Yes – and no!

This famous company in the Cotswolds builds coachwork and undertakes van conversions. They do not build engines, transmission systems and so on.

An Auto-Sleepers motorhome will use state-of-the-art power plants and chassis from companies such as Mercedes-Benz but everything related to accommodation and fittings will be sourced and installed themselves.

What is a van conversion and how does it differ from a motorhome?

This one comes up regularly in Auto-Sleepers FAQs.

Essentially a motorhome has had its entire accommodation unit designed and built bottom-up for accommodation purposes. A van conversion is based upon a standard van supplied by a major manufacturer which is then specifically customised and configured into luxury accommodation.

By and large, van conversions are typically smaller and have less space internally than many motorhomes.

Some people always differentiate in speech or writing between motorhomes and van conversions. Others describe them all as motorhomes.

You can use our virtual showroom facility to inspect some Auto-Sleepers motorhomes.

How do collapsible caravans fit into the picture?

These are typically trailers that have a caravan/tent folded up inside. Upon arrival, the pieces are unfolded and connected up to provide what is typically semi-rigid tented accommodation.

They are not usually considered to be motorhomes.

Is it better to purchase a new or used Auto-Sleepers motorhome?

There are multiple arguments for both. We won’t take a position!

We can though highlight a few typical considerations.

Whatever vehicle is being discussed, the logic behind purchasing pre-used as opposed to new is usually either:

  • price – pre-used vehicles are usually lower cost (if all other things are equal);
  • model – sometimes buyers might prefer a given model that’s since been discontinued, although this is rare.

In terms of price, Auto-Sleepers motorhomes typically hold their values well. Of course, a three-year old vehicle is likely to cost less than a brand new one but the difference might be less than would be the case with a typical motor car.

Some individuals prefer to own a vehicle that’s brand new in the knowledge nobody else has used it. Other buyers don’t feel strongly at all about such things.

This is very much about personal preferences. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you.

Can I customise my Auto-Sleepers motorhome?

You have options to select one of many varying configurations and décor schemes.

After purchase, you can customise your motorhome as you wish but as we’ve said previously in other Auto-Sleeps FAQs, we’d recommend caution.

If you are planning to customise your vehicle, it’s important to use a fully-qualified and highly experienced company to help. Secondly, remember that perhaps contrary to some expectations, customisation of a motorhome can actually reduce rather than enhance its resale value.

That’s because the value of an Auto-Sleepers motorhome is driven in part by its exemplary quality and superb engineering. If you start to dismantle things and replace them with someone else’s, then you may reach a point where some potential buyers and dealerships would no longer regard it as an Auto-Sleepers’ product.

That might adversely affect their valuations.

We are sometimes asked why we so clearly approve of Auto-Sleepers motorhomes.

In a word, that can be answered by saying “experience”.

Here, we at Derby Motorhomes will expand upon that a little.

Pulling everything together

Through our extensive experience in the marketplace, we know that it’s possible to see many motorhomes that:

  • are brilliantly designed in terms of their internal layouts and things such as the flexibility of their accommodation;
  • offer designer-quality internal décor, fixtures, fittings and colour schemes;
  • contain state of the art technology in terms of appliances and recreational-support activities;
  • demonstrate unparalleled build quality and which, as a result, also feel very tactile and “good in the hand”;
  • utilise only the best and proven power plants meaning superb on the road driving performance;
  • implement the best ergonomic design to provide a safe and comfortable driving experience;
  • make available an excellent value for money proposition;
  • deliver exceptional reliability and day after day performance;
  • have great external looks and bodywork etc.

However, while we have seen many motorhomes that deliver some of or perhaps even several of those things, what we like about Auto-Sleepers is that you can put a tick in all of those boxes for motorhomes constructed by this now very famous Cotswolds company.

Hopefully, it goes without saying that all of these things are important.

Reliable and luxurious

A motorhome can contain incredibly comfortable accommodation and some great facilities but none of that will count for much if it’s broken down and constantly under repair in your local garage. Similarly, being out on a trip and finding, shortly after you have parked up, that something simply “doesn’t work” is a frustrating experience and one that might spoil your precious leisure activity.

For all these reasons and others like them, we incline towards Auto-Sleepers when we are discussing quality solutions for motorhome recreational needs.

Of course, even within the Auto-Sleepers range, there will be many choices to make and not all of these vehicles will necessarily be equally suitable for an individual purchaser. This is another big advantage of Auto-Sleepers though.

Nobody wishes to face a “Hobson’s choice” when contemplating an expensive purchase. Auto-Sleepers have an incredibly flexible range of vehicles and configurations to choose from and it is highly likely that there will be one to suit the requirements of the vast majority of motorhome purchasers.

How can we prove this to you?

It would obviously be ideal if you could come and look at some of their products with us but if time or geography doesn’t permit you to do so, why not consider taking a tour of some of these vehicles using our 360° virtual tour simulator?

We would be only too pleased to offer further advice and guidance on any of the Auto-Sleepers range. We have all the required technical information including that covering the various configuration options that you, as an Auto-Sleepers purchaser, would have open to you.

We look forward to hearing from you and in the meantime, please enjoy our virtual tour inspection facility!