Auto-Sleeper Symbol First Impressions
Our hands on impression of the Auto-Sleeper Symbol
Friday, 16, Mar 2018 04:54
By William Coleman
Having recently taken Auto-Sleeper away with my significant other, and before we bring you the full details of our Symbol-ic trip to North Yorkshire, we thought it prudent to bring you my first impressions of the very capable Auto-Sleeper Symbol.
The basics, whilst from the exterior the Symbol looks like what you expect from an Auto-sleeper Peugeot van conversion, well put together with those little "Auto-Sleeper" touches like colour coded bumpers, its the inside that takes you by surprise. It's a mid seating / sleeping van conversion with a rear kitchen washroom... AND side and rear access. Whilst rear kitchen van conversions (like the Auto-Sleeper Stanway) exist having one with rear access at the same time is incredibly rare and has put some demands on the interior layout. To deal with these demands Auto-Sleeper have thrown the rule book out of the window to produce this innovative 3 (yes 3) belted seat, 2 sleeper, end kitchen, end bathroom, cab side and rear access short wheel base van conversion. Oh and it has a big bed? It really does take some getting your head round.
Having picked up the Symbol in February and planning on spending the week out and about round round North Yorkshire I was struck by the Symbol's access, you can open nearly 50% of the van to the elements. Great if you want wheel your bikes in to your kitchen, worrying if you want to want to spend a romantic evening entertaining in North Yorkshire. Auto-Sleeper have considered this with new G3 insulation, Insulated privacy glass, Truma combi heating system, which is iNet ready and above all the incredibly useful underfloor LPG gas tank. These are standard on all Auto-Sleep van conversions but on the Symbol this means it heats up very quickly (much quicker than the rated 4 hours), it maintains it heat, you can control the temperature (from anywhere) and can easily check your gas level and fill up at a standard petrol station. The Symbol is a real winter warmer.
Driving the Symbol is fun. As someone who reviews caravans and motorhomes for a living you will see a lot of words like capable, encouraging or agile to describe driving motorhomes, rarely will you see the word fun. All Auto-Sleeper Peugeot van conversions come with 160BHP (Ad Blue) as standard, the Symbol is the shortest and lightest this means good tank range, nippy acceleration, better manoeuvring and included ALKO airbase suspension. All the stuff you expect like cruise control, cab air condition and integrated rear view parking camera help make it even easier to drive and manoeuvre.
This is the entry level van but you would not know this when you're inside. The new and updated design boasts sleek and stylish interior upholstery with a modern colour scheme. The whole interior is luxurious and comfortable from top to bottom. Without going into too much detail about our trip, we were able to have a perfect night's sleep with -3 outside temperatures.
I loved the Symbol and was sad to give it back. For a few days away this van conversion had everything we needed and more. From the space the kitchen provided to the luxury of the double bed, the Symbol has it all. It was the small things that made this tourer such a pleasure to be in. The addition of the direction reading lights and touch sensitive lights along the ceiling of the van made evening/mood lighting possible. If you want to stay up and read a book but do not want to be blasted with overbearing lights you could, all with once touch of a button. We faced rain, sleet, snow and sub freezing temperatures, none of which caused a moment's issue while we relaxed in the warm confines of the Auto-Sleeper Symbol.