Winnebago Revel 4x4 camper van gets lithium power and more flexibility
Winnebago muscled its way into the off-road adventure camper van market in 2017, when it introduced the Revel, a Sprinter 4x4 off-grid camper with some innovative features. Much like a passenger car enjoying a mid-cycle refresh, the new 2021 Revel brings some serious upgrades, starting with a lithium battery system. It also has more of an emphasis on outdoor living thanks to some indoor/outdoor equipment modifications like a repositioned fridge and portable cooktop. Those upgrades don't come free, though, as the Revel just keeps getting pricier.
Winnebago recently provided a 2021 Revel sneak peek with a short teaser video and some details on the van. The biggest news comes in the form of a fully redesigned kitchen block that starts with a portable induction cooktop in place of the inbuilt cooktop. The new single-burner can be used indoors or out and frees up countertop space when it's stored away in the drawer, a nice advantage for the Revel's slim kitchen block that previously relied solely on its foldaway counter extension and sink lid for prep space. The new rectangular sink gets pushed to the rear of the kitchen, and Winnebago moves the 85-L fridge over to the front end of the block, where it can be accessed from indoors or outdoors.
On the outside of the kitchen block, Winnebago dumps the pedestal in favor of a cable support for the drop-down table, an adjustment aimed at easier use on non-level ground.
The Revel was always an off-grid van, and Winnebago streamlines that capability for 2021 by swapping the triple-AGM battery system out for a pair of 125-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. The new batteries come complete with a Bluetooth monitoring system and a dedicated second alternator for direct charging during the ride. A solar charging system and 2,000-W inverter come standard.
The 2021 Revel gets a new quiet hydronic heating system with touchscreen monitoring and control, and Winnebago moves the 79-L fresh water tank inside the van for better four-season performance.
Up at the front of the floor plan, the redesigned dinette gets a removable solid-top oval table that looks more diner-friendly than the dual-leaf folder design of old. The dual-seat bench includes two seat belts, though the Revel still only sleeps two, leaving those rear passengers to make their own sleeping arrangements.
The Revel made the switch to the third-generation Sprinter 144 in the 2020 model year. The latest Sprinter brings with it a streamlined look up front, 188-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder, and the latest in driver-assistance tech, including Distronic Plus adapative cruise control, active lane keeping assist and active brake assist. Mercedes' on-demand all-wheel drive with high/low range gives the Revel its off-road traction.
The Revel packs an MBUX infotainment system with voice control, navigation, rear camera and Wi-Fi hotspot – unfortunately, there's none of the fully integrated MBAC smart (mobile) home tech that European Sprinter motorhomes have been getting.
Beyond those updates, the 2021 Revel promises to be much the same smart, versatile all-terrain camper van, complete with a power-lift rear bed/storage garage and multipurpose wet bathroom/gear drying and storage room. The van has risen steadily in price since announced in 2017 for roughly US$135,000, and 2021 pricing starts at $174,906.
Winnebago hasn't released photos of the new interior just yet, but we'll write up an update once it does. In the meantime, the short video below shows some Revel driving action.
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I have a client that wants an amphibious EV version that would only cost $60k custom built.
That pays for a whole lot of motel/hotel rooms BUT I guess if you want a 2nd home the price is reasonable!?
1. The $174K price is only a suggested MSRP
2. A savvy consumer can negotiate a 2021 Winnebago Revel for around $135K (especially if you wait until winter)
3. A 2020 Winnebago Revel can be had now for approximately $112K-$119K depending on the config
* FYI. A 2020 Mercedes Sprinter is $60K coming right off the manufacturing line w/ no mods