RP embraces adventure with expanding, gear-hauling Rebel camper van
German camper van companies aren't the only ones getting their hands on the all-new Mercedes Sprinter. Great Britain's RP Motorhomes has built its own camper conversions into the new Sprinter, and its Rebel is quite unlike the Sprinter campers we've looked at previously. It starts as a compact, well-equipped two-sleeper camper, but add in the gear garage and slide-out bathroom compartment and it becomes one of the coolest camper vans on the road, hauling bikes to camp and growing once there to provide a roomy, multi-lounge interior.
The La Strada Regent S and Hymercar Grand Canyon S were the first third-gen-Sprinter camper vans we looked at. The two shared similar layouts with rear flip-away beds, central bathroom and kitchen areas, and front dinettes.
RP has gone in a different direction with the Rebel, and not simply by reversing the kitchen and bathroom on account of the British right-hand drive (though it does that too). The big difference is with the dinette/lounge. Instead of dropping a small bench and tabletop just behind the swiveling driver cab seats, RP fills out the rear of the 19.4-foot-long (5.9-m) medium-wheelbase Sprinter with a two-bench lounge with table. A removable rear cushion turns the two benches into a single wraparound sofa, and the entire lounge transforms into either a large double bed or two single beds at night.
RP's rear lounge layout creates the option of removing the center cushion to open up a central aisle for carrying bikes, boards and other oversized equipment. Those looking for a more dedicated gear-hauling solution can also opt for the unique Sporthome conversion.
With the Sporthome, RP transforms the load area into a customized gear garage sealed off from the main camper van cabin. An available jet rinse sprayer hookup lets you wash down filthy gear before sliding it back inside, and optional anchor points secure everything down for the ride. The package includes a specially designed "up and over" fiberglass lift-gate and a fixed rear bed over top the garage, in place of the rear lounge.
No matter whether you take the standard or Sporthome direction in the rear of the Rebel, the midsection of the van is filled out with a driver-side bathroom and an impressively equipped kitchen just inside the sliding door. The kitchen's Thetford range includes not only a three-burner gas stove, but also an oven and grill (broiler). A 90-L compressor fridge and stainless steel sink complete the standard kitchen specification, and a microwave is available as an option.
The bathroom is a simple enough wet cell with cassette toilet, shower and sink, but it becomes a main highlight on the Rebel "Slide." The optional Slide package turns the entire bathroom into a slide-out module, opening up more interior space and allowing for the addition of an available swivel driver's seat that isn't compatible with the fixed bathroom. Drop the table between the front seats and you have a front lounge, allowing you to keep the rear made up as a bed all day without losing indoor dining capabilities completely.
Rebel camper conversion package standards include a 110-Ah leisure battery, 12V automatic battery charger, Truma Combi interior and hot water heater, LED control panel, and 80-L fresh and waste water tanks.
The all-new Sprinter also brings a high level of standard and available equipment, giving the Rebel a 140-hp engine with six-speed manual transmission, 7-in MBUX touchscreen infotainment system, and driver-assistance features including active brake assist, attention assist, hill-start assist and crosswind assist. Available Sprinter add-ons include automatic transmission options, parking package with 360-degree camera, Distronic active distant assist, navigation system and wireless smartphone charging.
The Rebel is available standard as a front-wheel drive and optionally as a rear-wheel drive. The Sporthome version with gear garage, lift-gate and raised fixed rear bed comes standard as a rear-wheel drive. RP also plans to offer an all-wheel drive Rebel option as soon as Mercedes launches the Sprinter 4x4 in Great Britain, expected before the end of 2018.
The Rebel starts at £54,995 (approx. US$70,000) with the standard rear lounge/convertible bed, fixed bathroom compartment and aforementioned standard equipment. The slide-out bathroom tacks on another £5,000 (US$6,350). The Rebel featured in the photos (except for the Sporthome garage photos) is currently advertised for £64,995 (US$82,600), after adding in options like its 9G-Tronic auto transmission, navigation system, 19-in TV, microwave and more.
Source: RP Motorhomes