Automotive

Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle is ready to rough it

Winnebago's Concept Adventure ...
Winnebago courts outdoor sports enthusiasts with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
Winnebago courts outdoor sports enthusiasts with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
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This fold-out supports the convertible bed
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This fold-out supports the convertible bed
Drop-down, fold-out table
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Drop-down, fold-out table
A sliding rail and smartphone mount
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A sliding rail and smartphone mount
The CAV has LED lighting
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The CAV has LED lighting
The big feature on the Concept Adventure Vehicle is the bed platform, which can raise and lower based upon cargo
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The big feature on the Concept Adventure Vehicle is the bed platform, which can raise and lower based upon cargo
Winnebago started its design process from the back and worked from there
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Winnebago started its design process from the back and worked from there
Concept Adventure Vehicle bike rack
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Concept Adventure Vehicle bike rack
The Concept Adventure Vehicle has built-in solar power
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The Concept Adventure Vehicle has built-in solar power
Winnebago told us that the television can mount inside the doorway and also outside on the Winnie Drop trailer
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Winnebago told us that the television can mount inside the doorway and also outside on the Winnie Drop trailer
The Winnie Drop lineup includes several sizes and floor plans, starting at around $17K
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The Winnie Drop lineup includes several sizes and floor plans, starting at around $17K
Pass-through storage compartment on the Winnie Drop trailer
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Pass-through storage compartment on the Winnie Drop trailer
Winnie Drop kitchen
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Winnie Drop kitchen
Inside the Winnie Drop teardrop trailer
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Inside the Winnie Drop teardrop trailer
Winnebago first introduced the new Winnie Drop trailer last September
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Winnebago first introduced the new Winnie Drop trailer last September
Winnebago reveals the Concept Adventure Vehicle at the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City
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Winnebago reveals the Concept Adventure Vehicle at the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City
Winnebago reveals the Concept Adventure Vehicle at the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City
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Winnebago reveals the Concept Adventure Vehicle at the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City
Winnebago gets a little more rugged and "off-grid" with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
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Winnebago gets a little more rugged and "off-grid" with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
A look inside the Concept Adventure Vehicle
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A look inside the Concept Adventure Vehicle
A tablet and smartphone mount provide for in-cabin entertainment
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A tablet and smartphone mount provide for in-cabin entertainment
The CAV can store bikes inside, but this one doesn't have to
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The CAV can store bikes inside, but this one doesn't have to
Winnebago shows the Winnie Drop WD1710 at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
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Winnebago shows the Winnie Drop WD1710 at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016
The Concept Adventure Vehicle's hose is there for quick spray cleaning
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The Concept Adventure Vehicle's hose is there for quick spray cleaning
Fold-out exterior table
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Fold-out exterior table
This seat doubles as a single bed
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This seat doubles as a single bed
The CAV's kitchen area
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The CAV's kitchen area
Inside Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle
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Inside Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle
Sliding shelving adds versatility
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Sliding shelving adds versatility
Sliding shelving stowed away
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Sliding shelving stowed away
Above counter storage
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Above counter storage
Storage cupboard next to the kitchen
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Storage cupboard next to the kitchen
The CAV has a bed in back
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The CAV has a bed in back
Over-bed cabinetry
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Over-bed cabinetry
The bathroom includes a cassette toilet and shower
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The bathroom includes a cassette toilet and shower
CAV shower
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CAV shower
Under-bed storage
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Under-bed storage
BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires add off-road capability
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BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires add off-road capability
The platform in back adjusts for increased storage height 
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The platform in back adjusts for increased storage height 
Winnebago courts outdoor sports enthusiasts with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
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Winnebago courts outdoor sports enthusiasts with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
The Concept Adventure Vehicle is designed to get mountain bikers, climbers, paddlers and others out there, for days at a time
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The Concept Adventure Vehicle is designed to get mountain bikers, climbers, paddlers and others out there, for days at a time
The CAV is built on a Mercedes Sprinter 2500 with diesel V6 and 4x4
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The CAV is built on a Mercedes Sprinter 2500 with diesel V6 and 4x4
The ladder in back provides roof access
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The ladder in back provides roof access
The new Winnebago concept includes a kitchen, bathroom and storage
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The new Winnebago concept includes a kitchen, bathroom and storage
View gallery - 42 images

Winnebago may still be synonymous with large Class A and Class C motorhomes that tour via highway and camp in paved lots with full hookups, but the company is determined to push its way onto the dirt and rock. It has been trying to woo people like the outdoor-crazy crowd at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market with its Era 4x4 and all-new Concept Adventure Vehicle, which was unveiled at the 2016 Summer Market last week and shows the possibility of an off-grid-capable 4x4 Winnebago optimized for boundless adventure.

In developing the Concept Adventure Vehicle (CAV), Winnebago started with the capable, 144-in (3,658-mm) wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter 4x4, an obvious choice for a camper van designed to deliver mountain bikers, climbers and other outdoor athletes to their respective corners of the great outdoors. From that base, it worked around the goal of carrying two bicycles inside the Sprinter's dual rear doors while still offering plenty of space and comfort at camp. It accomplished that goal with a bed platform that manually rises to accommodate the two bikes below and lowers when it's time to sleep.

The big feature on the Concept Adventure Vehicle is the bed platform, which can raise and lower based upon cargo
The big feature on the Concept Adventure Vehicle is the bed platform, which can raise and lower based upon cargo

With its cabin design, Winnebago stresses the idea that playing hard doesn't have to mean sleeping rough. When your muscles are screaming from a day in the dirt or water, a warm, comfy bed is sure to beat a breezy, lumpy tent. The rear mattress lays atop a built-in suspension system, and a Truma Combi heating system keeps the temperature right. Easy-clean flooring helps keep the dirty, gritty outdoors out of the cabin.

The CAV's layout is quite similar to that of the Era 4x4 we looked at last year, albeit squeezed inside the shorter Sprinter (the Era is built on the 170-in wheelbase model). The kitchen area is shortened, and in place of countertop space for a TV, the CAV has mounting hardware for smartphones and tablets, providing a lighter, more flexible form of in-cabin entertainment. The upper kitchen cabinet includes extendable shelves for added storage and versatility.

Across from the sink, cooktop and refrigerator of the kitchen area, a narrow bathroom houses a cassette toilet and full-height shower. Between that bathroom and the driver's cab, a small dinette sofa converts to a cross-coach single bed with help from a folding support that drops off the end of the kitchen unit.

Inside Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle
Inside Winnebago's Concept Adventure Vehicle

The CAV also includes a fully functional exterior work/living area. The power awning provides shade and weather protection and includes an auto-retract feature for when the wind threatens to thrash it. Below that awning, a folding worktop drops down off the outside of the interior kitchen unit and a hose serves to clean off gear, limbs and furry friends.

The Concept Adventure Vehicle brings power off-grid with roof-mounted solar panels, a 2,000-watt inverter and a lithium-ion storage battery. A 30-gal (114-L) fresh water tank keeps hydration bladders topped off and post-adventure mud rinsing away into the shower drain. The plumbing and electrical hardware are enclosed, with an eye toward multi-season use.

All-terrain tires, burly running boards and tread graphics give the CAV a rugged look. Those tires are set in motion by the up to 188 hp (140 kW) and 325 lb-ft (441 Nm) originating in Mercedes' 3.0-liter Bluetec turbo-diesel V6.

Winnebago gets a little more rugged and "off-grid" with the Concept Adventure Vehicle
Winnebago gets a little more rugged and "off-grid" with the Concept Adventure Vehicle

Winnebago plans to use the feedback it received at Outdoor Retailer toward a decision on whether to pursue a CAV-based production model. It estimates that base pricing would fall around US$100,000 to $110,000.

Another interesting product on display at Winnebago's booth was the new Winnie Drop, the company's answer to the ever-popular, retro-styled teardrop trailer. Much larger than other teardrops, the 18-footer (5.5 m) we looked over at the show sleeps three adults or a family of four on a queen bed and convertible dinette set. It also has a wet bath and kitchen with dual-burner cooktop, sink and fridge/freezer. The optional TV can be mounted just inside the doorway and on the external wall. Other options include an awning, microwave oven and air conditioning.

The Winnie Drop lineup includes several sizes and floor plans, starting at around $17K
The Winnie Drop lineup includes several sizes and floor plans, starting at around $17K

Introduced last September, the Winnie Drop is a road-centric trailer for now, but Winnebago does have plans for an off-road package with increased clearance and more rugged rubber. Pricing starts at $17,103.

Product page: Winnebago

View gallery - 42 images
2 comments
navmed
Looks interesting, it could use bigger tires though. Not only would it look better, improving it's image as an off-road vehicle, but it would actually improve it's off-road capabilities. Right now it doesn't look much better than a delivery van.
VincentBrennan
The "tear drop" is silly. If you are going THAT large why not go rectangular and gain tons of interior space instead of leaving it on the production floor where they had to cut it out of rectangular panels to start with. DUMB!