Automotive

Revel 4x4 camper van charts a new course for Winnebago

Revel 4x4 camper van charts a ...
Winnebago imagines the Revel finding use with mountain bikers, rock climbers and other modern-day adventurers that need a vehicle and base camp built for dirt and rock
Winnebago imagines the Revel finding use with mountain bikers, rock climbers and other modern-day adventurers that need a vehicle and base camp built for dirt and rock
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The new Winnebago Revel includes a luggage rack on the roof
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The new Winnebago Revel includes a luggage rack on the roof
Winnebago works to cash in on the #vanlife trend
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Winnebago works to cash in on the #vanlife trend
With its 4x4 base, the Revel is designed to journey out to off-the-beaten-track locations
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With its 4x4 base, the Revel is designed to journey out to off-the-beaten-track locations
Winnebago imagines the Revel finding use with mountain bikers, rock climbers and other modern-day adventurers that need a vehicle and base camp built for dirt and rock
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Winnebago imagines the Revel finding use with mountain bikers, rock climbers and other modern-day adventurers that need a vehicle and base camp built for dirt and rock
The Revel is based on a 144-in-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4
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The Revel is based on a 144-in-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4
The Revel includes an electric awning with LED lights and a built-in wind-retraction system 
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The Revel includes an electric awning with LED lights and a built-in wind-retraction system 
Winnebago's Revel includes a rear bedroom, central galley and wet bath, and front lounge area
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Winnebago's Revel includes a rear bedroom, central galley and wet bath, and front lounge area
The Winnebago Revel's wet bath includes a toilet that swivels out of the way when not in use
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The Winnebago Revel's wet bath includes a toilet that swivels out of the way when not in use
With the three removable shelves, the wet bath doubles as a storage closet, particularly useful for wet clothes and gear
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With the three removable shelves, the wet bath doubles as a storage closet, particularly useful for wet clothes and gear
The electric-lift main bed is located in the rear
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The electric-lift main bed is located in the rear
When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear
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When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear
When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear
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When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear
The Revel looks a little more cramped than we would have expected from just a single bike, but we reckon you could always take wheels off if needed 
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The Revel looks a little more cramped than we would have expected from just a single bike, but we reckon you could always take wheels off if needed 
The table folds out of the way when not needed
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The table folds out of the way when not needed
The Winnebago Revel includes front swivel seats
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The Winnebago Revel includes front swivel seats
There are multiple touchscreen options
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There are multiple touchscreen options
Winnebago Revel ready to dine
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Winnebago Revel ready to dine
Inside the Winnebago Revel's galley
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Inside the Winnebago Revel's galley
The Revel includes an outdoor table that hooks up to the back of the kitchen unit
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The Revel includes an outdoor table that hooks up to the back of the kitchen unit
Rear and side screens bring the breeze in but keep bugs out
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Rear and side screens bring the breeze in but keep bugs out
Inside the Winnebago Revel camper van
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Inside the Winnebago Revel camper van
The compressor fridge/freezer runs off electricity 
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The compressor fridge/freezer runs off electricity 
The kitchen has an electric single-burner and sink, both with glass covers
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The kitchen has an electric single-burner and sink, both with glass covers
Kitchen pantry
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Kitchen pantry
Wet bath shower
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Wet bath shower
The kitchen sink includes a fold-down faucet and glass cover
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The kitchen sink includes a fold-down faucet and glass cover
Loading the Winnebago up for a multi-day adventure
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Loading the Winnebago up for a multi-day adventure
Enjoying the perks of getting out there
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Enjoying the perks of getting out there
Unlike larger motorhomes that might find most use with auto tourers, the Revel is aimed at outdoor lovers who want to get active
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Unlike larger motorhomes that might find most use with auto tourers, the Revel is aimed at outdoor lovers who want to get active

Winnebago surprised Outdoor Retailer attendees last summer with the impressive Concept Adventure Vehicle, a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 outfitted for multi-day outdoor sport and camping trips. It was the type of concept that had us hoping for a production version, and when we scanned Winnebago's Outdoor Retailer 2017 booth this July we were disappointed that there was no production CAV to be found. Fast forward two months, and that van is finally a reality – the Winnebago Revel is designed to take you and your bikes, climbing equipment, skis or other gear of the day out into the backcountry and give you a comfortable place to rest your achy muscles.

Winnebago may still be known best for its larger motorhomes, but it's also been embracing the van life trend with some nice camper vans. Two years ago, we looked at the Sprinter-based Era 4x4 camper van, which was more a road-touring van with the benefit of 4WD. The Concept Adventure Vehicle explored the prospect of a shorter, more rugged 4x4 van built to navigate the rough, vast stretches of terrain that often separate outdoor sports enthusiasts from the playgrounds of their obsessions.

The Revel follows the spirit of the concept, being billed as a motorhome that will take you places that no other Winnebago motorhome has gone before. Powered by Mercedes' 188-hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo diesel engine, the 144-in (3,658-mm)-wheelbase Revel sends up to 325 lb-ft (441 Nm) of torque out to all four wheels via the on-demand 4WD system. The "true 4x4 RV" includes high/low gearing and hill descent assistance, and the available BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain tires give it a rugged, grippy look you just won't find on other Winnebagos.

When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear
When the bed lifts out of the way, the Winnebago Revel offers plenty of room for bikes and other gear

While it's brawny outside, the Revel is a soft sweetheart inside, treating occupants to a full RV interior complete with kitchen, wet bath, cassette toilet, solar-sourced electricity, hydronic heating and available air conditioning. The rear-mounted power-lift bed helps the active outdoor set meet their sporting goals by lifting away to the ceiling, clearing out a 140-cu ft (4-sq m) gear garage for bringing bikes, boards and all other manner of gear along for the ride. Double doors provide for easy loading, and six removable cargo tie-downs help keep everything in place on bumpy rides. At night, the 49 x 79-in (124.5 x 200.7-cm) bed lowers down at the push of a button.

Winnebago is currently advertising the single "44E" floor plan with the galley and wet bath located across from one another just in front of the rear bed. The all-electric galley includes a glass-cover single-burner induction cooktop, 2.5-cu ft (71-L) compressor fridge/freezer, glass-cover stainless steel sink with water filtration system, flip-up countertop extension, storage drawers and pantry. The wet bath includes a flexible shower head, swivel cassette toilet and flip-down sink. With a removable clothes hanger and built-in supports for three removable shelves, the bathroom also doubles as a wet storage area.

Winnebago's Revel includes a rear bedroom, central galley and wet bath, and front lounge area
Winnebago's Revel includes a rear bedroom, central galley and wet bath, and front lounge area

Up front, the dinette puts a folding table between the front-facing bench and rear-swiveling driver cab seats. It can also convert into a single bed.

Outside, the Revel features an electric awning with built-in LED lighting and wind-retraction system. A small table attaches to the kitchen and extends out the sliding door to provide some workspace below the awning. The exterior hot/cold shower helps campers clean off before stepping inside. Side and rear screen doors help to bring the best part of the outdoors inside without inviting unwanted pests. The movable ladder provides access to the roof rack.

The Revel includes an outdoor table that hooks up to the back of the kitchen unit
The Revel includes an outdoor table that hooks up to the back of the kitchen unit

The Revel doesn't require any LP gas, instead relying on the electrical system and diesel tank to power all its onboard equipment. It comes standard with 200 watts of roof-mounted solar panels and three 105-Ah deep-cycle AGM batteries. One 21-gal (79.5-L) tank holds fresh water and one holds gray water.

The base Sprinter below Winnebago's conversion comes with a 6-in touchscreen infotainment system, rear-view camera, adjustable front seats with armrests and lumbar support, and keyless remote entry. A JBL premium sound system and 9-in infotainment system with navigation, Sirus XM radio and Bluetooth are available optionally.

At US$134,799 to start, the Revel is definitely not going to make camper van DIYers on a tight budget drop their tools and pull out their wallets, but it looks to be a nice, well thought-out off-road/off-grid package for those that can afford it. Those on a tighter budget looking for something simpler would be better off checking out something like the TouRig Terracamper or Sportsmobile Sprinter 4x4.

The video below gives a nice run-through of the new van.

Source: Winnebago

3 comments
notarichman
IMO the problem of all RVs of any nature is that there is no place to dry wet clothes in a reasonable manner. That is a prime requirement for people that recreate outdoors.
Paul Anthony
That price! And it's only a144, not a170!
GeneMasters
This Revel is quite an RV... lots of new thinking with the "wet storage" facility, and the state-of-the-art kitchenette. What I find disappointing, though, is the choice of the prime mover vehicle. RV's are expected to last for a lot longer than the typical automobile, so body integrity is of prime interest. Mercedes-Benz builds exquisite passenger automobiles (for what they charge, the certainly ought to be!) but the Sprinter has a reputation of being a rust-bucket. All the Winnebago upgrades cannot make up for a exterior body that is so prone to rusting. In my personal opinion, a Ford Transit van would have been a better starting point for this "High Performance RV." Ford does not presently offer a factory AWD version of its Transit van, but Quigley will be happy to add the "Ford OEM approved" AWD upgrade system if it's deemed necessary. In addition, Ford's Transit offers the option of a couple of V-6 gas engines, as well as a Diesel.