Revel 4x4 camper van charts a new course for Winnebago
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.
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.
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 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.