Winnebago’s 4×4 Concept Adventure Vehicle

If I were an eccentric billionaire and had an army of minions to take whatever I thought up and bring it to life, I’d probably give Russ Garfin at Winnebago Industries a run for his money.  But I’m not a billionaire (though I am eccentric), and I don’t have an army of minions (just Stef, who’s no good whatsoever with a blowtorch).  So I’ll have to be content to watch for what the gang from Forest City rolls out.

At the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Summer Market in Salt Lake City last week, they unveiled a new concept vehicle targeted very much at the OR crowd.  This “Concept Adventure Vehicle” is a departure from the traditional rigs the company currently builds.

In the video below, I go over pretty much the whole vehicle with Chris Bienert, the lead designer, so you’ll see not just what is in it, but also you’ll hear why.  Check it out.


A couple of points from the video that bear repeating:

  • The vehicle is based on the 4WD Mercedes Sprinter 2500 chassis with single rear wheels.
  • Heat and hot water are to be provided by a propane-powered Truma Combi system.  The Truma Combi unit is the sole consumer of propane on board.
  • There is no television in this rig.  Instead, provisions abound to mount electronic devices nearly everywhere using Ram Mounts and nearby USB charging ports.
  • No generator is planned for this vehicle. Rather, they are planning a larger lithium-ion battery and a 2000 watt inverter to supply electrical needs.
  • The rear bed is transverse – made possible by bump-out sections in the walls. It is on a four-point leveling and lifting system.  This allows a “garage” area underneath that can be large enough to accommodate two mountain bikes.
  • The bathroom makes use of a cassette toilet. Though not widely used in North America, they are used all over Europe and allow for dumping of waste in a variety of convenient options.
  • There is no air conditioning in this rig, though a pre-wire option is under consideration. In the areas where this rig is proposed to go, RV park power is simply not going to be available.
  • The rig has a new, expanding tray-mount bike rack. But more interestingly, it has a removable and moveable ladder, which will allow roof loading from a variety of locations.


Winnebago was taking feedback from Outdoor Retailer attendees live at the show.  Additionally, they’ve put an online survey up so that the larger public (or FitRV readers, anyway) can weigh in on this one as well.  You can help shape the future of this concept by giving your opinions via the following link:

And if you want to engage in some discussion, you can sound off in the comments below!

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he's also an IT consultant.

    136 thoughts on “Winnebago’s 4×4 Concept Adventure Vehicle

    1. Tom

      As a current Sprinter owner, I want to give my perspective.
      1) The vehicle sounds great, but nothing more than many other aftermarket conversion companies (Sportsmobile, Roadtrek, ….etc.) have done.
      2) The Repair/Maintenance costs for Sprinters are exceptionally high (10 cents per mile according to a blog from the owner of a fleet of Sprinters and confirmed by my personal experience after 4 years of owning a Sprinter myself).
      Ford and Dodge van copycats are showing a repair/maintenance cost of roughly half of that, 5 cents per mile).
      I can’t wait for Ford to offer the Transit Van in 4WD.

      1. Sandy

        Hi James – Can you provide any more detail on the “four-point leveling and lifting” system for the bed. I would like to buy or make something like that for my camper van, since I never get the van level when I park for the night.

        1. James - Post author

          I think they’re still working on that to get it just right. If I can find a name of a manufacturer, I’ll let you know.

    2. mesa mitch

      Great concept now it needs to be a reality! I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. The Earthroamers and Tigers are way too expensive, as well pop-up truck campers are just not convenient at all. Winnebago could do a direct online order system and deliver to dealers and launch at OEX-West in May. I’d love to pick-up at the factory and head to AK! Sorry I missed you guys at Pomona.

      Safe travels

      1. James - Post author

        Interesting idea about direct orders.
        But I don’t want them to launch at OEX-West. I want them to launch in my driveway…

      1. N

        From what I’ve read in the comments, given the huge range of what people enjoy doing; the sports, comfort levels, activities and certainly the gear/toys one might need to accomplish these tasks, to ask that a “one-size-fits-all” van accommodate everything under the sun is a bit crazy.

        That’s why I feel that these types of vans essentially need to be built around the owner(s) needs and wants and as such as custom fabricator is the way to go. This way the are no compromises; the van will become an extension of how you want to live and what you enjoy doing.

        Just my two cents.

    3. mesa mitch

      I love it, if it would have been at the Pomona RV show I would have bought it! Couple of thoughts:
      – Yes it needs prewire for AC
      – Assuming 400 Ah Lipo, James has night terrors with any less
      – Should be available in 2WD with same lift, I go off road but only far enough from 2 legged creatures
      – Also it would be nice in the Ram Promaster 136″ WB 2×2 w / lift kit
      – Please locate the solar panels under or flush with the support brackets

      If you haven’t been there yet you need to go to Overland Expo West: Take plenty of rigs

      Where do I send the check James?

    4. Angel

      You have done your research, this is a great start. Things to consider
      The bed to raise higher to store more gear, maybe even a small 125cc motorcycle/moped. Maybe a small table in the back to use when the bed is in the top position.
      Screens for the back and side doors.
      Really great insulation for extreme weather.
      The ability to plug in aircondition at a camp ground as a option.
      Different color option, I don’t like green.
      Better shower door, one that does not require a shower curtain to keep it from leaking into the vehicle. Small flip down sink. Check out the Hymer bathroom design.
      Option to omitte small back seat and add a larger table.
      Back windows, maybe pop out on the back door. The flares to expand the bed size is a must keep to make the shorter sprinter work, but a little ventilation would be great.
      Option not use propane, by using solar and diesel.
      Can you tow with this? How much?

    5. Peter

      absolutely love it. I am the target market. There is very little I would want to change about this. What’s a guess price? If it’s under $100k, I’m in.

    6. Solo Over 50

      I’ve been shopping for a full time RV with the following:
      European style
      Storage space to accommodate year around living
      No dinette but a laptop table like the one in this video.Bravo!
      Charging ports
      Option for satellite/wifi
      No additional seating or couches, I”d rather have gear storage area
      Permanent bed area for full time living
      No t.v. or microwave but in a perfect world, I would love an oven.
      Composting toilet
      Solar panel
      3 way energy, propane, elec., battery and generator
      AC and heating
      Insulation for winter camping/excursions
      Oh yeah, and can you make it at least moderately affordable? I don’t need to get to the moon.

      1. Dan Greene

        Just received an email reply from the large Winnebago dealer one mile north of the factory. According to this sales person there are no plans to put the Concept Adventure Vehicle into production!! Sure hope this is not accurate. Major bummer if true.

        1. mike

          Not producing this would be a serious mistake. Think about what outdoor vans does one off, and take this to a production scale. I love European campers because they have cassette toilets and the North American Market is too tethered to campgrounds. this is a go anywhere, do anything van. tour off-road, tour Mexico, South America. with few exceptions this is a perfect van for today, more people are getting into class B’s at younger age. this van would separate Winnie from the pack.

    7. Bill Rollins

      We have been looking at RV’s for a year, for one with adequate clearance and hopefully 4WD. Most stock vans and trucks have excellent clearance, but when the coach is added in they become “highway huggers”. That won’t work in many places. That includes getting on and off the ferries that Washington State and British Columbia run. Watching vehicles load and unload from those ramps was a real learning experience for this engineer. I came to the conclusion that one needs to look at the logging, forest service, and road construction equipment. They all use bigger trucks, with bigger wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheel rims and bigger tires. That gives them adequate clearance. Since the reasonably priced Class B’s do not, I started looking at the Class C 24 footers. Two similar ones are the Itasca Spirit and the Thor Chateau. They are very similar, but the Chateau has superior clearance. Why? It is built on a Ford 450, which uses larger wheel rims than the Ford 350 (for the Spirit).

      1. Mark Strovink

        Have you looked at the Provan Tiger line? Class C, truck chassis 4×4. Bengal model can go on F350 and equivalent. Malayan requires F550 or Dodge 5500. Length depends on type of cab.

        1. James - Post author

          Yeah – there’s a line out there somewhere between the “RV” world, and the “Overland/Expedition” world.
          I’m not so sure there was a fixed definition, but a vehicle like this 4×4 certainly blurs the line…

        2. mike

          But at what price. Provan Tiger line is awesome, but hellish expensive. this is a fantastic fit between an expedition class, and a highway class.

    8. weng lim

      i been looking for this 4×4 rv now it time, just built them i will get one the soon you have it available.
      i would like to have as option
      1.mosquito net cover the sliding door when you leave it open
      2.aluminuim or metal rear bumper to carring the spar tire and some storage
      3.metal front bumper guard to protect the radiator and light
      4.rock slider

      please built it

      1. weng lim

        my brother order the sport mobile 3month ago and he still waiting and he told me at least another 3 more month if they finish on time

        1. Dan Greene

          We have been looking and researching ” off pavement class B vans” for seven months. We are ready buyers but nothing has met our needs like this Winnebago prototype. We have looked at Sportsmobile, Road trek, Pleasure Way, Outside Van and others. If we could go to the dealer tomorrow and get one we would. In communication with Winnebago we were told late Fall or 2017. It is a great idea and exactly what we want. Come on Winnebago!

    9. Kim Garrrett

      This a dream! I’ve never understood why those “other” RV’s were built with glossy wood and soo many tv’s. Who wants all that?

      Couple things I like as a female OUTDOOR WOMAN:

      Definitely need a rooftop a/c for sleeping at night, or getting out of the harsh sun for a bit.

      Is there space for an extra battery? More solar panels.

      Why white? I like to blend in with the woods.

      Where would I hang/store wet jackets on the inside? Can you create some hanging space somewhere? (I’m thinking about the winter skier).

      Screen doors side and rear.

      Need more storage. Tall things and wide things must fit.

      Have to have the option to hook up in an RV park.

      1. T. Klein

        I second everything Kim Garrett above would like to see on this rig. Plus:
        1. It would be great if the bed could be raised all the way to the ceiling for more room for “toys” when not sleeping in the rig.
        2. Be available on a gas 4×4 chasis.
        3. Please make it available SOON. We are looking now and I want one!!

    10. Treas

      My dream come true. Finally someone, other than GoWesty, has designed a camper van for outdoor enthusiasts, people who take the roads less traveled. People who spend more time outside their camper than in. With that said, there is nothing better than a great bc ski or a gritty mtn bike ride with a warm shower and a comfortable bed at the end of the day. This rig has it all!

      Love the conveniences, love that the interior doesn’t look like my grandmother’s Jamboree, love the 4×4, the storage at the back, the bike rack, the awning.Would like to see a ski rack, perhaps a zip on screen room that attaches to the awning.

      I like the cassette toilet, it can be emptied into a pit toilet along the way, eliminating a drive to a pay dump station.

      Don’t care about TV or microwave, a laptop, stovetop and perhaps an oven is all we need.

      I am a photographer and need a vehicle that will get me to my site so I can get up at sunrise, stay till sunset and settle in for the next shoot. I will buy one as soon as they are available…PLEASE HURRY!!!!!

    11. Wilson W

      Great concept. I am currently an owner of a Sprinter 3500-144″ do it your self camper van and this guys are doing the right homework this is the best design I have seen in the US I guess their re-search in Europe is working this vehicle are very popular in Europe. I hope they market this vehicle to the right people and keep the price affordable to the regular rock climber, overlander.. I just got back from a 3 month overloading trip across the United States and this vehicle are truly the dream of any outdoors man. Everywhere I went people were asking what a cool way to travel and it’s MB diesel engine the perfect Landslip. I wish I could take my van and get it design by this guys – Great engineering !!!

    12. David

      I am very excited to see this type of weekend warrior almost here. We live in Florida where there is alot to do and this RV would get lots of use.

      I would buy one if they could make it for a family of 4. They are not that far off… all they need to do is make 2 adjustments.

      1) Make the dinette able to anchor 2 child seats and convert to 1 sleeping area.

      2) Make the back a bunk bed. The same bed it has now just double it up.

      I would love to see it with ac. If it could run off the engine (like a roadtrek) you would not need a generator.

      I would buy this and drive it to work during the week. I really hope they build this.

    13. Nate

      Love it. If I could trade in my current truck for this van as a daily driver, I would.

      I would like to see the AC/heat option (even if it’s shore-power or you can drag along an external generator on a hitch-mounted rack) and some sort of back-up generator for the batteries (maybe by running the engine?) and as much power storage as possible. If the van was 12-16 inches longer, a 3500 series dually, and had a place for a travel friendly printer/scanner. I’d be all over this thing. Oh… and an easy way to get an 18ft kayak on the roof. A small TV would be nice with a bracket to mount an antenna would be nice too.

      Do it. 🙂 I don’t know if I could do this with RV dealers, but if Mercedes dealerships sold this unit, I would make the trade. Today.

      Did I miss the towing capacity? I wonder if the ladder could also be designed to be a ramp…? Possibly one strong enough for the van to drive on? Or, a dual ladder option that, when combined, could be a ramp for a wheelchair.

      1. Andre

        I like where Nate is going with this. Not all of us are into cycling. Make variations on this concept for peoples different activities. Mine is kayaking and fishing. There is a market for this type of vehicle. Thats why there are small outfits that do 4X4 conversions. To get people off of the beaten path:)

    14. Shannon

      We are looking to buy in 5-8 years, nothing we are finding allows for an active lifestyle, thanks for listening!

      -Ability to raise/lower the bed much higher to allow for more storage under.
      -Consider pop up roof.
      -More Windows, especially in the sleeping area
      -I like that there is no wood grain!
      -Cassette toilet, I am not sure…leave an option / ability for a composting toilet
      -Good call to bump out the bed in the bubbles
      -Consider having a top that lifts for sleeping
      -Exterior should be inconspicuous, graphics can always be added
      -Inconspicuous for city boondocking.
      -Make van a little longer
      -Larger fridge, not a floor level
      -Look up the avg height of your target market… My husband is 6’3″, tough to find a class b that has more than 6′ interior clearance.
      -Look at the European designs, lots of good ideas there.

      Looking forward to seeing what comes to market! Great idea!!!

      1. Scott


        I would also like to see two cargo hooks at the ceiling, front and back, in order to hang hammocks on so my kids can sleep in off camber situations (or for me, if the back is loaded with stuff). Could also use it for clothes line, etc.

    15. Paul

      Hey James/Steph
      Did they happen to give an estimated price point? Just curious. My dream is a cross between a Sportsmobile and Outside Van.

      1. mike

        that cross between a sportsmobile and outside van would be perfect. Lose the bathroom/shower stall and use it for valuable space, Just need a toilet for the few times other options are not available. Or make it easily convertible from Bath stall to closet?

    16. Bill Sprague


      I really enjoyed your review of this concept and wondered if there was any discussion of using a Webasto Dual Top furnace/hotwater heater. That coupled with a Webasto Diesel cook top would totally eliminate the need for propane and allow off-grid camping for as long as the Diesel and water held out. If you add an engine driven generator along with 300watts of solar and some decent batteries, you could do a DC A/C. Talk about luxury in the outback!

      Best regards and thanks again,


      1. James - Post author

        Generally speaking (there are exceptions), I’ve found RV manufacturers aren’t that enthused about diesel appliances.

        1. James - Post author

          I’ve not heard a manufacturer say this directly – but as the diesel appliances have been around a while, and none of the mainstream manufacturers uses them, there must be a reason. (And I’m including Advanced-RV in my sample here, so it’s not about cost.)
          I have read that diesel appliances can smell pretty bad in use.
          I’ve also read that there’s maintenance there (cleaning fouled burners, etc) that you don’t get with a propane appliance.

    17. Cyril M.

      This is the perfect layout that I want/need. I would add/change 2 things… an AC,& a bigger dinette table ,other wise it is perfect. Simple & functional. If they make this into a production reality its going to sell very well. Im looking for one.

    18. Terri N

      Love the concept…easy to drive, and park. I LOVE the bike rack and ladder. Solar panels are excellent. This has ALL of the features I have wanted…love that toilet and no black water tank…It’s easy to dump. I like that a composting toilet could easily be installed. I like that convection stove. I really love the holder for an iPad or phone! I do need AC though. WOW. I love this vehicle!

    19. Frankster

      Love that van. Mostly electric. Sweet. Cassette toilet. Sweet. Sprinter 4×4. Sweet. Question…can you fit a dirt bike in there? It’s about 7 ft long and 52″ high. Thx.

      1. Darrin Phillips

        Great find! I’m planning a month long ski trip from Colorado up to BC in late January with a buddy of mine. We will be backcountry skiing and living out of a van. If they want someone to give this rig a test we’d be down. Either way I’ll be one of the first inline for a purchase when they roll it out.

        Totally what I’ve been looking for and was ready to build on my own. Now I may need to wait….

    20. Matt

      I wanted to fill out the survey but it looks to be closed. This is the perfect RV for me. I love pretty much everything about it (even the dinette). Yes it’s just my wife and I, but if we bring a friend it’s nice to have more seating for meals and to sleep someone. Only a few minor things I would like to see:

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do an underhood generator like roadtrek and advanced RV have. Top off the battery while driving is a no brainer. I applaud the lack of “normal” generator, but please add an underhood in case of bad weather so you don’t have to depend on solar.

      I’d prefer no graphics on the outside.

      More color options in the interior as I wasn’t feeling the green.

      1. mike

        I am definitely with Matt on the underhood generator, would be good to add as an option. would also have liked to do the survey. James, are you still providing feedback to Winnie on what you hear on this forum. I am with others on the ability to raise and lower the bed. I have seen this done on a racking system before. it all depends on what you want to do. also, not a cyclist, but would love to have a rack for a scooter of some sort, that can be added to the toe hitch I think.

        1. James - Post author

          Though they closed the survey, I believe Winnebago was still checking out the comments on this page. But they’ve been flooded with feedback! I think that bodes well for the eventual production of this one…

    21. Roger Elmes

      This is a great concept with some outstanding “green” components. First is the fuel efficiency of the relatively clean diesel. European diesels in general are much better, quieter and less polluting. Second is the minimal use of propane. Induction stove-top is great idea.Third is minimizing all the electric loads as much as possible. Thank goodness the air conditioner is NOT standard. When did we evolve to the point that we need air conditioning on every RV, house, office etc. Certainly not the way I grew up in southern Ontario where summer highs would hit 100 F. Also great fridge concept. I ran a much larger top-loading fridge/freezer in my 70 ft. sailboat with a small 12 v. compressor and it worked like a charm. LED lights of course. Fourth – that looks a good, functional, sensible toilet/shower compartment. Cassette toilets make a lot of sense – used one in my 21 ft. European motorhome (VW Chassis and diesel) for two 6 months periods along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in the off-season. (In France you can stay for free in the offseason in all kinds of waterfront parking lots.) If you have never tried a GOOD cassette toilet like the one pictured in the concept 4X4, don’t make snap decisions. They are great. Fifth – great transverse bed. Sixth the 4X4 is great assuming it is selected when needed rather than constant. Seventh, overall the kitchen is functional and nicely laid out. Sixth – great roof access. Seventh great bike rack – had a similar one on my European motorhome. I agree with an earlier comment to put it on the other door and switch the stored ladder position to the driver side rear door. Eighth is the great clearance. Finally some good production thinking about a smaller efficient motorhome. Think small – travel lots.

    22. Anton

      I tried the survey but it was closed. I currently have a DIY converted Econoline. I have been looking for an american replacement, just nothing out there that will carry at least four and sleep 4 comfortably. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 small children.

      Overall some great features. I would agree with using propane stove. I like the movable ladder, but there isn’t much extra room to store anything on the roof rack. The ladder and bike racks need to change doors, if you have bikes on the rack you can’t get into the back of the van. Another bed in the back so that you could sleep four comfortably, the third bed in the front of the van is a joke.

      I would also stay away from sprinter chassis, but if I was going to get one I would hope to get the 4 cylinder with the 7 speed transmission, as I have heard that its much more reliable.

      My family and I would be more than happy to test such a vehicle, if winnebago is looking for some real feedback.

    23. CJ

      We are Era 70X owners and love that they are trying this new 4×4 concept out. Really love the outside look of this, the graphics, etc. DO NOT like that there is no air conditioning tho, holy cow can’t do that, no way. Also needs more windows even if it had ac, how about Seitz windows in the back where they have it rounded out? Is this going to have the screen doors like the Travato 59G? That is also a must for us. Absolutely LOVE the smaller table, the larger one in the 59G we almost got we did not care for AT ALL, was awkward and in the way. Wish I had one of those tables in my Era. Is the small sofa more comfortable than the one in the 59G because that one is gosh AWFUL, I wouldn’t put anyone in it to actually sit or drive for any length of time, extremely uncomfortable, another reason we didn’t purchase one. Contrast that to the ones in your View/Navions which are extremely comfortable. LOVE the larger bed and space underneath. Not sure about the cassette toilet. Love that the toilet can be adjusted for showering.

    24. John Paul

      As a concept, I love this, on the Sprinter, NO. I purchased a 2015 4×4 Sprinter and it was nothing but problems. First week, went into the shop and I had to fight to get a loaner. 5 days old people. Repairs took 14 days and it was a joke that didn’t actually fix anything. Next it went back to the shop for more than a month. No solutions. They didn’t even know how to fix “it” led alone what it was. total of more than 90 days of repairs in less than 6 months. More than $15,000.00 in parts and labor on a 60K rig.
      5%biodiesel which is ok with Diamler Vans, Killed in, Didn’t even make it back to the on ramp. Solution, replace all sensors, put in diesel additive and keep going. The Engine and it’s exhaust system are a nightmare and god help you if you get stuck in a 15-20% biodiesel mandated area. Your just done.
      The 4×4 has many issues and breaks down alot. It was not well thought out. It is also not protected, so if you hit a rock your are completely exposed. Due to size and weight you will most likely need a Semi tow truck. Good luck getting that in an off road situation. best cost was $5.00 a miles for towing, and It never died within less than an hour (60+ miles) of a dealership. Even then, they only had 1 or 2 techs to work on it, and they didn’t get much training. So often your fix, won’t work and you will be back or into another dealership a few miles down the road. The dealers see you as a cash cow and the 200.00 heated oil filter and 200.00 for a special mercedes spec mobile one oil is ridiculous. $400.00 for an oil change? Gas mileage varies from 9-12 for most of my driving to up to 18mpg when everything was working and I was descending from Denver on my way to phoenix. Never once achieved more than 18 and even that was not often. 14 mpg was average after 40K miles. I wanted to love this thing. I really did. The Antenna on the front is crap and broke and was replaced for the same issue 4 times. At one point it allowed water in the cabin and damaged the electronics. This is just bad design. The seats are better than ford, the front to rear access is better than ford, but the reliability is crap, the service costs and timelines are insane, and getting parts can take weeks to months. Not to mention this model and all it’s “issues” are being replaced by a new model with a new engine in 2018. Daimler Vans is just not putting the effort into this model and it shows. I would not buy another until 2019 or later hoping that they get the dealerships up to par and work out reasonable pricing for service. I should not be paying the salary of a tech making 100K to work on unreliable garbage. Led alone repetitively. I hope that the love of this concept pushes more people in this market. Currently OutsideVan or OSV in Oregon is doing a bang up job, but they are back ordered and only working on the 4×4 platform. Which even they are having issues with.

    25. Al Yaz

      Hi James and Stef.

      I think, by the number of replies this topic has garnered that Winnebago needs to jump on this concept. Personally we have been thrilled with our MB 144” 4 cylinder diesel platform. I would be hesitant of the 6 cylinder, but the 4 cylinder turbo / 7 speed transmission has been a dream come true.

      We wanted a 4×4 but the companies offering that option were out of the price range we were considering, along with some other concerns. Our Ascent, for us has met most of our wants and needs, as we have found over the years that no vehicle or even boat is ‘perfect.’

      I do get a little frustrated reading peoples criticisms, for example, related to what Winnebago is trying to accomplish here. They are trying to offer a 4×4 option that is mass produced so that the pricing is obtainable. If you don’t like that idea go buy a Sportsmobile or Advance RV or other upfitter rig! Winnebago has had to choose a ‘platform’ to go forward with, for various reasons. A good platform is obviously a 4 wheeled short wheelbase chassis. To criticize them because the concept is not being considered (at least initially) on a 23’ long, dually chassis, or a chassis built by another company is counterproductive for all of us.

      Anyway, lets get a double order in for two okay? We’ll let you two choose the colour! 😉

      1. Stefany

        Spot on, Al, when you said: “They are trying to offer a 4×4 option that is mass-produced so that pricing is obtainable.” SOOO important to keep that in mind! It creates an entirely different sort of challenge for WGO as opposed to the custom manufacturers, I’m sure. And heck ya…I’ll take 2, too! Color choice….yellow OF COURSE!

      2. CJ

        When were were purchasing our Era, we drove both the 4 cylinder diesel turbo and the 6 cylinder and the 4 cylinder didn’t move when we were pulling out of the parking lot, hesitated and was so slow that we almost got hit by a car. So we ended up with the 6 cylinder.

    26. David Kwong

      Great ideal concept that is almost my dream RV, need Mercedes safety gear (especially for the blind spot monitoring) and steering wheel controls for audio.
      Much Larger Freezer/refrigerator Capacity, No way I’d buy a unit without an AC, the high heat/humidity of summer by Utah & Las Vegas has the scorching killer heat wave! Would prefer a 22 foot Sprinter (length, longer trip) 4×4 vehicle with dual wheel for added traction.

      1. Al Yaz

        Hi David. Maybe you have other experiences, but mine suggest that duallys are not very good for traction. Generally single rear wheels have much better traction even when weight is not a factor. FWIW. 🙂

      2. CJ

        I agree, the longer size and larger fridge and to add to that, a microwave would be great. We have the steering wheel controls on our Era and it’s a nice thing to have. I am excited about this model, I hope they make it a little larger like you state 22-23 ft and it has to have AC, screen doors, more windows also.

    27. Rebecca & Joe Kolesnikoff

      It’s perfect! Where do we send our check? Lol

      Seriously, do you know if it will be at the Hershey show next month? We would love to see it in person.

        1. Matt

          We live in Lancaster and Hershey is a 45 minute drive. I’d attend if I knew this was going to be there. This sounds like the perfect RV for us!

        2. Carol Polo

          Has the company contacted you yet as to if this concept van will be at Hershey RV Show? I will be attending and would love to see it!

    28. Jane Kugaczewski MD

      Love it was looking for the smaller off road always sent to quigley when would this be available want for dog shows but would like cab ac and also microwave

    29. Larry

      Been thinking about a small (and stealthy) Class B. Main use would be to go places to play which highlights the biggest short coming – there is no viable place for the canoe and kayaks. Hanging bikes on the doors is the obvious location. I do wonder if the doors can be opened from the inside with the bikes in place – seems like that is an important safety concern. The slope adjusting bed is pure genius. A generator and AC are important. Not that they would be used a lot but the high heat/humidity of summer means that anyone with health concerns may occasionally need that burst of cool air.

      Interior design is reasonable although I find the third seat a waste of space. I think I should be able to get from driving to the bed, the toilet, or to food in less than 30 seconds without reconfiguring. I am not traveling to fiddle with the RV and I don’t want to waste play time.

    30. ThomD

      Love it. Filled out the survey.

      A couple of changes would seal the deal for us. Rather than using 4 d ring securing points in the garage, I prefer aircraft cargo track setups. Related to that, there needs to be an easy way to secure bikes in the garage area. I wonder if there is enough vertical space to build an 8 inch deep drawer system into the floor of the garage. It could open to the outside and address the storage limitations.

      I’d forget trying to turn the dinette into a bed. Instead, make the fold out shelf that is forward of the sink long enough to be used by the passenger seat as a dinette. Right now the length is limited by the need to also function as the foot of the forward bed.

      Instead of three small drawers under the kitchen, make it one small and one tall. Use the tall drawer as a pull out trash can.

      I think the target audience is people currently using roof top tents. In that case, the lack of AC is not a deal breaker for many.

    31. Patrick N Smith

      James, in the video it shows you looking under the van. What did you see? Spare tire, battery, grey tank, propane tank (capacity)? We are excited to see WGO move into this market, we just hope they keep it simple. Less is more and true four season capability a must. Diesel heat and hot water with no propane would be a desirable consideration. We are selling our 2014 Agile next year and have been considering a Sportsmobile or a Hymer Aktiv, but this would be a far superior choice. Thanks for the review.

      1. James - Post author

        What I saw under the van was incomplete. Can’t give you any specifics because they’re likely to change.
        I know they are planning to keep things simple.

    32. Jamie

      How stable is the little dinette table that pulls out from the wall? Do you have a best guess on size? And manufacturer? Great job! TIA

      1. James - Post author

        Someone else further down the page asked that too, lol. I didn’t bring a tape.
        My best guess is 36X18… ish. And it seemed to be made in-house.

    33. Kevin

      Love the concept and responded to the survey. I hope they make it! I agree with others about having screens (like the Travato) and to use the dinette space for storage or a low cabinet with a slide out tab,e for use by the front seats. Maybe like the ERA driver side cabinet on the 70x it could be a post build installable module option.

    34. Stan Axe

      We are building a back-country boondock oriented Transit conversion. We’ve chosen to do some stuff differently.

      For example, we think once you have propane for house/water heating, it makes more sense to use it for most cooking as well. Instead of induction, we have a 2 burner hob. It doesn’t require special pots or pans, and won’t drain batteries. The extra propane use for cooking is small compared to the house/water heat. For the times we want fast heating, we’ve got a small 600W microwave running off the inverter.

      We have a composter, not a cassette john. We want to minimize the number of times we have to find a dump site.

      We have more solar…about 560W. We felt that maxing out on that provides better reserve battery margin for our Pacific NorthWet environment.
      We are using AGM, about 400AH, for now., waiting until lithium tech is a bit more advanced and cost-effective.

      We decided against a wet bath. It’s easy enough to use one of the briefly mentioned other means to hose ourselves down. Uses less water as well.

      Since we’re not going to haul bikes (prefer hiking), the under bed storage holds our 40G fresh and 20G gray tanks, as well as the batteries. All are inside for cold weather camping. The only thing we’ve added underneath the body is the propane tank.

      I do wish stock 4×4 was available for the Transit. If we ever become rich and famous, maybe we’ll retrofit. In the meanwhile, the limited slip works adequately for the logging/fire roads we’ve been on to date.

      I like the clamp-on ladder design. I especially like the adjustable tilting bed idea. I may have to retrofit ours with something like that.

      For our travels, I agree with the no A/C. But then, we’re not in an especially hot climate.

      Otherwise, it looks like a nice, well thought out prototype.

      But I HATE those green doors.

    35. Tom Gregg

      Best features: cassette toilet, raised leveling bed, big garage, no A/C, no microwave, induction cooktop, compressor frige, lithium battery, solar, folding dinette table.

      Possible improvements: replace Mercedes Benz with Promaster, Seitz opening windows by bed, eliminate extra dinette seats, screen on sliding door, insulation, folding dinette table on passenger side as well.

    36. Gregory Poulos

      An 03 Olds Silhouette….A Microwave….A 5 Gal. Bucket….A 5 Gal. Water Container….A Blow Up Mattress….A 12 volt Cooler….A Buddy Heater….
      And A Pop Up Shower Enclosure!
      Total Cost…$1750…
      What Else Does One Need???
      Oh Yea..A Jar Of Folgers And Sam’s Pizza
      Oh And A Harbor Freight Invert Genny…$369 On Sale This Week!
      Alaska Here I Come…LOL

    37. Jim Eshleman

      Camo version! Seriously if you offer a Mossy Creek or Real Tree version for hunters and park it in front of a Bass Pro or Cabelas shop it will sell like crazy. Hunters in The South would be in fits (especially me). Instead of bike racks in the back we need a place to store game long enough to get it to the butcher. A detachable GPS system in the cab helps. Gun rack? Beer keg option? Ok, I know when to quit, but camo all the upholstery and give it an exterior that blends with nature and you got a winner.

    38. Chris

      What is the clearance under the vehicle–how many inches from the ground to the lowest element? No AC and no microwave–fantastic. Keep the dinette and seat–need something other than the driving seats for sitting and eating. Cassette toilet is fine. Would prefer a 20-21 foot (length) vehicle, but the shorter may be OK. Fridge looks awfully small but may be all that’s possible without a longer body. Solar–great. Ladder–great, but make the bike rack an option. Does the 4WD have a low 4WD setting or just regular 4WD? Above all, would like to see this on a gas van, not diesel.

    39. Brian

      Here’s what I said on the Winnebago survey.

      I have been strongly considering a Sportsmobile, Outside van (OSV) or RB Components “Adventure vehicle” based on the sprinter 4 x 4. Those vehicles are very expensive so I am excited to see Winnebago enter this market for value reasons. For the most part I love your concept. Big thumbs up on the truma, induction cooktop, lithium battery, solar, innovative rear bed with the bump outs, cassette toilet and floor material. Not a fan of the interior color but I’m sure you will offer some other options. I’m also not a fan of the exterior graphics. I think individuals interested in a vehicle like this prefer a stealthy appearance. I also think those interested in an adventure vehicle would value a reconfigurable interior. You did this with the bed area but not the dinette. A removable bench seat that converts into a bed may be a better option, or individual captains chairs that can be removed so the vehicle can serve multi purposes. Make sure the unit is well insulated. Don’t skimp on the chassis options. Consider a second alternator with a high idle option if you want to include an air conditioner. Please no generator! Is there an additional lift kit on this prototype? I do not recommend it. The sprinter 4 x 4 is already a few inches taller then the 2 wheel drive version. I don’t think the additional lift serves any useful purpose. Have you considered a 170 inch wheelbase version? All in all I love the Winnebago is considering this. Build it!

    40. Mark Roberts

      Thanks for exploring the waters, and asking for our opinions! Left lots of details in the survey.

      1) Use big cab A/C unit instead of another A/C ‘system’.
      2) Use flat panels on the top as a sun shade, and as flexible mounts for stuff.
      3) No entertainment, no microwave.
      4) Propane is optimum for heat and cooking. Get rid of large inverter.

    41. Alain Lanthier

      I live in a city and have an indoor garage. This is way too high to get in to park. What about doing this on a Metris chassis??? Or something like the Marco Pollo in Europe?? After all. lots of peoples from cities like also to go out on weekend and leave the city. No need to stand if you don’t spend time inside this RV and you can sit to take a shower.

    42. Jodie

      Just the fact that this concept is being addressed is encouraging as I had been looking at the Hymer Aktiv and wishing the Travato would evolve that way. Love 4 wheel, and ground clearance, but wonder about state to state travel and mileage. Four seasons is a must for those of us traveling back and forth between frosty places and warm places. We don’t want the trouble of winterizing and using chemicals. Ditch propane for sure. No way I’d buy a unit without an AC. This one needs a under hood generator for outlet and AC use. Not fond of the snooty MB Sprinter chassis, but like the length. And agree need more natural color options inside and stealth outside. Definitely solar and lithium to do majority of work, and underhood generator to do rest. Love the cassette toilet and more grey capacity. Love the underbed storage, hope there is more cabinet storage though. Not fond of the bump outs. Love the ladder and bike rack. Love the iPad/phone clips and yeah, no TV for sure. Yes to the dinette and four seat belts, small dinette bed. Great bathroom design. Love the cooktop. USB ports in many spots is awesome. Also more windows with built in reflective shades. Most mods to other units I see people wanting to put up a privacy curtain behind the front seats for stealth camping, maybe built in hooks to hang a curtain. The little table looks kinda wimpy like you can’t lean on it. We don’t want things like this and the bed corner lifters if they are going to break with normal use. Overall, headed in the right direction, encouraging to see WGO trying to gear itself to my demographic. I don’t see many of my outdoorsy friends/surfers going in large numbers to a RV show. I hope WGO is putting this out in many places or they may miss valuable feedback.

    43. ginny

      for the love of god, just put in a composting toilet, or offer as an option–a couple of days boon docking with Montezuma’s revenge might overload that damn cassette. Definitely need more windows, especially if no A/C. thank god no microwave/tv or grandma’s cabinetry. make sure it has a decent towing capacity for folks who want to drag a boat or snowmobiles etc. Solar sounds great, but if you are off the grid in the winter will it be enough? It would be nice to be truly 4 season with heated tanks, etc. And throw in a couple of traditional outlets in case you are plugged in and want to run your espresso maker…..

      1. James - Post author

        A couple days boondocking with Montezuma’s Revenge will overwhelm a composting toilet as well. (DAMHIKT)
        If that happens in the wild, you’d be better off with cat holes, regardless of which bathroom option was installed.

    44. Mark

      It looks like Winnebago is trying to go a bit more “European”, who have (IMO) far superior class B vans, and is a great direction for them.

      There is no doubt (again, IMO) the Travato 59G borrowed from:

      And for a nice 4wd Sprinter, they should just copy:

      Already a great layout, been making them like this for years on 4wd Sprinters.

      I am happy to see the progress by a U.S. manufacturer, but feel their is quite some ways to go still in the U.S. before we get good class B’s.

    45. Savannah Pacheco

      Love it its getting much closer to something I would like enough to buy without wanting to immediately gut like 5 things. A few ideas. It seems like the market they are trying to reach is Millennials who are most likely without a child and need only the bare minimum to get by.

      So please ditch that damn dinette. We are not the RV buyers of yesteryear who are trying to shove a house in an RV. We are young and will make do with a nice table being some what in the middle of the two swivel chairs. Bam there’s your dinette. As long as me and my partner can have somewhere to sit with a coffee and a tablet we can plan out the days adventures. Now please go rip that space hogging extra seat cushion out and expand the shower or move it closer to the driver seats to give the galley more breathing room.

      As for solar without an a/c please at least 300 watts need to come standard. and an attached bug net for both the main and back entrances.also if there is no a/c option for a cooling bed topper for those of us in the south who would prefer not to die.

      Last but not least. Millennials most of us like wood and rustic feel. I wasn’t digging the institution looking paneling making up most of that van. perhaps if it would’ve been in darker colors with medium tone accent. I know that bright colors are supposed to trick your eye into believing its bigger than it really is but in a place that small its not fooling anyone.

      To sum up bullet point style.
      -love the induction range to get rid of propane. A++
      -Please put it out with color options. I shuddered when I saw the colors
      -Don’t you dare put a microwave in there
      -Love the no TV please leave it off
      – Love the grips for tablets and phones perfect choice is there one near the bed?
      -Drawers under the bed would be fantastic for those who like to organize.
      -Ditch the dinette seat waste of space. Make it a true 2 person adventure RV those of us without kids or are alone always suffer where space could be had if there could be just one sprinter for only 2 people. Tell the everyone to get lost or keep the kids at home with grandma.
      -Oh and a tone down on the outside graphics would help you attract us the customers you want. There was more shuddering when I saw those.

      All in all good job Winnebago for really trying to make your new generation of customers happy and not making us settle for the same old crap that’s always been out there. You guys are getting pretty damn close. I might actually buy this if Winnebago ends up putting it out when i graduate in December. Either that or stick with my DIY sprinter plans. Awesome work for far.

    46. Paul Alan Jackson

      Hey James, this vehicle is very nice, would fit well with our needs other than we decided once we rented the PW Lexor TS that the sliding Van door, the Upside Down Bidet aka Wet Bath and a Bed that was BreakDown and Build would not work for us. This one has 2 or the Three. We still look to purchase the Plateau XL and go from there. The ability to use Solar is very important to me so the combo of Lithium Batteries and Solar are sit well. AC not so much, the Fans, especially if they are Suck&Blow would move a lot of air and the option of AC on shore power would be nicel

      1. James - Post author

        Hi Paul – We have an air conditioner now, but are always looking for excuses not to use it. The “suck and blow” fan method seems an appealing option sometimes. (But when it wouldn’t work, it would be terrible to not have AC.)

    47. James

      If you are going somewhere where you need 4×4 you should have a winch. The best way to mount one would be front and rear 2″ receivers.

      And, if you are worried about no AC start the motor and sit in the front seats until you cool down.

      I would have liked to see where those disappearing shelves went inside the cabinet.

      It is an awesome concept. I would buy one if it hits the market.

      1. James - Post author

        The disappearing shelves went inside some slightly thicker shelves in the cabinet just to the rear that it slid into! Cool stuff.

    48. James McKinney

      Questions for James – any idea the exact dimensions of the galley? I am estimating it is about 36″ x 36″ x 18-20″ (L x H x D).

      How would you rate the quality of the cabinet construction and wood fabrication in this concept van compared to your “The New Coachmen Galleria – Our Detailed Review” ( in which you raved about the quality of the cabinetry construction in that vehicle?

      I regret most of the camper van made for the outdoor industry seem to be made of cheap MTF and suffer from poor construction and materials.

      It looks like Winnebago may have hired OV or another similar company to build this prototype given the flare outs rear mesh door bags, bed frame are items originally supplied from OV.

      The dinette table is unacceptable unless you are a child eating a McDonalds kiddie meal. The minimum dimensions for a dinette table should be approximately 20″ x 20″. Visit your local Starbucks or fast food outlet and start taking some measurements on the small dinette tabletops and you can easily determine how much space is really need for two people to dine at.

      A roof top AC is a must have when out in hot desert environments etc. There are many low profile rooftop AC units available in the 9000 to 11,000 BTU range )which would be ideal. A Power take off generator (PTO) installed under the hood can supply enough electrical power for the rooftop AC, fridge and induction oven.

      FYI Roadtrek has already incorporated the PTO into their latest RV line. Other options include a Honda 2000i generator which can be mounted on a trailer hitch as it can easily power a rooftop AC under 10,000 BTU.

      Relying on the battery bank as the sole source for AC power is a bad option when in the outback. Battery bank will need to be quickly recharge and a generator either from a PTO or Honda 2000i are viable solutions.

      Additional Items to add:
      a- Microwave
      b-under bed removable storage cabinet system
      c- 24″ LCD monitor or mounting system for those folks who wanna watch movies out in the wilderness. How can you expect to keep restless kids entertained at night when they wanna play Xbox or watch Disney movies?

      Overall a great first generation vehicle which has great potential.

      Sell it for $90,000 or less MSP and you have a winner and affordable alternative to DIY van build outs.

      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t bust out a tape measure, but I’d say you have the dimensions approximately right. The cabinetry was built to be tough, rather than showy. Laminates these days are nearly bulletproof, and these were covered in it all around. Having owned a Winnebago now, I doubt they used MDF or particle board in the construction. Most likely a lightweight plywood under the tough laminate. Construction and materials were well suited for the intended purpose.

    49. John Lockhart

      One more comment beyond what I included in the survey. We have a 16 View with the gloss canvas and appreciate the reduced amount of woodgrain in a contemporary coach. I really like the interior look of the concept! As a matter of fact, I was recently in a Rialta, and was impressed with the Euro look of that vehicle, much the same as the new concept.

    50. Terry McWilliams

      No A C , needs screen door ( bugs ) don’t like the honey bucket. But lots of bright new thinking, looks like Winnebago is modernizing .

      1. James - Post author

        Screen doors (side and rear) seem to be wanted by more than a few. I heard the same at the OR show as well.

        1. Stephanie Landry

          agree. I would like good quality rear side/screen doors especially for use in the South. Love this RV. Fits all my needs.

    51. Judy

      It’s really perfect for me…depending on the price. I love it. They’ve thought of all the necessities for a person wanting dependability and comfort along with a minimalist lifestyle.

    52. cees beers

      As mike said a altenator with high current like 300amps would be nice this give a ability to put a external power hungry devices in case you need it
      Like portable AC. Or a winch and some cooking device

    53. Don

      Having a shore power connection for when at an RV park would be nice, or for people that have a small portable generator that can be used or to recharge the lithium battery instead of running the engine to conserve fuel on days when solar power is low because of overcast conditions. With this feature other options would be a available like a microwave or a small a/c unit.

      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t mention it, but yes, they did plan to have a shore power connection for typical RV park style hookups.

    54. Ralph

      I’m probably in the minority here, but I’d prefer a gas engine and a non-four wheel drive option. I’d also like some interior color options.

    55. Scott Baldassari

      Very Nice! Not personally a MB (or diesel) fan. so it wouldn’t work for me, but entire concept is great! Love high clearance, 4×4, little table, super galley, laminate furniture, elevating bed, LACK of TV and dual fan instead of A/C, cassette toilet, ALL looks great.

      Would be great if bed would fold into couch for passengers, option of cabinet instead of extra seat as mentioned above would be good, A/C “ready” or option would also be advisable.

      Ladder system looks fantastic

      1. James - Post author

        Since I already have an RV, the ladder system was the one option that had me wanting to retrofit it onto my current rig!

    56. Richard

      This is almost my dream RV. I want the extended body type so I can always keep bike inside and still find easy parking. Long body isn’t easy to find parking spot and short body needs a bit more room. Then eliminate that useless seat behind the driver to make bathroom larger to add compost toilet so it stays dry. You could always put two fold out couches on each side in the back that you can eat at or fold down together to make a large bed. That is my custom RV.

    57. Jonathan Miller

      No A/C no sale. Use an engine mounted generator to chaege a battery bank and throw on solar (if not already using it). But other than that sounds good.

    58. Bob J

      No thanks on the Sprinter. Now a Ford Transit 4wd conversion, w/diesel or EcoBoost? Got something there…
      An AWD version of the Promaster would do, but there is no such thing currently…:(

    59. Phil

      I love it! Great idea W! Would like to see a small AC option and screen doors but could live without I suppose.

    60. Thom

      As others have stated the design team is on to something. I do hope that this concept (or close to it) goes forward to production. My wife and I have a nicely upfited full size chevy AWD van and there is nothing on the current market that has caught our eye…before this concept.

      I saw very little that my wife and I would want to _adjust_ in the design, except the possibility of eliminating the third seat and replacing it with a closet/storage area ? ? That would make it just about perfect in our eyes.

      1. James - Post author

        You’re not the only ones to wish to do away with the dinette. Additional storage for some of the gear nuts at OR was something I heard during the week.

    61. Dan

      It’d be a good layout for touring musicians too. The under-bed storage space would work well. Adding in a laptop safe somewhere would be a plus for all users (lock up your laptop, passport and other stuff while out on the trail, in playing a gig, etc.)

      I’d probably want A/C and would absolutely want the van well insulated and winter-capable. We presently limit our touring in the coldest months given the Travato’s plumbing setup (OK, so hoping we can do a Florida tour in the cold months which would address that).

    62. Tom

      So much cool stuff here. Some thoughts:

      – I want windows! Pop-out Seitz windows on the sides of the bed, and windows in the rear doors.
      – I wish the rack was compatible with Thule Hullavators – makes it easier to load my $2500 sea kayaks.
      – I wish Winnebago would offer some OEM options rather than buying stripped chassis. I want the Mercedes safety gear (especially for the blind spot monitoring) and steering wheel controls for audio. (On this topic, it bothers me that the Fuse lacks Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system; other B/C builders get this stuff.)

      But there is so much I like – the little dinette, the white/bright color decor, NO TV!!!!, no air conditioning (although I worry about resale), the Truma, the cassette toilet.

    63. BobB

      Count me in! I don’t have an A/C now, so won’t miss it. Fans help me now and really like the dual roof fans. But it would be nice as an option, maybe could be added later, if my needs change. Love the garage and love the simple clean interior look. Extra alternator would be an easy option, too. And the interior layout is the one we want – dining/living area up front, sleep in back.

      Did notice no windows, ie. ventilation (other than roof fan) in sleeping area. Side operable windows should be considered.

    64. Gregory Poulos

      This Thing Is Almost Perfect! Lol Here Are My Improvements…
      Under Hood Generator, Much Larger “Freezer” Capacity, Larger Capacity Engine Air conditioner To Cool The Whole Coach, Same With The Heating Of The Coach, Same With The Hot Water (Just Like The Marine Industry), Get Rid Of The Propane AND The Truma (Possible Diesel Truma)…This Coach Should Be Small Enough To Do Everything From The Nice Quiet Engine! With Lots Of Fuel On Board (Make The Diesel Tank Larger Or Add A SecondaryTank)

    65. Uncle Lar

      Lose the propane altogether. They are almost there. Saves space and weight. (It needs more storage.) Run the hot water/heat off of diesel. Upgrade the solar.

    66. Jun Andres

      The concept is very interesting, at least there will be alternatives in buying one. I am based in Fresno and Sportsmobile is in our area. Hopefully the concept comes into reality. Looking forward

      1. James - Post author

        In addition to yourself, there were LOTS of people at the OR show who hope this becomes reality!

        1. Serge Dery

          Hi James. I would love to know which company makes this ladder. I have a safari condo pro master, this would be a perfect upgrade.
          Thanks for your time.

    67. James McKinney

      Great to see a major RV manufacturer may be entering the outdoor van market and give those overpriced guys at Outside Van a run for their money.

    68. Mike

      I love the concept of this vechicle but their are a few things I would change. First I would want an A/C but I wouldn’t want a rooftop unit it takes away interior height and I would hit low hanging branches with it on the outside. I’m also worried about hitting things with the solar panels and air vent on the roof. I think I would mount the solar on the bottom of the roof rack for a little more protection. I also would want something to replace the generator what I would do is install a second alternator on the sprinters engine and a high idle switch.


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