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!