2020 Winnebago Revel – Awesome Updates!

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over three years since we first published our video of Winnebago’s 4×4 Concept Adventure Vehicle.  That concept grew up to become the Winnebago Revel, and the Revel has blown open what feels like a new segment in the traditional RV market.  The Revel is one of the best-selling B vans in Winnebago’s lineup, and it gets people farther off the grid than your average RVer will ever see.

But three years is a while, and in the spirit of always moving forward, Winnebago has introduced some new features and updates in the Revel for the 2020 model year.  It’s not a full-coach review, but I run through the changes quickly in this video:


Many of the changes (that I don’t even mention) are tied to the 2019 Mercedes Sprinter chassis.  If you’re looking at a class B RV, and you haven’t heard about all the changes to the Sprinter for 2019… I’d like to know where your hidey-rock is, because that’s where I’m hiding Stef’s Christmas presents this year.  I highlight a couple Sprinter changes in the video, but that doesn’t scratch the surface.

Other memorable highlights from the 2020 Revel:

  • Shortened running board and re-routed exhaust provide extra ground clearance.
  • New no-see-um screens on the side and rear doors.  These are the same screens we called “the best van screen doors ever”, in this earlier video.
  • Leather seats
  • Cargo area lights
  • Reworked roof rack with all-metal componentry
  • Digital thermostat for the heater
  • Over-cab aluminum shelf
  • New wheel and tire option
  • New outdoor table leg attachment

and my personal favorite

  • Power sliding door!

After about a decade of slamming sliding van doors, that last one has me giddy.  (And before you imagine nighmare scenarios of being out in the woods and your sliding door won’t open… don’t worry, it has a manual mode.)

So, watch the video, and let’s hear it down below!  Did they hit your top wish-list item?  Was there something they should have added but left out this round?  What would you have done differently?

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling 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 works for a large IT company.

    35 thoughts on “2020 Winnebago Revel – Awesome Updates!

    1. Allen

      Good review of the updated Revel. A bit off topic, but since you love the power door (and I do too!), have you looked into a Promaster retrofit of the closing mechanism used in a bunch of European Ducato campervans? My brother’s Hymer (Ducato based) has this where you slide the door gently near it’s closing point and a small motor takes it from there. No slamming and a nice secure silent closing. This is DIY mod that seems right up your alley for Lance and you and Stef would be the perfect people to document it. Thanks

      1. James - Post author

        I’ve thought about it on several occasions, but have never pulled the trigger on buying one.
        You’ve just brought it back to front-of-mind again…

    2. Peggy Marra

      Would a small toaster oven work on the power that is in the Winnabago Revel.
      Seems like making a dinner with only one induction cooktop would be limiting

      1. Stefany

        We think it might, considering that the Revel has an inverter. But you wouldn’t want to run both that and the induction cooktop at the same time. Your best bet is to get the scoop from actual owners who’d know better than us… go ask in the “Winnebago Revel 4×4” group on Facebook!

    3. Dale Conley

      Really like the Revel but big concern is child car seat \ booster seat is pretty much unsafe on bench seat. Has anyone with small children figured out how to securely hold car seats with just lap belt? As grandparents we want to take kids with but has to be safe. Lack of “latching” system might be a deal breaker.

      1. r

        I just called Winnebago and they said that there are harness attachments on the floor for the top harness. That in combination with the lap belt would make a safe ride for the little ones in a car seat

    4. Jo

      I would love to hear or see video or pics of how folks outfit the Revel, such as cookware or dishes, best coffee making options, etc. Love the simple and minimal design and want to stock it simply and minimally as well. Thanks for any advice or links.

      1. James - Post author

        Perhaps Revel owners reading this post will chime in?
        The one thing I CAN tell you – even though we don’t own a Revel – is that the Revel has an induction cooktop, which requires compatible cookware. By far, the most common set of induction compatible RV cookware are these:
        Magma Induction Cookware Set
        We have an induction cooktop as well. We have this exact set, and love it.

    5. Lisa

      I, too, am interested in the plausibility of upgrading power to run a/c to ensure pet and people comfort and safety. I imagine the cost is significant, but is it possible? Thank you and great job-love your videos!!

      1. James - Post author

        Well, with enough money and time, anything is possible.
        Your biggest challenge would be figuring out where to put a really large battery. The Revel doesn’t have a lot of “extra” space, and you wouldn’t want the battery outside where it could get in the way of ground clearance.

        But yes. Possible.
        Given enough time, someone will do it.

        1. Lisa Lazar

          Thank you-very helpful as this is out of my wheelhouse.! This may be really silly, but I read something about “soft-start” and generator. Could you use a goal zero instead?

        2. James - Post author

          “Soft Start” is typically something that people add to air conditioners so you can start them up with an underpowered generator or shore power connection. In a lithium rig with an adequately sized inverter, it’s not necessary.
          You could use a goal zero. It’s an inverter/battery in one unit kind of thing. It would be like camping.
          You just wouldn’t have nearly the capacity of a true lithium RV, and I doubt it could start the air conditioner.

        3. James - Post author

          We’ve been in rigs that had them – so we’ve heard them.
          But only in January, so I can’t really comment on their performance.

      2. Jay

        Check out Micro-Air Easy Start. I’m guessing, device and install around $500-$600. It will allow you to run the AC on low with a Honda 2000 generator. Why Winnebago doesn’t put the Pure 3 Advanced Energy System with lithium batteries, that is in the Travato, in the Revel is beyond me…IT’S THE SAME COMPANY! Especially since the Revel is going to be more off-road/off-the-grid with 4WD. This system allows you to run the AC and use your vehicle as a generator, even when you’re not there. The power system currently on the Revel is the biggest complaint out there…IS WINNEBAGO NOT LISTENING?

    6. Elmer H. Hayes

      Hello FitRv…

      New here.. but do have a 2010 Roadtrek Agile that we are thinking of switching for a Revel due to more off-roading and boon docking capability. However what we DON’T like is the head(bathroom) where one must constantly remove loaded shelves if one needs to stand up urinate or doing numero 2. Isn’t there another design in the Revels head area.

      1. Stefany

        Hello Elmer! The shelves are just optional, many Revel owners don’t travel with them… so I wouldn’t get hung up on that too much. With any small rig, concessions and compromises have to be made and the Revel does a great job of creating a ton of space for gear under the bed, but the compromise is the smaller bathroom that doubles as an optional closet if needed. Best of luck in your next-RV shopping!

        1. Elmer H. Hayes

          Thank you Stefany for responding regarding the head shelving option. Agree theres tons of space underneath the loft bed. Doesn’t Winnebago have? another Revel design where the bed stays permanently.

        2. Stefany

          No other Revel design, but maybe you’re thinking of the new Boldts? They have the plan with the permanent twin beds in back (the BL), and you can get that one in 4wd!

    7. Rober

      Always read here before purchase!
      James please entertain this question/issue.
      In my current RV (Ram Promaster based) we enjoy lithium batteries. I’d like to add a Revel for the 4×4 capability (and yes I know the limitations of 4×4 in the Revel. But as you know the Revel’s AGMs are suspended outside of the heated air space (our current RV’s lithium are inside).

      Do you think it feasible/possible to provide the coach battery space of the Revel an insulated housing AND splice into the hydronic heating tubes extending them to and around the newly insulated battery box?

      I’d even go so far as cutting a hole in the floor above the battery location, installing a grill, thus allowing inside heated air to enter the new lithium box.

      A small thing to some, but I’m so happy with lithium performance/weight/cycling that I find it hard to consider an RV without lithium capability….that is the only significant thing holding me back from Revel ownership.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      1. James - Post author

        Well, I won’t tell you it’s impossible, because Advanced RV uses that setup on their Sprinter-based RVs.
        But retrofitting that would be an awfully big job. You may even have to move tanks! I’m not familiar enough with the underside layout of a Revel to know what’s over what. But even if I knew, I likely wouldn’t attempt it.
        If I *really* wanted a Revel… and I *really* wanted lithium… I’d just find a way to keep the batteries inside. Maybe sacrifice a bit of the cargo area for the battery. Maybe use two smaller batteries and mount them in line with the wheel wells. Something like that.

        1. Robert Moore

          Thanks so much for your reply/opinion.
          I’ll continue to study options.
          Inside for lithiums is probably the safest/smartest way to go.

    8. Melissa

      After looking for a full year at various RV options- we bought a 2020 Revel! We needed a vehicle specifically for delivering us up and over rough terrain (rock climbing, mountain biking folks here) which was the overriding factor in our purchase decision,

      I do have a question for you two, though. We have financing through the dealer but I was surprised at the rate given our good credit and basic financial situation. We are such novices! Here I thought it would be like a regular auto loan- but it appears to be more like a mini-mortgage.

      We will likely take the deal to get the van off the lot and look into re-financing later unless you all have some advice? Is there an institution specializing in rv financing?

      We hope to join your crew at a park sometime soon now that we have a rig- enjoy your time across the pond❤️. Thanks James and Steph- safe travels!

      1. James - Post author

        Believe it or not, we’ve not financed any of our rigs, so we’re probably not the best ones to advise you there.
        There are benefits to the “mortgage-type” loans. I’ve heard you can deduct the interest. Don’t know if that helps your situation or not.
        Maybe talk to a tax advisor or financial advisor? That’s where I’d start.

    9. Robert Chandler

      The 2020 Winnebago Revel is still a piece of junk -.imo. It still needs a microwave oven, etc etc. I think it would be nice if Winnebago would make a mini ERA on this chassis. But Airstream’s Nineteen works well enough.

      1. James - Post author

        There are – literally – thousands of people who disagree.
        Your opinion that lacking a microwave equates to poor construction simply doesn’t make sense.
        Not everyone wants the same things in an RV. That includes a microwave.

        1. Ana Rubio

          Microwaves are horrible for food quality. A small toaster oven is what is lacking. I will not say never, but not interested In the induction cooking concept.

        2. Ralph N Ewing

          Regarding a microwave, I would think it’s exactly what someone with this type of vehicle would want – the ability to quick prepare frozen meals while on the go. Especially since the micro freezer would really only handle those “Lean Cuisine” sized meals.

    10. Mike

      Maybe the reason you like the auto door is that you travel with a small critter. We have nightmares about our little critter getting halved in the Guillotine that is the sliding door on our Travato! Thanks for the quick peek at the new Revel

    11. Smiley

      I bet the new models from Winnebago on the Ford Transit will be mind blowing when they are ready to show them off. Winnebago has learned allot from Travato Nation and my guess is you will see much more refinements in their designs moving forward. I need to tip my hat to Russ and his teams because they are making noise out there and the field out there has been pretty tinned out with Hymer and RT going belly up. Time to capitalize for sure. Thanks James and Stef. Waiting here for the new 2020 Transit and will see u at Hershey next month.

      1. Tim

        Do you have any information about the Revel getting the same air conditioning setup as your Travato, using the lithium batteries, with power management system , alternator upgrade and auto start. I did see your video about running the air conditioning in your Travato using only the batteries. I won’t buy one of these for a couple years so hopefully they will have the system set up for the Revel then

        1. Charles

          I’m concerned with no coach AC when running and living in a hot humid climate like south alabama.my boat has a 12 volt AC which works well. Any one have issues with a hot coach in the south?

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