The Winnebago Revel 4×4 – A Detailed Walkthrough


This was the hardest RV secret I’ve ever had to keep…

 

Just last week, Winnebago finally released their Revel 4×4.  The Revel is the production version of the 4×4 Adventure Vehicle that they showed at last year’s Outdoor Retailer show.  At that show, we made a video with Chris Bienert, who is the designer behind the Revel.  That video turned out to be quite popular, and our page with that video had become the de-facto message board for rumors, hints, knowledge, and product suggestions for the coach.

Well this summer, when we were at the Winnebago Grand National Rally, we got a chance to shoot another review with Chris on the ready-to-be-released Winnebago Revel.  But we couldn’t release the video!!  It was killing me!!  Now that they’ve officially launched (and started selling) the Revel, we’re free to show you this review.

We filmed this walkthrough in the factory, in part of the building that’s like their “skunk works”.  There were concepts for other vehicles sitting about, and we had to be careful not to get too much of them on camera.  I believe they’ve all been released now, so I’m not too concerned if we messed up.  Again we had Chris, and he and I went over the whole vehicle from head to toe, inside and out.  It was great to have the rig’s designer there to ask questions of, and we think it makes for an interesting review.  (Also, it was insanely hot inside the building, so if you see us sweating, you know why.)

One thing we didn’t mention in the video: spare tire. Some of you have asked about it, and it DOES have one; here it is:

 

We’ve seen the Revel since we filmed this (at the Elkhart launch) but we have not had the chance to take one out for a spin ourselves yet.  You all know that I’m a winter camping mod kind of lunatic, so I’m particularly interested in testing out the winter camping capabilities of the rig. With any luck, once the weather turns cold, we’ll be able to take one to Montana skiing or something.

Until then, enjoy the video!

 



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 works for a large IT company.


    102 thoughts on “The Winnebago Revel 4×4 – A Detailed Walkthrough

    1. Lynn Casey

      Thank you for this great and thorough review! I love your site! A few questions: a) we would like to be able to tow our Seadoo. Do you think there would be any issue with the bottom back of the Revel going in the water at a boat ramp? As we are also looking at the Travato, a couple of questions: b) same question – could we tow a Seadoo and would there be any issue with the bottom back of the Travato going in the water at a boat ramp (some can be steep)? c) does the Travato come in 4×4? I don’t think so but wanted to confirm. I know the Era does but we like the ruggedness/adventure-centric nature of the Travato more. If it does not, is there any hope Winnebago will offer this soon? Would be great for winter sports! Thanks so much for your help!

      Reply
    2. Jim

      I am concerned about all the service issues that the bluetec diesel engine is experiencing ? What are your thoughts ?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Personally, I wouldn’t be too concerned.
        If you spend enough time on forums, you realize that the people posting are usually just those with problems. The thousands of people who have things go right never bother to complain.

        Reply
    3. Logan

      Does the Revel have built in shades for the rear door windows!?!? What about for the front windows!?!? Other cheaper Winnebago sprinters have them and for 135K$ shouldn’t the revel? How is this issue best addressed? Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, there are shades for the windows in the Revel. They either snap or magnet on, I don’t remember.
        Just didn’t show them because there was so much else to talk to Chris about. But they’re there!

        Reply
    4. Brian Buck

      James, thanks for the thorough review! Super excited about the Revel. At the end of the video you state that the Revel has “plenty of ground clearance.” Did Chris mention actual numbers? Is there about 10″ of ground clearance?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We didn’t discuss actual numbers. I could guess, but I don’t have any real information.
        The Revel was at the Pomona RV show this weekend, but I did not have a measuring tape. Perhaps one of the show goers will chime in (if they had a tape).
        In any case, it did not look like Winnebago had done anything to decrease the clearance on the chassis itself. So perhaps Mercedes Benz has some specifications.

        Reply
    5. Stephanie

      Thank you for the review. Do you think the Advanced RV permanent leveling jacks would work on the Revel? Is it possible for the table to unclip from the galley and reclip outside the van onto some type of rail? It would be nice to be able to close the van door (keeping the mosquitoes out) and still use the table for things like holding your solar stove while you cook.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I believe the E&P leveling jacks would fit on the Revel – but Advanced RV or another installer would have the final word on that.
        The rear mounting points should be clear as there is just a spare tire back there – no tanks or generator. The front mounting points should be clear as well.
        As far as detaching and reattaching the table – that’s not a current option. I’m sure you could hack that up yourself though. Who knows – maybe you do it and then it finds its way into a future revision of the Revel!

        Reply
    6. kylekai

      James, do you know what happened to the bike rack in the concept video? I remember you commenting on it. I’m surprised it’s not an option (or is it?). Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Winnebago uses it on other models. I’m sure you could get one and have it installed. It fits with the ladder.

        Reply
        1. kylekai

          I asked my local RV dealer about the bike rack on the Revel. The reply was:

          Heard back from Winnebago today about a bike rack. The bike rack they offer on their other class B’s will not fit on the Revel. They said there’s a hitch so an aftermarket one could be installed.

    7. Kat

      James- not to take away from the great Revel video here, but I am eager to hear your thoughts on the Advanced RV High voltage lithium Volta Power System. Please do a review asap! Hi Step!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, for me to do a review, I’d have to have one of their coaches to use for a couple of weeks!
        Last I heard, Advanced RV was still selling everything they could make as fast as they could make it, so a loaner coach isn’t super likely any time soon, unfortunately.
        But if I get the opportunity, yes, I’ll do it.

        Reply
    8. NavyDoc

      Thank you for an outstanding walk through. While the lack of lithium and presence of cassette toilet gives me a pause, it’s just about perfect. I think that rear view camera is great! They need to emphasize that on their brochure/website.

      I’m wondering why they didn’t place a window on the aft starboard side, but they must’ve had their reasons. While my current military service precludes me from having any kind of RV lifestyle, it’ll be within my reach in 5 years or so. Hopefully they’ll have their lithium issues sorted out. Your website and YouTube videos are superb.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hi NavyDoc – My guess is that there is no window on the aft starboard side because the sliding door would rip it off if it were open when the door was opened.
        Hang in there – 5 years will be here before you know it. Hope to see you out on the open road some day!

        Reply
    9. Roger

      Hi James,

      Do you know what brand/model of acrylic window is on the Revel? Short of buying a new Revel, I’d be interested in a retrofit for my 59G.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t know for sure which brand they are using on the Revel. But I know Dometic (distributor for Seitz) and Plastoform both make those kinds of windows and you can get them over here if you try really hard.

        Reply
    10. Tom Cahill

      Could you switch out the lead batteries for Li? could they be charged from the existing alternator or would you still need another, dedicated one?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Wait. I thought I just answered this one? Here’s what I said.

        Yes, you could switch the AGM batteries for lithium. And yes, the vehicle alternator would charge them the same as it does currently.
        BUT. Those batteries are outside the heated space. They would potentially freeze, and lithium batteries do not like to freeze. Also, without changing the charging profile on the inverter, the alternator, and the solar charge controller, you would be charging the lithium batteries sub-optimally.
        In other words, you could do it, but it would be tough on the batteries.

        Reply
    11. kylekai

      Jame, I have two questions that you may not be able to answer unless you take another look at the RV:
      1. The refrigerator seems rather small. Can you fit a standard 1/2 gallon of milk in it?
      2. The video mentioned a new antenna for the GPS system. Would there be any way to hook a cellular booster into the same antenna? Or maybe a separate antenna in the same area (since there’s already a hole in the roof for the GPS antenna)?
      Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I think I can answer them.
        1. The refrigerator is short, yes. But it is a Nova Kool. We have a Nova Kool, and they typically provide a shelf that has an opening in it so that a half gallon of milk will fit. I haven’t verified this fridge personally, but I’d be willing to bet they have the same split/opening shelf.
        2. I doubt that you could use the GPS antenna for a cell booster. Different antennae design, frequencies, etc. You might be able to use the same opening for a second wire, but that would actually be more difficult than just making your own and sealing it properly.

        Reply
    12. JWhitney

      Great discussion here, thanks for the review. There is so much good work here. I would bet that the actual retail prices will come down. The compromises here are for a crowd that is pretty picky and there are some interesting custom options out there that would end up being a little less-not everyone has to get a Sportsmobile… With two max fans in a van this size you can do a lot to cool things down, but for those times when you are on the road getting somewhere and want to have a lunch and you are worried about your dog and there is no AC… But, then again, when we take our dogs we make compromises and just do not leave them alone in the van alone for more than 15 minutes. I love not worrying about a generator or propane. A mini EarthRoamer 🙂 I really appreciate the emphasis on insulation being in the NE and the cassette toilet is key. Northstar truck campers are the only brand that features them, really helps for cold weather camping, but I prefer the van because we deal with less than ideal weather quite often and getting from driving to toilet to bed without going out on a rainy night can be very nice. I had a 4×4 96 Econoline 350 Airstream van, loved my big awning, but actually prefer the manual with the supportive legs! Still, nice work Winnebago. Top of my list, started a new savings account yesterday…

      Reply
    13. Sully

      Hi James ! I am on my 2nd Travato .. and of course, love it. But having spent time in a Sprinter conversion .. cycling, windsurfing Hood River etc.. some 5yrs ago.. I would like to hear YOUR opinion as to going back to a sprinter… they are NOT inexpensive B’s … right ? Thanks ! Say hey to Stef !

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We certainly prefer the way the ProMaster drives. But the ProMaster can’t go where this one can.
        Honestly, as far as the chassis goes, either one will work. It all depends on what you want to do with the van.

        Reply
    14. Richard

      An interesting RV for sure. I was somewhat confused on the whole restroom deal. To take a proper shower in that space would be a challenge but standing outside taking one might work if the temps aren’t to extreme. I like the idea of operating the generator on the same fuel as the prime mover.

      Reply
        1. Richard

          I have confused the drivers side exhaust pipe as being connected to a diesel fired generator instead of the heating system.

    15. Stavros Mitchelides

      I’ve been waiting a year for this! I am currently on a 1 year trip across the country to see all of the National Parks, and got too impatient for this RV to become available…so I took off in my SUV. Now I REALLY want one! Maybe WInnebago wants an amazing 1 year long, publicized road test?

      Reply
    16. Dano

      I liked the bed, but if each corner could be raised or lowered separately then on un-level ground one can level the bed instead of the RV.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        They had originally had something like that in the concept vehicle, but didn’t go that way for production. I don’t know their reasons…

        Reply
    17. Noel Fleming

      James (and Stefany!), thanks for such comprehensive information about the Revel! James, you weren’t kidding about holding in that massive secret especially running around the fields of Iowa this summer with your merry band of Travatoans! I’d also like to say thanks for the massive education that I have received by reading through your blogs, watching your videos, and face to face conversations. (May all of that continue! 😉 From a never-owned-an-RV-yet-but-about-to-pull-the-trigger kind of person, I’d like to hear your input on the Revel as an entry vehicle into RVing. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, it would be a fine first RV if you’re looking for a gear hauler to go rock climbing or surfing for epic long weekends and shorter trips. But if you want something like a drawer to store your socks in while you cross the country on paved roads for a month, this might not be the best first RV for you.

        In short, I don’t think there’s anything about the Revel that make it a better or worse “first” RV – it all comes down to how you want to use it.

        Reply
    18. Gary

      In 2017, for me, being all electric but failing to run the AC off of the interter is an epic fail. One of my basic requirements in an RV is to be a safe and comfortable place to leave the dogs when I am somewhere they can’t go. To be so close, but not run AC or even have a lithium option takes a whole lot of great engineering and design effort and throws it into a sub-optimally treated cassette toilet. Makes me sad.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, it’s true that you won’t be running the air conditioner off the inverter. So if the dog thing is a deal breaker for you, I get it.
        But everything else in the coach that isn’t an air conditioner should run just fine for days off the setup as is.
        I do agree that a lithium/2nd alternator solution would be an awesome addition to this vehicle. And who knows, we may see it in a future edition of the Revel!

        Reply
        1. Tom Cahill

          Could you switch the lead batteries for Li? could they be charged from the existing alternator or would you still need another, dedicated one?

        2. James - Post author

          Yes, you could switch the AGM batteries for lithium. And yes, the vehicle alternator would charge them the same as it does currently.
          BUT. Those batteries are outside the heated space. They would potentially freeze, and lithium batteries do not like to freeze. Also, without changing the charging profile on the inverter, the alternator, and the solar charge controller, you would be charging the lithium batteries sub-optimally.
          In other words, you could do it, but it would be tough on the batteries.

      2. Rick Owen

        Perhaps a ventilated (and fireproof) gear box on a swing arm mounted on the back hitch with a portable generator and some extra fuel might work, and provide space for other outside gear you’d rather not carry inside the vehicle.

        Reply
    19. Matt

      I love love LOVE that they ditched propane! Single fuel source is where it’s at! Wabasto heaters work great and are super quiet.

      I’m actually not a fan of the bed vs the one on the concept. Extra motors that could break (although I’m sure they will be fine), but more than that is that I can’t sleep when the bed is raised as the top and bottom of the bed are at the lowest level. Keeping the bikes inside the van was always top priority for me, but it doesn’t look like the bed is tall enough to store the bikes in the down position.

      Everything else looks fine to me. Price is a bit higher than I thought it would be, but the US B market is expensive 🙁 You can get a Brand new Van in Europe for around 55k USD, I have no idea why in the US the price is double.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yeah, we were frankly confused by some of the prices we saw in Europe.
        But to your point about the bed: Yeah, I think the bed at its lowest would be too low for bikes. But, I think you could make some extra tall cushions (or spacers that you could put the existing cushions on top of) for those spaces at the head and foot of the bed and that might solve the problem. That would be my first attempt at solving that problem, anyway.

        Reply
        1. Rick Owen

          Lichtsinn RV, whom I also asked, said it was dimmable. I assume they either already knew or went inside a unit they have on hand to verify. Regarding the lighting . . . Would you say the LED strip lighting on the ceiling is as white as the LED puck lighting, or a little more yellow (as I noticed in the Paseo when it was first introduced)? Hard to tell from the video. Thanks for letting me (us) pester you with all these questions.

        2. James - Post author

          I can neither confirm nor deny the LED lights being dimmable.
          I suspect, if they are, that they are only two-stage dimmable, either low or high, as I did not see a rotary or slider switch anywhere in the coach.
          I would also suspect, but cannot confirm, that they use the same supplier for all of the LED tube lighting. So the color is probably similar across the models.

    20. Andy & Kim

      Great review of a very interesting coach! It has been very exciting to watch the evolution of power systems over the past 5 years. I started RV camping when interior lights were propane globes and the “refrigerators” used big blocks of ice.
      Looking forward to seeing this rig live at the Pomona Show, hope we run into you two there.

      Andy & Kim

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        If you’re at Pomona the first weekend, we should be there.
        Always fun to see you. (And we think you’ll like the Revel.)
        Hope you can make it!

        Reply
    21. Mark

      Would like to have the Revel here in Europe. Any chance you have a process for shipping overseas? Seems like quality is coming together with style. Europe and US. Unfortunately europe has massive deficits when it comes to style and taste.
      Thanks for any info friends.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I really don’t know what the process would be for getting a Revel over in Europe.
        Usually we hear that Europe has better style in RVs than North America. It’s interesting to hear the opposite from a European reader.
        You should comment more often, Mark! The discussion would be interesting!

        Reply
    22. Ray Cellar

      Great video to show all the new features – much better than the ‘live’ event with all that extra jive talk, IMHO…

      I believe Russ mentioned there is a spare under the rear of the chassis…

      To bad you didn’t remove the shelves to demonstrate the actual function of the shower…I.E. how cramped would it be..?

      Love this rig… great stealth MoHo and so easy to get around town as well as the outback… Well done Winnebago..!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, there is a spare and we’ve updated the post with that info. Normally I don’t much pay attention to a spare, but on this vehicle… it’s needed.

        Good point on the shower. It seemed pretty large, but we didn’t test it out. Next time we see one, we will!

        Reply
    23. Will

      This looks almost perfect but I wish they had an option for a safe 2nd row seatbelt / seats for kids. It’s a deal breaker for me. Bummed.

      Reply
    24. Bill

      James,

      I loved the review! Thanks for taking the time to do an in depth, under the skin review.

      Overall, it’s a concept I’ve been waiting to see. It’s a great gear hauler for a couple of weeks in the bush but I can’t see that it has the storage one would need for full-timing. I’m hoping Winnebago at least thinks about translating this into the longer Sprinter with the four wheel drive system.

      Hymercar of Germany bought out RoadTrek and promised to bring their excellent Grand Canyon S 4×4 to the US. Sadly, that hasn’t materialized.

      You prophesied a year ago that Winnebago would beat Hymercar to the market and you were right! Great call! Now, what are the tea leaves showing for a longer 4×4 from Winnebago. No, it wouldn’t be a rock crawler but it would allow for well provisioned long stays in the BLM Bush.

      Thanks again!

      Bill

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’m not aware of any plans for a longer version of the Revel. If it’s just the 4×4 you’re after, there are 4×4 versions of the ERA lineup available today!

        Reply
    25. Bruce

      I also want to say thanks for putting this together. It really helped me. I’ve been getting frustrated by and uninformed sales person that I’ve been consulting with. What I like best about this model is the flexibility it provides for use of space in the back. That really sets it apart. That wide-open space could be configured in so many different ways depending on what type of trip you’re going on. I also like that it has some protection against freezeups in the winter. But I would like to know a practical concern which is what is the lowest temperature that would still be safe if the plumbing isn’t winterized. I’m thinking of lines in the unheated spaces like those shower valves in the back. Also I am wondering if the solar is maxed out at 200 W. Other questions I have are hard to answer. Is it unwise to buy something like this in its first model year? Should we wait for the redesigned Sprinter chassis that will be coming in 1-2 years? Life is too short and I want to avoid analysis paralysis. So I probably will take the plunge.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Hey thanks! It makes our day to hear that we’ve helped out.
        As to your question on the lowest tolerable winter temperatures… we just don’t know. It hasn’t been around through a winter yet. I’m hoping we can snag one for a winter time test. I’d love to put it head-to-head with Lance in a freeze-off or something. That would be awesome! But like I said – no info available yet.
        As for “first model year” vs. waiting… I always advise people to go for it. (and no, we don’t get any commission, lol) There will always be a next year’s model. I think it’s better to get out there and start doing whatever it is that you love than wait for that perfect RV.
        Hope to see you out there on the road some day soon!

        Reply
    26. kylekai

      I love it! I live in the southwest and often camp in the desert, but I would never consider an A/C due to the necessity of a generator. It always amazes me that so many people go camping only to sit inside their RV with the A/C on. I want that nice big fan so I can smell and hear the outdoors (not generator noise and exhaust). Thanks for the info on this remarkable vehicle.

      Reply
    27. JG

      Thanks for taking the time to put this video together. I have a few questions for you or others:

      My wife and I are 40-something boondockers, and we love to explore BLM roads, fire roads, etc. We’re trying to decide between an Agile 4×4 and the Revel – – any opinions about which vehicle would fare better on those kinds of rutted backroads?

      Care to offer a comparison to a Sprinter-based Sportsmobile?

      Unlike many others, we would use the cooktop at least twice per day, and wish that it had a 2nd induction ‘burner’. 2-burner induction tops exceed the 2000 watt capabilities of the Revel’s inverter – – any idea if the inverter could be swapped out (after-market) to a larger unit, or would that cascade problems to the electrical system?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I haven’t seen a 4×4 Agile, so I can’t offer any opinion there. But – if you got that second alternator package, I would be concerned about protecting that alternator when going off road.
        I would have no concerns like that with the Revel.

        As to replacing the inverter: Yes, like anything, it *could* be done, given enough time and money. The problem you would get into is that the wiring is sized for the inverter it supports. If you wanted to replace the 2000 watt inverter with a 3000 watt model – you would have to rip out the wiring between the inverter and the battery and replace it with a larger gauge. Maybe even replace the wiring between the inverter and the 120v circuit breaker panel. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but it would be more complicated than just uninstalling the existing inverter and dropping a new one in its place.

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Actually, no.
        There is a clip of it that didn’t make the final video that shows the inside of that cabinet. It’s just a big empty space.

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I can’t decide if I would or not.
        Any theft prevention would only inconvenience me as well. And the ladder is only any good to someone else with a Winnebago roof rack. You couldn’t even set it on the ground properly and use it without a van!
        If I did decide to secure the ladder, it’s just 1/4-20 threading. So I would just get some kind of security bolt and use that instead of the handwheel.

        Reply
    28. Shawn

      Thanks James for the excellent and thorough review. Props to Winnebago. Such a cool, versatile vehicle. A bargain (and better equipped) when compared to Sportsmobile, Outside Van, etc. Do you know the height of the underbed area when the bed meets the side cushions? Doesn’t seem tall enough to sleep over bikes. And do you foresee bikes having to be stored crosswise? Any idea how deep that area is from front to back?

      Thanks,
      Shawn

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        With the front wheel off, I believe you could store bikes lengthwise instead of cross-coach.
        If Winnebago dropped one of these off in my driveway tomorrow (hint, hint…), I would rig up some kind of fork mount track that could be hooked into those tie down rings. That way, I could remove it when we weren’t traveling with bikes. (That’s almost never, but it does happen sometimes…)
        As to the height of the bed, I think you would want to stop the bed short of “full down”. The exact height would differ for everyone depending on their bikes. For us, the magic number is one meter high.

        Reply
        1. Chuck Filkins

          James, I was the one at the Pomona show with the tape measure, trying to see if I can store my bikes lengthwise and NO, the bed width is too narrow, I was hoping to store 4 bikes inside and that won’t happen, they will have to be stored crosswise ☹️, sorry I did not write down the height under the bed when it was in the low position, it just wouldn’t work for my bikes, even with the front wheels removed.

    29. Chris

      James,

      Will the roof AC run off of the alternator with the engine running or is it strictly limited to shore power? Also no mention of a spare tire, is there one?

      At this price the Roadtrek SS Agile with 4X4 and voltsart might be a better option for me. Kudos to Winnebego for noticing the market and jumping in.

      Love your video’s, thanks and keep them coming. Chris.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        AC will only run off of shore power. I did not see a spare tire, but I wasn’t looking for one. That’s a good question, and for this kind of vehicle, the spare makes sense.

        I think the Revel offers a lot that the Roadtrek you mention doesn’t. Insulation. Full length running boards. Flares. Heated tanks (with diesel). Double pane windows.
        Whether or not that one will work for you depends on what you intend to do with it. For any winter camping, I’d go with the Revel!

        Reply
        1. Chris

          Agreed James, it’s all about the intended use.

          If the Revel had AC that ran without shore power using an under hood generator and something similar to voltstart, it would be Goldilocks arriving on a pink unicorn with ice cold beer and carne asada tacos for me. That and a spare tire.

          Living in the desert southwest those two items are crucial to me.

        2. Chris

          James,

          Since other folks have compared the SS Agile from Roadtrek here are some details. 4X4 option with full body paint, outback package making it full electric
          nets an MSRP of $157,048. Basic white 4X4 with the weekender package using propane for heat and stove only nets an MSRP of $145,224. Kind of brief I know.

          Package details:

          Outback $17,459:
          EcoTrek™ 400, 300W solar panel, underhood generator, diesel with Alde heat and hot water system, VoltStart, induction stove, convenient screen door package, 24″ LED TV.

          Weekender, $9,295:
          200W solar panel, underhood generator with two additional 6V AGM batteries, VoltStart, convenient screen door package, 24″ LED TV

          Both packages will run the AC off the inverter and automatically start the engine when the batteries reach a certain state of discharge. Coach AC will also run while traveling, pretty sure this is true for the base model as well.

          If Winnebago offers something akin to the weekender package for the Revel, I’m all over it.

          Link:
          http://www.roadtrek.com/build-your-own/?ss-agile

          Don’t mean to hijack, looks like a lot of people have the same questions so I thought I’d post an update.

        3. James - Post author

          Thanks for the info.
          There’s more to the picture though. For instance, as I learn more about it, the insulation on the Revel is something that’s not available on a Roadtrek at any price.

    30. Rick Owen

      Straightforward rig with flexible space. I particularly like the induction cooktop and compressor-driven fridge/freezer. Works for me. Wish Winnebago included the collision avoidance, lane-keeping and other OEM safety gear on this (versus none at all or the Mobile Eye aftermarket product). I know some folks will use it off-road, but others (like me) won’t so much and everyone has to travel the main roads too. Did you and Stef find the cassette toilet worked better while in Europe than in your original demo of it? It seems the right chemicals should help. I’ve used porta potties that were almost odor free, even after a lot of use, when plenty of blue biocide was used. Thanks for an informative and entertaining review.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad you liked the review, Rick!
        The cassette was better in Europe with dedicated chemical toilet dumping stations and using (literally) four times the recommended amount of chemical.
        Still not our favorite, but better than our first experience.

        Reply
    31. Jody Rath (aka CamperVanGuy)

      Thanks James and Stef for another great walk-through and for geeking out on the important stuff. Looks like a great, first gen build, and can’t wait to get a hold of one to put it through it’s paces as well. Regarding the AC (and unlimited 110 volt power for that matter), is it not possible to have a secondary alternator giving enough juice to (3) AGM’s to power the AC? Have seen on other forums that Mercedes emissions/warranty may not work well with this type of arrangement, but I’m not sure of the validity or science behind it.
      A few things that I really like:
      – big gear closet
      – east-west sleeping with the bumpouts
      – ground clearance
      – the insulated awning windows
      – the bathroom/gear closet (but would be SUPER cool if selectable heat ducting was at bottom of bathroom floor to turn whole closet into a drying booth by engaging roof vent fan)
      A few things that bother me:
      – lack of 3-point belts on the bench (a LOT of us have kids and would prefer)
      – the sink pump
      – the motorized awning with wind sensor (likely the first thing to break)
      – MSRP seems a bit high, but curious what the “actual” cost will be (and like Allen said above, a ‘factory-direct’ option is long overdue)
      Overall, looks to be a nice start to a growing sub-class in the RV industry.
      Thanks again for keeping up with, and pushing the B-Class segment into new innovations and territories.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        To answer the alternator question: Yes, second alternators are indeed possible. We have one on our own RV, Lance, and it provides ample power when the engine is running.
        I agree with you on the awning. I don’t know why we’re forced to carry these things, and would love to see an “awning delete” option.
        But, unlike you, I kinda like the sink pump! Yeah, it’s loud, but we’ve had two macerator pumps on our Travato for two years now and they’ve never given us any problems.

        Thanks for chiming in!

        Reply
    32. Scottbaldassari

      Ok, so you mentioned someone could plug in their “Honda 2000” generator and have air conditioning, and y’all just kinda glazed by that. WILL a Honda 2000 run that A/C? I have tried to get the answer to that question as the specs are VERY close – has anyone actually TRIED it yet? And then of course, the next question is, is that the same A/C United have in our Travatos? (Well, MOST of us have in our Travatos…)

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The coach just went on sale last week, so I doubt anyone has tried it yet. 😉
        The AC unit did indeed look like a Mach 10. It has a fairly moderate power consumption.
        I am pretty confident a Honda 2000 would *run* it. The only question in my mind is would it *start* it.
        That’s probably more a question for Honda and their specs on transient overloads.
        Don’t forget, this unit also has 2000 watts of inverter available. I don’t know if that model of Magnum offers load support, but if it did, then that would allow the extra capacity needed to start.

        Reply
    33. Kevin Pereira

      Thanks James! Loving the Revel. Is there any reason why no lithium? Was it a price point decision to keep it under the Era?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I expect a couple of reasons.
        First – Lithium batteries need to be kept warm to charge. The Revel is a smaller motorhome, so they didn’t want to take up room inside. Underneath would work, but the batteries would need to be heated. Extra cost and extra fuss.
        Second – Knowing Winnebago, I would expect them to come up with a complete solution to the lithium chemistry, and not to have them piecemeal lithium batteries in one coach, and then later come up with a charging solution, and then maybe later another alternator, etc. etc. etc. When they finally do produce a lithium powered coach, expect it to be a complete system, and not just batteries.

        Reply
    34. Allen

      I love it! Glad they put the external hatch on the cassette toilet. I used this system in Europe; not a fun task to empty, but it’s way better to do it from the outside and it’s not so bad once you get the hang of it. Also really impressed with the diesel heat appliance and the ‘multi-use’ concept for the bathroom. Good changes from the concept vehicle! Would have liked to see the lithium battery, but understand the challenges.

      The $135K sticker is a big pill to swallow.. Wish they had some sort of ‘factory direct’ pricing scheme since I’m personally not interested in the service or the scene at my local Winnebago dealer. My ‘well loved’ Winnebago Eurovan Camper is long in the tooth and I’ve grown to trust and value the Winnebago brand.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I know they are being more choosy as to which dealers can deal the Revel. But they are still going to be sold through dealers.

        Reply
        1. Allen

          Gee, now that I look into their dealer locator I see your point about being choosy about their dealers. I live in Central Oregon where it seems like there are a gazillion companies making and selling cool Sprinter van variations yet I have to drive to either Seattle or Sacramento just to check out the Revel?? Cmon Winnebago, what are you thinking?

          To my point about not liking the dealer scene, our local Winnebago dealer feels like it’s either catering to the senior citizen RV buyer or the toy hauler crowd. I had to go to Portland to check out a Travato. Even there, the sales guy reminded me a lot of the type of person I would encounter on a used car lot. He didn’t know anything about the product.

          Perhaps you should start some kind of on-line dealership? If I’m going to have to pay a fat juicy commission anyway I would rather see it going to someone like you who actually provides a valuable service. Ok, end of my rant..

        2. James - Post author

          That makes two super-cool business ideas this month from Fit RV readers!
          I don’t know if Winnebago is legally able to have an online-only dealership, but it’s worth asking.
          (Dealership laws and contracts can get pretty sticky, pretty quickly…)

    35. Doug

      James, I saw you flinch at the mention of the cassette toilet :). And I know you were biting your tongue to resist “Why no lithium batteries?” You probably know how to do the calculations, how many hours of sunlight for 200 watts of solar to charge those three batteries? I wonder how well that heating system will work in truly cold weather with those lines running outside the van to heat the two holding tanks? Kind of an odd mix of old and new. Do the hard core off roaders really demand or want a power awning? Great concept but think I’ll pass for now at $135,000. Thanks for the tour.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t clarify if the tanks were heated before or after the lines went through the heat exchanges and water heater. I suppose it would matter quite a bit where the heated glycol went first.

        Reply
        1. Doug

          My thought was that heating those tanks would really lower the gycol temp by the time it reaches the heating source and therefore the system might really struggle to get the gycol back up to the proper temp for the next loop. Maybe not a problem, hopefully designed to meet those requirements.

        2. James - Post author

          Yeah, I get it.
          But I think it depends on which way they routed the glycol lines. If they went from the burner FIRST inside to the heater and hot water, and THEN went outside to the tanks… Well, at that point, you’d be heating the tanks with leftover heat, and it wouldn’t have any effect on the temperatures inside. Right? Or am I missing something?

        3. James - Post author

          OK. I just confirmed with Winnebago. The glycol lines run FIRST to the coach heat exchangers. THEN to heat the tanks with whatever heat is left over.
          That’s exactly the way I would have done it, and it makes the most sense.
          The tanks only need to be kept at 33 degrees to keep from freezing up, so residual heat should be more than sufficient.

    36. Andreas

      The concept is nice and well built. I like the bed.
      The table altough looks kinda flimsy and I really dont like those rounded edges with the cheap plasticky edges

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, if you’re thinking of a “regular” RV like our Travato, then yes, the table is smaller and moves more. But the crowd this rig is aiming at are probably the type that don’t mind holding their cereal bowls in their hands while they eat. 🙂

        Reply

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