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Having rebuilt and over-the-top-modified a few vans myself, I can tell you: It’s a lot of fun.
But it’s also a lot of work! And even with my home shop, I sometimes wonder if I’ve gotten in over my head. So what do you do if you want to configure your own van and save a few bucks, but it’s your first time trying it, and you don’t have a shop full of tools? Well now, there’s an answer for you – behold!
I gotta be honest with you, this is the coolest new idea I’ve seen in the vanlife space in a good while. Winnebago has partnered with Adventure Wagon to put out a kinda-DIY, kinda already-done van that checks all the right boxes for those who couldn’t necessarily start from scratch. Winnebago takes an empty cargo van, insulates it (which is a royal PITA to do yourself), adds windows, finishes up the inside walls (another super annoying festival of irregular cuts), and installs pull-tested L-track at regular intervals throughout the van.
The L-track is spaced at the proper intervals for you to install equipment from Adventure Wagon, and Winnebago includes several standard modules with the base van. The modules include a bed, an extra belted passenger seat, a galley/countertop, a toilet/seat, a mounted Dometic cooler, and an EcoFlow power station.
But the best thing about this – if you’re someone like me – is that you can build your own interior modules if you wanted to. The big advantage here is that you’d be working on just a bite-sized chunk of the build. You wouldn’t have to worry about how to mount it to the van (just use the track), or how to fit it in around interior walls or plumbing lines (because there are none!). At the end of the day, the vehicle is qualified and sold as an RV, just as it is, so you won’t worry about having to explain to your insurance agent exactly what it is you’ve done.
The Cool Stuff
There’s a lot of cool stuff to go over here, so it’s probably best just to watch the video. But if you want my short list of what’s cool, here you go:
- Windows pre-installed, so you don’t have to worry about sealing that mess up or cutting the metal body of the van.
- Apart from the windows and the vent fan, there are NO holes cut into the van that I could find. The envelope remains intact.
- No black tank. No grey tank. No fresh tank. No plumbing underneath to worry about freezing.
- Small but functional self-contained system for potable water and washing.
- Cassette (Porta-Potti) convenience if you’re going stealth.
- L-Track is sturdy enough to safely mount additional passenger seats.
- All modules are completely removable. You could load pallets inside this thing if you want!
- Ecoflow Delta Pro power station is also removable and portable – so you can take it to where you need power.
- Additional equipment available from Adventure Wagon includes slide-out tray. (You know I’m thinking bikes…)
- L-Track gives you the capability to mount just about anything you can think of – securely – inside the van.
- Clean up would be super easy. Literally – you could clean it with a leaf blower.
Currently, the Winnebago + Adventure wagon is sold on the 170 inch wheel base Sprinter, and is available in either 2WD or 4WD. But I have to imagine there would be demand for this on the shorter wheel base Sprinter or Transit platforms. Winnebago hasn’t committed to any of those yet, however.
Maybe I just missed it, but I didn’t catch a price..
I don’t see one at first glance at WGO site either..
Any talk about numbers?
At the show, they had a price of $155 for the 170WB, 4WD Sprinter product. That’s all the info we found.
I posted this on the Boldt FB group. Your observation about surplus Boldt chassis certainly plays into some of the economic challenges we were talking about over there.
Folks have said that when the Boldt was introduced, the Travato was more of the low end play. As the market and product has changed, looks like the Solis is now the low end play, and Travato has moved up. That squeezes the Boldt into an even more high end market.
I saved an old build I had made for a Boldt 4×4 fully loaded and the MSRP was approaching $263k.
Anyway, here is what I said on FB…
Very perceptive comment. It is fun to nerd out over the technology in the vans, but we don’t always think about the economic and other factors that may influence what manufacturers choose to bring to market.
James from the FitRv was kind enough to respond to my post on his site. The most applicable part is:
The Adventure Wagons are definitely surplus Boldt chassis.
So, looks like you two are in agreement. Production manager of the Boldt sees a $245k+ vehicle that may be seeing poor sales in a tough marker. The Boldt has an expensive electrical system, and upgraded cabinetry compared to other Winnebago products.
…how to get rid of those chassis in a quick fashion before the market for high end RVs slows down even more? Rip out the expensive stuff, and sell the chassis bare bones as quickly as possible.
Glad to see you post another video. Feels like your posting release schedule is slowing down. Hope everything is ok.
Thanks for showing us the new van. I am a member of the Boldt FB group and we heard it was discontinued and everyone was curious what was happening with the 170” Sprinter.
Looks like we just found out.
Did you hear about the status of the Boldt while you were in Tampa?
The new van looks interesting and flexible. I wonder if that flexibility comes at the expense of capability? As you showed, no plumbing other than a portable toilet. And no electrical system like the Boldt.
Any idea why Winnebago is targeting the DIY community with a 170” van? I would think they’d want to start with the more popular 144”?
Thanks for checking in.
Everything is OK. Just been working on other stuff over the holidays.
The Adventure Wagons are definitely surplus Boldt chassis. We didn’t hear any more about the Boldt, other than just the same general gossip everyone seems to be hearing.
“Where is the 144?” is probably the most asked question they got on this van. If this semi-diy approach takes off, I would expect to see that coming eventually. It seems most things in the class B space are driven by chassis availability, so I would guess that has something to do with it.