The advantages of the 44E Winnebago Revel Class B diesel motorhome:
- Three people
- 140 Cu. Ft. Garage
- Power lifting bed
- 4 wheels driving
- Solar power system
With this Revel Class B diesel motorhome, your destinations are endless and your world is open to endless possibilities. Thanks to the 4-wheel drive system included in this unit, you can get out of your network adventure while keeping your equipment complete with the modern equipment you love now. The 140 cubic foot garage space gives you the room you need to store all your outdoor gear, as well as three people comfortably each night because of the pull-up bed.
Winnebago designed the Revel Class B diesel motorhome to be multifunctional and fully equipped. The solar energy system provides the energy needed to operate the single burner induction cooker and its 2.5 cu. Ft. Refrigerator. The wet bath also serves as a storage cupboard when not in use. Built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 chassis, the Revel proved to be the most suitable RV for off-road driving ever built by Winnebago.
I have been particularly interested in the Revel since Winnebago unveiled its first four-wheel drive Sprinter Van concept car in 2016. My favorite toy at six was an Indian Tonka Winnebago. I owned seven VW campers, including two Syncros and my current platform, a Eurovan Winnebago 2003, modified for off-road use, a van ironically designed by Chris Bienert. I also oversaw the construction of a Syncro and a pair of four-wheel-drive Sportsmobile Ford Econoline vegetarian motor caravan for Jimmy Buffett. I am a geek for this stuff.
I took the wheel of this Revel in November at Overland Expo East, an annual gathering outside Asheville, North Carolina. Stunned by a flood of onlookers, dreamers and shoppers ready to pull out their checkbook, the mud-covered, handsome camper had gotten into the business at home among the Tacomas, Land Cruisers, Sportsmobiles and 500 millions of EarthRoamers. Bienert, Winnebago’s long-time product designer, began with a detailed tour of the rear doors. “The basic philosophy of the van is this: it’s not the van,” he said. “It’s about going out in nature.”
2020 Winnebago Revel 44E Specs
The Revel debuts at the Winnebago plant in Lake Mills, Iowa, as an empty, unmodified Sprinter cargo van equipped with the Mercedes all-wheel drive system. Winnebago adds the inside of the camper and a hearty electronic life support.
Although he is extremely confident in the abilities of Winnebago’s #vanlife object, Bienert admits he was terribly nervous when Winnebago started selling the Revel last year. It’s easy to understand why. This is the first complete adventure device that Winnebago has ever built. It is also the first mass-produced four-wheel drive motorhome to be sold in the United States since the construction of the last VW Syncro Vanagon Westfalia in 1992.
Taking a detailed tour, I found a lot to like. At ground level, the Revel is equipped with BF Goodrich T / A KO2 245/70 R17 tires mounted on a set of black aluminum wheels. High performance thanks to its stiffness, legendary off-road tread and quiet highway performance, this tire is ideal for backcountry driving or driving at 80 miles per hour. The Revel, 19.4 feet long, rides on a standard short wheelbase chassis of the Sprinter. With approximately 7,200 pounds loaded with a kitchen, bathroom, rear bed, plumbing, boiler and solid wood cabinets, it can carry 1,360 additional pounds of people and equipment while providing ground clearance about 8 inches. It’s not a high Ford Sportsmobile, but with a 144-inch short wheelbase, it will cross sloping roads and low berms without making waves. Powered by a coupled three-liter (325 foot-pounds, 188 horsepower) three-liter turbodiesel engine that delivers 15 to 18 miles per gallon, the Revel will tow 5,000 pounds outstanding – enough for a good-sized boat.
Four wheel drive is on request, activated via a switch on the dashboard. It has a reduced speed range to facilitate steep ascents and descents and slip detection, which keeps torque away from the free-spinning wheels for those still planted on land. The system provides 35% of the engine power to the front wheels and 65% to the rear, which is enough to pull the van into the off-road driving conditions that most of us will encounter. Mercedes’ stability assistance system allows this large van to withstand high winds and reduce roll when cornering. It subtly adjusts the braking and torque of certain wheels. On a winding, winding road in Asheville, the Revel felt stuck to the sidewalk.
Food, storage and bedding
Outside, Bienert presented a nice detachable rear ladder that can be hung from the roof rack and located on the driver’s side to access the roof. In addition to the purge and shore power of the gray water tank for standard camping vehicles, there are multiple electrical outlets and even a plug that allows you to plug in your own external solar panels. At the top, the Revel is equipped with a Summit full roof rack system and two 100-watt solar panels. You can add more solar energy, but 200 watts is enough – and that leaves room for surfboards or kayaks. You’ll also find LED lighting on the back, sides and steps, as well as an illuminated electric side awning that retracts automatically if its built-in sensors detect too much wind. Winnebago offers rear screens and zipped side doors to protect you from insects. These are adequate, but a better option would be a sliding system like the one offered on the Travato motorhome.
Inside the rear doors are a sliding outdoor hot-water shower, bicycle and equipment tie-down anchors, as well as 110, 12 and USB power outlets. The 140 cubic foot room / garage is also well lit. The Revel largely uses Ram Tough Tracks to contain electronic components, additional lights and other accessories. The hard wood grain vinyl flooring released masses of mud stalked by visitors to the show.
The rear four foot wide bed is something. He climbs to the ceiling via a motorized lift, creating a five-foot-tall room (standing height standing elsewhere is six feet three inches). Winnebago created bed extrusions in which the rear side windows would be placed, widening the horizontal sleeping width to about six feet seven inches. With the raised bed, you can fill the room with chairs, storage bins, ATVs, etc.
Be aware, however, that when the Revel’s rear bed is fully lowered (and unless you are short enough, you will need to fully lower it to sleep), you only have about 26 inches bed. You will have to put the bikes on the side. The video below details the exact measurements of the vehicle.
On the driver’s side you will find the bathroom / closet. The layout seems strange, but there is a logic to that. Every little camper has to compromise between storage and living space. Here you will either have a small bathroom and a shower with a European-style cassette toilet, or a large closet with easily removable bamboo shelves and, most importantly, a floor drain for the soaked material.
Cooking and air conditioning
In front of the bathroom is the kitchen of Revel. Its function is Westfalia, with a beautiful stainless steel sink and vertical pantry with adjustable shelves. The single-burner induction cooker is very effective but useless with aluminum cookware because it generates heat by creating a user-friendly magnetic field for iron and steel. There is also a beautiful folding work table and another extension that creates a beautiful outdoor table. For cooling, the Revel builds on an efficient refrigerator running on a 2.5 cubic foot compressor. It will work forever as long as the batteries of the Revel coach can be recharged in the sun.
There is no propane can for heat or cooking and therefore no flames inside the car. The heating system is a diesel-powered Espar hydronic system that heats not only cabin air and water but, because it is integrated with the Revel extended insulation system, essentially protects all areas where pipe, freshwater or wastewater tanks may be exposed to the elements and freeze. This means a nice camping even under sub-zero conditions – risky in most RVs. It’s ingenious. Coupled with European-style insulated and shielded acrylic glass windows that open from the top to prevent rain, you’re remarkably protected from the elements. Sliding blinds on acrylic windows and insulated panels that cover the front, side and rear windows provide total privacy.
For camping air conditioning, Winnebago opted for RV-compliant 120-volt RV rooftop air conditioning. You would use it either via shore power or with an external generator. For boats when it’s hot, it’s not as ideal in appearance as the new lithium system found in Winnebago Travato campers or Aktiv Hymer campers. On road campers, an engine generator and lithium batteries under the hood power the roof air conditioner, and an idle hour recharges the system for several hours. The Revel bus is powered by three traditional AGM lead-acid batteries, which are heavier and do not store as much electricity as lithium. But again, the logic is at work for an off-road motorhome. AGAs are less expensive, can be replaced in auto parts shops and are less sensitive to temperature and impact. Plus, you’re not supposed to run a diesel engine idling more than 30 minutes at a time. If you are disconnected from the grid and it is only marginally hot, the Max fan, also standard in the roof, will cool perfectly.
At the front, the Revel is essentially a classic Sprinter, apart from its comfortable and comfortable front seats, which rotate 180 degrees, making it a dining room or office combined with the beautiful retractable table located at the rear . This brings me to my main criticisms: despite all that is great, the back seat of Revel reveals three flagrant gaps. First of all, it’s tight for two passengers. Second, and most importantly, it only has lap belts. For parents of children who no longer have car seats, the lack of a seatbelt system makes the Revel non-starter. Thirdly, the Revel rear seat can only be converted into a single bed, perfectly suited to a child. Even my smaller 2003 Eurovan Winnebago has shoulder belts for a rear seat that always folds to form a nearly double-width bed, which, combined with the sunroof, allows my van to sleep four . Winnebago did a lot of research before building the Revel, but I would have liked him to talk to parents more outdoors. It’s hard to believe that there are not at least a few thousand families like mine who would consider this camper if it would be better suited for four people.