When the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was first made available in North America in 2001, the cycling world was quick to claim it as their own. Used to haul demo bikes, racing teams, or as a trailhead base camp, the Sprinter is to the modern cyclist what the VW van was to the 1960s surfer.
As new as the platform is, it didn’t take long for Sprinter lovers to assemble a laundry list of things they wanted in their vans including a full camper buildout, diesel engine, and a 4×4 drivetrain to permit access to remote campsites and trailheads. When those features were finally made available just a couple of years ago, you could almost hear the collective coo.
It’s taken Winnebago a few attempts to get their 4×4 Sprinter formula just right, but their latest release hit the bullseye. Whereas previous Winnie Sprinters have been decidedly road biased, even the 4×4 Era model, the new Revel has been carefully designed to meet the living and driving needs of adventuresome owners.
Home on the Road
The Revel was built with a simplified interior to optimize storage space and maximize utility. The floor is easily swept or rinsed and the bed quickly elevated with the flick of a switch to convert the back half into a 140 cu.ft gear shed. Other storage options include a full length roof rack to accommodate all the toys that can’t fit within the interior. Winnebago also swapped their standard, if not gaudy, cabinetry and over-stuffed furniture for cleaner, more space efficient designs.
The well-appointed interior includes a host of available amenities like a wet bath with shower, 21-gallon fresh water tank, 200-watt roof-mounted solar panels, deep-cycle AGM batteries, and a galley with a refrigerator and glass-top induction burner. Additional upgrades include a diesel heater, extra bed space, and a comprehensive entertainment system. A cassette toilet eliminates the need for a black water tank and can be emptied without wrestling an awful waste water hose.
4×4 For More Adventure
As nice as the creature comforts are, it’s the underpinnings which set the Revel apart from the other vans in the Winnebago lineup. Powering the Revel is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo diesel producing 188-hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The on-demand 4×4 system includes high and low range gearing as well as advanced traction control and braking features like hill descent assistance. Winnebago even wrapped the wheels with BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain tires. In an effort to boost the off-highway performance, the Revel is built on the 144” Sprinter chassis and not the longer 170” model.
At $134,799 the Revel isn’t cheap considering the base vehicle starts at just a hair under $40,000. That price might be too rich for some buyers considering a comparable model Sportsmobile Sprinter can be had for up to $10,000 less. If the 4×4 advantage doesn’t appeal to you, the Winnebago Travato might be your speed.