The Winnebago Revel 4×4 debuted last fall as the RV brand’s answer to an off-road capable adventure van, and they say it’s been insanely popular. Featuring side pop-outs, a full roof rack, and a well built interior using the Mercedes Sprinter 4WD body as its base, it’s not hard to see why. Long before this, the Travato was built to capture our imaginations as a bike, kayak and adventure-ready couples mobile. For 2018/2019, the Travato gets a few upgrades, too. Here’s how they compare…
First off, the Revel and Travato share some key features. The Revel launched with a 200-watt solar power system, and now the Travato has it, too. If you’ve never driven a Winnebago versus some less expensive RV brands, you won’t appreciate that Winnebagos tend to have stronger construction methods. This leads to less creaks and groans over time, and a more solid feeling. A big part of that is they use welded aluminum framing inside, including these smaller Class B vans, rather than wood and screws. Yes, you’ll pay more up front, but they’ll hold together better over time, especially if you’re using the Revel’s 4WD system off road.
The differences are size, drivetrain and engine. The 144″ wheelbase Revel uses Sprinter’s 3-liter turbo diesel powering the rear wheels with the ability to run low- and high-4WD. The Revel sits on the front wheel drive Ram ProMaster chassis with a 3.5 liter V6. The Revel has more towing capacity.
Inside the Revel’s single floorplan are a galley kitchen and two seat bench that can convert into single bed. The Travato has two floor plans, one with a full width bed that puts the bathroom at the back and converts into two bench seats, or just a big bed beside a bathroom. If we’re being honest, none of them are good for bringing passengers along on road trips – these are two person vehicles with the ability to scoop up a friend or two for dinner. Or maybe very small children. Anyone beyond the age of 7 won’t be very comfortable on day’s-long trips if they’re not in the front captain’s chairs.
Besides the interior volume, the key upgrade for cyclists is the rear storage. The bed lifts up to the ceiling, making it easy to get a couple bikes inside without changing anything. We’re betting we could still get three bikes in there if we dropped the saddles and removed the front wheels while sleeping comfortably on top. The bed gains a bit of width if you drop it all the way to the side pads, but it doesn’t have to come all the way down to be used.
Video above is worth watching to see all of the convenience features hiding inside this model, it’s impressive. The Winnie rep we spoke with said real world mileage on this model is usually between 18-20mpg.
The 2018 Revel starts at $134,799, but for 2019, expect that to jump to about $142,000, and easily to to $150,000 with a few good options. If you’ve ever shopped RVs, you’ll know that heading to your local RV show often gets you 20-30% discounts on brand new models. Wait a year, and remaining inventory can be almost 40% or more off list price. Dealers don’t want to sit on the inventory, so it’s blown out. You never need to pay full price for an RV. That said, they are selling (if not pre-selling) every single one they make, so don’t expect these to benefit from that same scheme. But it never hurts to barter, and we hear street price can get to about $120,000 if you negotiate well or get lucky.
2019 Winnebago Travato
If you want something smaller, more affordable, and aren’t as concerned with getting your bikes inside the vehicle, the Travato is also selling quite well for Winnebago. When this model debuted in 2014, base price was $85,000. For 2019, MSRP starts at $102,348. That’s a big jump, but it gets a big boost in battery tech. Compared to the standard deep cycle marine batteries that RVs use to power your stuff while the engine’s off, the upcoming Travato gets an advanced battery system that can power everything inside it, including the auxiliary A/C and microwave, off the batteries. They’re using some of the same LiIon battery tech used in hybrid cars and EVs. Combine that with the included solar roof panels and this is kind of a big deal.
This video from a dealer shows the new off the grid battery system details.
The Travato also features a full galley kitchen, and if you flout the rules, passengers could lounge in comfort in the back beds on this 59K floorplan. But technically they should all be wearing the seatbelt that are in place for at least two passengers.
This one also puts the bathroom at the back, with pass through to the cab, which means you can’t really use it to stow bicycles.
But, the 59G floorplan does, with the same rear double doors leading to a fold-up bed that makes room for a couple of bikes…but you wouldn’t be able to put the bed down to sleep while bicycles are inside.
It’s fun to dream of building out your own adventure van, but if time is of the essence, or you just want to ensure good build quality, plumbing and everything else, these two options from Winnebago get you rolling immediately and should hold decent resale value.