As retirement approaches, my son and I talked about building van conversion that we could share when he moved back to the Bay Area after medical school. After rebuilding my fishing boats a couple years ago, I was definitely tooled up for the project and had some great ideas on what to build. My love of fishing and his love of rock climbing and surfing pointed toward a van conversion that could also serve as a mobile workstation. We already camp with an 18 foot LANCE travel trailer but our project was to build something that was much more versatile. Something that was easy to drive and stealthy enough to sleep overnight at a Walmart with not to much effort. With Covid shutting down air travel, much of the country was thinking the same thing. We started following people on Youtube who were trying to live out of their vans. Mark and I started to draw up plans in early 2018 to build the ultimate 19 foot 4wd Mercedes Sprinter Van conversion.–nothing like the old VW Westfalia Gina and I use to camp in in the 80’s. Last year, we decided to look at the state of the art Mercedes Van Conversions and had the opportunity to look at Winnebagos third generation Revel motorcoach. It had everything we wanted to build in a very well designed layout. It had a full bathroom, a rear Bed Lift, 4wd, and a fully lithium solar battery system that could run an air conditioner overnight. It has a tow hitch with a 5000 lb towing capacity, After figuring out how much it would cost to build our own Revel, We decided to start with the Winnebago and upgrade from there. There exists a huge community of Revel Van Modders on facebook and other social forums that have helped us customize our ride for the things we like to do.
In early 2019, we found a used one for sale in Palo Alto. The seller was asking over 20 thousand dollars over the MSRP of a new 2021 Revel. Covid made finding a new on for sale very difficult and their is a huge demand for used Revels. We found RECVAN in Fremont and they assured us that they could sell us one at 5 percent below MSRP and have a 2022 model delivered in less than 6 months. A year later in August, we took possession of our new 2022 Revel. Since then, the value of the van has increased over $50,000 dollars due to demand, supply chain and decreased production (Biden economics).
Designed specifically for active outdoor enthusiasts, the all-new Winnebago® Revel takes a no-nonsense approach to adventure, with straightforward design and function-driven features. Taking full advantage of the proven 4×4 Mercedes-Benz® Sprinter chassis 44E, the Revel’s 3-liter turbo-diesel puts 325 lbs./ft. of torque through an on-demand 4WD system, complete with high/low range and hill descent mode for added off-road capability. Inside, the Revel’s unique features start with a floorplan designed around a 140-cu. ft. gear garage with a power lift bed. A full galley, including a 2.5-cu. ft. compressor refrigerator, makes meal prep a breeze, while the all-in-one wet bath and gear closet boast a cassette-style toilet that eliminates the need for a separate black water holding tank. Add a standard solar power system, diesel-powered heating, a dinette with a pull-up table that converts to additional sleeping space, and many more innovative features and the result is the new Revel: quite simply the most off-road capable RV Winnebago has ever built.
CA Vans Mods
The 2021/2022 GLSS™ – UTILITY SERIES 2.0 – GARAGE LOUNGE STORAGE
Tri Fold Console Table
Folding Bed Step
Sprinter Fender Armor
Sprinter Aero hood spoiler
One of the major obstacles I faced building the perfect Fly Fishing 4WD Conversion Van was how I would travel with a watercraft capable of going 20 mph with a gas outboard, stable enough to stand on and easy to setup, breakdown and transport. Even though the REVEL will easily tow my Crestliner or Alumicraft, I was hoping to be be able to transport a Portaboat or Pontoon boat on the outside of the van. Searching for a mounting rack for the portaboat a couple years ago. I found a company called VertiRack. In the fall of 2019 the owner and inventor of VertiRack, Bill Stoppi, unexpectedly passed away and Dan Hodowanec took control of the company. I contacted Dan who reengineered the VertRac to perfectly fit the roof rack and popouts on my 2022 Winnebago Revel. I cant say more about this company and its owner Dan.