Winnebago is one of the premier manufacturers of recreational vehicles in the United States. Founded in 1958 by John K. Hanson in Forest City, Iowa, the company was named after Winnebago County, which contains Forest City. In the early years, Winnebago manufactured travel trailers under a different name before Hanson was able to convince investors to rebrand the company and begin manufacturing under their own name. Despite a few rough patches, Winnebago innovated and persisted.
Eventually, their development of new, RV-specific technologies for their products led Winnebago to become industry leaders. Today, the brand is so successful that the word “Winnebago” has become a generic term to refer to RVs of all sorts. Appropriately enough, Winnebago offers RVs across the spectrum, from travel trailers to fifth wheels to Class A motorhomes.
With such an enticing selection of high-quality recreational vehicles available from Winnebago, how can we choose the right one for our specific needs? Today we’re going to compare two of Winnebago’s finest camper vans: the Revel and the Boldt. Continue reading to learn more about these incredible recreational vehicles.
Revel vs. Boldt: Which is Right for You
The Winnebago Revel and Boldt are two of Winnebago’s best offerings in the camper van category. Among their similarities, both of these vehicles are built on the beloved Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. While a number of badges have adorned it – Freightliner, Dodge, and Volkswagen – the chassis has remained the same, and it has remained very popular, even across multiple iterations over the years.
The Sprinter Chassis
Everywhere you go, you can see Sprinter-based vehicles on the road. Some are modified as ambulances; some deliver parcels for Amazon; countless contractors, delivery companies, shuttle bus operators, and private owners have found the Sprinter to be an excellent choice for their needs. Why exactly is the Sprinter chassis so popular?
- It is powerful. The specific engine in your Sprinter will vary depending on the model year. Sprinters manufactured after 2010 feature the 188-horsepower BlueTEC turbodiesel engine. The BlueTEC line of engines uses diesel exhaust fluid and an advanced filtration system to minimize emissions. Because of the turbocharging, Sprinter vans enjoy excellent torque at 40-70mph speeds, making them handle more like sedans than vans.
- It is roomy. The Sprinter handles like a car but has the space of a small bus. The Sprinter’s frame is tall, offering almost 76 inches of standing room in some models. The inside box of the chassis provides about 319 cubic feet of space. Especially when compared to camper and conversion vans of yore, the Sprinter is rather spacious.
- It handles well. Sometimes taller vehicles or vans handle like toaster ovens. For a vehicle of considerable size and stature, the Sprinter handles well. This chassis takes corners well and enjoys stability at highway speeds and in windy conditions.
- It’s comfortable for drivers. Some freight or conversion chassis’ forget to include the driver experience in their design. The Sprinter isn’t one of them. Drivers enjoy safety features like side-curtain airbags, ergonomic controls, power everything, a Mercedes smart assistant, and a smorgasbord of available options.
The comfort, handling, power, and space afforded by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis make it a popular choice for all manner of vehicles. It especially makes it a solid base on which to build an RV, which is why Winnebago selected this chassis for the Revel and the Boldt.
Modern technological developments have made it feasible for RVs to come equipped with a grab bag of useful, safety-enhancing technologies. Campers who make their voyage in the Revel or the Boldt have all of the following safety tools:
- Adaptive cruise control. The Sprinter chassis’ included adaptive cruise control feature, known as DISTRONIC PLUS, uses radar technology to keep your vehicle at a safe following distance from vehicles in front of you, even when you have the cruise control set. Cruise control is a very convenient feature for highway driving between destinations.
- Blind spot monitoring. Keep an eye on your blind spots to avoid any traffic incidents with integrated driver alerts.
- Active brake assist. Look away for a second, and the guy in front of you decides to slam on his brakes. The active braking assist system will detect that you’re closing in on slower traffic and apply the brakes to help prevent collisions.
- In-dash navigation and entertainment. The Sprinter’s MBUX touchscreen system provides access to navigation, voice control, and a rear camera display for backing. It also serves as a wifi hotspot, enabling your crew to connect to the essentials even while you’re on the road.
- In-dash storage & charging. The dashboard features a convenient storage bay for your mobile devices that includes two USB charging ports.
Other Posts of Interest
- What RVs Are Built On A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Chassis?
- RVs Built On A RAM ProMaster Chassis
- The Cost Of Converting A Sprinter Van Explained
- 21 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Van Camping Trip
The Winnebago Revel
Optimized for off-roading with a 4×4 traction system and the Sprinter’s powerful engine, the Winnebago Revel is the perfect choice for adventurous couples, friends, or singles to get away from the rigors of civilization and escape into the great outdoors. With available all-terrain tires and performance wheels, the Revel is built for adventure and able to travel off the beaten path. Campers traveling in the Revel can get to places that would be impossible for campers traveling in Class A or towed RVs. The Revel measures 19’7″ long and sleeps two.
Everybody likes to eat food, making the galley an essential consideration in our RVs. The Revel’s galley features an easy-to-store induction cooktop, increased counter space, and a newly redesigned refrigerator system that’s accessible from inside and outside of the vehicle. There are three drawers to use for storage in the galley, not counting the cooktop’s special storage drawer.
Bed & Bath
The Revel’s bedroom space is situated at the rear of the van and features a power-lift bed with zip storage and molded pockets. For objects prone to shifting during transit, there is an under-bed gear space that has six cargo anchors to help you secure your items. The bedroom also features reading lights and a powered exhaust vent for camping in warmer climes. The bed space is 49×79″.
The Revel’s bathroom offers a 31×26″ wet bath with a shower, flexible showerhead, and privacy curtain. Removable clothes rods and a convertible wet storage area allow storage of towels and other hygiene accessories. The 5-gallon swiveling cassette toilet lives in the bath area as well. The entire space is ventilated with a powered roof vent.
The Revel’s interior space offers campers intelligently designed spaces. Integrated LED lights provide illumination and energy efficiency. Cassette shades over the windows provide privacy and security while camping. USB charging ports are located strategically throughout the interior. As an added bonus, both front seats can rotate 180 degrees to face the interior when parked, providing a cozy space for unwinding and relaxing.
The bath closet and kitchenette are opposite each other, the bath on the driver’s side and the galley on the passengers. A bench seat on the driver’s side faces a removable pedestal table. The galley lines the passenger side and features a fold-down outside table that is cunningly designed to allow access to the refrigerator from inside or outside of the vehicle when the table is deployed.
A big part of RVing is enjoying the great outdoors, so the exterior space of your camper is just as important as the interior. The Revel features a side screen door with magnetic closures and a rear screen door with a blackout cover. A powered patio awning can be deployed to offer shade and has integrated LED lighting. The galley’s folding table extends under the awning to make a perfect picnicking or relaxing space outside of the vehicle.
The Revel’s power-lift bed can transform your sleeping space into a storage bay and allows access to the onboard water system. In the lounge, lightweight, integrated cabinet systems are built to maximize storage space but also to stay closed while exploring. A rooftop cargo rack is accessible from a ladder that can be moved around the vehicle. For those with specific rooftop carrying needs, a wide variety of aftermarket modifications are available to provide you with enough space to store your equipment for the road.
The Winnebago Boldt
For campers who want a little more out of their RV, the Winnebago Boldt is a superb option. With two available levels of trim, known as 70BL and 70KL, the Boldt is built for comfort, exploration, and adventure. Slightly longer than the Revel at 22’11”, the Boldt can sleep two in the 70KL model and three in the 70BL model. Transforming beds and interior spaces, an advanced electrical system, and modern and effective insulation make the Boldt capable of all-season adventure. Available 4X4 options can make the Boldt just as capable as her sister van, the Revel.
The Boldt also expands the selection of creature comforts available to campers with an integrated television, an upgraded electrical system, and an assortment of handy charging plugs throughout the vehicle. Heating and climate controls are accessed through a touch panel. Campers can download a mobile application to help them manage the electrical system.
The Boldt’s galley is designed to provide access to good food while in remote places. Campers can warm food and drink with a built-in microwave on the BL and a microwave/convection oven on the KL. Both trim levels have a single burner induction cooktop with a stainless steel sink, a 4.3 cubic foot refrigerator, and a spice rack designed to keep your ingredients contained on the road. Diners will enjoy the swivel table and the dinette seating.
Bed & Bath
The bed system in the Boldt is transformative. The flex bed kit lets you literally transform the interior of the Boldt into your sleeping space. Twin beds in the rear of the 70BL act as daybeds and can be pulled together into a bedding space that measures 66×81″. The dinette can be converted to a 20×60″ flex bed that sleeps across the cabin.
The bathroom of the 70BL is a 24×35″ space across from the galley and in front of the bedroom. There is an available shower fixture, and the heater can warm up about 2.6 gallons of water for a wash. Unlike the Revel, the Boldt has black water storage and a toilet, versus a 5-gallon cassette toilet in the Boldt.
The 70KL’s floor plan moves the bathroom to the rear of the vehicle, which expands the restroom area to a 32×45″ space that includes a wardrobe and a separate sink. Moving forward, there are twin beds that can be converted to a large 41×74″ flex bed. The galley of the KL has its own sink separate from the restroom.
The Boldt’s living space features flexible seating and bedding areas and offers some very aesthetically pleasing upholstery. Both the KL and BL models feature a 24″ TV with a flexible mounting system, a JBL soundbar, and an HDTV antenna. Clever storage compartments offer options for stashing your various accoutrements throughout the interior space, and a spacious front overhead cabinet shelf gives plenty of storage for this size of RV.
The front captain’s chairs rotate 180 degrees to face into the cabin. 70BL campers will face a pedestal table across from the dinette; 70KL campers will have ready access to the flip-out table or an attachable swivel table.
Enjoying the outdoors is good, but enjoying the outdoors in style is great. The passenger-side sliding door on the Boldt operates electronically at the touch of a button, exposing the galley and seating area. A Bluetooth-enabled awning expands from over the sliding door and provides ample shade for outdoor seating or cooking. For those times when you want some fresh air in the RV, there’s a magnetically latched curtain that fastens over the sliding door’s aperture when it is open.
Much like her sister RV, the Boldt features a roof rack that is capable of accepting a diverse selection of cargo. A locking cabinet sits above the dinette seats, and the galley features a few smaller drawers. Overhead storage is built into the height of the Boldt, so you have plenty of room for your gear.
Revel vs. Boldt: The Face-Off
Clearly, the Revel and the Boldt both have a lot to offer the discerning RV buyer. Both are comfortable, capable camper vans that can comfortably travel off the beaten path. This capability opens up a world of options to campers who choose one of these vans.
The question is, which van is the best choice for you? Even with all the comparing and contrasting we’ve done so far, it may be hard to decide which of these RVs is calling your name. To help you decide between these vehicles, we’re holding a face-off: a direct comparison of both RVs along with a few particular metrics.
- Winnebago Revel: The Revel has two 125-amp-hour Li-ion batteries that are charged from a dedicated second alternator. There is a solar charger as well.
- Winnebago Boldt: The Boldt features a 12,800 watt-hour lithium-based energy system. The system comes with Bluetooth integration and a mobile application that allows you to access detailed metrics about your vehicle’s electrical system. The Boldt has the same solar charger as the Revel.
Winner: Winnebago Boldt.
- Winnebago Revel: With standard 4×4 traction, offroad tires, and specialized wheels, the Revel is capable of light off-roading. Probably don’t take this vehicle out mudding, but you can access pretty remote campsites with it.
- Winnebago Boldt: The Boldt can be equipped with the same 4×4 traction system and offroad tires as the Revel. And with the Boldt’s advanced electronic capabilities, you might be able to stay off the road longer.
Winner: Both vehicles are capable off-road RVs. Boldt is the winner in this category because of her superior electrical system, which will facilitate your camping for a little longer.
- Winnebago Revel: 3.0 cubic feet.
- Winnebago Boldt: 4.3 cubic feet.
Winner: Winnebago Boldt
Freshwater Tank Capacity
- Winnebago Revel: 21 gallons.
- Winnebago Boldt: 21 gallons.
Gray Water Capacity
- Winnebago Revel: 21 gallons.
- Winnebago Boldt: 25 gallons in the BL; 26 gallons in the KL.
Winner: The Winnebago Boldt has superior gray water storage.
- Winnebago Revel: The Winnebago Revel is defined by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and retains much of the Sprinter’s look. Keen observers will notice that the Revel’s roof rack and tires are distinctively different from other vehicles built on the Sprinter chassis. The posture is more stocky and aggressive looking, a side effect of the all-terrain wheels and tires.
- Winnebago Boldt: Winnebago has sculpted the lines on the Boldt to give it a slightly more modern, sleek look. The Boldt’s window panels and side panels offer more texture and visual appeal. While the Boldt is still very much a Sprinter van, it is a Sprinter van with a certain styled touch.
Winner: Style is subjective – if you like a sleeker look, the Boldt’s an excellent choice. If you prefer a more aggressive style, the Revel design will appeal more to you.
Plausible Family Sizes
- Winnebago Revel: RVing is an excellent family activity. For campers in the Revel, the family size will need to be two for overnight adventures unless you pack some outside accommodations. The bench seat does technically offer two additional passenger seats, but this vehicle is optimized for a one- to two-camper experience.
- Winnebago Boldt: With the optional flex bed, the Boldt can sleep up to three people. While this is not enough room for a larger family, you can camp with your pals or bring your favorite kid along for the ride.
Winner: Winnebago Boldt
- Winnebago Revel: The Revel starts at $185,838 for a brand-new model.
- Winnebago Boldt: A shiny new Boldt will set you back about $217,521.
Used models of both RVs will cost less but may have slightly different features and specifications depending on their model year and any aftermarket mods.
Winner: The Winnebago Revel will cost you about $31,000 less than the Boldt. However, the Boldt does offer several nice amenities compared to the Revel, such as a larger refrigerator, a blackwater system, and more seating space. Despite that, the Revel is a capable camper that is available for significantly less money. For value campers, Winnebago’s Revel may be the better choice. For campers more concerned with amenities, the Boldt is an exceptional vehicle. No matter which of these campers you choose, we think you’ll end up the winner.
The Great Escape
RV camping is one of the best means to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Having access to all of the comforts of home while you’re out adventuring allows you to enjoy your vacations or camping trips in a whole new way: who doesn’t like coming home to a cup of coffee or an ice-cold beverage after a long hike or a kayaking trip? One can sleep under the stars in the comfort and security of a home away from home and voyage to destinations across the land in luxury and style.
Camper vans are an ideal RV for the courageous and the adventuresome among the RV camping community. While a Class A or a fifth wheel allows you to camp almost anywhere, camper vans open up truly off-road, off-the-beaten-path destinations for you to camp. These vehicles take your camping from a campsite or a parking lot to anywhere you can go – the 4×4 traction and robust engine of these campers open up the world to them in a whole new way. Whether you’re seeking to get out and revel in nature or trying to boldt from civilization to enjoy some wild times, Winnebago’s camper vans will keep you safe, comfortable, and entertained.