Whether you’re a seasoned van lifer looking for an upgraded rig or a weekend warrior who wants a tough 4×4 van to take you into the back country, you’ve probably encountered the Winnebago Revel and Storyteller Overland during your research.
Both of these Class B camper vans have been getting a lot of attention recently, and there’s plenty of debate about which one is best for van life. We’ve come up with a side-by-side comparison of the Storyteller Overland vs Revel to help you make an informed decision. Let’s get started!
Winnebago Revel Overview
- Starting at: $202,401
- Length: 19′ 7″
- Sleeps: 3
Winnebago is one of the longest-running and most trusted RV manufacturers, so it’s no surprise their Revel has been so successful. Originally launched in late 2017, the Revel revolutionized the adventure van market. Compact, rugged, and paired-down, here was a camper van that could go just about anywhere.
The Winnebago Revel is built on the 144″ wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter chassis with on-demand 4×4 capability. The 3.0 liter, 6-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, coupled with a 7G-Tronic automatic transmission means you’ll never have a problem conquering those questionable mountain roads!
Choosing a Revel floorplan is easy – there’s only one, the 44E. The Revel has definitely been designed with the solo traveler or outward-bound couple in mind. The main living space is small yet functional, with plenty of the well-thought-out features you’d expect from Winnebago.
There’s a small dinette table with padded seating, and once the comfy cab seats have been rotated, it’s quite a cozy area to hang out in. Located on the passenger side of the van, the kitchen features a 12-volt refrigerator and an extra fold-down counter. There’s an induction cooktop stored in a drawer and a really nice sink and faucet.
One of the Revel’s most popular features is its fully enclosed wet bath. Seriously – how did they fit that in?! There’s a shower with an extendable showerhead, powered roof vent fan for quick-drying, and removable rods and shelves. There’s also a swiveling cassette toilet, and you can remove the toilet’s holding tank from the outside of the van.
The rear of the van is occupied by the bedroom and gear storage garage. Again, Winnebago’s awesome design sense is evidenced by the power lift bed, which can be raised electronically. Underneath the large double bed, there’s a huge storage area that’s big enough to fit just about all the adventure gear you need to carry.
The Revel was designed for off-grid adventures, so there’s plenty of power in the van. Two 125-amp hour lithium batteries feature a dedicated second alternator for recharging on the road. The Revel also comes equipped with roof-mounted solar panels and a 2,000-watt inverter charger. The electrical system, including the LED lights, bed, and roof vent fans are controlled via an awesome monitor panel.
The Revel is ideal for year-round travel, although the Coleman Mach 10 air conditioner is only available as an optional upgrade. You’ll be good to go during the colder months, though – the awesome hydronic heating system keeps the van nice and toasty when temperatures outside start to plummet.
Once you’ve set up camp in the middle of nowhere, the Revel has plenty of nice touches to enhance your experience. There’s a powered awning with LED lights, a fold-down exterior table, and a porch light. We really love the side screen door with a magnetic closure system that allows you to keep the van airy while stopping bugs from getting inside.
Winnebago Revel Pros and Cons
- Fixed Bathroom. This is one of the Revel’s best features and can double as a roomy storage area.
- Power lift bed. It’s awesome to be able to lift the bed out of the way at the push of a button. This way, you can easily access the gear garage.
- Trusted manufacturer. Winnebago has been in the RV game for a very long time. They really know what they’re doing when it comes to designing functional spaces.
- Hydronic heating. You’ll always have hot water and the van will stay nice and toasty in winter, thanks to this cool heating system.
- Plenty of storage. Aside from the enormous gear garage, there are plenty of useful storage areas and compartments.
- Limited space. Although the wet bath is a big bonus for a lot of people, it really does reduce the van’s usable living space.
- Substantial investment. Costing over $200,000 the Winnebago Revel certainly isn’t cheap.
- Noisy. Ask any Revel owner, and they’ll tell you their number one complaint is that the van rattles a lot when you’re driving.
Storyteller Overland Overview
- Starting at: $153,748
- Length: 19′ 4″ – 19′ 7″
- Sleeps: 3
Storyteller Overland is an Alabama-based company that’s a fairly new arrival to the Class B camper van scene. Still, it hasn’t taken long for their amazing adventure vans to catch on, and it isn’t hard to see why.
Until last year, Storyteller Overland MODE 4×4 vans were all built on 144″ wheelbase Mercedes Sprinters. You could choose from Classic, Stealth, or Beast MODE, with the latter being the most “fully loaded” option. That’s all changed with the addition of the MODE LT, which is built on the 148 ” wheelbase Ford Transit AWD. That’s a real bonus for those who want a gasoline van with even more internal headroom.
The features and extras that come with a Storyteller MODE van depend on which version you go with, but all share the same core features and fantastic interior layout.
The MODE’s interior has been designed with flexibility in mind. Pretty much everything can be removed, which means you can tailor the MODE to your specific needs. There’s tons of functional storage space and the walls and cabinets are fabric lined. This, in conjunction with the sheep’s wool insulation makes the MODE van super-quiet and warm.
Central to the main living space, the GrooveLounge sounds pretty funky but is really well-designed. There’s a moveable table and a padded bench seat that can recline to create a comfy single bed. Not only that, the GrooveLounge seat has built-in seatbelts, making the MODE van ideal for family travel.
The Storyteller MODE’s kitchen is on the passenger side, and features a Dometic sink with glass cover, induction cooktop, and a small microwave. The huge 12-volt fridge faces forward, meaning the door doesn’t open awkwardly into the main living space.
If you’re wondering about a bathroom, Storyteller Overland has come up with a nifty solution. In order to preserve as much space as possible, the Halo shower system is stored in an overhead cabinet. The drop-down shower and shower curtain features a base pan below that holds a cassette toilet. When the pan isn’t in use, it turns into a small bench seat. Now that’s cool!
At the rear of the MODE van, the enormous gear garage is lined with rugged material and features plenty of tie-downs. The van’s Murphy-style bed folds against both side walls, maximizing the space for gear storage. The bed can also convert to a work surface, which is a cool touch,
Storyteller Overland has equipped its vans with more than enough power for extended off-grid adventures. There’s a 12-kilowatt-hour battery, managed by an impressive Volta power system. There’s more than enough juice for the energy demands of van life, and a massive 3,600-watt inverter means you can run everything at once if you want!
There’s a 21-gallon freshwater tank located inside the van, so you don’t have to worry about it freezing or getting damaged. When the temperature outside starts to drop, the diesel heating system takes care of the hot water and keeping things cozy.
Aside from looking really cool, the MODE van also has a really functional exterior. There’s plenty of roof storage space, plus a ladder for getting up there. Once it’s time to kick back and relax, the van’s powered campervan awning creates a nice outdoor space and has dimmable LED lights for creating just the right atmosphere.
Storyteller Overland Pros and Cons
- Loads of power. Thanks to the Storyteller Overland’s Volta power system, you’re never going to worry about running out of juice.
- Ford Transit option. The newer MODE LT camper van is built on the Ford Transit chassis, giving you the option of a Storyteller Overland van that’s gasoline-powered.
- Really quiet. Storyteller Overland camper vans are super-quiet, thanks to the fabric-lined walls and cabinets and the sheep’s wool insulation.
- Versatility. The MODE vans have been designed for maximum versatility, meaning you can remove cabinets, adjust the GrooveLounge seating, and turn the bed into a workstation.
- Microwave. Although this isn’t a big deal for many, having a microwave is great for making popcorn on van movie nights!
- No permanent bathroom. This might be a deal breaker for some folks. Although there is a toilet and shower in the Storyteller Overland, it takes time to set up and put away.
- Quite expensive. The cheapest Storyteller Overland MODE costs $153,748, which is still a lot of money.
Why You Might Want a Storyteller Overland or Revel
Before we look at the Storyteller Overland vs Revel in a head-to-head comparison, let’s examine the benefits of buying one of these awesome adventure vans. After all, if you’re looking for a tough camper van that’ll get you deep into the wilderness, there are other options.
Converting a van yourself is one way to go, as well as paying a conversion company to do the work for you. That said, there are several reasons why you might want to consider a Revel or Storyteller Overland MODE van.
Ready to go.
Both the Revel and Storyteller Overland are plug-and-play vans. All the hard design work has been done and the vans are tried and tested. Rather than having to design and build your conversion, you’ll be able to jump in your camper van and hit the road lickety-split!
These vans are built on a sturdy 4×4/AWD chassis, which means you’ll be able to take your home-on-wheels just about anywhere you want to go. As Winnebago says, “it’s time that RVers start treating roads more like suggestions.” We couldn’t agree more!
A huge benefit to buying a Class B camper van like a Revel or Storyteller Overland MODE is being able to get financing. You can usually get a 15-year RV loan through a dealer, which is different from a car loan. If you’re building out your own van or using a conversion company, getting a personal loan is much more difficult.
Obtaining insurance for a self-converted camper van can be a tricky business. Insurance companies can be notoriously fickle when it comes to covering DIY conversion vans, and the last thing you want is to have a claim turned down. Class B camper vans, on the other hand, are recognized by insurance companies, so you’ll have no problem getting coverage.
Storyteller Overland vs Revel: Head-to-Head Comparison
As we’ve already seen, both the Revel and the Storyteller Overland MODE are pretty incredible camper vans. Both pack a wide range of high-end features into a 4×4 Sprinter and each has been designed to make living off-grid as comfortable as possible. You’ll certainly never feel like you’re roughing it in one of these vans!
Still, there are quite a few differences when looking at the Storyteller Overland vs Revel Choosing which one might be best for you means putting them in a head-to-head competition. Let’s compare a few key areas and see how these adventure vans measure up!
Both vans have similar-sized kitchens, each with a Dometic sink and faucet, induction cooktop that’s stored in a drawer, and forward-facing 12-volt refrigerators. That said, the MODE’s fridge is slightly bigger and can run on AC or DC power. The Storyteller Overland MODE also comes with a stainless steel microwave, which may or may not be important to you.
There’s no getting around the fact that there’s way more living space in the Storyteller Overland. The Revel’s built-in bathroom takes up a lot of space, and some people might find the van a little cramped. Although the MODE doesn’t have a dedicated bathroom, the GrooveLounge might make up for that. There’s so much versatility here, plus the GrooveLounge converts to an extra bed.
The bathroom setup is one of the major differences between the Revel and the Storyteller Overland MODE. Although the Revel’s built-in wet bath takes up a lot of the interior space, it brings loads of benefits. For starters, it’s easy to jump in the shower because it’s always there. Not only that, the bathroom can be used to store wet gear like towels, snowboards, and boots.
On the other hand, the Storyteller MODE’s innovative Halo shower system is pretty cool. You still get to shower in your van, but also have the benefit of more living space.
We really love the Storyteller Overland bedroom. It’s super-functional and well-designed, with a bed that folds against the walls, creating the maximum amount of gear storage space. An important difference between the two vans is that you can actually stand up in the rear of the MODE.
That isn’t the case in the Winnebago Revel, because the power lift bed occupies ceiling space. That said, the Revel’s adjustable bed is pretty cool and you can leave it made when it’s in the upper position. Both vans come equipped with Flarespace flares, so taller van lifers will have no problems sleeping across the width of their van.
Both vans come with a ton of storage space, including overhead cabinets and drawers. The Revel might just edge out the MODE in terms of storage space, thanks to the storage area directly behind and above the cab and the fact that the wet bath doubles as a huge storage closet.
When it comes to the gear garage, both vans have more than enough room for bikes, climbing gear, extra camp chairs, and whatever else you might need to bring along. Both the Revel and Storyteller Overland come equipped with roof racks, but the MODE van definitely has more usable space up there.
You’re going to want to know how the Storyteller Overland vs Revel compares in off-grid situations. After all, these vans don’t come cheap, so they should perform, right? Both vans come equipped with generous 21-gallon fresh water tanks, so you’ll have plenty of water for days. Filling the Storyteller MODE’s water tank is easier, thanks to the city/freshwater connection on the outside of the van. That said, the Revel does have exterior access to its cassette toilet holding tank.
Although the Winnebago Revel has a pretty solid power setup, with a pair of 125-amp hour lithium batteries and a 2,000-watt inverter, we’ve never seen as impressive a power setup as that of the Storyteller Overland. The Volta power system is a force to be reckoned with, and the 3,600-watt inverter kept everything running and charging. Not only that, the Stealth MODE and Beast MODE vans come with an M-Power station that essentially turns the van into a huge generator.
Number of Travelers
Although the Revel and the Storyteller Overland have clearly been designed with solo travelers or couples in mind, both vans have extra seating and seatbelts for passengers. The Storyteller MODE’s GrooveLounge converts to an awesome bed in no time, making it ideal for small families.
As for the Winnebago Revel, you do have the option of converting the dinette area to an extra bed, although it isn’t as quick and easy as some folks might hope for.
Let’s face it: neither the Storyteller Overland nor the Winnebago Revel is an affordable way to hit the road and start living your best van life. Still, if you’re willing to invest in an incredible adventure van that’ll get you anywhere you want to go, both vans are in a similar price range. That said, starting at just over $200,000, the Revel is the most expensive choice.
The Storyteller Overland Beast MODE clocks in at just under $199,000, but their least expensive option, the MODE LT, costs substantially less. Seeing as these vans are still quite new and their owners love them so much, finding a used Revel or MODE van isn’t easy. That said, if you keep searching you may get lucky, and you can expect to pay substantially less than you would for a new van.
Storyteller Overland vs Revel: Aftermarket Upgrades
Just because the Revel and Storyteller Overland come fully built and ready to go, there’s no reason why you can’t tailor either van to meet your specific needs.
There are loads of additional add-ons that can enhance your van, including beefier tires, upgraded suspension, and more solar panels. There’s even a dedicated Facebook group for Revel owners, with tons of DIY ideas. Storyteller Overland also has a bustling Facebook group as well.
Owl Vans is one company that offers aftermarket upgrades for both the Revel and Storyteller Overland. You can purchase ladder/tire carriers, rear door cargo carriers, bike carriers, and much more.
If you want to really transform your van’s interior, Canyon Adventure Vans offers the Garage Lounge Storage System (GLSS) to both Revel and Storyteller Overland MODE owners. This system is really cool and acts as a rear seating and storage solution that’s quick and easy to install or remove.
The GLSS for the Winnebago Revel includes bench seating and a swiveling table, as well as cushions that turn into a mattress for an additional sleeping option. In the Overland MODE van, the GLSS can be integrated in a number of ways, providing extra storage compartments, bench seating, and additional workspace.
Conclusion on Storyteller Overland vs Revel
Honestly, picking a clear winner in the Storyteller Overland vs Revel debate isn’t easy – it really all comes down to personal preference. In short, if you’re looking for a tough, well-designed 4×4 camper van that’s ideal for off-grid living at all times of year, either van will be a great choice.
That being said, there are some big differences that might sway you in one direction or the other. For example, having a permanent wet bath is a must for many people, which would make the Revel an easy winner. However, if you’re traveling with a child, the Storyteller Overland MODE has that awesome Groove Lounge, which easily converts into an extra bed.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful. We’d love to hear about your experience with either the Winnebago Revel or Storyteller Overland, so leave a comment below!