Hodaka"Pops" Revel Build - Traveling in Comfort!

Hodakaguy

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
641
After years of following us in his Tacoma/Wedge camper on our family adventures my father (Dan) decided it's time to upgrade to something a bit more comfortable and warmer. After looking a while we recently snagged a 2021 Revel for a more comfortable traveling experience, No more having to mess with setting up the camper each night and when weather is nasty you just shut the van off and your all ready to camp...no setup required.

Here's my fathers old setup, the camper is pretty darn slick but you still have to get out of the truck and set the camper up each night, not a fun job in nasty weather. My father (Like myself) hates being cold and even with the Propex heater we installed the unit never stays as warm as he would like. I also love that at 80 years old he will no longer have to climb up onto the tailgate to get into and out of the camper each night :)

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Enter my fathers "new" Revel. We looked around a while and found a low mile 2021 close to home. We really wanted the 2021 and up units that comes with the lithium batteries, larger fridge etc. Here we are just picking it up and getting ready to head home.

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Happy Pops :wings

Mods to come......

Hodakaguy
 
We had a couple water leaks on some PEX tubing that I took care of by re-clamping a few of the PEX clamps. While I had the system open I had read that it's a good idea to support the Heater mixing valve that Winnebago leaves loose and flopping around, if left unsupported it can cause leaks down the road. Time to fix this before it becomes an issue down the road!

Here you can see the unsupported mixing valve being held up by the PEX tubing itself. The valve assembly weights quite a bit and on rough roads it will shake around a lot, potentially creating leaks in the process. After looking at how to make a bracket I figured the best way would be to build a bracket that supports off the Timberline surge tank just to the right of the mixing valve. With a plan in place it's time to start fabricating.

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I started with a few scrap pieces of stainless steel plate that I had on hand.

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Forming one of the plates to the same radius as the surge tank for a nice snug fit.

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I cut the piece on an angle so when mounted it will match up with the angle that the valve is currently sitting at, this way it won't put any additional pressure on the PEX lines.

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Starting the assembly process

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Adding a stop to keep the hose clamp from sliding off the mount once it's on the surge tank.

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These are the snap ties that will hold the valve to the bracket.

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Adding a piece of felt to the mounting bracket that will sit between the bracket and the valve.

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Mount installed on the surge tank.

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And done. One less thing to worry about when we are out on the trail. More to come.

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More to come...

Hodakaguy
 
A few more preventive maintenance tasks.

First up to protect the exposed wiring on the side door where you remove the cassette toilet. These wires have the potential to rub on the cassette over time and possibly wear through, a few minutes of prevention here can save issues down the road. Added some wire loom to protect the wiring. easy and quick upgrade.

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I also did a couple quick mods inside the rear battery compartment. Winnebago installed a temp switch to cut off charging to the Lithium batteries when the temps are below freezing. Unfortunately they attached the switch to an aluminum panel that stays cold even when the interior of the van is warm, this can prevent the batteries from charging when in reality the batteries are warm enough to charge. I removed the temperature switch from the aluminum panel and used a couple snap ties to secure it to a wiring bundle near by, now it's measuring actual air temp next to the batts and charging will function as normal.

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While I was in the battery compartment I found an unsupported relay sitting behind a switch panel and two wires that are up tight against a sharp wood edge. A few more snap ties and some wire loom took care of these quickly.

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More to come..

Hodakaguy
 
With summer camping season fast approaching it's time to start completing some of the larger modifications. On my van I installed a 47 Gallon S&B fuel tank and absolutely love the range it provides when traveling the remote areas that we love to travel. We both agreed this mod needs to be on the Revel as well so I contacted Cory at Peak 10 Customs and within days we had the new tank in hand. The S&B Revel tank is 40 Gallons instead of 47 Like the unit on my van, the size difference is to accommodate the wiring/hoes etc that Winnebago installs under the Revel.

The Tank as it arrived in the Box.

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Not a lot to it really. Kit comes with new support brackets, a new O-ring for the fuel sender that you'll transfer over from the original tank and vent lines already installed in protective loom....nice!

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Getting ready for the install.

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Stock tank

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Next up is to remove the 90 deg hose from the filler neck to the tank. The tank has a check valve in it that prevents fuel from flowing backwards out of the tank but you'll still loose a bit when you pull the hose. Place a tub under the hose to catch the fuel as you pull the hose free.

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Next up is disconnecting the Fuel Line, Fuel Return Line and Aux Fuel line for the heater. I like to use Red Caps, basically like small condoms to seal the ends of the open lines to keep dirt out etc. These are also super handy to seal caulking tubes to keep them from drying out. I use ziplock bags to protect the larger tank ends of the lines while disconnected.

Note: The links below are my Amazon Affiliate links, I make a small portion each time someone purchases from Amazon using one of my links, at no extra cost to the buyer. I only provide links to items that I personally like and use myself. i use the money to put back into my builds and support making videos/posts. If you prefer not to use my links you can search for the same items directly off Amazon. Thank you for the support!

Red Caps - On Amazon here: CLICK HERE

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We removed the three support brackets holding the tank to the van then used two floor jacks to drop the tank down out of the frame and slide it out from under the van. Tank removed!

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A bit of a size difference between the OEM and S&B Tank......Nice!

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Continued Below....
 
Continued from above...

To drain the remaining fuel out of the original tank I inserted a screw driver into the filler port to wedge the check valve open and we lifted the rear of the tank to pour the fuel into a NATO can.

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Removing the lock collar on the fuel sender unit with a drift and hammer.

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New supplied O-ring installed on the S&B tank.

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Transferring the fuel sender over to the new tank.

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And locked in place.

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Next snap the fuel lines down into the retainers.

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High point breather line removed from the old tank and installed on the S&B

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Here I'm poking a hold in the plastic filler port cover so we can block the openings in the vent lines and slightly pressurize the tank with air through the hole in the cap to test for leaks. Once we had air in the tank I used windex to spray around the connections and verify that no bubbles/leaks was present.

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The kit comes with a new check valve that is inserted into the OEM 90 deg filler hose.

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All ready to go back into the van.

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Well got a bit focused and didn't tank any pics of the re-insatall lol. Pretty much the reverse of the removal procedure, used the two jacks to lift the tank into place, connected the fuel lines and installed the new provided clamps. bam!.....Range Baby!

Adding 5 gallons of diesel to get us down to the service station for a complete top off.

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First full fuel up...and one happy new owner.

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And the new tank under the van...fits like a glove and super heavy duty. Love it!

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Short Timelapse while doing the install.



Hodakaguy
 
nice work tom ! thx for posting. the underside of the chassis looks pretty clean, so hopefully no wear and tear problems. now, if we see 2 sprinters, same color, we might know where you are at !
 
goinoregon said:
nice work tom ! thx for posting. the underside of the chassis looks pretty clean, so hopefully no wear and tear problems. now, if we see 2 sprinters, same color, we might know where you are at !
Thanks Mate, It's in great cond with low miles so should be good to go. We will be out on the road together soon :)

Hodakaguy
 
Next mod...increase storage space.

The revel comes with an induction stove top that you set on the counter and plug in, it's a slick setup but takes up the entire top drawer in the kitchen. We were looking at putting the stove in a bag of some sort but then where to put the bag? While cruising the forums I found a solution that stores the stove under the bench seat, utilizing space that's currently not being utilized and opening the top kitchen drawer up for any number of more important uses.

Here's the induction stove in the stock storage location.

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We ordered the Stove adapter from Clauson Cutom Hardwoods (Link here: CLICK HERE) and with the unit in hand set to installing it. The packing was great and everything showed up undamaged.

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Although the unit is well built it showed up with bare unfinished wood, would have liked to see some kind of coating on it to protect the wood over time. That said I decided to apply a couple coats of OSMO to the wood before installing the assembly in the van. Off to the shop I go....

I started by removing the small door that's used to check the Glycol level in the heater and pealed off the felt that was lightly glued onto the bottom of the unit for the stove to sit on.

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Now to apply a couple layers of clear OSMO. OSMO is great stuff and will provide a water & stain proof finish making the unit more durable, as well as making the wood look nicer. To apply the OSMO you use a very small amount on a non-abrasive pad to rub the OSMO onto the woods surface. You want to make sure there is no standing OSMO on the surface, once applied you take another piece of new pad and wipe any standing OSMO off the woods surface. Then let the finish dry, next day repeat the process for the 2nd coat.

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After two coats the finish is super smooth and looks great.

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I used a bit of 3M90 Adhesive to glue the felt back into place.

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Continued Below....
 
Continued from above....

Now time to install the unit in the van. Install only takes minutes, pull off the seat cushion and lift up the seat base. Then it's just two screws (One on each end) to remove the lower cover that covers the water piping etc, this is the cover that this unit will replace.

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Now just drop the new unit in it's place.

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At this point I dropped the stove into place for a test fit and then placed the lid on top of the stove. The provided lid just lays on the glass stove and has enough clearance on the sides that it can slide around and make a lot of noise while going down the road. The lid also sat a little below flush which is good as it provided an easy solution.

Here I'm removing the felt from the original panel to cut and install on the back/sides of the lid with some more 3M90.

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I covered the entire rear of the lid along with the back edge and one of the sides. This provided the lid a nice snug fit when placed on top of the stove and prevents and rattles.

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Stove and lid in place.

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The small door is used to access the glycol tank for the heater.

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And now we have an empty kitchen drawer available :)

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Hodakaguy
 
Next mod is to increase capacity of the kitchen drawers and make them actually useful. Winnebago tried to cut some pennies here and made the drawers very shallow, if you put taller objects in the drawers they can easily fall out. Again we reached out to Clauson Custom Hardwoods (Link: CLICK HERE) and purchased one of his drawer extension sets. Just like the stove storage they came well packed and undamaged, unlike the stove storage they came finished and ready to install....sweet!

Install was super easy. Hardware was already installed on each extension and it's just a matter of dropping each unit onto the top of the matching drawer then drilling 4 pilot holes and installing the provided screws to attach the extension to the drawer. Once installed the drawers are actually usable! Should have left the factory this way! Nice!

Getting ready to install the extensions.

Here's what the stock drawers look like.....pretty pathetic and a waste of space.

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Now lets install the extensions and make these drawers a lot more practical.

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Drilling pilot holes.

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And installed. Now the drawers can hold a lot more without worrying about items falling out of the drawer. Love it!

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More to come....

Hodakaguy
 
Next Updates: First up is to mount our Maxxtrax recovery boards on the roof. I enjoy fabricating brackets etc but pressed the easy button on this one and ordered the mounts from Agile Off Road, sometimes it nice to receive a setup powder coated and ready to bolt on :).

Install was quick and easy. Assemble the mounting pins onto the mount rails then bolt the rails onto the OEM roof rack. I had to loosen the bolts on the solar panel and slide the whole assembly forward a tad to get everything lined up. Just minutes and this project was completed.

Here the bars are mounted onto the OEM rails and ready to accept the Maxxtrax.

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And Maxxtrax installed. We are carrying two tracks but the pins allow carrying a set of 4. Once you twist the top of the pin to lock the tracks in place it opens up a pass through hole where you can also add a padlock.

Nice out of the way storage solution and adds a bit of security for the tracks as well.


Next up....VanMadeGear insulated window covers. Warmth and blackout capability!

I've ran the VanMadeGear insulated window covers on my van for several years now and they are one of our favorite mods, they provide a huge amount of warmth when camping in colder weather and also help keep the interior cooler in the summer months. When my father recently purchased his Revel we knew we wanted to add a set to his setup as well. The factory Revel window shades offer bug screens and privacy shades but don't offer blackout capability (We've camped at several areas where bright street lights were present and having the blackout covers are really nice) or insulation. The front window covers that were provided with the Revel are very heavy and don't fit the windows well so we replaced them with the VanMadegear units as well.

Fresh out of the box....VanMadeGear is soooooo nice.

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Stock window shade unit. You can slide down the bug screen or slide up the privacy shade. This setup doesn't offer insulation or blackout capabilities, and they don't tend to last that long before they start developing issues. Time to install something with a LOT better quality and function.

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To Install the VanMadeGear shades you first remove the corner trim pieces on the OEM units by sliding them straight out, then remove 8 total screws per shade assembly. Once the screws are removed the OEM shade assembly simply pops off the wall.

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OEM shade assy removed. Now clean up the surfaces with an alcohol wipe in preparation of installing the self adhesive Velcro strips. The shades also come supplied with metal clips that pinch the ends of the Velcro onto the plastic wall trim and ensure it stays in place, for some reason I didn't get photo's of these.

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Here I'm rounding the ends of the adhesive Velcro strips on each cover prior to installing the tape, rounding the corners will make the tape less likely to lift.

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Do the same process to remove the Slider door and bedroom OEM window shades. Here you can see that this unit is already having issues, when driving the bug screen keeps lowering itself down and won't stay fully opened....not a problem any more :)

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The rear door/window covers are magnetic and are provided with small metal clips that attach to the plastic window trim to give the magnets something to latch onto. The clips pop in place without tools and once installed the rear window covers provide an amazing fit. Takes seconds to remove/attach the covers when you get to camp. Nice!!

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Here's one of the rear window covers, they fold up nice and compact when not in use. We will store them on the bed under the comforter while on the road, quick and easy access when getting to camp for the night.

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Continued below....
 
Continued from above....


And rear covers installed on the windows. You simply fold them out and push them against the window, the sewn in rare earth magnets hold the covers snugly in position. Fit and finish is excellent!

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Rear bedroom window cover installed.

Once installed the shades offer several ways to use them. When zipped closed they offer Blackout/Insulation. You can zip open and roll up the outer cover to utilize the bug screens for a nice breeze when the window is open or zip open the bug screen and roll the screen and outer cover up together for a completely open window (How we like to leave them when driving so the windows are all open).

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The slider door has stiffening rods sewn into the panels so when you open the window and fold up the inner covers they remain tight to the window and won't rub the van when the slider door is being opened. Nice!

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Continued Below....
 
Continued from above...

Same features and functions on at the Dinette window.

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Next up is to install the insulated magnetic cover for the Maxxfan. To install you remove the 4 screws securing the trim piece around the fan then remove the trim piece.

Here's the fan without the cover.

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Open the cover up and set the plastic trim piece on top of the cover. Then take the provided magnets and set them around the edges of the trim piece, the magnets will snap into place aligning themselves with the magnets sewn into the cover. Once all the magnets are in place use some tape to secure the magnets in place, then just re-install the cover.

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Here I'm using some packing tape to keep the magnets in place.

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Trim piece screwed back in place. The insulated cover just snaps in place and can be folded open and left in place as well. As an added benefit to insulation and blackout capabilities it also helps to reduce road noise when driving.

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On the front we went with Black fabric on the inside and reflective on the outside. The reflective is great for keeping the interior cooler on hot days and when we want to camp and not draw as much attention to the fact we are camping we can reverse the covers and put the black side out. We also ordered a set of the magnetic bug screens that we can snap in place when we are camping and want to keep the windows down and bugs out!

Magnetic Bug Screens.

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Continued Below.....
 
Continued from above....

And the front window shades.

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They come in a very nice storage pouch that fits perfectly up on the overhead shelf above the driver/passenger seat.

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The set even came with some sweet swag :)

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If your looking for the best insulated window shades out there look up VanMadeGear, Simon's quality and customer service is second to none!


Lastly we picked up a WeatherTech rubber hitch step for the rear of the Revel. I have the same unit in the smaller size on my van and it's been brilliant, my father decided to go with the wider version on his. These steps are super durable and convenient, no having to carry and mess with a portable step when accessing the rear of the van.

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More to come.....

Hodakaguy
 
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