7 Revel Bed/Garage Modifications for Comfort & Functionality
7 Revel Bed/Garage Modifications for Comfort & Functionality
See how one couple has customized their van’s bedroom setup.
By: Peter & Kathy Holcombe
Let’s face it, one of the primary reasons people invest in an RV is to have a comfortable sleeping space while they travel. And the Winnebago Revel has one of the most versatile sleeping spaces out there.
The Revel comes from the factory with an open cargo space in the back of the van that is outfitted with a bed with a motorized lift that allows you to easily cinch the bed up against the ceiling of the garage area when not in use. This allows for infinite configurations to customize the bed/garage space to meet individual needs.
We started out with the stock system and a bunch of duffle bags thrown underneath the bed to help us manage the chaos of paddling gear, clothing, and climbing gear for three people, but quickly discovered that we needed a better organizational system.
Having lived in a Revel full-time for the past five years, we have tried numerous configurations to maximize both storage capacity and comfort. Here are the current mods in our Revel bed/garage set up that we have decided on after five years of experimentation to perfect this space for our individual needs.
1. Custom Drawers
Peter built a platform in the garage area that houses two large drawers and a safe. He made the drawers out of Baltic-birch plywood and we had them coated in Linex to protect them from our often-wet kayaking gear.
The drawers provide a great system to compartmentalize our gear and allow us to really maximize this space by stowing those rarely used items away in the back, and keeping those things we use all the time at our fingertips on the deck. (An important note: the drawers we designed are asymmetrical so that you can open the right drawer with only one of the back doors open.)
But the best part of the drawer system is the built-in hidden safe that is bolted to the floor and concealed out of sight. This gives us peace of mind when we leave our van parked at a trailhead for several days, or when we are traveling internationally. While there is always the possibility that someone could steal our entire vehicle, the safe will likely protect our valuables from a smash-and-grab thief.
2. Bed Risers & Folding Step
Since we permanently travel with all of our possessions, all of the time, storage space is a constant issue, and we are always trying to maximize our storage capacity. The bed, in the stock position, left about a foot of space above our heads when we were seated upright. In an effort to utilize this space, our next modification was to install 10” bed risers from Canyon Adventure Vans.
This allowed us to raise our bed to the base of the window giving us an additional 10” of storage underneath the bed and eliminating the wasted space above our heads. The added space below the bed allowed us to bring along a few more toys that we previously had to leave behind.
Along with the bed risers, we added a folding step so that we could crawl into the higher bed position with ease.
3. Upgraded Van Mattress & Custom Sheets
We also upgraded to the Canyon Adventure Vans Luxe6 Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress that was specifically designed to fit snugly in the higher bed position. We topped off this modification with the custom fitted Dream Sheets that are perfectly tailored to fit the mattress.
We found that this series of modifications allowed us to really utilize every single inch of the garage area in the Revel. It was perfect except for one small detail. When we raised the bed 10” in height, we lost almost 6” of length in the bed. And with Peter measuring in at 6’ and me at 5’9”, regrettably, we found the bed to be just a little too short in this raised position for comfort.
We have since split the difference in the height of the bed and have built a custom system to raise the bed 5” which still gives us additional storage space in the garage below, but maintains enough length in the bed for us to sleep comfortably. We kept the super comfy mattress, sheets, and step and feel that this is the perfect balance of space and comfort.
4. Soft-Sided Cabinet
Although we found a solution for our bed, we missed the extra five inches of storage space from the original bed setup. So we installed the Adventure Wagon Mule Bag between the bathroom and the back doors. This has allowed us to add a substantial amount of additional storage while maintaining the optimal length of the bed that we need. And I have to admit, the new soft-sided cabinet, and a few twinkle lights have made our bedroom feel super cozy.
5. Strap Extensions
Once we raised the bed, the Rolef screen in the back of the van was no longer at the proper height at its mid-position. We easily fixed that by making two adjustable extensions from two pieces of webbing and a new buckle. We attached the extenders to the stock buckles on top of the inside of the screen and can then adjust the screen to any height.
A piece of one inch webbing and a 1” Fastex buckle allowed us to create extension straps that attach to the buckles attached to our Rolef screens at our backdoors.
The extensions straps allow us to position the bottom of the screen level with the bottom of the bed. This protects our sleeping area from the elements and allows easy access to the garage.
We keep the Rolef screen positioned at the base of the bed so that we can open our back doors in any kind of weather without worry of getting our bed dusty or wet. A serendipitous byproduct of this modification is that a four-foot foam roller and yoga mat fit perfectly in-between the bed and the back doors, solving a storage issue, and extending the width of our bed by eight inches. Win-win!
6. Ram Track & Bungee Pockets
We added a Ram track on the outside of the bathroom wall where we have an iPad attachment that allows us to watch movies in bed.
We also installed two bungee pockets above our heads to hold phones, glasses, etc.
7. Additional Lighting
We added battery-powered twinkle lights around the perimeter of the bedroom ceiling to create a nice soft light in the sleeping area. Additionally, Peter wired in a LightForce Rok 9 Work Light in the back doors which provides a fabulous light source when you’re searching for something in the drawers in the garage at night.
We also added a battery powered puc light under the bed near the bathroom for additional lighting when we are accessing the garage space from the interior. And we always keep a Surefire Stiletto Pro flashlight clipped to the bed track for security and those late night bathroom walks with Tucker the RV Dog.
There are many, many great modifications out there for the flexible bed/garage space in the Revel, but these are our favorites that are tried and tested over the years. Maybe some of these will help make your life a little sweeter (or at least better organized) as you venture out into the wild in your Revel. We hope to see you somewhere over the horizon! Until then … Revel on!
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