When it comes to versatile family-size camper vans the North American market is still sadly lacking when compared to its European neighbors, but Winnebago is set to change things up a bit with the release of their new Solis camper.
It’s a RAM Promaster-based camper built to “adapt to any adventure” with all-season insulation and plumbing, tons of storage, a pop-top roof and even a heated bathroom, making it an ideal van to take you anywhere from the surf to the slopes.
Winnebago begins with a RAM Promaster chassis, packing a 280bhp 2.6L V6 gas engine under the hood with a 6-speed automatic 62TE transmission. It has four-wheel ABS brakes, a 180 amp alternator, a trailer hitch and tinted coach windows, and it comes in either bright white or cherry red.
Winnebago has added privacy screens onto all of the doors and an aluminum running board on the side with tie-off points for leashing dogs. The rear of the van features an extendable annex that is constructed of poles and magnetically attached curtains which can be used as a changing room, a sun awning or a shower room with the aid of an external water hook up.
The Solis features a European-style dinette seating area with removable pedestal table, adjacent to a compact kitchenette. The kitchen features a two burner range top with glass cover, a single door 12V compressor fridge/freezer which is also accessible from outside the van, a stainless steel sink and a spice rack.
The laminate countertop features a pull-out extension for added prep space, and the Solis kitchen has one more surprising useful addition; an illuminated water tube sits beneath the countertop to give an indicator of the water tank’s level.
At the rear of the Solis is a cross-coach double bed with hidden under bed storage and a removable work table, so you can sit by the back doors and enjoy the view while tapping away at your laptop. The fiberglass pop top adds two extra sleeping spaces above and panoramic views for the sleepers; an optional sofa bed with two seatbelts can also be added in downstairs.
The camper features an interior bathroom complete with swiveling 5 gallon cassette toilet, flexible shower head and a shower with wall surround and privacy curtain. This is fed from a 21-gallon freshwater tank and collected in a 20-gallon grey water tank, and not only is the water heated by a Truma Combi Eco boiler but the entire bathroom is heated using a recirculating hot water system. That’s pure van luxury right there.
This heating also has another added benefit as the bathroom doubles as a clothes-drying station just like, let’s face it, the majority of van dweller’s bathrooms end up becoming. This is thanks to the aid of a removable clothes rod, so never will you need to worry about where to stow wet clothes after a rainy day again.
Even better, for those hot sunny days, the Solis also comes equipped with two exterior washrooms, one in the rear annex and the other hiding behind the passenger seat, so there’ll be no arguing over who gets to use the bathroom first.
Powering the van are two deep-cycle Group 31 AGM batteries, charged via a 220W flexible solar panel with a controller. It also comes with an AC/DC load center, 45 amp converter/charger, automatic dual battery charge control, an auxiliary start circuit and a coach battery disconnect system.
In the living area, the Solis has USB charging ports, LED ceiling lights, reading lights, a porch light, a roof vent with powered fan and a systems monitor panel- all the tech you’d ever need for long stints off the grid, although it does come with a handy 30 amp power cord.
The Winnebago Solis isn’t going to be available to purchase until 2020, but we do know that the starting price is going to come in at $100,667. Despite sharing many similarities with its European counterparts sadly the Solis does not share their price range, and it seems that the adventurers most likely to want to purchase such a camper van are going to find themselves priced out.
But while the European Class B camper market has been steadily growing in popularity over many years, the American market is still in its infancy so we expect those prices could drop over time as availability increases.