With 4WD and an adventure-ready interior, Pleasure-Way’s latest RV adds a new option to the rapidly growing market for rugged campervans.
Pleasure-Way’s 2022 REKON campervan combines the iconic Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with a feature-rich, versatile, and configurable RV interior.
While there are loads of custom van-builders out there, mass-market production, fully converted campervans with four-wheel drive remain relatively uncommon. As the market for recreational vehicles and campervans has exploded in recent years, these rugged adventure vans have become more attractive for big RV companies to put into production.
The features of Pleasure-Way’s new camper reflect many modern van life trends, especially in terms of prolonged off-grid living that involves getting off the pavement.
For starters, the water tank, housed under the rear floorboards, can hold up to 40 gallons — about the same as an average Class C RV. The REKON also comes with 124 cubic feet of storage space — more than any other 19-foot AWD van on the market, the company said.
A 400Ah lithium house battery bank is also powered by roof-mounted solar — and the alternator when moving — for extended off-grid adventures. The electrical system in the REKON is monitored and controlled via dual 10-inch touchscreens, which display handy info like estimated time remaining based on current usage.
Cold storage comes with the cooler-style 60L Truma refrigerator. A Truma unit also handles the air and water heating in the camper.
The Sprinter’s robust 11-inch clearance remains unaltered from the factory, and no water tanks or lines are mounted underneath — which is also important in cold climates to avoid freezing issues. For those remote campsites, the rear and side doors include roll-up screen doors for bugless open-air evenings.
REKON Configurable Layout
The REKON’s layout focuses on multiuse fixtures that help save space. For example, the bathroom has a 5-gallon cassette toilet, a handheld shower, and a ducted heat vent for drying. But it also transforms into a gear locker via install of a removable shelf and a closet rod.
Using the space both ways on some trips looks like it would work out great. Surf, snowsports, watersports, or dive gear can drip dry right into the shower, and you can even dry it with the heater vent at the bottom of the pan.
The bed system is also configurable for multiuse. The Murphy bed folds down from both walls in the rear of the van. On the driver’s side, it turns into a kitchen area or workstation that measures 22.5 x 72 inches. And, with the bed deployed, 52 cubic feet of unobstructed storage remains below.
Pleasure-Way REKON 4×4 Campervan
The REKON 4×4 campervan weighs in at a fairly lightweight 7,400 pounds and affords 1,650 pounds of occupant- and gear-carrying capacity.
Color-seekers, beware: The van only comes in three different shades of gray-black. But interior options offer more flair — buyers can choose between blonde or steel blue for the cabinetry.
The 2022 Pleasure-Way REKON 4×4 starts at $171,600. You can find out all there is to know about it on Pleasure-Way’s website or at your local Pleasure-Way RV dealer.
Pleasure-Way REKON vs. Winnebago Revel
The main competition for Pleasure-Way’s new campervan is the Winnebago Revel. While each van looks to support off-grid adventure from a 4×4 Sprinter chassis, the two options have some significant differences.
As LichtSinn RV explains in detail, many of these differences stem from the efficiency of interior space and the need to make a stop in civilization for supplies.
Sleeping arrangements differ quite a bit. The Revel uses a “Power Lift” bed that can provide extra storage when it’s raised up. The REKON, on the other hand, has a murphy bed system, in which two beds fold up on the sides. LichtSinn argues that the Revel’s bed system results in more storage space, though both systems may have their advantages depending on personal preference.
However, the Revel does include side bump-outs — flares — that allow you to sleep east/west. The REKON does not have this and requires you to sleep north/south in the van — unless you’re very short — which takes up more interior room when the bed is deployed.
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While the REKON has its AC and heating systems installed inside the van, Winnebago placed those features on the Revel’s roof, resulting in more interior space.
Unlike the Revel, the REKON does not have a designated dinette space — just a fold-down workstation. This means that in the REKON you can’t have someone in the bed and have someone working at a desk or eating breakfast at a table at the same time.
The REKON also lacks the ability to add a ladder or roof rack from the factory, which is a standard feature on the Revel.
Starting pricing of the two 4×4 campervans is very similar, with the Winnebago Revel starting about $3,400 more than the Pleasure-Way REKON.