All the images in this post are courtesy of Winnebago Industries, Inc. Unauthorized use not permitted.
In July 2020, Winnebago announced the new 2021 Solis 59PX, to complement the Solis 59P introduced last year. This new Solis, starting at $121,000 is a great affordable van. (The $121,000 is the MSRP and a good deal on a Winnebago van would be 30-35% off MSRP.) The 59P starts at $102,000. So what do you get for the added $19,000 and why do I call it a great affordable van? Read on.
As with the 59P, the new 59PX is built on a Ram Promaster chassis, which features:
- front wheel drive
- 280HP 3.6L V6 gas engine
- 258 lbs. feet of torque
- 6 speed automatic transmission 62TE
- 24 gallon fuel tank
The 59PX is built on the longer 21 foot Promaster chassis, which makes it about 18 inches longer than the 59P. The only other chassis differences between the Solis 59PX and the 59P are:
- the 59PX features power mirrors with defrost and turn signal. The 59P comes with manual mirrors.
- the Solis 59PX has aluminum wheels.
- the 59PX has a chrome front grill and fog lamps.
Here is a side-by-side layout of the 59P (top) and 59PX. As you can see, the main difference between the two, is an 18 inch deep garage to the rear of the bed. While this is the only configuration of the 59PX, the 59P also has a rear lounge configuration.
That new rear gear garage is a big deal and enables you to store two bikes and associated gear, or any other gear for your outdoor adventures.
And from a different angle
On the left side of the picture above, you can see three sections of l-track (aka aircraft track): where the helmets are attached, where the blue bike’s front fork is attached, and on the bottom where the wall meets the floor. L-track is a general purpose system for securing gear and in this picture they are using rings with carabiners, and bike fork mounts.
In addition to the garage, this van has an incredible amount of storage for its size. There are storage bins and cubbies everywhere. The murphy bed area features a large but shallow under the floor storage space and storage along both sides of the walkway including a drawer.
The two pictures above are of a 59P but the storage is the same in the 59PX. You can see that if you keep the bed permanently down, which many do, you have even more storage under the bed. In addition to a number of overhead bins, there is another handy drawer in the galley as well as a good sized under-the-sink cabinet.
Moving on to the galley you can see a reasonably sized sink with a tall faucet. There is a 2-burner propane cooktop with a glass cover. On the lower left of the picture above you can see the small 12-volt compressor refrigerator. (If you are looking for a van with a large refrigerator, this isn’t it.) While small, the refrigerator’s placement allows you to access it from either inside or outside the van. There is no microwave. What you gain from its absence is extra storage. . The entire galley is small but functional.
The very compact bathroom is on the driver’s side of the van. It is a wet bath meaning the shower encompasses the entire bathroom space. Effectively, the toilet is in the shower stall. This is typical in Class B camper vans.
There is a cassette toilet with a swivel head. People are pretty polarized when it comes to cassette toilets so this might be a deal breaker for you or a distinct plus. If you are unfamiliar with cassette toilets please see the entry in our glossary.https://classbvan.com/camper-van-glossary/.
As with the Winnebago Revel, the bath doubles as a place to hang wet gear.
The dining / lounge
Both the driver’s and passenger’s seats swivel to face inside the rig.
Which makes part of a compact yet functional front lounge.
The lounge area features a removable, small, pedestal table. I am guessing here but it looks to be roughly a 30×18 inch oval. It would be small for a two person dining table and small if you need a lot of workspace. It is fine if you just need laptop space. The lounge also features 2 front facing seats with three-point seat belts. As you can see in the picture, those two seats would be a cozy fit for two adults, but it is nice to have that option.
The murphy bed
The murphy bed is a good size for a Class B camper van measuring 59×77 inches. Compare that to a Winnebago Travato 59g that measures only 46×77 or the Thor Sequence 20A which is 66×74. The bed features a slatted frame.
The pop-top loft
You probably noticed on the first picture that the van features a pop-top. The pop-top does not raise the interior height of the van. Rather it functions as a loft with a 52×79 inch bed. You get to the loft by use of a removable ladder in the lounge.
Heating and Cooling
When the 59P was introduced last year, many noted the lack of an air conditioner. In a short van with a pop-top it was near physically impossible to include one. With the longer chassis, the Solis 59PX features the new quiet Coleman-Mach 10 NDQ air conditioner. I can attest to how quiet this air conditioner is. You can talk at normal volume and be heard by your travel mate, particularly if you are sitting in the front lounge. Having this air conditioner in the van is fantastic!
Heating is handled by the Truma Combi, an LP, electric system that provides heat and hot water. Truma is a quality brand.
There are several cool, innovative features about the plumbing in this van. For example, when winterizing other Class B vans you generally need to remove a panel or two to reach various valves which might be less than easy to reach. In contrast, the Solis 59PX features a ‘water center control panel’ which consolodates the water valves making winterizing infinitely easier.
You don’t need to scrounge up your manual as the valve settings for winterization are diagrammed on the unit itself. The control panel also contains the connection for the fresh water tank fill, the hookup for an outdoor shower (another is behind the passenger seat) and a water pump switch. Part of its functionality is shown in this Winnebago video.
On many class B camper vans the meter that measures your fresh water is shown in increments of a third. You’ll have an indication when you are full, two-thirds full, one-third full, and empty. The Solis features an old school manometer (a back-lit glass tube in the galley) that artistically and accurately measures the current amount of fresh water in your system.
When using hot water in your house, whether to take a shower, wash your hands, or wash the dishes., you turn on the hot water and watch cold water go down the drain as you wait for the water to get hot. In the process you waste water. This is particularly frustrating in a van when you only have 21 gallons of fresh water–you are wasting a precious resource. While you are waiting you are sending perfectly good fresh water into the gray tank. The Solis features an innovative feature that allows you to purge the cold water back into your fresh water tank. When you turn on the hot water faucet you get hot water.
As I mentioned it has a 21 gallon fresh water tank. The capacity of the gray water tank is 20 gallons and the cassette toilet holds 5.
The Solis has 2 AGM batteries for a total of 220 amp hours. It has 220 watts of solar panels. There is no lithium option. It features the Cummins Onan® QG 2,800-watt gas generator. It is quieter than a traditional RV generator producing 70 decibels at 10 feet at half load. It is significantly quieter than the previous generation Cummins generator I have on my van. The Solis has a traditional 30 amp hookup to an external source.
There is a plethora of 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC outlets throughout the van.
Okay, this may come as a shock to some, but the Solis does not have an awning. For the cons of van awnings see the humorous FitRV’s An Offbeat Look at Why I Don’t Like RV Awnings
Because of the pop-top there is no powered roof vent.
The windows are traditional sliding glass windows and not the dual-pane acrylic that some prefer.The Winnebago Solis also eschews traditional RV window blinds and screens and instead opts for a fabric solution also found in the Airstream Basecamp among others.
As the first picture in this post shows, the exterior is very clean and contains the features you would expect.
I like this van. The price is great and it contains a number of innovative features. It has an impressive amount of storage space, a comfortable size bed, and a functional lounge, galley, and bathroom. If I were in the market for a van this would be on my short list.
Video walk throughs
The original Solis 59p
Most of the features described in the video are true of the 59PX.
No comment yet, add your voice below!