SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Big-spending visitors to Santa Monica Place this holiday season will have more options to do some luxury vehicle shopping. In addition to Tesla, which has long had a retail space in the mall, and Mercedes, which just opened a showroom that is currently displaying its new EQ electric sedan, the Italian motorhome maker, Wingamm, is parked on the concrete.
A new-to-the-U.S. entrant in the luxury RV space, the Wingamm Oasi 540 is conceived as a studio apartment on wheels that seeks to capitalize on the simultaneous and growing trends of glamping, van life, remote work and a pandemic-inspired interest in nature — with an Italian twist. Born from a 51-year-old luxury furniture maker, Wingamm imports home decor detail to its RV, complete with artisanal Italian curtains, bedding and pillows and, of course, leather.
“A new class of consumers is used to buying their aspirational products like a Peloton bike or iPhone in a high-end retail setting,” said Tony Diamond, exclusive North American distributor for Wingamm Motorhomes, which is doing one-hour walkthroughs of its Oasi 540 compact RV by appointment. “We see the Wingamm as just as innovative a product, so rather than put it on a lot in the middle of nowhere, we thought it belonged side by side with other innovative brands.”
What makes it innovative is its size and shape. The Oasi 540 is just ten inches longer than a Honda Odyssey minivan, allowing it to fit in a traditional street parking space instead of a dedicated RV spot. But it’s the fiberglass monocoque shell that allows Wingamm to eke out more space from its cozy confines and exploit every nook and cranny.
That shell allows the kitchen (which includes a mini fridge, cooktop and sink), bathroom (including a shower, toilet, sink, vanity and medicine cabinet) and living areas to be larger than other compact RVs with similar footprints, Diamond said.
Most uniquely, it allows for the master bed to be embedded in the ceiling, where it can be lowered into position for sleeping and/or stowed away. A small ladder attaches to its frame, so sleepers can climb up and down. A second bed can be configured from the banquette seating and table just below it, with the help of an extra cushion that tucks into the upper bed when it’s locked against the ceiling.
When not being used for sleeping, the downstairs seats five — three in the banquette and another two in the driver’s and passenger’s seat captain’s chairs, which swivel from looking through the windshield to looking toward the back. And for those who don’t want any looking, at least from the outside in, there are blackout shades throughout.
“We looked at every RV. We went to every show looking for an RV that really felt like a substitute for a nice studio apartment,” said Diamond, who co-owns and co-manages high-end furnished apartment buildings in the LA area.
He started looking at the RV market 2-1/2 years ago after seeing the rise of the glamping and van life trends, especially among digital nomads seeking to easily move between urban and remote areas in a mobile space that is compact, chic and spacious. That trend has only picked up speed during the pandemic. RV shipments this year are expected to surpass 2020 numbers by 34%, according to the RV Industry Assn.
None of the RVs Diamond saw in person fit the bill, however. But just as he was about to give up, he came across a YouTube video of the Wingamm. The next week, Diamond said, he and his partner flew to Italy to meet with the CEO.
And now the Oasi 540 is in Santa Monica, hoping to find buyers who are as enthusiastic about Wingamm as they are, before driving across the country on a shopping mall tour Diamond has dubbed the national Wingamm Road Show.
The Wingamm Oasi 540 will be parked in Santa Monica Place through December 15. Built on a Ram ProMaster chassis, it is available in black and white exterior versions with a choice of two interiors and options for bike rack and tow hitch upgrades. Pricing starts at $145,000, not including shipment from Italy. Reservations are fully refundable and cost $1,000. To confirm the order before production, Wingamm charges a $14,500 nonrefundable deposit. The Oasi 540 goes into production in spring 2022.