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I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while to write a holiday gift guide kind of post. Here it is, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and I’m just now starting. I’ll be honest, it’s because pretty much all I’ve thought about for the past week has been OUR NEW RV, THE WINNEBAGO EKKO! HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEW RV? LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT OUR NEW RV!
Yeah, that’s kind of what it sounds like inside my brain lately. Heck, Stef’s birthday is coming up in less than a week and I still haven’t gotten her anything because I’m so busy planning out things ABOUT OUR NEW RV! HAVE YOU HEARD?
So, while I am going to get this holiday gift post done, it’s also going to be about our new RV because I kind of have a one track mind.
Before I forget, our friends at Camping World have laid some pretty solid discount codes on us, and I do want to share them. Some of the items in the below list you can get at Camping World, so these discount codes could save you some coin. First off (though I procrastinated and now there’s not a lot of time left), there’s one code to use – online only – up through Black Friday:
- Code: FitRV2020
- Discount: 10% off (but with no minimum) / 15% off for Good Sam members (no minimum)
- Valid: Nov. 19 – 27, 2020
And there’s another code that’s only valid online on Cyber Monday:
- Code: FitRVVIP
- Discount: 15% off (no minimum) / 20% off for Good Sam members (no minimum)
- Dates: Nov. 30, 2020
There are some exclusions with these discount codes (Generators, RV covers, electronics, air conditioners, satellite antennas, gift cards, and weekly Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounted items), but I don’t believe any of the items I’ve linked below fall into those categories. And even if you’re not buying items for your new EKKO, I hope you can use them.
And with that out of the way, here are..
The First 10 Things I’m Buying For Our Hopefully Arriving Very Very Soon Winnebago EKKO
1. New LevelMate Pro+
If you’ve been around here a while, you know I have a “thing” about being level. I first investigated the LevelMate Pro back in September of 2016, when it won my “level-off”. In the years since then, they’ve continued to improve the product and they’ve fixed what I’ve seen as the biggest problem with it: the battery life. Both the LevelMate Pro and the Pro+ now have a hardware switch so you can shut off the battery when you’re not trying to level your rig. That’s fantastic! And I’ll be getting the Pro+ because it operates on a larger battery as well. Using the LevelMate has gotten to be just a part of how we RV, and I couldn’t imagine not having this in the new EKKO.
2. Leveling Blocks for Dual Wheels
If you guessed that I’ll be installing a leveling system in our new EKKO, you guessed right. But I certainly won’t have it done on day one. Until we can get a leveling system up and running, I’m going to need some way to keep things level. But the Winnebago EKKO has dual rear wheels! The HossPads I have aren’t large enough to support dual wheels, and I don’t have enough of them to double up. So I’m looking into these Heavy Duty Leveling Blocks for Dual Wheels. I can keep my current HossPads for use up front, and use these blocks in the back. It won’t be my final solution, but it will get me going until I get some levelers installed.
3. New WeBoost Drive Reach RV
We’ve traveled with a WeBoost cell booster in Lance since day one. Last time I checked, I still had a job, so this isn’t something that’s going to change. I’ll be installing their latest and most powerful cell signal booster, the WeBoost Drive Reach RV in our new EKKO pretty quickly. Because, I still have to work.
4. An Extra Toilet Cassette!
One of the things that might be limiting about a cassette toilet is the capacity. It only holds 5 gallons. But there’s an easy solution: you can buy an extra cassette! Suddenly, poof! Your black tank capacity is doubled. With the insane amount of cargo space in the EKKO, I can think of little reason NOT to get this extra Thetford cassette. I suppose I could get a third cassette and triple the capacity if I really wanted to!
5. Toilet Chemicals! lol.
Laugh if you want, but for the last 5 years, we’ve been rolling with a composting toilet, so we don’t have any chemicals! Since we’re cassette wusses, I figure we’ll start with the absolute strongest chemicals I can find. It says one 8 ounce bottle of this Thetford Aqua-Kem should treat a 40 gallon tank. So that sounds about right to me for a 5 gallon cassette. Baby steps, people… baby steps.
6. An Acrylic Mirror
One thing we noticed in the EKKO is that the bathroom door is a big blank canvas on both sides. That should be a good place to install an acrylic mirror for all the primping and checking out of my outfits that I do. Ummm. Yeah. Anyway, by getting an acrylic mirror, we don’t have to worry about accidentally banging it into something (since it’s on a door). It won’t shatter!
7. A Light Bar
That picture is from our friends at Aluminess of one they did, but I’m probably going to go full-obnoxious and get something like this one. I’ll be honest… ever since we saw the EKKO and its front cap with that shelf. Well, the shelf is just calling out for a light bar of some sort. I’ve been trying to find the absolute largest one that will fit up there. The one I linked is almost 800 watts of LEDs!
8. Mr. Heater Propane Hose Assembly
This one may take some explaining. Yes, the EKKO has a propane quick connect where the outdoor kitchen is. If you can find and don’t mind using propane accessories that are compatible with the built in regulator, that’s fine. But THE EKKO HAS REGULAR PROPANE TANKS! Why not use them and be able to use literally any propane accessory you can think of! We already have a grill we like, that uses the disposable bottles. This hose assembly will allow us to tap the regular propane tanks, and adapt them in place of the disposable bottles. No more throw-away bottles. Score!
9. A Mini Projector
Since Stef and I saw the bedroom area in the EKKO, we’ve had this idea. We’re not interested in the TV option. It’s not that we don’t watch things… it’s just not usually live TV. We tend to download things to our devices to watch. But being separated by twin beds… we’d need a pretty big device to watch together. So we saw the cabinets over the head of the bed, with power… and figured we could mount a mini projector there to project whatever we want from our devices to a screen. What do you think?
10. Portable Projection Screen
Well duh! If we’ve got the mini projector, we’re going to need some kind of screen to show things on, right? This 50 inch projector screen collapses into itself. I’m thinking I can mount it to the ceiling somehow so it will be out of the way when we’re not watching it. We’ll have to wait until we get our EKKO and measure it to see what will fit, but this is the one that I’ve got in my cart for now.
Maybe I Didn’t Do Such a Good Job At This
If you came here looking for a gift guide, well, this really wasn’t that.
Unless you were buying gifts for me.
In which case, this list was perfect! Seriously though, I hope you are able to take advantage of the Camping World discount codes through Cyber Monday.
And if, like me, you’re pacing the floor awaiting the arrival of your new Winnebago EKKO, I’d actually love to hear what’s in your cart right now. Sound off below!
WHEN did you switch out the propane burners for the induction burner and move the sink??? Looks great but love to see a video how you did it and what it entailed. Our Ekko won’t be here til August ‘22 but we are having 3 lithionics batteries and would like to install the induction cook top. Love your work!
We have not produced a video of this yet. It was quite involved, and required laying up a new countertop lamination, sealing penetrations outside the RV, etc.
Not at all a beginner project.
I would have put the video up already, but there’s about 8 hours of footage to sift through…
We have been using a cassette toilet for 14 years (2007 EarthRoamer) and would have nothing else. Searching for dump stations is not my idea of useful time. We just make sure to not pass up campground outhouses or dump stations so have had no overfill problems. If you are in the backcountry and need to, dig a deep hole and empty there. Odor is really an issues of finding the right additive, not a function of the cassette itself (mostly). My worst experiences in camping have been with black-water tanks, so never again. We are “downsizing” to an EKKO and hoping it meets our needs. Good luck with yours.
James do you have any thoughts on the soon to be available starlink mobile service ?
Would solve multiple problems
We haven’t thought much about it.
But our friends Chris and Cherie over at https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/ are the go-to authorities on all things connectivity. I’d check their material on the topic.
Have you tough that you would install “burning” toilet to RV? Never seen these on RV but heard positive feedback about these in cottage use. Let the propane burn all you waste, at least it sounds cool, or is it better to say hot!
Cinderella in Norway are manufacturing these.
We use an old Motorola Moto Z2 Force phone with moto mod projector to watch netflix on bedroom ceiling and RV ceiling and awning. We’re obviously not that bothered by not having a projector screen.
We use Happy Camper in our cassette toilet and haven’t had any odor issues. We were very hesitant about getting a truck camper with a cassette but we have been pleasantly surprised how well we adapted.
Good to know!
I bought that projector and I was not impressed…. there are better ones available, but they cost more.
Hello James and Stef.
I’ve been following you guys for quite awhile. I am starting to look at RVs. Was your pick prior to the Ecko the Solis XP.? I’m worried about the cassette toilet and will be watching your upcoming solutions.
I’ve never had an RV. But have camped many times.
I am considering a Travato or the Solis Xp or possibly the coachman Beyond.
This vehicle will definitely be a second driver. So loading it with lumber and plywood without cutting down the wood at the depot or lumber store will be a huge advantage.
My long term plans are to drive around the country. From top to bottom. And sea to sea. I am in upstate NY and I will keep my house. I do want to get out of here during winter. Those months I’ll tour the Southern. States. So it’s possible I would leave January 1 and return in April.
What are your opinions on my selections. Would you have any suggestions on other vehicles I should look at.
Did you ever feel claustrophobic in Lance.
Any ideas will help.
We’ve never felt claustrophobic in Lance.
Since this is your first RV, I’d recommend that you read our 8 Step Program for Choosing Your First RV.
Then, we went through a version of the process ourselves in video. You can find those here.
Starting the Search for Our Next RV… (Yikes!)
Picking Our Next RV – The Search Continues!
RV Model Comparisons, and… We’ve Chosen Our Next RV!
That’s absolutely our best advice on the subject. Hope it helps!
Isn’t there an automatic system that hooks to the water line supplying the toilet to inject chemical?
There might be. I think someone linked to one in another comment recently.
I have not personally investigated them, so I can’t say. There is a water line to the cassette toilet, so it might be possible to install something like that.
Well, this is an exciting model and as usual you have and will continue to research this model. We all are happy of the questions you ask and look into with any RV model… We appreciate this.
The things that cause pause for me are the following:
What suspension is on this rig to support such a tall box and weight? I remember that the Sumo(as in springs) guys had said a couple of years ago that manufacturers are overloading the Transit in van form…
Also curious what the roof is and how the seams are secured and sealed of the actual box.
Also how are the lithium batteries kept at a happy temp in an outside compartment,?? Is it heated?
Sorry if any of these have already been covered.
Thanks for any further info you can provide.
Winnebago is planning that all iterations of the EKKO should have at least 1500 lbs of cargo carrying capacity. I don’t believe it will be overloaded. Having said that, suspension enhancements can always bring me joy…
The box is built as a C-Class RV. Winnebago has long and deep experience here, so I’ll just refer you to their team for construction details. At some point, we’ll take a factory tour and see for ourselves (and make a video).
The lithium batteries (made by Lithionics) have internal heaters! They’ll keep themselves warm!
I can’t wait to see the evolution of the EKKO under your guidance. I suspect in a few years it will result in being irresistible to me. Since you listed the projector with a question mark, I’ll opine. That projector for the money looks like a great option for dipping your toe into this technology, but I predict with your penchant for quality the referenced projector will eventually be replaced. Although there are many great reviews, I suspect the image quality, lack of keystoning and other lack of features might move you to upgrade.
I ultimately decided on this. https://www.anker.com/store/capsule-ii/D2421J11
I forsee a review down the road.
Looking forward to following and thanks for being such a invaluable reference to so many things for my kind of RV lifestyle!
We actually already have a projector that we take when we do seminars, but it’s a bit big for RV use. We’ll see what we wind up doing.
Ekko Name Suggestions:
Tour de Chat
Frosty the Snowvan
I had actually thought about that one, but it takes too long to say.
“Honey, I’m going to gas up Umberto”
Doesn’t exactly flow.
I thought that perhaps your brackets that mount on your rear door would be on the wishlist. Can you tell me where you found these?
Which brackets are you referring to? Can you link a picture?
James, you write, “But being separated by twin beds…” are you not planning to use the center cushions? What’s the point of having a girl in your van If you’re going to put her in a separate bed? For Janie and I, one of our big questions is if we can leave the puzzle bed together and still get to the storage. Or if we can just take off that first cushion. Or if the EKKO needs toppers to make the bed comfortable like the Travato did or if the new mattress is better.
Adding the cushion would make it a puzzle bed, and super annoying. I don’t believe you could get to the drawers with the bed made up with the center cushions.
The thing is… both of us would fit on one bed if we wanted. 😉
A bit excited about getting your new EKKO? I’m excited for you! And I can’t wait to see how you get it kitted out!
Mildly excited. Perhaps. 😉
For the light bar you might want to look at ones from VisionX or Baja Designs, two high quality US based companies that are generally considered the high quality options for off-road use. More expensive that the generic Chinese products but significantly better performance and more options for size and beam patterns and light output.
We happen to have a VisionX light bar on the top of our cab and two VisionX long distance round lights mounted on the front bumper but Baja Designs is another good option.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll check them out!
Always happy to get higher quality stuff.
Check if this is the correct part number cassette for the EKKO Thetford toilet. From a US store and cheaper…
Wow, that’s really close, but I don’t think it’s the same. It looks like it’s missing a valve or vent on top.
For the record, the Thetford toilet model in the EKKO is the 223-CS.
My Amazon cart has been on fire lately so I’ll probably forget someting.
Weboost reach, collapsable orange traffic cones, light weight cot, omnia oven, two command hook bins.
We like a liquid tank juice called odorless and I have that on the way too.
The weboost is getting installed in the Travato so also a 12v adapter. Have to decide if that stays there or moves to the Ekko.
5 cones come in a pack so the T and Ekko can each have a couple and one command bin has a spot picked out in the T.
For now trying to only buy stuff that I can use in the meantime.
The cones is a good one!
That’s always a problem for small RV owners and first-come-first-served campsites. We worry about losing our site if we go off somewhere.
The Omnia folks really need to make an induction compatible model!
We, too, have used liquid Odorlos for many years in our boat and plan to use it in our EKKO when that time comes. Excellent product. Widely available.
Gee, only 10 items? That’s pretty disciplined. Let us know when to make submissions for naming the new rig.
Oh, you can make name submissions any time. We haven’t had a name revelation like “Lance” yet…
This could be the dream cassette problem solution. I dont think it can be retro fitted though but with your skills in the mod department. I wouldn’t bet on it.
By the way…I think the new van looks the biz, certainly impressive. It’s certainly very European in its design and layout. Hymer, Burstner and Adria have versions of the swing wall shower as do auto sleeper here in the UK.
Seems the Ford base is becoming more popular every season with every converter.
my buddy just bought a WeBoost Drive Reach RV last week. We are both very tech savvy and after extensive testing and tweaking we can’t really tell it does much at all. Maybe a little if you literally hold the phone and the indoor antenna in the same hand. We tested using both an iphone 8 on Verizon and a pixel 3 on FI. He returned it and plan to use a DIY directional antenna/router combo for a lot less money and much better performance. And the soon we will have Starlink!
I’m sorry to hear that. Our experience with WeBoost has been just the opposite. We’ve had an older model installed in Lance since day one, and it saves us frequently.
We did some testing on a newer model we had in Parky, and it showed great improvement. You can see our test results here: Testing Our New Cell Booster – WeBoost Drive X RV
What was the cell reception when you were testing the WeBoost. A cell booster only works when the cell signal is very weak. If it’s a good signal, the WeBoost won’t help. And if there is no signal, the WeBoost can’t enhance nothing. But when the signal is weak – like one bar – the WeBoost is amazing! Many times it has let me do email and browse the web when otherwise I couldn’t do anything.
We initially found the same thing, but found when you are right on top of the antenna you get the expected increase. Yes it works, but not as advertised. IMHO
Great information appreciate all your ideas…what are you planning for more lithium in your new EKKO? We love it also, but the one battery with generator or two battery option isn’t enough power for hot Florida. Any ideas would be appreciated. Congratulations again.
We will be figuring out how to add more lithium to the EKKO, but even before that, the EKKO with two batteries has more lithium capacity than our RV Lance does. And we’ve been RVing with Lance without a generator for 4 years!
Being a brit and having had 17 years of training on the toilet cassette and having tried virtually every chem that avoids using horrid poisonous, formaldehyde. I got a tip, which was mainly a wallet friendly tip. That washing machine satchets are not only a cheap alternative, to chemicals but also friendly for septic tanks. Which many f our small farm type stopover have.
I put one in after every empty. That’s enough for me but you might need a few at first.
I but a supermarket brand box of 20 which works out about your 3$.
So much cheaper than any chem available.
They also clean the tank as they do their……er….you know.
I expect we’ll get loads of advice as we begin our cassette journey in earnest.
Thanks for the ideas!