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Y’all know RV trips for James and me revolve around cycling. Back when we were shopping for our next RV, finding an RV that suited our cycling love was at the top of our list. But there was another feature at the top of our list, too— we wanted an RV that was a winter camping rock star.
We discovered back with our last campervan Lance that RV trips to winter wonderlands were something we especially enjoyed. But Lance had limitations. There’s only so much you can do in a campervan to get it comfy for extreme cold temps and to keep the water lines from freezing. We were able to pull off winter camping in Lance with lots of mods, but it’s been great that our new Winnebago Ekko, “Number One,” has made winter trips even easier.
As I write, we’re currently camping at Brian Head Ski Resort. The elevation is 10,000 feet and the temperature outside is around 20 degrees. I’ve got the Truma set at 68 degrees and we’re warm and toasty inside.
Brian Head is one of the few ski resorts around the country that allow overnight RV camping—as long as you have a lift ticket— so that’s why we’re here.
The parking lot has 3 tiers, and the highest, Tier 3, is where RVs are allowed to overnight. It’s actually walkable from there to the resort, but walking in ski boots is hard! And besides, you can’t see the slopes from up there.
So we’ve been moving Number One each morning down to the main parking lot so we can be right in the action. That’s another thing to love about our Ekko, the tiny footprint lets it squeeze in without issues. Bigger RVs would be forced to stay up in Tier 3 during the day, forcing you to make the long schlep up and down the hill in ski boots.
James is a huge skier, so he’s been skiing each day all day, and I’ve done my ski ‘dabbling’ thing… where I take a lesson and then ski only enough to say I went skiing.
My instructor on the left in this pic, Wendy, is a 68 year old badass. She’s driven a Winnebago Minnie Winnie all over the US, Canada, and Alaska, and now she’s enjoying teaching (counseling?) remedial skiers like me to suck it up and quit psyching ourselves out on the slopes. I’m a ski chicken, tied to my lack of love for all things involving heights. So taking lessons helps. James refers to it as dropping me off at ski daycare.
James and I have been “skiing” together over a decade, so he’s quite familiar with dropping me off at various ski daycares. I’m fine with that term. It’s quite fitting, actually.
Today is our last day here. I’ve decided I earned my ski stripes for this resort so I’m happily not skiing today. James has been off on the slopes since the lifts opened. Mel and I have Number One all to ourselves.
James was worried for me, “but won’t you be bored waiting for me here with nothing to do all day?” LOLLL! It’ll be rough James, but I’ll try to handle it. Now hurry up and leave so I can turn my audiobook on and get back in bed.
But really, even though I’m being an RV potato today, I do love being outside and being active on our winter trips. It’s hard to describe how awesome it feels to be out all day, working up a satisfying exhaustion, and then chilling out in our “fort” in the evenings.
The RV, in the evenings, when you’re somewhere snowy and lovely, invokes those same feelings as a warm fuzzy blanket, or a hot cup of tea, or the warmth coming off a fireplace— all those things that make you feel cozy in the winter—an RV gives those same comfy vibes. It’s such a different feeling than hanging in the RV in the summer! Snow has a way of making things seem still and calm. Peaceful. It’s cold outside, so snuggle in where you’re warm and safe.
We’ve had such a great time here we’re thinking there’s enough winter left we might head to a few other RV-friendly ski resorts next. James’ birthday is coming up, after all! What better way to spend it than doing some more winter camping, checking out some new-to-us ski resorts, and dropping me off at exciting new ski daycares!
PRO EKKO TIP: James wanted me to pass on a hot tip he’s discovered. If you’re taking your Ekko skiing, put your ski boots on the drivers side of the gear garage. That’s where the heating duct is!
We took our 2023 EKKO up to Mount Baker Ski area last weekend, Nightly lows around 10 degrees and no issues with it other than one strange, full 12v power shut down mid day one day. Fortunately my wife was, like Steph, enjoying a down day and was in the van when this happened. She just started the engine for a sec, and everything came back on and stayed on after shutting engine down and there were no further issues, . It was mid day on a 12 degree day with a good wind blowing so wondering if the dual lithium batteries just got too cold? They were not discharged at all so only guess was extreme cold. Had my wife not been in the van at the time, and it sat several hours with no heat on in 12 degrees, that could have been a bad day!
The batteries have internal heaters, so they won’t get too cold as long as they have adequate power.
A low power shut-down might have done what you describe. Did you check your state of charge with the Lithionics app?
(In an EKKO, the Lithionics app is the ONLY – repeat ONLY – way to get the state of charge of your batteries. All other monitors should be covered up, as the information on them is typically so wrong as to be misleading.
Thanks James, I was relying on the Solar Charger Panel and the battery panel below it, both which were showing either 100% or 75%. I’ll check out the Lithionics app, haven’t downloaded that one yet. About the only thing we used that I would expect to have any significant draw was the inverter for the Microwave. How fast would an Inverter being on take to kill 2 fully charged batteries? Wish there was a timer for the inverter where you could set it to go on for something like 10 minutes then automatically go off as it is easy to forget about.
I don’t think the stock inverter has that great of a standby load. Still, it’s a best practice to turn it off if you’re not using it directly. There is a timer on the inverter, but it’s set to something like 25 hours. If you look in the manual, it may be adjustable down (though I don’t think you’d want it as short as 10 minutes if you were running the air conditioning.
An EASY reminder for the inverter is to get yourself a night light that runs on 120v household current. Put the night light somewhere conspicuous. If the inverter is on, the night light will be on, and it will remind you to turn it off.
you need to drive up to kicking horse or revelstoke in Canada… experience terrific rv winter camping ski resort style. kicking horse and revy are rv friendly and super great vibe. These resorts and the Canadian powder highway are why i bought my ekko for retirement. Yes, I have creeped you here and on the FB pages. I am hoping for a winter ekko video with tricks, suggestions and warnings. Do you recommend grant’s mods like the winch, kick ass rubber, and lift? Thanks so much, you guys are super great and love your vibe. I get my ekko autumn 22 maybe, possibly…. hopefully… and i saw you installed an anti-freeze mod on the water heater… did you need it? Or do you know need it, as i expect you are running it… but perhaps you tried with and without.
Hi Stephanie and James – is the Ekko’s garage warm enough and does it have enough air flow to dry ski outerwear overnight? Is it possible to hang clothes in the garage? Our dream plan is to ski out of an RV. The Ekko seems to fit the bill except the delivery date is out to Fall 2022. GREAT blog!!! Thanks, Lorene
I haven’t actually tried that – just the boots, which seem to be dry the next day, so that’s a good thing.
It definitely feels warm when you open the door to the garage and stick your head in there. The heat wouldn’t be the issue. Airflow may be lacking to use the garage as a “dryer” though.
In general, we have the same issues with moisture and condensation as any tightly sealed RV in the colder months.
I will add though, that my pants and jacket seem to dry pretty quickly inside the living space. Same for the towels from showering overnight.
You should go visit Yellowstone in the winter!! We do each year. Mammoth campground is always open and we’re usually the only people there. During the day we go out on the Grand Loop Road (212) and watch the elk, buffalo, and wolves. Worth it if you have a four season rig!!
We thought about heading there this weekend… then we saw that they were expecting HIGH temperatures below zero and thought the better of it. Even if the rig could handle it, who wants to go outside when it’s THAT cold?
Great to get your post from Brianhead as we live in Leeds, just north of St George and ski at Brianhead. Sounds like the Ekko is great for fall, spring and even winter adventures! We have a View and would rate it winter worthy. Fall and spring with nights in the 20s and days will above freezing would be okay. Not nearly the insulation as an Ekko however. Am texting from second home in Esclante entering where youte off to next?
That is would NOT rate it WINTER worthy!
We’re at Purgatgory – got here in a blinding snowstorm. Should be AWESOME tomorrow!