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Greetings all, we’ve had our new EKKO for about a week now. We’ve confirmed that it’s the very first EKKO delivered to an end customer, so we’re rather proud about that.
We’ve been “heads down” working on a video project for Winnebago ever since we got our EKKO, but we finally broke away this past weekend to make a quick video tour and update. Here You Go!!
And before I talk about the video, probably our biggest announcement is that we’ve named our new rig. It’s:
That’s an obvious Star Trek reference, but we thought it fits. And most importantly, it opens up lots of super lame jokes and puns and memes and ridiculous things I can say in videos. I thought I’d list some here, but then I thought it might be more fun to let you sound off with them in the comments below. Give it your best shot! I’m sure I’ll be using them on YouTube for years.
As far as the video – we’ve got over. two. hours. of EKKO tours on YouTube already, so we just couldn’t go around opening cabinets and measuring them again. Instead, we just hit the highlights – things that are different on our EKKO from those prototypes, pilots, and pre-production coaches we’ve seen before. There were only about 8 or 9 things, so you’ll just have to watch the video to see them.
If you’re interested in picking up the Vanmade shades we show, you can find them here: https://www.vanmadegear.com/product-category/ford-transit/2020-plus/
And… Before you ask, Stef’s super-cute dress is from Aventura Clothing. She’s an ambassador for them, and this particular dress was a score. Even I noticed it, and I don’t usually notice unless there are tools or wires involved, and Stef had neither.
That’s pretty much it for now. You’ll hear us allude to some mods we have planned in the very near future. Expect a video on some of those within a week!
Cheers! (And don’t forget the Number One jokes!)
Hey James and Stefany, Enjoying the videos of the Ekko. I’ll have to sell a few “Toys” as I’m retired now. I am curious, and I’m sorry if I missed the video, why did you need a new engine at 60,000 miles on Lance?
We didn’t make a video specifically about it, but you can read all about the Lance engine saga in a few blog posts, starting here: Man Down! Lance Is In the Shop!
FYI – All Coachmen B vans (Galleria, Beyond & Nova) come with paper towel holder, spice rack and place for waste basket.
I noticed on the EKKO when you installed the induction cooktop you appeared to switch the sink and stove position around. If that is true did you do a segment on how that was done?
Also my wife is 5 foot tall so what would it take to move the microwave below the sink?
There’s a galley remodel video that will be coming out soon. But it wasn’t easy.
As far as moving the microwave below the sink, it’s probably possible. I assume you mean our sink location, and not the location over the two drawers? Two challenges: You’d have to wire up an outlet inside the cabinet. And you’d need to find a very shallow sink and some kind of trap that wasn’t a P-trap.
We are looking at the Ekko vs the Cross Trail. I love the under-bed storage on the Ekko but it does not look to me like it is accessible when the bed is converted to a full-size bed. Also, it seems with that middle piece on the bed that you would have to make the bed and pull it apart every day to access the storage underneath.
Am I understanding this correctly? Do you cover it in one of your videos? Why wouldn’t Winnebago just put it on hydraulics the back could then be a dinette during the day and the van could lose about 2 feet.
I think the extra cushions for our bed are in the attic somewhere. We have literally NEVER used them. Stef had to convince me not to simply throw them out.
Un-making and re-making the bed every day is the biggest reason why we never use them. “No Puzzle Beds” was a key, must-have criteria for us.
You are correct that you would have to remove the middle bed pieces to get access to the drawers. We never considered that, because we knew we would never use the middle pieces.
Question on the Ekko Lithionics system. I just received my Ekko and am trying to figure out the best way to short term store it during the winter. I have the two 320 amp battery setup and I noticed that only one of the batteries is “powered on”. Meaning blue light is active on one but not the other. Lithionics says talk to the dealer for technical questions, but the dealer does not seem to be an expert on these complex battery systems. So my question for you since I saw your awesome video on your 20,000 amp hour system, would you power off the battery as per what the Lithionics manual recommends (and should only the one battery be powered on/off as they are wired together) or would you leave the RV plugged into 30 amp power cord for storing about a month between use. Sorry for the long winded question!! And Thank you.
As far as storage recommendations: I would follow what the Lithionics manual says. If it says to power down for your storage scenario, then that’s what I would do. Pretty much nothing bad can happen to the batteries if they’re powered down. But if you’re on a charger, then that’s more ways things can go wrong.
As far as powering them on or off: Though they’re wired in parallel, each battery needs to be powered on and off individually. If the lights aren’t on on your second battery… go turn it on! On my bank of 5 batteries, I have 5 blue lights, and I turn each of the 5 on and off each time I do so.
I was considering Revel or Storyteller until Ekko came out. Many complained of Revel with a lot of interior noise, I assume due to Winnebago’s poor workmanship. Can you comment on the interior build quality of Ekko? Thx in advance.
Seems OK to us. It’s as expected.
Do you know what Ekko means or why they named it that?
I don’t think it means anything, except to be reminiscent of “echo”.
Like what you’ll hear when you get out there.
I have spent a bit of time in the revel and just received my Ekko. The build qualities (materials and workmanship) are very similar. Only difference is the Revel is full Mercedes chassis quality vs the Ekko being a hand fabricated rear compartment. The sleeping setup in the Ekko is just awesome. And the bathroom/shower setup is much much better.
Love all your videos, have been following for a while via youtube. (cleaning out tanks!)
1. Wanted to know the sizes on the rear garage dimensions and the actual door openings, I can’t find that info anywhere and haven’t seen one at a dealers lot to measure myself. I have a 33″ wide recumbent Trike that is a bit bigger than a standard bike.
2. How much solar are you planning on and do you know the weight limit of the luggage rack?
Happy for all three of you.
I don’t know the weight limit of the rack, but it seems of the same construction as the one on the revel – all metal – so I’m not worried about the panels I’ll mount there. I’ll probably wind up in the 700-750 watt range for mounted panels when I’m all done. I don’t foresee a need to add anything else to the rack.
The dimensions of the garage are in another one of our videos. This one.
I’m in the same predicament Mike. Have a foldable ICE Adventure. Based on James’ measurements in his video, I think I may be able to angle it in standing up. If not, I’ll go with a hitch mounted rack or cargo carrier, but prefer to have it secure in the garage. James? Any thoughts of getting a foldable trike in that garage? My Ekko is 6 months out. I look forward to seeing you Ekko How To Videos.
The hardest part of that would be getting it past the door. I feel like there’s plenty nof room once you get inside the door.
Hello I’m new to all of this so I appreciate your videos as they are very insightful. My son & DiL have an airstream they tow and they love it. I am looking for something smaller I can drive just about anywhere as it’s just just me (71) & Leo (ruff). I love to explore, photography, fishing & riding my Indian so I am excited about the Ekko’s 5k towing capacity & large garage. Have you done any videos on the exterior features i.e.,kitchen, rear garage etc? I was at the Hershey Show but it was pretty packed & time spent inside units was limited when people were waiting in line. Thanks – Puck.
We haven’t done any videos specifically on the gear garage or the exterior kitchen. (Our coach doesn’t even have the exterior kitchen!)
At some point, I’ll be modding that garage to improve the bike storage, but it works for now, so it’s further down the list.
As per usual, I’m late to the party in commenting. But, I must express my shock. I mean come on James, you’re a really smart cookie and as a married man of many years, you and I both know that Stef is Number One. So, prequalifiers aside, love, love the name. Can’t wait to see how it plays out over time.
Thanks for all the “New RV Search” videos and info! Definitely some good food for thought as we’re searching for the right RV too. I’m wondering, since you limited the search length to under 24’ and the Ekko is 23’1” (according to Winnebago.com), can you tell me if you‘ve noticed any difference in it’s length vs. say the Leisure travel Serenity at 24’6”? Is there any discernible difference between the lengths are far as driving, getting into places, parking, etc. that you’ve noticed? We met someone with a ‘14 Serenity last week who said they’ve had no problems getting into parks, parking, etc. So not sure there are any advantages or disadvantages in a few inches +/- once you’re around 24’ ? We love the usability of a smaller 19.5-22 ft van, but there are some real advantages of going a little larger, especially since we’re a family of 4 (2 toddlers). Thanks.
Oh, and love the shortened name “One”, but until you start using it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking “Number One” outdoors as much as possible! Sorry, couldn’t hold it in. 🙂 – plus we have 2 boys, so, you know, sometimes only 1 adult in the house!
I’ve never driven a Serenity, but I have driven a Unity (though I forget which one). The Unity I drove handled well, but the EKKO seems to drive a bit better.
As far as fitting into parking spaces – your comfort level there will be a very individual thing. I might be comfortable squeezing our EKKO into a tight spot at the grocery store, where others may want to park in the far reaches of the lot. Same rig, same store – but we’d be different in what we felt good doing. We had driven some extended Sprinters (just vans), and decided that (over 24’) was too long. That’s where I came up with it. I’d suggest driving some rigs of different lengths (ALL DRIVERS!) and see what everyone is OK with.
The EKKO looks great. We’re strongly considering that and the Revel. Did you consider the Revel in the purchasing decision? If so, what swayed you towards the EKKO aside from more elbow room. (Great website and videos). Thanks
We did consider the Revel.
We actually went through a very detailed, criteria-driven process, covering three videos.
The process starts here: https://www.thefitrv.com/blog/starting-the-search-for-our-next-rv-yikes/
Nice!! We have our EKKO on order and are very excited about the batteries. We opted for the second battery instead of the generator. Do you know if we’ll be able to run the a/c off just the batteries and for how long? We hated the generator in our ERA 70A (Frida) and hardly used it. Looking for a new name for the new addition.
Thanks for very informative vids. I am wondering whether or not your EKKO has taken the luggage racks option. We would like to make sure that the racks holding solar panels are indeed luggage racks.
The rack is an RV-specific product from Summit. It is of metal construction and seems sturdy.
I don’t know how much luggage you were planning on adding to it, but with all the solar… there’s not a lot of room up there for luggage.
Some questions and comments:
Number One: Have you weighed in yet? What is the front/rear weight ratio?And: What is the weight of the additional batteries? (Guess that’s three Qs…)
Number Two: I have been using the Mopeka sensors for a while and quite happy with them, but they do misread occasionally and tell you the tanks are empty with they are not. The Mopeda is important for us because we only have one tank and it’s nice to to know how much is in there before taking off.
Number Three: You don’t just store your window shades on the bed like everyone else? People sleeping and window shades are like golfers and cross country skiers.
Cheers, and happy vanning!!
If we stored the window shades on the bed, they’d be covered in cat hair!!
But think of the extra insulation!
You pointed out the change with the solar controller to the Xantrex from Zamp. Are you concerned or disappointed with this change? I noticed its a 30A PWM and not a MPPT configuration. I realize the controller and inverter will both be from Xantrex. Will you be changing this out with the 20K project? I wasn’t sure if Winnebago consulted you with the new change and setup. It seems the MPPT would be a better fit with two Li batteries and the amount of solar the EKKO offered. Thanks again!
They didn’t consult me about the change to the solar charge controller. (I wish!)
I will be looking at the charge controller as part of the 20k project. But my changes won’t be for everybody! Details to come.
Did I hear that right? This $160,000 RV with top-of-the-line lithium battery has a PWM solar controller? Why bother with PV panels at all if you’re not going to maximize their output?
I don’t draw that same conclusion. “Why have a car at all if you’re not going to get a Ferrari?”
(Granted, we’d all like Ferraris, but you get the point.)
I suspect this decision was driven by the most economical way to meet design objectives.
If the design objective was “no need for hookups at all unless you’re running the air conditioner”… they’ve met that objective.
In our test camping, we never needed to plug in, and we never wanted for a generator. The PWM controller and installed solar kept the batteries charged to near 100%, all the time, in our testing.
And truthfully, if the panel voltages and battery charging voltages are close – as they are in the EKKO – the advantages of the MPPT controller are diminished.
Suggested reading: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Technical-Information-Which-solar-charge-controller-PWM-or-MPPT.pdf
But, like I said, the PWM controller gets the job done. It meets design criteria and the majority of users will not want for more.
Those who want to take things further – like myself – will probably change things… but I would have changed things anyway.
If I were building a mass-market coach – I’d make the same decision.
Hi – Number One is very cool (in every sense of the word)!
In case you’re going to need to find a new home for your stock inverter/charger (Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 I think), we could use it as an upgrade for our existing Xantrex Freedom Xi 2000 inverter only). We’ll be heading your direction later this month and could pick it up if available.
I would call it “One”. Thank goodness we do not have The Facebook. Congrats!
Thanks, Mark! I’m betting we’ll shorten it to One in time, or at least I will… I’m lazy that way. 😉
And yep, we’ve got a lot of followers not on social media like you, so we try to keep that in mind and make sure we’re giving updates here too. More to come!
Once you add the cat door, will Mel have any light? You could always stick one of these in his head: https://www.amazon.com/Searik-Under-Cabinet-Lighting-Anywhere-Bathroom/dp/B071VDVTBS/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=motion+activated+stick+on+lights&qid=1623289039&sr=8-5
Awww, what a thoughtful touch! James, you should do this!
Great name. I guess the pressure is on the 2nd Ekko owner(s) for naming their rig. Glad to see the video. Great hat Stefany. Best wishes on your adventures.
I love that hat!!! Got it off Amazon if anyone’s interested: https://amzn.to/3xbQT3o
First time commenter!!! Love the Ekko!! I want to thank James for all the tips on the Promaster. If not for you would not have known about the problems with the temp gauge and to change the thermostat around 30000 miles. Because of your video I have gotten a scan gauge! I have watched most of your videos probably since ‘18, very helpful! I have a 18 Carado Banff. I have Pedego Ebikes that I ride mostly on rails to trails have did George Michelson Trail in the Black Hills and have ridden The Natchez Trace twice in both directions, lots of history!! Thanks again for all the videos!!! Larry Hickman
Glad you’ve found my posts helpful in the past. Welcome!
Now… if I can just manage to be helpful in the future as well, I’ll be on to something.
Super nice rig! So happy for you ‘three’!
Do you think you will miss having a convection oven in the microwave?
Thanks Rick! We didn’t have a convection microwave in Lance, but we did in Parky… and we never used it once! So Number One’s standard microwave is totally fine. 🙂
So if the Ekko is Number One it must follow that:
James is Chief Engineering Officer La Forge
Stefany must be Counselor Troi.
Nice! I’ll take it!
Stef’s probably good with it, too.
Mel will take revolving roles:
a tunneling Horta
We have the same bed layout in our rig. It is my assertion that putting on the sheets is like eating hard shell tacos….. There’s no dignified way to do it.
LOL! So true. Especially when that center cushion is in place, the struggle is real!
I am so jealous…….ok, I got that out of the way.
IC you opted for the grey/white color scheme; not the red/grey?
I think a cool and useful mod would be a “dutch” door on the camper. Other than that, it’s near perfect. Especially for my road trips – solo guy with dog.
Look forward to your reveal on what mods you made to the rear storage garage.
A Dutch door… I think lots of owners would love that!
And even though we got the Ekko for its rear garage, that mod is surprisingly way down our priority list. We plan to just use our bike gurney, the one we had for Lance, in the gear garage to haul our bikes this summer. So gear garage will be awhile.
James hasn’t even mounted my paper towel holder yet!
I think you should carefully consider whether or not you really want to upgrade to 20 kWh battery capacity. And then reject the possibility.
Because if you do go through with it I will be very jealous (I only have 8 kWh)
LOL! Well really, your system itself is a beast. 20 is crazy over the top! But we like crazy over the top soooo… here we go!
I imagine that after years of enjoying Lance’s advanced systems, parking in 110-degree conditions and comfortably inhabiting the cabin without running a generator is a routine situation (not worth mentioning in this video). I just want to remind everyone else that this remains a very rare and game-changing capability in a production RV. Hats off to Winnebago and Lithionics.
Thanks, Patrick. You’re so right. Though I’ve gotta admit the 110 degrees was an exaggeration… it was only 100. But still. Sitting in the full sun in the middle of the desert and able to run the air, make margaritas, whatever we want out there… it’s exciting stuff and great to see the RV industry has come such a long way.
…and when Ford increases the range of their electric Transit to something that passes the laugh test, and Winnebago starts using that chassis, we’ll have *arrived.*
Indeed!!!! Isn’t it crazy to think just a few years ago that was a far-fetched concept?
Funny that you named an RV with a cassette toilet…
(Yes – I’m a second grader — if you choose to moderate this out I will understand!)
We’ll, I’m only in fourth grade, so we can still hang out.
I was think similarly, but wasn’t, um, brave enough to say it.
Simple and perfect name. Will be interesting to see if what if any other changes are made as more ordered vans come out. Enjoy Number One!!!
Thanks, Don! And you’re right it’s quite possible there will be more differences. Guess we shall see!
Number One it is! A well deserved recognition! And perfectly gender neutral!!
Are you going swing your legs over the chair Riker style?
LOLLL! How did I miss he does this?! Awesome share, thanks for the laugh!
Crap. How did I never notice this!
Hey just wanted to say thanks for sharing. Hope to one day see you and other EKKO’ers on the road! Cheers!
Back at ‘ya!
Awesome! Can’t wait to see what mods you make to it. The only question I have is where are you going to put the beard!?
“The beard is an ancient and proud tradition” – William Riker
And we have our first entry… Love it!
Seeing you with this beautiful new rig is simply ONEDERFUL !!!!
Mel’s Cat Cavern is such a brilliant idea. Our Mimi & Jojo’s box is in the shower.
We can’t wait to see all the mods and adventures to come.
As always wishing you dry roads and green lights,
Andy & Kim
Ha! One-derful, I see what you did there… and I’m so stealing that! ❤️
Great and useful video. Suspect the owners of the second production unit won’t be following your naming convention but I do think it is a great name for yours.
LOL! Well let’s all hope they have a 10-year-old’s sense of humor… and they DO follow our naming convention!!!
I would call the new RV the Bread Truck.
Put a bread company magnet on the side and you just might be able to get away with urban stealth camping!