Meet the Winnebago EKKO – Our Next RV!


Well, FINALLY we can talk about this.  Trust me, it’s felt like a lot longer than it’s actually been because this news is huge.  The Winnebago EKKO is going to be our next RV.

We were part of the official Winnebago reveal, and after that, we filmed a pretty thorough walkthrough with Brian – the lead designer for this new coach.  When we were done filming all that, we had a few minutes to grab whatever footage we could for our own purposes.  It’s rough… It was rushed…  It’s not a complete review…  But you can see what we got (pictures and video) and hear our thoughts about this awesome new coach in the video below:

 

So, lots of questions, and I’ll try to answer them.  The first and most obvious question for me is “How did it score on your Next RV Scoresheet?”   61,770 points!  A clear winner.  The scoring breaks down below.

 

So, a couple things I might want to clarify on the scoring.  The EKKO has two wardrobes, but no easy way for Mel the Cat to get back to the garage.  So one of the wardrobes (mine, sadly) will need to be given up for cat storage space.  So the EKKO got points for bike storage and cat storage, but not separate wardrobes.  Next, even though the model we saw had a TV, it got credit for “No TV” because the TV is optional.  Also optional (so we were told) is the generator, so it got those points as well.  It also got points for See Level Monitors because, even though the tank monitors were not the SeeLevel brand, they were based on pressure transducers (I saw one uninstalled), and not on those stupid probes from the 1960s.  It also got credit for “No pictures of wood” because there is a second color scheme that wasn’t shown.  I saw pictures of it, and there were laminate and other solid finishes… but no fake wood.  Bonus!  The color swatches and such are probably online at Winnebago.com by now.  Anyways, if you have questions on the scoring, sound off below.

There are probably going to be many other questions on the EKKO, and I’m happy to share what I know.  You can ask questions in the comments, and if I know or I can find out, I’ll answer.  I’ll also take the frequently asked questions and promote them to this next section I conveniently call

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

So, what is it?  Is it a B?  C?  B+?  C-?

Most properly, and according to RVIA designations, it’s a class C, as it’s built on a cutaway chassis.  Marketing and sales types may have or invent their own names for it.  We’ve been calling a rig like this a “C Minus” for years.  It’s just as valid a class name as anything anyone else makes up, but the marketing folks tell me that’s a terrible name and I should stick to engineering.  If you want to be somewhat technically correct, but more descriptive than simply “Class C”, I’ll suggest Ultra Compact C.

You really don’t like awnings, and this rig had two.  What gives?

Well yeah… This rig did not get the 500 point “no awning” bonus.  The second “Bat Wing” awning is optional, so we obviously won’t be getting that.  We’d love for there to have been an “awning delete” option, but, as we said in our “I freaking hate awnings” video, RV dealers think everyone loves and wants awnings.  So for now, the main stupid awning is not optional.  But maybe we can change that!  If you want an EKKO, and you want the awning to be optional – hold your dealer to it!  Tell them you don’t want an awning, that you aren’t going to pay for it, and you expect a credit for the awning not being there.  If the dealers hear this enough, they’ll start asking for “no awning” to be an option… and then it may happen!

You guys aren’t super jazzed about cassette toilets either, but this rig has one.  Have you stopped pooping or something?

True, cassette toilets aren’t our favorite, but we specifically left toilets out of our decision criteria because we don’t love any of the options.  (We’re told there’s a second floor plan coming out with a traditional RV toilet, but it’s a bit longer than 24′.  But don’t quote me on that.)  Anyway, we’ve been forced to use cassettes on several occasions since our original cassette meltdown, and we’ve been able to reach an uneasy peace with them.  If you use literally 8 times the recommended amount of chemicals, that helps.  Also, proper dump stations for cassettes help (if you’re in Europe).  Plus – I have some ideas on how to alleviate some of the worst problems we have with the cassettes.  So yeah, it’s got a cassette toilet.  But you can also count on some of my first mods being cassette related.

Is it REALLY a 4 season rig?

I don’t know if Winnebago would actually make that claim, but in my opinion, it is.  After poking around it for a while, I really can’t think of anything else I would need to do to this rig to make it winter-ready.  Literally… nothing.  At least not without having some testing reveal a shortcoming.  All the fresh water lines and BOTH the fresh and grey tanks are inside.  What’s to freeze?  The only potential weak spot would be the water service center, but even it is insulated from the outside just as the walls, so I don’t think freezing is very likely.  No tank heaters to use up battery capacity.  It all adds up.  I think most anyone could use this rig in sub-freezing temperatures and have full functionality.

Can you get through from the front to the garage without going outside?

Not readily or without modifications, as far as we could tell.  The above floor water and waste tanks are the culprits here.  Imagine U-shaped tanks stacked, one on top of the other, cradling the center aisle in the bedroom so that you walk into the middle of the U.  That’s kind of the deal.  There may be a way to create access to the garage, but I’d need to poke around at it first.  And then (for us) it would remain to be seen if I could teach Mel the Cat to go through the access to use his litter box.  But if I could… that’s like the holy grail of Cat RVing.  The litter box in the garage.  It’s a worthy goal, and one that I will certainly be exploring.

 


So There you go.  Our initial thoughts on the new Winnebago EKKO.  We will one day get a complete review of our own posted – we just didn’t have enough time to make that happen.  If you have questions, like I said, sound off below and I’ll do my best.

And if you’re interested in the Facebook group for owners and wannabes that Stef has started, you can find that here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ekkoownersandwannabes

Guys, I really can’t say how excited I am to finally see something like this on our side of the Atlantic.  It’s going to be a game changer… GAME ON!

James

 



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    124 thoughts on “Meet the Winnebago EKKO – Our Next RV!

    1. Barry Patton

      Disappointed in Lithium system except for the Lithionics 315 x 2 heated batteries.

      1. A converter charger (45 amp) with a 2000w inverter. S/B 3000w Xantrex
      inverter/charger (150 amp). When I have hookups I want fast charging with power sharing for the times I have less than 30 amps.

      2. Balmar regulator. The alternative to the Balmar is the Wakespeed WS500 with inside the coach an OPPE-Tether to allow an easy way to adjust the WS500. The WS500 acts like a normal high end charger instead of a Balmar regulator which only looks at voltage which can lead to undercharging or over charging the Lithium batteries

      This article explain all: https://panbo.com/how-wakespeeds-ws500-alternator-regulator-solves-complex-charging-issues-a-new-approach/

      The WS500 was developed to integrate with the Lithionics BMS.

      3. The Balmar alternator only charges at idle 140 amps. The Nations XP280 alternator charges at 200 amps at idle. The Nations XP370 alternator is the same as the XP280 except for a different rotor and stator Idle output is similar to the XP280 but does higher output at higher rpms than the XP280.

      I want the fastest charging for 630 ah Lithium. And especially if another 315 ah battery can be added ( generator space?).

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        1. The converter and charger are misprints in their specs. I’ve pointed this out to them.
        The EKKO we saw included a 2000 Watt Xantrex Freedom XC inverter/charger.

        2. TL;DR We’ve been using a Balmar regulator in our Lithionics system for over 4 years now. We’ve experienced no over or under-charging issues, and the Lithionics battery is perfectly capable of communicating with the Balmar regulator to shut off the flow. Maybe there’s an extra 4% of efficiency out there somewhere that can be gained. But an extra 4% on top of “enough” is still “enough”.

        3. We’ve got the Nations alternator installed in Lance now. We find the charge output at idle to vary greatly – particularly with temperature. Based on our experience, you can’t count on 200 amps at idle. (We do like the alternator, mind you. We just have not seen numbers like that in real-world use.)

        Reply
    2. Bill H.

      Great information in your videos and writeups on the Ekko, thanks!

      Do you think the twin battery/no generator setup will supply plenty of power for most users? You mentioned you plan to add more batteries to your Ekko.

      You feel they did a great job with the whole lithium “system”, which I gather means top notch lithium specific chargers, converters, etc. Would you plan on upgrading any components in that system? It seems like they did a much better job than simply putting in “drop in” batteries. I imagine you can also plug in to shore power to charge and power things before a trip, for example? Would it be reasonable to idle the engine to charge things up if you were in one place for a bit with cloudy weather?

      I look forward to seeing you document the mods you will make to your own Ekko. I am especially curious about options to replace those airplane seats behind the driver’s seat. Someone could start a business making replacements for that setup! I’ll also be curious about your experience with the cassette toilet. That garage is so big you could carry a 28-50 gallon rolling black water tank and go forever!

      Thanks again for the detailed reports. The cat will be traveling in style!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The twin battery setup has more capacity than what we have today in Lance – and we’ve been RVing successfully without a generator for four years now. So I know we’d be fine… but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to add more battery capacity!

        As far as idling to charge, you could do it. We’ve done it just a very few times in four years. Maybe once a year? It’s nice, but not super important for how we RV. (We move around a lot.)

        As for Mel the Cat. He’s currently oblivious about the new RV, but I can tell you… he’s going to love it!

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, we’ve seen the B-Box, and we like it, obviously.
        We didn’t consider it for our next RV because it’s a custom rig, basically.
        If we get back to Advanced RV any time soon, you can bet we’ll be checking it out.

        Reply
    3. Rick Lewan

      Impressive but I am waiting for an EV version which will offer better power, more space, higher reliability, less long term costs, less time out of use for repair and maintenance.

      Reply
    4. Dean E Philips

      The EKKO looks great, but two big issues:
      1) I am really looking for a propane free build. Batteries are here and more than capable of supporting a backwoods stay. Propane, Lithium Ion Batteries, generator … you just don’t need all three, and I know what I would do away with.
      2) just as outdated as the propane build is cassette toilets, how about a good composting option.

      Reply
        1. Roy Lynch

          James, I’m considering the “Laveo dry-flush” toilet for a new EKKO.
          Why or why not are they an option you’d consider?
          Additionally, would you and Steph opt to “Wrap” your EKKO?

          By the way…
          We’ll take your advice and insist the selling dealer delete the awning.
          My wife and I will NEVER allow a fugly awning on our future EKKO

          Oh!
          Isn’t the max 630 amp/hr / 7875 watt/hr Offered lithium option….
          (Just a bit anemic)
          If so, what’s your remedial choice?

        2. James - Post author

          The Laveo toilet is a cool idea, but it needs a “liquids separating” mechanism as the composting toilets do.
          As it is, it’s a couple bucks per flush. That would get expensive, so we’re not considering that.

          Good luck getting them to delete the awning! Let us know how that goes!

          Lithionics would rate the 630AH battery as 8400 Watts raw (deduct 10% for usable)
          That’s actually a bigger battery than we have in Lance today!
          You always want more, obviously, but the 7000 figure is a good dose of reality.

        1. Davey

          It looks like it can tow up to 4,000 pounds if your OCCC is under the max GVWR overall rating. Not that most would want to drag that much extra around all of the time! Just for comparison that would be a modestly equipped 2-door Jeep Wrangler. As much as we like back country high clearance trails to visit some of our club’s gold prospecting claims, a Jeep of that nature is doable, especially since the primary purpose of OUR Ekko would be for visiting lots of National Parks, Monuments, USFS/BLM campgrounds & boondocking on the moderate & better forest service roads (no Overlanding, LOL). and many of the Army COE parks. Personally we can’t wait to order an Ekko 23A, but will be only able to order it IF we get the awning as sometimes I have to work with the laptop outside and acorns really are annoying during a Zoom meeting, LOL.

        2. James - Post author

          OK. I hadn’t previously considered “acorn protection” as one of the benefits of an awning… lol!

    5. Gloria

      Loved your video…very helpful. The Ekko has most everything we wanted, but using in Florida without hooking up we need A.C. almost full-time. Would they allow the two batteries and the generator as an option? Don’t want the outside kitchen so weight wouldn’t be a problem. If not any suggestions for an after market supplier?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t think Winnebago will offer that as an option. It is something you could add after-market if you wanted.

        Reply
    6. Linda Valiquette

      I think of a comment I saw about “Stef’s need for power” as I ask these questions but unfortunately I don’t have a James in my life to add on after market so I need to ask before I buy. Can you check your notes about the galley– no matter how hard I look I only see 1 object under the right lip of the counter top that looks like it could be a 110 outlet. I know it is a “roughing it” RV for most of you, but for those of us who want it for the 4-seasons and National & State parks capabilities, but want to cook our own meals, including Keurig, could you please use your WGO influence to encourage them to beef up the galley 110 outlets and the inverter capability for us? I don’t use CPAP myself but many do. My son needs a nebulizer, and we have other electronic issues as well so we need our electronics “bubble.” I sure would like to see this EKKO work for us but I need a few options that a pop-top and an awning or outdoor kitchen aren’t going to help. If it wasn’t for our “need for power” I would order today, sight unseen.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That object under the galley is, in fact, an outlet. The microwave is also plugged into an outlet which is up in the cabinet above.
        Adding a 120v outlet, is super easy. I might even trust an RV service center to be able to handle that one without burning down your rig.
        Similarly, swapping the inverter for a large one shouldn’t be too hard – though you would want to upgrade the cabling to handle the larger load.
        That’s also probably do-able by a repair shop – though you’d want one that you trusted there.
        There are outlets elsewhere in the coach, we just didn’t have time for a full review.
        We’re hoping to get a rig to test-camp with. Ask us again when we’ve got it!

        Reply
      2. Linda Valiquette

        Correction: I just watched the video walkthrough again & realized there is a 110 outlet on the left side of the counter underside as well. Linda

        Reply
    7. JB

      Thanks for the solid intro to the Ekko.
      Love the hybrid feel.
      Has Winn provided you a delivery date?
      Some sites list the Ekko as a ‘21 and some have it listed as a ‘22.
      Just wondering when the general public will have an opportunity to purchase and expected delivery.
      Thanks

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Can’t be sure on delivery dates yet. I believe it will be 2021 though. (Not like in a couple weeks or anything.)

        Reply
    8. Linda Valiquette

      Still can’t commit to this until I see if it can compete with the Travato’s Lithium system for “pet” safety when unattended. Travato KL now offers 4 batteries and has auto start if that isn’t enough & you, James, said solar was “MEH” with lithium & yet I see nothing about auto start on the EKKO and you are referring to solar as if you are now expecting it to recharge the lithium. I count on you to be my lithium guru so please clarify– is our service dog safe in an EKKO or is a KL a better fit?
      If you don’t want to post this publicly you can just email my answer so I can order my RV. Thanks for your help.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’ve confirmed that Auto-Start will not be installed on the EKKO. But I can tell you that we don’t have auto-start on our current RV, Lance (which has even less battery) and we have no issues leaving Mel in the rig for hours and hours at a time. Of course: he’s a cat; he’s weird; and he likes it hot. We often come back to find that he’s set himself up in the hottest part of the van he can find. Cats. Go figure.

        The EKKO is far better insulated than any van, even Lance. Also, with the EKKO, it will have the dual pane windows that will *lock* in a slightly open, ventilated position. I suspect this is what we will use most of the time. Just ventilation. That uses far less energy than the air conditioner, and the solar panels alone would run that all day. If it’s too hot for just ventilation, there’s AC. And again here, the extra insulation will help. We can run the AC “full tilt” with no cycling, in Lance for almost 4 hours. If we were to set the air to “Mel temperature” in, effectively, a Yeti cooler, I expect it would run much longer, and wouldn’t feel bad at all about leaving Mel all day – depending on conditions.

        In the end, you’ll have to decide for yourselves on that, and how much of a big deal Auto-Start is to you. I can tell you that with a smaller battery in a less insulated coach than the EKKO… we’ve never needed it for Mel.

        Reply
    9. Ted

      Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond……..

      I actually spent a few seconds watching this video wondering why your rig was being reviewed in German. Looks like they beat you to the “Light Bar” idea.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFzRhgJyuco

      Fascinating to see all the similarities and differences for this doppelganger rig. Be sure to turn on subtitles to follow all the stuff being reviewed.

      Reply
    10. Linda Chong

      THANK YOU so much for posting EKKO video and we’ve been replaying it a few times to get some of the info.
      Our criteria was to have garage space to put tools for my husband’s work (at least three-to-four 28″ luggages), 4WD/ AWD, 3-pt safety belt for 3rd/4th passenger, reliable chassis, sleeps 3 and space for 3 to hang out inside all day long, bathroom w/sink inside & the ability to park at a regular parking anywhere.
      Unfortunately, Revel 2021 has removed the optional front sleeper that was in the older model.
      Since this would be our first RV, I have some concerns that I couldn’t seem to get from the dealership or online search:

      1. Do you know if the furnishing/ lithium batteries emit any fumes that is not healthy to the body? I do see a lot of people living full time in their RV but of course, I do not know how are their health.
      2. How is the maneuverability of the EKKO versus the Revel? Do you think it’ll be more difficult to drive the EKKO than the Revel? The biggest car I’ve driven is just the Toyota minivan.
      3. How fast can one drive on the Revel or EKKO?
      4. How frequent do you need to do oil change on Revel or EKKO? Is it like what we would do on a regular car?

      Thank you in advance for helping answer the above questions.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Interesting questions. Let’s see if I can answer.
        1. Lithium batteries emit no fumes, and they’re outside anyway. There’s always a “New RV” smell, like with any new vehicle. But that dissipates quickly. I’m not aware of that causing any health issues.
        2. The EKKO should be pretty maneuverable. The Revel is shorter, so theoretically easier to move around. But in reality, it’s not hard with any van-sized platform.
        3. We can only recommend you drive at safe speeds and observe all speed limits and restrictions. We have no idea how fast it could go if you took it out on the salt flats or something.
        4. Oil change interval is governed by Ford and the Transit chassis. It’s probably in the Transit owner’s manual, which should be available on line. You can take it to a dealer just like a regular car. You don’t have to go to a truck stop or anything like that.

        Thanks for the questions!

        Reply
        1. Linda Chong

          Thanks for the speedy reply :):)
          The reason I ask the above questions because we are torn between Revel 2021 and EKKO 2022.
          I kinda like Revel because it’s exactly a van from the outside (kind of rugged looking) and it being a 4WD (versus AWD) but the drawback is the size inside, not able to sleep 3, bathroom doesn’t have its own sink and no 2nd option sleeper.
          EKKO is great too because it fulfills everything that Revel doesn’t have (as I mentioned above and more) but the outside is exactly like an RV; so if we’re trying to be stealthy, there’s no way of doing so…. haha
          Also, I heard some national parks have limitations on RVs going in and I’m not sure if EKKO will be barred from a lot of them (due to size).
          I wished Winnebago would reconsider the material they use for their cabinetries, countertop and the 3rd/4th seater as well as the flooring.

        2. James - Post author

          People make it a thing about “stealthy”, but nothing about a Revel is stealth. In fact, the Travato, the Revel, the Boldt…. you’re not fooling anyone.
          Some National parks have length restrictions. The EKKO would pass any of them that we’ve seen. We have never encountered a National Park with an outright ban on RVs… And we were Winnebago’s Ambassadors, partnered with the National Parks, and traveling in a National Park Foundation Travato. So I feel pretty confident calling that fake news.

          In fact, if you hear anything on social media, you can be pretty confident it’s false.

    11. Phil Stover

      I don’t understand the logic of putting lithium batteries in what appeared to be an unheated outside compartment in an otherwise freezing-temp ready RV???

      (since they can’t be charged if the batteries are at or below freezing temperature)

      Reply
    12. Chris

      I noticed a ’10 year limited warranty on the roof skin’ in the specs. Is the roof TPO or molded fiberglass? Could not find anything other than the warranty.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’ve walked on the roof. It ain’t TPO. Fiberglass I’d believe – but am verifying.
        I guess you found some boilerplate warranty language for class Cs. That’s my explanation.

        Reply
    13. Juaquin Ketchbaw

      Saw a option build sheet and you can’t have the pop top roof ANDthe outdoor kitchen. Seems counterintuitive as if your traveling with kids you want them outside:). Other than that…pretty awesome.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I would guess that’s a weight trade-off. Winnebago is a lot stricter with weight than others manufacturers. They explained it to me once. They don’t allow themselves the entire weight rating of the vehicle to work with. They’ll only build to what weight the chassis manufacturer (Ford, in this case) certified the emissions systems at. I may not be explaining this completely correctly, but if Ford got its emissions certification with the vehicle loaded to 9000 pounds, then that’s all Winnebago will allow themselves. Other manufacturers don’t pay attention to this, and it’s why you see Sprinter-based class Cs with only 400 pounds of cargo capacity out there. Expect the EKKO to have well over a thousand pounds of OCCC (not an official Winnebago pronouncement here, just my guess). But to keep to their stricter weight tolerances, you sometimes will have to trade things off. Having to get the generator delete if you also get the second battery is probably another one of these trade-offs.

        Reply
    14. Larry

      Very nice. This is the first RV I have seen that makes me even think about trading. I do think the lack of an exhaust fan in the bathroom is a mistake.

      I do see that the drawer boxes have low sides and backs. Why are they not full height? I have had too many issues with contents rattling/sliding over the edges and getting either lost or jammed. That seems like a silly shortcoming compared with the other great design choices.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Exhaust fan in the bathroom was probably omitted to allow space for the optional pop-top. Between the fan in the living area, the window, and the gap at the top of the door, I think it will be fine.

        I’m a woodworker, and I didn’t feel like the drawer boxes were unusually shallow. I’ll take a second look when we get ours.

        Reply
        1. Larry

          Based on the rest of the design choices, I can believe the EKKO will be well ventilated. But I would strongly prefer that those bathroom smells not be exhausted through the living area. That could be the least pleasant aspect of camping.

          Or is there a possibility that the other fan can operate in both directions allowing odors to be pushed out the window.

        2. James - Post author

          Well, honestly, it wouldn’t be all that difficult to install a fan over the bathroom. The only hard part would be getting power to it. It’s my belief that Winnebago didn’t install one there to allow ample room for the planned optional pop top.

          That said, there is an upgraded model of the MaxxFan that both “blows and sucks”. That replacement or upgrade would be even easier still. Don’t know if it would totally work for rising steam, but it could work for bathroom smells.

    15. Barry Patton

      Do you know who makes the compressor fridge?

      If the propane cooktop is replaced by an induction cooktop, wouldn’t the 2000w inverter be too small to also run the A/C while cooking? I wonder why a 3000w inverter/charger wasn’t used in place of a 45w converter that would take forever to charge 630ah of lithium.

      Is the second alternator from Ford or Nation’s and is the regulator Balmar or Wakespeed?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Don’t remember the model on the fridge. But it isn’t a NovaKool, I remember that.
        You might have trouble with induction cooking and air conditioning on a 2000 watt inverter. I’ll probably be upgrading ours.
        Second alternator is actually a Balmar, with a Balmar regulator as well.

        Reply
    16. Jay Miller

      Excited for you guys – this one is starting to incorporate many of the items we want in our next RV. Currently have a Leisure Travel Libero, which is on a Chevy chassis.
      Like that the Ekko uses the gas engine, is AWD, on the 2021 Transit chassis with the new higher GVWR of 11K#.

      Like that it has compressor fridge (our 3 way has been a nightmare from day one).
      Like the huge exterior storage.
      Don’t like the seats in the “living area” – not how we would use that valuable space.
      Did you see an estimate for the OCCC for this rig?

      Reply
    17. Dave Staublin

      Will the space occupied by the generator be available for additional lithium batteries? It seems this could be a great space for them.

      Reply
    18. Ted

      Hmmm, I was looking at your “designated cat perch” behind the seats thinking that would be a good spot to strap in a Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter system (Sorry Mel 🙁 )

      I guess it depends on how well the installed drinking water filter works out.

      Reply
    19. Andy & Kim

      We are really excited for you!
      It’s as if you sat down with Russ G and said “Build us THIS and leave just enough wiggle room to keep Mod Master James occupied”.
      Congratulations Mel on your new kitty condo on wheels!

      Andy & Kim
      Mimi & Jojo – the kamping kitties

      Reply
      1. Scott Samuel

        Well done video and very informative.

        A brief comment on the gov’t imposed “safety” features would be helpful, especially the auto emergency braking (AEB). For myself and several people I know, we do not want a vehicle that applies brakes by itself.
        Question: can the lane change and braking safety systems be disabled, both temporarily or permanently? I understand that to disable the auto-braking permanently requires computer software changes from the manufacturer.

        Reply
        1. Tom

          I took a look online at the Transit’s owners manual. You can shut off the automatic braking in the setting menu, but the forward collision warning remains on.

          Two things I want to add (I tested cars for a long time):

          AEB is not mandated by the government. Car companies are voluntarily installing it because 1) its been statistically proven to reduce crashes, 2) there is a voluntary agreement between automakers, NHTSA, and the IIHS to install AEB on all vehicles by 2022, and 3) it’s become important to remain competitive among other vehicles..

          Second, I understand the hesitance of having the car brake for you. I own two cars with AEB and have driven literally 100s of other cars with it. I can count the number of “incorrect” brake applications on one hand – actually, probably on two fingers. AEB saved me from rear-ending a car in heavy traffic when I wasn’t paying enough attention.

          I guess what I’m saying is – give AEB a chance.

          Lane keep assist isn’t as proven to be a safety benefit; consider it more a convenience feature like adaptive cruise control. You can also shut it off using a button on the end of the turn signal stalk. On my two cars, I have one turned on and one turned off, based on how intrusive each system is.

        2. Scott

          In response to Tom (Nov-20): Auto companies moved ahead with AEB after NHTSA (a gov’t agency) announced it would be mandatory in 2025. This is a quote from NHTSA:
          … NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

          We have a lot of deer crossing snow packed and icy roads in the northwest. AEB needs an off switch option.

        3. Pete

          We have AEB in two of our vehicles, both of which can be disabled. They do not detect deer or other animals, nor unfortunately, pedestrians. In combination with the existing ABS and stability control systems for icy surfaces it would actually be beneficial to have long range deer impact detection and braking. Maybe that will come in the future.

    20. Bob Miller

      Great overview! The EKKO certainly looks exciting. But I noticed one thing that I first saw when the Solis was introduced: an interior city water connection. I know this rig is designed for boon docking, but I can’t imagine not wanting to stay at a campground once in a while. It looks like one cannot connect to city water and close the rear doors, meaning that its only utility is to fill the fresh water tank and then disconnect. Sounds rather inconvenient. What are your thoughts on that?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Over the last five years with Lance, we have – very literally – NEVER hooked up and stayed hooked up to city water. The only thing I use that connection for is to winterize. So this doesn’t concern us at all.

        But it’s not an issue on the EKKO anyway. You could run a hose up through the hole in the bottom of the water center compartment (or drill your own second hole if you wanted to). There should be enough room to install an elbow with the door closed.

        Reply
    21. Sandy DePottey

      Thanks for the review. You guys must be exhausted. I;m so happy for you guys.

      I was really looking forward to seeing this rig, but disappointed that it doesn’t have some sort of front bed for my Mom so it is a no go. I like the rugged look and all the features of the EKKO.

      I put my order in with Russ , so they probably are getting that sorted out today…hahahahahha.. I wonder if the drop down bed from the Trend could circle back around? The bigger floorplan might work, but still no front bed. I can go either way on the slide. Right now the Travato works for us but it is just too small for 3. There isnt currently a rig that meets my specs , but I am hopeful that Russ and team have more tricks up their sleeves.

      Get some rest!

      Reply
    22. Meade

      Great video. Any plans to offer an electric only option? I really don’t want to use propane and like the portable induction units you can move around to save counter space. You could put more batteries where the tanks are.

      Reply
    23. Ted

      I hope Winnebago isn’t using those notorious CH751 locks with the exact same keys as everybody else for all the outer compartments. It probably wouldn’t hurt to look into replacements as well as methods to secure your bikes within the garage while you’re waiting for your rig.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Don’t have detailed information on the locks, but we will certainly be making sure they’re up to the task before storing our bikes there.

        Reply
        1. Kenneth C Coley

          While I like most of what I saw on the Ekko, I was disappointed on two items.

          1) Lack of the ability to fold up/down the additional two passenger seats. For Singles or Couples, that space is a premium and could be used for storage, larger bathroom, or some other purpose.

          2) Price. All Winnebago models are way out of range for most people. This new model and the announced Journey look great but there is a mistep of products and target audience.

    24. Avery Wheeler

      Compared to the Boldt and maybe the Revel the Ekko (AWD) sits a little lower. In your opinion can you take the Ekko off road like the Boldt (4×4) and Revel?

      Thank you and Congratulations!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        You are correct in that it sits a bit lower than the Sprinter 4×4 vans. I think you could take it off road, or at least on rough roads, but not to the extent that you could a 4×4 Boldt or Revel.
        It’s “all wheel drive”, instead of “4 wheel drive” – so, safety more than rock crawling.

        Reply
        1. Chris Van Marter

          I’ve heard of Travato owners installing a lift kit to add about three increases of ground clearance. Do you know if that’s a possibility for the Ekko?

        2. James - Post author

          I don’t know, but from what I saw, Winnebago hadn’t cluttered up the Ford chassis much. They left the full size spare in there, for example! My guess is that if you find a kit that works with a Ford Cut-Away chassis, it will work here. But you’d be smart to verify first once you have your EKKO.

    25. Jennifer Woltjen

      Thanks for the great review! With the generator optional, do you think you will not get it? How well do you think the lithium system work for your energy demands?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We will not be getting a generator.
        The lithium in this rig is a good bit larger than the similar system we have in our Travato now – which we’ve been using successfully for years without a generator.

        Reply
    26. Klaus

      My parents and I have not run into that “hot house” effect you mentioned in over 40 years of travel in our 1978 Winnebago 20RG — maybe our 20RG is better insulated than the Coachmen Cross Trek, especially with the 20RG’s aluminum roof, tinted windows, and lots of big windows to open for a great cross breeze. Plus there is still storage above the windows too.

      Reply
    27. Klaus

      Lots of POSITIVES! Thank you Winnebago!!

      TWO things that right away jumped out at me that I really wished the EKKO had are:

      1. big rear window to give a nice 180° outside view when waking up and during the day, especially when backed into a beautiful location!

      2. big as possible window in the door.so passengers can look out the right side too and to reduce that huge blind spot when driving, especially when at a 45° intersection where the side mirrors don’t help.

      Would be wonderful if a 5th seat could be added too, like a fold up seat next to the door, so a family of 5 could enjoy the EKKO too.

      I REALLY WISH Winnebago would come out with updated versions of their 18ft & 20ft “RG” (rear gaucho) Class A & Class C RVs from the 70s that made Winnebago GREAT back then! My parents still have one and would love a newer version, but NOTHING like them is available from anyone anymore. Seats 10, sleeps 8, all in a small package with lots of big windows, even in the back! Please oh please, Winnebago, listen to this.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’re actually glad there *isn’t* a big rear window. It sounds good or feels good as an idea, but…
        Having spent time in the bed of the Coachmen Cross Trek, I can tell you that 270 degrees of windows in a half-height space == HOT-HOUSE in the bedroom.
        And, if there are windows on three sides, and the fourth side is open, then there are very few options left for storage.

        Reply
      2. Klaus

        An updated version of the 1975 Winnebago Brave D-20 is what I WISH Winnebago would come out with, in addition to the EKKO, instead of the huge Class-A’s they keep announcing. Here is Winnebago’s brochure of it:

        https://winnebago.com/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2fImages%2fWinnebago%2fbrochures%2f1975%2f75-Brave-bro.pdf

        Everyone seats forward when driving, lots of BIG windows all around to look out of, even in the rear, and overhead sleeping in the front AND back areas. Seats 9-10 and sleeps 8-9, all in a small 20.5ft long package. AMAZING!

        Reply
    28. Greg Smith

      I’m wondering if you have the larger lithium storage and with the extra alternate and think I saw an auto start feature. Is it really worth having the solar ? Congrats on the new rig. Can’t wait to see what mods you come up with.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        If you needed the roof space for something else, then maybe you’d want to delete solar. But otherwise… why not?

        Reply
    29. Smiley

      I tip my hat to Russ and his team at Winnebago, many great ideas and they were smart to incorporate the FORD standard second alternator and the optional 31 gallon fuel tank. Now u guys will become Ford converts, bye bye Mopar 🙂 BUT the Wonder is 7-11 to the mirror exterior and so is this van, so I am assuming the new Ekko is 7 ft in body width and the Wonder is 7.5 ft max. Three (3) inches per side difference, is my math correct. Have fun and congrats but man I got to swallow hard on $163K starting cause they better want to discount that baby.

      Reply
    30. Michael Yates

      Looks like a great rig. More utilitarian than our ERA but there are many well thought out features included. Bravo Winnebago and good work you two “teaching” WB a vision of what’s needed in an RV for active life van. BTW we loved the Transit when we test drove the Paseo. Glad Winnebago found a way to build on the platform.

      Last question, did you see the B-Box by Advanced RV? Look like they had the same idea.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We did see the B-Box, and it’s pretty slick. Advanced RV is a custom builder, so there’s likely no limit on what you could achieve with it. (Well, other than price.)

        Reply
    31. Mark Deering

      Amazing review! Thanks! Current Winnebago View 24D owners. Thinking of making the switch for cargo space. Was looking at revel, wife wasn’t on board. LOL I think this is a good crossover from View and Revel.
      1) I tow a 18ft enclosed trailer with polaris RZR, kayaks and bikes. Pulls great behind View. Thinking the eco boost would be even better yet. Thoughts?
      2) Those wardrobes for hanging clothes, I am assuming full shirt length? Can’t tell in either of your videos. Accessible without raising bed as well? Keep point for my wife.
      3)Do you know if frig has more space then 2019 view 24d, seems like it?
      4)Thoughts on gas mileage vs the Revel
      5)Ease of a body wrap, don’t love the appearance. Willing to sacrifice for function but would love to wrap it to class it up maybe.
      6)I think the outdoor kitchen and frig freezer we might like. Any more pictures or video of that?
      7)24C floorplan option on Winnebago site looks GREAT! Any thoughts or words on that? We love the super slide of our View 24D.

      Sorry for all the questions. I am a researcher which seems like you guys as well! thanks Mark Deering https://adventureswithremax.com/

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I think the EKKO could tow anything that a View could tow. (Integrated trailer braking even.)
        Wardrobes are shirt length (at least they appeared to be… neither of us disrobed to check that…) You can get to them without raising the bed, yes.
        Fridge is 5.3 cubic feet. Specs online at https://winnebago.com/theroadahead/models/class-c
        Revel will get better gas mileage. Don’t even want to guess by how much.
        Body wrap should be fairly easy.
        We don’t have any more footage of the outdoor kitchen. Sorry.

        Reply
    32. Z Maze

      Thanks so much for doing this post so quickly. Especially for publishing the points system. My list is not quite the same, but this is a big help!

      Reply
    33. Ray Cellar

      Ekko looks like a real winne winner..! I guess I had my ESP going as I sent you an email a couple weeks ago about the new Advanced RV custom ‘B Box’ models they are now building with a similar’box’, but on a MB cutaway…

      This new ‘C’ looks as close to the European ‘box’ rigs as we’re going to get here in the US… Of course, if the Ekko takes off, it will generate some others…!

      I’m so happy WBgo is using the Transit chassis, a much better overall rig than the MB, with it’s inherent Diesel issues…

      Look forward to your development of your rig when you get your hands on it..!

      Regards…

      Reply
    34. Betsy McGrath

      Do you have to unmake the bed when it is configured as one bed in order to access the under bed compartments?

      Without the outdoor kitchen would the kitchen storage improve inside or is that an extra exterior garage, not accessible inside no matter what?

      Reply
    35. Graham S

      This is pretty close to what I was expecting with the exception of the toilet. I’m still not sold on how comfortable double seats as opposed to a bench will be in the dinette area. We will miss you two at the Winnie-B events, but you are clearly getting something special. As Russ said, this design has been 4 years in the making and I expect it will take off the same way the Revel did.

      Reply
    36. Ian Hoffman

      That does look so perfect. I have a hard time giving up the ‘van’ appearance’ though. I know that is not really any bigger than a ProMaster, but I have taken our van several places where it was clearly stated “No RVs”. Not sure you could pass off the Ekko as not being an RV. This also might not be as well received for doing bike race support (for event such as Hoodoo 500 and similar).

      Definitely curious to see what you get for toilet mods. We really like our composting toilet and have no interest in the other ways to ‘go’.

      Reply
    37. Rich Ambrose

      Fantastic overview! So many features to like here. The bike garage is great – but geared for road bikes; my 30″ handlebars won’t fit without angling them, which is a bit of a challenge for holding the bike securely (but surmountable). I love how insulated it is for winter camping. I’m really looking forward to seeing your mods, especially your ideas for more storage (though without the optional outside kitchen, there will be a huge amount of storage space there, plus the garage). Not wild about the cassette toilet, so I’ll be interested in hearing your experiences with that, too.

      Reply
    38. Betsy McGrath

      Thanks James & Stef!
      This one really intrigued me.
      Not a super fan of loss of storage in the new GL revealed today, although the bath & kitchen finishes sure are nice.
      Being full-time adventurers this one gives me pause. (Not sure if bikes or kayaks would get the garage…)
      Thought you can forego the generator and have a larger lithium system from WGO … do I have that right?
      Like the red but would like to see the other one too.
      Many thanks! Still love our ‘19GL but always need more storage, not less…The winter functioning and awd are key steps up… can’t wait for the new FB group!
      Betsy

      Reply
    39. Wayne

      Looks great…except sleeping capacity. Disappointed because the retired Trend was about the same size, +/- a few inches, but slept 6 with no slide. With no pop top. Can’t believe they couldn’t fit a loft bed and/or flex bed in the front.

      Reply
      1. Misha

        I agree, this all looks great, but we have a child who has to sleep somewhere (pleasegodnotwithus) and in an ideal world, a 5th seatbelt so we could also bring both grandparents.

        Reply
      2. jonathan caron

        there is a flex bed in the front. just not in this video (prototype i guess). the floorplan show a drop down bed 53×79 upfront

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          Uh. I think you might be misreading that floor plan.
          There is a planned pop-top option that would sleep 2.

    40. Don Pace

      Couple of Questions on power – Will the AC run off batteries/inverter? How long would the batteries run the AC? Is there an autostart for the Generator/Engine when the batteries are low? – Just curious in comparison to the Travato Lithium equipped vans

      Reply
        1. Rich Ambrose

          I hope it does have autostart – for running A/C with pets, that’s an important safety feature.

        2. James - Post author

          Seems like it would be an easy aftermarket mod.
          (And BTW – this lithium system, unlike the Volta, should charge AT IDLE!)

        1. Luc Comtois

          I went back to check your video and it look the ‘Gray Waste Tank Drain’ is connected to a T. Two gray waste tanks?

        2. James - Post author

          Correct. Technically two tanks, plumbed together as one. I think combined the capacity is 51 gallons!

    41. Sharon Fields

      How big is the bathroom? Were you comfortable in the shower? Is there any natural light in there? Can a skylight be put on the roof?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I was comfortable in the bathroom.
        There is a small window you can see in the video.
        You might be able to put a skylight on the roof, but it would be underneath a solar panel…

        Reply
    42. DFredd

      Hello…two questions:
      1) What is in the outside compartment just to the rear of the entry door, if the outdoor kitchen is not chosen?
      2) Any feel for how easy or difficult it may be to replace the cassette with a compost toilet?

      Thanks!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        1 – Just storage. Empty is my understanding.
        2 – A little bit difficult, as the cassette toilet is molded into the shower surround. You’d have to find a way to seal that up to keep water out from inside the walls, etc.

        Reply
        1. TaxiDave Esq

          Good review on the Ekko. Personally I’m glad that it has the cassette toilet and gas range. I’m thinking that storage space you want to put bikes in would make a good quest bedroom, it is heated with power ports after all.

        2. James - Post author

          You’d just have to see it. If you remove the cassette toilet, there would be gaps in the wall where the cassette toilet was. It would look very unfinished and water could get in while you showered. You’d need to seal that up.

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