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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!