Easy RV Mods in our Winnebago EKKO


I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been known to go a little “over the top” in my RV modifications.  I’ve taken hacksaws to refrigerator doors, gutted entire galley cabinets in search of a better fridge, and rebuilt entire electrical systems, all in the name of improving the RV.  But not all mods have to be epic.  Not everyone wants to buy 3D printers and CNC routers just to make someplace for their cat to go to the bathroom!  Well, in this video, we show you that there are plenty of mods you can tackle without needing $30,000 in tooling.  Behold!

 

Most of the mods in the video are pretty self-explanatory, and don’t require more than a drill, screwdriver, and maybe some denatured alcohol.  So I’m guessing you’re not here looking for more instructions.  I’m willing to bet you’re here looking for a link to that cool whatever-it-was you saw in the video!  So, below are the links to everything I can remember that we used or showed in the video.  Where we link to Amazon, those are affiliate links, so if you choose to buy something, we’ll get a small commission.  But that doesn’t change the fact that these are the actual things I chose to put in our own RV.  Here we go:


Slim Beam Wireless Motion Sensor LED Light (2 Pack)

These are the battery powered lights that will keep Mel’s litter box illuminated, and keep our storage compartment lit up so we can find things.


3M VHB Tape 5952 – Heavy Duty, Industrial Mounting Tape

I had this tape for RV projects before this video, but this is the stuff I use when I want something to stick with tape and not come down.


Denatured Ethyl Alcohol

This stuff is a commodity, but there’s a link.  Probably quicker and cheaper to get this at your local hardware store by the gallon.


Squirt Bottle for Denatured Alcohol

I use this stuff all the time, so I keep a bottle around.  Unfortunately, the exact bottles I’m using don’t seem to be available anymore.  Something like this would be a good approximation.


12″ x 36″ Acrylic Mirror

This is the mirror you see in the video.  I liked that it had rounded corners, and that I didn’t have to try to cut it.


Command Picture Hanging Strips, Large

And these would be what you see me using to hang the mirror with.  Used ’em before with no issues.  Don’t expect any this time around.


Perfect Tear Paper Towel Holder

This is the one you see us mounting in Number One.  The ratcheting action really does help when you want to tear off a sheet one-handed.


Digital Calipers – mm, decimal inch, and fractional inch

These are the same calipers I’m holding in the video.  If we can believe my Amazon purchasing history, I’ve been using them since 2016 with no issues whatsoever.  I’ve changed the battery once.


SPST Switch

This is *not* the switch you see me using in the video.  Because the one I’m using came from my giant pile of miscellaneous RV parts.  But literally almost any Single Pole Single Throw switch would work.  It only needs to handle 12 volts and about 2 amps.


Klein Wire Cutter and Stripper

Had this one for years as well.  It’s probably been in about 30 videos by now, but I don’t think I’ve ever linked it before.  Now I have.


Titan Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper

Believe it or not, I have more than one “Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper”.  This is the one you see in the video.  I use it for the insulated terminals, but NOT for the heat shrink terminals.  What can I say… I’m picky like that.


SeaChoice Stainless Steel Friction Hinges

These are the ones I tried.  They didn’t work in this application.  But if you have someplace else where they might, it’s a good hinge.


Retractable Stainless Steel Cable Clothesline

Again, this is the one in the video.  We’ve used others in the past, but I like that the “string” in this one isn’t “string”.  It’s cable.


Hospeco Feminine Hygiene Receptacle

This is the actual one you see in the video.  It’s the second one I’ve purchased, but I’m still just calling it a trash can.


Hospeco – GID-HOSKL-260 KL Waxed Kraft Feminine Hygiene Liner Bag with Gusset ,10.25” x 7.5” x 3.5”,(Case of 500)

OK.  So it’s not 5,000, it’s 500.  But we’re still working off the same box of liners I purchased in 2015!


Better Living Products EURO Soap Dispenser

Forgot this in my initial posting, but here it is.  I can’t remember if we got the chrome or the satin.  But thinking about it now, the satin would be less likely to show hard water stains or soap residue, so I’d recommend the satin.  I’ve linked that one above.


10 inch Gas Struts

These are the gas struts I used on the bedroom overhead cabinets, and also on the galley overhead cabinet.


8 inch Gas Struts

I used two of these to hold open the large cabinet door in the dinette area.


7 inch Gas Struts

I used one of these for the bathroom cabinet.  I had to find a really short one, because there is a shelf in the center of it that would block out a longer strut.  You’ll see what I mean when you get yours.


Snap Cap Screw Covers

These are the snap-on screw covers you see me using in the video.  They come in all kinds of colors, so you can pick something that blends in, or something that stands out.  I’ve used them going all the way back to our Das Bus days, and I always keep some on hand.


Our Crystalline Window Tint Test

I mentioned that I had tested the Crystalline film before, and here’s the experiment.  Ever since that time, we’ve continued to get it on all our cars and RVs.


 

Whew!  So there you have it.  All the links to almost all of the products that we used in the video.  None of these links were over a thousand dollars, so I feel like I’m doing pretty good!

I’m sure that someone will find something I haven’t linked, so if you do, please leave a comment and I’ll update the links as best as I can.

That’s it for now.  Happy Modding!

 



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.


    50 thoughts on “Easy RV Mods in our Winnebago EKKO

    1. Lynn Casey

      Wonderful mods, as always! For the clothes line, did you use screws or tape? If screws, any tips on install as I am assuming the walls are some type of plastic as it’s the shower? Thx!

      Reply
    2. Lynda E

      Just got our Americanizer!!! It fits perfectly to our camper cassette! Thank you for making the cleaning sooo much easier!You have a very creative mind! You guys are the best!

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        I’m so glad you got it already… one of the very first batch, woot!!! Can’t wait to hear how it works for you on your trips. Hope you’ll swing by and leave a review on Amazon if you do love it! Happy travels Lynda! ❤️

        Reply
    3. Gerry

      Why did Winnebago stop at 90% brilliance by not installing a leveling system, either standard or as optional equipment on the Ekko? Enjoy watching your videos that always inform and create smiles.

      Reply
    4. Gene Martel

      Great video, as always. For the bathroom door, how about a magnet catch, that is of you only want to hold the door open on one position. Another thought is I have used Bansbach Springs for work and they are an amazing company, there might be a locking gas spring that is available. Thanks again for all the great content. Gene

      Reply
        1. Marty Rowan

          I thought of a resistance toy box closure hardware, or check out Lowes item#311976, model #S890-400.

          Mount it above the door, it looks like there is clearance for the pivot point.

        2. James - Post author

          I’ve considered something like that, but there’s a 3 inch gap between the door and the ceiling, where I’d have to mount it.
          The search continues…

    5. Will

      James, time to geek out on cleaning solutions. I carry 91% isopropyl alcohol for cleaning electronic parts, plugs, and walls before attaching double sided tape. It cleans things like fiberglass and gelcoat without destroying the surface. So what is the difference between isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol that you can buy at the pharmacy and denatured ethyl alcohol (stove fuel) that you get at the hardware store? Which is safer, which is better to use in your vehicle?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Chemically, there’s probably not much difference. (Other than the extra carbon atoms and whatnot.) I doubt it would make much difference as far as command adhesive is concerned.
        I just get the denatured alcohol because it’s sold by the gallon!

        Reply
    6. Teresa

      Thank you both for the video on these mods. I really like the gas struts you put in the Ekko and want to put them in our Solis PX — especially since we’ve already had 2 magnets pull out of the ceiling. I worry I’m going to get hit in the head with a cabinet door one day. James, what is your recommendation on determining which size gas strut to use on each cabinet?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I went by the weight rating for the struts. I got the lighter ones for smaller doors, and heavier-rated ones for the larger doors.
        In addition to that, you always have the option to use just one strut instead of two.
        Don’t over-think it. You’ll probably be fine.

        Reply
    7. PAUL PEABODY

      I have just decided , that I must have pop top, which I think is not possible for the EKKO ,because of ac unit? I do like this color scheme a lot more than the red countertops, and like the basic mods, and the coming induction stove setup.I think with the double wheels in back and what I expect are serious insulation
      thy at this will do very nicely in cold weather, the only thing is I want to use this primarily in nicer warmer weather. you 2 are funny and I enjoy your teasing one another, . I can tell you dont totally love this coach yet, what do you see adding that might change that.?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The pop-top is still a planned option for the EKKO, as far as we know. It should be available at a future date.

        It will take a special coach to replace Lance. We’re still working on making Number One ours, and plan to duplicate many of the mods we had made in Lance.

        Reply
    8. Hugo V

      James, Stefany, thanks for the time spent making these videos!

      Question, how do you determine, based on an opening/door, the required length of the gas strut and here to position it? I have a couple openings in my van that I’d like to put a gas strut to keep them open, but I’m afraid that I won’t be able to close them (too long) or that I’d have to make multiple holes to mount them while trying to find the right location.

      Reply
    9. Nancy

      Great video! What 3M tape did you use to mount the “trash receptacle” in the bath? I believe you said it was water resistant…

      Reply
    10. Gary

      I have a Ekko on order. Don’t know if I will ever get it as it keeps getting delayed.

      I really like all your mods. Do you have the link for the exact gas struts you used because I want to put them on for sure.

      Thank You,

      Gary

      Reply
    11. Jim

      Kinda geeking out about the 20k install. Could you please post the weights, measurements (batteries) of things while you’re doing that vid? Have my sites set on a Super C for travel and a pretty much stationary 5th Wheel Base Camp and want to load those things down with batteries maybe 50% and up to 100% more than your 20k project.

      As for the friction hinges, why not use another gas strut? High enough the shower won’t really be a factor and it will stay where you set it.

      Cheers

      Reply
        1. James D.

          That would probably work but there are add on automatic door closer hinges. Works similar to the hydraulic door closers but is a spring hinge mechanism with rod that lays flat against the door.

          While, have you considered using pop-rivets on the holes? Or Aluminum brazing?

    12. Alfred Martinez

      Great video! I’d like to get more information on the film that you added to the acrylic windows? Is it more of a cling, or did it attach with an adhesive?

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        It’s more like a clear bra type material. So there’s water involved in the application.

        Reply
        1. Alfred Martinez

          Oh, that sounds safe for the windows. Do you know exactly what the material they used was?

    13. Martin

      I can’t tell how much distance there is between your bathroom door and ceiling when the door is open but maybe one of those magnetic door stops would work. All the ones I saw are about 3 inches.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        It’s further than I would want. (There’s a gap at the top of the bathroom door to allow venting.)
        Plus, I’m not too excited at the prospect of mounting things to the ceiling. The “wood” there is only about an eighth of an inch thick, and the door would make one heck of a lever…

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Good tip about something that can peel off of woodwork. I’ve also tried some sort of “Velcro EXTREME” in the past – which I used to keep the fairing on Lance connected to the the roof.

        Reply
    14. Maureen

      Thanks again for sharing your mods with all of us! We really appreciate your experience and all the mod details.

      Would you mind adding the soap dispenser to the list?

      Looking forward to your next video!

      Reply
        1. Maureen

          Thanks James — I’ve already ordered one! We’re following your example and have a good pile growing with your recommended parts! All set for when our EKKO arrives, hopefully sometime in the fall.

    15. Andy & Kim

      Most times it’s the little mods that end up making a big difference. Have you come up with a scratcher mod for Mel … before he discovers the straw looking floor or the dinette chairs?
      We’ve been traveling with cats for over 20 years, you don’t have much time!!!!
      Andy & Kim

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That’s what I started my search looking for. The only ones I could find have two problems. First, they’re much thicker than what’s there now, which means I’d likely have to make some more clearance between the door and the wall side so it could fit. Second problem was – it’s not a simple piano hinge there now. It’s got an “L” bend on the door side so that it wraps around two sides of the door.

        Reply
    16. Robert T Mccampbell

      Great job as always guys! Which soap dispenser was that. I’ll probably place a second one in the external water bay compartment. Trivia alert: the Safari Condo Flex XL you reviewed is the only class B I know of with a built in paper towel holder.☺

      Reply
    17. Ian F

      Will you be doing the leveling system mod like you did in Lance?
      (I don’t remember if the Ekko comes with a leveling system)

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, yes. But that hardly qualifies as “easy”!!
        (The EKKO does not come with one.)

        Reply

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