It seems that when people see the Winnebago EKKO, their thoughts turn to larger tires and lift kits. We had sort of the opposite reaction, and wanted to improve the ride of our EKKO for the 99.99% of the time that it’s on pavement. For that, we turned to VB Air Suspension, and we headed to Utility Bodywerks in Elkhart Indiana to have it installed by their video-stealing, rockstar tech, Scott. You’ll see what I mean in this video!
First off, we can’t say enough good things about the experience we had at Utility Bodywerks and the install that Scott and team put together. Scott is the kind of guy who keeps his wrenches in his tool chest lined up and arranged by size – so he and I got along great right off the bat. Everything you see in the video was shot on the first take. He really is that good at explaining things. Our install came off without a hitch, and was completed in the time we were quoted. Couldn’t be happier there.
The VB Air Suspension
We’ve had VB Air Suspension before, in our campervan, Lance. We loved it there, so we were confident going into this install that it would be just the ticket for our EKKO. The system is every bit as automatic as you hear described in the video – day to day, drive to drive, we don’t mess with it. The end result in performance and smoothness is similar to what we experienced when we installed VB in our ProMaster.
I hadn’t realized it, but our EKKOs suspension was pretty heavily loaded. The leaf springs were sort of curved in the other direction from what you expect, and we were close to riding on the bump stops. Since getting the VB suspension, our ride height is improved and extremely consistent – we haven’t hit the bump stops since. The other main benefit I’ve noticed since installation is the reduction of body roll in crosswinds, when passing semis, and when taking a curb at an angle. The EKKO wasn’t difficult to drive before VB. After the install, it’s a peach.
Even though it’s not sold as a leveling system, we have been able to get over two inches of travel – up or down – out of our VB air suspension when parked at campsites. This has helped us to get level on a number of occasions. We are still going to install a leveling system in the future, and we hope to find one that works with the VB Air suspension.
Where Is Our Spare Tire?
Initial questions seem to be almost entirely about the spare tire, so let me answer that here. We absolutely could have asked Scott to reinstall our spare tire, and he would have done so. Installing the VB suspension does not require getting rid of the spare tire.
But we chose not to have the spare tire and all it’s associated machinery reinstalled. There are a lot better things I can do with that 80+ pounds.
Our spare tire is at home, in the garage, on a rack. We don’t travel with one, and haven’t traveled with or needed a spare tire in over 10 years of RVing. The last time I can actually remember needing a spare tire for anything that a puncture kit wouldn’t fix… I was in college headed to Panama City Beach for spring break.
So we travel with a 4 ounce puncture kit instead of an 80+ pound spare. That’s a risk we’re willing to assume for our style of travel.
We are planning another video where we give our impressions of the suspension upgrade after a 6 month break-in. Look for that to drop sometime in the spring. In the meantime, if you have any questions, sound off in the comments below!