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Old 09-30-2022, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default Ekko vs. Cross Trail

My wife is interested in the Coachmen Cross Trail 20XG, but I'm wondering how well it's made vs. the Winnebago Ekko. I'm concerned about construction quality / reliability on any "box" built onto a cab chassis, and it seems like Winnebago is doing a decent job of that these days.

And before anyone suggests it, no - I can't afford an ARV B-Box (as much as I'd like to)
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:23 PM   #2
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Might as well also consider an LTV Wonder or Unity, though I believe they are much harder to get.

I haven't seen a Cross Trail in person, but I'm unimpressed by the videos I've seen on YT. Perhaps it looks better in person than via the Internet...I hope so.

I have seen an Ekko in person. Looks about typical WGO fit and finish (e.g. not completely terrible, but not particularly great), and the floorplan is amazing in principle. If you follow the Ekko group on FB, you'll see a litany of problems the Ekko has been having as a brand new model where WGO clearly made some poor decisions they are now resolving via retrofits, design changes, and warranty repairs.

Coachmen & WGO have 12 month / 12K mile warranties on the RV components if I'm not mistaken, so they both stink equally in that department.
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:18 PM   #3
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Default LTV

LTV designs are nice in theory, but I've known several people who have owned more recently manufactured ones that have unacceptable build quality issues (e.g. parts of cabinets literally falling apart). I wish LTV would address this openly and forthrightly, but so far I haven't seen much of that. LTV also still seems stuck in the past with systems (AGM batteries, absorption fridges, and the like).

I'll check out the Ekko FB group, and see what that platform offers for Coachmen as well. Good suggestion!
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Old 10-02-2022, 06:07 PM   #4
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I have been equally concerned that LTV seems firmly stuck in the 20th century with respect to their systems, as you noted.

My biggest gripe about what I'm seeing from LTV that I feel is something of a canary in a coal mine for quality is that their exterior storage doors seem to have rubber hinges. Yep, rubber hinges, not metal ones. I only recently caught wind of this issue via that online group. Those rubber hinges eventually break down like any rubber component constantly exposed to UV. When they do break down and become useless (e.g. the hinge is busted and they have to carefully pull the door open and reposition it as they attempt to close it), people in that group are literally sticking things back together with Gorilla tape because the rubber hinges are such a pain to replace.

Based on this one issue alone, I would not consider an LTV despite their wonderful floor plans and nice-looking rigs. I was willing to look the other way on their last-century systems because I can always upgrade those if I buy a used unit, but not this. Nope, I'm done thinking about LTV. (sigh)
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Old 10-06-2022, 06:11 PM   #5
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The Ekko seemed like a sufficiently good improvement over our 20 year old Roadtrek 200V that we bought one. The numerous problems reported in the Facebook group had us on edge. However, our unit is relatively trouble free. My impression is the original design goofs were compounded by Covid-related assembly crew problems leading to some remarkably shoddy early units. I suspect quality is now on par with the rest of the industry. (A low bar, I know!) Some dealers, like the one we are using locally, seem clueless about issues and unable or unwilling to aggressively get approval from Winnebago for warranty work.

The delivery time for ordering an Ekko is something like a year now. However, used units are turning up as people's lives change. Canceled delivered units crop up, which is how we got ours.

The ride quality on the original suspension is very smooth on good roads, but resembles our RT's drunken whale handling on its original suspension when the road starts to undulate. Like on our RT, we have upgraded the shocks and now the Ekko handles very well. We also lifted it for additional ground clearance.

The toilet cassette is great! You can empty it anyplace there is a toilet of any kind. If you go someplace without any sanitation facilities at all, you can carry a second cassette. To connect it to your sewer hose for civilized use at dump stations look up the "Americanizer." On our recent trip in the San Juan Islands our endurance was set by the 50-gallon gray tank. By using campground showers or taking frugal sponge baths we never completely filled it. We were able to stay four nights on San Juan Island, which no longer has an RV dump station. In the RT the black tank would have limited us to two nights.

The gear garage is largest we saw when looking at RVs of this size. Its three doors make it relatively painless to load our two bikes.

An important feature for us is the four-season capability. Skiing out of the RT with very limited fresh water and no showers was rugged.

The floorplan is working out well for us. We find it more livable than the RT. A big help is devoting part of the outside storage compartment to our cats' litter box whereas it was underfoot in the RT.

We got the optional second lithium battery without a generator. No generator maintenance is a huge win as far as I am concerned. With so much electricity available we use an induction cooktop rather than the gas cooktop, which eliminates the fumes and excess heat from gas cooking. For messy stuff like burgers we use the induction cooktop outside where it is impervious to wind.

Overall we are pleased with our Ekko. It needs some customization for our own purposes, and some people are really going over the top with alterations. But I think as delivered it is quite satisfactory.
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Old 10-06-2022, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
The Ekko seemed like a sufficiently good improvement over our 20 year old Roadtrek 200V that we bought one. The numerous problems reported in the Facebook group had us on edge. However, our unit is relatively trouble free. My impression is the original design goofs were compounded by Covid-related assembly crew problems leading to some remarkably shoddy early units. I suspect quality is now on par with the rest of the industry. (A low bar, I know!) Some dealers, like the one we are using locally, seem clueless about issues and unable or unwilling to aggressively get approval from Winnebago for warranty work.

The delivery time for ordering an Ekko is something like a year now. However, used units are turning up as people's lives change. Canceled delivered units crop up, which is how we got ours.

The ride quality on the original suspension is very smooth on good roads, but resembles our RT's drunken whale handling on its original suspension when the road starts to undulate. Like on our RT, we have upgraded the shocks and now the Ekko handles very well. We also lifted it for additional ground clearance.

The toilet cassette is great! You can empty it anyplace there is a toilet of any kind. If you go someplace without any sanitation facilities at all, you can carry a second cassette. To connect it to your sewer hose for civilized use at dump stations look up the "Americanizer." On our recent trip in the San Juan Islands our endurance was set by the 50-gallon gray tank. By using campground showers or taking frugal sponge baths we never completely filled it. We were able to stay four nights on San Juan Island, which no longer has an RV dump station. In the RT the black tank would have limited us to two nights.

The gear garage is largest we saw when looking at RVs of this size. Its three doors make it relatively painless to load our two bikes.

An important feature for us is the four-season capability. Skiing out of the RT with very limited fresh water and no showers was rugged.

The floorplan is working out well for us. We find it more livable than the RT. A big help is devoting part of the outside storage compartment to our cats' litter box whereas it was underfoot in the RT.

We got the optional second lithium battery without a generator. No generator maintenance is a huge win as far as I am concerned. With so much electricity available we use an induction cooktop rather than the gas cooktop, which eliminates the fumes and excess heat from gas cooking. For messy stuff like burgers we use the induction cooktop outside where it is impervious to wind.

Overall we are pleased with our Ekko. It needs some customization for our own purposes, and some people are really going over the top with alterations. But I think as delivered it is quite satisfactory.
Thanks for write up. I have looked at the Ekko but was concerned about the cassette toiled quality issues. There are pop up sales on FB from dealers who received last minute cancellations.
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
The ride quality on the original suspension is very smooth on good roads, but resembles our RT's drunken whale handling on its original suspension when the road starts to undulate. Like on our RT, we have upgraded the shocks and now the Ekko handles very well. We also lifted it for additional ground clearance.
Thanks for the nice summary report.

And which lift kit did you decide to install?
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Old 10-07-2022, 02:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dhuff View Post
My wife is interested in the Coachmen Cross Trail 20XG, but I'm wondering how well it's made vs. the Winnebago Ekko. I'm concerned about construction quality / reliability on any "box" built onto a cab chassis, and it seems like Winnebago is doing a decent job of that these days.

And before anyone suggests it, no - I can't afford an ARV B-Box (as much as I'd like to)
Have you checked out Pleasure-Way? VERY nicely constructed vans. I would say that low quality starts with Thor, followed by Coachmen and Winnebago. It seems that Winnebago quality has really gone downhill in the last couple of years.

As an example, Pleasure-Way wiring is neat, well managed, secure, etc. Winnebago wiring is all of the place and looks like baskets of snakes. I think that says a lot right there.
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Old 10-07-2022, 04:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ilmor View Post
Have you checked out Pleasure-Way? VERY nicely constructed vans. I would say that low quality starts with Thor, followed by Coachmen and Winnebago. It seems that Winnebago quality has really gone downhill in the last couple of years.

As an example, Pleasure-Way wiring is neat, well managed, secure, etc. Winnebago wiring is all of the place and looks like baskets of snakes. I think that says a lot right there.
I think that there are two kinds of quality issues:

Sometimes quality suffers because the upfitter is building to a price-point. I think Winnebago is an example of this. This isn't necessarily bad--it fills a market niche of people with limited budgets who are willing to live with quality compromises.

The other kind of quality problem occurs when an item is priced as a premium product, but still exhibits shoddy construction. Airstream is the poster child of this. IMO there is NO excuse for this.
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Old 10-07-2022, 05:20 PM   #10
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I think that there are two kinds of quality issues:

Sometimes quality suffers because the upfitter is building to a price-point. I think Winnebago is an example of this. This isn't necessarily bad--it fills a market niche of people with limited budgets who are willing to live with quality compromises.

The other kind of quality problem occurs when an item is priced as a premium product, but still exhibits shoddy construction. Airstream is the poster child of this. IMO there is NO excuse for this.
That's definitely part of the equation, however I don't think that should affect, for example, not fastening things or wiring correctly which I've read about several examples w/ Winnebago lately. Just sloppy stuff.

I do note that Pleasure-Way motorhomes actually cost less than their Winnebago-comparable models.
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