The Shady Truth About Window Shades and RVs

Window shades are not just for privacy in a motorhome or van. They’re also needed for blocking the light so you can sleep and they’re needed for insulating the inside from the outside heat or cold. Our Winnebago Ekko came with 3 options for shades and we added a 4th. So we released a video where we share with you how and when we use each option, which ones are our favorite and how they go up and come down, where we store them and just about everything you need to know about this shady subject.

This Is What Camping Is All About

Seems like the more you search for EPIC campsites the more you concentrate on that instead of just camping and enjoying the peacefulness of Mother Nature. We decided to extend Lynn’s birthday trip by one night with a stay at Roan Mountain State Park… on top of a mountain…. down by a river… with a cold mountain night… and a campfire. And in doing so we realized that this… this, is what camping is all about.

New RV… Let’s Cut A Hole In It! What can go wrong?

If you’re new to our channel you may be surprised to learn that this is not the first time I’ve cut a hole in an expensive RV. Sometimes in trying to make a new RV fit you and your lifestyle you need to make modifications. In this case I could have just removed the front TV and repurposed the sound bar in the back area and left the cutouts and TV mount in place. But with all that extra storage behind where the TV used to be that just didn’t make sense.

So with drill and saw in hand I set out to turn what used to be our TV area into a storage area that matched the other 2 over-cab storage areas. I’ll show you how I did it. What tools you’ll need to do the same thing if you so desire. And I’ll share with you all the benefits of making this very invasive and irreversible mod.

I’m So Happy! Words to my ears on Lynn’s birthday!

When you travel in an RV and you’re with your spouse 24/7 it’s really hard to plan a great surprise for their birthday. This was the case this year as I tried to plan something great from Lynn’s birthday. We’d just gotten back from our trek to Iowa, to Ohio and back to Iowa and neither of us wanted to head out on another long trip.

But with the Ekko sitting in the driveway it was just too tempting. But getting Lynn to say what would make her happy and be special was hard too because… well… we were both just a little road weary from the last trip. What we ended up doing was one of our most fun packed short trips in years as we headed to Johnson City, TN to go to a concert, camp by a river and griddle up birthday pancakes.

Hey Winnebago!… We Need To Talk!

While we were at Winnebago’s Factory Service Center to have a little work completed on our Ekko we had the privilege to get to interview Brian and Stefanie. They are largely responsible for many of the day to day things that impact our enjoyment of our Ekko and other coaches like the Navion and Minnie Winnie C’s.

We came loaded with lots of questions. Like why aren’t you building more faster? What’s the hold up? Why have there been so many issues with this new design? And what’s next? Because of corporate policies some of these questions were answered “off camera” or not at all. But what we were able to learn from our conversation with them we’ve shared with you here in hopes that you’ll get a better glimpse of who is behind your beloved Winnebago small RV, whether like us you’re out there in it and maybe having a few issues or you’re at home dreaming getting the call that it’s ready to pick up at the dealer.

Stefanie and Brian of Winnebago

By the way, it needs to be said. We are NOT Winnebago ambassadors or affiliates. We were not paid to create this video. But after meeting these guys and seeing firsthand how they care about those of us who seek experiences in these RVs we are more brand loyal now that we’ve ever been. And, we have a little bit better understanding about what goes into designing, building and supporting one of these creations of rolling adventure.

2,000 Mile Detour For Winnebago Factory Service

We drove 2,000 miles out of the way to head back to Iowa so we could get our Winnebago Ekko repaired at the Winnebago Factory Service Center. So how was it?

First of all it’s apparent that they are truly the experts. Every skill. Every part. And every procedure to perfectly repair your Winnebago… no matter what your Big W is on. For us it was our new Ekko. She need some pretty major things done. Probably the most important was getting our blind spot detection/warning system to work again. We also had several window blinds that needed repair and/or replacement.

And after our experience there we will never, ever, never go to a dealer for service again! Why? It wasn’t just the fast and thorough work done… it was the experience and the people behind the big W. It was the feeling about being in the right place with the right people. From our first entrance into the service office area until we drove away 3 days later with everything repaired it was just the best.

Our eBikes and Our EKKO Garage… !

Even though the garage in the Winnebago EKKO is big… for an RV garage… it’s still small. Meaning, if you put larger items in there, like Rad Mini Step-thru eBikes… well, there’s not much room for anything else.

We’ve made several long and short trips now with our Ekko, but we’ve yet to take any “toys”.,. No bikes… no inflatable paddle boards… none of that. But we want to. So we finally took everything out of the garage and tried to devise a plan for taking our bikes and maybe Oru kayaks and the griddle… and chairs… and a room… You get the picture quickly… if you put the bikes inside you have to selectively choose what else goes with you.

It was a lot of work to unload everything. It was a lot of work to put the bikes and try to make everything fit. But it was time well spent. You see we have to make a decision about what can go with us and what must stay behind. So it takes a little trial and error and a little sweat on a hot day to load, unload, load and unload… trying different configurations.

We’ve met many who take their bikes with them inside the Ekko garage and we could too. But we place such a premium on things being easy and organized and simple to use that putting the bikes inside, when we can easily put them outside just makes getting to everything else inside the garage more difficult than it needs to be. And… it severely limits what you can take inside the garage since the bikes are just big and bulky.

When your Limo is an RV is it cool to show up at a wedding in it??

Our limo to our nephew’s wedding was our RV… our Winnebago EKKO. Boy did folks look at us when we showed up in an RV… but were they looks of “man, look at those idiots”… or looks of “wow!, they brought their house with them”??

Well if you know us then you know we didn’t care which of those emotions happened. We were on a trip in our RV that included so far Wisconsin, Iowa and now we found ourselves in Ohio… so going home for a more “respectable” form of transportation was out of the question.

You see that’s one of the great things about having a smaller Motorhome that thinks she’s a van… you can park anywhere… even a wedding venue. Granted the venue was an Ohio State Park (Lake Hope State Park) and granted it was an informal event… but to us it would not have mattered one bit. We did get dressed up for the event and it was a precious time in our lives as we watched our nephew marrying the love of his life. Surrounded by family and just steps away from our cool home-on-wheels… well it was just perfect. Many times one of us would walk out and let Maggie out for a walk… or grab a quick rest… or change into shorts since everyone else had on shorts… It just worked out great. It was hot so it was great to have a place to spend a little time cooling off.

Not only did we show up at the wedding in the RV, we also camped there. We booked 3 nights there thinking it would be a great campground and it would be awesome to spend time with our family. Well, those two things didn’t work out. The campground was just… ok. Very small sites, right on the road and very unlevel with little privacy. So when most of the family was ducking out early Sunday morning we decided to cut our stay in Ohio short and head… east back home? Nope.. back west… where we came from. Iowa.

Our RV has just a little time left on her warranty, since we bought her lightly used. So with the blind spot detection issues along with alternator and window blind issues we had several things that could be repaired under warranty. But getting in to see a dealer was going to mean waiting for months. Instead we pointed our home on wheels back west to the Winnebago factory. But this week is all about the wedding… the memories and family.

There’s just something about seeing your family so happy. And something about having your home with you when you go. Granted, you feel a little funny pulling up in an RV… kinda like cousin Eddie at the Griswold home, but she’s not really that big and it all went perfectly… even had folks looking in and asking about it and envious of our home at that wedding.

So if anyone asks you “Is it cool to show up at a wedding in an RV?”… tell then YES!! IT WAS!

Camping In OH HI YO!

On the SHORES of Lake Erie… this is an awesome campground!

Sometimes it’s sad to leave friends but when you both lead a nomadic, travel all the time lifestyle then it has to happen. So after sad goodbyes in Iowa we set out for our next gotta-be-there destination in Ohio. But with about a week to spare we decided to head to the banks of Lake Erie in hopes of finding a great campsite. And boy did we!

Maumee Bay State Park had everything we were looking for. Level campsites with lots of privacy. Lots of trails inside the campground and even more inside the park. Beaches, lakes, a lodge, a great restaurant and even a golf course. What else could you ask for? So we settled in for what we thought would be 2 nights but ended up extending our stay by days. We hiked, we made a few changes to our Ekko, we met up with another Ekko owner, we griddled great steaks and we rested.

What started out as sad hearts were quickly transformed into rested and happy hearts. That’s the power of finding a great campsite. BTW, we’re loving the Ekko. We’re finding we’re not as weary while we’re traveling. The layout just fits our lifestyle better than our Revel did. We know the Revel is perfect for a lot of folks but for us it was always a challenge to make it fit our trips perfectly. There’s enough to worry about when you’re trying to create beautiful, perfect experiences while traveling… adding that worry to it was tiring for us. Now… now… well we’re doing a HAPPY DANCE! BTW, there’s one of those in this video too.

Happy Birthday Lynn!

Man the time flies doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we were in our 40s, young and fancy free. Now we’re happy to just still be kicking. And kicking is what happened this week. It was Lynn’s birthday. How did we celebrate? A concert! Not just any concert but one of her all time favorites, John Hiatt. In a few weeks we’ll share that episode with you, where we went to Johnson City, TN, camped by a river and then headed to Roan Mountain, TN where we camped by another river in the cool mountain temperatures.

But for now, please join me in wishing my best friend and wife, Lynn, a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

BTW, we’re working on reactivating our website and hope you enjoy having a personal and secure way to stay in touch with us.