An Inside Look at the First EKKO Owners’ Meetups!
An Inside Look at the First EKKO Owners’ Meetups!
Highlights of these exciting events in Quartzite and Tampa.
By: GoLife Staff
Winnebago was thrilled to host the first EKKO owners’ meetups recently – one in Quartzsite, AZ, and the other in Tampa, FL. This owner group has already been very active and engaged online, so getting to interact and meet with them in person was fantastic. The Winnebago team loved getting to hear owner insights and learn where they have taken their EKKOs so far.
Highlights of the Quartzsite EKKO Meetup
This year, the recently formed EKKO owners’ group was so excited to finally meet that two events were taking place around the same time in different areas of the country. In Quartzsite, AZ, the owners of 19 EKKOs gathered to discuss their rigs, share insights, and dream up travel plans. The Winnebago team, including Product Director Russ Garfin, was also there to host meetups and discuss all things EKKO with this passionate group of owners.
To the delight of attendees, some of the Winnebago team even arrived in an EKKO. That definitely helped break the ice and led to many great conversations about traveling and living in this innovative compact Class C motorhome.
Of course, the Winnebago team was thrilled to see how owners have been using their EKKOs so far and hear all their travel stories. With RV mods and personalization becoming such a huge part of the RVing lifestyle, it was especially inspiring to see first-hand what kinds of DIY modifications owners have made. From small additions to more creative changes, it is always fascinating to learn why an owner decided to make an adjustment or addition to their RV. The Winnebago team loves collecting these ideas to keep in mind for future product designs!
Another hot topic at Quartzsite was electric RVs. Class C owners (from both EKKO and View/Navion owner groups) discussed their ideas for ERVs as the Winnebago team took detailed notes. It’s such a joy to be surrounded by so many people who are just as excited about the future of RVing as we are!
Russ Garfin is always very inspired by attending these meetups (that’s why he made sure to attend both, despite the timing overlap!). Here is what he shared about his interactions with the EKKO owners at both the Quartzsite and Tampa meetups:
“It was important for me to attend both groups because it was our first opportunity to be with EKKO owners at a meetup. There is no better way to get to know our owners and create the bonds that help us develop and improve our products. It was really fun to get a feel for the personalities and see the way EKKO owners are using their motorhomes.
My wife Kathy joined me at the meetups and, since we are planning on getting an EKKO, we were curious to see if the owner groups would be as interesting and friendly as some of the others we’ve enjoyed so much. Four thumbs up for our wonderful new community of EKKO friends!”
Highlights of the Tampa EKKO Meetup
We asked Noel Fleming & Chris Miller, passionate EKKO owners and long-time GoLifers, to share their experience at the Tampa EKKO meetup. Here’s what they had to say …
Finally! After having our EKKO for six months, an event for EKKO owners was on the calendar. In fact, not one but two events were scheduled to be hosted simultaneously in different parts of the country. The one we attended coincided with the Florida RV SuperShow, held each January in Tampa.
Organizers of the SuperShow permit anyone with a rig to stay overnight for $20 per night. Participants in the EKKO gathering “camped” on the grass in a large parking lot where show attendees came and went each day. We stayed four nights, soaking up the revelry and meeting some of our new EKKO compadres. Parking our rigs together was a tangible way to solidify our emerging community.
Owners and their rigs trickled in from day to day until 19 EKKOs and their owners had all arrived. Until then, we had only known each other through our Winnebago EKKO Owners and Wannabes Facebook group. Meeting in person allowed us to put faces and personalities to the posts we had been scrolling through online. We introduced ourselves and dove right into talking all things EKKO. The familiar questions of “When and where did you get your EKKO?” and “What did you name your EKKO?” were early queries. Followed quickly by “Where have you been?” and “Where are you going next?” That last one is our favorite question!
Owners toured each other’s rigs, checking out storage solutions and upgrades. When an owner had a question about something related to their specific EKKO, the group marched on over to that rig and talked through the subject until understanding was achieved.
Throughout the days and nights, the owners circled their chairs in an ever-growing ring as people joined in the dialogue. Conversation topics expanded from all things EKKO to include occupations, hobbies, families, and bigger life stories. Food was shared, dogs were loved, and friendships were begun. During a casual conversation, one EKKO owner, Curt Stager, prompted the group to create a cassette toilet parade; we rolled with it, literally!
Our time together included an official EKKO meetup at the Winnebago display inside the RV show. Current owners joined with future owners, and wannabes also came seeking knowledge, insight, and community. Members of Winnebago’s internal team (product planners, interior designers, and sales personnel) were available to answer questions.
Outside the official show, Winnebago also sponsored a private Q&A breakfast for owners. Product Manager Russ Garfin (having just flown from the EKKO meetup in Quartzsite, AZ) joined us at our rigs and addressed queries from the group. Additionally, he arranged for representatives from Ford, Truma, Lippert, and Quigley to be present in order to add input. Despite the morning’s rain and cool temperatures, the representatives remained until all questions were answered.
EKKO owners appreciated the efforts made by Winnebago and enjoyed getting to know some of the people behind the creation of our rigs.
Many owners are already planning for the next meet-up, scheduled for May 12-16 in Amana, IA. This meetup is being introduced as a Compact Winnebago meetup; it will include all Class B vans and smaller Class C coaches. We expect that our circle of chairs and camaraderie will continue to grow with every meetup!
Join Winnebago at an Owner Meetup!
In addition to WIT Club events, there are also many Winnebago meetups for specific RV classes and models. The Winnebago team really enjoys getting to attend these events as well and is always very appreciative of the honest feedback owners share.
Joining an owner group is a great way to be in the loop regarding upcoming events while also having the opportunity to connect with other owners to gain insights and share ideas.
We hope to see you at a future Winnebago owner meetup soon!