Visting friends in Austin Part 2

In our last update we mentioned that we made our way to the Austin Texas area to visit friends and to check out the Austin and surrounding areas for the next month. Well obviously we are a bit behind on the blog once again and we did so much stuff while in Austin that I think we will abbreviate this update and stick with a few highlights. You’re welcome LOL!!

 In fact we will split up our Austin stay in a few shorter updates to help make them bearable on your end and on ours as far as the writing part goes.

One of those highlights was a drive out to the Pedernales Falls State Park located just 30 miles west of Austin.

The park is on the Pedernales River as you might have guessed and was at one time a working ranch known as the Circle Bar Ranch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The state of Texas purchased the land in 1970 and opened the park in 1971. There are some nice hiking trails which we took advantage of but there is a bike trail and of course some good fishing from what we saw.

 We spent a fair amount of time walking some of the trails but spent even more time on the rocks along the river.

 Becky and Drew have been known to cut a rug now and again and at one point Drew put on a display of some pretty fast and fancy footwork so we thought maybe he was showing off some of his dancing skills but it turned out that a snake had got in his way LOL!!

 Once we finished at Pedernales Falls we headed out towards the Blanco State Park to have a look.

Blanco State Park sits on 104 acres along the Blanco River and looks to be a popular place for swimming and tubing and there are some trails as well.

 

 

 

 

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Most of the early development of the park was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is camping available also but I’m not so sure it’s very big rig friendly and is a spot we most likely would not attempt in our 5th wheel.

 After a little more driving around in the country side we decided a meal was in order so we stopped in a nice little place called the Redbud Café.

 One thing you will notice while we are doing our updates about our Austin visit is that food was a big part of our visit LOL!!! There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that Drew & Becky are foodies and know their way around the food scene in the area.

 It was a great outing day and we were in for many more during our stay.

That’s it for this update.    

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Visiting friends in Austin Part 1

Sunday (5/12) as we mentioned in our last update we lifted our jacks and departed the Buckhorn Lake RV Resort and drove roughly 110 miles to our new home for the next month at the La Hacienda RV Park in Austin Texas.

 The RV Park is right at the outskirts of Austin and served as a great spot to base and visit our friends Becky & Drew who’s house was roughly just 10 miles away.

If you follow our blog you might have seen Becky & Drew’s name & pictures pop up in the past because we met them at the Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona where we spend our winters and have spent a lot of time together.

 Austin Texas seems to pop up on many lists of “Best cities to live in” in the USA but because it is the 11th largest city in the United States with a population of 931,000 in 2016 and growing leaps & bounds it certainly was not on our (mainly my) list of places to visit. Have I mentioned I hate big city traffic LOL!!!

 Drew & Becky had made mention a few times while we were together in Arizona that we should come visit them but we always sheepishly shook our heads yes while all the time inside I knew there was no way in hell that I was going to deal with Austin traffic and Diane knew just what was going inside of me. BUT when Drew & Becky suggested that we stay at the La Hacienda which was so close to their house and that they would be our personal chauffeurs (within reason) around the city we started to soften on the topic a bit and obviously ultimately decided to go visit. And we are so glad we did.

 Once we checked in and were almost set up we received a text from Drew & Becky asking if we were ready for company to which the answer was YES and before long they were parked in front of our rig.

 After our hello’s and a short tour of our new home we all loaded up in Drew & Becky’s car and headed out for a driving tour and our Austin adventures was underway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our stops on our driving tour was the Mansfield Dam.

After putting on a number of miles and getting a rough lay of the land we decided a stop at Poodies Roadhouse for a burger, adult beverages and some live music would be a good idea to top off the day.

 After a fun day of catching up and touring we headed home with plans to pick up where we left off the following day.

 That’s it for now.   

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New Horizon Owners Rally

   As we mentioned in our last couple updates the real reason we made the drive to Texas in the middle of tornado season was to attend our very first New Horizons Owners Rally and on Saturday (5/4) it finally started.

 So what do Diane and I do on the first day? Well right after the “Breakfast with the Rally Masters” gathering we head up the very 1st rally event of course LOL!!

You might be asking yourself what the heck could a couple of people fresh out of the motorhome world that were the absolute NEWEST New Horizon owners at the rally and the newest 5th wheel owners period possible  teach a bunch of 5th wheel road warriors, well Pickleball of course LOL!!!

 Yup, a few weeks before the rally we received an email from the Rally Masters asking if we would be willing to do a beginners Pickleball clinic so of course we said yes. Heck we will do what we can to help promote the sport and we sure as heck will do what we can to simply play at all.

 I will admit that when we received the schedule of events for the rally we were a bit surprised to see that the 1st event of the entire rally was our beginning Pickleball to be held at 10:15 on the first day LOL!!

 We figured heck, these people don’t know us and thought there would be a good chance that we just might be the only people that even showed up but to our surprise we ended up with right at 20 people.

 I had met up with a few local guys before or clinic was to start and played for a couple hours and when they saw just how many people showed up a couple of them offered to hang around and help oversee a couple courts and to help mentor. I’m sure they don’t look at our blog but if by chance they do,,, THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

 After my initial talk about how the game originated and after going over some of the basic rules and the importance of safety we were able to fill 4 courts with players, some that showed up couldn’t play because they showed up in flip flops or sandals so those people slowly disappeared but because of that we ended up with a perfect number of players for 4 courts.

 So for the next 2 hours roughly Diane oversaw a court, the two local guys oversaw a court each and I oversaw 1 court and every time I would look around at the different players they were all smiling, laughing and having a great time. That was so rewarding. And we only had two falls during that time but had no injuries except for 1 badly broken I-phone LOL!!!

 Over the next few days every day was filled from 8AM until 7:30 PM with everything from educational speakers on topics like Personal Safety on the Road, RV Fire Safety, Internet Security and Connectivity, Heath Care on the Road, RV Security and Monitoring Systems, MorRyde Suspension systems, Boondocking Tips, and others.

 Along with the educational talks there were Craft Sessions, Book Discussions, numerous pot lucks and catered meals, Open Rig Walkthroughs and on and on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there were a couple outings to places like the Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg for a meal and adult beverages.

And to Mamacita’s with a group for a nice meal.

 There were other little gatherings going on in what little spare time there was but one thing is for sure, we were so busy meeting people and learning stuff that we didn’t take many pictures. And did I mention food? Well we ate more food over that span of time than we needed to for an entire month!!

 Anyway, it was a great time and our hats are off to Jim & Patty and Ed & Lynn for all of their hard work getting the rally organized. I think the final count was 41 rigs in attendance and it’s a lot of work to try and keep that many people occupied, fed and happy.

2019 New Horizons Owners Group Photo

 We will no doubt be attending more of the New Horizon Owners Rallies in the future, if we get invited that is LOL!! In fact I think I saw a notice in the customer lounge at the New Horizon Factory that the next one will be in Creed Colorado and we saw it there before getting a invite any other way. Hmm, maybe we WASN”T going to get an invite. Well won’t they be surprised when we just show up LOL!! Shhhh, don’t tell anyone or they may change the location.

Ok, that’s it from Kerrville, on Sunday (5/12) we lifted our jacks and made a move away from the Buckhorn Lake RV Resort to the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin Texas where we planned to spend the next month visiting our friends Becky & Drew.

 You will want to come back and check all that out, we had a great time.  

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First few days in Kerrville

In our last update we mentioned that because we arrived at Buckhorn RV Park on the 28th we had a few days to fill before the New Horizon Rally actually started on 5/4. So the first couple days were mainly spent around the rig and actually using it like we will be now that we were set up in a campground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But during that time we did make a couple runs to Fredericksburg, first off I just had to visit my favorite hot sauce shop called Rustlin’ Robs Texas Gourmet Foods.

Rustlin Robs probably has the best assortment of hot sauces of any place we have ever been as well as samples of everything they have to offer so I love grazing my way through their shop.

And we had to make a stop at the Fredericksburg Brewing Company for a bite to eat and a adult beverage for Diane.

We also made a stop at Das Peach Haus and bought some hot sauce and a piece of their Peach Cobbler (make that alamode please LOL!!)

Here is a little history of Das Peach House taken from their web site.

The railroad arrived in Fredericksburg in 1913, and as for so many small Texas towns, it meant a new, expanded relationship with the larger world. In response, Lone Star Beer decided to construct a warehouse in Fredericksburg, right beside the railroad tracks for easy delivery, with high ceilings to moderate the high temperatures of Hill Country summers. It served Lone Star in this capacity for a time, until Prohibition ruined the industry, and later as a wholesale grocery warehouse where Mark Wieser’s mother worked as accountant.

 

Mark finally purchased the historic building in 1976 and had it moved to his family’s land, close to the roadside stand from which they sold peaches. For years, the place carried only produce and that only during the summer. By the 1990s, with the expansion and evolution of Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, it stayed open selling our jams, jellies, preserves and sauces all year round. Today, Das Peach Haus is the larger of the company’s two retail stores, the other being Fischer & Wieser on Main.

And of course we did the touristy thing and popped in and out of about every shop along Main Street during our visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On another day we made a road trip to the little town of Comfort, which originally was just going to be a 46 mile round trip road trip but more on that later.

Comfort was established in 1854 by German immigrants and now has a population just shy of 2400 people and it is said that most of the population today is composed of descendants of those original pioneer families of the 1850s and the 1860s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also said that the downtown area is possibly one of the most well-preserved historic business districts in Texas. There are well over 100 structures in the area dating back to the 19th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It didn’t really take long to walk the main street of town but while doing so we stopped in at the High’s Café & Store for some lunch.

 

 

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After lunch and as soon as we stepped out onto the sidewalk we couldn’t help notice that the skies had darkened drastically and that there was a start off in the direction we had to go to get home. So I looked at the radar app on the phone and sure enough a strong storm that showed hail was between us and home so we decided to just wait it out before going that direction.

Well wouldn’t you know it, that darn storm decided to branch out and try to hunt us down and it was bringing hail with it!!! To heck with that noise we thought so we headed out of town away from the storm and drove 16 miles southeast to Boerne where we jumped on HWY 46 which met up with HWY 16 ended up taking us to Bandera and under the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a short stop in Bandera we drove north and back home. So our little 46 mile road trip turned into 97 mile road trip but it was a pretty drive and we avoided the storm LOL!!

Other than those few things we visited with a few fellow RVers and watched as more and more New Horizon owners pulled in for the rally.

That’s it’s for now.

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Travel day to Kerrville

 Sunday (4/28) we lifted our jacks and started our journey all the way from Fredericksburg to the Buckhorn Lake RV Resort just outside of Kerrville Texas where we planned to attend a New Horizon RV owners rally. A whooping 30 mile travel day.

We actually arrived 1 week early before the rally started but that was by design so we would have a little time to get used to using our new home and if we had any issues or questions about it we knew we would be amongst a bunch of knowledgeable owners that could help us along if needed.

 Plus after such a long stretch of hotels followed by a hectic period of picking up our new home on wheels we figured a little down time might be nice. And of course we wanted to do a little touring.

We ended up having a nice pull-through site ONLY because of the misfortune of a friend (one we have never actually met other than through emails, texts and phone calls) that was supposed to have a brand spanking new New Horizon and also be attending the rally but his new truck was not ready so him and his wife had to cancel.

 We were really looking forward to meeting him and his wife but it sounds as if we will actually get to meet them when we go back up to Kansas to have a few things done to our rig in June.

While setting up in our spot Jim (a fellow New Horizon owner) that was already at the park came by to say hello. Ed & Sharon and Jim & Patty were the Rally Masters for the rally and had been in the area for over a month already making plans and getting things ready. A lot of work goes into having a rally. I mean after all, they have the daunting task of checking out the numerous catering services in the area and tasting all of the food beforehand.

After getting set up we headed out for a little walking tour of the park which is a pretty nice one with 133 full hookup sites that are all nicely manicured. In fact the entire park is well taken care of.

This was a pretty cool sitting area.

Bucket lights

Loved this seat idea.

 The park is set up in 3 parts, the campground section we were in, a small adult only section and then a completely different section that is separated by a bridge over a stream that is filled with small homes with RV ports. No-one can own a lot in the home section unless they actually own a motorhome.

RV park on the left and RV port homes on the right.

 During our walk we ran into a few other New Horizon owners that also arrived early for the rally which was nice and we could tell it was going to be a good time.

They have a few cabins to rent

 After our walk and some toying around with oddball stuff the rest of the day we settled in for the evening. BUT while sitting all of the sudden I heard a familiar sound!!! Why I thought I heard a Pickleball!!! So of course I was out the door in a flash and headed down to the courts and sure enough a game was going on.

A small gym is in that building

 Before long I was chatting it up with the players who happened to live in the homes across the stream we mentioned earlier and I was invited to play the following morning.

 It turned out they gathered every morning at 9 and played at least a couple hours and I found myself down there probably 6 or 7 mornings over the next 2 weeks. During the rally gatherings started at around 9 so I wasn’t able to hit the courts. Hmm, I should have talked to someone about the scheduling LOL!!

 We decided to just hang around home the next couple days and just chill with a short trip into Kerrville tossed in for some grocery shopping and a little driving tour of the town and to fill up with fuel and of course Pickleball in the mornings.

 The weather was pretty shaky pretty much the entire 2 weeks we were in Kerrville with some pretty good thunderstorms rolling through and a number of threats of hail (which luckily never happened) and boy howdy, when it rains hard in Texas it flat rains hard.

 During one of the rains I noticed a little water inside one of our side windows at the rear of the coach and thought then that it needed to be addressed but it was just a little water and not overly alarming so we went on with our day, you know, one of those I need to get to that moments.

 Well at 2am the 1st good ol Texas gully washers rolled through and woke us up it was raining so hard so I figured I would go out and check that window and boy I’m glad I did.

 Water was gushing in so fast at the top of the window that it made it’s way across the roughly 1 ½” space between the window and screen and ran down the screen so fast that it looked like one sheet of water. You know, like some of those fountains you see. Anyway once it reached the bottom of the screen it was going down the wall to a small end table and then cascading off the front like coffee being poured out of a pot into your morning cup.

See the gasket poking up that I’m sure let water in.

 After a short phrase of 4 letter word’s I yelled at Diane to bring out towels loud enough that I’m sure I woke the neighbors.

 Well she came out with one towel which lasted for a few seconds and I told her to bring out all the towels we had it was that bad. I mean we needed to play catch up with all the water that had already reached the floor and was pooled behind the couch as well as try to keep up with what was coming in, not what I wanted to be doing at 2am.

See the hole to the right of the screw that let water in.

 Anyway, after a bit I decided to open the window in hope that some of the water being pushed in at the bottom would be forced outside instead of inside, and it did work some. We used pretty much all the towels we had and was ringing them out in the sink but luckily it wasn’t one of those long term rain events and when it slowed to what I will call a normal rain the gutter was able to do it’s job and kept water away from the window.

 Once we got everything dried the best we could and our fan directed at the floor to help dry things out I just sat in my recliner and checked the radar on  my phone to see if we had any more bad raining coming our way that we would need to battle.

 Luckily the bad part of the storm had gone by so I was able to go back to bed but of course I found myself up checking the window now and again until I finally just stayed up.

 Once it was light outside I grabbed my ladder and headed out for a look to see what the heck the problem was and found that there was a gap on each side of the hinge point at the top of the window that had no gasket material that I could see. One of those shake my head moments. In fact I shook my head hard enough that you could hear it rattle across the park LOL!!

 Luckily Ed & Sharon had some good caulking and some wide tape and I applied to beads of caulking followed by a layer of tape and I’m happy to announce that it held up through the next gully washer and in fact the rest of the rain we experienced from that point forward.

 As you can imagine I contacted New Horizon about that little experience and told them that window needed to be taken out and installed correctly when we returned in June. And when they do I will want them to get their pressure washer out and check it thoroughly.

 Ok, that’s it for this update.        

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Time for our first travel day with our new home

 On Friday (4/26) we hooked up to our new home for real, waved so long to the New Horizon factory and resumed our travels in our new home on wheels.

The day we pulled away from the factory

 As much as we dislike traveling on freeways we decided that because this was our first real pull with our 5th wheel it might be smart to stick to the more major roads and not take the back country route which is what we would normally do, so we headed south out of Junction City on HWY 77 until we reached Wichita Falls where we jumped on I-35.

 Once on I-35 we stayed on it until we switched over to I-44 in an effort to cut off some of drive through Oklahoma City and even though it was probably a better route it was still jam packed with traffic. Is this where we say (I hate big cities) LOL!!

Once we cleared Oklahoma City we made our way to Lawton Oklahoma and found a nice spot in a lightly used truck lot next to the Comanche Nation Casino after a 356 mile travel day.

The casino actually offers 2 or 3 hookup sites on their property but they are more suited to small trailers or maybe a Class C, certainly not for rigs our size.

** Our 1st glitch with our new home, during our travels today the closet rod came loose and we found all of our cloth’s in a heap on the floor. After a closer look I found that the center support bracket was help by 2 screws that went into nothing more than paneling. It seems someone didn’t do their job at the factory and install the backing piece for the screws to go into. One of those shake your head moments. Really!!***

 (For the record I have communicated this issue to New Horizon and they have now changed the entire way the rods and supports will be mounted from this point forward AND we were told that our closet would be fitted with the new system. IN fact they even switched to a more robust rod. We will report on that when we have it switched out.)

 We figured this to be just a one night stopover but after having our leftover’s type dinner in the rig and spending a short evening in the casino and getting a good night’s sleep we decided heck, we have a nice quiet spot overlooking some grass and a nice field so why not just spend another night, we were not in any big hurry.

 Plus this would give us a chance to see how well our solar panels and batteries would hold up and to use things from battery power more than we had a chance to while at the factory.

 So we broke out our chairs and just chilled a good chunk of the day with a good brisk walk mixed in followed by a pretty good Catfish dinner at the casino and another good night’s sleep.

 We didn’t even unhook the truck, one advantage of having 140 gallons of fuel on board, no need to find fuel for our next day’s travel.

 Saturday (4/27) we pulled away from Lawton and continued south on 44 for a ways but eventually wound our way on a few different roads south until we pulled into the Fredericksburg RV Park in Fredericksburg Texas, a 350 mile travel day.

 To begin with we have never been fond of long travel days but to have our first two travel days pulling a 5th wheel be over 350 mile days when we have been used to traveling in a Class A motorhome for so long, well that wasn’t planned out so well LOL!!

 I was informed by Diane after our first leg of this trip from Junction City to Lawton that long travel days in the cab of the truck didn’t hold a candle to riding in the motorhome and that we should not plan for many of them. So what do we do, well have another 350 plus mile travel day of course LOL!!!

 We were lucky enough to get a pretty long pull-through site so because we were only going to spend 1 night once again we didn’t need to unhitch the truck. And we still didn’t need any fuel so all was good.

 We did figure out while setting up that the location of the 50 amp cord real on the 5th wheel being at the rear of the coach caused issues when the electrical pedestal is located more towards the front of a RV site, I was juuuust able to pull forward far enough to hook up and still keep the nose of the truck out of the road. Another 2 feet and I would have had to unhook. I guess carrying an extension cord might be in order. (we have in fact bought a 15’ extension now).

 After getting set up we took off on foot for a short ¼ mile walk to the La Tequila Tex-Mex Restaurant for a bite to eat and then returned home for showers and an evening in front of the TV.

 We spent a week in Fredericksburg a few years back plus we were going to be spending the next 2 weeks in Kerrville just a short 20 miles down the road so we didn’t feel the need to do any exploring after our long travel day.

 Did I just mention that our next location was just 20 miles down the road? Yup, it was time to make up for those 2 long 350 plus mile travel days to Diane with a nice short one LOL!! We will get into that and the rally we were attending in our next update.         

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It’s time to pick up our new home.

Tuesday (4/16) finally rolled around and it was time to put our stretch of hotel living behind us and move into our new home!! So after our last “free” breakfast we packed up our stuff and headed towards the New Horizon factory to start our orientation and to start working through whatever bugs we might find, and we figured we would.

 During conversations with Cole, our salesman, we were told that it was pretty much expected for a person picking up a new rig from them to spend roughly 1 week in their lot while going through a delivery orientation and to take care of whatever little things we might want changed or fixed so that’s what we planned for and because we didn’t have any obligations scheduled until May 4th at that time it wasn’t an issue.

 I don’t remember when we actually made our very 1st contact with New Horizon but I do know that we went to visit in August 2018 and in September 2018 we made a financial committed to our purchase.

 We are not going to go into extreme detail about our pick up experience while at New Horizon, mainly because we didn’t take very many pictures for some reason and to be honest we stayed pretty busy with one thing or another going on and we just don’t remember the sequence that things happened but overall it was a positive one with only a few mishaps.

 We have bought and gone through picking up RV’s a few times now from different dealers and had an idea of what to expect and we know many of you have done the same thing so you know that you just expect things to pop up, these things are manmade after all.

 I will say that because New Horizons is considered to be in the top 2 or 3 highest rated 5th wheels in the entire country and in fact considered to be #1 by many we did expect to have a few less things pop up than what we experienced but again, when you are dealing with people, people are people regardless.

 Most of the things we experienced that were wrong just made us shake our heads and certainly were not things we expected to deal with when purchasing something from the highest rated custom 5th wheel manufacture in the country and probably the highest priced RV manufacture in the country to boot. But again people are people and people can have a bad day no matter how good they are overall.

 We were told by almost every New Horizon owner that we spoke with when doing our research that one of the biggest issues New Horizon has is communication and we found that it is still one of if not their biggest fault. We certainly had some pull our hair out periods caused by lack of communication and no doubt a few of the issues that we had or have with our new home was caused by the lack of communication.

 I think we mentioned before that even though we knew there would be challenges when ordering a 5th wheel from New Horizons that we were willing to deal with whatever came up to get what we feel is the highest quality 5th wheel on the market today so I guess we can’t beat the communication issue to death LOL!!

 We could however pick out a few things that were done by either a new employee not totally trained or by someone that was just having a bad day when they performed the work on our particular rig on that particular day but again we won’t get into those things in this update. We would however be more than willing to talk to anyone that is doing any research and considering a New Horizon.

 Buying a 5th wheel from New Horizon can mean many things to different people, for many it means “almost” unlimited possibilities to customize. And for some it means buying a unit that just has a great foundation and is known for being built rock solid. We fall into the last category.

 If you walked into our rig you might at first glance just say “hey, it’s like any other 5th wheel with this particular floorplan. But as you look closer at the detail in the finish work you would no doubt start seeing the differences, cabinets that are actually all wood, real wood trim work where the miters actually meet together without gaps, real hardwood floors, solid doors, in our case real travertine back splashes, no bounce when you walk around and that’s with just 4 jacks, and the list goes on.

 But as we eluded to even though New Horizon can do and has done and is known for their customizing we are pretty simple people and didn’t do anything to crazy and wild as far as customization goes, we just wanted it nice and comfortable and solid. In fact if all we wanted was a particular floorplan we would have bought a DRV Mobil Suites and been done with it but did you catch the “solid” part of what we wanted.

 It was really because of that “solid” word that we opted to step up and purchase a New Horizon. In our minds it’s the “bones” of the New Horizon unit’s and the way things are done where you don’t necessarily see them that put New Horizons steps above the other manufactures out there.

 It’s like building a sticks & bricks house, I don’t care how glitzy and shiny the house is, if it’s not built on a good foundation it’s just not going to last.

 Hmm, as I type this I started thinking how I certainly am not meaning to bash anyone else’s rigs, these are just my feelings and the reasons we went with a New Horizon. And trust me, we will talk about New Horizon issues as time goes along I’m sure and then you can rub all this back in our faces LOL!!

 In fact with that last statement in mind I will abbreviate this update from here.

 Some spec’s on our coach.

Our actual usable floor space is 40’ long.

Our coach is built on a 12-inch I-beam and box tube assembly that is made in house by New Horizon with American steel. Each frame is designed to fit your floor plan, no cookie cutter one frame fits all stuff with New Horizon and depending on the size of the unit, the box tube gauge will be 3/16-inch to ¼-inch steel.

The cabinets on the top left are in the bedroom. ^ drawers on the left and then a electronics shelf and our TV will be on top of that cabinet. To the right will be 2 more drawers and then a laundry hamper on the right. A window will be above the shorter section and a row of cabinets above the window. On the right side of the picture is the back side of our bathroom vanity. You can see the drawer slides for 3 drawers and to the right of them we will have a vessel sink.

The cabinets on the top left are in the bedroom. ^ drawers on the left and then a electronics shelf and our TV will be on top of that cabinet. To the right will be 2 more drawers and then a laundry hamper on the right. A window will be above the shorter section and a row of cabinets above the window. On the right side of the picture is the back side of our bathroom vanity. You can see the drawer slides for 3 drawers and to the right of them we will have a vessel sink.

The very front will be our closet. The cabinets on the left are the back side of the passenger side bedroom cabinets.

The very front will be our closet. The cabinets on the left are the back side of the passenger side bedroom cabinets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our chassis sits on 3 Mor/Ryde 8000lb axles with Independent Suspension. Mor/Ryde is considered to be the best on the market today and should provide our new home a nice soft ride.

For brakes we opted to go with Kodiak Disk brakes with 2 piece bearings. Their standard is to use Dexter brakes and Never Lube bearings but we have read and heard about first hand to many bad stories about Never Lube bearings on heavy units.

 For tires we have six 17.5” H rated Goodyear G114’s.     

We opted to have 3 slides and not to do a 4th slide in the bedroom for a few reasons, to save weight and cost and so we didn’t have to worry about bumping our heads when retrieving things from the basement and it opens up our patio side a little more.

We also opted to install a 16 gallon water heater instead of the 12 gallon they normally install, we had 3 15K air conditioners installed (2 with heat pumps) and 2 two-stage (25,000/40,000) BTU furnaces, 2 remote controlled Maxx fans with rain covers, a 300lb receiver hitch on the rear that will serve as a home for our bikes , an electric fresh water hose real and an electric electrical cord real, a 6500w LP Onan generator with auto gen start feature (the generator is mounted UNDER the coach which creates a ton more storage up front and saves on pin weight) , 650 watts of solar and a Magnum PT100 controller with remote monitor pane (which I’m sure we will double in time) and 4 AGM 6 volt batteries (that are mounted under the storage compartment floor which allows for more  storage), tank flush systems on both the black and grey tanks and a Voyager 3 camera back up and monitoring system with a color monitor that’s mounted in the truck.

We have a 40lb propane bottle on each side of the coach.

We have a 40lb propane bottle on each side of the coach.

 

 

Wet bay

Sewer hose storage area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whew, wait there’s more. We also had slide toppers installed and 2 separate powered awnings complete with LED lighting and a awning over our rear window. Oh we also had a Progressive HW50C Energy Management System with a remote panel installed to protect our electrical system and we added a color coordinated rock guard up front and we had mud flaps installed at the rear. We also found an area underneath that was just open unused space so we had them add an axra excess door and storage box. And we had a Winegard Traveler satellite system installed on the roof and we have a 40” TV outside mounted on an articulating arm complete with a sound bar. We went with a color scheme called Champagne and had the ends of our slide rooms painted to match (which should just be done anyway, I don’t know why they even make it an option).

Outside TV

Outside TV

As it turned out the paint matched with pretty our new truck darn well.

 A couple changes New Horizon offered in their 2020 models and moving forward are a 30” entry door and a radius edge XTRM PVC roof with a 15 year warranty. These are 2 things among others that helped us decide to wait for the 2020 model.

 Even though we had a few other things done like a keyless entry for our front door and a spray on color coordinated rock guard on the front I think we have covered the outside pretty well.

I was going to make a comment about wall thickness and insulation but I had forgotten the exact details so I contacted our salesman and asked for the specks on the insulation and he said he would get back with me the next day, but that was about 5 days ago, hmmm, did I mention communication was an issue with New Horizon. This is another example.

 For the inside we did a hand scrapped Hickory engineered hardwood flooring everywhere including the slides with a warm sunset stain made by Mohawk, for cabinets we went with raised panel Rustic Cherry with a walnut stain and all of the doors & drawers are soft close. Our countertops are a Martha Stewart series Corian (Ravine).

We had a Blanco single bowl composite kitchen sink installed and a Machiatto glass Vessel sink installed in the bathroom. All of our hardware and plumbing fixtures are residential quality oil rubbed bronze Moen fixtures.

 For a toilet we have a Sealand Concerto porcelain toilet with a wall mounted flush button and we added a custom cabinet in our toilet rom that was designed not only for extra storage but also for a designated charging area for our Dyson vacuum and a place to hang our swifter and cleaning supplies.

Truth be known had we known exactly what changes were going to be made with the closet area because of the new front cap design we might not have had the extra cabinet installed in the toilet room and might have opted to leave the extra sink and medicine cabinet. But this certainly gives us a ton more storage and we are happy enough with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we are referring to in the closet is that with the new more rounded cap design it allowed for 5 built in shelves on the front wall which eliminated the shelving unit that we thought were going to be installed on the right side of the closet. And without those shelves on the right we could have easily made that the storage and charging area for the Dyson and cleaning supplies.

We have a king size bed and we transferred our Tempurpedic mattress from our motorhome to the 5th wheel, a Fisher Paykel dishwasher with a wood front, a Furrion Induction cooktop (that is lightyears better than the cooktop we had in our motorhome we might add), a Whirlpool 2pc stacking washer dryer (that does much larger loads than the units we had in our motorhome), a Opti Flame fireplace in the living room and a Maytag residential refrigerator.

 All of our lights are controlled by a multiplex Firefly system that has remote panels located throughout the coach and our tank monitors, outside lights, awnings and slide controls also all operate from the Firefly system. And we have LED accent lighting in many places throughout the coach which we like a lot. Of course all of the lighting inside and outside are LED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I know we left a few things out like adding more cabinets along the passenger side, adding a few electrical outlets, having a custom area designed for our Breville toaster oven (yes we love that thing enough to work around it in our design), added a couple drawers and shelves here and there but I think that pretty much sums up everything inside. Besides, we have been dragging our feet on doing this update so we need to get it wrapped up.

 Long story short we spent a total of 10 days in the lot at the New Horizon Factory (including a weekend) going through orientation and having a few issues addressed and everyone was top notch that we dealt with without exception.

 Well ok, I’m not known for holding back the truth, there was one person that seemed to be an issue in the company that didn’t seem to be a team player and wasn’t pulling their weight from what we experienced but I will say that person is no longer employed at New Horizon and that position has been filled.

Heck, we can just set up our patio in the storage area OR maybe take on a renter!!

Laying across from side to side showing the height.

 It’s always sad to see someone be displaced but it was good to see that New Horizon reacted to a situation with the better good of the company “and future customers” in mind.

 Our orientation included having Harold spending 1 solid day with us going through every component of our new home and spending short periods with us over the rest of our stay going over and explaining any questions we might have come up with and coordinating any repairs to things that we found during our stay. As well as going over the hitching of our new home to our truck and making sure all aspects of that was in order and making any adjustments that need to be made like moving the hitch height on our 5th wheel.

Laying front to back with room to spare.

Me in our storage bay after we are all loaded. Still lots of extra space.

 He also took us on roughly a 2 hour test drive that included a run over the scales so we knew our exact weights, loaded and unloaded before we ever left the factory.

 Did we mention New Horizon built a solid unit? Well with the word solid of course comes weight and these rigs are heavy. The dry weight of our new home is 21,840lbs and it’s rated for a GVWR of 27,000lbs.

 The weight of our rig after we loaded all of our worldly possessions in it and put some water in the fresh tank and filled our propane tanks like we will normally be loaded during travel days was 24,560lbs with a pin weight of 4680lbs.

That means we loaded about 2720lbs of our crap in it and we still have a cushion of 2440lbs. We will say that even though we did do a grocery store run before weighing we will normally have our cupboards and freezer a little more full than it was when we weighed but I’m guessing that will only add another 200lbs at most so we are sitting pretty good weight wise. Something we most likely would not be able to say if we owned many of the other brands on the market that we considered which is a big reason why we chose a New Horizon.

The day we pulled away from the factory

 Keep in mind these weights are after we added solar and a couple extra batteries which make it even more impressive. And even though I think we will most likely add 2 more solar panels and probably 2 more batteries we will still be well under our 27,000lb rating even if we fill our water tank to the brim and head to a boon-docking location.

 Maybe even more importantly our truck choice will also keep us legal and safe going down the road even after we add more solar and if we fill up with water. Research and planning does have its advantages.

** We will do an update on just the tuck and the numbers in the future after we get caught up on the blog**

 Because a replacement window and an awning over our rear window was not in stock to be installed before we left we have to return to New Horizon after our Texas visit but we figured we would have to return to have whatever new issues popped up during our first few weeks of use anyway so in a way a return trip was already planned.

At the time I finished this update we had been in our new home for over 1 month and have traveled close to 900 miles and as figured a few glitches have popped up, probably a couple more than we figured would come up and one that there is no way in hell should have happened. But we will save talking about these for another update.

 Hey we have to keep you coming back and besides I’m sure knowing how New Horizon handles these issues is as important as the issues themselves and they have not been fixed yet.

 Other than the issues Diane has probably rearranged the cupboards 3 times getting them the way she wants them and I have rearranged the basement area at least 3 times and I’m not sure we have them just the way we want them yet LOL!! 

 And the truck has handled the load as well as expected and in some aspects even better. Even better in the slowing down and braking category I would say. A more in depth update about the truck is still in order but I wanted to get some miles under my belt with it towing before doing that.

 Ok, that’s it for now, from here we start our first journey with our new home towards a New Horizon Rally in Kerrville Texas. Care to ride along?                   

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