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 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.
Sewer hose storage area
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).
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?