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Old 05-01-2021, 09:05 PM   #1
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New Horizons owners experience

Are there structural issues to be dealt with on these trailers? Things like frame/wall/floor/roof/etc, not the typical pieces and parts that are going to fail.



If you have experienced a structural issue, did New Horizons step up and cover the cost?


How many NH owners are experiencing the infamous front deck/overhang cracks in the sidewall that many other brands experience?
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Old 05-02-2021, 03:38 PM   #2
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AK there have been no issues like those reported in the NHOG forum or YouTube searches. My research talking with owners during my buying process uncovered no structural defects ever. Closest thing would be some exterior wall issues years ago which were addressed by the factory. I found one posting elsewhere about a 2010 that had a crack from the corner of a slide room. Take a look at the NH YouTube videos about the NH frame which they build in house. IMHO it is built like a battleship unlike the frames used in the mass produced units of all other brands other than SpaceCraft.


It will be interesting to see what other comments you get. You have a great truck for pulling your rig.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:07 PM   #3
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AKNavy -

As a former DRV and present NH owner, perhaps I can mention a few items.

DRV has Lippert construct their frames to their specs. DRV uses a welded tubular steel frame they designed and used for decades. But what should be noted here - Lippert makes DRV frames under contract. To your concern, on our 2013 DRV Elite Suites (pre-Thor), on the driver's side, I could notice a crack appearing, along with other indications, of a possible developing crack in the frame between the overhang/front deck and the lower main frame. The crack and expansion ran from the base of the overhang up to the corner of the bed slide.

When we toured the DRV plant in the fall of 2012, we were told that DRV developed the six-point leveling system and licensed it to Lippert. However, DRV did not license the "tube-in-tube" front landing gear system to Lippert. As it turns out, that tube-in-tube system was susceptible to the dreaded cylinder leak and drop during transport. Yes, we had that happen. After a two years of having the continued problem, we were told in March 2018 that DRV would no longer provide new hydraulic rams for the tube-in-tube. The next repair would involve a $5K change to the current Lippert front landing gear. We took delivery of our Majestic in April 2018! I understand you did not ask about this particular item, but there it is.

As stated, New Horizons does manufacture their own frames at their shop in Junction City, KS. In fact, I have become friends with the welder who built our frame, Troy! NH frames are a hybrid of I-beam, tubular steel, angle steel, etc. They are heavy! But with that comes strength! The Majestic only requires 4 Bigfoot hydraulics to lift the unit level, and actually fully off the ground! The frame does not have the same flex as a Lippert frame, so the six-point lift system is not necessary. Oh, and instead of a common reservoir and common pump for the lift system and slide hydraulic rams, each Bigfoot has its own pump and hydraulic reservoir. Just walk around inside a Majestic! You will notice the difference from your Full House!

On hydraulics, while in Denton, there was a new DRV Full House that came in. After getting leveled, the slides would not extend! Not enough hydraulic fluid! ExploreUSA techs told the new owners just to add some ATF fluid to the reservoir. After about 4 or 5 months, they left. When they brought the slides in, then started to retract the leveling rams . . . well, you can probably fill in the rest. What a mess!

And yes! From our experience, New Horizons does step up! Yes, we did have a problem with a trim piece on our kitchen slide that we were supposed to have fixed in early 2019. In only a month, on our way to the NHOG rally, that same piece of frame trim was not only loose, but also had separated (sticking out) that I did not feel comfortable about bringing in the kitchen slide. NH sent two people some 500+ miles overnight to fix the slide and trim, and to assure that we could safely operate the slide! Name another RV manufacturer in this day and time that would do that! And please, don't take my word. Ask Joey or Jay when you tour the factory! New Horizons are behind their customers 100%.

In late summer 2019, we had a Lippert problem with the slide mechanism on the kitchen slide. The connection bolt (no, it is not a shear pin) sheared in the gear mechanism that synchronizes the front and back of the slide. I called Ken, who told me to contact a mobile RV tech and then give him the techs information. The RV tech came out, fixed the slide bolt, sent the invoice to Ken, and New Horizons paid the tech directly! I ask, can you see Thor doing this?

Now, I am not going to lie. In our first two years of NH ownership, we kept a list of "problems". Our home base and family are located in Oklahoma and north Texas, so getting to Junction City was not a problem for us. We probably visited NH and Ken some eight times or so for warranty repairs. Sometimes for just minor things I could have fixed. But we always had great service. Became friends with Mike and Jeff out in the warranty repairs department! Professionalism, curtesy, friendliness, and care are the primary descriptive words I can think of for all of New Horizons! Nothing is perfect, but New Horizons tries to make it as perfect as possible.

Also, when in Junction City . . . when you turn your NH over to the warranty department, head off to Stacey's for breakfast! It is a step back into the late 1950s-60s! Enjoy breakfast and listen to the locals! It will take you back to your youth in small town Oklahoma! At least in my case!

Just my two cents,
Ron
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ghaynes754 View Post
AK there have been no issues like those reported in the NHOG forum or YouTube searches. My research talking with owners during my buying process uncovered no structural defects ever. Closest thing would be some exterior wall issues years ago which were addressed by the factory. I found one posting elsewhere about a 2010 that had a crack from the corner of a slide room. Take a look at the NH YouTube videos about the NH frame which they build in house. IMHO it is built like a battleship unlike the frames used in the mass produced units of all other brands other than SpaceCraft.


It will be interesting to see what other comments you get. You have a great truck for pulling your rig.

I'm hoping for all good responses. This DRV is doing ok, but the issues I've had so far give me pause when I think of long term reliability. I'd like to be surprised when something breaks, not just taking it as normal. Again, something that's not just a part to replace. That happens. But the actual structure of it...that's what I'm concerned with.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by geo-gypsy View Post
AKNavy -

As a former DRV and present NH owner, perhaps I can mention a few items.

DRV has Lippert construct their frames to their specs. DRV uses a welded tubular steel frame they designed and used for decades. But what should be noted here - Lippert makes DRV frames under contract. To your concern, on our 2013 DRV Elite Suites (pre-Thor), on the driver's side, I could notice a crack appearing, along with other indications, of a possible developing crack in the frame between the overhang/front deck and the lower main frame. The crack and expansion ran from the base of the overhang up to the corner of the bed slide.

When we toured the DRV plant in the fall of 2012, we were told that DRV developed the six-point leveling system and licensed it to Lippert. However, DRV did not license the "tube-in-tube" front landing gear system to Lippert. As it turns out, that tube-in-tube system was susceptible to the dreaded cylinder leak and drop during transport. Yes, we had that happen. After a two years of having the continued problem, we were told in March 2018 that DRV would no longer provide new hydraulic rams for the tube-in-tube. The next repair would involve a $5K change to the current Lippert front landing gear. We took delivery of our Majestic in April 2018! I understand you did not ask about this particular item, but there it is.

As stated, New Horizons does manufacture their own frames at their shop in Junction City, KS. In fact, I have become friends with the welder who built our frame, Troy! NH frames are a hybrid of I-beam, tubular steel, angle steel, etc. They are heavy! But with that comes strength! The Majestic only requires 4 Bigfoot hydraulics to lift the unit level, and actually fully off the ground! The frame does not have the same flex as a Lippert frame, so the six-point lift system is not necessary. Oh, and instead of a common reservoir and common pump for the lift system and slide hydraulic rams, each Bigfoot has its own pump and hydraulic reservoir. Just walk around inside a Majestic! You will notice the difference from your Full House!

On hydraulics, while in Denton, there was a new DRV Full House that came in. After getting leveled, the slides would not extend! Not enough hydraulic fluid! ExploreUSA techs told the new owners just to add some ATF fluid to the reservoir. After about 4 or 5 months, they left. When they brought the slides in, then started to retract the leveling rams . . . well, you can probably fill in the rest. What a mess!

And yes! From our experience, New Horizons does step up! Yes, we did have a problem with a trim piece on our kitchen slide that we were supposed to have fixed in early 2019. In only a month, on our way to the NHOG rally, that same piece of frame trim was not only loose, but also had separated (sticking out) that I did not feel comfortable about bringing in the kitchen slide. NH sent two people some 500+ miles overnight to fix the slide and trim, and to assure that we could safely operate the slide! Name another RV manufacturer in this day and time that would do that! And please, don't take my word. Ask Joey or Jay when you tour the factory! New Horizons are behind their customers 100%.

In late summer 2019, we had a Lippert problem with the slide mechanism on the kitchen slide. The connection bolt (no, it is not a shear pin) sheared in the gear mechanism that synchronizes the front and back of the slide. I called Ken, who told me to contact a mobile RV tech and then give him the techs information. The RV tech came out, fixed the slide bolt, sent the invoice to Ken, and New Horizons paid the tech directly! I ask, can you see Thor doing this?

Now, I am not going to lie. In our first two years of NH ownership, we kept a list of "problems". Our home base and family are located in Oklahoma and north Texas, so getting to Junction City was not a problem for us. We probably visited NH and Ken some eight times or so for warranty repairs. Sometimes for just minor things I could have fixed. But we always had great service. Became friends with Mike and Jeff out in the warranty repairs department! Professionalism, curtesy, friendliness, and care are the primary descriptive words I can think of for all of New Horizons! Nothing is perfect, but New Horizons tries to make it as perfect as possible.

Also, when in Junction City . . . when you turn your NH over to the warranty department, head off to Stacey's for breakfast! It is a step back into the late 1950s-60s! Enjoy breakfast and listen to the locals! It will take you back to your youth in small town Oklahoma! At least in my case!

Just my two cents,
Ron



Thank you for the long, well thought out response. This is the type of information that makes that price tag look a little less painful.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:36 AM   #6
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Thank you for the long, well thought out response. This is the type of information that makes that price tag look a little less painful.
AKNavy -

Another "driver" for our NH decision: Our 2013 Elite Suites had many (MANY!!!) outside screws securing the sides, the caps, and on the slides. Most all of them were #8. As we rumbled down the road, the vibrations would cause the screws to pull in and out and basically drill out a larger hole in the aluminum frame. So, about every six months, I would have to go around the fiver tightening screws or, more likely, replacing the screws. From #8s to #10s. From #10s to #14s. I even had a few quarter-inch screws in various places by the time we traded it for a NH Majestic!

It was when we visited the NH plant in October 2017 I knew we were making a great decision. I stood in the loft area and watched the workers put together a side and laminate it in one piece! No screws! I didn't hang around long enough to watch them cut the slide areas out. But I know they use the cutouts as the outside walls of the slides so they match! Just getting Cole or Drew to allow you to spend some time watching the construction - how and why - of the New Horizons will more than convince you that the price is well worth it!

Just my two cents,
Ron
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