By Tony Barthel
There are so many RV brands out there with each trying to come up with that killer floor plan or those features that bring customers to their brand over some other choice. So I recently was alerted to a company called New Horizons RV, which has a couple of lines of fifth wheel trailers including one that offers their customers almost complete ability to customize their floor plan.
There are people for whom standard floor plans don’t cut the mustard and that’s where New Horizons’ Majestic line of fifth wheels comes in. The company actually works with the customer to plan out their own fifth wheel from start to finish.
Of course, there are still some baselines for the customization, so I thought I’d start with the New Horizons RV Majestic M42IK6S. This is one of the most unusual floor plans that I’ve seen and would almost be perfect if you’re stuck with, er, uh, have the privilege of traveling with either another couple or maybe some older kids.
New Horizons RV
There are a number of things that caught my eye right away as I did some research on New Horizons. First of all, they guarantee that their rigs are capable of withstanding temperatures down to -10° F, as long as you’re in the rig with the heaters on and such. They do offer tank heaters as an option if you’re towing through cold country.
As part of the process of working with a customer to build a unit unique to them, New Horizons builds their own chassis in house, and that chassis is specifically designed for the unit. That means there is reinforcing around slide rooms and that sort of thing. In addition, each chassis is unique to that floor plan. The company also boasts about using American-made steel.
Another point New Horizons made was that they like to put generator units in the back of the trailer rather than up front under the bedroom. But, again, this would depend on the model and the configuration. But it makes a lot of sense.
Furthermore, they use a heat pump air conditioning system rather than the typical RV AC system – and it’s quiet. For many homeowners, you may have already switched to something like a mini split air conditioning system which, essentially, is a heat pump. Think of how much more efficient and quiet that unit is than the noisy thing you replaced.
In fact, one of the units I looked at had no generator at all. Instead it had a monster bank of batteries that would run the AC system. They were replenished by a crazy-large solar array on the roof of the trailer. Not having a generator aboard means no noise, fumes, maintenance or shaking of the rig. That’s fantastic! Of course generators are pretty common still, and there is a tremendous amount of energy in liquid fuel. This is why they continue to make sense.
We’ve looked at other RVs in the past that had manifold-based plumbing systems, and these do as well. What that means is that there’s a “home run” from a manifold to a plumbing fixture. If there’s a leak in the system, you can shut off that leg of the system without having to shut off the whole water works in the trailer.
Cabinets are all solid wood, and drawer boxes use dove-tailed joints with cabinet faces being pocket screwed. The company had been using magnetic cabinet latches but found that they sprung open during travel. So they’ve since moved to positive mechanical latches. Another thing I like is that they use SeeLevel tank monitors. These offer a far more accurate reading and tend not to fail within the first 2-3 dump cycles.
Lastly, New Horizons uses a pinch roller system to bond walls. I’m going to admit a huge bias here, but I really prefer a vacuum bonding system over pinch rollers. However, the vacuum bonding system is a more expensive process. Pinch rollers are generally fine.
What are the advantages of hand-built RVs?
And that brings me to another point, again where my bias will show. When Henry Ford started mass producing cars, he learned that having someone do the same thing over and over again, every day, meant they got really good at it. Also, it was less expensive to repeat a process. Nowadays, cars are built in highly automated factories and they are extremely reliable. So, I personally don’t see the advantages of having hand-built things at all – even though a lot of RV companies brag about this.
And so one of the videos I saw about New Horizons showed a customer who had one heck of an impressive custom model there. He was at the factory to have a “punch list” of things looked at. When I can save up enough money to afford a Porsche Taycan, if I had a “punch list” of things to repair, I’d be flying to Germany. There’d be a whole different punch list going on there. But this is what we’ve come to expect of even products perceived as the best there is.
Not to call out New Horizons at all. They’re just doing what we’ve come to expect in the RV business. But automated processes are how you reduce the number of failures.
The floor plan of the New Horizons RV Majestic M421K6S
The model that really caught my eye here is the New Horizons RV Majestic M421K6S. Since I’ve rattled on about the company and build process so much, let’s just go over the highlights that I see here. This also makes sense since you can customize the heck out of these.
In the rear of this rig there are slide outs on either side of the coach which feature 30” twin beds. Right smack dab in the middle between these is a bathroom with a door on either side so that the occupants of either side can get to it. The bathroom consists of a porcelain foot flush toilet with a sink, but it’s interesting. My wife referred to this as a “Jack and Jill” bathroom.
If you had older children or even adults traveling with you, this could be a really good solution. Each side also has access to a closet at the back of the floor plan. We’ve looked at other floor plans of fifth wheels where the bunk area could easily be repurposed. But I would think these bunks are just that – bunks. Plus, with the number of customization options New Horizons offers, you would be well-served by having a floor plan made for whatever your actual purpose was rather than repurposing this floor plan. So this is a really solid bunk model. Period.
There are six slides on the New Horizons RV Majestic M421K6S
The main living space puts theater seats opposite a large flat-screen TV with a fireplace below that. This main space is made more grand by dual opposing slides. There are a total of six slides on this unit.
The road-side slide features the aforementioned TV stack along with the stove and residential convection microwave. You get a lot of appliances choices so I won’t bemoan the standard Samsung fare, as you can actually put in something other than these. Interestingly, this particular model features the refrigerator on the front wall and, again, lots of different choices of brands here.
Upstairs a queen-size bed occupies a slide room on the road side and a dresser occupies a smaller slide on the camp side. The nose cap is almost all closet, unless you choose to outfit a portion of this space with a washer-dryer.
There’s a nice bathroom in the Majestic M421K6S
I bypassed the shower but nobody else will. New Horizons makes a beautiful shower enclosure here and the bathroom is quite nice. While there are a variety of finishes and stains for the cabinetry and surfaces of this rig, I will say they all carry an air of high quality. These are very nice fifth wheels – as you’d expect at this price point.
There’s a lot about the New Horizons RV Majestic M421K6S that I really like. One thing I really appreciate is how New Horizons spends a great deal of time and effort working with you to build something that really fits your lifestyle. There are also a lot of little details that show that the company not only listens to the customer, but also actually uses their own product. This sets them apart from a lot of brands.
Lastly, they’re not in the heart of the RV industry in Indiana, but are headquartered in Junction City, Kansas. That means there’s also not a nationwide dealer network. But there are “ambassadors,” as we’ve seen with some other brands. Basically, these are real owners who can share their experiences if you’re thinking of building your own New Horizons RV.
Several places I saw said that the process of creating a unique Majestic model can take from three months to a year. During that time, there are drawings and illustrations and engineering done, so that you have a good idea of what the final product will be like. They’ll work with you so that you can build a crazy unit with 800 watts of solar on the roof, 28 kWh of custom-built batteries and a workstation with a built-in televator for your monitor so it goes away when the work day’s done. Cool.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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