New Horizons, Columbia MO, and Benton IL

Well…we finally made it out of Camp Horizons and once again it was a pretty frustrating experience.

We originally arrived on Sunday Jul 24 for a Monday July 25 service appointment…and is typical for service back at the factory we did absolutely nothing for an entire week despite Neil asking Ken about progress at least once daily. We finally saw some service guys late on Monday Aug 1 and they shoe-horned about 6 hours of actual work into the next 2.5 days…although to be fair there was some drying dead time involved so we really have no complaint about the speed of progress once they actually started. We continue to wonder how and why they neglect service when most of their customer base comes via word of mouth from owners. At the prices they charge one would think that service would be higher on their priority list. Unfortunately…it isn’t and that’s just the bad that comes along with the good when you buy a New Horizons coach.

So…what they did for us was basically fix some fiberglass cracks in our outer skin…long story short is that they had a design issue which caused the fiberglass (which has no stretchability at all) to crack when the frame flexes. The basic fix is that instead of a single long fiberglass sheet on the entire side of the rig they are now putting a stress relief cut vertically from the top corners of each slide cutout to the roof, filling it with flexible silicone and covering it with a trim strip painted to match. It looks pretty decent and the painting was really the long pole in our getting done as most of the strips had multiple colors of paint on them. We also had a larger crack from the lower rear corner of our bedroom slide down to the basement door and a basement door that no longer had a rectangular frame due to the frame flexing and the door binds. So we got a new door there as  well…NH has gone to a new vendor for their doors with better latches and stiffer frames.

This coach was also there with the owner trying (for either the 5th or 6th time) to pick it up…he said it’s been on order for 2 years and it’s finally about ready for delivery. It’s a 52 footer with the rear 12 foot as a toy hauler basement for the owner’s Harley…he travels full time for work and ordered the rig because he was tired of living out of hotels. He was far less angry than he deserved to be over the overdue delivery and multiple visits for delivery. Nice looking rig though…never seen a 4 axle 5ver before. The truck is painted to match the rig and it looks great.

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Anyway…we finally were done about 0900 on Thursday morning Aug 4 so we paid our bill and got ready for the road. Ken had told us previously that NH felt like they had a moral responsibility for the design flaw…and we were hoping that would mean a no charge repair but really didn’t think that would be the case. As it turned out…their moral responsibility meant that they only charged us half of the labor for the fix and no parts charges. I know we’re out of warranty…but fixes due to faulty design on their part really should have been covered in full. They don’t have any legal responsibility to do anything though…so I guess that half is better than nothing.

Our first stop was in Columbia MO…we were originally only going to stay one night but could not make a reservation at our second stop at the COE campground on Lend Lake in Benton MO until Saturday night…so we spent 2 nights at Cottonwoods Campground just north of Columbia instead. While there we visited the local Elks Lodge…which is one of the best lodges we’ve ever been to. Friendly, great menu, good brews…and a lot busier than we are used to seeing Elks Lodges including lots of younger folks instead of the more typical ‘people our age or older’ crowd.

While there we drove over to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park…where they have, you guessed it…a rock bridge. Not as large as some of those out west but pretty nice. The third shot is of a cave entrance named Devil’s Icebox that had a nice cool 60 degree breeze coming out. The hike was about a half mile total and was almost entirely on boardwalks…but it was about all Connie can do until her eye is fixed this fall.

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Saturday morning we hitched up for the next leg of our eastward journey…and discovered that our front right jack pad fell off and was sitting on the ground. We had never heard of the feet coming off until the recent NHOG rally…and now 2 of ours have fallen off. After we lost the first one Neil bought a new one up in Elkhart and had MorRYDE replace all the nuts and use Locktite on them to prevent recurrence…well, so much for that as the pad and nut stayed on the ground when we raised the jack. Neil is going to have to see about getting the nut tack welded on once we get south.

On arrival at our next stop…site 161 at Sandusky South Campground on Lend Lake…we checked in, backed into our pretty nice site…and then discovered the next problem…bad power…our Progressive Industries management system wouldn’t connect. Neil took a look at the readouts and we had 147 volts on one leg and 106 on the other…no wonder it didn’t work. The system protected us from any damage though. We also saw that 161 was a W/E only site and not full hookup as advertised on the website. So we drove back up to the entrance and the camp host moved us to site 181 instead…which is a full hookup site. We backed in…verified the power voltage which was good…and got setup. Unfortunately…no satellite visibility here and the only TV station the batwing can pick up is PBS…so we’re watching a  lot of British shows on PBS this week.

Connie worked and Neil went to Walmart for groceries and that’s about all for here…although we are trying to sit outside every day for awhile and read in the breeze as the weather has cooled off some and it’s actually pretty nice outside. Wednesday we’ll head another 300 miles east to Georgetown KY right outside Lexington for a week.

Interesting things found this week.

A reminder that one should always speak up.


Darned sneaky Chinese.


The alphabet as taught to doctors.


And lunchtime on the original Star Wars set.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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