When we first went on the road full time in 2012, our trip across country to pick up our new trailer at New Horizons looked a little Beverly Hillbillyish.
This time around, we made it easy by moving our belongings from our New Horizons 5th wheel and into a UHaul trailer. After a full day RV bootcamp for the new owner of our 5th wheel, we were off to Indiana where Kingdom Camping and our new caravan were waiting.
A big mistake people make when buying a new RV is showing up, grabbing the keys, hooking up and heading straight out for home or a campsite. The excitement is too much and they want to immediately hit the road (or they only have limited time off from work). When we moved into our New Horizons 5th wheel eleven years ago, we spent two weeks at the factory working out all the kinks. Even a $200k trailer can have a lot of kinks.
So when we showed up at Kingdom Camping to pick up our new trailer, we had already planned on spending five to seven days with owner Jamin Lambright and his team. On our list was to touch, use and see every inch of the trailer and its systems (inside and out) before heading for home. After all, why wait until you get home to fix/upgrade items when you have all the resources of the manufacturer available to you? In return, our MO is to take full responsibility for all fixes and upgrades after we leave with the trailer. Unless we have a major structural issue in the future, we don't expect much from the manufacturer once we take delivery.
Fortunately, all of the items under direct control of Kingdom Camping were done to perfection. All of the walls, floor, and roof were perfect. The interior finishes didn't have any strange wrinkles or untidy corners. We actually couldn't find any imperfections. The plumbing fittings were high quality, tight and well laid out. The electrical system is run neatly and correctly. All of the welds and finishes on the frame and metal trims were neat and defect-free. All of the systems provided by manufacturers outside of Kingdom Camping will fail at some point during the next ten years. At various points over the next decade, we'll probably be dealing with Dometic, Truma, Victron, Shurflo, Cruisemaster, etc., but we expect the frame and box built by Kingdom to outlive us. Building a new house with such a small punchlist upon completion is unusual. Finding a new RV with little or nothing to improve upon is almost unheard of.
The ability for two people to safely walk around anywhere on the roof is also unusual. The only space on top not covered by solar panels are two small areas on either side of the 12V AC unit. We had to leave some roof space available for future maintenance. We still managed to fit 2,020 watts of rack mounted solar panels up there.
Trying as hard as we could, this is all we could find to improve upon:
- Re-wiring the on/off lights on six push button switches.
- Adding a shelf here and there.
- Replacing a faulty propane detector.
- Upgrading a few 12v and in line fuses.
- Fine tuning and programming some systems that are new to us (Truma Combi Plus, Victron, Separett toilet, airbag compressor system).
- Replacing a small TV monitor with a small smart TV.
- Adding a small heavy duty entry handrail.
- Adding a small compartment door latch and entry door bumper.
- A little interior caulk spot touch up here and there.
This may seem like a long list, but if you've ever owned an RV, you know these are some of the things you do routinely. Jamin and his team handled all of these fixes as we discovered them over two days and while we were moving into the trailer at the same time. Surprisingly, Jamin told us we are his first customer to actually stay a few days to make sure all systems are go. He would like to see more customers do that in the future.
OK, some interiors taken by Jamin: