Providing the ultimate in luxury and an abundance of amenities to a market can be a double-edged sword. This is particularly true of the luxury fifth-wheel market, where doing so can create a price tag high enough for potential buyers to wonder if they should consider purchasing a luxury motorhome instead.
It’s a challenge that Phil Brokenicky, president and CEO of New Horizons, has faced ever since he took over the company in 2002. But through creative thinking, exceptional build quality and innovative features, this small company from Junction City, Kan., has positioned itself as a premier luxury fifth-wheel brand.
Like a manufacturer of bespoke furniture or fine clothing, New Horizons’ focus is on creating the finest quality, not the largest numbers. Its 48,000-square-foot facility houses more than 50 employees, who build just three products: Summit, MotoMover (a luxury toy hauler) and the company’s flagship fifth-wheel, Majestic.
We recently spent time in a New Horizons Majestic 102-F44RLTSS, a 41-footer with the traditional front bedroom and four slideouts. The 102 denotes a 102-inch-wide body design that, when combined with the 8-foot-high ceilings in the living area, delivered the impression that we stepped into a high-end residence rather than a trailer. That feeling was reinforced by the 5/8-inch-thick flooring, heavy-gauge steel frame (built on premises) and standard Bigfoot automatic hydraulic leveling jacks, which make for a solid foundation.
All luxury fifth-wheels captivate their potential buyers with a beautiful interior, and the same is true of the Majestic. But it takes a closer look to really appreciate the details. For example, those aren’t solid cabinet fronts, but solid Rustic Cherry cabinets made in house — replete with natural knots. The drawers have roller guides and dovetail joints — the mark of a master cabinetmaker. Corian countertops are used throughout, and the unit we sampled also featured hand-scraped hickory hardwood flooring.
Many New Horizons customers comment that the Majestic’s kitchen is nicer than the one in their own home, and we would be inclined to agree. There’s an abundance of counter space, a deep under-mount stainless steel sink with a pull-out faucet and integrated sprayer, and a residential-style Verona four-burner cooktop with a high-output burner. A Whirlpool Velos convection microwave is standard, as is a Dometic 12.3-cubic-foot refrigerator with matching wood panel doors. Our unit also featured some welcome options, such as a kitchen island, tumbled marble backsplashes (also used in the bathroom) and a drawer-style dishwasher. Plus, there’s a large pantry closet with slideout shelves, and more than enough storage space for the most accomplished traveling chef.
As your eyes move about the living area, you’ll find a couch with coffee table at the back, and in the streetside slideout, a pair of glider/recliner chairs and a two-place dining table. Expecting extra guests? The table easily extends to accommodate two more, and two folding chairs in a matching fabric are part of the package.
Across from the dining area, adjacent to the galley, is an impressive entertainment center; included are a 40-inch Samsung LCD HDTV that rises out of the desktop, and a home theater package that includes a Denon receiver, Boston Acoustic 5.1 surround sound speakers and a Samsung Blu-Ray player. Upping the “wow factor” in our unit was an optional electric fireplace (for ambiance, heat or both), and MCD electric shades with remote operation.
The bed and bath areas in RVs can be lacking in residential feel for one reason or another, but we’re happy to report that New Horizons really got it right in the Majestic. First and foremost, the bath area is its own zone, completely separate from the bedroom. There are even sliding doors that divide the two areas, so if your partner wants to rise early and take a shower, you can still relax in blissful darkness. The bath area also incorporates some very chic residential details, like a one-piece radius shower with sliding glass door (with space to move around in) and a beautiful glass bowl sink. The toilet room is also separate, and is equipped with a SeaLand vitreous china toilet with sprayer, plus a lav and medicine cabinet. This room is a little small, but there’s adequate space to accomplish the task at hand. A large linen closet that is washer/dryer prepped is also included, but the appliances are optional.
Likewise, the bedroom feels like a luxury suite. Everywhere you look there is more Rustic Cherry cabinetry, with plenty of room for a traveling couple’s clothes, shoes and the like. Both the bed and bath areas boast 6-foot-8-inch ceilings so you don’t feel cramped, and the queen-sized bed has night tables on both sides, storage for your books and integrated reading lamps. A 26-inch Samsung television that swings down from the wardrobe is an elegant solution, but we would opt for the larger unit that rises out of the surface, even though it means doing without a dedicated clothes hamper. For our needs at least, the large, cedar-lined closet at the front of the fifth-wheel has more than enough room for clothes both clean and dirty.
You might think New Horizons built this fifth-wheel the way you would, but they’ve gone above and beyond with some very thoughtful features. For example, there’s a broom closet just inside the entry door, and a central vac system with a dust pan built into the baseboard. Nudge it with your foot, and a panel opens; the vacuum turns on automatically, and you just sweep dirt right into the opening. There’s another vacuum port in the bedroom area, and the motor itself is located in the basement to minimize noise.
All of the power outlets in the Majestic are located underneath the cabinets, so cold air can’t come in through those cutouts in the walls. And in most areas, there are three types of lighting: task, mood and accent, because you don’t necessarily want the same lighting when you’re watching a movie as you do when you’re preparing dinner. The lighting systems are controlled by a 12-volt DC multiplex light switch control with dimmers, and the panels are placed in the appropriate areas for ease of operation.
Consideration for how you want to live extends to the rest of the coach as well. New Horizons is mindful of the fact that most people don’t like spending too much time setting up, so the Majestic is designed to be ready for relaxation in as little as 15 minutes from the time you reach your destination. This is made possible by the aforementioned fully automatic leveling jacks, as well as a 50-amp power cord and fresh water hose that are both on power-retractable reels. And since most of the Majestic’s customers are full-timers, engineers bestowed this fifth-wheel with a 44-inch-high pass-through storage compartment and up to 4,000 pounds of cargo capacity.
The chassis comes standard with MOR/Ryde independent suspension, which means there’s less chance your belongings will end up on the floor after a long haul. And New Horizons also offers electric/hydraulic disc brakes, which can now be equipped with Tuson anti-lock braking (ABS) — an extra measure of safety.
It seems that no stone has remained unturned during the development of this fifth-wheel. The ducted A/C system features an extra layer of insulation between the roof and the ducts, so the air will still blow cold even when the sun is beating down on the roof. And New Horizons worked with Coleman to equip the two 15,000-Btu A/C units with condensation pumps, which route condensation through a tube that is located underneath the one-piece fiberglass roof and rear cap. This way, condensation simply drips out of a hole underneath the rear of the coach, instead of down an exterior wall.
It should be no surprise the Majestic comes standard with a three-color full-body paint scheme with clear coat plus your choice of four décor packages and four cabinetry wood options. The test trailer also came with an optional exterior entertainment center, which consisted of an 40-inch Samsung television, sound bar and subwoofer.
New Horizons sells factory direct, and if you can’t find something you like in one of the many floorplans (30 as of this writing) you can customize some features or build a completely unique floorplan to suit you needs. The Manufacturer Direct Sales Price as tested for the unit we sampled is $182,875. Pricing with a brand new Ford F-450 Lariat is $235,000. New Horizons can bundle these deals; it’s a unique way to look at costs.