RV modifications, our experiences, documents, trips, other stuff about our 2005 Winnebago Industries Itasca Horizon 40AD
Jane and John were sailors of 20+ years of experience from day sailors to our last boat, a 40' ketch with which we lived on for over six years and cruised the Eastern and Southern Caribbean for 15 months. We learned how to be self sufficient and how to make a very small space into a good and safe home. The last boat had a 50 horse diesel engine for propulsion and a small diesel generator. Our stove/oven was propane and all of our lighting was 12 volt. Why the details you might ask? There is a tremendous amount of cross-over between our last boat and our present RV (and the only RV we have ever owned), our Winnebago Itasca Horizon 40AD. Both have 12 volt lighting, diesel engines, 12 volt water pumps, propane stove, etc, etc.
The skills and experiences from boating (John had to be the chief engineer on the boat) helped us to feel comfortable with the complicated systems on the coach greatly minimizing the time to be up to full speed. Speaking of speed, the primary challenge was to to become confident and proficient with driving our 40' long box on smaller roads and in small campgrounds. Jane and I both took a most excellent two-day personal driving class from Dick Reed's RV Driving School (Dick sold the business - here's the new owner) which greatly improved our driving skills. Even with professional instruction, it took about 15-20,000 miles of 'seat' time for Jane and me to become completely comfortable and relaxed while driving. FYI ladies - Jane almost always drives the morning shift, I get the afternoons.
John hangs out on The RV Forum (oldest RV forum on the Internet) where he along with Marty (SargeW) look after the Winnebago and 4-wheeler board. Come on over and join our community!
Legal stuff: While I have attempted to provide the most accurate directions and instructions, you assume all of the risk if you attempt the same procedures, processes, instructions and expect the same results. Your results aren't guaranteed. Perform your due diligence before attempting any modification and satisfy yourself you that have the appropriate skill level, tools and parts to proceed and lots more bla, bla, bla. Now get out there and spend money and have fun.
Modifications to our Horizon
>> ecobee smart thermostat install page 2 updated 12/03/2016 <<
Project underway right now: replacing the Xantrex RS2000 with a Magnum MS2012, write-up soon! The RS2000 control panel was showing an F8 error code and "loss of neutral" which is apparently a fatal flaw. Our coach is getting old enough to where we're replacing stuff previously replaced.
- 9/05/2016 - Here's a little write-up from a fellow owner about replacing the entry keypad
- 8/16/2016 - We build a pull-out table for the salon!
- 6/14/2016 - Oh no! Our Sony color backup cam monitor is sick! Replaced with a Voyager kit from RVcams.com
- 4/27/2015 We have new flooring! (Pages finally complete 9/3/2016)
- 9/18/2014 -The Sleep Number bed is going to the Happy Hunting Ground, hello Tempurpedic
- 8/2014 - Keep that door propped open! (A long standing problem is now solved!)
- 3/2014 - John replaces the dumb Coleman-Mach thermostat with an Internet capable Ecobee Smart Si version. Great upgrade! (page 2 updated 12/2016)
- The SeaLand Concerto potty gets replaced (Then that potty was replaced, story later)
- Installing LED strip lights in the two salon fluorescent fixtures (and other places!)
- John installs 290 watts of solar panels!
- John builds some killer jack pads!
- Goodbye Norcold, hello Frigidaire! (page 4 updated July 22, 2014)
- Goodbye to the one-thirds! Installation of a Garnet SeeLevel tank monitor
- We install a roof top AC unit
- Get rid of that glass TV and install a modern LCD model
- Modify your TV for variable audio out to drive an amplifier
- Goodbye pleated paper blinds, hello MCD shades (best money ever spent!)
- The sick (4th one!) Trombetta charging solenoid gets replaced with a Blue Seas #9112
- Bathroom under sink storage improvement
- Freightliner installs our new fuel filler necks and doesn't solve our slow fuel issue
- Replacement of the rusty water hose reel base plate
- How to replace a Sleep Number controller - step by step directions
- Forced air ventilation of the electrical bay compartment
- Laptop display on the Sony backup cam monitor (not a great idea)
- Installation of the Jotto Desk and the VMSpc engine monitoring system
- Installation of the Echo~Charge, prep for a washer/dryer, installing an LCD TV in the aft cabin
- Surge Guard installation
- Xantrex RS2000 and auto gen start installation
- Roof mount cell antenna
- The new and improved Freightliner information center display that actually works (that we had to buy!)
- Side camera installation
- Miscellaneous mods - sliding under counter trash can, 120V outlet for the dash, no-slip floor mat
- Bedroom slide leak and fix
- Aid to help dribble fuel in if you have a slow fuel fill problem
- Installation of the Howard Precision Steer Wheel System (unfortunately Howard is out of business and Dee Howard passed away. There is an effort unway to revive the business)
- Installation of an aluminum sliding tray for a basement compartment
- Adding dimmers to reading lights
- Make those silent Freightliner turn signals make some noise! (silent turn signals - what a great idea Freightliner engineering!)
Service manuals and other documents
- How to pull the rear cap to repair Winnebago basement air ducting (a fairly common problem) - an article by Don Wiyninger
- Intellitec PowerLine energy management system installation & service manual
- Norcold service manual (model 1200xx and 120x-IMxx propane/electric 4-door)
- Splendide service manual (model 2000, 2100)
- Howard Power Center Steering owner's manual. Install manual NOT available
- A&E WeatherPro awning service manual
- My notes from an HWH seminar at the 2007 Winnebago Grand National Rally
- After xx,000 miles of owning our coach, what do we think? (Do we have a 'warm & fuzzy feeling' or not?)
Note: These manuals are for reference only - troubleshoot at your own risk. If you aren't an accomplished technician and don't know how to safely work around dangerous electricity, don't do your own work - leave it to the experts!
Our trips - campground notes and pictures, links
- Summer 2014 - we're in the same old wonderful rut of spending most of the summer in Colorado!
- Summer 2013 - nothing new to report, we've covered old routes this year
- Summer 2012
- Summer 2011
- Summer 2010
- Summer 2009
- Summer 2008
- Summer 2007
Picture galleries of interest
- Gallery of our coach
- Gallery of the Freightliner Evolution chassis (used on the 2004-8 or 9 Vectra/Horizon)