View Full Version : How many Heartlands on the road?

02-06-2005, 11:33 PM
It seems the forum has slowed down a tad and it occured to me that I really don't remember anyone telling of their first hand experiences with their Heartlands. I am wondering how many of the 40 or so members of the Heartland forum have bought and actually have in their possesion a Heartland RV.
Are there serial numbers or anything that we can tell the production number that each one has relative to the first one off the assembly line, such as -- mine is number 101 which might mean it is the first or one hundred and first one produced?
Just wondering.


Tom of Ypsi
02-07-2005, 06:55 AM
Hi Jack, I do not know if you frequent any other RV sites but they are slower also. It is that time of year when when RV use is at a minimum so no one has as many things go wrong, new ideas or whatever.
I see you have Heartland 101 but what model is that and do you have any dislikes, problems or wishes? What are your highlights of the Heartland?
You could add your TV and Heartland model in your signature but not so large or long to take up downloading time that way visitors would know you are an owner and not just some one on the site like myself.
I am still waiting to be an owner but the dealer is too low on my trade in so before I order I need to find some one to sell my present 5th to but owners we do want to be. Hopefully owners of the Landmark Mt Rushmore or Grand Canyon.

02-07-2005, 08:34 AM
Hi Tom,
No, I don't currently own a Heartland and I guess the post must have been misleading. What I was wondering was how many Heartlands have actually been sold and on the road and if we would be able to tell which number the unit was off the line by the serial or unit number.
After some of these get a good shake down and get some user feedback, I hope to be trading into a Heartland soon.
Yes, I have noticed some of the other forums have slowed up some but looks like some milder weather might be in store so maybe it will stir up some activity.


02-07-2005, 09:30 AM
Hi Tom and Jack:

As a matter of fact, I know that the last 3 digits of the serial or Vin number on each trailer is the actual number of units Heartland has produced.

The last 3 digits on mine is 035, making it #35 off the Heartland Line.

I learned this information from being at the Factory and observing the assembly line. When Jim and I were on our 2nd trip to Elkhart, they had already made around 250 or 260 units. That was back in January. So, I'm guessing they have to be over 300 by now.

I don't believe the broke the string with the Big Horns. Meaning I don't know if there is any designation for Big Horn #1 or if they just kept the number sequencial for all their products.

They had several units in their new factory that were slated to go to Canada also.

Things are a little slow right now. But, I figure it's TAX season, Winter Blues, whatever. Alot of RV shows are still coming up and once people start getting those TAX refunds back, they will be looking hard at perhaps a new RV. And of course once the nice weather starts coming back, sunshine, warmer temps, hopefully this board will take off.

As for numbers of Heartlands on the board, you can look under the members list, and scroll over to the side. There you will find owners who have posted what they are currently RVing in. I believe we have 5 Heartland Owners on the site.

I know there are quite a few Heartland and Big Horn owners out there. And I welcome everyone to join this board for interaction and sharing experiences with their RVs. The Heartland Product cannot be improved without Customer Feedback and that is why Jim and I started this board.

When you all talk to folks about your Landmarks or Big Horns, please mention this website.

You all take care.


02-07-2005, 09:38 AM
Hi Jack,

You're observation is right on - things seem a little slower all over the RV forums right now. Maybe the warmer weather some of us have gotten has got us outside finally! I got my garage cleaned out this weekend. Man did it need it too. When we traded in the TT, I just pulled everything out of it and dumped it in the garage.

As for the number of Heartlands built, In Mid-January 2004, it was just under the 250 mark (see this thread) (//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php?t=99). I would imagine they are over 300 units produced by this point. How many are on the road? That is a great question. Probably one only the factory could answer as it would be based on dealer feedback on units sold off their lots in aggregate.

As far as serializing the units, from what we have seen and understand, the last 4 numbers in the VIN are numerically incremented by trailer. So that is your serial number. What I do not know is if their is any sort of differentiator in these numbers between Landmarks and Bighorns. My guess is there is not.

I think I will add an "optional" serial number field to the user profile data. Then owners can add their number if they wish. When mine delivers, I think I'll add mine to my sig too. Thanks for the input Jack.


02-07-2005, 11:04 PM
Hi Guys,

I am on the way to NC with S/N 250. It is a Bighorn, 3500RL.

I will be delivering tomorrow morning (Feb 8th) to Bill Plemmons RV in Rural Hall, NC.

02-07-2005, 11:46 PM
What do you pull these units with? Do the manufactures have any way to protect the front of the new unit in transit? I read on some of the other forums some complaints of rock chips etc. on new units.

Jim and Jeff,
Thanks for the explaining the unit numbers. I should have looked at the member information closer and seen the actual owners. Like you say, tax time is here and that is going to slow things up some.:mad:

The salesman at ExploreUSA RV was telling me about the plastic water lines used in Heartlands --Plumb-PEX or something like that. He stated that the plastic lines will not break or crack. The water can freeze solid in them but the plastic will not fail. Since then, I have noticed that other brands plastic lines have no marking on them, where as the Heartlands did have Plumb-PEX stamped on the lines every so many inches. This seems like a big advantage as this is usually what fails in sub-freezing temps. The valves, faucets and manifold are in better air flow areas and if they did freeze up, are much more accessible.
Sounds like another big plus for Heartland to me.


Phil Smith
02-08-2005, 07:12 AM

I'm just waiting for Merlin to let us know he is pulling a Bighorn 3200RL to Duncan, SC (Greenville). My unit based on the estimated times given at the time of purchase indicates it should be here this week or next.:D We are very anxious to change our profile to reflect the new rig. I don't think I've passed a camping store in a month now without stopping in to see if I "needed" anything else. Just can't figure out how you can camp for over 20 years and still "need" anything!:confused:

Come on Merlin, hurry up and drop that rig in NC and go get ours!:D


02-08-2005, 09:25 AM

Thanks for checking in. Always nice to hear from you when you are delivering a Heartland! The fact that you are delivering #250 rather confirms for us that the numbering sequence does not start over for the Bighorns.

That would be pretty cool if you ended up getting the order to deliver Phil Smith's rig.

Be safe out their and keep us up to date,


02-08-2005, 11:29 AM
I don't know if this is BS or not, but I had a dealer at a show over the weekend tell me that they are building four Big Horns a day now. I'm not sure if they are building Landmarks and Big Horns at the same time or they switch or what. You guys that have toured the factory recently may know the answer to this. Maybe even with this new building they are making them in different buildings. I'm just about two months away from ordering a 3200RL.

02-08-2005, 11:43 AM
Hi Don,

Four Bighorns per day plus Landmarks sounds pretty ambitious. I can't speak for the factory on this one but please consider posting your question in the ASK THE FACTORY forum. Scott may speak to it.


Tom of Ypsi
02-08-2005, 01:39 PM
If my memory serves me right:eek: I believe the Big Horns and the Landmarks will be built in seperate factories. In any case they are not going to get into a race with the Montana's on how many can be built in one day. If you haave looked at the quality of the Montana's in the last couple of years they have gone down hill. Seems to be lots of repairs, minor, but still repairs.
On a brighter note, I received a call today that a Mt Rushmore will be built for the dealer I am talking with next Tuesday, 2/15 with receipt that same week. Hopefully it will be what we want and the dealer will give me a little more for my 5th (2003, Titanium 28E33SB, loaded). If not it will be back to the drawing board. No matter what the Landmark is at the top of our priority list for 5vers.

02-08-2005, 03:46 PM
Your exactly right about the Montanas. I've been monitoring their forum and that is the reason we decided not to get one. We have whittled it down to a Big Horn or a Open Road and leaning very heavily towards Big Horn. We were looking at a Paradise Point (CrossRoads) but they have a 76" long bed (I'm 6'2") and an ABS shower. Just need to find a dealer that will deal.

02-09-2005, 12:12 AM
OK, it's a done deal. There is a shiny new 35' Bighorn sitting on Bill Plemmons lot. I don't know if it is already sold or not.

My TV is a '02 GMC 2500HD, crew cab, short bed, Duramax powered 3/4 ton pickup with an Allison tranny and a 16 K Reese sliding hitch. The guys that drive duallys are required to have oversize mud flaps that extend to within four inches of the ground. We are not provided with anything else to prevent damage to the trailers; and, as you know, stuff happens. The only damage I have had happen to a trailer was caused by a huge strip of truck tire tread lying in the road (we call them "road gators"). It was at night and by the time I saw it I was unable to dodge it. It flew up and bent the right rear stabilizer jack (bent the screw shaft running through the center of the jack), bent the mounting bracket and the sheet metal above the jack. This happened on the very first trailer I delivered so, I got off to a great start.

I would love to deliver your trailer. If it shows up on the available list when I am available to be dispatched, I will certainly try to grab it. I really enjoy delivering Heartland trailers.

I had a lucky trip to Idaho last week. I never saw a single snow flake all the way out and back. But, have you seen or heard what the weather is doing in UT, NE, and IA today?

02-09-2005, 06:43 AM
Hello Merlin,

I tried out the "delivering trailers" job about 4 years ago out of Elkhart Indiana. I hope your experience has been better than mine was. It was a great job, but I just couldn't make any money at it! I don't know how long you've been at it, but good luck.

I know I'll have to buy a bigger truck to pull the Landmark that I want, the Monticello. Now if I can just get the wife to agree to retire and go on the road....

02-09-2005, 09:34 AM

3 inches of snow in Nortwestern Illinois last night. I'm sure eastern Iowa got it too.

Phil Smith
02-13-2005, 11:29 AM
Bummer! :mad: Talked with my dealer on Friday to get an update on the delivery of my 3200RL Bighorn. It was scheduled for delivery by 2/14. The perfect Valentines gift for my DW. Was told by the dealer that it will not even hit the line until 2/15 at best and delivery has been pushed back to 2/25 or quite possibly into March. The dealer said the Hearltands are selling so well that they are experiencing material shortages for Corian and fabrics.

As for 2/14 date, I guess I had better start scrambling for a "plan B" Valentines gift! I'm concerned that the new delivery dates may make me reload the old TT for my first scheduled trip that leaves on 2/25. For those of you that have been on the fence considering a new Heartland, you may want to get those orders in or just buy a unit off of a dealer lot.

Merlin, take your time, drive safe and wait on the Hearland doorstep for my anticipated Bighorn!


02-13-2005, 03:29 PM

Sorry to hear about the delay in getting your unit. I need to get an update from my dealer as well then. I asked for an April delivery. I was on the phone with the factory the other day and it sounded like my unit was planned to be built sooner. I'd better leave that as-is so as not to jeopardize my delivery date.

Hope it works out for you. In the mean time, Fannie May!


Tom of Ypsi
02-13-2005, 08:59 PM
You can add another Heartland owner to the list. Got a call from the dealer Friday afternoon and was told a Mt Rushmore came in. When we got to the dealer on Sat the 5th had a SOLD on the window with our name on it. This was not suppose to be in until next week with a build date of 2/15. The DW and I went to the dealer Sat and looked and sat in it for 2 + hours. Found some faults, 4 at the present without going into it very hard. In all honesty the dealer had no time for a prep or a wash since it came in too late. We left after about 4 hours at the dealership and said we would call them back Monday. We will first thing with the decision that that Mt Rushmore is OURS:D . We actually made up our minds probably 15 minutes after we left dealer. I believe the serial # ended in 9284. I will find out more and post it accordingly. Sorry about the long post but I just had to tell some one.

02-13-2005, 09:08 PM
Congrats Tom:

You made a great choice. The Rushmore will be our next one also, when we upgrade in about a year or so.

I hope you get many happy years out of it. You're gonna look great pulling into the RV parks with that Big Ford and New Landmark. It's definitely gonna turn some heads.

Take Care. Please post some pictures when you get it home. Truck and all.

Talk to you later.


02-13-2005, 10:00 PM
Congratulations Tom! Woohoo - another Landmark owner and the Mt. Rushmore layout as well!

You'll have yours before I will. We don't need ours until April 1 so that's the date we set for a delivery.

Can't wait to see a picture of your entire rig - all connected.



Phil Smith
02-14-2005, 06:32 AM
Ditto the congrats Tom!

That is going to be one fantastic looking rig. And what a great Valentines gift for the DW! I'll bet you haven't had a good nights sleep since making the decision just cause you keep dreaming about getting out in it! I think it is going to be really cool the first time we meet up with a fellow owner out in some CG as we start seeing more and more of the Heartlands on the road. Now go get that rig loaded up and head south for some warm weather!:)


02-25-2005, 09:46 PM
I'VE JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT Heatlands! I've been looking at Alpenlites, Newmars & or Carriages? I hear rumors that Carriges QC have gone down hill.... a bit? Maybe a rumor? I called Alpenlites, they make about 3 1/2 units a day. Yakima, WA FYI The more you know befor buying IS important. Oh, anyone heard about Doubletrees RV, Mobile Suites? Just curious.

02-25-2005, 10:37 PM
Hi Slideout and welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. Glad you stumbled across us.

How did you end up finding out about Heartland RVs? Also, how did you find this forum?

To answer your question about Mobile Suites by Double Tree RVs, they are a decent coach. In my estimation, the Mobile Suites and the Heartland Landmark are on par for luxury.

While it is debatable, some feel the Mobile Suites has s slight edge in fit and finish. I feel Heartland has closed this gap.

While I have not priced Mobile Suites recently, 6 months ago, I pursued them and Heartland aggressively and found Heartland's Landmark to cost less.

In addition to the cost difference, there are some things unique to the Landmark that really made the difference for me. Rather than list a bunch of features and differences and such, I invite you to visit the Heartland RVs factory website. (http://www.heartlandrvs.com) Once there, click on Landmark from the left menu bar. Download the 8 page brochure. Tons of great information.

Not sure the price point you are looking at but Heartland now has the Bighorn line. Quite a value - take a look at it too. I'd characterize the Bighorn in the Montana price range but with a better build and feature set. You be the judge though.

Best of luck to you,


04-12-2005, 07:03 AM
Jim and I just bought a Landmark Golden Gate #008! We're really excited. We are getting our house ready to sell and will hopefully be on the road by Jan. 06. We're really excited. But, we don't have a truck yet. We're looking at the F-450 and am wondering if that is more truck than we really need. Any feedback from you veterans would be appreciated. This is our first adventure with a 5th wheel. Susan

Tom of Ypsi
04-12-2005, 07:23 AM
Congratulations on your new purchase. You should be able to get all of your answers on your GG on this forum. In my opinion there is never too much truck. The F-450 on the other hand will let you add much more to your truck and GG. Now you will be able to add an extra 100 gal fuel tank, buy fuel were it is cheaper, without worry of weight plus anything else you may want to.

04-12-2005, 10:05 AM

Congratulations on your GG purchase and welcome to the family!

For me, I would not prefer to pull the GG with the F450 unless as Tom mentions, you plan on loading up on cargo, like diesel, a very heavy tool box full of stuff or your GG basement loaded up to the max.

That said, if I had my druthers (and a large budget) and was full-timing it like you may plan to do, I would opt for an MDT. Chariot Vans out of Elkhart makes some sweet units.

Look for Jeff's post on this forum for more information on Chariot.


04-13-2005, 06:04 PM
I know this is the middle of April, but just read your post and wanted to put my two cents worth in. I took delivery of a Bighorn 3500RL 10 days ago and the last three numbers in the Vin are 393. I don't know if that means its rig 393 or not. We have not taken it out of the driveway yet, but we have tested everything we could and the only problem we have is the TV in the living room won't work. Talked to Scott at the factory about it and it is being taken care of. Our 3500RL seems to be built very well. We traded in a Montana 3555RL we loved, but this seems so much nicer. looking foreward to our first outing.


04-13-2005, 07:55 PM

You are correct - 393 at the end of your VIN indicates that you own Heartland trailer number 393. You could consider that a serial number. Mine is 378 so they were made within a couple weeks of each other but at 2 different plants.

Heartland's headquarters building on Paul Drive has their original plant in it and is now (since about mid-March) exclusive to the Landmark line where their new building a mile or 2 away (the former Palmaire plant) is now the Bighorn plant.

If you get a chance to stop in Elkhart, you should give the Bighorn factory a visit. Just contact the factory first - they've been happy to host Jeff and I a couple of times already.

Happy camping!


04-13-2005, 08:01 PM
We're looking at the F-450 Just in case you were not aware, the F450 is a "chassis-only" vehicle. That means no box. You need to factor in a custom fifth wheel rear deck ($$), to finish the truck purchase.

Otherwise, look at the F350 with the "TowBoss" option, that provides a 4.30 rear end, and 26,000 pound GCVWR.

Good luck...

Phil Smith
04-13-2005, 08:47 PM
I know this is the middle of April, but just read your post and wanted to put my two cents worth in. I took delivery of a Bighorn 3500RL 10 days ago and the last three numbers in the Vin are 393. I don't know if that means its rig 393 or not. We have not taken it out of the driveway yet, but we have tested everything we could and the only problem we have is the TV in the living room won't work. Talked to Scott at the factory about it and it is being taken care of. Our 3500RL seems to be built very well. We traded in a Montana 3555RL we loved, but this seems so much nicer. looking foreward to our first outing.



A note about your TV. Check to see if it is set up to receive cable or air signal. To do so, press the menu button then go to options. You will see a screen to program your channels for air or cable. Just went through this myself thinking I had a problem but my tv was set for cable. Changed it to air and reprogrammed and it works fine.


04-13-2005, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the reply. We know that the box would be additional $$ on the 450. We've also been offered a 2003 F-350 SD, CC, with a BRAND NEW 6.0 V8 Powerstroke Diesel with about 200 miles on it, 4WD for $31,000. The body has 47,000 mi on it. It's a one owner truck and was used to pull a 5th wheel, but I don't know the GVWR of the 5er. Do you think this would be adequate for the Golden Gate:confused: Susan

I forgot to add that this truck has a 3.73 rear end.

04-13-2005, 11:04 PM

If the pre-owned F350 has the "new" motor, then it should be rated at 23,000 lbs GCVWR.

The best bet would be to weigh the truck at a public scale, to get an accurate figure for towing. Let's say the truck in it's normal configuration weighs 7500 lbs (2 people, tool box, golf clubs, trailer hitch, full fuel, etc), then 23,000 - 7500 would yield a "towing" capacity of 15,500 lbs.

The Golden Gate has a nominal Dry Weight of 12,500 lbs. Plus, you need to add in the weight of any additional options. Then food, clothing, other goodies. Maybe a couple of bikes, hiking gear, boots, "stuff" in the basement storage, like barbeque, extra propane tank, chairs, table, ladder, spare this 'n-that, and now your current weight sits around 14,500 lbs.

We haven't talked about water yet, but this is one item that can easily be managed. And, it should be, as with all tanks full, you would suddenly weigh 1500 lbs more. Right at the 16,000 lb "rating". But if your grey/black water tanks were flushed before travelling, you could still carry an almost full tank of fresh water, if you wanted (or needed).

But, I've been wrong before, so the safest thing would be to know your actual numbers.

Hope this helps...

04-19-2005, 09:16 AM
Hi Papaw
I have owned a Grand Canyon since Nov. of last lear, number 29. Have had some problems still trying to resolve a couple. All in all they are a well made fiver with better components than most of the other ones out there. I plan on seeing the factory in June. Good luck and let us know how things go wiht your rig.
P.S. I have heard that the Big Horns are made in a seperate facility. maybe the factory guys will answer that question for you.

Paul & Nan
04-30-2005, 10:49 PM
None We signed the purchase agreement today, April 30 on a Bighorn 3500-will take delivery next Friday-Have to wait to get a spray in bedliner done on the truck and have a day off work to pick it up. We will be towing with a Chevy 2500 HD Duramax. Have owned numerous RV's over time. The last 3 digits on the VIN is 275.

Paul and Nancy Decatur, Illinois

04-30-2005, 11:05 PM
Hey Paul and Nan

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new Bighorn. We pick ours up next Saturday, providing the dealer has it all prep in time. Our vin number is 452 according to our dealer, so they seem to be moving right along with their new builds.
Let us know how you like your new Bighorn.

Chris and Debi

Paul & Nan
05-01-2005, 12:16 AM
We will be only one day ahed of you Chris and Debi-We will be taking our rig out for the weekend. Paul is taking Friday off work, I work 1-9 so will go to dealers 50 miles away for walk thru and paper work, then drive back for work. Paul will take unit to a local county park where I will meet him after work-then more work moving in. That will be fun though. We are really looking forward to the new 5th. Our last 5th was a Holiday Rambler in 92. We have had other RV's in the interim.

We did not order, it was on dealers lot, loved it immediatley, after rejecting many others due to poor craftmanship, to many $, etc. Let us know how you do with yours. Nancy

05-01-2005, 07:43 AM
Hi Paul & Nan:

What dealer did you get your Big Horn from?

Appreciate the info on the Forum.

Look forward to talking with you.

Happy Camping!


05-01-2005, 05:16 PM
Hi Paul and Nancy,

Congratulations on your Bighorn purchase and welcome to the Heartland family. Another Illinois Heartland owner - cool. We live in in the western suburbs of Chicago.


Paul & Nan
05-01-2005, 09:51 PM
We got the Bighorn from Colemans Country Campers in Springfield, IL. They just had their grand opening two weeks ago. Very nice folks. They only had one Bighorn on the lot and we bought it. They had another come in on Friday and someone bought it while it was still hooked to the transport truck. Very popular items it seems.