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timbuktu
05-14-2011, 03:33 PM
So I've been researching Cyclones for several months and have talked to several owners in addition to many Heartland reps and was nearly sold on the 2012 3800 HD. This will be my third fifth wheel and I have learned to not buy based solely on floor plan, but primarily on quality of construction. In that regard, the Cyclones seems to fit the bill. However, I recently came across the Dutchman Voltage. If y'all are like me, you know Dutchman isn't known for high end anything and quality has always been an issue, but I have found that the Voltage does not appear to fit the Dutchman mold. Their construction seems to be on par with Cyclones and they also have what appears to be a more "livable" interior. In short, I am having a real hard time trying to decide: Cyclone or Voltage. I will go look at a Voltage soon and maybe then that will help me answer my own questions. But for now I'm stuck. One concern with Voltage that I've read about is their new electric slideout system. Apparently they are still working out the bugs. I'm wondering if any of y'all have thoughts on the Voltage? Maybe y'all can provide some insight that I haven't thought about yet. Thanks!

Bighurt
05-14-2011, 04:02 PM
One thing right off the bat is that heartland uses a drop frame which gives you an enormous basement. The voltage doesn't...that and the UDC nearly seal the deal every time for me...

Perhaps you should tell us which voltage model you are comparing, so we can compare apples to apples, even though everything is an Orange by comparison...LOL

timbuktu
05-14-2011, 04:40 PM
I'm looking at the Voltage 3950 (only one with 1.5 baths) vs the Cyclone 3800 (also with 1.5 baths). Please forgive my ignorance, but what is UDC?

Some things I like about the Voltage is that it has a 12 cu frig, w/d hookups in the garage, stainless sink in 1/2 bath, more storage in main bath, slam bag doors on all outside compartment doors, appears to have better rated insultation (but I have no idea how they tested it so I don't know if they are true), 2nd a/c is centrally ducted, three 7K axles, and large pantry to name a few. There are also some things I like about Cyclone that Voltage doesn't offer like hydraulic landing gear, more years of producing Cylcones which correlates to working out bugs of a new design, hydraulic slides, and the fact that it's a Heartland to name a few. Shifting gears, I do know the Cyclone 3950 also offers w/d hookups in the garage/or 2nd frig, but I really like the bigger living area in the 3800 over the Cyclone 3950. The Voltage 3950 has a smaller living area like the Cyclone 3950, but with all the other things Voltage has, it really is appealing. I have no problem forgoing some of the "fit and finish" and choosing a better constructed TH, just wish I could have it all in this price point :).

rustyshakelford
05-14-2011, 05:40 PM
We looked at the voltage. I thought they were a little to over the top with their design. By that I mean to flashy for us. The cyclone has the residential style interior and is very homey.

It seems like the voltage line has become very "in" right now but by reading several threads on them, their quality concerns me.

Brett

Bighurt
05-14-2011, 05:48 PM
UDC = Universal Docking Center (Heartland first, duplicated throughout the industry at this point)

I'm pretty sure you can get the 7k axles on a cyclone, I believe it's a unlisted option if you have the unit built for you. Also all the 2011 Cyclones come with slam doors as well 90% sure on this.

I honestly feel it's teh arrangement that sells me, I pick the company based on the construction and the model based on my needs. To be honest I don't like the Cyclone titanium series, I loved the 3850 but alas it's discontinued. Lucky for me I don't need a toy hauler at this time.

I do like the double entry rear bath on the Voltage, but I hate the slideout wardrobe. It's getting harder and harder for units with slides to be used with slides in. With the bed slide you do have to shuffle across the bed to get into the closet but you can still get into the closet. The only unusable part of my unit when closed up is the rear bedroom, and I can get in it if I put the main slide out 12" or so.

I've never been in a voltage but it looks nice. I would definitely walk through both before making the decision.

Howdy
05-15-2011, 12:17 PM
A local dealer here stocks the Voltage and they fly off the lot. Some are sold before they even come in. That being said there are no deals on them as they are a hot item. The sales price on the smaller 3200 is in the low $70's and goes up from there. I have been through them numerous times and there are things I like and things I don't. The couch is the most uncomfortable rv couch I have ever sat in. I looks like one if not both of the new Cyclone Titanium trailers are now using that same couch which is a shame. Someone from Heartland remarked in another thread on here that the Titanium Cyclone and the Voltage share the same interior, but are wrapped in a different shell. Thor owns the 3 major players now(Cyclone, Voltage, Fuzion), so its no surprise you will see some crossover. Do a search on RV.net and you will see some quality control issues Voltage has been having, though there is not one manufacture that doesn't, in one form or another. You will also see a thread on people getting rid of that couch in the Voltage and replacing it with something else because it is so bad.

Good luck with your choice. We have been through a lot of Fuzions, Cyclones, and Voltages and have settled on the Cyclone 3010 and hope to get the deal done in the next few weeks. It just works for us.

timbuktu
05-15-2011, 04:32 PM
As far as the construction appearing to be similar between the Voltage and Cyclones, don't they both use Lippert Components frames? I do agree the Voltage looks a little more flashy, but the wife really likes it and as long as it is sound construction I'm okay with it. I guess my biggest concern is that Heartland is known for quality whereas the Voltage is not tried and true like the Cyclone. Ahhhh, gotta love the confusion. I need to put this issue to bed by going to look at a Voltage. And if the price of the Voltage is really approaching $70k, that will knock it out of the running for us...just not willing to spend that much on a unit that is questionable in quality. I am definitely leaning towards the Cyclone 3800HD, but before I pull the trigger, I want to explore ALL my options.

On a side note, I've been researching TH for several months, but just last night the wife mentioned she's not totally sold on TH (my reaction = WHAT?!) and that she'd like to explore two bedroom 5ers. So I started looking at the Big Country and Elkridge. But only the BC offers w/d hookups and neither has much for kitchen countertop space. Gotta love having that wrench thrown in my plans! hahaa! I'm feeling I'm getting close to square one again. :) Sure wish the Landmark came in a two bedroom, I think then we would be sold.

Bighurt
05-15-2011, 09:57 PM
We originally liked the BC 3550TSL but the bathroom killed it for us. Then we discovered the ER 35DSRL and while we liked the bathroom we still weren't sold. In part due to price and then the lack of counter space. Then at the dealer while we compared the ER and the quad bunk BC. He said they had this Sundance 3300 RLB at the other show room...Nearly identical to the ER with some minor changes. Still had the missing counter space but at the lower price point we were sold. While we slept on it and got financing we found the same unit at another dealer for 10k less so we bought it and had her shipped home.

We love our Sundance 3300 RLB, so much so we will wait awhile to step up to the Cyclone. We'll need a bigger TV anyways.

What sold the RLB best was the main living area. Homey touches practical arrangement and despite the small counter space the cabinet storage is plentiful. This year the wife is getting a new table and matching counter extension so she has more space. It's not the king of the camp ground but it suits my wife and our three boys just fine.

AJJONES
05-16-2011, 07:57 AM
There are quite a few significant differences between Cyclone and Voltage. First Cyclone has been around for years and is currently the #1 selling toy hauler in North America. Cyclone has proven it's self time and time again where as the Voltage is un-proven. Often times the first year of production of a model is a lot of trial and error. They are engineered to the upmost standards, however some things are not spotted until customers use them day in and day out, and so essentially you would be buying a prototype. Voltage is also using a brand new slide out system that is operated by two small electric motors (about the size of an RC car motor). This is an unproven system, since introduction of the original Voltage models they had two tracks on each slide out end wall, and now they have recently went to three for a total of 6 tracks on each slide out. Why would they spend the additional money on additional tracks, after months of building them with four, is the system completely functional? Another important thing to be aware of is the front landing gear. When saying this keep in mind that the 3950 Voltage is way over 15,000 lbs dry!!!!! The important thing to know about a toy hauler is that the axle placement is typically a 60/40 ratio compared to a traditional 50/50 ratio that traditional fifth wheels have. Because the axles are so far back to accommodate the additional weight in the rear, this often times gives you a 3000 lbs. + tongue weight. This is very important to know because Voltage is using electric landing gear (same landing gear you would find on most traditional 5th wheels that would have a 2000 lbs tongue weight), as opposed to the Cyclones hydraulic front landing gear (2 1/2 X stronger and 15X faster and self levels on un-even surfaces). If you check a lot of toy hauler forms you will find this is one of the biggest issues toy hauler customers have (front landing gear) that’s why Cyclone spends the money for the much better set up. Cyclone also utilizes the ez-flex suspspension system that provides an additional 3" of articulation in the suspension system, and also has built in rubber isolators. This is very important because the size, amount and placement of the axles, often time gives toy haulers a very "stiff" ride and often creates a violent up and down jarring motion while traveling down the road signifigently decreasing the life of your unit. However, Cyclone's ez-flex suspension provides additional suspension travel and rubber isolators dramatically decrease the jarring motion, which will decrease the wear and tear on the unit (think of it as a house on wheels that goes through a 5.2 on the rector scale every time you take it down the road). Cyclone also has solar mirror reflective safety glass windows compared to the Voltages std. tinted windows. This will keep your Cyclone much cooler in the summer time and make your A/C work a lot less. Cyclone also has the patent pending 88 degree turning radius. You can see a significant difference in the cap design. The Voltage will require a sliding hitch if you have a short bed truck. The Voltage will also have a much smaller turning radius, compared to the Cyclone. This is very important when you are trying to maneuver a 40+ ' toy hauler in to a tight spot. All in all I think you will see that Voltage does put a lot of money in "flashy items" to get you to pay less attention to the more practical items, but when it gets down to the nuts and bolts you will find that the Cyclone is a far superior product. If you have any additional questions about these few differences, or many of the other differences that makes Cyclone a better value for you money please feel free to contact any time, just ask for AJ - (574) 266-8726

timbuktu
05-17-2011, 11:35 AM
AJ, I'm glad you put in writing what we discussed on the phone yesterday. Maybe someone else will struggle to understand to differences between Cyclone and Voltage and I'm sure this thread will help. After discussing with my wife what you and I discussed yesterday, we have decided to rule out Voltage. Also, I plan on calling you again in the next day or two to discuss a couple more things. Again, thanks for your time!

Tim

Bighurt
05-17-2011, 05:18 PM
Aj thanks for the post and welcome to the forum.

Very good information.

I beleive you miss stated the turing radius part. You said the Voltage will have the smaller turning radius, wouldn't that be the Cyclone with the 88° turning radius?

Either way everything you mentioned is exactly why I prefer a Heartland product. The things that they do best is what they avertise, I could care less about a big screen...lol

Thank You