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ardonahoe
07-06-2012, 03:45 PM
Hi Campers,

My husband and I will be moving out of our house this fall. We aren't your typical demographic of full timers. We are mid 30's with two dogs and no kids. We are just tired of our house, love the ability to travel with our dogs, and the camping lifestyle. We will maintain our day jobs and live in a local rv park in town; we will travel on the weekends and for vacations (i.e. bike week in Daytona, Thunder Beach, etc). We've ruled out a toy hauler due to lack of living space . My husband will tow the fiver and I will tow the bikes in my vehicle with a bike trailer for long bike trips.

We've kind of ruled out a Class A due to the fact there are more things that can go wrong. I.e., anytime we need service, etc, we will need to rent a dog friendly hotel room while service is completed. With a fifth wheel there are greater options for mobile service, etc. Therefore, we wouldn't be displaced from home as often as a Class A in our minds.

We are looking at the Heartland Landmark Key Largo. We have some concerns, as our current travel trailer, which is for recreational use only (2012 Keystone Outback 279RB) has been a hunk of junk from the get go. We notice a lot of the same fit and finish in our Outback as the Heartland Landmark (appliances, plumbing,etc). Our Keystone Outback has been plagued by appliance issues, broken awning motors, plumbing issues, and leaks; it just turned a year old this weekend. We would never own another Keystone product.

Our goal would be to keep the Landmark for about 5 years before trading up to something newer. Internet blogs/research about full timing in the Landmark have just been limited to the Heartland owners forum (which all champion the unit). We would appreciate some more objective feedback versus the pro-Heartland owners forum. We've also been considering a DRV Mobile Suites, but they are so heavy, it would require us to buy a new truck. On the Class A list are the Winnebago/Itasca Tour/Ellipse; or a Newmar Dutch Star. Our interest has also been peaked by the Jay Flight Seneca super C.

Thanks everyone! As rookies, we appreciate it!

porthole
07-06-2012, 06:35 PM
Have you tried RV.net?

jbeletti
07-06-2012, 07:02 PM
ardonahoe,

A couple of thirty-something couples here on the forum have done what you are considering - full-timing in a Landmark for a period of years and keep their local day jobs. Both of the two I'm thinking of have now moved into a new phase of life and are living in homes/apartments but they cherished their years in their Landmark.

The Bighorn or Landmark or both very livable for full-timers but you are doing your self a good service by looking at everything else out there. One way to narrow the field from where you're at now in your search is to set a budget for a new coach and matched truck configured how you need them both and see who makes the list.

No matter what you end up with, it's you that need to be happy in your choice and we wish you the best. As already mentioned, RV.net ha a forum and that's another resource. Also consider the Escapees forum.

danemayer
07-06-2012, 07:07 PM
Hi ardonahoe,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. I'm sure we all look forward to your joining the Heartland Family.

With respect to your request for objective feedback, let me offer our experience. We've had our Landmark Rushmore for nearly 2 years and have been in it almost 1/2 time. We've had our share of things that needed correction - mostly minor. Probably the worst was a leak from the hydraulics pump made by Lippert. I was able to add fluid to keep things working until our summer trip was over. We've also had things like a loose fuse on the refrigerator that caused the inside light to be intermittent. And our overhead lights had to be replaced because of a problem with the ballasts. The vendor was changed so you won't face that problem. We've also had a couple of fit and finish problems like a latch that needed adjustment, and a window that didn't slide easily at first and hatch door gaskets that needed to be reglued. Nothing we've experienced has interrupted any of our trips. And we've taken trips from 6 - 10 weeks duration, going all over the country.

More important than the list of problems we experienced is the great customer service we received from Heartland. Heartland was always very helpful and also very flexible in fulfilling warranty. For example, when we first had our problem with the lights, Heartland shipped several replacements to our home and gave us the option of installing ourselves, or letting dealer service install. On another occasion they helped to persuade Dometic to send us a thermostat so we wouldn't have to drive 90 miles on snow covered mountain roads to get to a dealer.

As you've already found out, Heartland owners are an enthusiastic and happy group; we get together for local and national rallies, and we really enjoy being Heartland owners. Hope you join us.

By the way, it's great that you're doing this in your mid-30s. If my wife and I had known how much we would enjoy ourselves, we would have started a long time ago.

kakampers
07-06-2012, 07:21 PM
As of this week we'be lived in our Bighorn for five full years, towing over 70,000 miles. Has it been perfect? Heck no....BUT it has been a very comfortable and, for the most part, a very well built home.

The Landmarks, as you can imagine, are leaps and bounds above our unit built in June of '07. The improvements are many, and the quality has improved dramatically...our next fulltime home will be Landmark.

One thing we've discovered is that the appliances, etc. seem to hold up better with everyday use. Knock on wood, we've not had one single appliance related issue....running gear is another story, but then again, this puppy doesn't sit still for long. Good luck with your search and decision...

ardonahoe
07-06-2012, 08:03 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks so much! I appreciate the comments. I've posted the same question on rv.net also for more opinions as well. It's really down to a custom factory ordered Landmark Key Largo or an Itasca Ellipse. No matter what, we will be full timing in something by September, as that is the time we have to be out of our house.

Thanks again!

Alexis

2psnapod2
07-06-2012, 09:16 PM
We are actually doing just what you are talking about in a Key Largo. We love it. However we are a little older (mid to late 40s) and about to retire. We love our Key Largo and are very happy with how much room we have in it. We have it pretty packed. Just about as much as we can get into it. Still have everything out of sight. Found a place for everything, so we live pretty normal.

What ever you choose, I hope it works out for you and you have as much fun as we do! Hope to see you down the road as it would be nice, not being the young-uns at just about every rally we've been to.

ardonahoe
07-07-2012, 01:50 PM
Thanks so much everyone. We are definitely going the Landmark Key Largo route as our first full time unit. We will be buying it on Aug 17 : ) and trading in our Keystone Outback (thank goodness, lol). Between now and then we will start downsizing our belongings, renting a storage unit, and making modifications to my husband's truck (i.e. air bags, etc). One last question, should we get the Yeti package on our Key Largo? It does go below freezing during the winters in Tallahassee.

Please pass along any further advice that may be useful for first time full timers. Thanks and hope to see you guys out there on the road. We are the couple with two white english bulldogs and a big white Chevy 3500 crew cab SRW with Mack truck fender bulldog logos. Our home base will be Big Oak RV Park in Tallahassee FL. Our first on the road trip will be to Maryland in October where my parents are renewing their wedding vows for their 40th anniversary : ) Please let me know any rv park recommendations in that area of Maryland if anyone has been there.

Thanks again!

jjriker
07-07-2012, 02:07 PM
Congratulations on your choice! :) We have a Landmark Rushmore and LOVE it. We will be hitting the road fulltime as well, hopefully in January. We have been doing the same - downsizing the belongings, fixing up the house to sell, etc.

From everything I have read, I would definitely get the Yeti package. We bought our rig off the lot - fell in love with the unit and got a good deal, so we went for it. Ours doesn't have it, but if we had ordered it, we definitely would have included that option.

Good luck in your preparations! Hope to see you down the road. :)

danemayer
07-07-2012, 02:42 PM
You definitely want the Yeti Package. The tank heaters and heat tape on the water line will keep you out of trouble in cold weather. In mildly cold climates, some people rely on the underbelly heating. But if you ever run out of propane in the middle of a cold night, you'll be thankful for the tank heaters and heat tape.

2psnapod2
07-07-2012, 02:48 PM
Make sure you add the new A/C system and also the leveling system. You will not be dis-satisfied with these 2 add on's!

kakampers
07-07-2012, 03:10 PM
The new A/C is a "forced" option...you have to take it....the leveling system, however, is an add-on...

2psnapod2
07-07-2012, 05:38 PM
OOps I did not realize it was a forced option.

ardonahoe
07-07-2012, 06:36 PM
Thanks again everyone. Will definitely go with the Yeti package. We will also be ordering it with vinyl in the living area in lieu of carpet (easier with two dogs and a cat, makes cleaning a breeze). Amongst my rv research, it seems a lot of kitchen leak complaints arise from the icemaker in the fridge. Have you experienced this? Is it best to perhaps use a standalone portable Dometic icemaker instead of the built in, in the Norcold? Also, should we purchase the Splendide stacking washer/dryer, or have you found something better that is marketed for the standard homeowner that will fit?

Lastly, what do you full timers do for a permanent address for certain docs that need a physical (non po box address)? I.e. driver's license, vehicle registration, insurance docs, etc.

Thanks!

jjriker
07-07-2012, 07:04 PM
Lastly, what do you full timers do for a permanent address for certain docs that need a physical (non po box address)? I.e. driver's license, vehicle registration, insurance docs, etc.

Thanks!

We plan to use South Dakota for our home base, and are going to use Alternative Resources out of Sioux Falls, SD. I have read numerous recommendations for them on various forums and blogs.

2psnapod2
07-07-2012, 07:07 PM
We have the washer/ dryer stacking units. My DW is just fine with them. As far as an address, we are staying at a park that lets us use there address. We have a mailbox put out on the patio table and they put the mail in it. Raising the flag so we know "we have mail". This might be an option in your area.

danemayer
07-07-2012, 07:16 PM
Ardonahoe,

Icemaker/water dispenser: when the refrigerator is in a slideout, the water line to the back of the frig is exposed to outside air and will freeze when temps drop. Before temps drop, you'll have to shut off the water valve to that line, and used compressed air to evacuate water from the line. If you have good lungs, you might be able to disconnect both ends of the hose and blow the water out yourself instead of using a compressor. I'd use a bucket in the basement and blow on the end of the tube on the backside of the frig.

The refrigerator's interior lines and tanks can also freeze during cold temps when the RV is not heated (usually when put in winter storage, so you may not have to worry about this part). Evacuating the water from inside the refrigerator takes compressed air. Most people are used to using RV antifreeze to protect the water system and may miss this unless they read the refrigerator manual carefully.

Washer/Dryer: we have the Splendide stacked unit which we like a lot. It runs 1/2 loads compared to a home washer but does a nice job. To keep the loads small, we usually do laundry a couple of times each week during the evening while doing other things. There have been some comments about the combo units often leaving clothes wrinkled. The stacked unit does not.

kakampers
07-07-2012, 08:51 PM
We too chose South Dakota as our state of residence, and use My Home Address in Emery. As for a washer and dryer, Whirlpool makes stack units that are 110V, and fit perfectly in the RV...and they are considerably less expensive than the Splendid set. have used our set for close to seven years...

mikeandconnie
07-07-2012, 08:59 PM
We love the stacked washer and dryer we ordered with our Key Largo.My wife loves all the storage. We found that the queen bed gave us a nightstand for the alarm clock or phone charger.We use the outside entertainment center everyday.We even use the dinner table. It is perfect. We are very happy with out choice.

Joy & Jeff
07-08-2012, 06:37 AM
We bought the Bighorn 3685RL with the thought of full timing in mind. We have and ice maker but have the water turned off and have never used it. For some reason we couldn't order the larger side by side fridge without the ice maker.
Make sure to get dual AC from the factory. It makes a heck of a difference. Factory installed comes with a thermostat. In our previous rig we installed the second AC after market and it was either on or off. Kind of sucked.

We have the stackable laundry unit and it's great. Smaller loads but very effective.

Joy

2psnapod2
07-08-2012, 11:54 AM
We plan to use South Dakota for our home base, and are going to use Alternative Resources out of Sioux Falls, SD. I have read numerous recommendations for them on various forums and blogs.

Jessica, is there some specific reason you chose to us this Mail Company? I'm also looking into using SD as an address and this place seems a lot higher than most.

jjriker
07-08-2012, 12:15 PM
Jessica, is there some specific reason you chose to us this Mail Company? I'm also looking into using SD as an address and this place seems a lot higher than most.

http://rv-dreams.activeboard.com/t31722608/sd-mail-forwarding/

I read a lot of comments recommending them like the ones on the thread link that I've included. When I compared them to "My Dakota Address" which is another one that I've heard mentioned a lot, the prices seemed comparable. Alternative Resources seems to cost a little more, but I like the fact that they are an established company that have been around a while and have a good reputation.

2psnapod2
07-08-2012, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the info. I will have to look into them more.

ardonahoe
07-08-2012, 07:52 PM
We are concerned about our dogs in event of a power outage, etc. We've been looking into temperature monitoring systems that will dial a cell phone in event the temperature in the coach gets too high or cold. Anyone use anything like this?

Also, what are you using in sub-freezing temps for your water supply? I've seen a few heated hoses on the market.

Thanks!

danemayer
07-08-2012, 08:39 PM
what are you using in sub-freezing temps for your water supply?
For occasional sub-freezing temps, you might just put water into the fresh tank and use it for a couple of days, putting the hose away after you're done.

If the weather is likely to be cold for a while, you may want a heated water hose. I've had 2 Pirit hoses but don't recommend them. Both failed with only a few weeks usage. After that I wrapped heating tape and insulation around the failed hose and that's been reliable. Heat tape and insulation are also less expensive than a Pirit hose.

2psnapod2
07-08-2012, 08:42 PM
We are home based in Montgomery AL and this year we did not need anything extra. Just fill fresh water tank and disconnect the hose from the park valve.

Sent from my Kindle Fire

ardonahoe
07-10-2012, 07:37 AM
This is the link to the heated hose I was looking at: http://www.nofreezewaterhose.com/

On rv.net, someone suggested getting a Carefree of Colorado screen for the rear living window. They mention the morning and afternoon sun can be pretty brutal with the large picture window. Thoughts?

danemayer
07-10-2012, 08:09 AM
This is the link to the heated hose I was looking at: http://www.nofreezewaterhose.com/

That's a pretty expensive hose. Building your own with heat tape would take perhaps an hour and cost a small fraction of what they're asking.

Whatever hose you end up with, keep in mind that the thermostat has to be exposed to the outside air. That's why they offer 2 styles. If you have the thermostat inside the UDC, it'll react to the warmer air in the UDC and will let the hose freeze.

jassson007
07-14-2012, 04:23 PM
Hi Campers,

My husband and I will be moving out of our house this fall. We aren't your typical demographic of full timers. We are mid 30's with two dogs and no kids. We are just tired of our house, love the ability to travel with our dogs, and the camping lifestyle. We will maintain our day jobs and live in a local rv park in town; we will travel on the weekends and for vacations (i.e. bike week in Daytona, Thunder Beach, etc). We've ruled out a toy hauler due to lack of living space . My husband will tow the fiver and I will tow the bikes in my vehicle with a bike trailer for long bike trips.

We've kind of ruled out a Class A due to the fact there are more things that can go wrong. I.e., anytime we need service, etc, we will need to rent a dog friendly hotel room while service is completed. With a fifth wheel there are greater options for mobile service, etc. Therefore, we wouldn't be displaced from home as often as a Class A in our minds.

We are looking at the Heartland Landmark Key Largo. We have some concerns, as our current travel trailer, which is for recreational use only (2012 Keystone Outback 279RB) has been a hunk of junk from the get go. We notice a lot of the same fit and finish in our Outback as the Heartland Landmark (appliances, plumbing,etc). Our Keystone Outback has been plagued by appliance issues, broken awning motors, plumbing issues, and leaks; it just turned a year old this weekend. We would never own another Keystone product.

Our goal would be to keep the Landmark for about 5 years before trading up to something newer. Internet blogs/research about full timing in the Landmark have just been limited to the Heartland owners forum (which all champion the unit). We would appreciate some more objective feedback versus the pro-Heartland owners forum. We've also been considering a DRV Mobile Suites, but they are so heavy, it would require us to buy a new truck. On the Class A list are the Winnebago/Itasca Tour/Ellipse; or a Newmar Dutch Star. Our interest has also been peaked by the Jay Flight Seneca super C.

Thanks everyone! As rookies, we appreciate it!

We fit in same demographic as you do, two doxies and no kids, both with good jobs for awhile longer. Only difference is we are about to submit an order for a Bighorn 3585 instead of a Landmark. We might upgrade to one in future but we are currently living in our 28 foot tt and don't need something as nice as a landmar, yet...lol.