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View Full Version : Looking for honest opinions on Trail Runner



jmor2195
10-22-2013, 08:01 PM
I currently own a Starcraft Travel Star and am considering trading it in for a 2013 Heartland Trail Runner 26SLE. I haven't had much luck finding reviews on this manufacturer so I'd really like to know the pros and cons. Mainly the durability of the product. I've read a lot about the dealership problems (in relation to warranty issues) and feel pretty confident already with where I plan to purchase from. Also- this would be my first unit with a slide- anything I need to know- look out for?

I appreciate any advice!!!

jmgratz
10-22-2013, 08:26 PM
I think most would agree with me that of all of the RV Manufacturers Heartland RV cares about their customers and stands behind their product. This forum is a wonderful source of information and help if needed as well. Our daughter has a Trail Runner and it has been trouble free for her.

jimtoo
10-22-2013, 08:45 PM
Hi jmor2195,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and hopefully to the family. We have a great bunch of folks here with lots of information and all willing to share their knowledge when needed.

We have great customer support from the factory and they even monitor a couple of places here on the forum. You will find great information and lots of support here.

Enjoy the forum.

Jim M

TXTiger
10-22-2013, 09:51 PM
In addition to a good product, Heartland customer service is #1, also as added benefits are this forum, the Heartland Owners Club and Rally's and the new friends you make at the Rally's add to the ownership benefits.

HornedToad
10-22-2013, 09:53 PM
I've owned a StarCraft truck camper, two Jayco TT's and now have a Heartland Toyhauler.

If you look at the different trailers on the market, they are really all just the same... components Lippert, Dometic, Norcold, Atwood, Carefree, ect.

Yes... the manufacture that puts them together is the real difference.

Coming up on my one year anniversary I took my trailer in last week to get a few minor warranty items handled. The dealer/Heartland took care of everything without a hitch. I am very happy with my Heartland trailer.

Also, I recommend taking the time during delivery to manually open/close the slide. The operation/location of the manual override will vary among trailers. If you try to operate your slide on uneven ground, like pulled off the road in the bar ditch, you'll probably need to find that manual override to get it back in.

JohnD
10-22-2013, 11:28 PM
Also, I recommend taking the time during delivery to manually open/close the slide. The operation/location of the manual override will vary among trailers.

I didn't know there was a manual override on the slide . . .

My trailer is at the dealership right now getting some warranty work done and being winterized.

I'll ask them to show me where it is when I pick it up in a few days.

Rockford
10-25-2013, 11:44 AM
What sort of warranty work if you don't mind my asking?

jmor2195: I feel your pain re: finding reviews and info online. DW and I just puled the trigger on a 2014 30SLE as our pop-up was just getting too small and non-bathroomy for us. ;)
Thus-far I've been discouraged at the lack of info online for Trail Runners in general. I went to "follow" Heartland on Twitter the other day and noticed that their last tweet was in January 2012! That in and of itself of course means nothing, but I was hoping for better. Even on this forum Trail Runners are lumped in with the North Country Community and there don't appear to be many active members contributing.
In the end I don't expect that will have any bearing on whether or not our Trail Runner turns out to be a quality unit or it not. At the end of the day when compared to other brands with the same floorplan the price on our Trail Runner just could not be beat. We take delivery in the spring.
Good luck with your decision.

JohnD
10-26-2013, 08:17 AM
What sort of warranty work if you don't mind my asking?

Several outside caulking issues repaired, the outside speakers needed to be rewired, one of the outside doors was out of alignment, a window seal was coming out of the track, and the shower faucet wasn't tight against the shower wall and didn't form a seal (which leaked water on the floor under the shower stall).

Other problems fixed from past visits (5 total) were several bad caulking issues outside, a warped closet door that wouldn't stay shut, the TV antenna and signal booster needed to be rewired (I wound up rewiring the antenna connection on the roof myself while on vacation in South Dakota), shower faucet had been worked on two other visits, and the top aluminum panels on both sides of the trailer were replaced as the dealership informed us the day we bought the trailer that the insulation behind was installed incorrectly and needed to be replaced (and most of our current and past outside caulking issues have been around this repair).

Ours were all minor issues compared to others I've read about . . .

I just parked it in the side yard next to our garage yesterday where it will sit for the winter.

Can't wait for next season! :cool:

dl_camps
10-27-2013, 08:22 AM
This year was our second year of camping with our North Trail 21fbs and so far so good. There were of course a few minor things when we took delivery, but nothing serious, and all have been fixed. Our dealership was great and we did a very thorough walk through when we bought it. We have owned 2 other campers, both different manufacturers and had small issues with them also. Nothing is perfect ya know. We think we made a good purchase with our Heartland and are very happy with it and we haven't had any warranty issues with so far. I only wish I would have listened to my DH and gotten a little bigger trailer. With the 2 of us it's great, but a little on the tight side when we have company along. It all works tho :)
Good luck with your decision.

Montyboy
10-30-2013, 05:44 PM
We purchased a 30ft Trail Runner in April of 2013 and have experienced a number of warranty issues related to the slide out and the sliding door separating the bedroom from the living area. We have used the trailer for a total of no more than 15 days. We like the floorplan in particular the rear bunkbed/entertainment area and the outside kitchen. The major problem we have experienced is that the trailer has connections for coax marked for cable and for satellite, however there is no wiring installed for the satellite connection and Heartland states they don't install wiring and it is up to you to find that out prior to purchasing the unit. The cost to install the wiring by the dealer is $500. Determining the wiring is not installed requires you to open up the panel and look behind it - so take a screwdriver with you when you inspect the unit at time of delivery. I have also been looking for a forum on Trail Runner - I'll know look on the North Country Community page.

Rockford
10-31-2013, 12:10 PM
"a number of warranty issues related to the slide out..." You mean leaks? Because I am considering doing a pre-emptive strike and having a slideout topper installed on our unit from Day 1.
Also, could you explain in a bit more detail your wiring - or lack therof - problem from the factory?
We take delivery of our unit in the spring and I want to make sure there are no nasty surprises in store for us.

Thanks.

Montyboy
11-06-2013, 11:38 AM
The warranty issues we have had with the slide out are not leaks (at least not yet) We have not installed a slideout topper but plan to do so next year. The issues we have experienced with the slide concern the movement both out and in. We first noticed a significant banging sound both extending and retrackting. My husband looked underneath and noticed that a metal part was damaged. That was replaced under warranty. We then noticed that the bottom of the slide out was not fully closing, both bottom corners were sticking out, not closing and actually created a hazard on the slide of the trailer. The trailer is currently in the shop for this work so I'm not sure what the resolution will be.

The other persistent problem has been with the sliding door on each side of the entry to the bedroom. The doors actually drop off the track even if clipped together with the clip installed at the factory. They have replaced the track twice and are in the process of changing the clips that hold the door on the track from plastic to metal. The trailer is in for warranty repairs for this item again. The last couple of times we used the trailer, prior to traveling we began roping the doors together in multiple locations to avoid damaging the door which has already occurred.

The most serious and costly to us is the issue of the wiring. For the TV hookup next to the Jensen radio/DVC/CD player and under the TV, there are two coax connectors one is marked cable or antennae, the other is clearly marked satellite. We purchased a satellite system and was not able to get the unit to work when hooked up to that coax connection. The satellite worked just fine if the cable is run from the satellite dish through the door and connected to the receiver. When we took the unit into the dealer for repairs on this plus problems with the Jensen system, we were informed that there is no wiring to the satellite connector. The dealer (La Mesa RV in San Diego - Heartland's largest dealer) told us they were surprised about this and talked to Heartland only to be informed that Heartland doesn't wire for satellite. I've also talked to Heartland's Customer Service department only to be told that when we inspected the trailer prior to taking possession it was our responsibility to determine the satellite system is not wired. I think this is disturbing expecially when there largest dealer it not aware. The only way you would know this is to take the panel with the two connectors off and verify that both are wired. Also after doing a lot of research, I've learned that you can't use the same outside coax connector for both cable and satellite. We obtained a quote from the dealer and plan to have then install an additional outside connection and wire it to the panel next to the Jensen. This will require running new cable under the trailer so I'm not sure how this will be done due to the complete coverage of the bottom area which I think is necessary. We plan to discuss the install with the dealer after the other warranty issues are resolved. The cost to us is approx $500.00. The Jensen issue is still not resolved. The unit does not do what the book provided says it does. Hope this helps.

jmgratz
11-06-2013, 02:43 PM
The most serious and costly to us is the issue of the wiring. For the TV hookup next to the Jensen radio/DVC/CD player and under the TV, there are two coax connectors one is marked cable or antennae, the other is clearly marked satellite. We purchased a satellite system and was not able to get the unit to work when hooked up to that coax connection. The satellite worked just fine if the cable is run from the satellite dish through the door and connected to the receiver. When we took the unit into the dealer for repairs on this plus problems with the Jensen system, we were informed that there is no wiring to the satellite connector. The dealer (La Mesa RV in San Diego - Heartland's largest dealer) told us they were surprised about this and talked to Heartland only to be informed that Heartland doesn't wire for satellite. I've also talked to Heartland's Customer Service department only to be told that when we inspected the trailer prior to taking possession it was our responsibility to determine the satellite system is not wired. I think this is disturbing expecially when there largest dealer it not aware. The only way you would know this is to take the panel with the two connectors off and verify that both are wired. Also after doing a lot of research, I've learned that you can't use the same outside coax connector for both cable and satellite. We obtained a quote from the dealer and plan to have then install an additional outside connection and wire it to the panel next to the Jensen. This will require running new cable under the trailer so I'm not sure how this will be done due to the complete coverage of the bottom area which I think is necessary. We plan to discuss the install with the dealer after the other warranty issues are resolved. The cost to us is approx $500.00. The Jensen issue is still not resolved. The unit does not do what the book provided says it does. Hope this helps.

You have to remember that the Trail Runner is an entry level travel trailer and therefore not provided with some of the things more expensive units are such as Satellite pre-wiring. Big-Horns and Landmarks are pre-wired for Satellite from the factory so saying Heartland does not pre-wire for Satellite is not correct. Your selling dealer should be aware and should have told you about the Satellite pre-wire issue. Our daughter also has a Trail Runner and her's is not pre-wired either. BTW putting an outside hookup through the wall to the inside is not a big deal and should not be a $500 cost. If you are talking about mounting a roof system then the cost is much higher.

Silverado23
11-06-2013, 11:27 PM
You could use a diplexer and save a bunch of money to wire the satellite connection using the existing wiring. I did this with my Noth trail. A diplexer is a device that looks like a splitter but is used to combine and\or separate cable and satellite signals. Here is the link to a discussion on using a diplexer.

//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/30234-SOLVED-Satellite-TV-Hookup-question

Diagram for diplexer connection.

//heartlandowners.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=18648&d=1334456897




The most serious and costly to us is the issue of the wiring. For the TV hookup next to the Jensen radio/DVC/CD player and under the TV, there are two coax connectors one is marked cable or antennae, the other is clearly marked satellite. We purchased a satelite system and was not able to get the unit to work when hooked up to that coax connection. The satellite worked just fine if the cable is run from the satellite dish through the door and connected to the receiver. When we took the unit into the dealer for repairs on this plus problems with the Jensen system, we were informed that there is no wiring to the satellite connector. The dealer (La Mesa RV in San Diego - Heartland's largest dealer) told us they were surprised about this and talked to Heartland only to be informed that Heartland doesn't wire for satellite. I've also talked to Heartland's Customer Service department only to be told that when we inspected the trailer prior to taking possession it was our responsibility to determine the satellite system is not wired. I think this is disturbing expecially when there largest dealer it not aware. The only way you would know this is to take the panel with the two connectors off and verify that both are wired. Also after doing a lot of research, I've learned that you can't use the same outside coax connector for both cable and satellite. We obtained a quote from the dealer and plan to have then install an additional outside connection and wire it to the panel next to the Jensen. This will require running new cable under the trailer so I'm not sure how this will be done due to the complete coverage of the bottom area which I think is necessary. We plan to discuss the install with the dealer after the other warranty issues are resolved. The cost to us is approx $500.00. The Jensen issue is still not resolved. The unit does not do what the book provided says it does. Hope this helps.

danemayer
11-07-2013, 06:27 AM
Here's a link to an article (http://www.tv4rv.com/wiring.pdf) that shows an easy and inexpensive modification that will let you use the existing wiring for satellite. While the signal booster is a little different from what you have, the modification should work for you.

Montyboy
11-11-2013, 06:36 PM
Thank you for your response. We are not planning on a roof mounted system, we purchased a portable satellite unit, we will review the comments and suggestions from other owners; hopefully we can resolve the issue without spending $500. I would like to clarify you comment that the statement I made that Heartland not providing satellite wiring is not correct. That is exactly what I was told when I called Heartland's Customer Relations Department. The person I talked to was very emphatic that Heartland does not install pre-wire and we should have taken the panel apart to determine that prior to purchasing the trailer. My comment to him was that any reasonable person should be able to rely on the fact that since the unit has an outlet that says satellite it is wired for satellite unless otherwise indicated. It would be the same as making the assumption that since you have electrical outlets they are wired. He was not very pleasant to talk to and chose to blame the dealer and us for not inspecting the trailer fully. I think this is a very deceptive practice on Heartland's part and have also expressed my displeasure to La Mesa RV.

I was not aware that Trail Runner is an entry level unit. Perhaps that explains the other quality problems we are experiencing.

Rockford
11-12-2013, 02:05 PM
I was not aware that Trail Runner is an entry level unit. Perhaps that explains the other quality problems we are experiencing.

I have heard this as well and Trail Runners are certainly priced low when compared to some other brands. When my wife and I looked at what is now our 30SLE though we didn't notice any glaring ommissions in terms of features that would explain why it's considred entry level. It's our first TT but everything we were looking for was there. I suppose the blinds, light fixtures and kitchen faucet are all cheaper looking than one might find in other brands but those things don't matter to us. It's a camper, not a showplace. I sure hope "entry level" doesn't turn out to be synonomous with "cheaply made". Time will tell.
Btw, your wiring anaolgy seems bang on to me. EVERYONE would assume that a plug marked for satellite would actually be wired. For them to suggest otherwise and to even go so far as to say that you should have pulled the panal apart before buying? Rediculous. Entry level or not, that's absurd. They would have been wiser to leave the plug out altogether. Instead EVERYONE who runs accross the problem is going to be ******. Not very good for customer relations.

JohnD
11-12-2013, 06:33 PM
I was not aware that Trail Runner is an entry level unit. Perhaps that explains the other quality problems we are experiencing.


Same here . . .

I never heard the term 'entry level' planted on the Trail Runner name until coming to this chat board.

The only reason we chose the trailer we did had nothing to do with the price level or even the brand.

We saw the trailer on a dealer's lot . . . liked it . . . then bought it!

JohnD
11-13-2013, 12:37 AM
Btw, your wiring analogy seems bang on to me. EVERYONE would assume that a plug marked for satellite would actually be wired. For them to suggest otherwise and to even go so far as to say that you should have pulled the panel apart before buying? Rediculous. Entry level or not, that's absurd. They would have been wiser to leave the plug out altogether. Instead EVERYONE who runs across the problem is going to be ******. Not very good for customer relations.

Mine also has the sat hookup and I just assumed that it must be wired in since it is there, although I haven't checked it.

However, I don't plan on ever using it, so I'm not too concerned.

What I don't get is why won't the sat work through the cable hookup and wiring in the trailer?

Although I didn't actually check the cable connection to see if it is wired up, either . . . :confused:

I wired up my house for cable, and the Direct TV installation guy just hooked up to my existing wiring system in our crawl space and it works fine.

jmgratz
11-13-2013, 02:02 PM
When I said "entry level" I did not mean to insinuate 'cheaply made'. Entry level to me means more of a price point and lack of features such as enclosed underbelly, gelcoat etc. The Trail Runner is a nifty travel trailer packed with features but when you compare it to the North Trail it generally has fewer bells and whistles than the N T . It has been my experience that some RVs are much like some cars. Take the Mercury Marauder and Ford Crown Victoria. Both are the same basic car except the Mercury cost more but comes with more standard features whereas the Crown Vic you can get most of the same features as the Mercury but you pay extra for them. Kind of like the Big Horn and Landmark. When comparing travel trailers to autos I would say the Trail Runner is the Biscayne of the Heartland Travel Trailers and the North Trail or even the Sundance Travel Trailer is the Impala. IMHO Does not make them any less useful just less expensive.

JohnD
11-13-2013, 02:53 PM
My Trail Runner has the enclosed (and heated) underbelly.

grhmcrkr936
02-14-2014, 06:25 PM
Bought my 22rbq last labor day. I've been to rv shows and looked at many TT's since. I'm still happy I bought my Trail Runner.

jimtoo
02-14-2014, 11:11 PM
Hi grhmcrkr936

Welcome to the posting side of the forum. Also welcome to the Heartland family.

Check out the Heartland Owners Club (//heartlandowners.org/content.php/128-heartland-owners-club-portal) and join us at a rally when you can,, where you will meet and make friends with other Heartland Owners.

Jim M