View Full Version : Buying Advice or Experience

11-22-2014, 07:47 AM
I am new to the forum and hopefully soon to be the owner of a 2015 Heartland Gateway 3650BH owner. We are scheduled to take delivery of our new coach on Monday at Dixie RV in Hammond LA, but I have a concern and wanted to get some experience or advice from others. There is a discrepancy between what I discussed with the dealer and what the actual build sheet reflects. We discussed the coach having the King bed upgrade but after the seeing the build sheet on the unit to be purchased it has the queen bed. I have been asking the dealer for a week if this is something that can be addressed prior to my arrival. They have not as of yet responded to my questions with a definitive yes or no. The sales person said that one of the managers was supposed to call me to discuss options but that has yet to happen, so I am growing concerned if I can not get answers before the sale what will service be like after. After the delays, I decided to go look up some ratings on Dixie RV and man they are negative.

Dixie RV is not local to me, so I would like have it serviced locally. From what I understand, I can have my Heartland serviced locally by a certified repair shop.

I am trying to determine whether to stay the course with the deal or look for a Gateway from another dealer.

I know that unhappy people will write a review long before a happy customer will, so I wanted to get others experience and opinions. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

11-22-2014, 08:34 AM
Hi scooter_X

Congratulations on the new Gateway and welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. There's lots of useful information here along with a great bunch of friendly and helpful people.

One way to find answers is to use the forum search engine or to browse the relevant sub-forum for the topic you want. Of course another way is to create a new thread with your question.

With respect to the Gateway on order, I would suggest that you not sign acceptance or take delivery until you're satisfied that you've got what you want.

If the unit was ordered with the king bed option and comes with the queen, it's possible it could be corrected locally, but it would require the local people have some wood working skills to replace the current bed platform as well as the mattress. A number of our owners have done their own mods going from king to queen, so it's certainly possible.

As for warranty service, you should try to find a local Heartland dealer who is willing to do warranty work for you. In the RV industry, unlike the auto industry, dealers are only required to provide warranty service on units they sell. If you buy elsewhere, your local dealer might point you back at the selling dealer. If you don't have any dealer support in your area, Heartland will probably authorize warranty service at a non-Heartland dealer, independent shop, or with a mobile servicer. However, you do need to get advance authorization.

When you go to pick up the unit, assuming it's the way you ordered it, plan on spending several hours on a pre-delivery walk through. Make sure you understand how everything works and check everything for proper operation.

Hope all goes well.

11-22-2014, 09:05 AM
If there are discrepancies between your order and what the dealer is trying to give you, request the VIN from them and call Heartland. They can tell you what it was ordered and built with. Of importance would also be the build date. Could be the dealer is trying to pawn off a unit from stock that almost met your specs.

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11-22-2014, 10:29 AM
If the deal is starting out poorly even before you accept delivery, it's probably only going downhill from there. Walk away if you can and start over somewhere else. Getting warranty service for some of the small nagging things that might pop up initially may not be easy to correct without going to the selling dealer. JMHO...Don

11-22-2014, 10:44 AM
Accept only what you ordered. What you signed for is what the dealer is obligated to deliver. I recall, the manufacturer has the flexibility to make changes in model design and options, but not the dealer. Stick to what you want; if you cave now, you'll only regret it later.

11-22-2014, 10:59 AM
I think I would keep looking - lipstick on a pig is not what you want to buy. There is a warranty involved and if the dealer changes things then the factory doesn't have to back you up if the dealer bails out and won't help you anymore.

Bobby A
11-22-2014, 11:10 AM
When we ordered ours, I wanted to know when it was in the final stages of build so I could go to the factory and see the coach. When we did it came with a king bed and we ordered a queen with a night stand on each end. The wife pointed it out and within less than an hour it was corrected at the factory with factory workers. We were very happy.

11-22-2014, 11:17 AM

For what its worth, my advise is listen to your gut....its saying this isn't right....walk away....there are way too many dealers to select from and most will deal with you.

11-22-2014, 11:43 AM
If you ordered a car with a V8 and came with a 6, would you keep it??

11-22-2014, 01:06 PM
Once you sign for it, you own it as is, and unless you have something in writing from the dealer, it will be very difficult to get any changes made. I think the dealer is just stalling so he can get you to accept delivery. I'd walk away.

11-23-2014, 09:46 PM
I have had several friends buy from Dixie. Both heartland units and sobs. For the most part they have done right. As far as price I myself am surprised you got a better deal from them than anywhere else as they are not the cheapest around. Good luck on your deal and if you want send me a pm and we can talk about Dixie a little more.

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11-23-2014, 11:33 PM
We bought our Big Country from Dixie RV in Florida. They did alright by us. Being our first RV purchase, I probably could have struck a little better deal either there or elsewhere, but they had the floorplan we wanted in stock and we didn't want to wait for one to be built. The two times we took it back in for warranty service, they had us in and out same day (after we indicated in advance that we were full-timers and would be rolling through the area and after we verified in advance that the part or parts needed to repair the unit was in stock).

They did a thorough PDI with us and allowed us to stay overnight hooked up on their lot to test out everything. They sent out a tech on Saturday morning to fix a couple issues we found overnight.

That said, I am only one customer. Everyone has different circumstances, expectations and tolerance for issues.

11-24-2014, 10:16 AM
Over the years I have been more disappointed that satisfied when I buckled and accepted the order when it was not what I ordered or wanted. I now pretty much hold my ground when the order is not right. If it is my mistake, I have to accept it but if it is theirs then they need to make it right to satisfy me.

11-24-2014, 11:25 PM
I bought my trailer off the net because it was the best deal I could find. We travelled a thousand miles to pick it up. We knew we had to be prepared to walk away from the deal if everything wasn't as represented. My wife and I spent 5 hours a piece going through our 7 page PDI list. There was a problem with the TV in our unit that took 8 hours and 3 TVs to correct. All other issues we found were very minor. The dealer was very good to work with. After two long trips and 8.5 weeks later this summer, we found some issues that were not found during the walkthrough. I found a RVIA/RVDA certified mobile tech and took my trailer to him and left it there to be worked on. After 3.5 weeks, the trailer was fixed. I had two problems pre-approved by HL and fixed, but we found three other small problems (labor only) that I asked to be fixed and then asked HL to consider reimbursing me. After advising me that I should get pre-approval, they approved the fixes and reimbursed me. If I can plan it, my trailer will never see another dealer for repairs. My advice to you is that since you will be paying for the trailer with your hard earned money, you need to be satisified with what you get. If you are not 100% satisified, walk away. I have found that the dealers are very friendly, but they are not my friends. They want my money for their trailer. It's a business transaction.

11-25-2014, 09:13 AM
I want to thank everyone for your feedback and opinions. They are very much appreciated and valued. We were able to get things worked out and are the owners of a new Heartland 5er. Thanks Again.

11-25-2014, 10:09 AM
I want to thank everyone for your feedback and opinions. They are very much appreciated and valued. We were able to get things worked out and are the owners of a new Heartland 5er. Thanks Again.

Congrats!! Welcome to the Heartland Family! Be sure to post a pic of your new baby!

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11-25-2014, 10:23 AM
Congrats!! Welcome to the Heartland Family! Be sure to post a pic of your new baby!

And don't forget to join the Heartland Owners Club (free for the first year).

11-25-2014, 10:50 AM
Here is a pic of the new addition.


11-25-2014, 12:14 PM
Very nice!!