View Full Version : Just ordered a NT 26lrss PDI Inspection items to look for

02-14-2015, 06:47 PM
Hi all and I am excited to say my wife Lynda and I are awaiting our 2015 26LRSS to arrive at the Ohio dealership we bought from. We will be driving from SW Florida to get our new baby in the next few weeks. I am hoping that the dealer will explain all of the TT features and also proper trailer hook up to us. Does anyone have a good list of things that I should check while picking the unit up before we drive 1100 miles home?

This is our first real trailer (our pop ups don't count) so I won't necessarily know where to point both my attention and flashlight. Also any tips on trailer brake seating and adjustments to % of trailer brake used would be appreciated. I have never had the luxury of trailer brakes before and want to use them in a correct manner.

Not a stranger to towing but definitely a stranger to safely towing (towed a skidsteer on a brakeless trailer with a 1500 Dodge hemi numerous times, NOT FUN).

This appears to be a place for an abundance of knowledge. I apologize for this thread if I missed this information being on the forum already.

Also if there are any owners of a North Trail 26LRSS out their please tell us we did well in our choice. We think it is gorgeous but then again all parents think their ugly kids are pretty too.


02-14-2015, 10:11 PM
Hi Ray,

Congratulations on the new North Trail and welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum.

Three suggestions for when you pick up the trailer:

Stay at or near the dealer for a day or two in case you have questions or something needs to be adjusted. Discuss this in advance with both the sales manager and service manager so they'll be prepared to provide service without making you wait.

As the dealer demonstrates everything, have someone else video the walk through so you can review it later. There's a lot to take in.

Get a complete demonstration of the winterizing/dewinterizing procedure, including location of the valves and antifreeze suction hose.

Check out the Owners Club (//heartlandowners.org/content.php/128-heartland-owners-club-portal)and perhaps we'll see you at a rally in the future.

02-14-2015, 11:04 PM
Thank you much for the tips Dan (or Ann). Videoing is a GREAT idea. We do plan to stay over a night or 2 for assessment. We hope to have the de weatherization done by them as we won't need to do it in florida. That is if the weather in Ohio ever warms up before we go up. Our sales Charles said we will arrange pick up on a date where immediate (hopefully) service can be done.

We feel likes kids waiting for Christmas even though we are in our 50s.
Thanks again.

Be safe,

'Lil Guy'
02-14-2015, 11:22 PM
When we picked up our NT 21FBS the dealer had a printed list for the inspection. We had to sign off on it as part of our closing. Ask for it and have them check every part of it with you present. They might just try to have you sign off on it. If you do nothing else, make sure the water is hooked up and everything is working with no leaks. They are notorious for not tightening the plumbing. Nothing worse than your 1st trip and a flooded floor. We had them upgrade our faucets on our new rig after our pdi and they fell off before we reached our camp sight. Easy fix but no excuse. Even the rear stabilizers if they are manual. Have them run down and back up. Being manual, I didn't check them. 1st time we tried to lower them, on one side it was mounted backwards with the operating end to the inside. Try and catch any problem there so you don't have to return it later. It then becomes a parts house on wheels for some other guy's rig.
Congrats on your new toy and enjoy.
This is a great place for any questions you may encounter. Look at joining the HOC. You'll meet some really great people with lots of knowledge about these things.
Later and have a great day.

02-15-2015, 12:03 AM
Congrats on the pending new trailer. :)

I have a very detailed PDI you're welcome to use....just grab it from the link in my signature. Expect this PDI to take you about 3-4 hours to complete.

Hope it helps... ;)

02-15-2015, 12:29 AM
Baker. I guess I should plan on an all afternoon check of the TT. I think I will set it up as if I am camping before signing of on the unit. Would not have thought of running the stabilizers down. We will be joining HOC. :)

02-15-2015, 12:40 AM
Oregon camper I just read through the pdi check list. Wow what a great way to leave the dealership with confidence that I left nothing out to be checked later. This site is terrific. I forgot how friendly campers are and also willing to share knowledge and experiences(good and bad)

Printed out the check list already. Can't wait to go to ohio. Actually I can wait till after this crazy cold weather they are having up there.


'Lil Guy'
02-15-2015, 02:19 AM
They should have it set up for you when you get there. They told me when it would be ready for the PDI. It was set up with slides extended, water hooked up, water in the fresh tank, A/C running, water heater going, etc. It's the dealers job, not the manufacturer, to make it ready for acceptance. Some do better than others. Just take your time and make sure they do it right. Extend and retract everything and make sure everything works. Minor things you can do yourself and be prepared because things happen. Just don't let the dealer off with a shoddy make ready.
BTW, it will come with the worst tire on the market. I can guarantee the tires are going to be under inflated. Make sure you check them.
Good luck with your new rig and enjoy. You'll forget a lot of what they go through by the time you take it out. Everyone here has gone through it so at your campsite, don't be afraid to ask if you have a question or an issue. People in this hobby love to share their knowledge and will be willing to help. Believe me, we've all asked a lot of questions and I still am learning.
Don't give my secret away, but if you join and attend a Heartland rally, you can play dumb and have 5 or 6 members come over and fix any problem you might have. lol
Again, enjoy your new purchase.

02-15-2015, 10:25 AM
Welcome to the Heartland family!

The PDI has been covered pretty well already, so I'll chime in on the trailer hitch.

What is your tow vehicle?

You mentioned that your dealer is going to set up your trailer hitch, so if you don't have a weight distributing hitch setup, you'll want to get it before you head back to Florida.

That is long drive without it.

I recently switched from a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 to a Chevy Silverado 2500HD, and when I took the new truck with the trailer to the hitch shop they told me that I didn't need to use the WD setup (which I already had), but as I had already pulled the trailer around for about 50 miles without it (WD stuff) hooked up, I told them that yes, I not only want it, but my highway test drive told me that I needed it!


02-15-2015, 03:56 PM
Hi JohnD
We will be picking up the TT with our 2011 Ram 1500 5.7 hemi quad cab. Checked the V.I.N. number through Chrysler and got a max tow weight of 7800LBS. The 26rlss is dry weight 5695 with a tongue weight of 575. It is just Lynda and I when we travel and 2 Yorkies. We don't plan on traveling with water or waste water on board and know to keep it light and balanced. Even agreed that we will leave the tail gate behind at home to save on about 70 lbs, of rear end weight on the truck.

The hitch system we have pre purchased is a Blue Ox WD system to be installed when we are at the dealer 1000lbs system. I hope the reviews I have read are accurate with regard to load leveling and sway assist by that unit. installed price is 699 so I hope it does live up to the hype.

I know bigger is better when it comes to tow vehicles but I am going to give the 1500 a try ( I have been told that bigger would be nice for over 30 years of marraige but thus far I have made due pretty well LOL). I only have 8300 miles on our truck since I bought it new and it has lived a pampered garage kept life. I even jokingly invite company to enjoy 1 to 2 breaths of the interior as a treat to "that new smell" of a showroom truck. It is about time she earned her keep.

Lynda and I agree that if the drive home is a white knuckle event we will be moving up to a Ram 2500 crew cab pull truck. I am hoping that the 1500 will do ok as it is paid for. Either way safety will be our main concern. If it is not meant to be trade in on the 1500 will be terrific as it has a lifetime bumper to bumper warranty that is transferable here and in N.C. and it is honestly in show room new condition.

When we travel we are never in a hurry as I am retired after 30 years in law enforcement and I have no where to be. Lynda is never in a hurry to get back to the Post Office to finish out her last 4 years. I am sure I will be lucky to get 8 MPG with the hemi but we are ok with that for now.

John was there that big of a difference when you moved up to the 3/4 ton truck over the 1500? Also any input on the Blue Ox would be appreciated as well. Not too late to change hitch set ups and they all seem to cost about the same.

Safe travels,


'Lil Guy'
02-15-2015, 05:27 PM
Pulled our 1st NT with a 2012 Ram 4X4 with the Hemi. Pulled fine. Only problem was with the downshifting when in the hills, however, that is normal for a gas engine. You'll know it's there but it will handle just fine. You'll be used to it on your homeward trip. Enjoy it. I think I was closer to 7MPG than 8. I pulled the same rig with our new Ram 2500CTD and got about 14 MPG dwithout any downshifting. Gotta love those diesels.

02-15-2015, 05:29 PM
Ray, I wouldn't worry too much about towing it with a 1500. I towed our NT26LRSS for a few months with an F150 with no problems. I used the EZ-Lift WD hitch on my set up and also had a cap on my bed. My rig weight was just under 8 k and that included two batteries. I experienced no sway. The only reason I moved up to the F250 diesel is that my F150 was underpowered (I had the small engine), but your Hemi should handle it with no problem. I used the same WD hitch on the F250. One thing, is make sure it is installed correctly by the dealer. Not all dealers completely understand the ball height requirement for the hitches. Refer to the documentation for the hitch and adjust it accordingly if necessary. Enjoy your North Trail. We had our 2 1/2 years, put around 20 k miles on it and had no issues except for the blow max tires (already addressed elsewhere by Baker).

02-15-2015, 06:03 PM
Thanks Baker and Pegmikef. Set my mind at ease. We just laughed at that 7 MPH comment Baker....right after we said OH S&^T! I smell diesel fumes in my future : ) I have also watched a few videos on hitch set up on youtube and have a pretty good idea of the adjustment and install process. They also have a 1-800 phone tech line to call that I won't hesitate to use. Again thanks to all your kind responses and helpful info. We will be joining the Owners club as soon as we get a photo with our trailer. I read the joining page and I wish Lynda's and my union dues were that reasonable during our careers.

Be safe,


'Lil Guy'
02-15-2015, 10:00 PM
Trouble with the gas hemi is the torque is is the upper rpm's. So in drive, the R's are low and so is the torque and there goes he mileage. If you're not taking long trips very often, no need to worry. It will pull it great. I think I had a 36 gal tank and I would be looking for gas after 200 miles. Of course, gas is cheap now.lol The best thing to do when towing with your Ram is to not display the gas performance on the EVIC. It will break your heart going form -50 on take off up to10 MPG on an even stretch at 65MPH. It's only gas so just drive and enjoy. Worry about that if it' a problem later.

02-16-2015, 12:43 AM
I got roughly 10 MPG with the 2015 Chevy Silverado on our recent trip to Arizona . . . with the 36 gallon tank I was getting about 350 miles per tank.

I've got the Vortec 6.0 gas engine with the 4.10 rear end . . .

Pulls our Trail Runner like nobodies business . . . even up and down the steep mountain passes.

Night and day difference between the two trucks when pulling the trailer.

My old 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 had the 5.9 litre Magnum V8 gas motor and never could handle the big mountains very well, and I was lucky to get 6 MPG with that when towing.

Not to mention that with the 26 gallon gas tank we were stopping at gas stations more than we needed to stop at rest areas!

Plus, the old Dodge was getting tired with 164,000+ miles when I sold it last September.

The second photo below was the last time it pulled our trailer on a campout (August, 2014) . . . it was on our way home about 30 minutes after that shot was taken where we had our white knuckle-almost-couldn't-stop-the-1500 incident that made us decide to upgrade to a heavier duty truck.

I miss that truck . . . probably my most favorite vehicle that I've ever owned (and I've had 22 cars and trucks over the years not counting my wife's cars)!

But I'm happy to say that it is still living a good life in Rochester, NY . . . and probably the best looking 1996 Dodge Ram back there since it lived it's whole life here in Colorado without the road salts that they use back there!

Old . . . and New:

34684 34685 34686 34687 34688 34689 34690 34691

I get a lot of flack for not getting a diesel, but I just didn't want to spend that much (about $10 grand more than the same gasser), plus, since it is my daily driver, I just didn't want a diesel for that.

When we someday upgrade to a larger 5th-wheel trailer, then it will definately be a dually diesel!

Now, I'm guessing that your North Trail is probably similar in weight to our Trail Runner when loaded (just looked and yours is probably close to 1000 pounds heavier - probably close to 8000 pounds with accessories, LP, water and stuff in trailer), so I think that you are just on the limit or possibly over what your truck can handle safely.

A 2500HD would be the perfect truck for you as you'll be way over capacity for your trailer, which is much better than being on the limit or under.

The bigger braking capacity alone is enough for me!

I know that my older Dodge had a 6800 pound tow rating and the newer 1500's have a higher tow rating, but still they are on the very edge of the tow capacity of most any newer travel trailer with more than one axle.

When I take our trailer to get the springs replaced (didn't even get 5000 miles out of the factory installed springs), I'm going to have my trailer weighed so I know exactly where I stand.

02-16-2015, 01:04 AM
Thanks for the info John. Great looking trucks. Big fan of red. You are right about That diesel engine. Sure is a big price jump. We will be short tripping mostly until lynda retires so we will hopefully some use out of the 1500.

Safe travels,