View Full Version : User Manual Project

09-22-2005, 04:58 PM
Hi all,

I'd like to propose that as a collective, we create a practical User Manual for the Heartland Landmark. If successful, we can nuse it as a template for the Bighorn and other products.

Let's discuss this a bit to see if there is sufficient interest to warrant such an endeavor (good winter project!).

Anyone of you Landmark owners a technical writer?

I'll bet through years of experience, sheer determination, blind luck or brute force (the latter two for me!), that we have some RV systems experts out there who could easily handle one of two elements.



cruisin condominimum
09-30-2005, 01:06 PM
I would be very happy to see a USEFUL OWNER'S MANUAL! The one we received falls quite short of useful! Unfortunately, I would be no help in writing one since I already can't understand the one I have!:confused:

09-30-2005, 07:32 PM
If I could help, I surely will. I can take good Digital pix etc. I have yet to master the english language, but I doo speak Redneck fluently.


Princess Kathleen
10-02-2005, 12:07 AM
A manual would be good, but what would be even better would be a DVD showing the how to's. A picture is worth a thousand words....

10-02-2005, 07:32 AM
Princess Kathleen,

DVD - very ambitious, but great idea. Thanks,


10-02-2005, 12:05 PM
My wife, Vicki, is currently editor for our local running club's newsletter. I'm sure she would be glad to do editing of any content that is proposed for this manual. I will warn you, she is very thorough.

I like the idea of a DVD. However, I like to be able to look at one of the components while reading an explanation and looking at pictures of how it works or operates, how to perform maintenance, etc.. In addition, I can make notes on the printed material.

10-03-2005, 04:54 PM
Talking to Al Sandberg at the factory today, Al told me that Heartland was working on a CD users manual. Do not know any details.

03-24-2006, 08:04 PM
[quote=Jim Beletti]
I'd like to propose that as a collective, we create a practical User Manual for the Heartland Landmark. If successful, we can use it as a template for the Bighorn and other products.

What ever happened to the User Manual idea? After Al Sandberg said that he was working on a CD, the idea seemed to go away. That was last October. I will be glad to help if someone wants to head it up. I don't do pictures or DVD's but Denny says he does pictures and surely in our vast membership we have people that could do a DVD, if that's the way we want to go. Has anyone talked to Al Sandberg to find out where he is on the project?

03-24-2006, 08:16 PM

Safe to say this never got legs. Great idea, lots of work. If we have a technical writer amongst us with a willingness to take on a major load, that would be a plus.

I will say that I have asked Heartland several times for an electronic version of their current manuals so that I could use that as a starting point. To date, I have not received it, nor have they committed to it. It's possible that by having the factory provide us with their current manuals in electronic format is not a good idea from a legal standpoint.

Anyway, not getting hung up on that, if a project coordinator wants to step up and take the lead on this, I am willing to be involved and contribute.

Another complication is the running changes we've seen on certain models and our ability to cover all variations of a specific system within a trailer.

Anyone willing to take the lead as a project coordinator? Anyone with solid technical writing skills and some time on their hands?

Thanks for reviving this idea John.


03-24-2006, 08:25 PM
I don't think that I'm alone in saying that if we could get the latest owners manuals, even in printed format, this would be a starting point. I know that I asked for a number of manuals, owners guides, specifications and servicing information. My dealer was able to give me some of what I asked for but there is still a lot that I would like to have. This type of information could be in a users manual and I don't think it would create a legal problem with the typical disclaimers that all such publications carry.

03-30-2006, 10:35 PM
A practical and user friendly owners manual is a good idea to supplement the company's book. I think the project will fly if there is a focused request for ideas on specific parts of the manual and then change the focus periodically. The ideas will be collected and edited into a meaningful and practical guide. The first focus might be a listing of what should be included in the index and then use the index for subsequent requests for ideas. Lastly, the guide would not need to become a "who's who" among the owners, i.e., each idea need not be identified to its source in the final version, but in fairness to contributors, they could be listed in an appendix.

That's my two cents worth.:)

For the third cent, I think the forum is becoming an owners manual in itself as we all share our experiences. It automatically keeps up to date with design changes and current fixes of product failures.

03-31-2006, 10:36 AM
Good ideas slaytop.

Regarding your comment about how the forum is sort of become an owners manual itself, I have been thinking about doing something and I'll run it by anyone that is reading this thread.

We have had so many questions raised and answered in the Ask The Factory (ATF) forums that I am considering doing some merging and moving of some of those posts. For example, when a person has posted in the ATF forum and received correct responsed from users and/or the factory, I'd like to merge those and move them to the correct sub-forum relative to the topic.

If someone had a specific question to the factory about refrigerators for example and got that question answered in ATF, then a person looking only in the appliances forum will never see the Q&A.

When doing to Merge/Move, I can still leave reference to it in the ATF forum.



03-31-2006, 02:39 PM
great idea.....Sure helps out if can do that. I spend lots of time going from thread to thread just for that reason...thanx..

03-31-2006, 06:01 PM
If I can be of help, I'm willing. I've had some experience in my past job using a template called IMI that made it quite easy to build manuals. My problem is although I've been RVing since 1975, my technical expertise is lacking. In addition, when I left my former employer, I lost my access to IMI.

I'm still willing to do what I can.

03-31-2006, 06:25 PM
What's an owner's manual, does that tell you where the basement is. My dealer said I had a basement. He also said I have an owners manual it must be in the basement.

03-31-2006, 08:40 PM
It's your call to rearrange and move posts. The topical headings make it easy to find related posts. Your idea of keeping a reference in the ATF file would help members find official information. How long would you keep a string in the ATF file before moving it?

In reference to the manual, many of the items used in RV's are common to the industry, e.g., AC, refrigerators, furnaces, ceiling vents, etc., and information about those items can be researched online and in some RV publications. Manuals for those items are normally included in the RV when new. Do we need a manual to cover those common items? If so, how would a manual keep up with the changes when the company decides to use other suppliers and models?

03-31-2006, 11:16 PM

When I move a thread/post but leave a reference in the old location, the reference/link stays there and does not expire.

Regarding the appliances, I agree, no sense in trying to duplicate the OEM's manuals.

What I mean by a "practical guide" would be how to really use an appliance or system and other things one should/needs to know. Not how to cook with the microwave but what one needs to know about it. Not how to cool/freeze with the refer but what one needs to be aware of with these models.

Then when it comes to systems in the RV, I think this is where we can really expand.

That all said, your points are well taken, especially about how do we keep up with the running changes.

Maybe an online manual would be best. I'm pretty good at html.

Thanks again for the input, let's keep the discussion going - it's all good.


04-01-2006, 03:40 PM
Hey!!! Wait a minute:o!! Isn't it the Heartland that is getting in the 5 figures for every one of these things they sell :confused: Why can't they produce a trailer specific manual for each of the various brands and models of trailer they sell. Even the purchased items that they install should come with manuals from their various manufactures. I love the comradery and all here on this board and it is a wealth of information. Thanks Jim for running and moderating it. However it really shouldn't be up to the owners to develope something we are all paying for when we buy one of Heartland's products. Before you think that I must be from brand X, myself and my wife are one of the newbees that have never had a 5vr or any other towable for that matter. We will need all the help in the way of manuls and how-to books that we can get our hands on. We currently have a Bighorn 3055 on order and have been told that it is supposed to come off the line on April 3. But what with the quality probelms posted here and lack of cooperation from the manufacturer regarding basics such as operators manuals, it's beginning to feel like we made a mistake. I didn't know about this board until the deal was already done. If I had know what I know now I don't know if we would have purchased one of these. :(

Tom and Bobbi

04-01-2006, 04:11 PM
Tom and Bobbi,

Sure can't disagree with you on what the factory should do with respect to manuals. But we can't will it to happen. Maybe our own efforts (if it gets off the ground) can be the catlyst for change - who knows...

As for your Bighorn, so long as you have a good service relationship with your delivering dealer or one even closer, (while I am "not" the factory) I feel pretty confident that anything you do not like about the build quality of your trailer will be taken care of by the dealer network.

If trailers were built on a robotic assembly line with ISO processes, we'd have consistency - but they're not. So the human element is always a factor. Sometimes better than others.

I don't think you made a mistake. You'll have to be the judge though and please let all of us know how you feel about your unit upon delivery (but in another sub-forum here).



04-01-2006, 07:12 PM
Are you a model railroader?

I'm not sure about the BigHorn, but the Landmark comes with a factory produced manual that gives some basic information but not enough for a newbie. The Landmark is my third towable since 1986 and I feel that the manual does more to protect the company from product liablity than to help the owner operate the unit. I know that sounds very strong, but with 25 years of insurance sales (now retired) I can see clearly one of the purposes of their manual.

Let me also say that I believe the Landmark and BigHorn RV's are excellent units and I would not change my decision about purchasing one. The quality control issues are as Jim mentioned. They try to get the best help possible to build the units but people are not consistent. View most other RV chat groups and you will find that RV's are not perfectly made and problems exist. That 's why you need a dealer that will help correct the defficiencies. The best thing you can do when you get your unit is make sure the Pre Delivery Inspection list is thoroughly examined. Don't sign it if you are not satisfied!

You should receive operators manuals for all of the appliances and accessories in the unit. Your hitch and braking information should be given when they are installed. Those manuals will be very helpful. Most of the other practical information will be from the factory manual and other RVers.

If I understand it correctly, our purpose for a Heartland specific manual is to help utilize the unique designs of the Landmark, BigHorn, etc. and give solutions to operations owners normally encounter as they enjoy the RV lifestyle. I would like to see the company print one, but maybe they need to read our posts to discover what needs to be printed in a "real world" version.

04-01-2006, 07:39 PM
You mentioned that the dealer is really what can make the difference. That is what I am partially concerned about. One other person here on this board purchased form the same dealer that we have and aluded to the fact that the dealer wasn't knowledgeable enough to solve a problem with a hot water heater that wasn't filling. Anyway it turned out to be the bypass was set the wrong way from the factory and the poster found out how to fix it here on this board. My (his) dealer wasn't smart enough to figure it out. If our unit comes in with lots of problems, I really question that the dealer will be able to solve any of them. In our part of the country Heartland's dealership network is pretty thin. Our selling dealer is 120 miles away and the next nearest is 225 miles. So, I doubt that we will get much help from dealers, certainly not near. Guess all we can do is keep our fingers crossed.
Thanks for your quick reply. :D
Tom and Bobbi
P.S. Slaytop -- Yes I am an Nscale model reailroader. I am a narrow gauge nut and am currently working on an Nn3 version of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad that runs between Chama NM and Antonito Co.

04-01-2006, 08:41 PM

I rode Cumbres and Toltec east to west and thought it was a great trip. I had one n scale Conrail engine and recently purchased an oval to run it. I also have HO, O, and G scale but not enough room to run them right now.
Thanks for coming on board our Heartland forum.

Don Robbins
04-02-2006, 11:21 AM
I would certainly be interested in having a "useful" Owner's Manual for my 2006 Big Horn. The only thing I have is a manual for a Landmark.......sure would make my life easier to have a manual that actually is for the Big Horn!
Don Robbins

Princess Kathleen
04-13-2006, 09:49 PM
Hubby and I are going to video the how to operate our Grand Canyon....We go through it on Monday....can not wait....what a wonderful Easter gift.:)