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Joe G
12-15-2008, 04:45 PM
I am curious if any other Big Country owners have experienced this problem. While cleaning I discovered the back wall of my RV around the window was soft to the touch. I suspected the soft wall and window frame was caused by a leak around the window. I took it in for service and the service dealer told me the factory said that that was impossible because the window frame was made of aluminum.

You can imagine our surprise when they removed the rear exterior panel of the RV and we discovered the entire rear wall frame was constructed of wood. We thought it was suppose to be aluminum. This wood is rotted from the leak at or near the roof not from the window like I thought. From the extent of the damage it has been like this for some time. Iíve attached pictures showing some of the damage our RV has sustained. More pictures to follow after they remove the rest of the frame and interior wall. Iíll let you know how it turns out.

fhollan
12-15-2008, 07:50 PM
I can imagine the surprise you got. Not much aluminum there. I noticed the coach is a 08 model. Is there still a warranty on it? I would probably send a copy of the photos to Heartland and let them know. Keep us advised.

jmgratz
12-15-2008, 09:51 PM
I am not trying to start anything but in one of your photos you can see the window FRAME. The frame is aluminum, but the framing structure of the coach is wood. Maybe what they said was correct but they were talking about the window itself and not the frame the window assembly sits in.

jbeletti
12-15-2008, 10:38 PM
...You can imagine our surprise when they removed the rear exterior panel of the RV and we discovered the entire rear wall frame was constructed of wood. We thought it was suppose to be aluminum...

Hi Joe,

So sorry to read about this and see the horror in the pictures. Looks like you are at a good shop and I hope they do an awesome job, taking care of this for you.

Not sure if you had a chance to look through the Big Country construction book that is on the Heartland website before you made your purchase.

Big Country uses aluminum stud/frame side walls. The roof trusses and rear end wall are wood. The window frames are aluminum.

Sorry for any confusion on this.

Jim

Joe G
12-16-2008, 12:26 PM
Jim,
I do feel I have it at a good repair facility. I did see the brochure where it described the wall construction and roof construction. I saw nothing about rear wall construction. I did see the part about the wooden trusses in the roof but didn’t see anything about the rear wall being constructed of wood. Don't get me wrong wood or aluminum we like our RV and haven’t had any problems until now. I am just a little disheartened with what’s going on. Will keep you updated.

Taz Devil
12-16-2008, 02:50 PM
Joe,

I can understand what you are going through with your rig. I basicaly had the same problem with my 3250TS small leak in the seal on the roof. They ended up replacing the whole rear wall section and small section on the one side. I was not able to see any pictures at the time of repair. Best of luck with your rig and it's repairs.

cliffbuilt
12-17-2008, 01:41 AM
Hi Joe,

My rig is just over 1 year old, Last week while cleaning ext. and inspecting calking at seams I found most widows gaped 1/8 to 1/4 from siding and calking roped up not touching window frames. Also there were two areas on each side at rear top were the roof meets rear cap that seal was cracked. These areas look like the cause of damage pictured above.There is a molded plastic piece at that point which curves around from the roof to side at the back corrner. I discussed this with the service manager at my dealer. He informed me 90 days is the warrenty on calking. Also to check & repair these areas before each winter storage/season. Sorry about your troubles. :(

Best wishes, Cliff

Taz Devil
12-17-2008, 06:22 PM
Jim B,

Is there a photo of the rear of the BC being constructed? I was also unaware that the rear was wood constructed. Now is the floor of the BC constructed the same way as the BH?

jbeletti
12-17-2008, 08:14 PM
Kevin,

BC floor is the same as BH & LM. For MY (model year) 2009, the floors use the lamination process. Awesome.

I am at the factory today and tomorrow (Thursday). If time allows and if any BC are in the plant, I will snap some pics. But I think the plant will be empty as we are in our Christmas shut down period.

Jim

itsbeertime
03-01-2009, 03:08 PM
I am currently looking at Big Countrys and this causes some concern. The brochure I have dated 01/09 shows a photo of aluminum trusses in the roof (at least it sure looks like aluminum to my eyes). The one I have dated 01/08 does not show a photo of the roof construction at all. There is no mention of rear wall construction that I can see. Where can I find clear information on the construction of all walls, roof and floor? I would really appreciate this information, otherwise I now can't make an informed decision. If I can't make an informed decision without these important facts, there is a good chance I will choose to purchase the other mfg's product I am also considering. Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

bwwalczak
03-01-2009, 04:45 PM
The construction information can be a little confusing, we just upgraded all Big Country products recently. Some of the older brochures may still be circulating out there in the public.

On 2010 product we have gone to all laminated roofs. A laminated roof is extremely beneficial because it is over 5" thick in the center and pitches down on the sides to allow run off. Our roofs are solid brick foam versus the competition's trusses (mostly wood at this price point) with spun fiber insulation. Problem with their roof is that there are gaps and they MUST have the attic vents for ventilation. Our roof is solid so no gaps. With Big Country you get the best thermal insulation, best sound insulation, PLUS the strongest roof (we ran over it with a truck to demonstrate its strength).

On 2009 product we started proving laminated floors, versus the studs 16" on center. Again, you get much better insulation along with great strength. A big guy (like myself) can walk on the floor without any floor flex.

Finally our sidewalls are all laminated 2" thick.

Send me a quick email and I will get you pictures of our lamination process. My email is: bryanw@heartlandrvs.com

David Broadbent
03-01-2009, 11:25 PM
We have a 09 3490BHS and last year the roof was Wooden, this year they are Aluminum, however, if you read the info sheets, on thier product, no mention is made of what the back wall and the front cap are made of, I found out later that the rear wall of our unit is wood,looks like they have used hung wall technology here,( Loose bat fitting insulation) not laminated . I was not happy to find this out after reading this leak problem late last year, they don't say what they are using for the 2010 model year, I'll bet is the same, however an optional Rear fiberglass cap is avalable for 2010,would somebody else out thier know what the front cap has behind it for 2009 and 2010 I have since learned if certain products are not talked about on the info sheets, thier is usually a reason for this.

bwwalczak
03-02-2009, 08:11 AM
On 2010 product we offer the same wood framed rear wall. For 2010 models we now offer the rear gel coated fiberglass cap. The framing remains the same for the rear wall.

Please keep in mind that mosts typical roofs are trusses (wood or aluminum), Big Country, Bighorn, and Landmark are all laminated, similar to motorhomes.

We cannot emphasize enough how important this is if insulation and strength are important to you.

Please email me if you have any questions.

bryanw@heartlandrvs.com

tcbrady
03-02-2009, 08:59 AM
2010 model Big Country units have an aluminum framed laminated roof and laminated floor.

2009 model Big Country units have regular wood frame roof trusses (non laminated but fully walkable) and an aluminum framed laminated floor

2008 model Big Country units have regular wood frame roof trusses (non laminated but fully walkable) and a wood framed floor.

Rear wall construction is wood for every model year.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

tmcran
03-02-2009, 09:53 AM
Question. Are the folks having these problems getting any help from Heartland re: the repairs? Are all these things happening with in 1-2 years?

bwwalczak
03-03-2009, 07:28 AM
When there is an issue or a problem our warranty and service department will assist whenever possible.

This event is isolated.

Joe G
03-03-2009, 11:38 AM
tmcran,
My unit was still under warranty; I owned it 7 months prior to discovering the soft wall in the kitchen caused by a leak in the upper corner where the rear wall and roof join. Heartland did cover the repairs; they replaced the entire rear wall. The unit was in the shop from the end of October to the middle of January being repaired. It’s a good thing I’m a weekend warrior and not a full timer.

tmcran
03-03-2009, 12:22 PM
tmcran,
My unit was still under warranty; I owned it 7 months prior to discovering the soft wall in the kitchen caused by a leak in the upper corner where the rear wall and roof join. Heartland did cover the repairs; they replaced the entire rear wall. The unit was in the shop from the end of October to the middle of January being repaired. Itís a good thing Iím a weekend warrior and not a full timer.



Glad to hear Heartland stands behind their warranty. The reputation they have re: warranty work is one reason I bought my Sundance. I can only imagine how upsetting that must have been for you guys. Hope everthing is fine now.