I have to rant

Spazmat

Member
I just need to rant. And give a shout out. I bought my new Heartland Pioneer travel trailer in May from Camping World of Kingston. The kids and I took it out on a few short overnight trips, not long enough to really find out all the issues with the camper.

The first thing I noticed was that the water heater didn’t work on propane—only electric. I checked the fuse on the electric ignitor and it was fine, but there was no spark in the tube. I thought, “Okay, fine. It’s a small glitch, but I still have hot water via electric. I’ll get it taken care of down the road.

In the beginning of August, I secured a seasonal campsite for the camper at Waubeeka Family Campground in Copake (pro ratedas we were over halfway through the season). We had never used the refrigerator as we were never really camping long enough for it to cool down, but now on the permanent site, I discovered the main fridge didn’t work! The little mini fridge in the outdoor kitchen worked, and I still had an ice chest, so again I didn’t jump on it.

A couple weeks later, the kids and I were spending the weekend at the camper. Anna said she was going in the shower, so I decided to drive the golf cart over to the bath house rather than waiting. I had just gotten lathered up when I heard a banging on the bathhouse door. Anna was yelling that I need to come quickly. I rinsed off, through on my shorts, and ran out. We jumped on the golf cart as she explained that she was in the shower when Markus started yelling that water was running out of the bathroom. It turns out that the PVC part that connects the drain pipe to the tub drain had split in half.

By this point, I have a water heater that doesn’t work on propane, a fridge that doesn’t work on electric nor propane, and a busted tub drain! There were a couple other small issues (loose trim, a GFI series that initially confused me, a small leak in the water hose to the toilet), but these were negligible.

I called Camping World and was informed that I had to bring the camper to them for repairs as they have no mobile repair service. I don’t comprehend how a business of their size wouldn’t have a mobile service. I just paid good money for my site; there was no way I should have to have the camper out of service for the end of the season. They suggested I call the manufacturer, Heartland, as the warranty is through them.

So I called, but they, too, have no mobile repair service. They gave me a couple of names and numbers, and eventually I was referred to Diedrich’s RV Mart, who has a mobile repair service. Melissa (of Diedrich’s) told me that they don’t work with Heartland directly; I would have to pay for services and get reimbursed by the manufacturer.

Heartland informed me they would pay for parts and labor, but not the service calls (eighty bucks a pop). They also needed an estimate which they needed to approve before any repairs were done. I called Melissa and we arranged for a mechanic to go to Waubeeka and work up said estimate. Once she sent it to me, I forwarded it to Heartland.

They informed me that they would only pay for a half hour of labor to repair the drain (I don’t see how that job could be done in thirty minutes based on the pipe’s location and lack of accessibility), and that the servicer would have to contact Dometic (the manufacturer of both the fridge and the water heater) and go through them for payment. And they want a revised estimate.

I called Melissa, quite frankly freaking out at how complicated this was all getting. She was soothing and considerate and assured me that she would talk to her people and help get this sorted out, and she would also call the Heartland rep and begin an email chain so we could work together.

I feel much better after talking to Melissa and hope this all gets sorted out soon, as the campground closes in mid-October. Diedrich’s has been bending over backwards to help me as much as possible. Camping World just passed the buck. Heartland has not been making sure their customer is satisfied nor are they making the process easy.

I know this: the next camper I buy will be from Diedrich’s, and I’m pretty sure it will NOT be made by Heartland.
 

Wmnmy

Well-known member
First off congratulations on your new rig and welcome to the heartland family. Second CW is not the best for customer service lots of post on this forum concerning them personally I would not go to them . Third did you by chance do a PDI inspection before you took possession of the RV . Out west our dealer let’s us spend up to two nights on the lot full hook up so we can make sure everything works before I drive it off the lot . I checked everything And they fix everything that is wrong which in my case wasn’t nothing like what your going through. We have owned 5 heartland products and have been very pleased with the product. Again sorry for your troubles hopefully they will get everything squared away for you .
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Spazmat,

I notice you previously had run down the battery and were hoping it would recharge while towing. It could be that you have a simple 12V DC problem that's keeping the refrigerator and water heater (propane side) from operating. Your outside refrigerator may be 120V AC only, and not subject to a 12V DC problem.

Assuming you're on shore power, the Power Converter should supply 12V DC whether or not the battery is charged. But sometimes dealers or owners remove the battery for one reason or another and install it backwards. Usually the mistake is realized pretty quickly and is corrected, but not before blowing the on-board fuses located on the Power Converter.

So the question that remains is whether any of your 12V DC devices are working. For example, if you set the thermostat to HEAT/FURNACE and raise the set point, will the furnace run? If not, you probably have a 12V DC problem that's affecting multiple devices.

This all may not be the case as I would expect your mobile servicer to have checked this out. But who knows. A quick test could save you a lot of frustration.

Also, while I understand your frustration over having to pay the Mobile Service service charge, you might consider the alternative expense of hauling the trailer to your dealer to get it fixed. It's often less expensive to pay the service charge. Another thing to consider is that contrary to your expectations, there are probably very few, if any, dealers who offer mobile service. And probably no manufacturer who pays for mobile service. And unlike Heartland, most manufacturers won't pay for any repairs not done at an authorized dealer. So next time you're trailer shopping, you might ask those questions. You may be surprised.
 

pegmikef

Well-known member
Sorry nobody warned you about Camping World . . . enough said. I have recently had a lot of dealings with Heartland Service and they have really helped me out. When my converter went out I called the manufacturer (Progressive) and was told that as long as the rig was still under warranty I would have to go through Heartland to obtain a replacement. I have had to replace the converter three times all under warranty and Heartland has stepped up each time. I don't know if the same thing is true with Dometic, but most outfits in the RV Repair business usually have had a lot of dealings with Dometic, so you should be okay there. The first time I had to have my slide repaired, Heartland authorized a local mobile rv repair business to perform the work. In this case I had to pay for all the parts and repairs, submit the invoice to Heartland and a couple of weeks later I received a check for the full amount. Another time, the large TV was damaged and rather that wait, I immediately replaced it with an identical model and filed a claim with Heartland and again they reimbursed me after I sent them a copy of the purchase invoice. The point of this is, is that if you keep your cool, Heartland Service will do their best to make things right. Good Luck.
 
I have a 2019 Big Horn 3760EL we picked up April 2018 that had a few teething problems, it spent 10 weeks in 2 different repair facilities, plus some work done by my mobile RV tech in Alabama.
I will say this about Heartland & Lippert (LCI), they have stood behind their products.
The time spent in the repair facilities was waiting on parts from other suppliers.
I had to pay for a service call for my mobile RV tech in Alabama, not a problem.
We had our couch break 2 days out of warranty and they stood behind it.
We arranged to have it replaced at the National Rally in Goshen this past June.
While at the Rally the couch was delivered to our site, but was wrong color and 10” too short.
The head of customer service (I don’t remember his name) stopped by our site and told us they did not have the correct size & color couch for our rig.
We were told Heartland would have one made and sent to our address in Michigan.
A week after the rally, a truck pulls up to our house and drops off our new couch.
Now here is the good part, this couch was air freighted into Detroit Metropolitan Airport and delivered to us, at no charge.
That my friend is customer service.

Hockster
 

lynndiwagoner

Well-known member
ahhh, dumb question......are the propane tanks full and do you have them turned on? Common to gas HWH and Fridge.
 

tgtrotter

Member
The cracked drain pipe, I assume drain pipe cracked for a reason. Maybe not good pan support.Make sure the cause is found too. Water service leaks would leak with shower on or not.

Fridges never work well on strictly battery. Hooked into shore power acceptably better. However the propane issue is the most common. The orifices on the fridge and heater are super small and release a fine amount of gas. I have found when starting the fridge I turn on the stove burners and ignite them. It gets the gas running through the system. Especially with any amount of humidity. Fridges don't always start because of said air gaps and run poorly in high humidity. Good luck with trying the stove trick.
 
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