Mallard Pathfinder

Twnorman

Member
My wife and I own a Mallard Pathfinder. There is very little literature about it and reviews. Who here picked up a Pathfinder and has used it?

I'm looking for some answers to a couple questions.
What are some items I should be on the look-out for with maintenance?
What are some modifications (if any) to adapt it to full-time living?
How does everyone organize the trailer for full-time living?

I'm getting ready to live in this camper full-time for a period of 4-9 months while going through some military training. It's ability to be towed by a Tacoma was huge, along with the fact that the trailer is only going to house me.
 
My wife and I own a Mallard Pathfinder. There is very little literature about it and reviews. Who here picked up a Pathfinder and has used it?

I'm looking for some answers to a couple questions.
What are some items I should be on the look-out for with maintenance?
What are some modifications (if any) to adapt it to full-time living?
How does everyone organize the trailer for full-time living?

I'm getting ready to live in this camper full-time for a period of 4-9 months while going through some military training. It's ability to be towed by a Tacoma was huge, along with the fact that the trailer is only going to house me.
What pathfinder model do you have? What do you like /dislike about it. We looked at a16SRD and like the features for a small trailer. Are you happy with yours or have you had problems?
Thanks,
Jill
 

Shelena

Member
I have a Pathfinder P16SR. I bought Framed Stretch Mesh Pockets from Amazon for additional easy storage, seems there is never enough storage on various walls throughout. Maintenance is needed for my fridge as the "Check" light comes on daily when not on shore power, my toilet (small leak) but need to ensure it is looked at. Also I am so confused with the solar system as the salesman told me it powered all my outlets. Now tech support says it doesn't. I am 2000 miles away and can't get it in until January. I like the unit but if you have any suggestions I will gladly appreciate them! Seems to be few of us that own Mallard Pathfinders.
 

danemayer

Well-known member
To power everything, your solar installation and battery array would have to be huge. On top of the line models, a factory install usually powers the fridge, entertainment center, and outlets by the bed. On less expensive RVs, solar may just help keep the battery charged.

With a dealer install, there's no telling what you have.
 

Shelena

Member
Thank you danemayer. I will be scheduling a "visit" to the dealership, again, to see if anyone can "take the time" to go over the outlets since the salesman told me it powers all my outlets. HAH, not.
 

Twnorman

Member
To power everything, your solar installation and battery array would have to be huge. On top of the line models, a factory install usually powers the fridge, entertainment center, and outlets by the bed. On less expensive RVs, solar may just help keep the battery charged.

With a dealer install, there's no telling what you have.
Hi Dane,

From what I understand, the solar panel runs to charge the battery, then there is an inverter from the battery to 2 AC outlets somewhere around the trailer. Would this be correct?

Also, is there an alternative for the stove? The valve doesn't meter the flame well. It's either on or off, and not much inbetween.

Thanks!

Trevor
 

Twnorman

Member
What pathfinder model do you have? What do you like /dislike about it. We looked at a16SRD and like the features for a small trailer. Are you happy with yours or have you had problems?
Thanks,
Jill
Hi Jill

I have the P16SRD.
Like:
Solar
Big fresh water tank
Big grey and black tanks
Queen size bed
Easily towable by my Tacoma
I'm 5-5 and I have plenty of room for the shower
Media center is great for speakers, does not hook to tv (or at least I haven't figured that out yet)
Great heater and a/c
Lots of storage

Dislike:
Dinette table (commonly used for 2nd bed) doesn't fit the cutout (manufacturer made the cuts too small) so cannot use it as a second bed.
No A/c outlet over the dinette, only USB ports
No dedicated maintenance manual
Manufacturers cut corners (shower molding and calking separates, trash all over the place
Stove propane valves are terrible
No place to put a trash can other than bathroom
 

Twnorman

Member
Thank you danemayer. I will be scheduling a "visit" to the dealership, again, to see if anyone can "take the time" to go over the outlets since the salesman told me it powers all my outlets. HAH, not.
Hi Shelena

Would you report back if you find anything out about the outlets?
 

danemayer

Well-known member
Hi Dane,

From what I understand, the solar panel runs to charge the battery, then there is an inverter from the battery to 2 AC outlets somewhere around the trailer. Would this be correct?

Also, is there an alternative for the stove? The valve doesn't meter the flame well. It's either on or off, and not much inbetween.

Thanks!

Trevor
Hi Trevor,

Heartland makes changes on a continuing basis, so it's possible the basic solar installation could have changed. Last time I looked, about 18 months ago, on the luxury 5th wheels, there was a solar option that not only charged the batteries, but also provided an inverter that powered outlets in the bedroom, living room entertainment center, and refrigerator. On other models, at that time, the solar installation was wiring so that an aftermarket solar panel purchase could be more easily connected to an aftermarket controller purchase, to charge the batteries. Adding an inverter and outlets would have been custom work. But as I say, things change all the time.

As for the stove, I'm not sure what you mean by "alternative". If the knob for one of the range top burners doesn't allow you to adjust the flame, perhaps there's a defect. I'd contact your selling dealer or call Heartland Customer Service at 877-262-8032 / 574-262-8030. Have your VIN # ready.
 
Hi Jill

I have the P16SRD.
Like:
Solar
Big fresh water tank
Big grey and black tanks
Queen size bed
Easily towable by my Tacoma
I'm 5-5 and I have plenty of room for the shower
Media center is great for speakers, does not hook to tv (or at least I haven't figured that out yet)
Great heater and a/c
Lots of storage

Dislike:
Dinette table (commonly used for 2nd bed) doesn't fit the cutout (manufacturer made the cuts too small) so cannot use it as a second bed.
No A/c outlet over the dinette, only USB ports
No dedicated maintenance manual
Manufacturers cut corners (shower molding and calking separates, trash all over the place
Stove propane valves are terrible
No place to put a trash can other than bathroom
Thanks for your reply. Glad to hear your likes. My husband is handy so he will fix the dinette, but I can't believe they manufactured it without it fitting. They could have easily made the dinette cushions higher too so they would fit and fill in to make the bed properly. Our shower molding is separating too. Hope this can be remedied. I like the large shower, and all the storage the rv has for its small size. I hope we wont regret our purchase.
 

Twnorman

Member
Thanks for your reply. Glad to hear your likes. My husband is handy so he will fix the dinette, but I can't believe they manufactured it without it fitting. They could have easily made the dinette cushions higher too so they would fit and fill in to make the bed properly. Our shower molding is separating too. Hope this can be remedied. I like the large shower, and all the storage the rv has for its small size. I hope we wont regret our purchase.
Honestly, I don't think you will, once you get past the smaller size. It is tight going through the kitchen/bathroom wall, but I think it's ok for a single guy.
 
My wife and I just purchased a P17QBH and I have done several things to it already. However, at the moment it is back to Camping World to have some things fixed under the 30 day purchase.

First off, the winegard 360+ doesn't work. I took the power switch/coaxial junction box down to inspect and lots of cut out debris in ceiling, made a huge mess on bed. One of the 12 volt power wire feeds was pinched between the roof material and joist, after about 30 minutes of struggle, I was finally able to free the wire. Every coaxial connection in the TT wasn't even finger tight. My winegard has either a direct short in it, or the cable running to it has a staple ran through it because it kills the power supply. If I unplug the cable, the power supply restores. So the dealer will have to remove the antenna as it is glued to the roof and no further troubleshooting can be done by me without breaking warranty.

Second, the bathroom faucet had a faucet that doesn't match the kitchen style, so the handle hits the toothbrush shelf when trying to use hot water, so I replaced it with the same style as the kitchen, but in chrome to match the bath sink. I suspect it is due to shortages and the replacement faucet wasn't really thought out too well.

Third, the stereo had no reception, which is what led me to find out that the winegard was shorted. But the coaxial connections to the stereo antenna wasn't even finger tight as well. Also, there is a cable going from the TV to the radio, and can be used either direction but only one choice at a time. You can use it to send tv audio to the radio which is what I did since the stupid radio usb doesn't play music, so I have to use the usb on the tv and send it to the radio. So dumb. Anyway, that radio is getting replaced just as soon as the camper gets back home. You can also send video and sound to the TV from the radio, but since the radio is junk, not much reason to do that. Maybe if you was playing movies on your cell phone connected to the radio BT and then sent to TV but I suspect the radio won't handle that either since it can't play usb music. My new double din car stereo plays usb and also plays dvds and such, so that will be nice to send to the tv. It also comes with a backup camera that I will install over/around the front door and wire it to be on when the radio is on.

The solar on the roof runs to the controller in the basement and tries to keep the battery charged. The inverter when on shore power, also keeps the battery charged while providing all the DC in the TT. The inverter is wired to power only two specific outlets. One single plug outlet next to the inverter in the basement, and on my model the one double plug outlet (basically a standard outlet) next to the inverter remote control unit on the side of the forward salon seating. When on shore power, the inverter passes the 120v AC to these outlets, and when no shore power and the inverter is turned on, it will work off the battery powering the two outlets with 120v AC although the 1200 watt inverter won't power any heavy appliances.

Speaking of this location, this seat hides some potential storage. I took the screws out of the top plywood and drilled and sanded a 1" finger hole in it to make it easy accessible. I tidied up the wires down below and now this area can be used as storage. I plan on adding a piece of paneling later to hide the backside of the AC and DC outlets to make it an official safe storage area. Side note... the corner trim pieces on the back walls need cut to allow the plywood to slide under and thus fit in between the front trim that is sticking up and the back walls. Otherwise, all the weight of any person sitting down will be on the thin trim pieces sticking up. This is bound to break in short order unless the plywood is seated properly.

The water pump area had a leak from loose connections and the pump was installed on the floor out in the middle of a huge area next to the water heater. It was installed in a way that was impossible to remove the prefilter to clean or inspect it. I installed a 1x4 on the backside of the salon seating and installed the water pump vertically on this. This allows me to easily view and service the prefilter, as well as have a large area of storage space freed up. I plan on installing a RO system in this area. This whole area and under the storage drawers were full of trash and debris and the wiring was a mess. So sad.

I removed the plywood seat on the other salon seat to gain access to all the incoming wiring and plumbing as well as the back side of the breaker panels. Loose connections again on plumbing and coaxial. Place was a mess, made rats nest look tidy. To busy for any storage, but I tidied it up anyway. I screwed this one back down as I wouldn't want inexperienced hands digging around in there.

That's about as far as I have gotten on it. Hopefully, we will get to use it pretty soon.
 

Themercgro

Member
My wife and I just purchased a P17QBH and I have done several things to it already. However, at the moment it is back to Camping World to have some things fixed under the 30 day purchase.

First off, the winegard 360+ doesn't work. I took the power switch/coaxial junction box down to inspect and lots of cut out debris in ceiling, made a huge mess on bed. One of the 12 volt power wire feeds was pinched between the roof material and joist, after about 30 minutes of struggle, I was finally able to free the wire. Every coaxial connection in the TT wasn't even finger tight. My winegard has either a direct short in it, or the cable running to it has a staple ran through it because it kills the power supply. If I unplug the cable, the power supply restores. So the dealer will have to remove the antenna as it is glued to the roof and no further troubleshooting can be done by me without breaking warranty.

Second, the bathroom faucet had a faucet that doesn't match the kitchen style, so the handle hits the toothbrush shelf when trying to use hot water, so I replaced it with the same style as the kitchen, but in chrome to match the bath sink. I suspect it is due to shortages and the replacement faucet wasn't really thought out too well.

Third, the stereo had no reception, which is what led me to find out that the winegard was shorted. But the coaxial connections to the stereo antenna wasn't even finger tight as well. Also, there is a cable going from the TV to the radio, and can be used either direction but only one choice at a time. You can use it to send tv audio to the radio which is what I did since the stupid radio usb doesn't play music, so I have to use the usb on the tv and send it to the radio. So dumb. Anyway, that radio is getting replaced just as soon as the camper gets back home. You can also send video and sound to the TV from the radio, but since the radio is junk, not much reason to do that. Maybe if you was playing movies on your cell phone connected to the radio BT and then sent to TV but I suspect the radio won't handle that either since it can't play usb music. My new double din car stereo plays usb and also plays dvds and such, so that will be nice to send to the tv. It also comes with a backup camera that I will install over/around the front door and wire it to be on when the radio is on.

The solar on the roof runs to the controller in the basement and tries to keep the battery charged. The inverter when on shore power, also keeps the battery charged while providing all the DC in the TT. The inverter is wired to power only two specific outlets. One single plug outlet next to the inverter in the basement, and on my model the one double plug outlet (basically a standard outlet) next to the inverter remote control unit on the side of the forward salon seating. When on shore power, the inverter passes the 120v AC to these outlets, and when no shore power and the inverter is turned on, it will work off the battery powering the two outlets with 120v AC although the 1200 watt inverter won't power any heavy appliances.

Speaking of this location, this seat hides some potential storage. I took the screws out of the top plywood and drilled and sanded a 1" finger hole in it to make it easy accessible. I tidied up the wires down below and now this area can be used as storage. I plan on adding a piece of paneling later to hide the backside of the AC and DC outlets to make it an official safe storage area. Side note... the corner trim pieces on the back walls need cut to allow the plywood to slide under and thus fit in between the front trim that is sticking up and the back walls. Otherwise, all the weight of any person sitting down will be on the thin trim pieces sticking up. This is bound to break in short order unless the plywood is seated properly.

The water pump area had a leak from loose connections and the pump was installed on the floor out in the middle of a huge area next to the water heater. It was installed in a way that was impossible to remove the prefilter to clean or inspect it. I installed a 1x4 on the backside of the salon seating and installed the water pump vertically on this. This allows me to easily view and service the prefilter, as well as have a large area of storage space freed up. I plan on installing a RO system in this area. This whole area and under the storage drawers were full of trash and debris and the wiring was a mess. So sad.

I removed the plywood seat on the other salon seat to gain access to all the incoming wiring and plumbing as well as the back side of the breaker panels. Loose connections again on plumbing and coaxial. Place was a mess, made rats nest look tidy. To busy for any storage, but I tidied it up anyway. I screwed this one back down as I wouldn't want inexperienced hands digging around in there.

That's about as far as I have gotten on it. Hopefully, we will get to use it pretty soon.
I've only had my unit for two weeks. I also opened the the dinette storage closer to the main door. Re ran the wires and currently in the process of covering up the wires with wood paneling. I couldn't believe the amount of space we gained just by rerunning the wires. The other bench was just a joke. I ran my power watch dog under there. Need more time to clean that mess up. I removed the bottom bunk for more space and for our Pitbull. I recommend removing what ever panel you can and see how much space you could gain. I need to check under the bed to make sure my water pump isn't leaking. I love the unit, but seems the quantity was over the quality. I ordered support struts for the four cabinet doors above. Rated @ 25lbs. Four pack for $24 wasn't a bad deal. Had the same issues with the coax cable. and the microwave door wouldn't open unless you helped it with your other hand. Camping world replaced the coax cable and ordered a new microwave. Up graded my LP tanks to 30LBS, back up camera, Lippert tire pressure system, and most importantly the mattress. I'm waiting on Lippert steps and Nautilus shower door to arrive. I'm not digging the shower curtain, or the flimsy steps.
 

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taskswap

Well-known member
Just an extra detail. IMO an under-appreciated maintenance item on ANY camper is wheel bearings. They're not that expensive, easy to repack yourself or inexpensive to pay somebody to do it, and it has a big impact on wheel and axle life. I would put "repack wheel bearings" on an every-2-year cycle for anything I owned.
 
I have a Pathfinder P16SR. I bought Framed Stretch Mesh Pockets from Amazon for additional easy storage, seems there is never enough storage on various walls throughout. Maintenance is needed for my fridge as the "Check" light comes on daily when not on shore power, my toilet (small leak) but need to ensure it is looked at. Also I am so confused with the solar system as the salesman told me it powered all my outlets. Now tech support says it doesn't. I am 2000 miles away and can't get it in until January. I like the unit but if you have any suggestions I will gladly appreciate them! Seems to be few of us that own Mallard Pathfinders.
The solar and inverter will only power the outlet by the bed. And that will only work when you push the button on the main control panel in the pass through storage. Otherwise leave it off and the solar will keep your battery charged great! We have had the check light for the fridge come on a few times when not connected to shore power, but usually just when we haven’t closed the door all the way until you hear the click. We do a lot of off grid camping and power the fridge off propane and have been very impressed. I was always afraid it would use too much. It truly doesn’t. The only thing we have yet to figure out is what the on off toggle switch next to the bed does. It’s right under the usb ports. I’ve read the camper has tank heaters, so maybe that? I’m hoping someone knows because the salesman don’t know much. All in all, we absolutely love this camper!!
 
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