Preparing to buy another RV

Rockerga

Full-time WANNABE
I have been out of the RV market for approximately four years now, owning a North Trail then. Before that I owned a Trailmanor. With both these units I was very pleased with the original quality control and the eventual quality of the products upon usage, sometimes HEAVY USAGE of the RV's.

The minor things that popped-up on either unit were handled expeditiously by the Dealer and sometimes with the input/assistance of the manufacturer much to my continued happiness over the course of my entire ownership period. Hence my writing on this forum.

I have yet to purchase an RV but am very much in the hunt for the proper fit for my wife and I and our new requirements as "Most of the timers" or "A lot of Timers!" Not Full-timers but retired, so some heavy usage here & there as we get our feet wet.

MY QUESTION AND CONCERN TO ALL HEARTLAND OWNERS REGARDING NEW PRODUCTS:
I have been hearing a lot of chatter amongst "most RV brands" (Definitely ALL bad news regarding Dealers) that RV quality is in a very bad state of condition currently. This has me very concerned as a potential buyer knowing what can and will go wrong.

I also was a partner in a Biotech firm and I stayed in an RV for a year and a half while beginning my time with them. (It was a start-up company and the lead Scientist was also the Campground Host) The CG owners made me a deal to work-off my debt: they asked me to do little odd jobs that would come up and they gave me the site and everything i could ever need for free in exchange! The point I am getting to is that I spent a lot of time with RV owners and every type and size of RV you could think of as this was a huge and popular N. Ga. campground. QUALITY OF PRODUCT was the number one gripe or cause of happiness for the RV owners. (I had my Northtrail during this period!)

So....Lets chat! I would rather go in and know what to look for rather than crying because i had my heart set on something i really don't want to mess with. Like getting your heart set on a specific vehicle at a specific dealers inventory. TAKE YOUR EMOTIONS OUT OF IT OR YOU WILL BE SORRY!
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Rockerga,

I moved your post out of the PDI thread since you want to chat and not just about PDI.

Do you have any thoughts on which trailer models you're considering? For example, if Bighorn, you'll get a lot of feedback from Bighorn owners. If if's left unstated, you'll get a lot of general feedback, much of which might not apply.
 

Rockerga

Full-time WANNABE
Thank you Dan, currently we have NO IDEA other than 80% sure it will be a Travel Trailer. I am getting on the "boards" early and starting my adventure on the forums and on the web looking at floor plans, brands and everything else. It seems as though a lot has changed since my 2008 North Trails 28RLS!!!
I already own a VERY low mileage Diesel and a 4 point Equalizer hitch so there are not really any size or weight restrictions. We are wide open right now, then next phase will be to look at the brands and floor plans we have "liked" on the web and go see them in person.
 

Dmetcalf

Well-known member
I have puled travel trailers for many years up until I purchased this fifth wheel and I can say without any doubt that the fifth wheel is mush easier to hook up and pull down the road ... hands down...!
Just saying that because if you have never experienced that and no one has informed you of this then you really wouldn't know. I believe others would agree with me on this as well.

Also ... THANK YOU for your service Sir ..!


Duane
 

Kathi-27

Well-known member
we are on our 2nd heartland have looked at every brand made in the 6-7 years before buying our 1st a bighorn 4 years ago. by for better quality for the money and support. have a 2019 landmark now and love it. 5th wheel by far pulls a lot nicer than a tag.
 

Dmetcalf

Well-known member
we are on our 2nd heartland have looked at every brand made in the 6-7 years before buying our 1st a bighorn 4 years ago. by for better quality for the money and support. have a 2019 landmark now and love it. 5th wheel by far pulls a lot nicer than a tag.

By your pic in your signature it looks like you got the full paint option ..? Nice looking rig for sure ..!
 

Flick

Well-known member
What you’re hearing is people who sometimes create a lot of their own problems and are quick to blame someone else. Complaints are usually always shared with others before any compliments, generally speaking. Therefore, when I read a bad review given to a company, I sometimes wonder perhaps whether they complain about other things as much or are their complaints legitimate. Just a thought.
What size trailer do you have in mind?
 

mwc

Active Member
Good luck with finding a new RV. I would second what others said about 5th wheel over TT, so much difference towing. As far as finding a quality product I would be very careful. It's really a crapshoot if you get one built well. The product is usually of good quality but the craftsmanship etc... Is lacking. Slapped together is the best way to say it. I bought a brand new 2018 Cyclone, 2.5 years later and at least 5 trips to a service place and still fixing stuff. Most was not defective components just done incorrectly. Fast in a hurry, get it out the door type of construction. I hear that is most companies though. Heartland was decent about fixing the poorly constructed product. Just being honest. I have fixed so many things the list would go on and on, TVs falling off the walls, plumbing leaking, windows installed incorrectly and leaking, slideouts installed incorrectly and leaking, doors mounted backwards, screws left out. The worst part is wondering what you haven't found or can't see when you realize how bad of a job they have done. Some will say, well your dealer should catch all that, BS, nothing like that should ever go out the door of a factory. My advice, buy local because your RV will most likely make many trips to the dealer.Buy lightly used, someone else has probably dealt with having all the factory defects fixed.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
I think North Trails continue to enjoy a very good reputation for being put together well and having minimal problems.

It's very important to evaluate the dealer as well. Good dealers will inspect the trailer when it gets to their lot, as they're supposed to, and make any necessary adjustments before you ever see the trailer. You should also plan on doing a pre-delivery inspection prior to signing the paperwork, as that's when you'll get the most attentive service you'll ever experience.

If you buy a trailer off the lot, check for a label on the frame showing the date of manufacture. If it's been sitting for a while, caulking and sealants will need to be inspected and corrective action taken if necessary.
 

SLO

Well-known member
If you’re still looking at several manufactures, I would say. Heathland is as good as any and better than a lot of the mass produced RV trailers. I don’t think there is such a thing as trouble free trailer or one that doesn’t come with hidden problems from the get go.
I’m on my second Bighorn and I’ve never taken it to the dealer. But, that’s because I didn’t plan on taking it to the dealer unless there was some major structural problem. Which I haven’t had. But I’ve fixed lots of stuff from the very start. Plumbing, electrical, hydraulics, finish and trim. I don’t get mad at the manufacture, I just fix it.
If you did odd jobs at a campground then I would say you’re handy. Make your choice but don’t expect it to perfect. But I think Heartland products are a good choice. Good luck.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

CoveredWagon

Well-known member
You can haul a heavier 5th wheel rv than you can a travel trailer. If you do decide on a 5th wheel, look at the Andersen hitches. They are awesome.
 

mlpeloquin

Well-known member
Reviews will generally be negative. Many who are satisfied are not jumping to do reviews. That being said, a lot of blame on the trailer and coach manufactures are actually component parts designed and manufactured by other companies. The warranty on them is by the manufacture of the component parts. Heartland is the only RV manufacture that will approve an independent RV repair service to do warranty work so long a you get prior approval. They even, as I have seen posted, covered a mobile repair service less the service call charge with prior approval. If you want to do the work, which I did twice, they will send you the part. Need a manufacture and part number, they will give it to you and a source to get it from directly. I did this after warranty do to the shipping cost. Heartland ships two day delivery! I do not know of any RV manufacture that supports their customers anywhere close to Heartland. Most require you to go to your dealer for service and require you to purchase parts through you dealer. They will not give you a part number. Don't ask me why I know! -- Well it took me three days to find a five dollar plastic part that a dealer wanted thirty for. Just to let you know I do not have a Heartland do to back and knee issues. If they made diesel pushers, I would have a Heartland.
 

TXgearhead

Well-known member
If you go with a travel trailer you may look at Bigfoot. Their biggest one is not very big though, 25ft. If that's big enough for you will unlikely find a higher quality RV.
[FONT=Verdana,Arial,Tahoma,Calibri,Geneva,sans-serif]http://www.bigfootrv.com/[/FONT]
 

zolman

Member
I've been an RV owner since the 80's. I've tried to learn from my mistakes. Right now I hope I have a unit that eliminates most of the major problems I've had with previous RVs.

For me four things are important in selecting a quality RV manufacturer/model: underpinning fasteners, welds, slide engineering and exterior delamination.

All other problems, usually can be easily and inexpensively fixed.

Underpinning - make sure chloroplast underpinning is screwed on and not riveted. Then you have easy access to inspect/fix any underfloor items.

Welds/Frame - Go to the manufacturer/factory and see the welding technique they use. See if their sidewall aluminum welds areporous or dirty in appearance. That indicates a weak aluminum weld. Make sure all ends butt up to each other and that the weld fills all gaps. I've gone to numerous RV factories and saw very poor and cracked welds on the sidewalls that were still installed without welds being redone. And NEVER use a gooseneck hitch on a 5th wheel RV irregardless of what dealer/installer says. I know some people swear by gooseneck hitches but the harsher ride can create more stress on the aluminum frame welds and steel on the front of the 5th wheel RV kingpin and plate. Gooseneck hitches are meant for industrial or stock trailers which have completely different structural designs and weight bearing areas than a 5th wheel RV. I've not only seen broken welds but actually torn steel kingpin plates on 5th wheel RVs using gooseneck hitches.

Slides - Beware of the Schwintek design for larger slides. They are not heavy duty enough for long or heavy slides due to smaller motors and their use of aluminum tracks, shafts and gears. I've replaced several Schwintek motors and slide tracks. It can be very inconvenient when they break on a campsite. Very few RV techs can do a correct fix and parts can be hard to find. And the coordinated timing of the Schwintek sides can be complicated. Cable slides, if adjusted properly are much more dependable but again can be problematic if they lose their adjustment. For me hydraulic slides are the way to go for larger slides or slides with refrigerators, but make sure all cabinet doors are securely latched.

Delamination - NEVER get a plywood laminated sidewall trailer. I had a TT whose design I really loved get delaminated sidewalls at the end of a large slide opening. There was no way to better caulk or seal that area. It was going to be a massive job to get it fixed properly. Get a RV with solid fiberglass, azdel or aluminum sidewalls. Plywood/luan absorbs moisture and even with careful inspection of roof and other seals any leaks can lead to expensive and unnecessary repairs that would not happen with other sidewall materials.
 
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