I posted this request on the fifth wheeler site but was advised to also post it on this site. I am trying to get feedback from current owners of either the Cyclone or the Raptor. I have looked at both at RV dealerships but want owners opinions so that I can make a more valid decision as to which to buy. Please let me know what you like/dislike about your Cyclone or Raptor 5th Wheel toy hauler. If you also compared both models before buying yours what were the factors that swayed your decision to buy the one you chose?!?!
Bill, both are popular units. To get some idea from the members her I'd hit up the search button in the upper left corner put in either name, click the box by "Search only in Toy Haulers" and get a bag of popcorn, plenty of comments about both. Some good, some negative at times, but you can learn a lot.
Back in 2006 I looked at both the cyclone and the raptor. I read so much about the "quality" and "features" of the Cyclone that I drove 120 some miles to go look at one. The fit and finish of the Raptor was MUCH MUCH better. From interior trim to caulking on the outside. I have had my Raptor now going on 5 1/2 years. No major issues to speak of. Service from our local Keystone dealer has been superb, they even helped me out last year to repair the wiring of my trailer brakes after one of my original tires blew out and tore up the wiring.
06 F350 4X4 Crew Cab Dually Tow Boss
07 Raptor 3612DS
92 Banshee - sons now
06 YZF450 50th Anniv Edition - sons too
06 Raptor 700R 50th Anniv Edition - mine
06 Wolverine 450 - wifes
07 Wolverine 450 SE - my other toy
For the most part, its been a lemon. Failing brakes, trimwork coming out, doors constantly out of alignment, wallpaper bubbling, winterization hoseline installed incorrectly, black tank flush installed incorrectly, two water pump failures, and now our plastic fender flares are cracking to the point of trying to fall off. I just removed one of them on our last trip home because I knew it wouldn't make it.
Many, many people have bragged about Heartland customer service. During our failing brake fiasco, they were terrible to deal with. All they wanted me to do was deal directly with Dexter since it was a Dexter part that was the issue. Three repeat trips to the dealership to try to fix the brakes and all Heartland kept telling me was "call Dexter".
When everything's working, our 370C is a lot of fun. But its the most expensive and the least dependable camper we've ever owned. Never again.
Both are owned by Thor, which means that the business model is about the same. I hear a bunch of people brag about Heartland and Forest River's customer service, I have news for you, it isn't any better than Keystone's. The dealer and dealer service department are what you are really shopping for. Remember the best "deal" up front rarely washes out a potential large issue down the road. That said, my dealer handles Forest River, Raptor, and Cyclone brands. I would have bought either one from them. My neighboors and I have different brands, we all had water leaks first trip out. All were purchased from the same dealer, all were handled without question.
2008 Ford F350 CC LWB Dually
2011 Raptor 4014LEV
2006 H-D FLHX
2010 Honda Rancher 420ES
I had a Cyclone for two years and had only one problem that the dealer had to fix and that was a water pump that burned up due to an intoxicated friend that used all of the water. The layout didn't work for my family so we traded for a bighorn Silverado. I really liked that camper and think that whoever ended up with it have a good quality camper.
We have a 2010 Cyclone 2010. It has been a good unit, we took it from Southern California to Alaska, so it has some hard miles. Two water pumps, one on warranty, is my issue. Fit and finish are good. Look at purchasing wholesale, not at a dealer or show. Local dealer service is not an issue and you can save big dollars.
I have a 2011 Cyclone 3812. I am very satisfied with the unit and with Heartland's service & support. We have traveled extensively and have 18,000 miles on it since heading out in May of '11. Our biggest issues:
-TV co-ax wiring was a mess. I got it sorted out and eliminated faulty connections while on the road. Heartland stepped up and paid for this after the fact when I mentioned it to them.
-Rear door was warped. Heartland & Lippert replaced & installed the door at no charge. Work was done after warranty expired due to our travel schedule, no problems.
-110v heater element on Dometic fridge failed. This was fixed on-site under warranty. I had to pay a service fee due to my decision to use a mobile service guy. I think it was $65 or so.
-Primary A/C would only run on high speed. This was fixed under warranty but fix was ineffective. I ended up paying for the second attempt which was successful. This was a dealer issue more than a Heartland issue.
Lesser issues are ongoing (we've been traveling for 12 of the last 13 months):
-Broke a drawer latch and a closet door latch. Heartland shipped me a half dozen of each at no cost after warranty was done.
-I've had two water leaks I simply fixed myself, plus several other 'loose screw' type minor issues.
Important improvements I've made or hope to, common to many companies:
-Upgraded tires, went with Maxxis 8008's. So far so good.
-Installed wet bolt kit in suspension.
-Electric awning can only extend 'horizontally' which makes very little shade. I can change this to a newer adjustable style but it's costly, so haven't done anything with it yet.
That's about it. We like the floor plan and have been very comfortable. We have had up to 5 grandkids with us and everything worked out fine. Cosmetically it's holding up quite well with very few wear and tear issues. The Road King has been in and out many times. It tows well and has definitely met our needs.
My research and discussions with other owners leads me to believe that either brand can make a good unit or a lemon. Heartland is a pretty recent acquisition by Thor. Their service systems & culture are good, but I haven't heard of any service issues with the Raptor; no reason to suspect Heartland is superior. I'm just reporting my experience with Heartland has been good. Without doubt you'll hear otherwise from some.
I would do lots of research including visiting the Heartland Owners' forum, then base the decision on floor plan, amenities and the deal you can work. Then I would plan to do a very rigorous and thorough PDI of the exact unit you are going to buy. I think you can do well with either brand.
I have a 2010 3912 Raptor. It seems to be OK so far. I am kind of picky and think ALL of the mass produced trailers lack craftsmanship. I have looked at a lot of new ones in showrooms and at RV shows. They all look nice cosmetically but the internals and materials could step it up a notch. I will say that after 11 month all of the warranty stuff was done in 2 hours.