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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Does HEARTLANDS trailers have a high quality build?

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ACZL

UPstate,NY

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Posted: 03/06/18 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gitane59 wrote:

Don't buy a Heartland product. We deeply regret our decision. The quality and execution of design is without any obvious care and concern by their employees for longterm use of product and life of the product. While we love the layout the execution of the build is extremely discouraging. If you only wish to leave it on a seasonal site it may last better but if you plan on towing it thousand's of miles it simply does not have the quality of design and build details to survive.
We are considering trading but have no confidence that any other mass market builder of fifthwheel's has any better build and design quality.
If I was not a electromechanical technician by profession I could never keep this thing on the road. It would be in the repair shop continuously and I would be broke.
As an RVER for over 35 years I mourn the disappearance of quality manufacturers such as Newmar, Excel, Travel Supreme, NUWA, Alpenlite and Carriage from the fifthwheel scene.
It seems that Thor, Keystone and Forest River are intent on destroying the "goose that lays the golden egg" (the towable market) with the junk they release.
I won't purchase any vehicle produced by a Asian owned manufacturer but it may be time for the Japanese to enter the RV business.
Just spoke with a RV owner this week who's front fiberglass cap on his new fifthwheel just simply fell off on their first trip out. There is no excuse for junk like that.
Sorry for being so negative but it is buyer beware as the manufacturer's do not care how well your product perform's after they get your cheque.


Care to elaborate more?


2017 F350 DRW XLT, CC, SB, 4x4, 6.7
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goducks10

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Posted: 03/06/18 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gitane59 wrote:

Don't buy a Heartland product. We deeply regret our decision. The quality and execution of design is without any obvious care and concern by their employees for longterm use of product and life of the product. While we love the layout the execution of the build is extremely discouraging. If you only wish to leave it on a seasonal site it may last better but if you plan on towing it thousand's of miles it simply does not have the quality of design and build details to survive.
We are considering trading but have no confidence that any other mass market builder of fifthwheel's has any better build and design quality.
If I was not a electromechanical technician by profession I could never keep this thing on the road. It would be in the repair shop continuously and I would be broke.
As an RVER for over 35 years I mourn the disappearance of quality manufacturers such as Newmar, Excel, Travel Supreme, NUWA, Alpenlite and Carriage from the fifthwheel scene.
It seems that Thor, Keystone and Forest River are intent on destroying the "goose that lays the golden egg" (the towable market) with the junk they release.
I won't purchase any vehicle produced by a Asian owned manufacturer but it may be time for the Japanese to enter the RV business.
Just spoke with a RV owner this week who's front fiberglass cap on his new fifthwheel just simply fell off on their first trip out. There is no excuse for junk like that.
Sorry for being so negative but it is buyer beware as the manufacturer's do not care how well your product perform's after they get your cheque.


You say don't buy Heartland and then you say you don't think any are any better. So what difference does it make?

gitane59

Ontario, Can

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Posted: 03/06/18 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

goducks10 wrote:

gitane59 wrote:


We are considering trading but have no confidence that any other mass market builder of fifthwheel's has any better build and design quality.

It seems that Thor, Keystone and Forest River are intent on destroying the "goose that lays the golden egg" (the towable market) with the junk they release.


You say don't buy Heartland and then you say you don't think any are any better. So what difference does it make?


It does not make any difference if they continue to produce such poor quality product's that they end up turning off so many customers that they kill the market.
However if you had read my statement carefully and fully comprehended it you would have noticed that what I said was "I have no confidence that any other mass market builders of fifthwheel's has any better build and design quality." In fact I went on to name the 3 largest mass market builders by name that I was referencing.

However there are a number of low volume private owned manufacturers that warrant closer looks at as they appear to have better design and build quality standards.


2014 Landmark Savannah, Mor-Ryde IS with Dexter disc brakes, 17.5 wheels with Sumitomo skins,
2010 Ford F350 Lariat CC LB DRW 6.4L Diesel, Firestone Ride Rite Airbags

gitane59

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Posted: 03/07/18 08:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ACZL wrote:



Care to elaborate more?


Where do I start!
Immediately after delivery I noted no heat coming out of the vent in the steps to the upper level and that the entire steps were collapsing under my 180lb weight.
Climbing into the basement behind the wall presented me with heat duct's which had fallen off the furnace due to the lack of any mechanical fittings to hold the duct's onto the furnace outlet's, pieces of wood bracing supporting the steps and the pieces holding the heat vents were split and falling off due to their undersized design and poor quality. Not to mention only a couple staples and no glue. I had to re-inforce the entire stairs to stop them from flexing under our weight.
As mentioned before I also found many loose plumbing fittings throughout the coach as well as fitting behind the utilities cabinetthat were just a vibration or 2 away from leaking.
The bathroom sink drain was assembled backwards and would barely drain water from the sink at all.
Most door fitments were so poor besides not lining up they rubbed against the next one and would not close well.
The door jamb material around the door leading to the bedroom came loose on one trip preventing the door from closing entirely and had to be re-attached.
The tiny piece of wood held by a couple staples holding the closet clothes rod to ceiling tore out on one trip allowing the clothes rod to collapse scratching the cabinetry as it fell. Replaced the clothes rod with a piece of PVC piping with a support in the middle down to the floor.
Besides the drawer bottoms falling out and the pantry shelves collapsing. The drawers in the cabinet between the stove and the entertainment centre would not stay closed while towing and would slide open dumping their content's into the trailer.
I was forced to find and install catches on the drawers to keep them from sliding open.
Every recessed light in the ceiling was full of either wood or foam dust that kept falling out for the first year until we dismantled and clean every one out.
We could not walk on our carpeted area in our living room wihtout shoes for the first 6 month's without having poor secured staples jabbing into our feet. I finally spent an afternoon rubbing the floor with my hands looking for loose metal staples and pulling them out with pliers.
I had to re-secure many pieces of loose interior woodwork in the first year or 2 of travel.
The black valve leaked sewage while closed and would slosh a bit out every time you took the cap off to hook up the utilities.
Water leaking into the basement around all the door seal's. The bottom corrugated cover coming loose and fall in several places.

This is a abbreviated list of a few of the thing's I have had to repair over the past 4 year of ownerships.

I was spoilt be owning old smaller quality built fifthwheel's many years ago by Jayco, Citation and Newmar that were built like brick outhouses with substantial size materials with solid oak and quality wood products secured with glue and screws.
Wanting to buy a new unit order with the features we wanted to have as we moved into retirement we ordered the Landmark.
Now after 4 years I am chasing structural water leaks even with more than normal maintenance and a roof material installation issue.
I do not full time and have towed the unit no more than 20K miles.
They have wonderful layouts and look good with nice amenities but I cannot recommend these unit's be used for anything other than seasonal trailer park queens.
Just don't try towing them long distances and expect them to stay together.
Unfortunately the RV industry has turned their back to Quality. I too was trained in quality control in my profession before retirement through a Japanese inpsired LTQ "Leadership through Quality" initiative that sadly seems to have been abandoned in many industries these day's.
People who register and post on forum's like this are here either because of their love of the RV experience or because they have serious problems with an rv and are looking for help.
As a passionate RV'er it is very discouraging and saddening to see what is happening in our passion of choice. Companies are pounding out poorly designed cheap unit's slapped together as fast a possible by low skilled poor trained and poorly inspired employee's that have no hope of loyalty from their employer as they will be instantly layed off when the next downturn comes around.

* This post was last edited 03/07/18 08:18am by gitane59 *   View edit history

ReneeG

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Posted: 03/07/18 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I made a comment here or on another posting that the newer ones are suffering in quality. This seems to be the trend. The Landmark is an expensive FW and should not have had the number of issues that gitane59 has experienced. We purchased our Bighorn new in 2010 and glad we were blindly fortunate that at that time quality was a standard. Sorry to hear of your problems gitane59.


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Manwithnorv

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Posted: 03/08/18 06:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife retires in 2 months and we were thinking of buying a truck and fifth wheel and hitting the road. I joined this forum to learn what I could. After reading this thread, I'm thinking I'd be better off staying in hotels. I get to travel, no investment, no problems. But no wait, I had a flat tire once, so I'm never going to buy another car, so maybe I'll stay home mow grass and play cross word puzzles.

goducks10

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Posted: 03/08/18 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Manwithnorv wrote:

My wife retires in 2 months and we were thinking of buying a truck and fifth wheel and hitting the road. I joined this forum to learn what I could. After reading this thread, I'm thinking I'd be better off staying in hotels. I get to travel, no investment, no problems. But no wait, I had a flat tire once, so I'm never going to buy another car, so maybe I'll stay home mow grass and play cross word puzzles.


I've always said if you aren't handy or rich you probably shouldn't own one. I'm handy and retired so small fixes don't bother me. IN fact I enjoy tinkering with it. My 5th wheel has only had 1 MFG caused problem. It took the repair guy about 2 hours under warranty to fix. We've never had to take it in for something big or even had a list of stuff to fix. JMO but I think there's more good than bad. What happens is a guy has a problem and you get 4-5 pages of negative comments on the problem.
A guy comes on and says he loves his new RV and you get a couple pages max. Bad news makes headlines.
Are some brands better or worse? Yes.

MarkTwain

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Posted: 03/08/18 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quality of 5th wheels!
Generally speaking- all 5th wheels are the same! Some are great with few problems! Some are not great and have problems! No such thing as a bullet proof, perfect 5th wheel[emoticon][emoticon][emoticon] Perfection is an illusion[emoticon][emoticon][emoticon]

gitane59

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Posted: 03/08/18 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Manwithnorv wrote:

My wife retires in 2 months and we were thinking of buying a truck and fifth wheel and hitting the road. I joined this forum to learn what I could. After reading this thread, I'm thinking I'd be better off staying in hotels. I get to travel, no investment, no problems. But no wait, I had a flat tire once, so I'm never going to buy another car, so maybe I'll stay home mow grass and play cross word puzzles.


If you have never RV'd and don't know if you will have a passion for RV'ing starting will a small investment first is the best idea.
Reading as much as possible on forum's like this is a great way to learn about the pro's and con's of RV's.
If you are handy buying a well maintained high-end used unit from an original private owner is your best plan. These will most likely have the manufacturer defect's worked out and you will avoid to new unit depreciation hit. If you plan on towing your unit please be aware that you are exposing your unit to continuous rolling earthquake and as such this will break and or come loose and will require repair. The element's will deteriorate and damage your unit and frequent maintenance is required to keep them water tight.

Manwithnorv

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Posted: 03/08/18 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"some brands are better...some are great with few problems"....who knows what those better brands are? The reason some manufacturers get away with dumping junk, cheap RV on the market, is because we allow it. If we share reputable statistical data (surveys) so we the buying consumer learns from those bad experience, we would most likely stop buying and force them to up their quality or go out of business. It can't just be one persons bad experience...we need the data....2% is different from 45%. That's my two cents

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