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Old 09-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
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Advise: 2002 32ft National vs 2007 37ft Big Horn

Just sold our Class A & about to buy 5er. Based on various factors we are focusing in on two units. Any experience or owners out there - opinions - crystal balls out there?? What's your choice??? And what other units are we missing out on??

2002 32 ft. National. Heavy for is size at UVW of 12,225. Very well built with great attention to detail. Side by side fridge, real tile/grout in kitchen, GENERATOR, open floor plan, good storage. Big shower I need. Unusually clean. The National feels like a small but very high end unit.

2007 37 ft. Heartland Big Horn. Weight basically the same. Good floor plan with clearly more inside room. Its is 5 years newer, clean, has fireplace, massive storage, hydraulic front jacks. Needs a 2nd AC so dealer will install, meaning one AC will be new and one 7 years old while National has 2 AC's but both are now 12 years old. Heartland is 10% higher cost. The heartland feels like a nice camper.

Looked at both after a rain so no leaks. Both need tires and new TV's. Both have what I "believe" are TPO roofs. I'm used to fiberglass so what life span of TPO and how do I know its not EPDM? Its dirty white color.

PS: I'm addressing new truck considerations on the towing forum so no need to discuss here.

John and Caren, Arkansas. 2006 Newmar Cypress 5th wheel. "Fractured Fairy tails"
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Whats the price difference between the 2 units?
After purchase other than air conditioners and televisions - what else would you do to either unit to make them work for you??

Before we can talk about other units tell us how big of a TV you plan on purchasing?

How do you plan on using your 5 wheel?

If your asking for opinions about those 2 specific units, I would go with the Heartland. Even though its well out of warranty you will get great product support!
But then again I have owned 2 Heartlands and am biased, at that level there is alot of great features in the Big Horn and components will be readily available from Heartland parts.


Adam Hunter and Family.
2009 Newmar DutchAire 4330 (The only DA 4330)
2015 F150 SuperCrew Toad
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:58 PM   #3
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From OP:
Knowing you've had two Heartlands with no major issues is valuable.
Remembering about Heartland parts and support is also important.

On other questions:
1. National is $21k and Big Horn is $24k
2. After tires, AC's and TV's, nothing other than a good cleaning. No mods. Not sure about why the TV size matters but probably a 30ish inch - depends on available mounting clearances which vary.
3. We plan to do one big trip per year like Grand Canyon, Savannah, etc. for maybe 2 to 3 weeks. Then one trip per year to Houston for family that's 2 weeks. Some 3-4 quick get away trips here and there.
John and Caren, Arkansas. 2006 Newmar Cypress 5th wheel. "Fractured Fairy tails"
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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I vote for the Heartland. Age means much on RV's. When they get so old, serious maintenance can be required, including changing the covers on the roof vents, a/c cowlings and even roofs. After 10 years, you're living on borrowed time on all RV refrigerator/freezer units, and you don't want to open the door to the smell of ammonia.

Only way I'd go the older unit is if it's been kept inside and out of the weather all its life. And if the price was much lower.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:30 PM   #5
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Well there priced very close to each other.
Might I suggest you head over to Heartland Owners forum, you can go on the Big Horn Owners forum and likely chat with other folks who have that same model for some real comprehensive direction on your decision.

I'm sorry I was using a acronym for the TV (Tow vehicle) I just wanted to know what type of unit you could safely handle with the truck you plan on purchasing. When your buying used you can get some awesome deals on units that are at a fraction of the cost of new. Personally if I was buying a fifthwheel used I would try to find one privately.

Adam Hunter and Family.
2009 Newmar DutchAire 4330 (The only DA 4330)
2015 F150 SuperCrew Toad
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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It seems like price is not an issue.

How are you planning to use the 5er and which floor plan fits the best to that plan? Buy the one you will end up enjoying the most.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:29 PM   #7
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We have a 2001 National 5th wheel. We live in it year round. We have had very few problems. The RV was warm and nothing froze when the temperature did not get above zero for over a week last winter. It is heavy because it is well built.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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We started our full time adventures in a 2007 Bighorn, traded it for a longer one, still a Bighorn with a better (to us) floorplan. We now have a Landmark and it is the best for us.
2011 Heartland Landmark Grand Canyon
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:50 AM   #9
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I am partial to BigHorn however You can see I own one. I looked at many rigs before I bought mine slightly used from a private owner. You will get excellent support from the Heartland forum if you have a problem to solve in reference to repairs. Good luck.

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