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Old 08-27-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Flawed big country

Hello everyone,
I joined this forum to find out if others have experienced the problems we have.
I recently quit my job of 10 years to come on the road with my husband, who is a pipeliner & works away from home. Basically we were tired of being without each other. We had a small bumper pull which got smaller when I moved in. We decided to trade & got approved for a 2013 heartland big country fifth wheel on August 8. We moved in about a week later.
Much to our dismay things keep going wrong. Before we moved in the dealer had to replace the living room AC & the fridge wasn't working. The AC they put in was a dud & they had to put a second one in. They fixed the refrigerator & it works fine. Problem #2: AC in br sound like a 18 wheeler is coming through & it already has a damper on it. #3 shower didn't work. They ordered another AC (still waiting on it) & fixed the shower. # 4 missing blind rear window (ordered, still waiting) #5 two of the TVs had to be replaced, done. #6 the left cabinet door on the entertainment center fell off, they repaired it. #7 shower handles kept falling off & the door would not completely close. Come to find out the frame of the shower wasn't set in flush which created the problem. They put silicone on the handles & got the door to close but left screws sticking out of the top of the frame (eyesore) & the handles are holding if you're gentle with them. #8 when my husband tried to flush the black water tank through the access port water began to drip out of the floor. They fixed it today. #9 there are 4 glass fronted cabinets above the recliners. When I opened one yesterday it dislodged from the hinge. They will attempt to fix this too. #10 already had a light go out. Fixed today.
That's all SO FAR! Our concern is that when we actually pull it away (we are in the dealers rv park behind the dealership) & make a trip to our next park, is it going to hold up or will we have a whole new set of problems? The dealership has been good at doing everything they can to fix all this. Since we moved in we found out the trailer was made feb 2012 but is listed as 2013 and it is new. When we signed papers there was mention of lemon law but this wasn't explained.
Advice would be appreciated. It's too late for getting out of the deal, and all these problems didn't happen til we moved in, except for the missing blind. I still love the model
Pam Gossett
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Wow, you definitely have more problems than the average owner. Not sure what I'd do in your situation. I think after the 3rd AC I would ask for a new 5th wheel. Way too many things going wrong to feel comfortable.
I've heard of dealers selling last years models as this years. If the vin sticker says 12 and they sold it as a 13 then you very well could have recourse. I think I would talk to a lawyer at this point.

We also had a Heartland with the glass insert cabinets. Our hinges popped out on 5 of the 7 that were in our TT. I didn't want to take it in every time it happened so I found that by putting some Super Glue on the plastic insert and pressing it back in works. All the ones I fixed like that never popped out. We owned that TT for 2.5 years and they held that long.

Like I said I would get a lawyer or at least talk to one and see what recourse you have. No one should have to put up with that many problems in that short of time.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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#1: The AC they put in was a dud & they had to put a second one in. They fixed the refrigerator & it works fine.
Problem resolved, correct?

#2: AC in br sound like a 18 wheeler is coming through & it already has a damper on it.
Non ducted AC units in bedrooms are usually noisy. We leave ours off at night and the main unit (which is ducted into the bedroom) does fine.

#3 shower didn't work. They ordered another AC (still waiting on it) & fixed the shower.
Shower is covered in problem #7. Not sure if the AC being replaced is the main or bedroom.

# 4 missing blind rear window (ordered, still waiting)
Stay on the dealer about this item. Be ready to learn how to replace blind strings after the warranty expires. We eventually replaced all our blinds with MCD shades.

#5 two of the TVs had to be replaced, done.
Problem resolved.

#6 the left cabinet door on the entertainment center fell off, they repaired it.
Problem resolved.

#7 shower handles kept falling off & the door would not completely close. Come to find out the frame of the shower wasn't set in flush which created the problem. They put silicone on the handles & got the door to close but left screws sticking out of the top of the frame (eyesore) & the handles are holding if you're gentle with them.
Unclear if problem has been resolved or just patched. If shower was not installed correctly, this will be a problem until properly fixed. Stay on the dealer about this one.

#8 when my husband tried to flush the black water tank through the access port water began to drip out of the floor. They fixed it today.
Problem resolved.

#9 there are 4 glass fronted cabinets above the recliners. When I opened one yesterday it dislodged from the hinge. They will attempt to fix this too.
Make sure all those doors are attached. Installers have a habit of over torquing screws.

#10 already had a light go out. Fixed today.
Problem resolved.

Since we moved in we found out the trailer was made feb 2012 but is listed as 2013 and it is new.
VIN number should establish model year. Some manufacturers were already advertising 2014 models in Jan. 2013.

Advice would be appreciated. It's too late for getting out of the deal, and all these problems didn't happen til we moved in, except for the missing blind. I still love the model.
We had a longer list when we bought our rig. Everything eventually got fixed with some persistence. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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I hate to say it but your experiences are about par for Heartland.

Two of my closest friends bought Heartland and both regret it. I Strongly suggest an extended warranty.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your troubles hope everything works out.

I had a Heartland product, I could only take it for 8 months before I sold it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear about the problems with your new home. ALL rigs (even high-end 5ers) will have some issues, but this sounds excessive. Evidently when it left the factory, and again when the dealer received it, thorough quality control checks were not completed.

This is easy for me to say, as I am not the owner, but I would try to make the dealer take it back - then either get a rig factory-direct or find another dealer. With this many things wrong up-front, I would wonder what it will be like in another few months,

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:40 PM   #7
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We have some good friends who traded their Northwood Nash in on a Heartland product and they constantly wish they had kept their Nash, or at least traded it in on another Northwood product. Many little issues, although I think Heartland makes a pretty decent product and seems to have good customer support. Our new Arctic Fox had some fit problems with the Lippert windows and door but Northwood replaced them frames and all under warranty. I think all RVs have to be shaken out, there are some complicated systems on RVs these days. Even though ours is under warranty, I have fixed some of the little things myself on our fifth wheel, like stripped screws, loose door latches, small gaps in sealant, microwave slightly tilted, loose/tilted TV mount, leaky kitchen drain pipe. I don't mid, it's cheaper and quicker for me to fix these things than to take it back to the dealer two hours away.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
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I'm sorry to hear that you've had so much trouble with your trailer. Our Landmark has been great and there are many other owners with nowhere near the problems you have had.

It seems as if most if not all of the problems have been corrected. As long as you are near to your dealer, keep in touch with them and get your repairs made as soon as possible. If you move from the area, try contacting Heartland Customer Service (574 262-8030) for a recommendation of another service company that can accommodate you. A non-Heartland dealer can be approved if prior notice is given to CS.

Good luck and consider joining the Heartland Owners forum.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for all the responses.
To Half Dimes: we did not sign papers until about a week after we were approved. When we came to the dealership the second day after we were approved, my husband wanted to look at our new home again. We were excited to get it. They had pulled the rig to a service area to inspect it & make sure everything was ok. The service tech was at that time replacing the living room AC unit & working on the refrigerator. The one he put on it didn't work so they had to order a second one. The bedroom AC is the one that is so loud. Both units are ducted. They told us they had ordered one but the tech came by 2 days ago to get numbers off the unit so I'm guessing it is just now being ordered. When I spoke of the shower, we tried to use the first day we were in it & no water would come through it. The tech changed the shower head which didn't work so he wound up doing something with the fixtures. The second problem with the shower, the handles & frame, wasn't noticed til about a week later. The handle fell off on the left and the right one was very loose. I then noticed the frame. Also, it was "patched", not fixed.
I did verify the year model by googling it & it is a 2013. By the way, #11 left kitchen sink drain leaks. I hope I have fixed this myself by tightening the locknut.
To Jamir: EXACTLY! We are very worried that when we pull out everything is going to shake loose or collapse!
Again, thanks for all the posts. I would welcome more.
Pam Gossett
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
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Pgossett,

Two things that I would do. Get a copy of the lemon law in your state and see what it says. With the amount of items to be repaired, it seems like a new trailer is in order.

Second, start taking pictures of all the stuff that goes wrong, post them on the Internet. Keep on keeping on but always tell the truth. The more you expose the failings and sloppy construction sooner or later the factory is going to have to notice.


Don't give up. Keep on until you are happy.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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We had some way more serious problems with our new 2012 Infinity. But we lost the complete use of it for 8 months. Dutchmen stepped up and replaced it for us with a new 2013 model with upgrades. This not a usual thing to have happen. And I think most of your troubles are aesthetics. I know it is very frustrating to spend that much and not get perfection, as we were extremely frustrated by our experience. If you don't end up with everything made right, call the factory. But you most likely will not get it replaced with a new unit. Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:10 PM   #12
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We had a 5th wheel for 13 years bought used when 2 years old. It was a great unit and need a lot of attention. The axles and tires constant problems. The unit was still better then my friend's same make new unit.
We purchased the present BC 4 years ago and the preparation was not done properly and I had to contact Heartland about my problem. The required parts were taken care off and the little things were taken care by me on the first year. I find the trailers today are build with inferior quality appliances that are standard throughout the industry. And warranty is not covered by the trailer maker.

Since the BC has been superior to the previous unit once past the first year. It is our last one for the next 11 years. I trust that its all we will need.
We moved in it 4 years ago and enjoying full timing.
PS. Hope you have load range G tires because your troubles are not over yet. HL for me were the only ones available that we could afford with proper axle and tires.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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Sorry you are having these issues, if it was manufactured in Feb of 2012 and you just purchased it, then the dealer seems to have not maintained the coach in good working order while they had it on their lot. Instead, they let you the buyer find all these things, and sour you on the brand. All the systems should have been tested and repaired prior to you taking possession. That is part of the dealer's responsibility. Many choose not to and would rather handle repairs after a customer complains, which is bad business practice IMHO.

Secondly, before signing papers you should have had a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) when the dealer would walk you through all of the coach and it's systems. There are many PDI worksheets that can be found on the Internet, to help with this. It's your responsibility as the buyer to check everything -- water, sewer, electrical, propane, electronics, suspension, cosmetics, etc. to make sure it's acceptable... Otherwise, don't sign for it, until they make it right. That's when you have the greatest leverage.

Sounds like many of these issues are with suppliers' products installed in a Heartland trailer... Not Heartland directly.

I hope you get it repaired, I would also call HL with your VIN. Find out the history of the coach... If the dealer is submitting warranty claims and ordering parts, HL will have record of it. Also let them know of so many issues you've had. They can also assist you by working with the dealer and/or find another service provider that can help if you are not satisfied with how things are going.

Good luck! I hope you end up getting to enjoy your coach as intended. It sounds like the problems are all fixable.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:12 PM   #14
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Ours was also a model made 10 months prior and I was aware of possible show time and travel to shows that might have hurt the unit.

Though it never sold it could have been used for shows. Hope the price was great.
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