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Old 10-10-2015, 03:15 PM   #1
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Heartland inquiry

Where do the Heartland RVs stand in the pecking order I have heard Teton is the best.....DRV is a step down from them....... then i am looking at Crossroads-Rushmore,Seville...Heartland Landmarks and such...... Carriage.....Excel........ If possible would you guys put these in a list,in your opinion, from top to bottom... Feel free to add other RVs in this mix----- Will be pulling with a 2008/2012 Ram 3500 Dually.... This will be my first time owning an RV..... will be living full time , without a lot of moving around...need as much input as i can get.....
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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Well, besides a couple of custom or semi-custom rigs you mentioned, from what I have seen is most mass produced fifth wheels all have their strong points and all have some drawbacks. Even between the same manufacturer, some will just look better put together than others. If you are looking at a used rig, and it looks like 2008 is the newest Teton, then condition is more important than a particular manufacturer, up to a point. Adding full timer into the equation, then insulation and a good livable floor plan become important. Just a lot to think about.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:12 PM   #3
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The best Tetons are pre 2006. Company had financial problems and some quality suffered.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:18 PM   #4
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Fellow camp host bought a new Heartland in February. It sat in the shop all of Sept with a rotten floor. Turns out Heartland damaged one of the holding tanks causing the damage. 30 days to find and fix the problem does not speak well for factory support to me.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:02 PM   #5
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You're going to hear good and bad about all of them and it will drive you crazy! My first fiver was a 2008 Heartland Big Country. I only had a few adjustments on the slides when I first purchased it but other than that I never had any problems with it and it served me well.

I recently purchased a 2013 Cardinal with full body paint, auto leveling, etc and love it! I plan on using it for full timing when I retire in a few years. I went through the same thing trying to decide what to buy. I looked at used DRV's, Tetons, excells, etc. But for the price range that I could afford, they were older than what I already had with dated interiors and no auto leveling which was a must for me.

Do your research , join each manufacturer's forums and see what people are saying about their rigs and the issues they have. Again it will drive you crazy. Go with what you like and what you can afford!

Word of caution the rigs that are considered high quality such as DRV, Teton, etc are heavy rigs and require a 1 ton truck as a minimum for towing.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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Ok...I will try to order the rigs in an non scientific order using my information.

Custom Rigs - Expensive, Heavy, Well Built. New Horizons, Spacecraft, Forks RV Continental Coach.

Top Tier: DRV Mobile Suites, Elite Suits. Evergreen LifeStyle, Augusta Luxe, Dynamax Trilogy.
Used Peterson Excel Limited, Winslow, NuWa, Carriage Carri-Lite.

Then you have about 15 other manufactures that are all bunched together. They all have 12" I-Beam frame. They include Jayco Pinnacle, Keystone Montana, Crossroads Rushmore, Crossroads Redwood, Heartland Landmark, Palomino Columbus, KZ Stoneridge, Grand Design Solitude, Augusta Flex, Forest River Cardinal, Keystone Montana, Dutchmen Infinity, Coachman Brookstone and a few more.

The ones that stand out will have custom made frames that are beefed up above the standard 12" I-Beam frame. They are DRV, Lifestyle, Luxe.

Back in the day Teton, Newmar, Travel Supreme where very good rigs but now are kinda old.

To me a late model DRV Elite Suits or Peterson Ind. Excel Limited are on top of my list. If I win the lottery. ..then New Horizons, Space Craft or Forks RV would be on my list.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:28 PM   #7
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We owned a Heartland Elkridge, which was the original middle of the road 5"er. Had nothing but problems with it. It was brand new and after two trips we discovered they never hooked the shower drain into the gray tank. It was in the shop more than it was out. We got rid of it when we bought our motorhome. We had friends with Landmarks and Big Horns howevet that loved them. The Landmark is their top tier trailer..

Good luck with your choice!!
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:39 AM   #8
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I will add when you get a truck look at 2011 or newer as all three (Ram, Ford, Chevy) improved their trucks that year.

In the snowbird RV park I spend 6 months in I see most people stay in that bunch of 15. I see Keystone Montana's, Dutchmen Infinities, KZ Stoneridge, Heartland Landmarks, Dynamax Trilogy. In the group of 15 I can not determine if a Landmark is better than a Stoneridge or any other combo of evaluations.

Again - DRV, Excel, Lifestyle, will have the better frames, better insulation and tires. But many people stay (including me) in the group of 15.
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Old 10-11-2015, 03:40 PM   #9
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We have lived in our 2011 Heartland Landmark and have had few problems which were all taken care of by our dealer. I think you will find that the new Landmark 365 models have been much improved for fit and finish and have added equipment that is very useful for full time use.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:06 PM   #10
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After taking a quick peek inside one that was just delivered to the dealer and seeing the junky fake brick splash guard for the stove laying on top of the stove and looking where it had came from and seeing it was just stuck with caulking, I would not be so sure of the excellent quality................
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:31 PM   #11
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Heartland, I owned one at one time. Great value but average build quality - there may be a lot of problems that show due to the initial shaking of the TT on the delivery run to your dealer and your first few trips, that you can fix yourself if you are handy. Such as water leaks (just tighten the loose fittings), loose fasteners, missing caulk here and there, places in the underbelly that were not sealed well enough where mice could enter, wire here and there hanging down beneath. In particular make sure the wheel wheels were properly sealed, the side walls go on AFTER the wheel wheels are mounted to the floor and they may not have well caulked the seam between the wheel well and side wall and water may get in there.

Be sure to check the lug nut tightness on all wheels and tire inflation pressures on all tires. I have had problem with Heartland dealers not checking those things and finding low tire pressures and lug nuts not properly torqued.

Other thing to watch out for - most Heartland are built so that axles and tires are maxed out at the maximum rated weight of the TT, make sure NOT to overload and make sure your tires are always inflated to at least the recommended pressures. THERE IS NO MARGIN at even 5% low when cold your tires may be overloaded on a Heartland. You also have to watch the tires closely because they are the China made Goodyear ST trailer tires that have a tendency to catastrophic failure damaging trailers. Not a problem specific to Heartland but to most trailers that use the ST trailer tires.

Also note the ST trailer tires are designed and rated to go a maximum of 65 MPH so plan on that.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:57 PM   #12
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Randy, you are exactly right about the delivery of all trailers. Having been a RV delivery driver at one time, I agree that those drivers don't take the same care of the unit that we, as owners, do. And you are right that owners will need to be somewhat handy to make small repairs.

Checking lug nut tightness and air pressure in tires is something that everyone should do every time they go out with their trailer.

Heartland has changed tires on the Bighorn and Big Country to the more reliable Sailun brand. Goodyear G-614's are standard on Landmark and 17.5" H-rated Goodyear are an option.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schrod View Post
After taking a quick peek inside one that was just delivered to the dealer and seeing the junky fake brick splash guard for the stove laying on top of the stove and looking where it had came from and seeing it was just stuck with caulking, I would not be so sure of the excellent quality................
So you seen 1 Heartland product that had a backslash fail, and now you characterize Heartland Landmarks as not up to par. Ok. Our fake brick looking back splash is a pretty thick piece of hard plastic or some other extremely durable material that I would actually prefer over "real brick" with nasty grout. It's also lighter in weight. I would also prefer liquid nails over tile morter to support a backslash on a rig that continuously is like a magnitude 9.0 inside while traveling. I think Heartland got it spot on. I'm sure you've seen delivery drivers going 80 mph towing a new trailer without any concerns of damaging the unit. Being on the road probably more than most, I've seen it a few times.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:04 PM   #14
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Just remember to keep your tube of liquid nails handy...............
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