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Old 07-04-2015, 10:20 AM   #29
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Advice on toy hauler purchase

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Originally Posted by suprdave1958 View Post
Right now...Heartland (Heartless as owners say) and Voltage are the 2 most problematic units on the market, but they are also the most popular for the last 2 years...mainly because people don't do their homework and get caught up on eye appeal. I was a huge Voltage fan. Forest XLR and Grand Design both build good units and I would also consider the Evergreen Tesla as well unless you want to move up to the DRV Fullhouse. Good luck
What is your information based on? This isn't meant to be a smart remark or argument at all, just trying to get information on the current toy hauler manufacturers. We currently have a 2011 Fuzion 322 Touring Edition and my wife and I are currently looking at all of them. We have yet to find one that really just stands out from the rest of them and one that we have decided is the one that we want. We are very happy with our Fuzion but want something a little larger and a rear half bath fort he kids, plus the auto leveling.

I was pretty set on Momentum and I'd say they are our first choice right now but non of the models are exactly what we want. We like the 385TH but hate the fire place and TV location. The TV/fireplace location is a tradeoff for being able to access the rear bathroom from the garage or kitchen/living area. Problem is the fireplace is hardly viewable in the 385TH. Not that big of a deal I guess and other than that it's exactly what we want. We love the M-Class layout but don't like the bathroom, it's too small and not enough cabinet space plus we want a bowl sink. I'd like the king size bed option but it's only on the 380/385TH model. We do want a rear half bath also which is an option on both.

We have yet to look at the XLR but may do that Monday. We have looked at the new Fuzions but don't like the flooring and prefer the wood floor look. Fuzion seems to be the only one not doing the wood flooring. We do like the fact that the Fuzions main bathroom is accessible from both the bedroom and the living area.

Besides customer service, which Grand Design seems to excel over the others in, which ones are built the best and what are the real differences? I'm not referring to number of complaints but actual build differences? We were at a Grand Designs rally a couple of weeks ago and every owner we talked to loved their 5th wheels and the customer support they received. Most, if not everyone we talked to, had owned previous RV's and all of them spoke highly of Grand Designs.

We used to really like the Voltage toy haulers but keep hearing of too many complaints and build quality issues. We really haven't even looked at the new one's due to bad reviews. I'm finding that the sales people have about zero knowledge of what they are selling and that I know way may than they do. They don't know any differences between any of the models or manufacturers. They seem to be frustrated with having to go out in this Texas heat and show their products to a potential buyer.

Overall, besides the layouts, I haven't seen much difference in any of them if equipped with basically the same options. The drop frame of the 385TH gives a lot of front cargo space but I saw either a Raptor or Cyclone with the drop frame also. But the 385TH is a higher end model also, costs quite a bit more than the M-Class, and weighs a lot more.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:51 AM   #30
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I have looked and have not seen many more complaints about Heartland as forest river and the others. For us the 420 rw is a great floor plan. And the only one like it. With it had a 14' garage as we are downsizing our toys to fit the trailer. This isn't a weekend toy. This will be our home.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:57 PM   #31
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My information is based on talking to owners of those units number one. Number 2 my nieces husband is a service manager for one of the largest dealers in the country...and although they sell both of them...as a member of the family I asked for his advice when we were shopping. That's when he told me that they were the 2 most problematic brands on the market right now. Maybe that will change if their quality control improves. But as he said quality control for manufacturers usually doesn't improve until the public quits buying the product...meaning they don't care as long as they keep selling them. If one has more problems than the other...it would be the Voltage...which I almost bought. As he told me, Voltage gives the public a lot of eye candy, but their quality is terrible. From the plumbing, to electrical, and taking care of warranty items (which are always many) he said you could come to their shop on any given day and they will have 1-2 Voltages in their shop.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:28 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprdave1958 View Post
My information is based on talking to owners of those units number one. Number 2 my nieces husband is a service manager for one of the largest dealers in the country...and although they sell both of them...as a member of the family I asked for his advice when we were shopping. That's when he told me that they were the 2 most problematic brands on the market right now. Maybe that will change if their quality control improves. But as he said quality control for manufacturers usually doesn't improve until the public quits buying the product...meaning they don't care as long as they keep selling them. If one has more problems than the other...it would be the Voltage...which I almost bought. As he told me, Voltage gives the public a lot of eye candy, but their quality is terrible. From the plumbing, to electrical, and taking care of warranty items (which are always many) he said you could come to their shop on any given day and they will have 1-2 Voltages in their shop.
Great, thanks for the information. I just didn't want my question to sound smart as that was not my intention. My wife and I initially loved the Voltages and like you said it was because of the eye candy. But, we haven't even looked at one in our current search because of all the bad reviews. I know they all have their occasional issues but if the issues are excessive then that's a huge issue. Plus, how the issues are handled means a lot. What stinks for me is that my local Grand Designs dealer has a terrible reputation as far as their service department. Even the sales rep that helped me told me that but he said it had improved under a new service manager. Problem is, I was told that exact same story a couple of years ago. It's the main reason I'm going to try and sell my current Fuzion privately and try and buy a nice, clean, used toy hauler like I did on my Fuzion. The original owners had worked out the few minor bugs and took the initial huge depreciation the first year. But, that can be a gamble also but I'm willing to search nationwide and in no rush.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:40 AM   #33
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I really think if you guys looked further into XLR you would find just as much "eye candy" as Voltage with the after the sale support of Grand Design. Actually, you can do even more with XLR as they will do customizations direct from the factory. When I was shopping Voltage laughed at the idea saying they were way to busy to deal with special order items. XLR was happy to do a bunch of them for me.

1) I had them add electric rear stab jacks to take the wiggle out of the garage. The level up system does a great job, but that's a long area hanging behind the last set of legs.

2) I had them add extra fantastic fans in all locations.

3) I had them swap out the manual rear party deck awning for a Dometic power cartridge awning.

4) I had them install a LP quick connect for my gas grill.

5) I was going to order full body paint anyways, and when I asked off the cuff if they would supplement their colors for Ford colors to match my truck, they did so without issue.

They will also do other off list options like slide toppers etc. directly from the factory. Then after the sale, they are so easy to work with on any issues the rig might have. I can't say enough good things about them.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:24 PM   #34
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I'm going to check out the XLR units this week. Problem is the local dealer seems to have very little inventory but at least I'll get an idea if we like them
or not. I was just looking at their web site yesterday.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:08 PM   #35
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I'm going to check out the XLR units this week. Problem is the local dealer seems to have very little inventory but at least I'll get an idea if we like them
or not. I was just looking at their web site yesterday.

I feel your pain on that front. I actually don't even have a local dealer. My closest dealer was two hours away and is a non stocking dealer. They sell them by order only as toy hauler demand is so low in New England. I ended up buying in OH from Jeff Couch's RV Nation as they beat my "local" dealer by 9500. I'm a contractor and can fix the most things myself and XLR is great about working directly with you or an independent RV repair shop or service on warranty repairs. Bottom line, we bought ours without ever setting foot in one. Had to do the same with out last rig, a Road Warrior, as our closest dealer was in MD.

All that said, I would recommend the experience to anyone. Couch's was awesome. You can build and price your rig on their site and see what it will cost based on your options. Should end up at 36% or so off MSRP. We dealt with Brannon their sales manager. Great guy. Very patient. Even answered questions on nights and weekends when he was off and always within 15 minutes. When the trailer arrived they let us camp in their lot overnight to make sure there were no bugs. After the sale they have a dedicated warranty guy who will send you whatever you need and if they want the old part back, they include a return call tag. It was a fun trip out and back too. If you don't want to make the journey, they offer very competitive shipping quotes too...
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:38 PM   #36
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C130...I see you're in Magnolia. You can to Funtown RV south of Sugarland on 59...they have a few XLR's. I liked the XLR's too...but we have a W/D in ours and the XLR has their W/D connections in the worst location, but I still like them...well built by Forest River. I would also go by Toppers and look at the Evergreen Tesla, and then if you want to go up to Dallas, go by the RV Guys and look at the Crossroads Elevation...they also carry the Tesla and will install a residential fridge like they did for us. The only thing your going to find that might be better is the DRV Fullhouse...but $$$$$$$...and they are in my opinion only marginally better...not worth the additional $50k. I mean't to ask...have you looked at the Weekend Warrior? I haven't seen them in person, but online...they build a darn nice unit. Their 4100 model is comparable to the Voltage 3970, but from what I hear very well built and you can order what you want for $70-$80k...good luck
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #37
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C130...I see you're in Magnolia. You can to Funtown RV south of Sugarland on 59...they have a few XLR's. I liked the XLR's too...but we have a W/D in ours and the XLR has their W/D connections in the worst location, but I still like them...well built by Forest River. I would also go by Toppers and look at the Evergreen Tesla, and then if you want to go up to Dallas, go by the RV Guys and look at the Crossroads Elevation...they also carry the Tesla and will install a residential fridge like they did for us. The only thing your going to find that might be better is the DRV Fullhouse...but $$$$$$$...and they are in my opinion only marginally better...not worth the additional $50k. I mean't to ask...have you looked at the Weekend Warrior? I haven't seen them in person, but online...they build a darn nice unit. Their 4100 model is comparable to the Voltage 3970, but from what I hear very well built and you can order what you want for $70-$80k...good luck
Thanks, I'll definitely check out Topper's and the Tesla.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:48 AM   #38
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We did a lot of research on Tesla. I even had a few conversations with the guy who left Heartland to start the brand for Evergreen. Really decent guy and their quality is high. However, they have a lot of tacky touches inside like the lightning bolts everywhere. It was a little to "fast and furious" for me. They actually agreed to skip those accents for us as we were special ordering which put them in contention but ultimately, the price was 10k more. I'm not sure if that is because none of the high volume dealers have picked up the line yet so the dealers that do carry them don't deal as much or whether the base price is just that much higher. For the same money, we got our XLR with a ton more standards and options including full body paint.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:31 PM   #39
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Yeah, I understand the lightening bolts and other things you're referring to. My wife just saw the inside doors while looking at photos online and didn't like them at all. We will probably look at them in person but think they might be out due to the "added touches" some decided to add to the Tesla.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:01 PM   #40
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We looked at the Tesla and fell in love at first sight. Then the more we looked at it, the more we started looking past the fancy lights. And decided the floor plan was not what we wanted. I did like the huge fresh water tank thou.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:26 PM   #41
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We (my wife) was pretty set on Grand Design, then ran across the Cyclone 4200. Needless to say we (my wife) is pretty much sold on the side patio design. So far all I'm really seeing is the Cyclone, Edge, and Road Warrior all of which are Heartland models. My buddy just bought a 42' Heartland Bunkhouse model, his 4th camper, second 5er and he loves it. He's had a couple of small issues but deals with Heartland directly instead of a service dept. 9 months into it and he is a huge Heartland advocate. We are waiting for "show season" before we make the purchase, and I'll definatley go through it with a fine tooth comb. I may be making a big mistake, but until we can find another TH with side patio I don't think I have a lot of choice.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:42 PM   #42
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We (my wife) was pretty set on Grand Design, then ran across the Cyclone 4200. Needless to say we (my wife) is pretty much sold on the side patio design. So far all I'm really seeing is the Cyclone, Edge, and Road Warrior all of which are Heartland models. My buddy just bought a 42' Heartland Bunkhouse model, his 4th camper, second 5er and he loves it. He's had a couple of small issues but deals with Heartland directly instead of a service dept. 9 months into it and he is a huge Heartland advocate. We are waiting for "show season" before we make the purchase, and I'll definatley go through it with a fine tooth comb. I may be making a big mistake, but until we can find another TH with side patio I don't think I have a lot of choice.

You sure do have a choice. The XLR Thunderbolt 420AMP has the side patio and is heads and shoulders above Cyclone's and RW's fit and finish level. Take a look...

XLR Thunderbolt Toy Haulers by Forest River RV

Their Facebook page also has lots of pictures of the 420...

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...5606449&type=3

On your show season plan. I wouldn't wait until then. The best deals are in late fall / early winter. Every brand in the industry has price increases right around the new year which could cost you thousands. Also, the RV market is slow right after the camping season is done so you get better attention from the dealer. If you're looking to get exactly what you want, order your rig. I can't say enough about Couch's RV Nation in OH. They will order your rig to spec and still give you over 35% off the nonsense MSRP. They are great after the sale too as is XLR if you have to deal direct. XLR will also do many off list options so if there is something you don't see in their standards and options list that is a must have for you, just ask. Most likely, they will do it...
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