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Old 05-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Jayco vs: Heartland by Forest River

We have been looking at TTs for a while and have narrowed our search to a Jayco and a Heartland by FR both in the 31 foot range. The Jayco is aluminum , the Heartland has some advantages and several features I like, it also commands about a 3K premium, which I am willing to pay for the amenities like an outdoor kitchen and power jacks. My question is one of quality. Can anyone compare the quality of the Jayco to that of the Heartland. I know FR makes a whole range of TT's, from very basic entry level models to what appear to be very high quality fivers. Does anyone k ow where the Heartland TT's fall into the FR quality spectrum, and how does that compare to Jayco.
Thanks in advance for any help.
MDH
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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I don't have that much experience with FR except that they appear to be a better RV than jayco,jayco has alot of eye appeal,but are very cheaply built in my opinion.I used to work for a jayco dealer.
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Originally Posted by MDH16 View Post
We have been looking at TTs for a while and have narrowed our search to a Jayco and a Heartland by FR both in the 31 foot range. The Jayco is aluminum , the Heartland has some advantages and several features I like, it also commands about a 3K premium, which I am willing to pay for the amenities like an outdoor kitchen and power jacks. My question is one of quality. Can anyone compare the quality of the Jayco to that of the Heartland. I know FR makes a whole range of TT's, from very basic entry level models to what appear to be very high quality fivers. Does anyone k ow where the Heartland TT's fall into the FR quality spectrum, and how does that compare to Jayco.
Thanks in advance for any help.
MDH
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:40 PM   #3
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MDH16. Jayco vs Forest River

I don't have any experience with Jayco Trailers, but we had 2006 Jayco class C motorhome. The mechanical systems were good, never had any problems. The coach work was not too good. Cupboard doors didn't fit, cabinets had raw edges, window valances were not level, and it just gave the appearance of being done by folks who just didn't care. We now have a Forest River Surveyor SP 240, and are very pleased with it. The workmanship is good, appliances are good quality, and after a year of use, there have been no major problems.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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I personally was not impressed by how they towed going down the road. Several other drivers I knew said the same thing however most owners would be using some sort of sway control. Good looking units otherwise.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDH16 View Post
the Heartland has some advantages and several features I like, it also commands about a 3K premium, which I am willing to pay for the amenities like an outdoor kitchen and power jacks. My question is one of quality. Can anyone compare the quality of the Jayco to that of the Heartland.
Go with the Jayco. I have a Heartland North Trail and the "quality" just isn't there. There's no quality control, going by what we've experienced with our TT.

I think they may all be so profit oriented today they don't care how the workers are putting them together,... they just want to move them out the door to the dealers, who don't care either.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Although the Jayco Designer 5th wheels were admittedly a different animal from the TTs, the 3 Jaycos we've owned (a Cardinal popup, a Designer 3030RKSS and a Designer XL 3610RLTS) have all been good, reliable RVs that offered good value at their respective price points. The 5th wheels were also covered by Jayco's 2+3 warranty (2 years bumper-to-bumper + 3 additional years structural warranty), and Jayco's customer service in our experience is second to none.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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We have. A fr product (Flagstaff ) we looked at a lot of jayco,s , heartland , rock wood , puma , Catalina , etc. ....

Make sure when looking you are comparing " apples to apples . Same length , kitchen , weight , outside kitchen , and skin ( alium/ Fiberglas )

We like the jayco white hawk , but there outside kitchen was small ,

Good luck , took me a while and then gave the list to DW and we started looking
Curtis
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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There are others

Two of my RV buddies have Heartlands. Thrown together by monkeys is how I would describe them.

I'm not sure if these are in the same price range you're looking at but I would take a look at the Cougar line made by Keystone.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
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I am researching a purchase. It would be beneficial to have back up to both positive and negative claims offered here. There is the potential to have problems with any product now days. I base my decision on more technical matters which enable functionality and longer life span. I can offer from my research that the Heartland North trail aluminum frame block insulation 2" wall and 3" roof, and wide track tandem for example are minimum requirement for me, and if the other brands did not have it I kept looking. I will be purchasing the NT23RBS when my on order Chevy 3500 Express (9900 GVWR) arrives. Any feedback is welcome.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:03 PM   #10
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The Wide Traxx axle placement is a joke. BTDT with a 2010 Heartland North Trail 26LRSS. Towed like a POS. I went thru several different WD types and it made no difference. Heartland uses Lippert axles and I had to have both realigned. All the upper cabinets had the hidden hinges work loose over time. The front cap developed ripples and it wasn't from water leaks. Junk IMO. Jayco is a better deal. 2 year warranty also.

I think Heartland makes some nice upper end 5th wheels but their TT's are just ordinary.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:12 PM   #11
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I have a 2013 Heartland Pioneer 27 BH and a 2015 Forest River 27 RKSS. For the money i don't think you can beat either one. Trailers in my opinion are to be used not shown off. Salesman once told me trailers are built buy people not robots. Even the high dollar ones are going to have those little imperfections
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:15 PM   #12
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We bought a new Jayco Jayflight this spring. When we were going over the unit with the delivery gal we were told that we were getting the Cadillac of all the brands.

Now that being said, I understand that it is the dealers job to make the customer feel good about the their purchase, however after seeing how the unit was built I feel it it a top quality unit.

Unfortunately for the money we spend on these things they all could/should be better than they are.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:28 PM   #13
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Here is an "apple-to-apple" quick comparison example between the two MFGs that you can derive an overall assessment of the two:
- Heartland North Trail employs an aluminum frame block insulation 2" wall and 3" roof - Jayco WHITE HAWK ULTRA LITE uses 4 1/2" crowned wood trusses, solid-wood studs and over sized nail plates and screw down 3/8" roof decking at every seam. With out doing more research I assume the side walls consist of wood, fiberglass insulation and screws as well.

Which is best?
Longevity: What will you have after 20 years in the elements, block foam and aluminum (Heartland) or wood and fiberglass insulation (Jayco)?
Durability: RVs are rolling earthquakes; wood, nails/plates, staples and screws will over time with use come apart inside the walls causing water intrusion which will render the TT useless from dry rot/black mold.
Running wheels: Both Heartland NT and Jayco WHUL use the wide track tandem. BTW, the ability to perform wheel alignment is a good thing, as example your vehicle front steering, usually performed resulting from wheel impact knocking out the alignment. Does not happen often but is part of expected normal operation and maintenance. Of course when driving, if caution is not used, we know a trailer tracks to the inside on right turns and the wheel sometimes will impact a shoulder pot hole that will potentially cause axle alignment issues. In fact there are pot holes anywhere on the road and everywhere you go. Realignment is preferable to axle breakage.

I had a 2003 Jayco Grey Hawk Ford class C for 11 years. 11,000 miles it began to develop De-lamination and water intrusion at the cab over and front window. They are not perfect. The fit and finish had its drawbacks with exposed electrical wiring and plumbing in the cabinets, floor heater vents collecting durt vs. Heartland NT no exposed electrical and plumbing, heater wall vents.

Feedback welcome?

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Old 10-14-2014, 07:48 PM   #14
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Heartland must have just recently been bought so Forest River probably has little influences in design to date. When we had a Heartland we had a sway issue. Axles might have been the issue but the wheel are close to the hitch thus lower hitch weight thus more sway. Drove me crazy, once could not go over 50, another time I pulled over and put everything I could find up in the bedroom to help. Traded it for The Premier and it was night and day. Always heard good things about Jayco but the are about making things look pretty. Each will have entry level and higher so it would be good to hear which two actual trailers you are looking at.
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