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Old 12-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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Problems

I have an 2011 heartland caliber that gave me a lot off problems from day one. It has been in the shop 9 times in the last 2 years. I am geting readed to sell it. Looking to buy a new one about 27 foot to 29 foot travel trailer. I am looking at Keystone, Forest river and Jayco. What do you think is the best one out there.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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Neither and all of them. They all have cheap intro trailers and expensive middle upper end units. They also own LOTS of small companies that build trailers.
Personally, after working on "just a few," I don't care for Keystone. I've seen the small nuances that there are or aren't, good or bad, and Keystone has had the most on my tally so far.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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Want a good 5th wheel look at some used Newmars.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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Jayco seems to have the best reputation.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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Arctic Fox, Timber Ridge, Windriver, Blackstone. Jaycos have a 2yr warranty but IMO that's all they offer above Keystone, Heartland or Forestriver.

After owning a Heartland North Trail 26LRSS for 2-1/2 years I can personally say it was the worst towing TT I've owned. Never had any serious quality issues. But I would never buy another Heartland TT. Northwood has a better TT.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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Don't know if you have a budget restriction, but Outdoors RV and Lance are ahead of the rest in quality but you have to pay for what you get. I think Northwood is also good. You could also consider makes with 2 year warranties like Jayco and KZ. Sometimes, problems can take over 12 months to manifest themselves or before you realize something really needs to be fixed. I know from my own experience, factory support and dealer service with KZ has been very good.

I'm also one who would stay away from Keystone, but you'll find some who love them. I'd also stay away from Heartland from what I've read.

Besides quality and durability of the actual unit, I'd also look into the dealer's quality. A bad dealer can turn a great RV into a nightmare. Some plants are also much better about helping owners. Under the Forest River umbrella, I've read that some factory support is great while some has been really bad, but it depends on the brand.

Be wary of anything with an "ultra-lite" or "1/2 ton towable" designation on it. They are not built as substantially and are of lesser quality and durability to save weight. I'd stay away from any unit that has a 3-piece welded fabricated I-beam. Frames can be weak point and it would be good to study and compare them. Some manufacturers like Outdoors RV make their own while Lance uses the BAL/Norco Ultraframe.

An RV show is a really good way to compare units and they'll be starting up again in Jan./Feb.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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That's interesting.

When we were looking at TT we looked at lance and I was very unimpressed with fit finish and build.

Then when I was reviewing TT Lance did not have a good name behind then lots of ppl out there with some big issues.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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IMO I could care less about a 2 yr warranty. Yes it's better than just 1 year, but the 1st year of ownership is the time to get all the bugs worked out. If you are still having problems in the 2nd year then chances are you'll be having problems in the 3rd year.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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I guess on the Lance units, it depends somewhat on what is believable and realistic on the forums, and I have read about some with big trouble. Not sure if it was Lance or the dealers that were more to blame? I think, but could very well be wrong, that Lance TTs have better quality control in the past couple of years. I like some of their technical approachs but for what you get, the cost seems too high compared to what you get for other makes and models. I like their BAL/Norco Ultraframe instead of the common Lippert frames on most units. Personally would not buy Lance tho.

I read a lot of good things about Northwood and Arctic Fox. I looked at one Nash TT (Northwood) and found that the quality of the cabinetry was very poor compared to all the others at the show. I had it on our shortlist but crossed it off after that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
IMO I could care less about a 2 yr warranty. Yes it's better than just 1 year, but the 1st year of ownership is the time to get all the bugs worked out. If you are still having problems in the 2nd year then chances are you'll be having problems in the 3rd year.
I think the usual appliance, heating, A/C, cabinetry, electrical, plumbing, etc. issues are what you may be thinking of which are common across all brands.

But if you end up with frame problems, which are not all that uncommon (we did), you could be wishing you had a 2 year warranty. Lippert's high-flex "fabricated" 3-piece I-beam is on 6 or so TTs now and can lead to premature tire wear, frame cracks and suspension problems compared to other frame designs. You have more of a chance to discover frame problems before the end of 2 years than one year.

Our first TT had brake problems that took over one year to get resolved at the dealer after multiple attempts over the camping season. We had bought it at the end of the camping season and had just the 6 month (or so) camping season on the 12 month warranty to get things dealt with. It even took 3 visits to the dealer to get a poorly fitting bathroom door fixed. The only way we got these fixed is because we had filed a complaint in writing just days before the warranty expiration. Even then, they still tried hard to weasel out of it.

The last thing anyone wants to do is to have to take their unit into a dealer for repairs in the height of the camping season and have it sit there for weeks. We've had repairs take 1 1/2 months on two occasions while they get factory authorization, order the parts and then schedule the work in at their convenience. (No longer at that dealer fortunately) Also, some buy a TT at the end of a camping season and it sits for 6 months before it get used again so they only have about a 6 month window to find and fix things that need warranty repairs.

With all the enclosed underbellies now, you just can't see how a frame is designed and put together. Welding can be poorly done and cross-bracing and re-enforcement inadequate and you have to go on blind faith. To me, the frame is one of the most important considerations now, if not THE most important. We have a new TT coming in Jan. with a heavy duty frame on it and don't expect any sort of frame issues on it for the life of the unit.

Given our experiences with things like frame and brake issues, I'll take a 2 year warranty any time over a 1 year warranty. Great piece of mind.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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I guess on the Lance units, it depends somewhat on what is believable and realistic on the forums, and I have read about some with big trouble. Not sure if it was Lance or the dealers that were more to blame? I think, but could very well be wrong, that Lance TTs have better quality control in the past couple of years. I like some of their technical approachs but for what you get, the cost seems too high compared to what you get for other makes and models. I like their BAL/Norco Ultraframe instead of the common Lippert frames on most units. Personally would not buy Lance tho.

I read a lot of good things about Northwood and Arctic Fox. I looked at one Nash TT (Northwood) and found that the quality of the cabinetry was very poor compared to all the others at the show. I had it on our shortlist but crossed it off after that.

It's pretty much a given that it's a crap shoot on the unit you buy. Problems across the industry. No brand is isolated from problems. I for one try and do as much work as I can myself. Most dealers are inadequate in training. Like I said if you are having trouble into your 2nd year chances are you got a bad build. For every few good ones there's always a bad one. Kinda like playing Russian roulette. You could look a 5 of the same TT's on the lot and chances are that one is trouble prone. It's probably the last one built on Friday as the workers were trying to get there quota.
There's an old saying in the RV world. You either need to rich or handy when owing one.

FWIW Northwood and Outdoors both build their own frames. At least that's one major problem you don't have to worry about. IMO that's as good as a 2yr warranty on any RV with a Lippert frame.


I think the usual appliance, heating, A/C, cabinetry, electrical, plumbing, etc. issues are what you may be thinking of which are common across all brands.

But if you end up with frame problems, which are not all that uncommon (we did), you could be wishing you had a 2 year warranty. Lippert's high-flex "fabricated" 3-piece I-beam is on 6 or so TTs now and can lead to premature tire wear, frame cracks and suspension problems compared to other frame designs. You have more of a chance to discover frame problems before the end of 2 years than one year.

Our first TT had brake problems that took over one year to get resolved at the dealer after multiple attempts over the camping season. We had bought it at the end of the camping season and had just the 6 month (or so) camping season on the 12 month warranty to get things dealt with. It even took 3 visits to the dealer to get a poorly fitting bathroom door fixed. The only way we got these fixed is because we had filed a complaint in writing just days before the warranty expiration. Even then, they still tried hard to weasel out of it.

The last thing anyone wants to do is to have to take their unit into a dealer for repairs in the height of the camping season and have it sit there for weeks. We've had repairs take 1 1/2 months on two occasions while they get factory authorization, order the parts and then schedule the work in at their convenience. (No longer at that dealer fortunately) Also, some buy a TT at the end of a camping season and it sits for 6 months before it get used again so they only have about a 6 month window to find and fix things that need warranty repairs.

With all the enclosed underbellies now, you just can't see how a frame is designed and put together. Welding can be poorly done and cross-bracing and re-enforcement inadequate and you have to go on blind faith. To me, the frame is one of the most important considerations now, if not THE most important. We have a new TT coming in Jan. with a heavy duty frame on it and don't expect any sort of frame issues on it for the life of the unit.

Given our experiences with things like frame and brake issues, I'll take a 2 year warranty any time over a 1 year warranty. Great piece of mind.
It's pretty much a given that it's a crap shoot on any unit you buy. Problems across the industry. No brand is isolated from problems. I for one try and do as much work as I can myself. Most dealers are inadequate in training. Like I said if you are having trouble into your 2nd year chances are you got a bad build. For every few good ones there's always a bad one. Kinda like playing Russian roulette. You could look a 5 of the same TT's on the lot and chances are that one is trouble prone. It's probably the last one built on Friday as the workers were trying to get there quota.
There's an old saying in the RV world. You either need to be rich or handy when owing one.

FWIW Northwood and Outdoors both build their own frames. At least that's one major problem you don't have to worry about. IMO that's as good as a 2yr warranty on any RV with a Lippert frame.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Myredracer,was wondering what you bought with the heavy duty frame?
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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Myredracer,was wondering what you bought with the heavy duty frame?
I sent you a PM.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:44 PM   #13
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As others have suggested, check out Outdoors RV, I bought one of their Wind River models. Arctic Fox is another good one. Research the frame, who makes it etc...
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