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Old 04-22-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
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WARNING for those with Heartland RVs

We just got our NT BRS28 back from the RV shop. Both axles, undersized for the TT were badly bent and all 4 tires were ruined. Heartland refused to take any responsibility and Lippert only replaced the axles with much heavier ones better suited to the weight of the BRS28, but we're stuck for the 4 ruined tires. This BRS28 has less than 3000 miles on it.

At the RV shop we learned that Lippert is having to replace axles that bent on Heartland RVs, including those on the Big Horns, not a cheap RV. If you have a Heartland RV (now owned by Keystone) you better crawl under there and check your axles and tires. It's said that quality went down when Keystone took over HL.

Thinking of buying a Heartland RV? Better think again.........

CHECK THOSE AXLES and tires!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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Did they say you were overloaded? I do not see how they can put substandard axles on a unit and there not be a recall.
You know if this has been going on with other Heartland products that dealers would be taking a second look at them also.
Thanks for the heads up and I hope this information helps others in the market for a RV.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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A couple possibilities:
Too light a frame/axles were ordered intentionally to cut costs.
Too light a frame/axles were ordered for other lighter units and used under heavier units till new frames/axles could be built and shipped to them.

Should be a recall no matter which since it's a safety related "defect".
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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See if the tire manufacturer will examine the tires given the knowledge that axles were replaced, weight of vehicle, and milage.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Did they say you were overloaded?
Nope! Lippert seemed to be aware that the lightweight axles being installed on the RVs were inadequate. That was the impression I got from Lippert. The RV shop had a small pile of axles from HL RVs laying there that they replaced for people. Heartland didn't accuse us of being overloaded either, just shirked all responsibility and pushed it off on Lippert. Since we haul the BRS with a GMC 1500 and travel light, believe me, she wasn't overloaded. And in less than 3000 miles, almost all southern Interstate, this happened!!!

Quote:
I do not see how they can put substandard axles on a unit and there not be a recall.
There wont be a recall until someone gets killed or seriously injured. The axles are bending because they are too light for the RVs. This saves HL money. But it cost Lippert and it costs us. I will make sure I warn as many people as possible about these lightweight axles on the HL RVs.

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You know if this has been going on with other Heartland products that dealers would be taking a second look at them also.
I'm sure they are. The dealer in FL we bought our TT from no longer sells them.

Quote:
Thanks for the heads up and I hope this information helps others in the market for a RV.
I hope it helps others also. The tires were so damaged I'm surprised none blew on the way home that day. We were about 300 miles from home when I spotted the damage. I suppose someone, not realizing the axles bend to easily, will blow a tire and have an accident on the road. One axle was shaped like an open S. Unbelievable!

You should see the heavy duty ones Lippert replaced the bent ones with! The ties would blow before these bend.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
A couple possibilities:
Too light a frame/axles were ordered intentionally to cut costs.
That's what the RV repair shop seems to believe. The 2011 NT BRS weights about 5180 dry. Now add the battery, the 2 propane tanks, 15 gallons of water, our clothing and 2 to 3 days worth of food (10 lbs ?),... etc and those axles were barely in the safe zone. It says each axle is rated at 3500 lbs. I don't think so. Either the axles were defective or the weight is wrong. If they were good for 7000 lbs, they wouldn't have bent.

Quote:
Too light a frame/axles were ordered for other lighter units and used under heavier units till new frames/axles could be built and shipped to them.

Should be a recall no matter which since it's a safety related "defect".
That's possible. No one seems to care. Maybe Lippert will tire of replacing the axles they sell to HL and will do something. Or maybe some poor slob will not notice, as we didn't notice, until the damage was severe, get killed or cause a bad accident on the road and then something will be done.

But yes, these were the same axles used on HL's smaller units - that tells us something.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:47 AM   #7
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See if the tire manufacturer will examine the tires given the knowledge that axles were replaced, weight of vehicle, and milage.
I spoke to a very nice man at customer service at Heartland (now owned by Keystone) and since the RV is out of warranty, even though it has less than 3000 miles on it, and the tires still look new except for the inner threads worn off because of the bent axles, ... wouldn't do anything but push us off on Lippert. They felt no responsibility. That's the kind of customer "service" they have. We wouldn't spend the money necessary to ship 4 tires to the tire mfg. It wasn't their fault the axles were inadequate for the TT. There is nothing they can or would do to replace them.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #8
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FWIW: Keystone does not own Heartland.
THOR RV. does.
Same end result though. The bottom line rules how things are done.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
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The axles have an upward arch/bow built into them for proper caster/camber at the wheels on the TT close to it's loaded weight. With the tires cupped/worn totally on the inside 1/3 of the surface it almost sounds like a "run" of them had the axles installed upside down OR the locating pin (for spring placement) at the axle end was welded on in the wrong position, thus the bow in the tube was incorrectly aligned. A pair of 3500# axles should have been more than sufficient on that TT.

EDIT: YIKES! Just found a pic you posted in another forum of your axles. That bend you see is not normal.... it should be an even bow from side to side, it's obvious it's bent badly near the one side.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #10
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I am really surprised that Heartland has not stepped up to make this right for owners. They engineered and built the trailer, so must have known about these axles at the time of production. Since this is a safety issue, you might want to file a report with NHTSA. Maybe a well crafted letter to the Thor CEO is in order.

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Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #11
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I agree with Mike!
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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I too am surprised by the lack of responsibility on HL's side !!!

I just mentioned on rv.net that a buddy had some issues when he first bought his and the same day the president of heartland pm'ed me from his vacation spot for his number so he could help !!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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For those people that have axel problems, I hope that you are a member of the Good Sams club and ask them to intervene for you and see if that will help you with the cost of the problem of replacing the axels and tires.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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FWIW: Keystone does not own Heartland.
THOR RV. does.
Same end result though. The bottom line rules how things are done.
OK, the person there said Keystone, (it doesn't really matter) and that when Heartland owned the Co, the quality was much better.

Another issue, though not a dangerous one we're having with the BRS, is the ultra cheap poor quality covers and under material of the sofa and dinette. After a few weekends of camping they flattened out and covers looked like hell. HL would only replace them with the same ultra-cheap ones the BRS came with. I told him not to bother. The sofa and dinette were made to LOOK at, not use.
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