This is one of the disappointing factors in the RV industry. You pay a lot of money for a self-drive RV or trailer only to find out that the parts inside do not work as they should. It is an ongoing issue between owners and makers of RVs.
In reading one of the Heartland RVs discussion forums, one gets the impression that Heartland is run by and employs nothing but saints. But as you scroll down further, you see the rest of the story which is not encouraging at all.
To learn more about Heartland RVs and if they are good or not, just continue to read our article. While the title is RV complaints, we will try to be as fair as possible and present both sides of the issue. You will get both good and bad RVs from this company.
We hate to say it but this is a depends question. It depends on who you talk to and what kind of experience they had with their trailer or RV. But here are some facts about the company that should tell you a bit of the story.
1. Heartland is the 3rd largest 5th wheel manufacturer in the world- they did not get to that point by not being good or producing good RVs and trailers.
2. Heartland RVs have one of the highest resale values in its class- that means that their trailers are put together very well, for the most part. There may be some lemons that are produced but that happens to every RV company.
3. Heartland’s reputation is good- it is said to make inspiring, affordable, and innovative trailer designs, etc. That work has helped it to get where it is today. Also, the construction of their RVs is said to be durable.
The company has a wide range of trailers and they are priced from as low as $17,000 to as high as $140,000 approx. There are quite a few in the mid-range price levels as well.
Then the company’s founders have or had over 125 years of RV manufacturing experience. That experience helps them develop great products for you to look at and purchase.
In the end, your experience with a Heartland RV or trailer will determine if the company makes good trailers or not. If you get a lemon, maybe their great customer service will persuade you to not think negatively of the company.
That is another aspect of the company that helps make it good. It seems to provide top customer and warranty service to its customers.
There will be two types of reviews mentioned here. One set will be positive and the other will not. But that is par for the course for any manufacturer even those outside of the RV industry.
Just take all reviews mentioned here with a grain of salt as both the positive and negative reports can be a bit biased and exaggerated.
The owners that were happy with their trailers were very satisfied with what they bought. One owner went as far as to say his 2019 North Trail 22FBS was awesome. They loved the closet and kitchen space in this trailer.
Another owner had two Heartland trailers before upgrading to a 5th wheel model. They owned the Edge M21 and North Trail 26LRSS and only upgraded when they felt those models became too small for their camping needs.
They also said they had no problems with either trailer and were very happy with them. A third owner enjoyed the stability that came with their Heartland 5th-wheel trailer. They claimed to have no problem with wind gusts and were happy they bought it.
A fourth owner went from a non-Heartland Kodiak travel trailer to a Heartland 5th wheel. They were happy because they felt closed in and cramped with the former trailer. The main complaint was that there was not enough headroom.
They like the open feel they get with the Heartland 5th wheel and say they have plenty of headroom to relax and not worry. Finally, the owner of a 2011 Heartland Sundance 3200 FK (travel trailer not 5th wheel model), felt there were common problems that usually happened in all RVs and travel trailers no matter who made them
When they went to an RV show, they did not see anything comparable to what they had, even in the more expensive models from other brands. What impressed her was that heartland paid attention to the little details like building strong kitchen drawers, solid countertops, and more.
Paying attention to those little details helps win customers for the company.
As you know the positive only tells one side of the story. The negative reviews will hopefully help you keep your eyes wide open when you go shopping for a Heartland trailer.
Not everything Heartland makes turns to gold and these reviews prove that true:
The first negative review comes from an owner who has owned a Heartland travel trailer for two years at the time of writing his complaint. His model is the Mallard m27 and he provided a nice list of what has gone wrong over the past two years.
He was fair in that he mentioned that Heartland covered all repairs the first year when his trailer was under warranty. After that, he was on his own. The owner provided his negative experience with his 2018 Cyclone 4151.
He said his slide-outs rotted out and will cost him a lot of money to fix. Plus, he said he had too long of a list of problems that have turned him from owning a Heartland again.
He was also not fair and did not say whether Heartland fixed the parts under warranty or if they gave him good customer service or not. Then we checked a review website and found that while one website praised the Heartland company it only got a 3.1 out of 5 stars rating at RV Insider.com.
The floor plans and towing were the two aspects that got the highest marks and they just didn’t quite reach 4 stars. These scores were from 335 owners that participated in the reviews.
Everyone is going to have complaints. Not every RV or trailer is going to be 100% all the time. One complaint by one owner who gave a 2-star rating was that the slide-out floor rotted out before 1 year was over.
The owner said they could not get warranty or insurance coverage as Heartland said it was a seal maintenance issue and not a manufacturing one. The extended warranty people said it was a manufacturing issue. The owner is out $4500 for repairs.
Another owner complained about having his unit in the shop for repairs more often than he used it. He bought it in May of this year and has used it for 3 weeks between then and Sept. One complaint was that the AC unit was wired incorrectly.
He also had siding issues which means the dealer had to send it to another location to get that fixed. Needless to say, the owner is not happy. A third owner who gave a 3-star review complained that the workmanship was shoddy.
Everything, according to him, was falling apart. Panels popped out, screws came loose, the mattress was not good and on his list went. However, he did like the floor plan and the towing aspects giving them 4 stars.
We will do one more complaint here as you can go to RVinsider.com and read the complaints yourself if you want more information. This owner has 15 point list of things that went wrong, everything from the decals peeling off to the water pump not working.
He was not happy with a lot of the workmanship done on his model but he did give 3 stars for warranty and customer support. So he may have had a lot of bad things take place, but he seems to have received good customer service from Heartland.
These few complaints should give you an idea of what to look for and ask about when you go shopping at a Heartland dealer. It would be wise to make sure these issues do not pop up after you make your purchase.
Just be forewarned as these complaints may happen to you but if they do not, then you may be one of the many satisfied customers of Heartland RV.
You may have heard about the brand but not know that much about it. Here are a few facts to help you get to know the company a little better. Some of the facts may be a bit surprising as well:
1. Heartland is owned by Thor-- when it was first started in 2003, it was owned by Brian Brady. The company focused on 5th-wheel trailers in the beginning. Then in 2006, they developed their first toy hauler, and in 2009 saw their first travel trailers.
The company was bought out by Thor Industries in 2010. What is interesting and surprising is that Thor has been listed by some people as the worst brand of RVs to buy.
2. Like many RV companies, Heartland is based in Elkhart, Indiana- that is normal as that is where a lot of component makers are located in or close to that area.
3. Heartland does not make self-drive RVs- they focus on fifth wheels, toy haulers, and travel trailers. That means they are focused and can concentrate on making their trailers the best they can be
However, some fifth-wheel trailers may not meet the requirements of the American Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Where they fail to comply may be in the exterior lighting and reflector department.
4. The smallest trailer made by Heartland- it is the Mallard travel trailer which is an entry-level trailer. It measures 21’ 4” in length, other travel trailer models start at 22 feet in length.
5. The largest trailer Heartland makes- is probably the Road Warrior 4275 which measures 45 feet, 8 inches long. There are other models that get close to that length.
The Landmark Newport reaches 43 feet 7 inches in length
One reason so many Heartland owners are satisfied with their Heartland trailer is because of how it is made. Here is some insight into how the company makes its trailers:
1. Slide-outs- they use a triple seal technology that is supposed to protect your slide-out from water damage, rust, and wind.
2. Aluminum construction material- this is one reason the company can keep the weight of its trailers down. They use a 5-sided aluminum construction technique that includes studs and roof rafters.
3. No more carpet- the company went with hypoallergenic flooring to make life a little easier inside their RVs. They put in wood flooring to make it easier to clean and maintain.
4. I-beam frame construction- this is supposed to be sturdier than other construction methods. Each piece is powder coated for protection from the elements.
The company uses more cross beams to make sure their trailers are solidly built. This construction is supposed to provide a solid floor and foundation
5. They use the Azdel system- Which is a blend of polypropylene and fiberglass for interior walling. This is supposed to keep the walls odorless, weather & temperature-resistant, and lightweight. Not all models have this option.
As you can see, the Heartland trailers are not perfect. Many models come with a lot of problems but that is par for the course in the RV Industry. That is not an excuse but it is a fact.
Yes, even Heartland can improve on its craftsmanship as indicated by the many negative reviews and complaints. But as you can see, Heartland does make good trailers.
The negatives should not stop you from buying one of their trailers. They should just make you wary.