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Heartland , Forest River or Keystone, I can't decide which is the best brand out of these 3 . It seems quite difficult to get real info on them unless you go to brand specific forums and then they all seem to have issues . I know everybody will have there favourite but in general which of these has the best reputation for build quality or are they all the same generally.

We will be buying a used 5th wheel so any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks Roland

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I have never owned any of those brands, nor have I owned any fifth wheels trailers, but I have been very active in the RV community for many years, spent nearly 12 years as a fulltimer and still spend a lot of time with fulltiers. Of the choices you list, Heartland is the only one that I would even consider for full-time living, especially if used.

 

No matter what brand you consider, it vital to know the condition of that used RV as there is no RV so good that it could not be damaged or destroyed in a fairly short period of time by abuse or neglect!

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I believe there is good & bad in ALL brands. One unit could leave the factory & be excellent where the very next unit could be a real lemon. If you're going to buy used then the maintenance of that particular unit would be most important. Also you are very wise to have an RV inspector check it out before the purchase. Instead of brand names check the individual unit in those 3 brands you like. Just my 2 cents. Dave.

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...Heartland , Forest River or Keystone, I can't decide which is the best brand out of these 3...

In Used, condition is certainly paramount. Initial quality does play some role in how well a particular trailer will hold up. You have listed three manufacturers, all of them market a number of brands with various models and quality/price levels. Heartland has 10 that they divide into three groups. Keystone has 17 that they divide into four groups. Forest River has five major subdivisions (Forest River, Prime Time, Coachmen, Palomino & Shasta) that produce 31 brands. I think you will find that there are at least some fulltimers using the top of the line models from each. There are certainly some on this forum with Landmark, Bighorn, and Montana models. There is a current thread discussing Bighorn versus Montana.

 

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No matter what forum you go to there will be lots of complaints about RVs because way more people write

to complain then people who have good things to say about their RVs. All three of the RV makers you listed above

make good RVs but you can't compare the top of the line of those RV makers will their low or middle level units.

Good Luck

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When we were looking for a fiver a number of years ago my better half stated that the one that we were looking at didn't

have enough room for her outfits and the salesmen who was with us asked me if I was retired and I responded not quite yet,

he said that when I retire all I will need is a pair of jeans and a few T-shirts. We still laugh about that. He was right!

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All are good brands. See many Montnnas on the road. I have a Heartland. The Bighorn and Landmark get great reviews. The main thing to consider is do you like the floor plan. I went with Heartland due to their reputation for customer service after the sale. All three brands use the same components. Atwood or Suburban water heaters, Norcold or Dometric fridge, Lipert frame, Lipert or Dexter axels and brakes etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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anyone heard of the "Ford Motorhome?" I see a low mileage one in WA at a great price... with a V10 motor. Is this THE Ford motor company?

Many (most?) manufacturers build their gasoline powered motorhomes on Ford chassis with the V-10 engine. But that only tells you where the chassis and drivetrain came from. The motorhome itself will be built by one of the RV manufactures so knowing who would tell you a great deal more.

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I don't understand recommendations to choose a floorplan first. We would definitely choose a good, stable manufacturer first and then choose a floorplan from what they offer.

Perhaps those recommendations stem from the OP stating that they were considering "Heartland , Forest River or Keystone". Those three brands are similar enough in features and quality that floorplan may be the deciding factor. If they had said they were considering New Horizon or Keystone, that would have been a different conversation!

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Just keep in mind that the units you posted are all mass produced. And mass produced shows. There are smaller operations that build a superior unit. Drv, Lifestyle, Excel (but they recently closed doors), and then the custom build units New Horizons, Continental Coach, Space Craft. These are also the higher priced units.

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Of the three the OP listed....take your pick, all are pretty much the same. Some of the better ones are now gone...victim of the economy. Of the old ones, look at NuWa HitchHiker, Carriage and Cameo, Excel, Teton, King of the Road. Of the current manufacturers of quality, look at DRV (Mobile Suites) and Lifestyle.

 

Ken

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anyone heard of the "Ford Motorhome?" I see a low mileage one in WA at a great price... with a V10 motor. Is this THE Ford motor company?

To my knowledge, Ford motor company has never built a motorhome, only chassis for them. We owned an 36' class A on a Ford chassis that was powered by the V-10 engine. We owned it for 14 years and lived in it full-time for nearly 12 of those years. As of last year it was still on the road under new ownership. We loved it and would have kept it had not my wife's health issues gotten in our way.

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