Jump to content

Camper issues......


oscarvan

Recommended Posts

2013 Heartland Cyclone fifth wheel.....

 

I'm getting pretty frustrated with the fit and finish on my camper. Yes, I know it's a cost balancing act and you can't make it all out of stainless steel. At the price point the materials and design were acceptable to me.

 

What is NOT acceptable is how they executed. "Tight is good, stripped is better" seems to be the motto, along with "Easy on the caulk and bedding compound".......

 

Up to this point I have had to repair numerous parts and pieces that were falling off because fasteners were stripped. Oh well, keeps me entertained. I was less enthused about a leaking window which I removed only to find that whomever installed the (barely adequate) foam seal was blind, drunk or both. Now reinstalled with a healthy dose of butyl tape that is taken care of.

 

But it gets worse. The forward DS slam door can be opened far enough to interfere with the bedroom slide. I was aware of that, and checked 99 times before I operated the slide.... the 100th time I did not. Bad noise. Trim on slide bent, door OK. No big deal. Remove trim, straighten out, and reinstall. Except that when I removed it I discovered the bedding in it was wholly inadequate and allowed water to get behind the flange with nowhere to go but up the laminate of the slide wall, which it did. Major rot about 10 inches up into the wall.......

 

The cake is the fact that the divider wall in the forward closet (in the forward cap) has been dislocating, ie popping out of place. On the owners forum someone had the same problem and it turned out to be frame flex......Although out of warrantee he brought it to the factory in Elkhart and it was fixed. I did some more research and yes, mine is flexing. I've contacted Heartland and they requested piles of pictures to see if they'll get involved...... Below is a link to a video. The trailer is hooked up to the truck with a Trailer Saver TS3 so there's a little give. I'm dancing on the bedroom floor. Watch the divider wall in the closet.....

 

This is wholly unsatisfactory.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for your issues. I had a 2014 CY4000. Was fine at the RV show, but was HORRID when living in it. Kept it for a year and was ecstatic when I traded it. Lots of issues, poor dealer support and very uncomfortable.

 

There is a Facebook page called "Heartland My Lemon".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Building RVs one at a time, or even several at a time, is not only inefficient but presents a lot of quality problems. If they could build hundreds in a day on a "real" assembly line such as happens with the automotive industry and many other manufacturing operations, they could afford to use modern quality assembly techniques.

 

I have visited three RV plants, and can tell you that while some places are trying, they are about where the auto industry was way back in the mid-80s. Modern automotive plants have checks and use quality techniques to ensure that no mistakes are made. For example, in most auto plants the equipment that the workman uses to tightens bolts is monitored electronically to make sure a specific bolt cannot be over or under-tightened. If it is, and the vehicle gets so far down the line, red lights flash and sirens go off. In the RV plants I visited, each person fastening a bolt decides what is tight enough or too tight. That's just one example.

 

In addition, they use junky materials to save weight and money. Personally, I would prefer something plastic than something that pretends to be wood and has a picture of wood to make us think it is wood. It is ridiculous to have to tell people not to lean on an RV wall because that could put a hole in it. Don't know about yours, but my "paneling" is stapled, with the stapled clearly showing!

 

I just try to look past the junky parts and enjoy the parts that really work well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

solo 18, I kind of wonder if you are giving motor vehicle mfg too much credit in the last 10 or so years. IE: Takata airbags, serious ignition switch issues, brake issues and more that I can't think of at the moment. Pretty aggravating considering what they cost nowadays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this a new or a used Heartland? It almost sounds like it has been beaten up on some very rough roads. If it is a new Heartland that you just bought it have you talked to Heartland, their customer service is considered exceptional and having had a Heartland(2009 model) I would have to agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he just bought it off a dealer's lot as "new" the warranty should be in effect I would think. I am thinking it is used and beaten up with the problems he is having. If that is the case it is buyer beware. Still he should contact Heartland. I believe Heartland now has a factory repair facility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The frame flex is a huge issue. Lippert has been resolving frame flex issues for units years out of warranty. OP said he has contacted Heartland. Hopefully, they will step up and fix it. If the frame flex is not corrected, all the other issues are moot.

 

Hope oscarvan keeps us informed as he progresses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are two things we call "frame flex" one is were the frame on the over hang breaks the other is were the gel coat siding breaks loose from the aluminum framing. The both sort of look alike from the outside. We have had both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have often said that what the US RV industry needs is a healthy dose of foreign competition much like what happened to the US auto industry and the British motorcycle industry. Until then we will still get exploding Pintos and leaking Triumphs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought it new. And yes, I am talking to Heartland. They've asked for photos, and more photos and will decide whether they will get involved.

 

And no, I did not beat it up. I did run it with a solid pin box and hitch originally and have now switched to air pin box and hitch which has improved the ride considerably. And yes, we all know there's some rough spots on the nation's highways, but at no point did I feel I abused it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am I understanding this correctly?. You bought it new, since it is a 2013 model, probably bought it in 2012/early 2013 and you have been having problems since then and Heartland hasn't done anything to hlp you resole the problems in 4 years.........................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problems did not manifest themselves until recently.

 

Update: After much back and forth Heartland has agreed to fix it at their Elkhart plant, provided none if it is due to water damage, which I doubt. So, we'll be trucking the 1000 miles out there soon.

 

They did not commit to owning the delamination issue, said they would look at it when I got there.

 

Keep you posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

OK, after an uneventful road trip in light traffic (it was only 657 miles) I am in Elkhart, on time for tomorrow 8am, LOL.

 

Looks like a nice new building. And, they put five parking spots in the back with full hookups, one with a sign with my name on it. I am cautiously optimistic.

post-25389-0-70745700-1462741016_thumb.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The result is that I am back home with the unit. The flex was fixed. They went in all the way to the frame and welded some gussets in strategic places. Put it all back together. Divider wall in closet seems to be staying put. Little trim pieces are loose, but that's because they are attached with T-50 staples...... Some liquid nails should alleviate that.

 

So, Heartland stood behind this part of their product. I did however during our conversations pick up on the fact that Lippert, who made the frame, may be eating this and paying Heartland to open/close it up.

 

I suspect Lippert's lawyers are not happy about the prospect of structural issues like this becoming a liability.

 

What Heartland did not "own" was the water damage. I was told, and apparently this is buried somewhere in the owners manual, that ALL sealant needs to be inspected and repaired as necessary every 90 days. Yup, you read right. If you're not the DIY type you have to take it in to a professional 4 times a year, with the associated cost and loss of use.

 

I find this excessive.

The reason is, that most of the wall penetrations and various trim pieces (like the bottom facia of my bedroom slide) rely on the little bead of black silicone where the door/window/trim piece meets the wall to keep the water out. There is little or no bedding under the flanges of windows, hatches, doors etc. etc. Not like there used to be for decades.

 

Needles to say, having learned this I am now all over it and checking every inch like a hawk on a regular basis, as disaster is only a hairline crack away.

 

Not happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent my working career in nondestructive testing, a branch of Quality Control. A large percentage of that involved the automotive industry and since 1977 have owned 14 Subaru's. Working in Detroit I used to get a lot of flack, and my response was when you have an American car that runs for 150,000 miles with out problems I will buy one. Ford had a 80,000 mile life expectancy in their automatic transmissions early on.

The Japanese forced the US to get its act together, cars now are MUCH better quality than they were.

There is no driving force on the RV industry to improve quality and their quality is as poor as they can get away with. I do appreciate the earlier about the Very Old technology from decades past.

In contrast Kimberly Karavans from down under. http://www.kimberleykaravans.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There is no driving force on the RV industry to improve quality and their quality is as poor as they can get away with.

 

 

That and the fact that almost the entire industry (all 175.000 makes and models) is controlled by a few companies. I mean check this out: http://www2.thorindustries.com/operating-entities and this one: http://www.forestriverinc.com/recreational_vehicles.aspx that's more than half the industry right there.

 

With the market share they have and the pricing power that comes with it the barrier to entry for an upstart is huge. Even if someone WANTED to make a decent RV the chance of financial survival is slim to none.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have a very good point oscarvan. Not only would a new solid quality RV company have difficulties starting up, look what happened to many of the older quality manufacturers that are no longer making RVs......Teton, King of the Road, Carriage, NuWa HitchHikers, Excel, Travel Supreme, and recently DRV was sold to Thor's Heartland division. I think that the Elkhart manufacturers priced these older higher quality companies right out of business. Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...