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Post Info TOPIC: Heartland quality; looking at Big Country 3700FL


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Heartland quality; looking at Big Country 3700FL


Hi everyone - it's been a long time! I signed up last fall, and since then we have listed our home, sold our existing trailer, listed our halfton, and are preparing for full-time life by the fall of 2017. And we absolutely CANNOT wait!!! Of course, we also have been obsessively shopping for our new home.

Which brings me to my two questions: 

1. What is your opinion of the Heartland brand, and is there a significant quality difference between the Landmark, Bighorn and Big Country (I believe that's how they're ranked from best to. . . . less best!)

2. Does anyone have first-hand or at least educated knowledge or experience with the BC 3700FL model? We are looking at a new 2015 on Thursday. It's listed for $65,000 Canadian; we are hoping we can do better in a cash deal. The price is in our ballpark but we would be willing to spend that on a used or older model Landmark if that would make a big difference in standing up over time and travel. This unit will see a LOT of road as we will pull from Canada down and around the States all winter, and back up for spring and summer in Canada, likely parking at 'home' for four to five months. We hope to repeat that cycle for a very long time!

Thanks for any and all input - your advice, knowledge and experience means the world to us full-time wannabes!



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I don't know anything specifically about the rig you are asking about, but when we bought our 5th wheel, we looked at a Heartland Landmark 365 ... it was a beautiful trailer. I just couldn't get past the 3/8" "continuous" flooring (which is marketing speak for OSB). The trailer we bought has 5/8" marine grade tongue and grove flooring. This is not a criticism ... just offering information.



-- Edited by RonC on Tuesday 30th of August 2016 12:03:25 PM

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Thanks for the clarification on what those flooring terms mean. Is 3/8" a poor standard for floors? Is 5/8" more typical construction?

We thought since Heartland warranties for full-time use, the products must be designed to stand up over time. That's definitely one of our reasons for leaning that way.

If anyone can speak to these questions or the ones I listed to start the thread, I'd love to hear your feedback! Thanks again Ron.

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I'm not an expert, but to me (when it comes to floors) thicker is better to a point ... but there is a weight trade off, so like most things the best decision usually involves compromise. I don't think 3/8" flooring is "bad", as many coaches have them. The OSB is another matter. If it ever gets wet, it doesn't recover well. This could lead to expensive repairs down the line.

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I know several folks that full time in a Big Country. The Landmark, Big Horn and Big Country are all rated and warranted for full time use and are built in the same factory in Elkhart IN. 

As far as the tongue and groove flooring goes, the explanation that I heard was that each joint is a possible squeak point.  O don't have any proof of this, but our floors don't squeak.



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Salesmen ... Don't listen to them, just use your brain ... 3/8" OSB or 5/8" glued, screwed, tounge and grove ... what do you think??



-- Edited by RonC on Tuesday 30th of August 2016 10:26:30 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 31st of August 2016 10:34:10 AM

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Final (I think) comment. Heartland makes a very good coach, just be aware that a kitchen or bathroom leak is a pretty big deal. A bigger deal than a possible floor squeak.



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 31st of August 2016 10:27:15 AM

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We have been fulltiming in our 2011 Landmark for almost 4 years now. We have been very happy with our rig and are glad we went with Heartland. And the fact that Heartland warranties for fulltime use was a factor in our decision to go with this company.

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Jessica and Harry

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I can't speak to the Big Country or Bighorn - we own a 2016 Landmark Key West and are very happy with it so far - although we won't full time until next year.  The Landmark is a beautiful rig - it weighs less than some of the higher end full-time rigs like DRV's which could be an important factor.  Make sure your tow vehicle can handle the weight of your new rig.  And as far as the price, for a new 2015 (which is now two years old) - you should be able to knock off a bit from that price.  I don't think dealers care whether or not you pay cash or have a loan.  They just want payment in full upon delivery.  Our dealer only accepted a Certified Check.

There is an owners forum on Heartland's website - check it out - heartlandowners.org.  Lots of good info there.

Best of luck as you purchase your new full time rig!

Barb



-- Edited by Barb and Frank on Wednesday 31st of August 2016 07:08:58 AM

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the floor, Ron - definitely something to keep in mind. I'm going to do some research to see how common the OSB is across the board, or if Heartland is one of the few using it to keep weight down. And Barb, you're right on about the weight of the unit. We are in the market for a one-ton, but trailers like DRVs are definitely out of our range anyway! Another reason why the Hearland BC was so appealing. Lots of the features without going over our budget.

We are finding as we shop (and shop, and shop . . .) there are just not a lot of good, used units available in Canada. And we are also concerned when we read people's posts about trailers they couldn't wait to get rid of for all the problems - what if that's the one we end up buying!!! It's almost enough to freeze a person into inaction when you consider this money is going to buy our home - hopefully to last for the next 10 to 15 years minimum - and we might get the one made on a really bad day at the factory :)

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Heartland was sold to Thor a couple years ago. Ownership changes can cause changes in how the RVs are built. I would not judge a current Heartland by one built before Thor bought the company.

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That's a good point Bill ... all my comments were only regarding the 2016 Landmark 365 that we looked at. I know nothing about any of the other lines, or of earlier models.

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Looks like Thor purchased Heartland in September 2010 so anything newer would have been built by Thor. Sounds like anyone posting here to this point, who owns a Hearltland, all has Thor-made units. I just can't imagine Thor is the only company using OSB for flooring. I totally understand the problem if there's a leak - but wouldn't any wood floor, regardless of construction, be affected by water? It's going to get in and cause swelling.

We've read forums and posts from hundreds of people - and the only conclusion I can come to is, getting a a good trailer is a toss of the dice. Some have nothing but bad luck, others have nothing but a few minor issues, regardless of make or model. Am I right? We might as well go with what works for us, dollar wise and layout wise, and just hope for the best?

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Too some degree you are correct with regard to wood getting wet and swelling. But marine grade plywood is able to recover from being wet and pretty well return to it's "before" state. OSB begins to delaminate and weaken. Hey, many do it (use OSB) and many get along fine with it. They make boat transoms out of marine grade plywood and not OSB for a reason, but ... OSB can provide a fine service life as long as there isn't a major leak that gets it wet. If you are comfortable with it, then go for it. I really liked the Landmark 365 we looked at ... it was my first choice until I figured out what "continuous flooring" was. But, that's just me. I still think the Landmark 365 is a drop dead gorgeous coach and has many wonderful features. As many others have pointed out, they have had great experiences with their Landmarks, I'm sure you will too.

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In Laymans Terms wrote:


We've read forums and posts from hundreds of people - and the only conclusion I can come to is, getting a a good trailer is a toss of the dice. Some have nothing but bad luck, others have nothing but a few minor issues, regardless of make or model. Am I right? We might as well go with what works for us, dollar wise and layout wise, and just hope for the best?


 

Absolutely, I agree with that! So important to do a good PDI and check out any unit you buy thoroughly!! There are many checklists out there that give you things to look at before you hand over that check.



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Jessica and Harry

2011 Heartland Landmark

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From the time of your post, Jessica or Harry, looks like you slept about as well as I did last night - heehee! We are heading out to look at trailers today, and I can't turn off my brain :) We got an amazing PDI checklist from the last place we bought an RV from, and I'm taking it along today. I'll let you all know how we make out!

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In Laymans Terms wrote:

From the time of your post, Jessica or Harry, looks like you slept about as well as I did last night - heehee! We are heading out to look at trailers today, and I can't turn off my brain :) We got an amazing PDI checklist from the last place we bought an RV from, and I'm taking it along today. I'll let you all know how we make out!


 

lol Yes, I was awake WAY too early this morning, last night?!? Good luck with your trailer shopping - hope it went great!!

 

Jessica



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Jessica and Harry

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We also chose a Heartland Landmark. We liked the Yeti package, the dual pane windows, and the full paint exterior that it came with.
I was impressed with the customer satisfaction ratings of Heartland. That's what swayed me from Lifestyle at the time.
So far they have been very fair with warranty, and we are happy with it. Love our floor plan.

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Well, our outing did not go as well as we'd hoped. While we loved the floor plan of the Big Country 3700FL, it just seemed beat up already - and this was a new 2015! But it makes me wonder about 100s of people tromping through it over the last two years, and being moved around from one dealership location to another (the business relocated) - I know it has not been treated with the care we would treat our own. However, it still might be an indication that the Big Country cannot stand up to constant use. Hmmmm. Most people who have posted here and other places about their Heartland model own a Landmark, which is the top of the line. We might need to start looking at an older model Landmark instead.

We are off again today to a nearby city to a strictly Heartland dealership. It will be a good opportunity to see the varying quality of a number of models. They have a lot of Bighorns in stock - that might be our reasonable midway choice!

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When we started thinking about full-timing we thought we would end up with a Bighorn, so we bought a Heartland mpg as a learner. We toured the factory as part of their national rally, and learned a lot about how Heartland builds. By the time we were ready to actually buy a coach we had decided that a MH was the best choice for us. Otherwise a Bighorn was near the top of our list.

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In Laymans Terms wrote:

Well, our outing did not go as well as we'd hoped. While we loved the floor plan of the Big Country 3700FL, it just seemed beat up already - and this was a new 2015! But it makes me wonder about 100s of people tromping through it over the last two years, and being moved around from one dealership location to another (the business relocated) - I know it has not been treated with the care we would treat our own. However, it still might be an indication that the Big Country cannot stand up to constant use. Hmmmm. Most people who have posted here and other places about their Heartland model own a Landmark, which is the top of the line. We might need to start looking at an older model Landmark instead.

We are off again today to a nearby city to a strictly Heartland dealership. It will be a good opportunity to see the varying quality of a number of models. They have a lot of Bighorns in stock - that might be our reasonable midway choice!


 From what we have seen, both on the Heartland forum and from knowing lots of Heartland owners, while the Landmark is their top of the line model, the company puts A LOT of development into the Bighorn line. It is by far a bigger seller than the Landmark. Many of the features that were only standard on Landmarks when we purchased are also now standard on a Bighorn, and most of the same options are available. We know a lot of people with Bighorns and they have been very happy with their choice. If you went with a Bighorn you would not be "settling".



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We were looking at them a few years ago. Were considering a Landmark. 365 wasn't in the line at that time. We had a 32' DRV Mobile Suites. The Landmark looked and felt cheap to us. Now it could simply be since we were in MS. We finally found this 03 Teton and never looked back. There is a reason they are lighter than DRV. Now I'm not downing them. Just be sure you are getting what you pay for.

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We have a 2014 Landmark and have been full-time for 2 years. We have had only very small issues - nothing major at all! Heartland was very helpful when we needed collision repair and while we were in the area, we toured the factory and Bill was impressed with the build. We love our home!

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Well, I guarantee we are not in the market for a Mobile Suites or Teton, as nice as they are! The Landmarks and Bighorns are definitely more in our range, and I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience with yours, Kelly. I love the hands-on experience and knowledge that everyone shares on this forum!

The hunt continues . . . There's a 2008 Cameo in the city we are going to look at, even just to get an idea of the quality of the build. I read on another post that Cameo RVs are built by Amish craftsmen, and they manufacture far less because of the hands-on, labour-intensive work. Anybody able to speak to that?

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You can buy a used MS or Teton for less money. Used quality coaches are a great find. I not paying 200k or a little less but I do own a very nice Teton which I got for 30k

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Glenn ... I agree with you that paying $200K (or close to it) is WAY too much to pay for a quality coach, but there are many who feel differently. Otherwise, no body would buy those very high priced rigs. This is a "value proposition" discussion. It's only "worth it" if it's worth it to you. Not a winnable argument. I, personally, would NEVER pay more than $100K for a 5th wheel trailer ... no matter who made it ... but that is ME. Others will see this differently, and make different decisions. Nobody is right or wrong, just different.

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It comes down to one's finances. I still working and don't want that payment on me. I like the freedom of working when I want to instead of have too. I would love to have a new New Horizons but really I don't see any advantage in getting one. Our Teton is nice. The Landmarks we looked over considering to buy were "cheaper" looking comparing to upper end units such as our DRV at that time. This turned us away. Some of the chassis failures also laid heavy on negative with us. It is so much lighter than what we were used to. Also being a welder I just don't trust that chassis. Now I do believe Landmark/365 is a good buy for this price range market. You can do a lot worse. It is not a DRV, Luxe, or other high end coach.

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Life deals funny cards sometimes :) Just above I said there was no chance we'd be considering a Mobile Suites; now, fingers crossed and stars aligned and anything else I can think of to bring good luck . . . we may be taking a road trip next Wednesday out of province to have a look at just that! A 2010 36-TKSB3. Thought we'd never consider anything older than 2012 or so, but this trailer looks amazing! High hopes . . .

Thanks to everyone who posted here and shared some advice - always great to hear from those in the know!

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You will find the older high end coaches wear well. Our 03 is in great shape.

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Agree with Glenn. Our 1993 Foretravel looks (and is) better than many brand-new coaches.

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Hi everyone this is just my opinion I look at the heartland 365 loved the floorplans.but no outside storage. I chose the Montana 3791rd.wife loved the floor plan and I loved the outside storage. For the money this unit fits us. We are full time and this unit has a full-time warranty. For the lowest price in the country go to Rv007 danville va website and check there prices. If you go to there lot in danville they will beat there Internet price. They just don't like to do trade in.

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In Laymans Terms wrote:

Hi everyone - it's been a long time! I signed up last fall, and since then we have listed our home, sold our existing trailer, listed our halfton, and are preparing for full-time life by the fall of 2017. And we absolutely CANNOT wait!!! Of course, we also have been obsessively shopping for our new home.

Which brings me to my two questions: 

1. What is your opinion of the Heartland brand, and is there a significant quality difference between the Landmark, Bighorn and Big Country (I believe that's how they're ranked from best to. . . . less best!)

2. Does anyone have first-hand or at least educated knowledge or experience with the BC 3700FL model? We are looking at a new 2015 on Thursday. It's listed for $65,000 Canadian; we are hoping we can do better in a cash deal. The price is in our ballpark but we would be willing to spend that on a used or older model Landmark if that would make a big difference in standing up over time and travel. This unit will see a LOT of road as we will pull from Canada down and around the States all winter, and back up for spring and summer in Canada, likely parking at 'home' for four to five months. We hope to repeat that cycle for a very long time!

Thanks for any and all input - your advice, knowledge and experience means the world to us full-time wannabes!


 We own a 3013 Heartland Landmark Key Largo. That said, after 4 years the only thing I had to replace was the propane regulator and a water pump. The water pump was my fault since it froze and cracked the housing. I failed to winterize it after a trip. overall the quality of the Landmark is very good. A lot of people are brand loyal and have owned numerous rigs from the same manufacturer. This is the first Heartland product I have owned. We love it, and the quality they put in to how it is made. If I was in the market I would buy another one.

Regards



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My earlier post: "Life deals funny cards sometimes :) Just above I said there was no chance we'd be considering a Mobile Suites; now, fingers crossed and stars aligned and anything else I can think of to bring good luck . . . we may be taking a road trip next Wednesday out of province to have a look at just that! A 2010 36-TKSB3. Thought we'd never consider anything older than 2012 or so, but this trailer looks amazing! High hopes . . . "

Well, now life has dealt us a complete 360! First the MS was available, and we planned an out-of-province, 13-hr round trip to see it. Then, heartbreaking news - he sold it the day before we were to go. Then, to throw us into a total tizzy, a day later that person had backed out and it was ours again for the taking! So life was reorganized, the trip was on . . . only to find when we looked at this unit that it just raised red flags and warning signs (just dirty, and little things all over that weren't looked after the way we would have). So . . . ee listened to our gut and turned away. But in the 24 hours between thinking we didn't have it, and being contacted again, my hubby had researched a whole new lot of trailers, one of which was only an hour away from this one - of course, an hour further from home! But we thought, in for a dime, in for a dollar, and headed to check it out.

And I'm thrilled, ecstatic, terrified and completely freaked out to announce we bought our new home! It's a Bighorn 3685RL (see - there's the 360!!! Back to Heartland after all :) It's a new 2015; still had all the tags and stickers! We are storing it there over winter while we continue the search for the truck that will become the other half of home on the road. I could go on and on - as you can see, heehee - but enough to say this winter will be one of planning and dreaming and preparing to join the class of 2017!

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Congratulations!!

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Awesome, congratulations!!! :)

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Jessica and Harry

2011 Heartland Landmark

2011 Chevy 3500 HD Dually


Fulltimers since 12/12/12! :) 

http://rikerrvdays.blogspot.com/



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Congratulations! We own a 2015 Heartland Bighorn 3010. We love it! We have had only minor problems with it since we picked it up 2 years ago. We just turned 8,000 miles on it! We chose the Bighorn because it was the size we wanted (under 35'), had a great layout with lots of storage, had a washer/dryer option and was warranted for full time use (we are moving into it full time in less than 4 weeks!). We have been very pleased with how well Heartland has stood behind its product, and the very few problems that we have had with it. It is well made and has been holding up well. Good luck with yours! I think you will end up loving it!


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Congratulations you are gonna love your new rig.  Selecting a truck big enough to tow is so important!

We have had two Heartland Big Horns.....2009 3600RL, model no longer is available and a 2016 3675FB, which we loved and fulltimed in for 6 months and traded it for a 2017 Heartland Cyclone 3611JS so we can bring our Gold Wing with us fulltime.

It was a big adjustment going from 42' of living space down to 28' living space with an 11' garage, but when the bike is in the garage we don't have that living space.

We have loved all three of our Heartland products.  Most of our issues have been QC issues and is Gary can fix himself he does.

Best of luck with your fulltime travels.  We have been fulltimers now for a year and we love it, no regrets!

Susan



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Susan & Gary

2017 Honda Pioneer 1000-5
2017 Cyclone 3611JS
2016 Dodge RAM 3500 Cummins Dually



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 98
Date:

Congrats on your new home! Be careful, once I owned my Landmark, my retirement date kept creeping up earlier and earlier. Ended up going a year early. SO glad we did 😊

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2014 Dodge 3500 Diesel Dually Truck

2014 Heartland Landmark Key Largo

Finally on the road September 2015 !



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Congratulations on the rig purchase, hope have the same luck finding the right tow vehicle

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Robert & Sheryl

2014 Redwood 38FL MorRyde IS & MorRyde Pin Box

2018 RAM 3500 DRW Cummings H.O. / 4.10

 

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Congrats!  You will love it.  Enjoy being On The Road!!



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Debbie & Steve McCormack...and Hurley too!

Our Blog: Down the Road

2013 Montana 3582RL

2013 Dodge 3500HD Laramie Longhorn Dually

Fulltime since June 2014



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 654
Date:

Congrats and good luck with your new home!

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Bill & Kelly - with Callie along the ride.  

2011 Ford F350 Diesel Dually 4x4 

2014 Heartland Landmark, Grand Canyon 

"All those who wander are not lost" Tolkien

 BLOG:  http://bkamericanodyssey.com/



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Date:

I like the FL floor plans from a number of mfg. but the one thing I noticed that just won't work for me is the very small storage available.  Make sure you check that out before pulling the plug on one if you are going to full time.  They seem to be 1/2 the size of the other floor plans and when side by side on the lot you can really see the difference.



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