Heartland RV: My Experience

This is a review you will never see posted on the home page for the website of Heartland RV of Elkhart, Indiana. If you go to their page, you will see glowing reviews scrolling along the right hand side of their main page. This is not one of those. This review is intended to be used to share my story from sites like Google, Yelp, and other similar sites which allow consumers independently to rate businesses. Those sites don’t allow enough narrative to tell my story completely.

As I write this, my local Camping World is replacing the entire floor, including the support beams, of my 2013 Sundance which I purchased new. I am the original owner. The floor has slowly been deteriorating due to a manufacturing defect which Heartland will not cover. The repairs are expected to be close to $10,000. But this is not the only manufacturing defect we have discovered. Before I share the details of what happened to the floor, since we bought the RV four years ago, the following problems have come to light, most of them after the one year warranty expired, and for which I had to pay out of pocket to repair.

  • Heater ducts were improperly connected. No heat from the furnace was reaching the bathroom and bedroom above the hitch area.
  • Air conditioning ducts were also improperly connected; no A/C to the main bedroom.
  • Water lines were connected improperly. I got a mix of hot and cold water from the cold water tap.
  • Fresh water holding tank improperly installed. After filling the tank for a road trip, water would leak out significantly from the under side. This cost me over $700 to fix as the shop had to remove the entire cover for the underside. They found the cap for the tank never secured and water leaked from around the filler cap itself, not any overflow mechanism. This leads me to wonder if my fresh water tank was contaminated when this was occurring; there was no seal to keep out contaminants.
  • There is no proper support for mounting the TV in the entertainment center. The mount was originally attached merely to the wood paneling which flexed when driving and nearly ripped a large hole in the paneling. In the bedroom there is a proper wood mounting plate behind the paneling to which the TV is attached. Such a wood mounting plate behind the paneling is missing in the main entertainment center. The dealer was able to attach the TV mount with one bolt to a small stud in the wall but don’t know how long that will last. It is impossible to attach the proper mounting structure behind the panel without disassembling the entire entertainment center.
  • The brakes on the coach did not work at all the moment I drove it off the lot. I drove all the way home from the dealer before discovering this. The brake wiring was incorrect. The dealer fixed this under warranty.
  • The second year of ownership I began to notice delamination bubbling of the exterior fiberglas near the slide opening. The first dealer I took it to replaced the slide seal, thinking that was the source of the leak. But the delamination continues. My current dealer says this is usually caused by an improperly installed roof or seal such as around a window. I called Heartland and sent them pictures of the bubbling of the side. Their response: it’s outside the one year warranty so not covered. I should have noticed it in the first year. But my first year of ownership it was kept under a covered area away from weather and the elements. In the second year we moved and it was no longer protected from rain, and that’s when the delamination began to show. But that matters not to Heartland. I guess I should have known to put the RV through the worst possible conditions, rather than taking care to protect it, so this issue would have manifest in my first year of ownership.

And now, the floor. By far the most expensive repair to date. Apparently the floor has been deteriorating slowly since the day we drove it off the dealer’s lot. But it was so gradual we didn’t notice, until a few months back as we were preparing it for a road trip, my wife stepped on a section of the floor and almost fell through. Camping World says they’ve never seen floor rot like this one. And they discovered the cause, again a manufacturing defect. The faucet in the shower was not installed properly. There was no gasket or caulking to keep water within the shower enclosure. So every time we showered, water running down the shower wall would leak behind the faucet, down the opposite side of the wall and on to the floor, out of sight, since that area is not normally not accessible. One small puddle at a time. Each puddle would soak into the floor under the shower, and gradually weaken the wood. The water wicked along the entire floor, from front to back. No water seal on the shower faucet. Now costing me about $10,000 to fix, again because Heartland says I should have discovered these things within the first year’s warranty period. Seriously? Who in their right mind would take the time to test the shower, remove the barriers to get behind the shower to make sure it’s not leaking?

I truly regret purchasing an RV from Heartland. And I am warning others to consider another brand. Heartland does not stand behind their product, even when damage is caused so obviously from defective or incomplete manufacturing procedures.

Buyer beware.

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3 responses to “Heartland RV: My Experience”

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  1. Sean Henderson says:

    Man I feel you. I’m in the same boat with my 2016 Heartland Torque T29. Is there anything else we can do? I wish I would have done more research before I bought this POS…. Are you keeping yours? I’m ready to put mine on a lot for sale, cheap….

  2. Bob says:

    Similar problems here with our Heartland North Trail. We noticed some delamination on one side during the first year. Heartland said no warranty coverage because the warranty starts from the day it is put on the dealers lot, not the day it is bought. The hole was cut too big for one window so the fubber seal was not touching the side on the top, that was the start. But, after removing windows and resealing, caulking everywhere, etc., the entire side is continuing to delaminate from the top down. Resale has dropped to just about zero.

  3. Charles Avery says:

    I did not have the Heartland model I purchased a Pacific coach works sand sport and am just finishing court case, (ends in September) I am glad you wrote this blog because I was considering a Cyclone or road warrior. If you need to know I used Ronald Burdge who is the nations leading lemon Lawyer and has won tons of cases, but beware that ours has been going on for more than 22 months. I think the dealerships are just as bad since most pay workers minimum wage and we all suffer.