At last! A toy-hauler with a “hidden garage” – but with hidden problems

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Heartland RV is offering a new concept in toy haulers – and for some of us out here in RVer land, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. With much fanfare, the Thor Industries stepchild company based in Elkhart, Indiana, is announcing its patent-pending Hidden Garage.

This all-new concept makes its debut in the 2020 Cyclone 4214 toy hauler. With 42 feet, you ought to be able to haul a lot of stuff, and just how they do it is where the hidden garage concept comes in. The Cyclone is a front living room fiver, leaving the rear-end available for the toy-hauling garage. “The unobstructed, 14-foot garage is unlike any other front living room toy hauler in the industry,” touts company spokesman Dustin Swindeman in a press release.

How do you stuff 14’ of “unobstructed” garage into a 42’ unit, that already puts a pretty large theater-seating style living room up front? By sticking the bedroom (with its king-size bed) in the rear. Wait a minute, we said that’s where that 14’ of unobstructed garage lives. Yep, it’s a garage; it’s a bedroom. It’s neither fish nor fowl, because when it’s time to roll your side-by-side (or even a small car) into the garage, you simply push a button and roll the bedroom – floor and all – up into the ceiling. Voila! Your hidden garage stands ready to receive!

We took the virtual tour of the Cyclone 4214 on the company website, trying to imagine how both garage and bedroom might be usable at the same time. In the “tour” we virtually walked down the steps into the garage. The bedroom floor, at that point, was about eye-level. That didn’t answer the question, so we looked around on YouTube and found a video tour of the Cyclone at an RV show. The properly attired hostess was apparently speechless, but in a style reminiscent of an overstuffed blue-jeans-clad Vanna White, smiled constantly and pointed to various features to jazzy music accompaniment. Vanna showed us the bedroom, but this time we walked up steps to look around the rather Spartan boudoir.

Still no answer, so we called the heartland of Heartland, right back to Indiana, and punched in the number for sales. Maybe it’s that dratted COVID-19, but nobody but the computer responded to our call. It wasn’t able to answer the question. Since the company website couldn’t provide us with a location for a dealer in Arizona, we finally broke down and Googled, getting the number for a Heartland dealer in Phoenix. The salesman at La Mesa RV told me they don’t have any of the units on their lot, and didn’t know when they’ll come in. But on looking through his information, his answer to our question was this: “When you want to use the bedroom, it looks like you’ll have to park your toys outside.”

If that’s true, all we can say is, “Great concept guys!” Choose between putting yourself in bed, or putting your junk in the garage.

##RVT941

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Kenny Goss
5 months ago

There are several toy haulers out there like that (some call them toy boxes). It’s big enough for a motorcycle, golf cart, or something about that size.

Eventually I can see me and my wife getting one so we can carry a golf cart with us to help my wife get around better.

You push a button in the “garage” and the bed rises when you need to put your toy in the “garage”.

Some of the ones I’ve been in or looked at on Google & YouTube are Montana 380 & 381, Solitude 374th, Momentum 376th, Cedar Creek 376rth (I think), Fuzion 410 and there’s a huge one made by Forest River.

I’m sure there are others out there too.

Sarge
5 months ago

I own a toy hauler, and even though it has a rubber floor, and yes it is easy to clean for the most part with cleaner, scrub brush, and a hose. You can still get that smell while very faint in there even after leaving it open. So no I would not want my bedroom back there, that is a bad idea, ask Grand Design theirs did not do very well either.

Sarge
5 months ago

I think that the person or persons who wrote this does not know anything about trailers nor have they ever used or looked at one. This story is a complete rewrite of what Heartland came out with already several years before this article, a toy hauler. Now Grand Designs came out with a regular camper 2017 that just the bed rises almost to the roof and there is a storage area under it that allows a bike or small ATV or golf cart to be loaded. So what you got here is another incident of Thor stealing someone elses idea change the format and call it their own. I think that RV mag should check their articles better or loose customers.

Steve F
5 months ago

Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Or in this case the smell of whatever was leaking during transport while trying to sleep.

Dry Creek
5 months ago

I’ve never really considered Vanna White’s jeans to be overstuffed.

Now, Rosie O’Donnell? Definitely.

Any of the Kardashians? Without a doubt.

Tom
5 months ago

As somebody that bought a well used toy hauler about a year ago and took it on a 3 month 9300 mile trip. My wife and I have one significant complaint about it, and all the others that we have looked at. While on our trip we would sometimes stay overnight someplace while on our way to our next destination. We did not want to unload the Harley for the evening and then load it back up in the morning. But without doing that there was simply no place to sit down to eat a meal or watch tv in the evening. The table and the seats were folded up against the wall to make room for the motorcycle. We will eventually buy a newer toy hauler and was wondering if anybody knows who might make one that actually has room to sit down in while the motorcycle is still inside?

Mel Daley
5 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You obviously bought a Small Toy hauler, and one without an actual Garage. If you want the Garage and a Living Room and a Bedroom (my style) than buy a larger unit of which there are Hundreds, if not thousand of different Brand and models! They will also need to be a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler, not a pull trailer style and they will be from 38′-44′ long. Expensive, YES, but you get what you want than.

Sarge
5 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I do, mine is for sale, and you can do what you are asking, the table seating/ bed and extra bed are in the rear and go to ceiling, to load your toys, main living area is where you sit, eat, cook, watch 50″ TV, 1 1/2 bath, King Master with TV, Satellite system installed, rear deck for sitting, 3 Awnings, 3 Slides, Generator. Email me at SargeAF@Hotmail.com or look on POPS RV for Heartland HD Toy Hauler

PennyPA
5 months ago

Why can’t you use one of the sofa/beds in the living room that’s up front?

Rick
5 months ago

Kinda tough on the girl, weren’t you?

Scott R. Ellis
5 months ago

Oh, come on. Many people want exactly this: a way to get their ORV to an appropriate place to play with it a few hours or a day away from home, and then a comfortable place to sleep. It’s not going to bother them a bit to put the “toy” outside once they get there, and to leave it outside until Sunday afternoon when it’s time to head for home.

No, this isn’t the answer for someone who was hoping to travel with their toad hauled. But that’s not the market. I imagine they’ll sell some good number of these to people who understand what the point of them is.

Tom
5 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

It certainly doesn’t bother us when we get “there”, but on overnight stays on our way “there” it was something that we found we definitely did not like dealing with and without doing it there was no place to sit down and eat or watch tv.

Bob_B
5 months ago

Several videos online make it clear that the bedroom has to be raised in order to use the garage for taller items like a golf cart with a roof or the ATV shown in one of the videos. What really caught my eye, though was your snarky comment that, “… but in a style reminiscent of an overstuffed blue-jeans-clad Vanna White, [she] smiled constantly and pointed to various features to jazzy music accompaniment.”

I’d thought that you might be better than that. Obviously, I was wrong.

Connie VH
5 months ago

I don’t know about this …

Of course I dont HAVE one but … is it possible to sleep at night in the same place where fuel fumes gather during transport times? Oil leaks…? FUEL leaks??

No thanks.

Marty
5 months ago
Reply to  Connie VH

That is certainly a very good question… While a well maintained toy vehicle should not…such things can, and do, happen. I have a traditional rear garage toy hauler…and a sliding glass door sealing it from the living quarters when towing. I pull the bike out and the garage transforms into a dining area. There are no motor vapor remnants, thank goodness. But I have to agree, sleeping above a stored motor vehicle may end up risky. OK…I just gave up on that idea! Thanks… 🙂

Tom
5 months ago
Reply to  Connie VH

After a 3 month stay in our toy hauler while covering 9300 miles I never once smelled fuel or oil from my Harley. I did not like the fact that having the bike inside eliminated our dining and sitting area on overnight stays. Naturally for longer stays we just unloaded the bike.

Marty
5 months ago

Grand Designs has the Momentum 376THS which has a garage under the bedroom. Their implementation allows simultaneous use of both the garage and bedroom. The drawback is the size of the garage 117″ D x 63″ W …and 77″ H when the bedroom above is elevated for loading/unloading… 66″ H when lowered for normal use. This is a very nice design for a motorcycle…but not suitable for larger vehicles. There are a couple other manufacturers now copying this design. I haul my Harley, so this interests me…but it would not work for a larger ATV or car.

Rob Ecklund
5 months ago
Reply to  Marty

Montana high country 380/381 TH also have that layout for less money and considerably lighter. We love ours for the bike.

Donald N Wright
5 months ago

I have been impressed by many toy hauler designs. Most have a bedroom up front, and a few have a 1/2 bath room in the garage. Often the garage becomes a den and the toy is outside covered with a tarp.

Jonathan Miller
5 months ago

Every toyhauler ever built makes the same compromise… living space versus garage. If you want the living space you have to put your toys outside. I don’t think anyone makes a toy hauler with a legitimate full time garage.

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago

You can always leave your toys inside – and set up a tent to sleep in OUTSIDE . . :).

Stephen Gustafson
5 months ago

Well, ever since the design of my present toy hauler was quashed about 4 years ago (Lifestyle Alfa Gold), I’ve been looking for something similar that allows for the transport of your motorcycle without the loss of a decent bedroom and a comfortable living room. My Harley rides in the #2 slide with the help of a Rampage ramp and winch, which sits behind the entertainment center and fireplace. The bedroom is up front and includes an RV king sized bed. Obviously, I thought it was a great idea and I still do but I’m surprised that Evergreen (builder) went belly up and also that someone else hasn’t run with the same concept. No, it won’t handle a trike or an ATV and there is a learning curve to the Rampage, but overall a great idea!

Gdan
5 months ago

Look at Grand Design’s Solitude or Momentum 374th

Rob Ecklund
5 months ago
Reply to  Gdan

Or Montana 381 TH