Thursday, June 1, 2023


RVer wants buying advice. Isn’t it obvious this RV is bad news?

By Chuck Woodbury

I came across this posting on the Facebook group Full Time RV Living (a good group you may wish to join). Why, I wonder, would someone even ask whether it was wise to buy this RV (see photo below)? And the RV dealer just passes off the damage as “common in most 5th wheels due to weakness and pressure/weight from the slide.” 

Of the nearly 500 comments on the post, about 95% said, “Don’t buy.”

Here’s the post:
I have a question but here’s the back story. Found a camper I liked at an RV dealer and got my appraisal report (great and very valuable info). While trying to work out logistics to go look at it I found the exact same year make and model of the camper only 5 hours away versus 12 hours so I hopped in the car and went to look.

I put a deposit down with the condition that it would have to pass the RV inspection at a local RV dealership. They sent me the picture below of this huge crack and said that it is common in most 5th wheels due to weakness and pressure/weight from the slide around this year and that they have since changed the design. Is this accurate and true information?

The RV dealer told me they recommend just putting heavy duty roof tape on it and not to even mess with getting it fiberglass repaired.

I need advice. Everything else checked out in great condition. Tomorrow they will check all the bearings, wheel wells, tires, etc. The tech said he checked the area where the crack was and said it was solid and not soft as far as he could tell. What advice do y’all have for this somewhat of a newbie?

What info would you ask the seller specifically about this crack? If it makes a difference it’s a 2014 Heartland Cyclone 4100, asking price of $33,000. Have to make a decision tomorrow or Thursday.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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2 years ago

Don’t buy it…….

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago
Reply to  norm

Norm! the story is almost two years old Norm…

Jeffrey Campbell
2 years ago

The age of this may be a couple of years old, but it has value, even to a seasoned
RVer. The author had the presence of mind to have it inspected and no doubt that thought was born from experience or wisdom from someone else. Finishing a 45 year carrier in aviation and retiring as a 747 captain, I relied on the wisdom and advise of those senior in the carrier field from the first day I sat in a pilot seat to the last day. I also made myself available to do the same for others.

John C
2 years ago

Find a pasttime other than RVing for our sakes!!!

2 years ago

Since this is an older article, does anyone know if the guy actually purchased the unit? Personally, I’m surprised he even had to ask for opinions.

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

yeah this article is almost two years old! People commenting here are STILL saying NO! LOL!

Robert Jobson
2 years ago

do not buy

2 years ago

Offer no more than $10,000 — because you will need the other $25,000 to fix the problem.

2 years ago

As an X RV salesman I can tell you this is not common. That is a bad flaw. It is an indication of a stress fracture caused by weak chassis or framing. Run like H—–!!!!

2 years ago

Interesting. It’s good to wake up and find something to laugh about. Ironic that last night’s rerun of the Andy Griffith show on TV was about honesty when selling something.

2 years ago

Let’s see, 33K+ and this wide crack, common problem in slides, have two days to decide, 95% say “don’t buy” right? You don’t have to be a newbie to decide if this is a good deal. Common sense should tell you to walk away. Hope you got the agreement regarding your deposit in writing.

Joe Allen
2 years ago

Run, quickly!

2 years ago

P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Don’t be that guy.

M. Will
3 years ago

I’d run like hell in the other direction on that fifth wheel!!

3 years ago

The way I read it, this is from a private seller. “I put a deposit down with the condition that it would have to pass the RV inspection at a local RV dealership.” Still a shady dealer or inspector. I would drive the extra distance for the one that checked out.

Rory R
4 years ago

Obviously the dealer, in this case, seems to think you’re stupid. If that is his attitude, I would take the alternative, especially since it has already passed a professional inspection. If you take this unit professionally repaired or not, it sounds like this dealer is not in your corner. In plain english, I would not trust him as far as my 2 month old grandson could throw him. NO, do not buy this unit…

sharon B
4 years ago

RU out of your mind?? RUN

4 years ago

It looks like the slide isn’t closed all the way and therefore isn’t sealed against rain/air/dew/condensation from the A/C, which can enter around the slide and also enter through the crack, leading to moisture problems (rot and mold) which are more serious problems than the appearance. Before repairing the fiberglass itself, the underlying structure needs to be checked for rot and mold, the slide alignment corrected, and the top of the sidewall under the slide may need to be reshaped so the slide doesn’t grab it on the way out, which is likely what caused the crack. Slide alignment is likely to become a regular maintenance issue. Take your roll of tape and walk away.

Hardy Jackson
4 years ago

Since you are willing to spend thirty three grand and if the rest of the coach checks out, I would offer the dealer twenty five grand and have it professionally repaired. If the dealer balks at the offer, tell him that he thinks that you are an idiot accepting his statement, therefore he should be stupid enough to accept your offer.

Debbie Jenson
4 years ago

No way~ plus we avoided slides with our purchase and advice friends the same…with a good floor plan you don’t need one.

Sharon B
4 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Jenson

I agree. No slides. Keep it simple. Less problems. No hassles. There is enough to worry about with a moveable house.

Mitzi Agnew Giles
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Jenson

Moi aussi! 17 ft trailer from tip of tongue to back bumper. No slides, Permanent bed. Marine toilet accessible from outside. Gobs of storage under the bed make an ideal kitty cat room (4 travel with us) Life is good.

4 years ago

If you like everything else about this particular unit, offer $10k and get it repaired by a pro. Other wise, step away from this and all other units of this make and model.

4 years ago

RUN RUN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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