Friday, December 1, 2023


RV owner angry over treatment by Heartland RV

By Chuck Woodbury
As I have written a hundred times, most new RVs present few problems for their owners. Sure, there are always little things, but they are usually repaired promptly.

Then there are those RVers who end up with nightmares. There are far too many of them. That’s why we started the Facebook Group RV Horror Stories. Here’s just one example of how difficult it can be to get an RV serviced promptly and correctly. This sort of thing should never happen.

Here is what one group member wrote today (slightly edited for clarity):

“We have a 28 Foot Heartland Shadow Cruiser. It’s the first RV we have owned. We dropped it off to have repair work done on December 15th and just got it back April 13th. It was supposed to be a 4 to 6 week job. Ya right!!!

As you can see it was there about 16 weeks. The first 10 weeks we never heard a word so I started calling. They said they were waiting on parts. Come to find out the main issue was the wallpaper. The TT had a bunch of work done. But not all work was done; Heartland denied some.

But what I am upset about is the wallpaper. The wallpaper by the sofa and dinette had some major defects in it. It had to be replaced. Well, come to find out they didn’t have the same style anymore. They had not communicated this with us until the very last 10 days of having the RV.

The next thing I was told was they found some wallpaper and it was being shipped and they hoped it was enough to work on that wall. Well, it wasn’t.

So Heartland sent out another wallpaper, different but similar, and told the dealer to toss that up there. Now I have 3 different wallpapers in my trailer. But where they put the new paper up they spliced it in there. They used it only in the bad sections leaving the old wallpaper in between.

Even never having done wallpaper myself I could have done a better job. As is, there are visible seams everywhere. The RV dealer can’t and won’t do anything. They say they just do what Heartland tells them to do. Heartland says they did the job and they are within their rights to replace with another paper if the first is not around anymore.

What can we do? The inside of our trailer looks like a mess now.”

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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Kern (@guest_45176)
4 years ago

Yup! typical of Camping World.

Kern (@guest_45175)
4 years ago

We have a Pioneer 25 BH by Heartland. In more that 40 years of owning and trailing travel trailers, I have never bent an axle. This 2014 bent an axle and ruined 2 brand new tires. The repair man said this bent axle was now typical for the new trailers. Heartland did NOT offer anything. I weighed the trailer, and I was within weight limits for it. It is an el cheapo trailer. Cannot recommend Heartland to anyone for anything. And stay AWAY from Camping World at all costs. Better to purchase pre-owned that has some problems worked out. Camping World is the WORST of the WORST. Their repair people AND the front store personnel do NOT know anything about travel trailers.

John R Crawford (@guest_45172)
4 years ago

I bought a new Hartland 5th wheel from Camping World and every time I took it in for warranty work they blamed the delay on Hartland. When I called Hartland they said they approved the work the same day the request came in. I believe the dealer stalls so your warranty will run out before you find all the defects.

Charlie B (@guest_45156)
4 years ago

Bob P’s comment struck a cord with me. It seems those with bad experiences do indeed have the loudest voices. An old salespersons saw was that a customer that has a bad experience will tell many more than the customer that has a good experience.
For the record we are on our second Thor product, a 2018 Airstream. We have thoroughly enjoyed them both. Sure there were some minor problems. All fixed by a dealer in 1 or 2 days.

Rod Vandiver (@guest_45094)
4 years ago

This story would have a lot more punch with a photo.

Jim M (@guest_45082)
4 years ago

You should of add that Cruiser is a subsidiary of Heartland and Not manufactured by Heartland .
Kind of mis-leading in my opinion

Jim M (@guest_45085)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jim M

Cruiser is a separate company .

RW (@guest_45130)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jim M

That is splitting hairs, it is a Heartland product whether directly or indirectly. The issue is the poor workmanship and the negative attitude by the dealer and manufacturer. Folks sometimes save for a lifetime for an RV and the cavalier response regarding problems is disgraceful. This issue us small, nonetheless I portant to the customer, compared to some of the nightmare stories I have read and heard. We have federal regulations on most autos, trucks etc. The RV industry has lobbied against federal regulation for years and subsequently the customer pays the price. Buyer beware!

Linda (@guest_45055)
4 years ago

We bought an older coach and did not like the wallpaper so we painted it! It turned out great. It seems as though you have nothing to lose by trying this.

Willie (@guest_45050)
4 years ago

Wallpaper? Not sure that’s a smart choice, but hey, it’s your coach.

Ed D. (@guest_45051)
4 years ago
Reply to  Willie

You don’t have a “choice” to have wallpaper in an RV. That is how they are made.

Bob Taylor (@guest_45013)
4 years ago

I think at times I would like to replace my 17 year old 5th wheel by Holiday Rambler but having had so few problems I am afraid of the new ones.
My HR was never back to the dealer for any service work. In fact, still has original awning which has to have spring replaced a couple months ago.
With another cross country trip planned this summer I am aware that problems could occur but so far it has been a great unit.

Karin Callander (@guest_45100)
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob Taylor

We just (thankfully) got rid of our 2017 HR Vacationer. Was a bucket of bolts from day 1. Leaked all over the place, wallpaper in it, too, was bad, slide was missing rollers, slide had to be rebuilt TWICE,. Was soooo glad to unload that pos. Got us a Newmar, only problem is that the sliding door latch needs adjustment. That is IT.

john arata (@guest_45125)
4 years ago

Newmar is the best

Darrel (@guest_45523)
4 years ago
Reply to  john arata

“One of” the best. At least the higher end products are.

Alvin (@guest_44996)
4 years ago

Problems with this industry will never go away with individual one on one interactions, like described – It will take strong government involvement to stop the frauds obfuscations and acts of debauchery and butchery to come to an end. The RV industry is popping out crap like popcorn in the kettle at the local theater, with very close to zero quality control. They send this crap off to dealers to sell and deal with warranty. I don’t know about others but I didn’t work hard retire buy a motorhome to travel in then be told “that RV’s will fail” and you’ll have to deal with it. I’m not buying the crap which gets worse with each passing year.

George (@guest_45144)
4 years ago
Reply to  Alvin

I have no doubt that RV along with any other item Manufactured have problems. The one thing that is for sure anothe goverment agency is not going to cure the problems

TP (@guest_45338)
4 years ago
Reply to  George

So George, do you think gov’t regulation of the auto industry didn’t “cure the problems”?

Janet (@guest_44980)
4 years ago

Have you spoken to Heartland customer service yourself?? I found very early on that dealers will blame the manufacturer at the drop of a hat! If they did not send enough, it is likely the dealership did not measure accurately.

Call Heartland directly yourself!

Jeff (@guest_45019)
4 years ago
Reply to  Janet

Heartland Customer Service will not help in any way. Heartland is owned by THOR and that should answer all your questions!

Janet (@guest_45027)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Sorry, but that has not been my experience with Heartland customer service! They have gone over and above when I have spoken to them.

john arata (@guest_45126)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

there is your problem thor

Bob p (@guest_45152)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

That right says it all, THOR, if everybody thinking about buying a RV would do as much research on buying it as they do before buying a $10 item online and find out if Thor is the parent company. Run as fast as you can away from it. Over the last 4 years I haven’t heard one good story about a RV built by a manufacturer owned by Thor. Our daughter and son in law own a 2014 Thor 5th wheel that is good, apparently Thor had a management change since 2014 and now they buy up every company they can and turn them into bs companies.

Vern (@guest_45163)
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob p

Thor is buying and controlling the majority of the manufacturers and Camping world is making a majority of the sales. Isn’t this an unhealthy outlook for the industry. While traveling recently saw a Gander Mountain (also owned by Camping world) Parking lot jam packed with new RV’s for sale. Wonder how they plan to service them?

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