I had a horrible experience in a 2013 Heritage Glen 312QBUD and am now satisfied in a 2014 Surveyor Select SV305.
At one month of ownership
, about 2,000 miles on the trailer and far away from home in PA (I live in Florida) with my 2 kids and wife, the rear passenger side axle gave out in smoke and flames. I had torqued the lugs to spec within the past 200 miles. The tire stayed inflated but after my initial stop playing with the fire extinguisher, a highway patrol officer asked me to move 100 feet forward to a wider shoulder on the Interstate. That’s when the wheel completely broke off rolling under the trailer taking out the rear steps to the bathroom and 3 underside panels. After 4 hours on the side of the interstate, we got help via Coach Net and made it to a RV dealer and repair shop. Forest River laid blame on Lipert (axle manufacturer) and they sent out a new axle. I instructed them to not bother fixing the steps or panels as everyone agreed they could not get those parts within 3 days as I needed to be somewhere. I lost about $600 in hotel and other costs due to this. This was a Lipert rigid suspension system. Best guess was the bearing was not properly greased but there was so much damage the techs could not tell.
At month two of ownership
the 12 foot slide motors broke. “Schwintek in wall slide out system.” When it went out, it would not go out all the way and it would not come back in. The outside trim and molding was bulging out near the in lower wall gear and rod. The seal around the outside molding where it was bulging from also was different from every other seal on the trailer indicating it had been repaired before I bought it, new. This is a well a known problem with plenty of innocent victims posting all over RV forums. If I would have known this, I never would have bought this trailer.
My family had gone home at this point but I had to live for a month and a week with the slide in. I feared I would not get it back in so I never tried putting it out. I had an internet connection, I have an RV mechanic for a friend and I learned the fix methods are basically:
1. Find the controller (finding controller took me an hour and couch net was zero help) to put motor into override mode and get the slide back in with just the motor or…
2. Override the motor with controller, then one person operates motor and someone else pushes or pulls on the slide (which is how the mobile RV tech and I got the slide in) OR my fav…
3. Peel the rubber gasket out to reveal the motor. Undo the one screw which holds the motor. Push the slide back in. Cut a 2 x 4 to length and place it above slide so it won’t slide out while you drive back to the RV shop. There is a video by lipert describing this Schwintek In-Wall Slide System (Trouble Shooting Tips) By Lippert Components. - YouTube
The part they forget to mention is if this happens to a 12 foot long, 3 foot deep slide with a kitchenette and sofa bed, it will take 4 grown men to push the slide back in.
I find #2 and #3 to be unacceptable fix methods.
When I ended up back at my dealer (LazyDays, Fl) and explained all of the above to my service advisor I asked, “I can’t be the only one stating a problem with a Schwintek in wall slide out system”. Her reply was “they all come back”. No service tech looked at my Heritage Glen. After conversation with service advisor, I spoke with a sales manager and then I went on the lot with my sales guy looking for a replacement trailer. I got full trade in value on the Heritage Glen as if it was new and I happily paid only $4k more for a Surveyor Select with a pile of upgrades, I was told Forest River and my dealer both kicked back on the price.
I got more to complain about with the 2013 Heritage Glen but 1st a little bit of my story…
I needed a travel trailer to live in while I work AND take my 2 kids and wife with me as I work and they vacation during their 2 month summer. We had previously rented a trailer and came armed with a pile of advice from others “whatever RV you get will have problems, they all do”. I expected only minor stuff to break. I had been shopping for used trailers but switched to new because “hard work pays off”. My credit rating had dramatically improved so I had more purchase power. Normally I don’t buy anything new, always go for the deal but in this case, for my family I thought brand shiny new would be a treat. We spent 3 years looking to buy. I spent 5 years reworking how I do what I do for a living to get myself out of the hole the 2008 recession dug me into to. This purchase was a dream of a work and play adventure for my family and someone f’d with my dream. I cried over this, anyways…
We were almost set on a 2014 Heritage Glen/Hemisphere 312QBUD but just before our time to buy, we found the 2013 at a cheaper price with fewer options. Interesting it was to discover in 2014 the Heritage Glens and Hemispheres (sister models) stopped using the Schwintek in wall slide out system.
By the time we got to buy that Heritage Glen, I gained a feeling shopping that all RV salesman are liars, I would not find an honest one and I’d just have to deal with it. There were a few salesman I just had to walk away from after I heard a multitude of conflicting BS stream from their mouth. Now I feel sorry for RV salesman. There are things they can’t say about units with known problems like “don’t buy that cause we know it’s going to break” They have to have a hope they sell the unit and that part won’t break until the year warranty is up.
Alright back to the whining about specific things in the 2013 Heritage Glen 312QBUD noting some things I would not complain about if I did not now have a Surveyor Select SV305.
- Propane cover would not fit on properly because battery was in the way. I had to move propane tank seat myself to get the cover to fit right. My LazyDays delivery advisor told me to bungee the cover down. LazyDays prep tech was at fault when installing battery.
- Fresh water tank could not be filled all the way. The fresh water fill is next to city water inlet. The over fill for fresh water tank is a tube that comes out under trailer and ends up acting like a siphon when tank is over filled. With more water pressure the faster siphon action happens. Problem is you cannot tell how full the tank is when filling. This is a problem shared by others, the fix is to install a shut off valve on the over fill drain and close it once fresh water is full.
- Rigid suspension makes a horrible drive. I had towed other trailers and thought whiplash was normal on a washboard road when towing a 30’ foot or longer trailer BUT OMG does a suspension with an equalizer system (equiflex) make a world of difference when towing.
- Little boy toilet which many RV’s come with. My Surveyor has a Thetford toilet with a big bowl and I love it, it’s a big boy toilet and I’ll leave it at that.
- No ladder, and if an RV does not have a ladder you can not install one after the fact.
-Outside kitchen was nice but IMHO the swivel TV to the rear bedroom was useless and a waste of storage space.
- Only one ceiling vent in bathroom.
- No lock on bathroom door.
- Sink with tiny drainer is annoying.
- I’m sure there’s more but writing all this is taking time, holding my mind back and I’d like to move ahead instead of holding still whining.
In the end with the Heritage Glen I spent two months with my family and made some great life long memories. I lived in it for just over 3 months and made some money. I learned something about trailers and appreciate all the upgrades my Surveyor Select has.
Hope this post helps someone.