Bighorn 3500RL

July 18, 2005
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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Jockeying a fifth-wheel in tight quarters has become a lot easier — and a lot less likely
to result in truck-cab and RV-cap damage — thanks to Heartland Recreational Vehicles’ new
Bighorn 3500RL. At least that’s what Scott Tuttle, vice president of sales at the Elkhart,
Indiana-based RV manufacturer claims. Tuttle says the 37-foot Bighorn is designed with a
rounded fiberglass cap and the frame corners angled at the front of the base so the turning
radius is increased by more than 30 percent over more conventional fifth-wheel designs.
“We’ve been able to get to 88 degrees with the worst-case scenario truck — an extended cab
short bed towing a fifth-wheel,” said Tuttle. The Bighorn is compatible with typical
3/4-ton heavy-duty pickup tow ratings. Tuttle says the triple-slide 3500RL, for example,
weighs 11,000 pounds empty, with a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) of 14,000 pounds. “We
specifically targeted owners of shortbed pickups in its design. In fact, we used our own
Chevy Silverado 2500 extended cab shortbed, rated at 15,500 pounds, as the target for
building the Bighorn.” Another user-friendly aspect of the Bighorn 3500 RL is the walk-in
closet in the master bedroom. “Our closet is at least four-feet deep and is the full width
of the cap,” said Tuttle. The Bighorn 3500RL also features the integration of all the
hookups in what Heartland calls the Universal Docking Center. It incorporates all those
connection-type items that are normally spread across a few compartments or plug points
into one storage compartment located on the streetside of the trailer — adjacent to the
front storage compartment. Speaking of storage, Tuttle says the Bighorn’s roomy storage
compartment is free of sheeting, plumbing and electrical components, and is wide open and
smooth top to bottom. The compartment’s appearance was also important to the design of the
fiver. “We are the first to put the diamond-plated tool box look into our storage
compartment,” Tuttle said. “Instead of looking at saddle-bag storage, we finished it off
with diamond-plating to give it a nice tool-box look.” Features like these are what
Heartland is counting on to drive new customers into RV dealerships — and out with a
Bighorn 3500RL firmly locked to the fifth-wheel hitch in the beds of their four-door
shortbed pickups. Heartland Recreational Vehicles, (574) 262-5992, href="http://www.heartlandrvs.com" target="_">www.heartlandrvs.com.

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