"Kelly Evans Barnett (2PSNAPOD) is a freelance contributor to this blog. All opinions expressed are her own."
The Heartland 3D Walk Thru feature is a relatively new feature. The 3D feature allows you to get a real feel for a floor plan without actually visiting a dealership in person. This way you can easily rule out floor plans that aren't suitable for your needs. Not all floor plans have the 3D option, but there are several different models in each category (5th wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers) that have the option.
Since I had a couple of questions about the 3D Walk Thru experience I reached out to Heartland Digital Media Assets Manager, Damon Miles, with a few questions. He was gracious enough to comply.
How long has the feature been part of the website experience?
We added the Matterport 3D walkthroughs around early April of 2016. It started as a test project and expanded from there.
Are there plans to include more floor plans/models with the feature? It seems that there are a few models in each category that have the feature...but probably more of the luxury line have them....not quite as many for the travel trailers, etc.
We have plans to add a lot more of them, not just for Heartland, but our subsidiaries as well i.e. Cruiser RV [Editor's Note: At time of posting, there are already some 3D walk-throughs on Cruiser RV's website], DRV Suites, and Bison Coach. Also, the primary reason we have more of the 3D walk-throughs for the Luxury/fifth wheels than the travel trailers is due to the bigger units having more spaces to display. Heartland does plan on more 3D walkthroughs being made for the travel trailers this summer.
To 'test drive' the 3D option, go to the Heartland RVs website. Hover over 'Products' in the menu bar. Choose whichever category of RV - luxury, full-profile, mid-profile, toy hauler, travel trailers, etc. - you want to view. I chose 'Landmark 365', which brought up the floorplans of all the Landmarks.
Click on the '3D' icon below the floor plan of your choosing, and it will open up the 3D showcase. Click on the arrow in the middle of the screen (it will take a short while to upload) to begin your tour.
Use can use your mouse to navigate. Move your cursor to the 'Circle' and then click to move to that area. OR use the arrows on your keyboard to navigate through the floor plan. You can even spin in circles to get the full view of a room.
We were recently debating as to whether it was time to trade in our 2011 Landmark Key Largo or just have it overhauled. We looked at several different Landmark 365 floor plans, and since we were in the middle of the south Texas oilfields, we didn't have the ability to go to a dealer and see any units in person. This is where the 3D walk thru feature came in handy.
Below are our thoughts regarding the Landmark 365 Charleston, which we were able to virtually walk thru using the 3D option on the Heartland RVs website.
- LOVE the separation between living room and kitchen. We think it gives a more 'homey' feel to the coach.
- The new 'taller' ceilings in the back of the coach allows for more storage above the couch. I'm all about more storage!
- Little nuances like a small spice shelf in the kitchen are a nice addition. Once, again, anything that helps with storage or organization is HUGE.
- I LOVE the pantry in the Charleston. It's the same pantry that we have in our Key Largo, and it is a great space for storing our food (up above) and appliances (Instant Pot, Air Fryer, Toaster, etc) down below.
- There used to be three windows in the dinette slide. The furthest back window ended up looking directly into the side of the slide that holds the entertainment center…not a pleasant view.
Heartland has now changed that window out for a more decorative window that allows for light to come in but no longer do you have to stare at a slide. Score!
- Residential fridge. Enough said!
- I love the induction cook top rather than the old propane stove. In our 6 years of full-timing, we've never used our propane oven…it's been a storage cabinet from the get-go.
- Our fifth wheel came with no bedside tables so we improvised with shelving we found at Camping World (as described in our post 2PSNAPOD's 12 Favorite RV Mods). Heartland now installs small shelves on either side of the bed, which are big enough to hold your book, glasses and glass of water. Way to go, Heartland!
- The bedroom closet door locks in our fifth wheel on the bottom of the doors and is not always the easiest thing to see or reach when it's time to lock the doors on travel days. With the 3D feature, I was able to see that the locks have now been relocated to eye-level on either side of the door. HUGE improvement in my opinion.
- Another nice storage plus…dual medicine cabinets above the bathroom sink…his and hers, perhaps!?
- The pattern on the dinette window, kitchen ceiling light and the storage cabinets above the coach in the living room are all the same and help pull the two rooms together.
- The living room in the Charleston is set up 'backward' from the average floor plan (entertainment center on the door-side as opposed to on the off-door side), which allows for windows on both side of the coach.
In a conventional floor plan, there aren't normally many windows on the off-door side, but with the entertainment center on the door-side of the RV, you'll have windows above the theater seating on the off-door side of the coach as well as windows in the dinette on the door-side of the coach.
- When we shop for 5th wheels we're always looking to make sure that certain areas of the rig are accessible when the slides are in. Those areas are the refrigerator (easy access to lunch while on the road), the bathroom (quick potty stops when nature calls) and the bed (just in case we need to nap and have no room to put out the slide).The Charleston meets all three requirements.
- We're not big fans of all the 'neon' lights that have been placed in the 'woodwork' going around the slides (slide fascia). Adding the lighting around just a couple of the slides in the kitchen or the living room (just not all slides) for mood lighting or as a night light might be nice…but for us…not all of them.
- We'd like to see cabinets on either side of the living room television. We feel the space looks like it's missing something without the added cabinetry. And, of course, there's that storage aspect!
- We miss the 'buffet' that used to be in the dinette slide. It was a nice feature – giving a more 'homey' feel to the dining area...plus it was added storage!
- We're also not personally big fans of the corner toilet in the bathroom, but we also know friends who prefer that placement.
In the end, we decided that we still love our Key Largo too much to give her up…just yet. Someday we'll be in the market for a new 'home on wheels' and that 3D option will come in quite handy!