Our Heartland Gateway 3650BH Video Tour

Heartland Gateway 3650BH Tour

In our search for an RV, we spent a ridiculous amount of hours online looking at various models and reading reviews and forums. After selling our old RV in Texas, we headed to Florida to meet my  doctor before heading to Indiana, RV capital of the world.  Determined to find ourselves a new home we braved the cold to visit RV dealerships and an RV show. We found many models that would work for us but finally narrowed it down to five models that had almost everything we wanted: Avalanche 360RB, Montana Mountaineer 356TBF, Cedar Creek Silverback 35QB4, KZ Durango 358BHK, and the Heartland Gateway 3650BH.

The things we were looking for in order of priority were:

  1. Four or five slides with double slides in the back bedroom (Our last RV had 3 slides. )
  2. A place for Brent to build a desk (If he can’t work we can’t travel!)
  3. 12 cubic foot or larger refrigerator or an RV with a space big enough where we could install one ourselves
  4. Pantry
  5. More kitchen counter space than our last RV
  6. An all-in-one front bathroom (as opposed to a walk-through bathroom, i.e., one where the shower, toilet, sink are separated)
  7. A second half bath in the back.
  8. Washer and dryer hookups (Which ultimately didn’t matter b/c we aren’t going to use them after all.)
  9. Booth dinette as opposed freestanding table and chairs (We like the coziness and the storage a booth provides.)
  10. Storage storage storage!
  11. Bathtub (Not a huge priority but would be nice.)

As you can see we had some high expectations but after living full time in an RV with our family for over 2 years we knew what we wanted.  Although we knew we were going to finance this RV, we still had a budget we wanted to stay within so a few brands we would have liked to look at were out of the question.

A quick word about financing our RV. When we set out on the road we still had credit card debt. Most people insist that you should pay off all your debt before hitting the road. Clearly that would have been ideal but our boys were getting older and we knew we no longer had the luxury of time. So instead of waiting to pay it off, we decided to hit the road before everything was “perfect”. That’s another post for another time but to make a long story short, we chose to not wait to have our ducks in a row before following our dream. At this point of our journey, it made better sense for us to sell our old rig which was paid for to pay off high interest credit card debt and finance a new rig at a rate that is less than a 3rd of our credit cards. Not only did we lower our monthly payments, we improved our overall quality of life. Keep in mind we came from Southern California where we were used to a high cost of living so our monthly RV payment is teeny tiny compared to our house payment. That said, it would be ideal to have zero debt before you hit the road if you can do it!

Anyway back to the RV. Of all the RVs we looked at the Heartland Gateway 3650 BH had more features we wanted than any other RV, including a bathtub! In fact, the one thing it had we didn’t want was an outdoor kitchen. (At this time the outdoor kitchen is not an option on the Gateway 3650.)  The big concern we had was the Gateway is a brand new model so there weren’t any used ones on the market. Used was our first choice but after lots of thinking we decided to get what we really wanted since it is our home. You can read more about how we finally made our decision to buy it from Dixie RV and see the photo tour here. Or for those of you who prefer video I finally had the time to put a little video tour together. Enjoy!

Love and Laughter,

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About Jenn

I'm Jenn and I'm so happy you stopped by our little corner of the web. My favorite moments are cuddling with my boys, listening to the purrs of my cat, and sipping warm cups of tea. The smell of orange blossoms conjures up delightful memories of childhood even though I grew up in Indiana hundreds of miles from citrus groves. I love animals and when I'm stressed I dream of owning a goat farm. I love art, road trips, books, and food. Vintage clothes make me ridiculously happy. Red lipstick is my friend.

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16 Responses to “Our Heartland Gateway 3650BH Video Tour”

  1. [email protected] Says:

    LOVED the video tour! Congrats again on your new home! It’s amazing!


  2. Tamara Says:

    It’s so gorgeous!! As are you! Miss ya but this was a nice little way to spend a few minutes with you. Thanks for the tour! xo


  3. Emily Says:

    Loved your tour! Just wondering how you secure your Berkey water filter when traveling? We just got one and I love it. We don’t travel full time but are planning a big trip this year and I have been trying to figure out how to bring it. Thanks for any ideas you have 🙂


  4. Jess Says:

    Love it!


  5. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) Says:

    wowowowoowowowowowowowow!!! The two words that spilled out of my mouth when I saw the OUTSIDE kiTCHEN were “HOLY SH**!!!!!” and I meant it in a totally good way! Plus love the boys’ Ikea duvet covers 😉 and my little man, MC- so cute! Congrats you guys- you 5 will be very happy there!


  6. Valerie Kirkland Says:

    Hey Jenn,
    We love your site! We are a family of 7 and will be buying an RV as soon as our house sells. My DH would like me to ask if you still love the RV with 3 kiddos now? We have always liked the Open Range but we also like the Heartland BH. Is there any thing you don’t like, things you would do different? Thanks for your time! We will keep checking your blog for updates!


    • Jenn - Newschool Nomads Says:

      Hi Valerie! Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. 🙂 To answer your question, yes we still LOVE the RV even with 3 kids. Before deciding on the Heartland we were considering an Open Range but we there wasn’t a model that had everything we wanted. Although there are a few things we would change in the Gateway like bigger kitchen sink and adding some skylights. Although neighter of those things would be a deal breaker. Because of the outdoor kitchen (lose sleepign space) I’m not sure how it would be for a family of 9? That would be something to consider. Best of luck on your adventure! 🙂


  7. Suzanne Huff Says:

    Hi Jenn,

    My husband and I just ordered a Gateway 3650BH. We have 3 children and plan on full-timing soon. When we saw your video we fell in love with the Gateway. We looked at a lot of different models, but none of them had all of the features we were looking for, except the Gateway. In your video you mention that you were going to make a few modifications in the bunk room to increase storage. I was wondering if you have made those modifications and, if so, what are they? Also, we saw the remodel of your old 5th wheel and loved it. Have you made any decorative changes? Do you have any suggestions for easy things to do to brighten up the living spaces? This is our first 5th wheel and would greatly welcome any suggestions you might have. Thanks so much.



  8. Shelly Says:

    we just purchased our 5th wheel trailer to live full time in march 13th, 2015…it came off the building line on march 10th, 2015. I knew what I wanted and the Keystone Raptor 425TS had it. We purchased this toy hauler because, although the bunkhouse type haulers fit our lifestyle, the idea of being able to put the garage door down and have an enclosed patio was more appealing to us.
    my problem is we didn’t get a how to walkthrough and neither of us knew how to haul anything, muchless how a hauler worked. Needless to say, we’ve had nothing but problems. We STILL dont know how to use battery power, except we did buy a 2nd marine battery…only later found out we should have invested in 6 of the 6 volt golf cart batteries…which in our case I guess doesn’t matter because we don’t know how to use the battery power anyway. Nor does our refrigerator switch from full hook up power to propane, so we’ve lost a lot of food, and still have no answer to the mysterious problem. No one seems to be able to help us. Also, the reason I wanted the Keystone was for the real woid and granite factor, only to find out that the wood is put together with little staples and our slide out spice rack has slide out and dropped all the shelves!!! Yeah, none of these are the worst of it though!! The bottom of the rig filled up with water and soaked the insulation causing a smell I’m sure you can relate to.
    Well, it’s in the shop now and the 4 of us are sleeping at my in-laws right now, with our snake & dog, not ideal at all!! Not to mention we could only have 3 things repaired per visit!!! So we had to pick the most important to us
    Which seems like B.S. since our rig isnt even 2 months old yet!!!!!!!
    This is all making me feel like I chose the wrong path, only I believe in this so much. Im looking into homeschooling our 14 yr old son and our 18 yr old daughter wants to take a pause at the Univirsity and go on road with us and do online courses, nof to mention her best friend wants to come also.
    I need to know how to do this successfully!!!! Unlike I feel we are doing right now.
    Our hauler is paid in full, however, we have a large truck payment and a larger thave ever had credig card payment….the goal is to pay off all debt with the rest of my inheritance, if the estate ever settles.
    im feeling a fool right now.


    • Jenn Says:

      I sent you a long reply to an email a few weeks ago on FB messenger. Did you get it? I’m really sorry about the problems you are having. Hang in there things will get better. ((hugs))


  9. Sarah Says:

    Hi Jenn! About a month ago this crazy idea of buying an rv and traveling the country came to us and no matter how hard we tried to shake it, we were in love with the idea. We’ve spent almost every available moment over the last month researching and putting together the start of our plan. We’ve already narrowed down the type of rig that we are looking for (not the exact model, although we do have a couple of favorites). But we do know that it will most likely be a larger fifth wheel (similar to your Gateway). My husband is concerned about towing. I was just curious what type up truck you use to tow your Gateway. We’re just trying to figure out if we would need to move up into a dually. Thanks for all of the great info on your blog! It makes us feel a little less crazy… LOL


    • Jenn - Newschool Nomads Says:

      I remember when we first started talking about traveling full time too! It was so fun to dream! We haul our RV with a 3500 diesel dually. We actually had a 2500 and upgraded to the dually when we got the Gateway. It pulls it great. Although I do miss driving the narrower truck.


  10. Jen Says:

    Hi Jenn,
    My husband and I have dreamed of this since pre kiddos 15 years ago. I already homeschool, our lives are busy, he had this bee in his bonnet two months ago and we successfully talked ourselves out of it. Then we had a bunch of stuff come up with one of our children that needed attention. NOW he has the bee in his bonnet yet again. The kids are on board. I am more hesitant this go around. I feel like we decided two months ago and have moved on. This is really bringing on my fears out of the woodwork which I succeed at keeping at bay most days with Starbucks. 🙂 I like in your first post the fears and tears that you shed. How long do you think it took you to KNOW you had made the right choice? I am living by excel spreadsheet now keeping our lives straight, and that doesn’t feel good. AND, I am terrified of changing my life, my routine, the things I know so well. How do your boys feel about not having friends, or do they, that they can hang out with? I know it makes it easier to parent this way, just wondering if my kids will resent me for missing life as they knew it, which we all know they will resent us for SOMETHING, but just yeah. Found your blog just now, love it. Will visit a bunch of old posts to see if I can find my answers. A lot of homeschoolers I know now, struggle when their kids are at the end of tween and entering teen because the kids feel like they need more friends. My kids will hit that on the road. And we live in a community with HUNDREDS of homeschool families, HUNDREDS of options of extra-curriculur/enrichment for the kids etc. to meet other kids. I don’t know why I am so fearful this time, maybe because it feels more serious. My husband runs an adventure podcast and is hearing of all these adventures ‘other’ people are having and I am sure, wondering why he/us aren’t one of them.

    Hope Thing 3 is doing well!
    Jen too…lol….


    • Jenn - Newschool Nomads Says:

      Hi Jen. I understand your fears. I don’t think I ever “knew” it was the right move. It has all been very organic. We decided to travel for a year, then two, and then three…. We just took each each year as it came and still do. To be completely transparent, this past year has been the hardest for our kids because of their ages (pre-teen and teen). We’ve done our best to spend time with other families with teens but I still wonder if it’s enough. The thing is no situation is perfect and regardless of our choices I will always wonder if we made “the right” choice. I know I’m leaving “gaps” in my children’s lives regardless of what we do. My prayer is God fills those gaps.

      If it’s any consolation we left a town with a vibrant homeschooling community as well. Although to be perfectly hones,t we never really fit in that well. I found the Christian community too conservative for my liking and the secular community was very kind but it could be lonely without that shared worldview. One thing I have loved about our new life is the road community. Regardless of individual personal beliefs, there is this shared desire for adventure, freedom, and minimalism. Connecting with like minded people has been a joy.

      One last thought. I personally believe change and being uncomfortable is most often good (excluding tragedies of course). It’s one way we grow in strength and character. Change can happen in many ways. It doesn’t just have to happen on the road. 🙂 Feel free to email me if you have more questions. jennica (at) nimsmedia (dot) com


  11. Nikki Says:

    Hi! We are fulltime RVers as well. We just started in April by cirumstances of an unhealthy moldy house, but we LOVE it! We were at the local RV show and our next (yes, thinking NEXT already!) is the Gateway. That’s how we came across your page.
    I was hoping I could see pictures of the interior storage modifications you did. We homeschool 2 out of 3 of our kids. We are parked currently and our one son goes to the local school.


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