2018 Heartland Pioneer PI 276 Review

Family fifth wheel has bunks and outdoor kitchen

By Kama Lee Jackson, Apr. 13, 2018
The 2018 Heartland Pioneer fifth wheel is a great practical option for a family itching to get out on the road who doesn’t need all the frills of a higher-end trailer. 

The Pioneer has four floorplans available and, with its capacity to sleep six people and an outdoor kitchen, the Pioneer PI 276 has got everything you need for an outdoor adventure with your crew.

It has a dry weight of 8565 lbs and a hitch weight of 1785 lbs. It measures 11’10 tall, 31’11” long, and 96” wide. The tank capacities are 47 gallons for fresh water, 80 gallons of gray water, and 40 gallons of black water. Two 30-pound propane tanks keep you cooking for a while.

Campsite set-up and tear-down are simplified thanks to the power front jacks, power rear stabilizer jacks, and electric automatic leveling.  Plenty of storage compartments including pass-through basement storage allow you to pack for longer getaways. The trailer is also prepped for solar and back-up camera.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2018 Keystone Springdale 253FWRE

Flip up the slam-latch door towards the back of the trailer to access the exterior kitchen, which includes plenty of counter space, a sink, and a small fridge. Right underneath, there’s a propane quick-connect so that you can hook up a grill for outside cooking. Outdoor living with the Heartland Pioneer PI 276 also includes an exterior shower and a 14’ power awning with LED light strip.

Inside, the master bedroom is at the front of the PI 276. The slide in this room is entirely for storage, including three mirrored cabinet doors and one tower of built-in shelves. Behind the other two doors, there’s a larger space with a hinged shelf you can flip out of the way for taller space. A cut-out space in the headboard gives you another space to stash things. There is also a space on the wall that has been prepped for mounting a television.

The queen bed lifts up on struts to reveal plenty of storage space. Each side of the bed has its own nightstand with outlets and storage, a cabinet, and there is also overhead storage across the whole width.

You can access the bathroom via a sliding pocket door that shuts it off from the bedroom, as well as from the hallway that leads to the common space. The bathroom has a porcelain foot-flush toilet, deep sink with storage underneath, mirrored medicine cabinet, and glass-surround shower with skylight and vent.  There is also a built-in linen closet, part of another slide, to keep all your daily-use items close by. From the hallway outside the bathroom, two steps down bring you to the main living area.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2018 DRV Luxury Suites MSA 40 Review

Move to the kitchen of the Heartland Pioneer PI 276 and you'll find a corner double-basin stainless steel sink with a high rise pull-down faucet. The L-shaped countertop extends to the side to create workspace and the three-burner cooktop has a flush mount glass cover that flips up and acts as a backsplash while cooking and creates a usable work surface when shut.  Other kitchen appliances include the range hood with fan and light, eight-cubic-foot double-door refrigerator with freezer, microwave, and optional oven.

The entertainment center is right next to the fridge. There are two cupboards with three nice deep shelves and a space to mount your television, which would connect directly into the Bluetooth enabled AM/FM/MP3 CD player.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2018 Forest River Sabre 36BHQ

Across from the kitchen and entertainment unit is a super slide, helping to create a much more spacious interior. A tri-fold sofa face converts into comfortable sleeping space for two. The dinette booth also converts into a bed, though it is better suited for children as it’s a smaller space.

Windows all around the super slide allow natural light to really brighten the space up and allow for amazing air flow.

At the back of the trailer, two steps make it a little easier to climb into the bunk beds. Each bunk in the Heartland Pioneer PI 276 is double, which means you can fit two kids to a mattress or offer a bit more space for adults. Each bunk space also has electrical outlets – great for plugging in tablets and a kiddo movie night! At the foot of the bunks is a tower of storage shelves.

The 2018 Heartland Pioneer PI 276 starts at about $26,000. For more information, visit http://www.heartlandrvs.com/.


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