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Old 05-10-2018, 01:48 PM   #1
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Forester 2501 vs 3011 vs 3051 (27 vs 32 foot motorhome)

Hi all,

My wife and I need some help with deciding between the following Forester models:

2501
3011
3051

I have done a lot of searching online and have not found many situations where folks are comparing the 27' to the 32' motorhomes. We looked at the 2861 (30') but are not crazy about the kitchen layout and also not interested in the outdoor kitchen.

Most of our trips will just be my wife and I and our two small dogs (14 lbs and 6 lbs). We want something that we can just get in and go with minimal headache and stress. My wife loves the 3011 but I have concerns for how it might handle and possibly issues getting in the smaller parks. I also have some reservations about a single 15k btu ac not being able to cool a larger unit on 90+ degree days.

Could really use some input from those who either currently own these models and also those who have moved between sizes that might be in similar situations.

I should add that we are downsizing from a 39' toy hauler fifth wheel, so the intent is to go small but not so small that we regret it!
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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We're in the middle of "resizing" our motor home.

We had a Sunseeker GTS 2800 (Forester 2801) which is a 30 feet 4 inch motor home. It was a PITA to drive... The length, and the rear swing, made it difficult to maneuver in many gas stations, especially with a TOAD. It was also very sensitive to cross and side winds. After driving around 300 miles, on the Interstate, I was whooped. One season and it was gone...

Next was a Sunseeker 2390 TS (Forester 2391). It's 25 feet 6 inches long and only 7 feet wide with no slide outs. It was wonderful to drive and gets great gas mileage. But it's bit tight on space and the 2.5 Gallon water heater finally got to us... It was just too small and the water issue couldn't be easily resolved.

Our new Sunseeker 2500 (Forester2501) is being built next week. At 27 feet 1 inch it is only 18 inches longer than our TS2390 and about 3 feet shorter than a 2800 / 2801. I'm hoping this is the "Goldilocks" Just Right size.

I think somewhere around 27 feet is the best size for us... We ordered our 2500 with the "Trekker" cap and front entertainment center to get rid of the over the cab bunk we don't need. It should improve the aerodynamics and I know it improves the forward view.


Regarding the 15K BTU AC in a large unit. It was challenged, to say the least, in our GTS. If we had keep it I was going to add a second AC unit. I'm hoping losing three feet of living area, and a large slide out, with the 2500 will help in that area as well.

Try and drive a 2500 / 2501 and a 3011/3051 back to back. That will show you how the extra length, and wheel base compare. The 2501 has a 182 inch wheel base, the other two are 220 inches. That extra 3 feet plus of wheel base was very noticeable when we did test drives. Our personal preference is the shorter wheel base and length.

Any of the units you're considering are a good choice, it just comes down to what is most comfortable for you... Just try to avoid being Goldilocks, it is too darn expensive!
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:53 PM   #3
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Interesting choices. We downsized from a 40’ 5er to a small Class A when we stopped full timing. Just the two of us and two small dogs. Our goal was to find something big enough to spend the summer in yet small enough to get in the smaller parks, drive the size restricted roads and fit in our budget. The Class A was 29+’ and met our needs. We tow a Smart Fortwo. After the eclipse we headed back home arriving just in time to have our coach totaled by Irma. So we started looking again. This time with a slightly tighter budget. We also wanted something that my DW could handle easier than the A. We looked at the 2860/2861 as it is the right size but the outdoor kitchen killed the needed storage space and the cabover bunk was a waste. We would have had to special order to get the smaller cap and storage. We also wanted to have recliners facing the TV. A rare floor plan.
Not disputing RedLdr1’s experience with the 2800 but we did not encounter those issues when compared to our A. It’s narrower, lower and has less tail swing. It is also on a longer wheelbase. The only thing we didnt like was the wandering on the road which was taken care of today with a proper alignment.

We also looked at the units remaining on your list. Did not work for us to go larger and I did not find enough storage in the smaller units and the showers were too small for Cartman. More good choices these days making it a tough decision. My best input is to make your choice based on the floorplan that works best for you. The rest of the “stuff” can be mitigated.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:41 PM   #4
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We also looked at the 2801. I don't mind the floorplan but my wife thinks the round sink might get annoying. I do like the cap on the gts better though. Perhaps we will take a second look at the 2801 since it might be a good middle ground for us.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:07 PM   #5
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Your comment on the round sink made me laugh... My wife didn't like it either. To me it's just a sink...and I do the dishes!
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:09 AM   #6
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We just purchased the 2421msf, the same chassis as the 2501. 27 feet was our sweet spot for driving, towing and fitting in our driveway. Although the 2501 was our choice we didn't like that it had 3 slides (more to go wrong) and that you couldn't open the wardrobe doors without opening the slide. We are not a fan of the separate toilet area on the 2421 but not a deal breaker. 15k a/c works great in this unit. The 2421msf is just another option to consider. We are also coming from a Toy Hauler.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:49 AM   #7
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Forester 2501 vs 3011 vs 3051 (27 vs 32 foot motorhome)

We have the 2451s which is 26í 11Ē. More importantly it has the shorter wheelbase which makes driving and turning allot easier. We liked the single slide and fact that camper is fully functional with the slide in ( great for rest area & Walmart stays and really cold nights). It also fits in almost all national and state parks that we prefer.

Unfortunately they no longer make this floor plan.

Whatever you decide on with be perfect. Best of luck and Happy Campin!
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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I went from a 32' Class C to my current 27'. Its 4 of us, my two daughters sleep in the overhead.

I very much enjoy driving the shorter rig much more then the longer one. This summer I'll find out all about the single AC, though the Atwood Air Command is touted to be better w/ regards to cooling. Also, my rig is white, which while not as 'upscale' looking as my tan Greyhawk was, its very cool to the touch in full sun. I'm sure that helps with the heat gain.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:04 AM   #9
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I will give thumbs up to the 3011 ! Moving from the TT world, and researching smaller A’s and C’s for over a year we purchased the Forester.

It is mostly just the two of us, and has been perfect in size for our needs in where we like to camp ( State Parks ). I had never driven one until we purchased it (out of state) and my first experience with it was driving from Ohio, home to Florida. This “flat lander” got experience driving in Ohio winds & rain, WV, Va, and NC mountains during that trip home. I had no issues with any of the driving issues described by one of the above posters ( and still don’t).

Since then we have been a few places here in FL, up to Dillard ga, over to the Bama Rally, the FL Keys, all pulling our Jeep, and again, no issues with how the RV handles ( avg 350 miles a day).

AC ? We have not yet placed ourselves in a situation where it would be a issue. But I would assume it could / would be if parked in those temps, no shade, and direct sun.

Our floor plan allows for seating directly across from the TV (we elected the recliners) and also allows the passenger seat to recline back.

Pick the floor plan that is for best for your needs / wants, ( *** or the one your wife wants LOL ) and don’t be concerned about the extra few feet of a RV limiting you in any way from enjoying State & county parks. We still use the same state parks we did with our TTs ! If you wheeled a FW around , you already know how to get in and out of areas, and what to look for.

Best of luck in your search !
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:26 AM   #10
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Going from a 35' Flagstaff with opposing slides in the living area we wanted as much room as possible. The 3011 fit the bill for us. TV viewing is the biggest plus with the TV directly in front of the couch. All of the others you have to turn your head to view it. The 3011 has the largest amount of counter space and the second largest storage capacity. Only drawback to the plan is the smallish bathroom but unless you are 300 pounds it is ok. Also, living in the South, the unit really needs a second air conditioner.

My wife likes to stay cool so doing that is an issue with the one AC. We have made use of reflectix, vent cushions, door window cover for the door and the shower skylight plus HeatShield inside covers for the cab windows and foam board inserts for the over the cab windows to also block out the sunlight. If the temperature outside gets up to 95 degrees with the sun facing the side of the coach in the afternoon the inside temperature will get up to 82. Results may be better with the Atwood but I understand the heat pump is annoying on that unit. As I side note, I planned to add a second AC with a seperate 30 amp plug but was advised it would not be easy to route the power from the side of the coach to the roof without doing major surgery and making it look ugly.

As for handling, I had the front end aligned and added a Roadmaster Reflex steering stabilizer and for me it made a world of difference with cross winds, passing trucks, and dips in the road.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #11
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We have a 2016 3010DS (Sunseeker version of the 3011). We've been to Florida and back to NJ, multiple times. Going between different campgrounds. Never a problem driving, my wife loves driving it. Added safe-t-plus stabilizer when we first bought it. The thing to do, would be to test drive each one, and see which you like driving best.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:52 AM   #12
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for those that have the 2501 or the 3011, is there storage under the bed?
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:09 PM   #13
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Yes on the 3011
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkhauler View Post
for those that have the 2501 or the 3011, is there storage under the bed?
On the 2500 / 2501 the answer is technically yes, but is really no for all practical purposes. There are two small storage areas, with doors, at the foot of the bed. The rest of that area is where the converter and other electronics are installed.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GL1800Rider View Post
Yes on the 3011
I would actually say, yes and no. While there is a 6-8 in deep storage area about half the size of the bed, lifting up the bed is a PIA so we only use it for things which are rarely used.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:57 PM   #16
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Sunseeker 3100 SS is a great unit for all around versality. Bummer they don"t make it anymore. Most usable storage, most ccc, tried and true slide-out.
3051/ 3050 have some nightmare stories about the full wall slide ( maybe better by now). No couch on the smaller unit would be a deal breaker for the dw and I.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkhauler View Post
Hi all,

My wife and I need some help with deciding between the following Forester models:

2501
3011
3051

I have done a lot of searching online and have not found many situations where folks are comparing the 27' to the 32' motorhomes. We looked at the 2861 (30') but are not crazy about the kitchen layout and also not interested in the outdoor kitchen.

Most of our trips will just be my wife and I and our two small dogs (14 lbs and 6 lbs). We want something that we can just get in and go with minimal headache and stress. My wife loves the 3011 but I have concerns for how it might handle and possibly issues getting in the smaller parks. I also have some reservations about a single 15k btu ac not being able to cool a larger unit on 90+ degree days.

Could really use some input from those who either currently own these models and also those who have moved between sizes that might be in similar situations.

I should add that we are downsizing from a 39' toy hauler fifth wheel, so the intent is to go small but not so small that we regret it!
If we were looking for a New Class C,,, we would only buy one where you could enter the bed from either side !!!
Our biggest dislike of our 2500 TS !!!
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:12 AM   #18
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Consider a GTS 2800/2801

I would recommend giving the 2800/2801 a try. They are very streamlined, lower, and narrower that most class C. We bought our Forester GTS 2801 last year (2017.2 model) and have had very few complaints. We bought it sight unseen because no body had one in stock, "they go out the door as soon as we get one in". Put 10K miles on it the first season and found freeway handeling to be very good, one hand kept it tracking true. Only complaint was when riding on bad roads (Oklahoma, you know where they are, fix them!) led us to nick name it "The Rattletrap". We lost a lot of interior trim items, which rode home behind the lounge chairs. Not a diss for the 2801, just motor homes in general. Unless you have full air suspension on all four corners, they will rattle if you go off the beaten track. For two people, it has loads of storage area underneath. DW took enough clothes to stock a small Wal-Mart. When we got back after 2+ months on the road, our local Sunseeker dealer had it for a couple months for warrantee work putting it back together. Since we had not bought it from him, I was very surprised that we got very good treatment. (a Shout out for Keystone RV Center, Greencastle PA).
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:18 PM   #19
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update...

We went back up to the dealer and test drove the 3011. I had no issues with it and it was a really windy day. Have a down payment on it and the dealer is prepping it for us
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:33 PM   #20
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Beautiful! Congrats!
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