Originally Posted by Upta
... What I want to know is: are there happy Forest River customers out there? I want to hear from customers who didn't get the lemon. Whose MH wasn't leaking or losing screws every trip. From people who didn't need to fix something every time they came home. If you did have something major or minor wrong with your MH, you had it fixed without excess delay or hassle....
Well I'm only about 3 weeks into ownership of my Forest River motorhome and while my experience hasn't been devoid of frustration I am a happy customer. I suppose I was also reasonably prepared for what I was signing up for. I've yet to encounter an RV of exceptional craftsmanship and understand that there will likely always be something that needs to be improved or repaired. My hope however is that with a brand new product the financial investment into repairs in the short term is minor. Here's a few items of note that I have discovered.
• By the time I arrived home (400 miles from the dealer I purchased from) the LED taillights were problematic due to a taillight converter (made by Curt) that had failed due to water intrusion. According to the manufacturer's instructions this device is supposed to be mounted in a location similar to a vehicle interior. It's not mounted as such on mine but rather near the rear bumper in full exposure to the elements.
(Forest River sent my dealer a replacement converter, which was subsequently shipped to me. Problem solved. I self diagnosed it with the assistance of these forums and also purchased the exact converter and connectors online and solved it myself before the replacement arrived (now I have a backup)
• Within about the first 10 days the propane regulator failed and needed to be replaced. This is reportedly rather common and not unique to Forest River.
(I replaced this myself for about $25 on a Sunday rather than trying to schedule an appointment with my local dealer)
• I've located and removed over a dozen loose wood screws from various places within the coach. It almost seems as though when a screw is dropped during installation, it's left and a new one from the box is used. These loose screws rolling around while I was driving were driving me nuts. In fact there's still one left that I can quite access, but I'll get it eventually.
• Thanks to the Dyson portable vac that was included I managed to vacuum up and inordinate amount of sawdust everywhere from behind drawers to the cracks in the cab seats between the back and the seat.
• One of the exterior storage compartments leaked and took on rain water after a long drive. A little troubleshooting with the storage door gasket and a little extra seal appears to have resolved it.
Despite all of this and aside from some frustration in identifying the solution to the LED issue and some feeling that some of this really shouldn't happen on a brand new RV I am still a very satisfied customer. I would like to see the quality control and craftsmanship kicked up a notch (industry wide) as much as I would like to see an industry shift with regard to dealer pricing and warranty work.
For either of those things to happen it's going to require some industry shake up (similar to the Japanese entering the US automobile market) and likely some additional costs passed along to the consumer. Neither will happen easily nor rapidly.
While I may be pleased it's the result of my expectations as much as it is the product itself. Nevertheless if I step back and set aside my expectations I can acknowledge that several realities of the industry are pathetic.
• I paid over $80k for a product with mounds of sawdust and loose screws that could have been taken care of.
• I traveled a mere 400 miles and saved $37k over my local dealer, whom when I need to rely on for warranty work will likely not be very accommodating. Or at least that's what I'm anticipating based upon what seems to be the industry standard and a few Yelp reviews in this case.
I have some prior experience with other types of RVs (trailers) from other manufacturers and while the complexity of a motorhome far exceeds my prior trailers (leaving more options for quality control issues) the Forest River product seems to me to be a superior product in comparison with other RV manufacturers yet not devoid of issues that I think are prevalent across all brands.