: I think that FR makes a good product, however your experience really comes down to finding a dealer that is looking to build a relationship over making a quick buck]
I just spent quite a bit of time researching my purchase. I ended up going with a Rockwood a122 A-Frame camper.
While doing my research I stuck to the ultra lights and popup units because I was towing it with my car. But during this process I came to the conclusion that you see a lot of the same "quality" complaints across the board for all the manufacturers. The issue I think is 2 fold. First these are often constructed in a more custom manner. Its not like GM or Ford where they make 20,000 units in a year in a highly automated manner. and the second issue is cost vs profit. The industry is fairly competitive in both features and price so you have the manufactures trying to add more features while staying cost competitive. This leads to in some cases lower quality than you would expect out of a retail component (for example in many cases the "entertainment" system is going to suck compared to you house or car).
Both of these reasons tend to lend themselves to what i call "fit and finish" issues. Issues where something isnt lined up quite right or isnt quite straight. Those kind of issues. Sometimes they are minor like a drawer that sticks a little, other times its an important external seal that now leaks. Both of these are why you need to spend time when you pick up your unit and go over everything with a check list. They will be fixed if you bring them up, but the earlier they are identified the easier it is on everyone.
Now that I have the unit I am happy, i have to say overall its well made and most everything makes sense for me how and why its included. I am comfortable for the most part that it will last me and that I will meet my needs going forward.
With that said, there is one ugly spot (and again as far as i can tell this is true across the industry) and that is the network of dealers. The local dealer near me just gave me bad vibes, they seemed cocky with a take it or leave it attitude. Given that and I found a great dealer (unfortunately 200 miles away) that was willing and able to order me exactly what I wanted and i ultimately ordered from them.
However after a few nights home with the unit I came across a few minor issues involving the door and windows. I decided that rather than fix it myself I would take it to the local forest river dealer and have their service department take care of it under warranty rather than risk fixing it myself since it involved external seals. That said i made an appointment and brought the unit in and was told outright that its not worth their time servicing units that are not purchased from them and that they would not service my unit and I was free to take it back to where i bought it.
After bringing this up with my dealer who called Forest River we were unable to resolve the issue, with Forest River stating that they cant force a dealer to take service work and that even after communicating with the dealer in question they are unwilling to do service work on other units. Due to the fairly minor nature of the issues I was able to correct them on my own. But it was disappointing that FR's response was basically to call around other FR dealers till i found one willing to work on my unit. If I was unable to find one they then would locate a 3rd party to do the work and they would pay for that party to fix the unit.
Now this experience is heavily weighted due to the fact that the local dealer is a piece of dog excrement and I thankfully figured this out before buying from them. However I think Forest River holds some blame for allowing such a franchise to exist selling their product.
Overall, would i recommend a FR product based on my experience so far. Yes, with one major note. Do your homework. The experience you receive will be only as good as the dealer that you go with. Do not expect that there will be a consistent customer experience across all FR dealers. Some dealers will really work for your business and trust. While others know they are the only game in town and don't expect you to drive outside their franchise area to find another dealer and will view you as just a way to extract as much cash out of you as they can before moving on to the next person.
Review of Vermont Country Campers
(Very Positive experience)
Review of Longview RV (Windsor Locks CT)
(VERY negative experience)
As you can see the experiences were night and day from each other.