2017 1/2 Models...changes, upgrades, thoughts
Even though I finally have my pod I still obsess about the evolution of the various R-pod generations and really gave a long look to the various videos available. Hopefully it helps those on the fence between waiting or jumping.
First, walking around the front. I must say the solid blue front is pretty impressive. Really does set it apart and shout "this is something unique". The standard propane plug and hard shell propane cover are both nice as well compared to earlier models but not a difficult replacement to do on your own. The power jack looks great, I still prefer the simplicity of a manual. Your mileage may vary. I have just had power jacks get a little wonky in previous campers so perhaps I am biased. That larger sewer hose holder is definitely a welcome upgrade. It is on my list to mod mine.
Let's move to the door side. I still think I prefer the green and the previous tan ring version. This will obviously vary person-to-person but the rings screamed r-pod and the tan and green I thought looked so great and the decal selection was perfect. The blue, silver and black swoops just remind me of other RV's. Not bad, not good, just sliding towards mainstream instead of embracing what makes a pod different. The raised axle was needed and welcome. Those of us with axle risers are probably yawning at the change. Now the window...very nice! Not sure I want it as my tv is right there but 9 out of 10 pod buyers will embrace the change. Nice job Forest River. Now for the biggest change of the year: the awning. This will probably be a divisive point for the r-pod faithful. I think it really looks great for awning people. Quick to deploy, a surprising amount of coverage, and a very well thought-out upgrade. Great job R-Pod product team. Personally? Well, an r-dome is one of the things that attracted me to pod life. I would still choose the dome and keep open the option to get an after market visor. I do think I am in the minority though so it was a smart direction.
Heading to the back, again, love the solid color ends. Love the pod standing out. Not sure I love powder blue but the wife says it is awesome so I trust her. I like that it isn't white or tan.
Slide side looks like no change that I can detect outside of the graphics.
Let's head inside. I was hoping they would upgrade those clips in the pantry. I have already had a few break and my shelves don't fit real well. One of those "fit and finish" things I suppose but there has to be a more robust system they could use. This is a mod waiting to happen. The new fabric selections? (yawn). Kind of prefer my pebble to the new "stone" that replaces slate. They are fine, no better no worse. Same with the counter top as far as I am concerned. Obviously the glass top stove is nice as is the recessed sink and the wood trim around the slide is a nice improvement.
Let's talk electronics. A larger tv...thumbs up! That 19 was too small, 24 is perfect. On my list to get a 24 that also runs on battery so probably not a big deal. I sure wish the RV industry would realize HDMI has been the standard for many years and stop putting these AV jacks everywhere. It is not 2008. Let's get some modern connectivity in here people. I can't even imagine the cost is that different. The updated Dometic control looks great! Looks much more modern so kudos for the change. The tv antenna looks to be a huge upgrade in pulling in distance signals with its directional capabilities. I have no doubt this is a huge improvement. I will be honest and say that I had heard so many horror stories about the previous gen antenna that I expected to pull in no channels. Where I camp I seem to get the same channels I received with my giant antenna in previous campers. Who knows, i guess it works for me but no doubt the new one is much improved.
Dry bath models. The curtain and the mirror are both nice improvements. My square mirror has to sit low so it is almost worthless. The shower curtains appear improved as well.
Garage models. The solid counter that started last year is pretty awesome. I think it makes more sense and opens up more options. I sort of like my weird storage cubbies on the previous version though. If I had to choose I would say solid counter but I don't think this is necessarily a huge upgrade. The speakers look to now be the same as the ones that they use on most other campers...little pod things. Downgrade in my opinion. The old marine speakers are one of the few outside speakers that sound decent in my opinion.
I guess that is about it. Nice, incremental upgrades. It seems like if you prefer the blue or have no preference in the color it is worth waiting and paying maybe 1k more in my opinion. If you prefer the green or can save over 1k I would absolutely jump at the previous model years. A lot of nice upgrades but nothing that makes me go "wow...I wish I had waited".
As my final thought, only offering one garage model breaks my heart. A little piece of me died along with the 183g. I guess the people have spoken and they want a roomy interior. I get it. Build what sells. Gonna head back to my garage now and give it a hug.
2013 F150 FX4 EB