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Old 03-11-2016, 11:01 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 86
Are Forest River products junk?

A profound question I know, but looking through the many different forums and discussions on these pages, I am getting cold feet about the purchase of a new (my first) Forest River Surveyor 291 BHSS.
I realize the purpose of these forums is to share ideas and opinions, but I am having a hard time finding positive feedback on most of the FR products and service performance.
And yes I also understand it would not matter who the manufacture. Any of the such sites devoted to product discussion are going to be filled with negatives.
So far as a"newbie" I have identified a PDI inspection list, a list of extra equipment needed and some tips for security of the trailer while in storage (not on my property).
But the real question is, do I really want to do this at all?

A note: I plan to tow the above mentioned TT with a new Ford 150 EB with 11,400 lb. tow capacity. Anybody got a problem with that?
If so, speak up please. I am all ears for doing this right the first time and do appreciate any input that will avoid heartburn on the road.

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Old 03-11-2016, 11:13 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sterling Heights MI
Posts: 94
I just bought my first camper last year and here is what I came up with

All manufactures have initial problems some worst than others found this out by going to the other MFG forums

In reviewing and looking over some surveys it seemed that Forest River had fewer issues than most mfg

All feedback said Forest River stood by their products. I have found this true on some of my issues.

Your dealer is the biggest thing, you need to find a good dealer. I drive 3 hours to get mine worked on

That being said there are some horror stories

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Old 03-11-2016, 11:25 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 86
OK. That's what I like to hear.
Thanks for the encouragement and good advice about the dealers. It seems that the ones with the least amount of problems had reputable dealers from the start.
Thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:49 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 698
I wouldn't use the term junk ... I'd more define today's purchase of any RV from any manufacturer as a purchase of diminishing quality. They're rolling them out the doors faster than they can hold quality of assembly, yet we keep buying them hand over fist. Manufacturers continue to pile on "eye candy" and "bling" in hopes that will draw attention away from basic build quality. LED lighting from stem to stern is a clear example.
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #5
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Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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Our last trailer was a Surveyor and we had really good luck with it. And our dealer is first rate. So, we just bought another Surveyor from the same dealer.
2012 F150 FX4 Ecoboost, 2016 Surveyor 274BHS
2003 Yamaha FJR1300, Demco Premiere Slider
1969 John Deere 1020, 1940 Ford 9N, 1948 Ford 8N
Jonsered 535, Can of WD-40, Duct Tape
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:09 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 98
Well......FWIW, it will help GREATLY if you are a "DIY" kind of person....(yes I know, shouldn't have to) particular, knowing the difference between fixing it correctly, as opposed to making things worse! .....again FWIW
Unencumbered By The Thought Process
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:17 PM   #7
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,087
Junk? Generally No. But sometimes......sort of.

We ordered, it came, not good.
We ordered again, it will come, we hope it will be much better, and I believe the second time will be the charm. PITA? yes. It all sort of sucked to be honest. And we have a great dealer.

No consistency right now in build quality. Have looked at many other models of Rockwoods, have friends that have them, so I know they can and do build a decent trailer, but at the same time bad ones will and do slip through the cracks. Keep your eyes open.

The one shipped to us, built on a Wed, major slide and other issues.
The same exact model made the day before, bought by another member here, much better.
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:19 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 573
Remember too that most folks who have not had many problems don't come on and start threads saying that they have a great product. Most who post have a concern about one aspect or another of quality or workmanship. Therefore, the squeaky wheel is the one heard. We have had a few small issues, but nothing worth worrying about. I agree that a good bit of satisfaction or dis-satisfaction has to do with one's dealer and their responsiveness. Do due diligence prior to your purchase with both the dealer and the product you are interested in and go from there.

2010 Ford F-150 Crew Cab
2015 Salem Hemisphere 263RL
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:23 PM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 519
Every Mfg. makes many different lines all varying in cost and quality. I'm sure FR makes some low end products but to speak to your purchase I can say this...
Our Surveyor is our 2nd trailer and far exceeds the quality of the last one (a non FR product) It had very few initial flaws and has been great. Yes, it pays to be handy since driving down our terrible roads does seem to take it's toll on things. Keep i mind..most people are more likely to complain about a purchase than take the time to praise it.
Overall, I think you will be happy with your purchase.
Get out and enjoy, but know there will always be something to buy, upgrade or fix. Rv-ing is not a cheap hobby but worth every penny spent!
Good luck with your purchase and remember, there's a wealth of knowledge on this forum when something does go wrong. (Although sometimes you have to have a thick skin to get the answer )
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality Ayn Rand
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:41 PM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 553

FR is decent for the prince points. Sorry for the business response. But as an old plant IE consider design, components, and assembly. I can only speak to the sunseeker product, and I think every FR line varies.

IMHO design is good to better. Pretty well thought out less the black water jet intake behind the bay door (sunseeker specific I hope). Important, I like staying with solid (not foam core topped with lunan or such) flooring. Would love to see grade c exterior or better grade b marine plywood floors, never osb and rather not have cdx. Three years out I dont want a compressed foam soft spot in a high use area. Fiberglass roof, nice pick. Use of front cap, great. Rotocast bays, nice. Layout overall high marks. Some missed storage opportunities but could be an assembly cost function, should investigate as there is some dead space.

Purchase components average to better (given the cost allowances available). Like the gas / electric frig and hot water, air unit. Pumps and electrical components functionable, could be better but the cost would be higher. Drawer glides good. Plumbing quality good to better (pex connectors are exspensive, but metal would be a great product differentation). Shower, head, fine.

Manufactured components (cabinets, woodwork and such) average to good. But drawers flimsy, not expecting kitchenmaid (tm) 1/2 tonque and goove but at least stiff enough to support load for the given space of the drawers (customer should not have to redesign for use, see pics). Cabinets and shelves good to better, doors nice (everyone should make a cabinet door from scratch once in their life, you would appreciate them more).

Assembly rated as fair to average (where average fits in the marginal rv world). Electrical is closer to a usable form opposed to workmanship. I dont expect an IBEW install, but I have found wire bundles split around plumbing? Plywood splintered and rough under the bed (couldn't take 3 minutes to deburr edge with palm sander to save the bedding?).

Upon delivery our dvd would not work as the emergency brake electrical line became disconnected driving home (it was hanging down from the dash). The wire was originally twisted around the metal ground and not mechanically fastened to anything. Beyond the trash and sawdust i have a small collection of screws and fasteners found buried inside the coach.

So where do I stand. I would shop design. Everything else is correctable, and depending the type of person you maybe you may just rather do It on your own and just leave leaks, sweaks, and component failure to the warrenty. Would /will I by another rv, yes. Will it be an FR, no reason not to consider. I do like the fact that FR interacts here on this site and will discuss issues.

Are they junk, I guess you could say yes comparing to our brick stick home address or our cars. I would not accept sush workmanship in homes or cars. BUT most rv owner accept the assembly wows and give up comparing them to other industry standards. I don't want to accept that either, but that is how it is.

Overall we are happy with the design and performance of our FR sunseeker product for the level of investment made. Functions as avertised. Comes down to the acedemic classic definition of "fitness for use".

Go for it...... get one.

Now about the issue of the size of your rv, I think.................

Hoglou westGA
KM4HQQ 146.640mhz
L'IL Foot" 2014 Sunseeker 2300
"Harry" the JK toad in the mirror
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