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Old 07-05-2016, 10:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 34
Buying a 14' FR3 Tomorrow - Anything I should be looking for?

I'm buying a 2014 FR3 25ft. tomorrow. The rv has 3,100 miles on it. It was apparently driven on two trips.

I've never owned an rv. Are there any specific things I should be looking for when buying a used rig?

I am buying from a dealer which has this rig for sale by consignment.


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Old 07-05-2016, 11:16 PM   #2
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Posts: 732
Drive it first.

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Old 07-05-2016, 11:23 PM   #3
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Posts: 133
I think the early FR3s had problems with walls separating.

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Old 07-06-2016, 07:40 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Congrats on your potential purchase and welcome to the forum. This source has been of tremendous value to me and I hope to you as well as a new (hopefully) new FR3 owner.

Others can provide well-meaning advice on the 2014 FR3 coach itself. My personal caution comes not for the FR3 but for the Ford chassis it rides on. I (and others) have experienced numerous issues with my June 2014 production date chassis. Happily, those have been fixed under warranty, however, it's taken numerous trips to my local Ford truck center to accomplish. Be sure you know what - if any - repair and warranty work has been done with the chassis.

Best wishes for your purchase and let us know what you decide.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:50 AM   #5
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Posts: 347
Definitely drive it first but don't let handling issues scare you. Some folks find the engine and wind noise to be excessive without adding additional sound deadening etc. Also, I would budget an extra 2k for all those things you don't know you need yet. The Twin Traction Beam front suspension can be a real bear to get aligned and there are many horror stories from people that threw thousands at it in accessories to try and get it right. I would call around to body shops and ask if they do repairs on E series box trucks. If they do ask them the difference between aligning one for over the road use versus around town use. I would give them a second look if they can give you an answer that amounts to something like this:

Over the road drivers will prefer slightly positive camber and neutral to slightly positive toe. This puts maximum tire contact on the road and helps the rig track straight to the detriment of around town handling. Around the town drivers will prefer neutral to a sightly negative camber to improve handling at low speeds. The number they throw at you is going to vary but my forester currently has a positive camber of 6 degrees with a near zero toe and it tracks straight as an arrow down the road. It's no Ferrari around town but its an RV it never will be :-)

Camber is the PITA for the TTB front end and that's where you separate the men from the boys when aligning this type of front end. The reason is that this suspension causes the wheel to move in more of an arch than other suspensions. It's not uncommon for a shop to have to take a few whacks at a rig to get the camber right. It's also not unusual for a shop to have to adjust the driver and passenger wheel to completely different settings using an incremental approach until it's right. Getting the camber right on these front ends is an art and there aren't any set rules to follow. If you can find someone that can tell you about how much fun it is to dial in the camber and warns you to expect to come back a few times to get it fully dialed in then that is the man I would go to.

I would get the alignment set when your rig is fully loaded including water if you plan to travel with water. The compression of the suspension will greatly alter the front end alignment and cause a good alignment to be completely wrong when loaded and give you garbage handling regardless of how good the shop is. Some folks swear by shock and sway bar upgrades etc but I have found that a good alignment is a much cheaper approach that works quite well.

Once you have the alignment right you will be more stable at speed but wind and big rigs will still move you around thanks to side to side spring flex in the rear caused by the forces on the side of the rig and how the springs are put together in the rear. Installing a track bar in the back will git rid of 90% of that fun. If you have air bags you can also tweak them to fight the sway by adding 5 lbs more pressure in the drivers side bag. That will fight the big rig suction but it will make you more prone to being pushed off the side of the road by wind. Blue Ox makes a bolt in bar that works really well but there are many manufacturers that make track bars for this chassis. :

Blue Ox Trac Bars | Blue Ox
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:53 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Keizer Oregon
Posts: 194
With only 3100 miles, it's barely broken in. I bought my FR3 with 2100 miles on it and it handles just fine as it pertains to alignment.
There is a fix for the "Sway-Bar" that you can do in your own driveway I'm told. It tightens up the affect that trucks and wind have on you to a point. I haven't done it yet myself but it's in the plans.
I would invest in a steering stabilizer and new shocks as well. I just got back from a 2000 mile trip and I won't be going back out until I get and install the best shocks I can find for the Ford chassis. of all the things I can find to complain about, the shocks are the worst of it.

The transmission in mine is junk... it works but not very good and I'm told it's normal but mine will not shift from 3rd to 4th until you lift your foot off the peddle.... ever.... there is a giant gap between 4th and OD.... and a little gear in between there?.... that is great if you can get it in there on some of the hills you'll encounter.

My Furrion TV in the main area went out and it was covered by warrantee.
My Furrion CD/ DVD player won't play DVD's now (last trip through Montana might have killed it)
Some people have complained about slides or the motors breaking gears, but mine's been fine.
My Dometic Air Cond quit and I had it replaced under warrantee as well.
The dash is noisy and it rattles a lot. I'm not sure why but on the Montana goat path I-90, it was about all I could take.... everywhere else it was fine. Stay out of Montana and you'll likely be fine.

My FR3 30DS has been a lot of fun!... there are little things with all campers / trailers / and motorhomes... don't let that stop you from having fun. The FR3 is a great motorhome in my opinion. it is made up of Dometic parts, Suburban Propane parts, Furrion Electronics, and a Ford Chassis.... The company itself (Forest River) has been perfect to deal with.
I haven't heard anything about walls delaminating, and many of the horror stories I've heard are kind of limited, given the number of people that own these things.
You can meet people with them in almost any campground and by and large everyone says the same thing... great motorhome for the money and they are happy... as I am...

Welcome to the FR3 family
2015 FR3 30 DS
1995 Wrangler
Miles 4600
Days Camped 48
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:12 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Western KY
Posts: 139
I have a 2014 FR3 25DS (chassis was made in late 2013).
Take extra time with the walk through (PDI i believe is the term).
Have them demonstrate all the systems not just point and say press this to do this. This period units had an issue with slide motors stripping their gears. Only way to find out if you got a bad one is to operate the slides enough. I had my bedroom unit fail in the first year and was covered no issue. Takes about an hour to open up the motor area and replace the motor. Not a hard job but you have to have the spare motor (both slides use the same type motor so i bought an extra on ebay and carry it in the basement....which pretty much insures the ones in use will never break ) The good news is the slides can be assisted in/out even with a broken gear motor. Just push while somebody presses the button. Havent heard anymore about these problems and the motors are working great. YMMV not all got bum gears. Paid about $125 for the spare motor to have on hand.

Had a weird jack problem covered under warranty but it was a singularity...and involved a sawz-all

Also had an issue with the generator which Cummins covered. Buttery fly on the carb broke .... Since fixed no issue.

Last few trips have all been event free

You should be able to get some serious savings on that coach.

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