Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-11-2017, 03:16 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 11
Full Timing?

New here. We've decided we want to full time. After years of dreaming, we're finally in a place where we can do it (sold the big house, kicked kids out, etc.)

We love the FR3s, on paper anyway. Head to shows and dealers over the next month or two to check them out in person. Been reading a ton about them. We totally get these are entry/budget class A's. We understand they aren't necessarily designed for full time living. We get that we could spend about the same money on a used coach and get more for our money. We know the limitations of the FR3 in size, storage and tanks sizes (although tanks aren't bad compared to similar models). We know the issues through reading these forums and others.

We think new is the way to go and honestly, other than a couple of exceptions, moving a step or two up doesn't get you a whole lot more in our opinion. Smaller tanks, same floor plans, same general level of quality and materials.

We are also young (50 and 47). I've got tools and I'm not afraid to tackle repairs and upgrades. I can't handle heavy mechanical or electronic issues but minor house and chassis issues, not a problem. We've owned a couple of tent trailers and one TT. We also plan on boondocking much of the time, maybe 60%.

That being said, who full times or spends long periods out in an FR3? What is your experience? Are we going to wear the poor thing out in a year or will it stand up to daily living by two people that will take care of and even improve the unit? Are we nuts or is it doable?

We aren't looking for definitive answers. Everyone is different and has different need and expectations. We just want to hear differing opinions and experiences. Thanks in advance.
__________________

danjennevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2017, 10:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Full timing around the states
Posts: 101
I have lived FT in a FR3 30 2013 unit. (Single). First two winters in it was in central Iowa. Putting a layer of 4x8 house foam and plywood allowed me to make it thru the winters. Since then, retired and have been running around camping in every state. (30 so far, at least 4 places, 1 month each state) started west side heading east.
Biggest problem so far, the bolt for the step motor keeps breaking. Also had a rock crack the front windshield. Have standard maintenance done every spring. (Oil, tires checked, tuneup). Usually I catch parks with at least power / water. But have spent an occasional boondock weekend.
Got a 125watt solar panel on the roof. Helps keep the cabin running. Am planning on upping the solar to 300 and batteries to a set of 4. Would make boondock easier. On cloudy days, still need to run the motor or generator to keep the batteries full.
Of course any A/C device (microwave, TV, computers, air conditioner) takes shore power or generator.
Ron Chamberlain
Retired and roaming.
__________________

Ron Chamber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2017, 06:55 PM   #3
Member
 
DaRealDeal77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 50
Hi Ron,
We are full timing since June last year. Our FR3 30DS is new, but even new it has been on the shop three times. I think is part of the game of having a home that moves a lot!
We found the hard way about an INVERTER and what works on shore power only. Usually dealers just want to sell you the RV, and get you out the door. Other than that we have learned to buy small at the groceries, but buy often. Not to carry a full tank of fresh water unless we are BOONDOCKING, never let the gas tank go below 1/2, always check the Propane tank, cause the control center is never RIGHT! Don't trust the GPS, look at the real maps before you go into the mountains. I do maintenance on all movable parts every month, clean, lubricate. Invest on a TPMS tire sensors (had a bad blowout on my tow jeep).
Other than that, GO FOR It! Life's to Short!
Enjoy Full Timing!

Nelly Real & Yolanda Real
Retired and Discovering our Great Country
DaRealDeal77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:53 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 126
I have 4 young kids in my fr3 you are not going to wear it our. Read on. If we cannot wear it out, you wont either.

From what you said I think fr3 is a good fit for you. I have 4 kids and spend 2-3 months in it in the summer. I would say for cost it is great rv but it is for handy people. You should be able to buy new for 85-90k. For the price of the rv I would also buy new.

I think the base rv was built well. It is just those small stupid things you will have to fix. Caulking shower, fixing hinges and so on. I think in the small thing fr went for speed not quality. Not to say bad, but that is generally the things I had to fix.

Example door in master bed feel right out of the ceiling. They put like 1/4" screws in the rail. Replace with 3/4" and now solid. Bathroom door needed adjusting. Hinges under dining seat came loose. Another added longer screws.

My steps broke to, but fr knows it is problem. On my 32ds the stairs need to be welded and reinforced. This issue might be fixed in 2017. But forest river warranties the steps in a heartbeat, no waiting forever on that issue. Let them know and they might even pay you back if you hire your own welder.

With 4 kids it has stood up to allot of abuse.

One big problem, but with no kids it will not effect you. One of the kids shoved matchbox car under slideout and ripped a gouge across the floor. Since the flooring is one giant sheet of vinyl it is difficult to fix. I think the 2017 model is individual pieces of vinyls instead of one giant piece of vinyl.

I am sure the 29' would be great for 2 people. I would buy this fr3 again without thinking about.

I am currently looking at the forest river legacy because I was happy with my fr3. It is the diesel version of the fr3 (in my mind it is the diesel version). It is 6 foot longer with washer dryer and so forth. I have 6 people in my rv, need a little bigger.

Also been all over country in my fr3 pulling a Ford F-150 4x4. It is gas so it is not great on gas or going over mountains when towing a big truck.

Lastly I would recommend,
Safetyplus steering stabilizer
And the front end cheap handling fix.
After doing that wheel alignment.

This made driving the fr3 so so much better. I can drive this. For 8 hours now. Before driver fatigue would set in from fighting the rv.
linchat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:56 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 126
I have 4 young kids in my fr3 you are not going to wear it our. Read on. If we cannot wear it out, you wont either.

From what you said I think fr3 is a good fit for you. I have 4 kids and spend 2-3 months in it in the summer. I would say for cost it is great rv but it is for handy people. You should be able to buy new for 85-90k. For the price of the rv I would also buy new.

I think the base rv was built well. It is just those small stupid things you will have to fix. Caulking shower, fixing hinges and so on. I think in the small thing fr went for speed not quality. Not to say bad, but that is generally the things I had to fix.

Example door in master bed feel right out of the ceiling. They put like 1/4" screws in the rail. Replace with 3/4" and now solid. Bathroom door needed adjusting. Hinges under dining seat came loose. Another added longer screws.

My steps broke to, but fr knows it is problem. On my 32ds the stairs need to be welded and reinforced. This issue might be fixed in 2017. But forest river warranties the steps in a heartbeat, no waiting forever on that issue. Let them know and they might even pay you back if you hire your own welder.

With 4 kids it has stood up to allot of abuse.

One big problem, but with no kids it will not effect you. One of the kids shoved matchbox car under slideout and ripped a gouge across the floor. Since the flooring is one giant sheet of vinyl it is difficult to fix. I think the 2017 model is individual pieces of vinyls instead of one giant piece of vinyl.

I am sure the 29' would be great for 2 people. I would buy this fr3 again without thinking about.

I am currently looking at the forest river legacy because I was happy with my fr3. It is the diesel version of the fr3 (in my mind it is the diesel version). It is 6 foot longer with washer dryer and so forth. I have 6 people in my rv, need a little bigger.

Also been all over country in my fr3 pulling a Ford F-150 4x4. It is gas so it is not great on gas or going over mountains when towing a big truck.

Lastly I would recommend,
Safetyplus steering stabilizer
And the front end cheap handling fix.
After doing that wheel alignment.

This made driving the fr3 so so much better. I can drive this. For 8 hours now. Before driver fatigue would set in from fighting the rv.
linchat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 08:01 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 126
One last thought, we ju8st do not use it in summer only we go out in the fr3 camping on the weekends throughout the year. For a new rv, and since it is relatively inexpensive the savings you save can be added in small investment upgrading where you want.
linchat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 04:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
PhotoMaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 264
Linchat, my DW closed the slide with a power cord in the way. Tore a big 'V' shaped hole. Contacted a company called Fibrenew that said they could fix it. It was cheap and the tech did a great job.
Before
Click image for larger version

Name:	20150419_180424.jpeg
Views:	126
Size:	66.2 KB
ID:	132221
After
Click image for larger version

Name:	20150504_162455.jpeg
Views:	130
Size:	94.2 KB
ID:	132222
__________________
Greg, Barbara and Cody the wonder-pup.
2014 FR3 30DS
(and 2 200cc Scooters)
PhotoMaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 07:06 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 11
Thanks for the replies. We saw the FR3 at an RV show. We actually liked the new Thor A.C.E. better but both were nice for what they were. Since then we've seen a FR Georgetown Series 5 and we love it. It's few steps up the ladder from the FR3 amenities wise but still in our price range. We really like the bigger fresh water tank (though the gray isn't any bigger but one less thing to worry about when boondocking) and the significantly higher cargo capacity (about 2500 lbs after accounting for water).

We're seriously leaning towards the Georgetown. Still letting it perk in our heads though. Nice to hear some real world experience in the FR3.
danjennevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 08:53 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 126
Nice fix on the floor. I looked up the company and they are close enough that I could drive to get it fixed. Your tear IS EXACTLY like mine, mine is about 3 times as big. But same vshape tear.

Thanks!
linchat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2017, 12:46 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
PhotoMaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 264
Glad I could help
__________________

__________________
Greg, Barbara and Cody the wonder-pup.
2014 FR3 30DS
(and 2 200cc Scooters)
PhotoMaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 AM.