My name is Jon, I'm new to this forum - but I've been lurking a while and new to the FR3, but not to camping and touring. I just pulled the trigger on a 2014 FR3 30DS, and I found much of the information posted here to be very helpful in making a decision.
Here's a picture of my Wife and kids at the RV show with our FR3 today:
I'm in Redmond WA, were going to be picking up next Saturday. I looked at the following rigs:
2. Thor ACE
3. Thor Axis (too small)
4. Fleetwood Storm
Overall I thought the FR3 was definitely the best value and had the best mix of quality/features/price. We bought at the Seattle RV show, although I've been researching for some time and by the time of the show had narrowed it down to the FR3/ACE shootout.
I think we got a good deal, don't mind sharing as I think my strategy worked.
* I researched thoroughly and found the best deal on a '14 was wholesale from RV Specialists in TX. Their best internet special was $76,900
* I wanted to work with a local dealer even if it meant a paying more, as I wanted to assurance of warranty work done close to home
* I weeded out the 'sale' prices which were running about $89,000 and waited for a show when they would have a factory rep attending
* I went straight in with a polite but firm 'no BS' attitude, I had the internet wholesale quote in hand, plus a pre-qual from my Credit Union and explained I wanted to give to my local dealer(s) a shot, and yes, they would get a signature today if they could make it a decent deal!
* I know they can't match wholesale, but on like for like, I asked for their best shot
I think I did okay, I swung a deal for a '14 like for like for $79k with a reasonably priced extended warranty for 5 years and 4.99% financing.
I'm pretty happy, I had to do a wee bit of arm twisting, but that seems like a good deal for these waters, and is significantly cheaper than any dealer within 500 miles. Like I said, I was polite and the sales guy may have been stroking my ego, but he said he much preferred to deal with a prepared buyer who was decisive and knew what they wanted and what it would take to seal a deal. I think we both walked away reasonably happy! I can't wait to get her out on a shakedown cruise, I see Yellowstone and Yosemite in my future :-)
Thanks for all of the good info here, hopefully I can give some back...