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Old 09-23-2015, 07:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Just starting!!

My family has been shopping for a new RV for a while and we have pretty much decided on the FR3 30DS or 32Ds. My question is is there any reason that someone might know of that we shouldn't buy that model? We have never owned an RV before only rented travel trailers on a few occasions. This is a big step for us and we want to be as sure as possible. Any input good or bad would be a big help!! Thank you in advance!


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Old 09-23-2015, 09:35 PM   #2
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Make sure you drive it before you decide. It will likely need steering stabilizer add ons. That is what I went to buy. Test drove it and ended up buying a forester.

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Old 09-24-2015, 01:00 AM   #3
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The most important thing to keep in mind when buying any type of RV is to be sure the floor plan, size and storage is what you want. We are very happy with our FR3 30DS. Sure, we've encountered problems but nothing that couldn't be taken care of. No matter what brand you buy, you'll find that owners are going to have problems. Hopefully small ones.
Rest assured you'll get answers to problems and get excellent ideas from this forum. Don't be afraid to ask anything. Even if it sounds like you're a rookie. We all were at one time.
Good luck and, happy trails.

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Curt & Isabel, & 9er (our Goldendoodle)
2014 Forest River FR3 30DS (Beasty)
2014 Honda CRV EX-L (toad)

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Old 09-24-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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Jeff, sounds like it's your first motorhome. My guess is your head is spinning a bit with all the options out there from a number of manufacturers. if you're set on the FR3, I think both the 30 (which I have) and the 32 are good options.

Clearly, the kitchen layout will be important to your wife and the two are very different. That might be a good place to start. We like having the kitchen all on one wall. The living layout of sitting area next to each other or across from each other does bring up personal preferences. I prefer them across from each other even though mine are on the same wall.

If you aren't set on the FR3, I'd strongly look at a C or Super C, if for nothing else that driveability. A previous post mentioned this and I can't emphasize this enough. The FR3 (and other motorhomes built on the F53 chasis) drives like crap. Many people spend $500 to $2000 on upgrades, such as steering stabiliizers, new shock and the Cheap Handling Fix.

If I could do it all over, I'd go with a C or Super C. They may not be as stylish and they are long with that big hood hanging off the front, but they drive much better and are arguably safer for driver and passenger.

Regardless, DRIVE the rigs you're considering. Not just a few miles, but at least 20 or 30 in different conditions. It's imperitive you drive in the wind, to understand what you're getting into. Pick a day with at least 10-15 mph winds. Make sure you drive multiple models during that windy day to judge the differences.

Good luck, Jeff. You'll enjoy RVing, but take your time making your choice.
Jay & Jane
2014 FR3 30DS

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
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Where are you located at? I know if you were near me, your free to swing by and take all the time over some beers looking our RV over. It just helps to know what your looking at and have time to soak all the info in prior to making that big purchase. I don't think RV ownership is really for people who aren't handy IMO. Just too many small things that always seem need tweaking. Just helps being handy and not being tied to the dealership to keep your rig on the road. I hate hearing stories about RVs in the shop for 5 weeks, just to do basic maintenance that one can do in their driveway on a Saturday. And if you are handy, IMO, I wouldn't buy a new RV just for the 1 year manufacture warranty and the depreciation cost that first year. You can pick up a 1 year old FR3 with low miles for very reasonable. This isn't a possibility with the 32DS since its new this year though. We picked up our 9 month old 30DS with only 4,800 miles and saved quite a bit to not worry about missing out on the warranty. And the powertrain from Ford is good for 3 years, 36,000 miles. JMHO though...

Whatever RV, pick on based on your layout that you can see chilling in during a day or two of rain storm. Driving a 30 vs 32 footer isn't that big of a deal, and you'll learn how to drive it. But you can't change your floorplan without major bucks. And plan on putting some money into the suspension to make it handle right. And I bet between the two, the longer wheelbase on the 32DS will drive better being on a 228" chassis vs 190". And I would have your new prospective RV weight before buying so you know what sort of axle weights your dealing with. I know with our 30DS, our rear axle is always very close or at that 12,000 lb limit.

Good luck with your decision and just take your time figuring everything out. And holler if your in KS.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:46 AM   #6
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One more thing to add is that we really need 2 ACs in our 30DS and wish it was an option. Which is a very nice perk on the 32DS. Having 2 ACs and the 5500 Onan. I plan on adding a second AC and either buying another genset, or upgrading to the 5500 Onan down the road. One AC just can't handle temps above 90F very well. Another tidbit...
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 30
Greetings Jeff, your post was enough motivation to finally register here after weeks and weeks of reading this very helpful forum ourselves. About six weeks ago we purchased our 2015 FR3 30DS. We are long time RVers (travel trailer, 5th wheels) and this was our first entry into Class A camping. Once our decision had been made to move to a Class A, my wife did endless research on every conceivable option and feature and plan and manufacturer. We knew we wanted/needed the "hybrid" Class A with power bed over driver/passenger. In the end, all research led to the FR3 and we've been thrilled with the experience so far. I agree with 'drivemsafe' that every new unit will have some issues...we have never met a new RV that was issue-free coming off the assembly line and I agree with 'KansasFR3' that being somewhat handy goes a long way. We have benefited greatly from all the modifications posted on the FR3 forum and incorporated many of them and I'd like to do even more, time permitting this season. Long story short for now, our buying experience was pleasant, we are very pleased with the FR3, and the jury is still out on our local dealer's service department. Good luck with your own search and decision.

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