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Old 03-02-2014, 11:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 34
New to Rv'ing

Hello all,

I have been lurking for a little while learning as much as possible so I can make an informed purchase decision. I first decided I wanted to buy a preowned coach to avoid absorbing the depreciation on a new rig right out of the dealer showroom. I narrowed down my choices to FR3 30DS, Ace 30.1 or Mirada 29DS. We went to many dealers, RV shows and drove several and yesterday decided on the FR3.

Our decision wasn't easy as all of the coaches offered some great features. Our first and foremost concern was the floor plan. My wife liked the Mirada floor plan the best and I liked the Mirada 50 amp service, two AC units and larger 5500 watt Onan generator. I was told by the factory rep I should also prefer the longer Mirada 228" wheelbase as almost all MH's built on the Ford F53 chassis have a 190" wheel base. Unfortunately, we ruled out the Mirada for two reasons. The main reason was my wife (she is not a short person at 5'3.5") could not move the driver seat forward enough to comfortably reach the floor pedals and we both did not care for the front seats. I didn't think the driver seat had enough leg support (too short a seat) and was not that comfortable. I also did not like the jack knife sofa. In the closed seated position or in the open for sleeping I didn't think it comfortable at all.

The Ace had lots of conveniences I really liked. The flip out passenger seat dash tray with 12volt and AC outlets in the tray compartment. Really well thought out. I liked the 32" TV adjustable bracket arm to turn the TV toward the front seats so you could easily watch TV while eating or having cocktails on the removable table that is mounted between the front seats. Very nice and well thought out. However, my wife and I thought the dinette and coach seating was cheesy and not comfortable and would not be comfortable sleeping on either. The ACE drove very nice but had very limited external storage capacity.

We both thought the FR3 was better quality and loved the sofa hide a bed with built in foot rests. The hide a bed was a full queen just like in the bedroom. I found in most coaches the queen bedroom mattress was the shorter 60" X 75" mattress. I am not that tall at 6"1" but would hate my feet hanging over the end of the bed. I also liked the leather seating and the driver and passenger seats were very comfortable. The external storage capacity was almost double that of the ACE. The ACE had only 68 cu ft verses FR3 112 cu ft a big difference especially for extended trips for a month or more. Even 122 cu ft may be challenging for long extended trips.

I do have a couple of question for the group:

Has anyone found the need to add stability adjustments or a sway bar to their FR3 30DS coach? I have read that stability adjustments were recommended on earlier Ford F53 chassis like a 2011 or 2012 and was wondering if 2014 Ford F53 chassis required same.

Also, I noticed on the FR3 that it did not have a tray with cup holders between the front seats mounted on the engine cover. Has anyone found one they could tell me about?

Can anyone tell me about the shower curtain verses the plastic simulated door? I noticed, depending on how early a model version you purchased, the shower may just have a curtain instead of the sliding shower door. Anyone have a preference and why?

Thank you all for sharing such great information and I hope to report in the near future that I am an FR3 owner and am looking forward to sharing my trip experiences this coming summer.

Now our search for a pre-owned FR3 30DS coach begins.



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Old 03-02-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Dawsonville, GA
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Welcome to the forum. Someone will chime in to answer your questions soon I'm sure.

Glen & Lee
Dawsonville, GA
2013 V-Cross Platinum 325VRL
2014 Ford F250 PSD
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Florida & Minnesota
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Hi PDG. Sounds like you've really done your research.

You have some really good questions. I spoke with my dealer about stability control. I was advised that adding any aftermarket upgrades would likely void the chassis warranty. I've stayed away from that. If warranty wasn't an issue, I would look into adding something to make it drive a little better and reduce how much the coach gets pushed around by passing semis and high winds.

The hide-a-bed is much nicer than the jackknife sofas. Good call there. We looked at many other Class As and we were turned off by those that didn't have a decent bed from kids/guests.

The shower is a major issues in pre-'15 FR3s. We added a glass door to eliminate leaking. We literally soaked a towel that I rolled up and put outside the shower during our first trip. Others have put up plastic pieces along the sides of the shower to stop water from leaking out. Whatever your solution, you'll likely need to do something.

You are absolutely right on the basement storage. The FR3 has a lot for a smaller Class A. It will help quite a bit on your longer trips. Some similar coaches have very little, which was a deal-breaker for us.

You've probably read the comments on cup holders. FR3 owners have found several solutions to the problem on not having a cup holder. There's a string on the FR3 site that was recently started. There's probably others that are months old. You will be able to find a solution. I will be making my own cup holder out of wood and I'll include some slots for maps/magazines and a place for change and other items. This can be worked around, although I'm hoping that Forest River is taking note that no cup holders up front is not a good thing!

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:59 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 34
Hi Spicyrv,
Thanks for your reply. Still looking for the cup holder tray that will sit on the engine cover between the fornt seats. Found something on Amazon but it is for a car and it just doesn't seem to do it for me. Re the shower doors, I did find Irvine 3 panel sliding shower doors online built for RV's that are affordable but when I am ready will also go to Home Depot and Lowes to compare.
Anyone who knows a good of a cup holder tray that will sit on the engine cover please let us know.


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Old 03-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 546
We opted not to put cup holders on the engine cover. Liked not having cramped area. Instead we put plastic fold away cup holder under the passenger window. I put a link to some we found on eBay in another posting titled "cup holder" in this forum. We also put one on each side of the sofa. They work nicely.
Smooth Roads, and, Drive 'em Safe

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

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Old 03-12-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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Location: michigan
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Didn't the FR3 just come out last year?
MI Camperz
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Location: Niles,MI
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Originally Posted by bodzcampers View Post
didn't the fr3 just come out last year?

2014 FR3 30DS

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