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Old 12-28-2016, 04:52 PM   #1
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Smile Thinking of purchasing a FR3 28DS

I have owned two Class C motorhomes. My wife wanted more leg room, more windows, and a Sofa instead of a Dinette. I started looking at newer Class C motorhomes.

May 2016
We liked the walk around Queen bed in the Forest River Sunseeker 2650S with a sofa option (no longer available), but it was still a Class C with the driver leg room problem.

June 2016
I started looking at Class A motorhomes that would fit in my driveway. It had to be less than 30 foot, so I could park it in my driveway. I had to have room for the three of us, my Wife, Son, and I. It also had to have sofa seating for a third adult.

August 2016
I looked at the Thor Axis 25.2 (26'-6") My wife liked the view from the sofa, but it had a poor view out the right side. I also looked at a Thor ACE 30.3 (31' too long for me). It had the windows on both sides but the sofa was too close the passenger seat and it had a step-up to the cockpit.

Sept 2016
Then I found the floor-plan of the FR3 28DS. It has the walk around King bed in back, Jackknife sofa with foot-rest opposite the dinette, The door between the passenger seat & sofa, and no step-up to the cockpit. This means the passenger seat can have more room for the reclining. It was also important to my wife that the sofa not be on a slide. The slide puts a wall behind the driver when it is pulled in for driving. She was thinking of the seating for the third adult. My son is 23.

November 2016
I was not able to see a FR3 28DS at the local dealer ABC motorhomes. But they only had the FR3 29DS, FR3 30DS, and FR3 32DS.

The FR3 30DS had the bathroom & shower layout like the FR3 28DS. I like the large size of the bathroom with both doors closed.

The FR3 32DS had the Dinette & Jackknife sofas like the FR3 28DS. My wife liked Jackknife sofa. She could see the driver, out the front windshield and both sides of the road.

I also looked at the power fold-away bed with latches that came with the 2017 instead of magnets of earlier FR3s.

Downside: None of the FR3s had any 12-volt attic fans with cover standard on a Thor Axis. I will have to purchase 4 Fantastic attic vents with covers. I counted four roof vent openings. (Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and front) The Range hood vent in the Microwave Oven is 120 volts AC.

December 2016
My driveway is 38’ but I have to be 8 foot back from the street for the snow plow. I have a fence on the left side of the driveway and 12 foot between the house & the fence. I would not be able to open the left side but I could open the rear slide in the driveway.

To get a FR3 28DS in Alaska, I will have to order sight unseen. I need some reviews from FR3 28DS owners out there.

I want to install handicap rails in bathroom and shower. I also need to know how to run CAT5 & HDMI wiring between TVs. I want to install a small NAS server with HDMI output to MP3's & video files to all the TVs. I have also requested this information from the dealer.

My plan is to sign an order for April 2018 delivery later this week.

Thanks
Robert
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:14 PM   #2
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My wife and I owns a 2016 28ds now a little over a year. We use it to travel to her triathlons. Two of us and two dogs. I wanted something she could drive and this was the largest unit she felt like she could maneuver.

So- we like the coach, a few cosmetic issues solved in one trip to the dealer about 4 months ago. For us here are the pluses and minuses.

Overall size is a little short for us but our usual mission is 3 to 4 day stays.

1.The rear bed slide out is kind of nice but drafty when cold out and noisy in the rain.
2.I have hammered my noggin multiple times on the slide out getting to the rear storage. The door under the rear slide out affords the best access but only when the slide is in.
3. The storage is limited inside and out. Plan accordingly. The best storage for larger items is in the rear. So putting a lot of weight back there could overload the rear axle.
4. The TV in the living area is on a slide that becomes the doors for the cabinets over the sink. While not a deal breaker you have to be very careful what you put in those cabinets as it will move around and bang on the TV and the only way to access that storage is with the slide in the open position.
5. The sink area has basically no counter space so doing dishes usually means your are cleaning the floor at the same time.
6. Depending on gross weight, terrain and winds expect 4.9 to 6.9 MPG. We came home from Lexington Ky on I 74 headed east with a 35 to 40 MPH southwest wind. I could maintain 65 but barely until the crosswind caused handling issues then had to slow to 40. Got 4.9 mpg on that run. Day in day out 60 to 65 no generator running, easy on the gas and lighter weight will net you 6.4 to 6.5 mpg average. Plenty of go power but the fuel mileage is horrible, horrible,horrible. My last gas coach would average 9.6 mpg at 65, 454v8, three speed overdrive trans.

That is about it for the negatives

I could go on for pages on the positives. Here are the highlights

Love the floor, easy to clean, tough, slip resistant nice color.

While the drivers seat is a PITA to turn toward the living area it is comfortable for me and adjusts well. I am 6'4" and have to move the seat toward the wheel.

The self leveling jacks means my wife can level the coach all by herself. No issues

King size bed means all 4 of us get a good nights sleep, only downside is it folds to allow the slide to move in so no napping on the road. Dogs complain the most.

I have found the A/C adequate if you pull shades, turn it on and leave it on at 70. We camped in hot humid weather in Illinois with the dogs going in and out and my wife complains it is cold.

Short turning radius means it fits everywhere I have taken it. Even paralleled parked it in a narrow downtown area.

Fridge is adequate, about medium sized and if you pack it right will do just nicely.

All the water and black/grey tank storage is good, easy to dump and clean and they are heated. Winterizing takes me 3 gallons of RV antifreeze and about 25 min. I could get by with 2 but it is cheap.

Overhead bunk is useful for sleeping grand kids or storage, haven't had it fall while driving.

The view while driving is amazing, that large front windshield is great.

Radio is multi function and side-rear cameras are nice

The power awning is great, easy to open close and the LED light is just enough

Need to tow car, no problem, dolly tow a VW Jetta or flat tow my wrangler, doesn't know it's back there. Averages .1 mpg hit to mileage

House battery is a 12 volt deep cycle but we don't boon dock so it has been fine for us.

House lights are LED and bright, strategically placed- no complaints

Headlights have been more than adequate, fog lights make it better.

Fit and finish is OK and perfectly acceptable for the price point

Interior surfaces are easy to clean and have held up well to the 4 legged traffic

I have done the cheap handling fix, steering stabilizer, vent covers and a fantastic fan. That is about it. It works for us and my goal is to keep the weight down so we have not added shelves etc as you will see on this forum. Maybe in the future I will change the speakers, add a few shelves and maybe add a rear A/C. Overall We are happy and would not hesitate to buy the same coach again.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:33 PM   #3
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I forgot to address your desire for handi cap rails - the shower I think would be doable if strategically placed, however the door opening is narrow and the wall construction means you will have to epoxy them on. I had to do that for my dad who had Parkinson's and needed grab bars. I ordered them at the big box store and installed them, done correctly they worked great, he was a big man 6'1" and 245 lbs.

The bathroom on the other hand is a little tight and I don't see see room to install them and still have access to the toilet.

So I store my Motorhome at my manufacturing facility - I would be willing to take pictures, measure or work with you to get you the data you need to make a decision. Buying sight unseen is not something that is wisely done.

If you send me an e-mail address or a number to send text pictures I will help all I can.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:39 PM   #4
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Save your money ... look at all the problems with fr3. Its crazy


2015 fr3 towing a Suzuki grand vatara
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:31 PM   #5
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Location: Hastings new York
Posts: 126
My wife and I have also been kicking around the idea of trading in our 5er for a motor home but after reading all the issues with these RV's we are thinking a Cedar Creek Silverback 29RE might be our best bet but we did spend a lot of time looking at the FR3 32 DS as we wanted the shower and bathroom together, but then we went and looked at the Thor Motorhome Windsport 34 F and fell in love with that floor plan and the price wasn't that bad but the kicker is the amount of issues people are having with these $100,000 motor homes and trying to get warranty work done is like trying to pull teeth. Then you need to pull a toad, so we are still up in the air but really like the Silverback 29RE especially if we are going to winter in the south.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AD2 View Post
My wife and I owns a 2016 28ds now a little over a year. We use it to travel to her triathlons. Two of us and two dogs. I wanted something she could drive and this was the largest unit she felt like she could maneuver.

So- we like the coach, a few cosmetic issues solved in one trip to the dealer about 4 months ago. For us here are the pluses and minuses.

Overall size is a little short for us but our usual mission is 3 to 4 day stays.

1.The rear bed slide out is kind of nice but drafty when cold out and noisy in the rain.
2.I have hammered my noggin multiple times on the slide out getting to the rear storage. The door under the rear slide out affords the best access but only when the slide is in.
3. The storage is limited inside and out. Plan accordingly. The best storage for larger items is in the rear. So putting a lot of weight back there could overload the rear axle.
4. The TV in the living area is on a slide that becomes the doors for the cabinets over the sink. While not a deal breaker you have to be very careful what you put in those cabinets as it will move around and bang on the TV and the only way to access that storage is with the slide in the open position.
5. The sink area has basically no counter space so doing dishes usually means your are cleaning the floor at the same time.
6. Depending on gross weight, terrain and winds expect 4.9 to 6.9 MPG. We came home from Lexington Ky on I 74 headed east with a 35 to 40 MPH southwest wind. I could maintain 65 but barely until the crosswind caused handling issues then had to slow to 40. Got 4.9 mpg on that run. Day in day out 60 to 65 no generator running, easy on the gas and lighter weight will net you 6.4 to 6.5 mpg average. Plenty of go power but the fuel mileage is horrible, horrible,horrible. My last gas coach would average 9.6 mpg at 65, 454v8, three speed overdrive trans.

That is about it for the negatives

I could go on for pages on the positives. Here are the highlights

Love the floor, easy to clean, tough, slip resistant nice color.

While the drivers seat is a PITA to turn toward the living area it is comfortable for me and adjusts well. I am 6'4" and have to move the seat toward the wheel.

The self leveling jacks means my wife can level the coach all by herself. No issues

King size bed means all 4 of us get a good nights sleep, only downside is it folds to allow the slide to move in so no napping on the road. Dogs complain the most.

I have found the A/C adequate if you pull shades, turn it on and leave it on at 70. We camped in hot humid weather in Illinois with the dogs going in and out and my wife complains it is cold.

Short turning radius means it fits everywhere I have taken it. Even paralleled parked it in a narrow downtown area.

Fridge is adequate, about medium sized and if you pack it right will do just nicely.

All the water and black/grey tank storage is good, easy to dump and clean and they are heated. Winterizing takes me 3 gallons of RV antifreeze and about 25 min. I could get by with 2 but it is cheap.

Overhead bunk is useful for sleeping grand kids or storage, haven't had it fall while driving.

The view while driving is amazing, that large front windshield is great.

Radio is multi function and side-rear cameras are nice

The power awning is great, easy to open close and the LED light is just enough

Need to tow car, no problem, dolly tow a VW Jetta or flat tow my wrangler, doesn't know it's back there. Averages .1 mpg hit to mileage

House battery is a 12 volt deep cycle but we don't boon dock so it has been fine for us.

House lights are LED and bright, strategically placed- no complaints

Headlights have been more than adequate, fog lights make it better.

Fit and finish is OK and perfectly acceptable for the price point

Interior surfaces are easy to clean and have held up well to the 4 legged traffic

I have done the cheap handling fix, steering stabilizer, vent covers and a fantastic fan. That is about it. It works for us and my goal is to keep the weight down so we have not added shelves etc as you will see on this forum. Maybe in the future I will change the speakers, add a few shelves and maybe add a rear A/C. Overall We are happy and would not hesitate to buy the same coach again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AD2 View Post
I forgot to address your desire for handi cap rails - the shower I think would be doable if strategically placed, however the door opening is narrow and the wall construction means you will have to epoxy them on. I had to do that for my dad who had Parkinson's and needed grab bars. I ordered them at the big box store and installed them, done correctly they worked great, he was a big man 6'1" and 245 lbs.

The bathroom on the other hand is a little tight and I don't see see room to install them and still have access to the toilet.

So I store my Motorhome at my manufacturing facility - I would be willing to take pictures, measure or work with you to get you the data you need to make a decision. Buying sight unseen is not something that is wisely done.

If you send me an e-mail address or a number to send text pictures I will help all I can.
Anthony,
Thanks for the review.

I was delayed going to the local Dealer by a snowstorm. They are fifty miles away.

I plan to make the trip tomorrow. I will place an order but will not purchase until after I see the new FR3 28DS.

I forgot to mention that in 1977, I lived in a 32 foot Spartan travel trailer. The water was push out of the water tank by a small air compressor after you filled it. RVs have come a long way. A new 2017 FR3 has improvements over an older 2014 FR3. Forest River made some of these changes to fix design flaws. Both of my class C's had to be repaired and modified.

My house was built 30 years ago and I am still fixing issues left behind by the builder. Electrical, foundation, plumbing and furnace to list a few. I bought this house 17 years ago and it is a labor of love.

I understand there will be some problems on any new or used RV. If it has moving parts, it will fail. We all have to do preventative maintenance to prolong the life of everything.

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Thanks for reading.
Robert
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:36 AM   #7
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FR3 28ds

I purchased mine in Aug 2016, Sept I departed central Fl for Seattle WA. I put on over seven thousand miles in eight weeks. It worked out perfectly. I like the gentleman previously put a steering stabilizer on mine. It worked well except for the Kansas winds (another story). We really like the bed sliding out the back for those days of long driving. I'm 6'3 and wife is 5'10. We could pull into a tuck stop between two tractor trailers and put out our bed and not take up two spots. My Rand Mcnally GPS said I averaged 8.6 MPG. I found going up and down hills it was better not to use the crews control. Once the tack goes over Three grand it sucks gas. I also found by keeping the tack around two grand gave me better performance. Had a few problems but upon arrival home the dealer took care of. My dealer is over two hours away. We bought this unit for long trips like this since we reside in FL. I have the same problem as You - parking along side of the house - limited on space. The 18.5 ton AC worked great! I previously had a motor home that I could not keep the unit cool unless I ran the motor AC as well as the roof AC. This one works great. Heat is a different story. Propane heater will run you out. But when plugged into shore power the heat comes from the AC (heat pump) then I needed to put the thermostat to 80 to get similar to the propane. I'm going to the FR international Rally in Aug - I want to find out more there.

My problems was the front bed popping down out of the magnets continuously. Mine is still being repaired on that part - two months later. The 2017 is supposed to have latches. Gear and motor on the rear bed had to be replaced - the bed was popping on the way back in. Used the rear bed more then the side dinette. The front radio went out lost all AV (cameras, radio, and DVD). Power antenna went out (this is different then the amp on the side of the fridge).

Had a Winnebago Chieftain 27' previously with the GM 455. Same type of traveling cross country. I had much better gas mileage. All in All we really like this coach!!!
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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You might wanna look at the FR Georgetown 270SS before you plunk your money down. A bit more $ but fits your size requirements and has fiberglass roof and other upgrades.
Funny...but 2 years ago I was on a train on that same track looking at the RV's on the road and thinking what a great drive that would be! LOL
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:52 PM   #9
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Smile Fiberglass roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
You might wanna look at the FR Georgetown 270SS before you plunk your money down. A bit more $ but fits your size requirements and has fiberglass roof and other upgrades.
Funny...but 2 years ago I was on a train on that same track looking at the RV's on the road and thinking what a great drive that would be! LOL
Cam,
Good point, but as of November 2016, all new FR3s are white and have a fiberglass roof.
see attachment: (some of the highlights)
Construction & Exterior
• White Diamond Pearl Gel-Coat Sidewalls with Graphics
• Radius Fiberglass Exterior Roof
• One-Piece Fiberglass Front Cap
• Exterior LP Quick Connect
Cabinetry
• Raised Panel FR3 Custom Wood Cherry
I downloaded a November 2016 brochure from: FR3 Class A Motorhomes by Forest River RV

Thanks
Robert
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2017 FR3 Brochure v11-16.pdf (3.85 MB, 73 views)
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:06 PM   #10
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That's an excellent upgrade to the FR3 line that I wasn't aware of! There's some other stuff like solid surface counters and 50 amp service and 5500W generator but here's a link to the 270S brochure and you can compare floor plans and the things that are important to you: http://www.forestriverinc.com/brochu...wnbrochure.pdf

In any event...thanks for the info and good luck with your purchase!
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