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Old 09-26-2017, 11:04 PM   #511
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First 5er, 3850 Cardinal Estate

I have read several discussions about the Forest River, its quality and problems. I thought I might chime in with my experience.
I have owned my coach for 6 months. We are living in it full time, and have pulled the coach over 6000 miles since April. I admit in the first month of ownership I had some problems that I needed to address. Since I was living in the Coach, Forest River would send me the parts I needed, and I would install and repair the problem. I know not everyone is capable of this put it worked for me. Chris with the Cardinal group was very supportive and made sure I was taken care of.
Every time we go out, and we ride the horrible highways in our travels, especially in California, I am afraid to open the door when we stop. To my surprise we have not had any damage, lost any personnel stuff, and all the pictures have remained on the walls. My credit to a builder that can put a house together that experiences a 4.0 earthquake every time it travels, and survives the journey. All in All we have had our frustrations, but the 3850 Cardinal Estate is a coach that not only shows the best in the park, gets the most questions, and comments, is extremely comfortable, but mostly arrives with itself intact, and allows me all the comforts of home. I will move this Coach around the country for the next 10 years, and hope that my problems are only minor in nature. To all my friends maintenance, and knowing your weight is what I believe might be the key to the long life of a coach. I would be interested to hear from other Cardinal Estate owners to share stories, as I dont see very many Estates on the road in the western United States.

Changing it up a bit
2017 40 ft Cardinal Estate
2014 SRW Chev Duramax 3500
Titan 50 gal fuel tank
Air Lift 7500 lb bags
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:02 AM   #512
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 14
I understand Weights

Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
You DO know that the dry weight is NOT the weight of the trailer as delivered to you by the dealer, I hope?
Yes sir/madam--before I ever look at a travel trailer with a dealer, I go over weight issues extensively with the dealer to make sure I know the accurate and actual weight of the travel trailer they are going to show me. We discuss what has been added to the trailer to ensure accurate weight information associated with particular trailers. I also discuss extensively the accurate and actual weight limits (towing capacity) of my truck (8400 lbs), so they know my maximum GVWR limits. I know the approximate weight of the water, and related items, that we add to the trailer when we go on trips. I choose to stay well below weight maximums of my truck, so my focus is on travel trailers that are lighter trailers. That limits me to certain travel trailers that fit those weight criteria.

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Old 09-30-2017, 08:19 AM   #513
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,273
Had a Jayco for 10 years and sold it this April. Never really had to fix anything on it. My 2018, I'm still pushing trim back into place and adding nails every time we take it out. We love the floor plan, but the quality of construction is say the least. The dinette bed collapsed two trips ago due to inadequate support and screws driven thru the panelling and not into what little support there was. At least my brother-in-law has offered to let me pull into 60x60 shop and keep it there this winter so I can go thru it and do some mods and reinforcement on all of it. Also pulling the 12v off the front and doing all new wires to a weather proof box under the frame. Currently all 12v connections from battery are exposed.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:51 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by ScottBrownstein View Post
Hey, I am a class A owner who appreciates that my chassis is made by a company (Ford) who makes their livelihood on heavy truck chassis durability and maintenance, but your last line caught my eye as well. "My first trailer was a 1987 Jayco 21 foot that was ten times the trailer this one is." Since that was 30 years ago, do you happen to remember how much that rig weighed when compared to your current unit. From what I can tell from a distance, the quest for "ultra light" and towability has significantly reduced the gross weight of this stuff. Am I right?
Very true. And add that even 20 years ago, slide-outs on the sides were almost unknown. Slide-outs add weight which must be removed from other areas (frame, cabinetry) to remain "ultra-light" and within the capabilities of a half ton pickup. The trade-off for the increased room for the slide-out is increased mechanical complication, which naturally results in increased maintenance and reliability issues, especially in a poor quality control and design manufacturing environment.

Anther change over the years that have caused increased maintenance and repairs is provisioning and installation of electronics - TVs, stereos, antennas, charging ports, LED lighting, solar panels, etc. All of those were virtually unknown in campers 30 years ago.

Also, to keep costs down, particle and wafer boards substitute for real, seasoned wood of adequate size. The use of substitutes with glued on finishes further reduces labor costs to finish real wood in furniture or cabinetry. Of course, this trend takes place in new home as well as RV construction.

If you want solid wood construction and a heavier frame, buy the 30 year old camper. Replace any rotten wood (and fix the cause), and redo the wiring to today's standards. Then you will have a solid 30 year old camper without any slide-outs or fancy finishes. It will have less apparent room and weigh more than today's equivalent.

Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:29 AM   #515
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Slideouts were introduced in 1990, by 1997, 11 different brands were all selling Trailers with slideouts. When we tore apart a 1970's Terry my son bought to rebuild...guess what ? The construction was pretty much the same as in a new trailer. 2x2 frame walls, similar paneling over the frames, way better insulation than I've found on my 2018, but of a much better quality than what is being produced today. More "Nails" and not as many "Staples" as being used today. When they talk about UltraLite...a 21' ROO weighs more than my 28' 2007 Jayco did.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:42 AM   #516
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Location: Between Pickles Gap and Toad Suck, AR
Posts: 4,070
Years ago, trailers weighed a million pounds. We had a 'hand me down' Holiday Rambler from circa 1972, from late Father In Law. That was about 22 feet long and weighed more than the space shuttle.

However......reducing weight, even in the last FEW years.........has resulted in things like slide tubing metal going from 1/2" steel to 3/8" or less. Pins are smaller. Cogs are smaller. Wood is thinner. Luan is used all over where it can be. That's what it takes to make these things able to be pulled by smaller vehicles. But it reduces strength, without question. And that's the trend, getting worse.
"Next to prayer, fishing is the most personal relationship of man" Herbert Hoover
"American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God"Lewis Grizzard

FROG AR-0019-242
2016 GMC Denali 3500Dually--2017 CC 36CKTS
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:46 PM   #517
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Happy campers

We purchased a new 2017 FR3 MH in December 2016 and have been pleased with it. We have 6,000 on it already and only had minor issues but nothing worrisome. Did get a recall letter last week about a potential roof sealant issue that concerns us. Hopefully the fix won't cause other issues.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:53 PM   #518
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 41
This is our third Forest River camper, 1st was a Roo-(New) canves fit issue- was fixed with no problems, 2nd 2011-8317RKSS (New)- no problems what so ever, 3rd is a 2018-8328BS (New)- water heater board-fixed, sofa-fabric cut two short, came apart-fixed, 110v wall plug not wired-fixed. Two of the problems are supplier issues, and the wall plug shouldn't have happened, but it's just one of those things. When we purchase another camper it will most likely be another Forest River product.
2018 Rockwood 8328BS
2015 Ford F150 Ecoboost Super Crew
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:39 PM   #519
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Location: Florida
Posts: 12
I have ROO and it's quality unit. Like most, problems pop up. A good dealer is the key!
Forest river has been very responsive. I keep mine very well maintained and it's never let me down. Go camping and enjoy!
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:04 PM   #520
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Forest River Shamrock

I don't think there is any quality check completed on these trailers....we are first time travel trailer owners and we picked up our trailer and stored it for 2 weeks. We decided to take a test run nearby and the tires, rims blew off the left side of the trailer. We found lug-nuts on the ground 1 tire/rim on the street and the other we found the next day on the off-ramp of the freeway. Obviously, this is all under warranty but its been 4 weeks and we stillnhaven't gotten the trailer back.

Tighten those lug-nuts people.

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