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Old 05-18-2018, 10:30 PM   #1
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First and Last Forest River Product

Time for a little rant. Hopefully the big wigs at Forest River will see this and take a look at their lack of quality on select models.

It has been a year since we bought our Wildcat 322 TBI. I wish all my comments about it could be positive but I am afraid that is not the case. Due to school and other commitments I was not able to take the trailer out more than three times which means it did not get a good shake down. During each one I have found problems that should not be in a trailer that cost over $30K. Here is the list of everything that I am not happy about. Some are minor but all are annoying.

And before you start screaming warranty, I live quite a long ways from the dealer I bought it from and the local Forest River dealer does not have a great reputation with their service department.

1. Heater does not force air to the front of the trailer. Amount of air coming from the floor duct is not enough to blow out a match. (I know because I tried.) Back of the trailer area where the heater is installed will get to 90 degrees before the front reaches 60 degrees.
2. Stove rubber bumpers missing. I have a towel under the glass to keep it from breaking.
3. Hot water heater came very close to falling from its perch. Whoever installed it either missed the legs with the screws or hit it at a wrong angle and split the support boards. I had to rebrace the legs with L-brackets to keep it stable.
4. The wall outlets are not braced from the back side. It feels like they opted for the cheap route. I cringe every time any plug is pulled from the wall. The lack of support allows the wall to bow out. It is probably only a matter of time before one is pulled out of the wall.
5. This is cosmetic but still aggravating. The mount screws for the fender covers are installed to tightly. The edge of each hole is cracked.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdkeese View Post
Time for a little rant. Hopefully the big wigs at Forest River will see this and take a look at their lack of quality on select models.

It has been a year since we bought our Wildcat 322 TBI. I wish all my comments about it could be positive but I am afraid that is not the case. Due to school and other commitments I was not able to take the trailer out more than three times which means it did not get a good shake down. During each one I have found problems that should not be in a trailer that cost over $30K. Here is the list of everything that I am not happy about. Some are minor but all are annoying.

And before you start screaming warranty, I live quite a long ways from the dealer I bought it from and the local Forest River dealer does not have a great reputation with their service department.

1. Heater does not force air to the front of the trailer. Amount of air coming from the floor duct is not enough to blow out a match. (I know because I tried.) Back of the trailer area where the heater is installed will get to 90 degrees before the front reaches 60 degrees.
2. Stove rubber bumpers missing. I have a towel under the glass to keep it from breaking.
3. Hot water heater came very close to falling from its perch. Whoever installed it either missed the legs with the screws or hit it at a wrong angle and split the support boards. I had to rebrace the legs with L-brackets to keep it stable.
4. The wall outlets are not braced from the back side. It feels like they opted for the cheap route. I cringe every time any plug is pulled from the wall. The lack of support allows the wall to bow out. It is probably only a matter of time before one is pulled out of the wall.
5. This is cosmetic but still aggravating. The mount screws for the fender covers are installed to tightly. The edge of each hole is cracked.
Unfortunately from what you describe, and all my experience with popups, hybrids, fifth wheels, your issues seem rather normal. Not to say by any means acceptable.
My current fifth wheel that is a 2018 model that I have had a year had leaks from the shower, leaks from the kitchen faucet fitting that damaged the wood, trim staple that went thru the thermostat wiring, there was even a screw stuck between the outside window and the fiberglass side, outside door compartment that leaked because the hole they cut in the wall was too big and the foam seal had nothing to touch...and this unit was one of the better ones I have had.


Yup these RV's lack even decent quality control, they are put together in record time.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdkeese View Post
Time for a little rant. Hopefully the big wigs at Forest River will see this and take a look at their lack of quality on select models.

And before you start screaming warranty, I live quite a long ways from the dealer I bought it from and the local Forest River dealer does not have a great reputation with their service department.
First, I hope you know that this Forum is not affiliated with Forest River Inc., in any way.
So there are no FR big wigs that will see this.
There are only about 4 FR employees that are members here.

And did you know that you can use independent RV shops or mobile RV tech to do warranty work?
You just have to get pre-approval from FR and be willing to be reimbursed.

i agree that your list of issues is pretty minor, compared to most things that many find during the walkthrough.
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:19 AM   #4
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I would say to the OP that you are lucky that your list is so short and the items so minor.

You do realize that you bought a kit that is 80% complete and that it is up to the owner to complete the kit,

BTW we are in our 12th season with our Forest River product and just returned from an 8500 mile trip with it.

Lots of fixes and mods since we have owned the unit.

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Old 05-19-2018, 04:38 AM   #5
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The issues that you bring up are very minor and true of any brand and any manufacturer of RVs. If you want perfection unfortunately you can not own an RV ......just a sad commentary of the RV industry as a whole. You might find a $1,000,000 RV that meets your quality requirements but I doubt it.

Don't sweat the little things just enjoy camping.

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Old 05-19-2018, 06:22 AM   #6
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I'd bet that if your next trailer is not a Forest River, that your list on that one will be a lot longer than that one, and probably contain a lot of truly serious items. If you want a trailer with no list of items, there's not one being made today. You can build one, for about a zillion dollars. For 30K, try to look at all the functionality that you DID get.

Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:43 AM   #7
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we have been blessed as this is our 3rd going into the 2nd year with this one, and outside of a couple of small things we have had no major problems, to me a TT is something to play with and i have done many mods. to make it ours. and have changed things that the factory should have done and to me that is part of the fun.
don't let the small stuff get to you and enjoy camping !!
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:48 AM   #8
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That's not really much of a list. Wouldn't waste my time on trying to get that stuff corrected under warranty. It would be a waste of time. You are correct, these are very minor issues and other manufacturers will have the same problems and even worse. It shouldn't happen but it does. My Wildcat 5er has had many more problems than that but I just fix them and move on. We love our camper and camping. Just be thankful that there is no water pouring in and enjoy camping. Believe me, you won't find the quality any better on other units. It is hit or miss. Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:53 AM   #9
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Do not see much to rant about as your issues are minor compared to some. Yep finding a camper with 0 issues would be hard to find. Enjoy and Later RJD
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:06 AM   #10
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I think people have to have managed expectations when owning a rv especially TT. Mass built components and fast production equals what we have. The funny part is it is well know this is what you get.
I donít mind the occasional rant on the FRF because I get a chuckle sometimes but this forum serves as better as a vast source of info and resolve rather than tissues and hugs.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:33 AM   #11
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As long as they keep selling them and we keep buying them there is not really an incentive to change. Sad but true.

Just look at cars quite a while ago. I remember when Hyundai first came to the US - we laughed at a guy on my submarine for buying a piece of junk like that. Well not any longer since they had to step up their game to sell them. Have one getting setup to be our Toad now.

Until one of the RV manufactures changes the way they build them to minimize the issues and they start impacting everyone elseís sales it wonít change.

We will be buying another for retirement full timing and will inspect the crap out of it before taking.

Life is too short. Would be great if things changed but we are going to enjoy what we want to do while we are here
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:54 AM   #12
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Ah such issues, wish I could have had your list. While we will probably never know, when you purchase another make of RV I certainly hope you don't have any issues, but sadly I am afraid you may be disappointed. The forums from other manufacturers are much the same as this one with problems.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:17 AM   #13
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Not much of a list our 1st Forest River product was awesome only has 3 minor issues that were handled immediately when brought to the attention of our dealer. So when we were ready to move up to a 5th wheel we went back to the same Forest River dealer and bought a 2017 Wildcat 28sgx absolutely loved the layout and that's where our love for that unit ended. The list of problems was horrendous, the refrigerator froze everything, had to put fresh fruits and veggies in bottom drawer and put a towel over them to keep from freezing, couldn't get a radio station to save our lives, had a gray water leak that was never found, stove was not mounted properly and moved around was surprised it never fell out, air conditioner never cycled when on no matter what the temp was outside, there was a myriad of other minor things but the worst was the floor it was soft, as in you would walk around and the sink several inches into the floor. So to the dealer we went and the service sucked come to find out they were going out of business. So they we ended up dealing factory direct. They ended up coming to get the unit and eventually replaced in an even trade for a 2018 Wildcat 28sgx that had a few upgrades. We are currently on our 3rd trip of the season. So far no major problems. But all in all this has been going on almost a year and I'm about done with it, what a pain in the ass.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:07 PM   #14
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Build them and sell the while the economy is good!
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #15
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I have a 2017 Forester and have had several issues with it, some minor and two major. Three times I have contacted the factory, and three times they have been super responsive to my needs/requests and moved to cover the work needed. The last time was a major failure, and even though the Motorhome is no longer under warranty, they said that they will cover my repairs completely, ďat my earliest convenience.Ē You should at least give them the opportunity to respond directly to your needs before writing them off. I have been satisfied with their service.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #16
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OP, I see you haven't logged in here since you posted your rant as you called it. Here's hoping you come back and see what comments have been made.

Regarding this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
First, I hope you know that this Forum is not affiliated with Forest River Inc., in any way.
So there are no FR big wigs that will see this.
There are only about 4 FR employees that are members here....
here is the official disclaimer from the bottom of most pages:
"ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions."

In many ways, you remind me of myself when I first registered here - bought my first F.R. unit (a Wildcat) - posted my first rant of about 20 punchlist items - was told this is not a F.R. forum, just a group of (mostly) F.R. owners with the same kinds of issues. An old codger here gave me the best advice I received early on. He told me I had choices:
1. ignore the stuff
2. fix everything myself
3. stay on the dealer's case until everything was fixed to my satisfaction

Truth be told, I used all 3 suggestions depending on the issue. My dealership could never seem to fix a leak in my bedroom slide. F.R. Parts and Service paid a local dealership (not my original purchasing store) to install three (3) slide out toppers - no more leaks.

At this point, I agree with one part of your story. I may never buy another F.R. product since I'm planning on using this unit until I croak. I've pulled it 16,177 miles and we really enjoy it (after my punchlist was completed!
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #17
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Current state of RV Industry

We have had them all. From travel trailers to fifth wheels to a gas motorhome & a diesel pusher. No matter how much you pay they all use the same appliances, fixtures and building materials. And they ALL suffer from a lack of quality control. We know several people who work in the RV industry in Indiana and every factory pushes production numbers over quality. I also believe it has gotten worse over time. Bottom line, if you own an RV you have to be able to fix things that go wrong or your RV will spend much of its life in the repair shop, if you can get an appointment in a reasonable length of time. Owning an RV is like playing the lotto. Sometimes you win but most of the time you lose. Good luck to all fellow RV owners out there.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:08 PM   #18
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feel ur pain

I've had 2 forest river products over the years a hemisphere and a flagstaff and the workmanship on both units were ,shall i say..half azz..ihad from water leaks to wheels falling off and about everything in between.....i learned my lesson...never again...i own an open range now and i am very happy with it......get rid of it!!!!
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:16 PM   #19
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[...] Hopefully the big wigs at Forest River will see this [...]
Warren Buffett is on the phone right now chewing some butts.

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Old 05-19-2018, 04:20 PM   #20
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Warren Buffett is on the phone right now chewing some butts.

That made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the chuckle.
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