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Old 09-01-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Considering Forester purchase -- totally new to RVing

After dreaming about having an RV for some time, we are finally looking at them with serious intent to buy. It's pretty overwhelming and I'm not even sure what questions to ask.

We saw a 2018 Forester 2400W at a local dealer and pretty much fell in love. Unfortunately, their asking price is well above our budget. List prices for the similar floor plan (2251SLE) on the Ford chassis are also higher than we'd hoped to pay. No local dealer has other Forester models but I've seen the 2251LE on the Chevy chassis online with a list price within our budget. What are the major differences in the models? Is there a quality difference with the Chevy chassis?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:29 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! For me, it doesn't matter. Either are good and reliable choices. I will offer a suggestion that you get what you're in love with and not settle.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:50 AM   #3
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Welcome !

I was exactly where you are a year and a half ago. We bought our Forester 2291S after renting an older Class C. We decided to rent one and spend a week at the beach to see if it was something we both enjoyed. We figured a couple grand was cheaper than $60K+ if we didn't like it. After renting we went to every local dealer and RV show we could to see exactly what we wanted. Both of us drive Mercedes daily and still drive the same two cars we bought new in 2000. We were both drawn to the Mercedes chassis because of our experience with our daily drivers that both have 200K miles on them and other than oil changes,tune-ups, brakes and tires have been problem free. This is from a guy who's father and uncle owned a Ford dealership, yes I bleed Ford blue.

We passed on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis based on the GVW issues. I had been basically reading on forums about people who bought them and then discovered that after fuel, water and a couple passengers they had very little capacity for supplies without exceeding the coach's GVW.

I then found a Chevy chassis 2251LE out in California brand new for under $50K. I was ready to pull the trigger , fly out, buy and vacation all the way back to AL. My wife wanted to see it etc., so we went and looked at one local. It was at a RV show so we got to really take a good look at it. It was a great coach, BUT with the bedroom side you lose a lot of storage. The 2291S model was parked next to it and was the model we decided worked best for us. I got the dealer's best show price and went home to internet shop. We ended up ordering from MHS2Go in MI. and saving $9K. I went with the Ford chassis. Good luck with your search and do as much research as you can. We are VERY HAPPY campers!!!
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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Considering Forester purchase -- totally new to RVing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TnG2291 View Post
I was exactly where you are a year and a half ago. We bought our Forester 2291S after renting an older Class C. We decided to rent one and spend a week at the beach to see if it was something we both enjoyed. We figured a couple grand was cheaper than $60K+ if we didn't like it. After renting we went to every local dealer and RV show we could to see exactly what we wanted. Both of us drive Mercedes daily and still drive the same two cars we bought new in 2000. We were both drawn to the Mercedes chassis because of our experience with our daily drivers that both have 200K miles on them and other than oil changes,tune-ups, brakes and tires have been problem free. This is from a guy who's father and uncle owned a Ford dealership, yes I bleed Ford blue.

We passed on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis based on the GVW issues. I had been basically reading on forums about people who bought them and then discovered that after fuel, water and a couple passengers they had very little capacity for supplies without exceeding the coach's GVW.

I then found a Chevy chassis 2251LE out in California brand new for under $50K. I was ready to pull the trigger , fly out, buy and vacation all the way back to AL. My wife wanted to see it etc., so we went and looked at one local. It was at a RV show so we got to really take a good look at it. It was a great coach, BUT with the bedroom side you lose a lot of storage. The 2291S model was parked next to it and was the model we decided worked best for us. I got the dealer's best show price and went home to internet shop. We ended up ordering from MHS2Go in MI. and saving $9K. I went with the Ford chassis. Good luck with your search and do as much research as you can. We are VERY HAPPY campers!!!


We bought our Forester from MHS2GO too. Mike Fleser is the one who helped us. Very nice and accommodating. The prices are good. We also are new to this RVing stuff. We have yet to pick up our little rig. September 12.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:50 PM   #5
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in June we bought our 3011DS Forester from MHs2Go. Mike Fleser was easy to deal with. We flew in from Louisiana and drove it home. We love our Forester. Very minimal problems.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:41 PM   #6
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We bought our 3051S Forester last year from RV Wholesalers in Lakeview, Ohio. Drove there from Oregon to pick it up and saved over $25,000 from the local dealer's price. Well worth the trip. I would recommend them if you want to save a bundle over local dealers. We are very happy with their service and we have had no trouble getting warranty service in our local area.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:52 AM   #7
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We bought a 2015 Forester 2301 new in June 2015. Been from Ft Kent, Maine to Key West and from Florida to California and back with it. We love it! We previously (about 20 yrs ago) had a Tioga Arrow Class C, also a 23' but the Forester beats it hands down.

If you read the forum you'll see all kinds of horror stories about problems. It's human nature to complain about stuff but very few post positive comments. I'm sure the majority of people have had little or no issue with their RV's. That being said, it's not just Forester, it's Ford, Chevy, BMW, Mercedes, Winnebago, Prevost...brand doesn't matter. Nobody builds a perfect vehicle, it doesn't matter if it's a car, truck or RV. So, expect to have a couple little glitches, we did, and I fixed most of them myself rather than drive the 100+ miles to the closest dealer.

After you get it go over it inch by inch to make sure all your screws and bolts are tight. I added extra caulking and spray insulation under mine as I didn't like some of the voids left where critters could get in. One important area to check is the rear of the battery box in the step. You'll need to crawl under the rig to see it. I found a 3" hole drilled in the back of the box for what I assume is ventilation. However, it's big enough for squirrels, chipmunks, mice, snakes, large spiders, etc. to gain entry to your battery box and set up housekeeping. I put a piece of metal window screen over the hole and epoxied it in place. Air still circulates but nobody can get in.

Add an EMS to protect your electrical system from campground electrical problems. Get a water pressure regulator and put it inline on your city water hookup so high campground pressure doesn't damage your water system. Get a tube of Dicor self leveling lapping caulk and a tube of Proflex sealant - don't use silicone, it dries out - for when any leaks appear of factory caulking separates from the body - it will. Put Calgon and laundry detergent in your black tank and hit the road!

I wanted a Chevy over a Ford and that's what I bought. My previous RV was on a Chevy chassis and my wife finds it's got a bit more legroom on the passenger side than the Ford.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:14 PM   #8
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Bought my 2016 Forester MBS 2401W last October and love it. Thought about buying from of the wholesalers but bought from a local dealer at what I think was a good price after doing a lot of research. I'm on about day 92 or 93 for 2017 and enjoying every moment of it. I've about 6,000 miles on it this year and still going strong. I chose the 2401W for the spacious feel of the floor plan.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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You may find a used one that fits your wants and needs, and is within your budget.


There are a lot of motorhomes that are used very little and are as good as new, although maybe without a warranty. Speaking of warranty, be aware that although the Forest River warranty is for 12 months, most of the appliances and accessories are warrantied for 24 months, and some for more, so used doesn't always mean there's no warranty.


For service, many independent RV shops are as good or better than dealers, so to me, service isn't a reason to buy from a dealer. There are many threads about poor service on this forum. Ask on this forum about your dealer before you commit. My dealer, Bob Ledford in Greer, SC, was excellent during delivery and for the only two warranty visits (all minor problems), so there are some good ones out there.


As for Ford versus Chevy chassis, most of the discussions on this forum conclude there's little difference, except the Chevy is claimed to drive better.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnG2291 View Post
I was exactly where you are a year and a half ago. We bought our Forester 2291S after renting an older Class C. We decided to rent one and spend a week at the beach to see if it was something we both enjoyed. We figured a couple grand was cheaper than $60K+ if we didn't like it. After renting we went to every local dealer and RV show we could to see exactly what we wanted. Both of us drive Mercedes daily and still drive the same two cars we bought new in 2000. We were both drawn to the Mercedes chassis because of our experience with our daily drivers that both have 200K miles on them and other than oil changes,tune-ups, brakes and tires have been problem free. This is from a guy who's father and uncle owned a Ford dealership, yes I bleed Ford blue.

We passed on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis based on the GVW issues. I had been basically reading on forums about people who bought them and then discovered that after fuel, water and a couple passengers they had very little capacity for supplies without exceeding the coach's GVW.

I then found a Chevy chassis 2251LE out in California brand new for under $50K. I was ready to pull the trigger , fly out, buy and vacation all the way back to AL. My wife wanted to see it etc., so we went and looked at one local. It was at a RV show so we got to really take a good look at it. It was a great coach, BUT with the bedroom side you lose a lot of storage. The 2291S model was parked next to it and was the model we decided worked best for us. I got the dealer's best show price and went home to internet shop. We ended up ordering from MHS2Go in MI. and saving $9K. I went with the Ford chassis. Good luck with your search and do as much research as you can. We are VERY HAPPY campers!!!
You did the right thing by doing a Research, Research, Research online and in person before pulling the trigger!

Im betting you keep the camper as long as you have kept your two cars and be tickled pink with your new acquisition and new pastime.

Welcome to the wonderful world of camping! The folks here are "The Salt of the Earth".
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:33 PM   #11
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We have the Forester 2291sf. Similar to the 2301 but with a slide out. Ton of room and we love the quality of workmanship.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:30 PM   #12
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If at ALL possible, find and attend an RV Boot Camp BEFORE you buy. RVBC grads are smarter RV buyers and, safer RVers in general. The Escapees run an EXCELLENT RVBC, usually over a weekend. Other groups also offer RVBC; some as long as eight days (more socializing). Mistakes made with RVs tend to be expensive and, sometimes dangerous. The time and money spent at an RVBC will be a good investment in your RV living.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:56 AM   #13
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been told that RV Shows are the place to get the best deal. Also factory rebates or contributions are sometimes in effect at shows with their representatives there; don t be afraid to ask if it is not mentioned. I definitely would not tell them you are a newbie. And I would indicate that I was anxious to buy.
New models will soon be out so dealers will be looking to clear their inventory.
Someone once told me asking 33% of MFSRP is not unreasonable - this I do not know. Good Luck!
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:10 AM   #14
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There is one big difference between all the different chassis that I haven't seen anyone mention yet...thats towing and cargo weight. Make sure you buy the RV that will have the towing and cargo capacity you are comfortable with. Do your homework before you buy. When you add to the coach, water, propane, food, clothes, body weight and all the other junk you want the cargo capacity diminishes quickly. Then factor the weight of your toad or trailer you may buy something that will disappoint you in the long run. I have a 2017 Forrester 3011 on the ford e450 chassis, the ford chassis has a higher cargo and tow rating than Chevy or Mercedes.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:48 PM   #15
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If price is the big thing try to find a new 2017. Dealer incentives will save you a bundle.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:55 AM   #16
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Don't be afraid to travel to get the deal you want. I bought my two travel trailers 7 hours and 4 hours from home. For our Forester, I went to Motorhomes to Go, Mike Fleser. He actually returns phone calls and emails!

They gave us a very thorough two hour walkthrough when we picked it up. I wouldn't hesitate recommending them.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:02 AM   #17
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getting closer to purchase

Thanks everyone for the input. Your suggestions are very helpful. We're pretty close to ordering a 2231 LE on the Ford chassis from our local dealer. As first time purchasers we want to have a local dealer to work with and are willing to pay some premium for that. Our biggest issue is that we haven't been able to see or test drive the 2231 and would be ordering it sight unseen.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:13 AM   #18
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Before you buy from a dealer make sure the dealer is worth your trust. We found that all the promises of support after the purchase went out the window because their support people did not have the knowledge to answer questions we had when we did have some problems. For minor warranty work they wanted the unit for multiple weeks. Some problems they did not have a clue on what was wrong or how to fix it. And some of the work was done badly.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:30 PM   #19
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Find the one you want and work them on the price. You should be able to get around 30% off the MSRP. If they don't deal with you, I would go someplace else.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:23 PM   #20
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We flew out (from Washington State) to purchase our 2401W from motorhomes2go. Mike Flesner was absolutely fantastic, as was their price.

However, the walk thru and attempt at taking care of some of our problems prior to traveling back to Washington state definitely was not satisfying.

There are BIG advantages to buying locally IF you could get a fair price, and as others stated, trust that RV dealer to truly take care of you!
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