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Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Moving From Class A to Forester

We presently own a Tiffin Class A and are looking to move into a Forester Class C for a lot of reasons. We're also considering the Jayco Greyhawk, but leaning more toward the Forester. I'm looking for any opinions, good and bad of this motorhome. Every brand has it's downfalls and I'd love to hear them all. We've had trailers, a fifth wheel and a motorhome and each has it's issues. I'm curious as to the quality and longivity of the fiberglass roof, wall and floor construction. How well are they holding up in real world conditions. How well are the cabinets and furniture holding up? How has forest river been to deal with on warranty work? I'm open to any opinions, good and bad of these units. We're specifically looking at the 3121 and 3011 at this time.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Have Sunseeker 3120 which is the same layout as the Forester 3121. Only significant warranty issue was front end alignment. No problem just took it to the shop of my choice, sent Forest River the bill, and they reimbursed me. Couple other small issues (plumbing, missing fuse, and premature tail light bulb failures) that they would have corrected but it wasn't worth my time and gas to get it to a dealer so I fixed them myself. I have been told by numerous people in the industry that Forest River is one of the best when it comes to warranty support, often after if it has expired.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thanks ATVer. I expect small things and those don't really bother me. Most things I can macgyver myself, except for major structural things such as walls, roof and floors. As long as FR stands behind their product, I'm good. Tiffin is famous for that, I've experienced it first hand, and I'm hoping to get the fuzzy feeling from FR. Coming from the top heavy ride of the class a, the only suspension upgrade I'm considering now is a steering stabilizer. For those that haven't driven an A, go test drive one in a good cross wind for the heck of it. You'll love the C all over again. Just my opinion. You can dump $1000's in one to make it better, but I'd rather buy something that rides better to start with.
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Full Timing Again, Rev B
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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I've owned Class A's and Class C's.. One thing I learned when moving from a Class A to a Class C is you give up room; storage; turning radius (if you tow a trailer look for a parking lot to turn around in). and the gas mileage is almost identical. (Ford V10- 7-9mpg) I owned a Forest River Class C Forester 2008; 31 ft. I had no problems with the construction; but I did add Timbrens to the rear to stabilize the chassis is turns (worked well) One other thing; if you are a tall person; the room in the front seating area is tight ; you have the dogbox sitting between you and the passenger (new models may have made this better not sure). If you can't back up using just the mirrors then you will have a hard time hanging out the door to see; because you cannot see past the body by just rolling down the window.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohnD View Post
Thanks ATVer. I expect small things and those don't really bother me. Most things I can macgyver myself, except for major structural things such as walls, roof and floors. As long as FR stands behind their product, I'm good. Tiffin is famous for that, I've experienced it first hand, and I'm hoping to get the fuzzy feeling from FR. Coming from the top heavy ride of the class a, the only suspension upgrade I'm considering now is a steering stabilizer. For those that haven't driven an A, go test drive one in a good cross wind for the heck of it. You'll love the C all over again. Just my opinion. You can dump $1000's in one to make it better, but I'd rather buy something that rides better to start with.

Interesting, I thought As would handle and ride better than Cs. Unless you are looking for larger pieces, the Ford Sunseeker comes with a steering stabilizer, front stabilizer bar, rear stabilizer bar, and individually controlled air bags in the rear similar to Timkens that can be adjusted side to side and front to back. The 50 year old twin I beam Ford front suspension design is okay but not as good as the double A frame of the Chevy. However the Chevy won't support the larger floor plans. Bump steer and heavy steering are some of the biggest issues with the Ford and there is a fine line on setup to get it right. I found that small differences in camber, caster, cross camber and toe make a hugh difference in handling and feel. You can search this forum for further info on alignment specs. I am going to change from steel to custom alloy wheels primarily for appearance but reducing the unsprung weight and GVW by more than 50 lbs should also help a little with ride and handling.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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The class A / F53 chassis is a rough rider from the get go, especially on expansion joints or potholes. You can add timbrens, air bags or sumo springs and I've heard it helps considerably. You're also dealing with leaf springs on a straight axle in the front compared to the twin I-Beams and springs. In order to get them to ride good, your out over $3k, at least in my estimates I would be. I was planning to do all of this myself to the A, but not going to waste the money if we're moving into a C. I'll sink my money in the list of add ons for the C which I do to every RV I own. I'm tickled to see the air bags already on the FR.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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Big John,

I recently, September 2012, sold my Class A and purchased a Forester 3011. Love the floorplan but had a probplem with steering. Adjustments to the tire and air bag pressure have improved the control but agree with others in that it needs a rear stablizer and some adjustment to the alignment. Forest River stands behind their product and I have had no problems with the warranty. A broken handle on the refrigerater was quickly replaced and they are sending out a new bathroom door to my dealer to replace the one that was not correctly installed. We are also having a problem with the wall board that has seperated from the framing but this issue is also being corrected. Overall I would recommend the coach.

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Old 12-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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Unless it has been removed for some reason, you should have a rear stabilizer bar. It's easy to see if you look under the rear. Check the links which you can see from just in front of the rear wheels and make sure they are not broken or disconnected.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the words of encouragement Campingtom. Which wall panel is coming loose from the frame? Surely it's not a delam problem. We've narrowed down our choices to the 3011 or 3101ss. One has a shade bigger toilet closet, or appears to and the other the huge countertop space. Bath would take getting used to as we've had the side hall in the last few RV's. I like the idea of only one slide and no slides on the passenger side. We like our campside outdoor space uninstructed, but could live with the small bedroom slide. Wife likes the idea of getting around the bed easier in the 3101, but likes the horseshoe dinette and kitchen in the 3011. Tough call. Hopefully we will have made a decision by January.
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Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #10
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I think I responded to a question you had on RV.net too.

We ended up with a Sunseeker 3100 but also considered the 3010 (identical layouts to the Forester 3101 & 3011, respectively, that you're considering).

We both liked the counter space in the 3010. But as we dug into it, we discovered a few things with the floorplan that we didn't like. Here they are for what it's worth:

- I decided against the 2nd slide. Love the extra space it provides in the bedroom. But it adds more weight. Longer class C's only have so much CCC. This ate into that.

- The wife did not like the U-shaped dinette at all. True, it makes a bigger bed than the standard dinette which I really prefer for sleeping flexibility. However, she thought the table area itself was too small. Then I sat in it longer, slid out, & bumped my head on the cabinets above. I'm tall at 6 ft 2 in but those cabinets above seemed really low.

- Something else we discovered about the U-shaped dinette since. I'm not sure how many forward facing seatbelts it has??? For us, as it turns out, our 8 year old (actually his stomach) much prefers to be sitting forward facing so the standard dinette works out well for that.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:34 AM   #11
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paulmlac, thanks for the info. Since you have the model I prefer more, I got a few questions since nobody close by stocks that model and I can't look at it in person. How much room do you have between kitchen and slide when the slide is in? As long is it's enough to get through there, I'm fine. Does the toilet closet in fact have a little more space than the 3011? Since I believe the front TV is mounted in the cab over, where is the selector box for choosing antenna, cable, dvd or does it have one. I've had the DirecTV in every RV (Portable Dish), so this one has to be capable of that. Just wondering where can I put the DTV box and will I have to add wiring as I have in some trailers to make it work and so on. How well is the TV set up in the bedroom and does it show the same as what's on the front TV? I understand your point on the horseshoe dinette. In our first trailer I built a smaller table top since there was only 2 of us at the time and it never got made into a bed. We've never used the dinette as beds so table size could be adjusted accordingly. Me, I'm still leaning towards the 3101 though.
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Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
2015 SOB TT - With OC's Awning Poles (#8)
At least in Heaven, RVs will be perfect, and I won't have to keep fixing them.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:15 AM   #12
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BigJohnD -

The space between the kitchen & opposite wall (when the slide is in) is OK. We can all make it through. I am 6-2, 275. I generally shimmy sideways a little. Wife can go through just fine. She is sitting here & said if she's carrying something so might turn a little sideways too. Kids can easily navigate the aisle.

Toilet room also has enough space. I don't know square footage in the 3100 vs 3010. Not to get too graphic but... I can sit down. If I had the sports page with me, I might fold in half. I generally leave the door open just so feels bigger. Wife & kids are fine. Note that the door on this model is really functional. It latches with a magnet all the way open so the shower / toilet room / bedroom are all behind the door. Also, good mirror design. There is a mirror on 2 of 3 bathroom walls. As an example, when drying my hair I stand a little more in the hallway & use the mirror opposite the shower. Wife & kids stand fully in the bathroom & use the mirror above the sink.

Front TV - Is in cabover. It's on the passenger side on a swing arm. There isn't a selector box. Antenna is the standard mode that we leave it in. Haven't run on cable yet but you'd just attach the coax cable in the basement area, press a button by the TV plug to turn off the antenna booster, & scan channels (might need to select a different TV source but not sure???). DVD just starts when you put one in the dash radio & change the TV source.

Bedroom TV - Good enough. We don't really watch a lot here. Generally just weather or news or sports if kids are watching something different up front. We can have 2 different channels on the 2 TV's. Not sure if that would be the case with DirecTV though.

Here's a thought if you can't find a dealer with that model for sale to look at in person - is there a dealer with one in their rental fleet or even a used one for sale nearby you. The floorplan has been around a long time. It's also popular as a rental. Might be able to see either a used or rental to get a feel for the layout.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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paulmlac, good stuff. Exactly the the info I was looking for. I'm 5'10" / 225 last time I checked and wife and kids are a lot smaller, so looks like all would work good for us. Looks like the only thing I need to figure out is the DirecTV. We don't watch a lot of TV, however my wife likes her baseball / football games on occasion. Then I've got those 2 or 3 channels I watch out of the whole 100+ channels you get. I'll look around to see if anybody has that model close by for sale. So far I've just done Google searches for that model and don't come up with much in Louisiana. I ordered a fifth wheel once without ever walking through one. Based our decision on looking at others and input on forums like this. It all worked out that time. I might take a gamble. We can usually make anything work whether it's a tent or motorhome.
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Full Timing Again, Rev B
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:21 PM   #14
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If you get the bedroom TV you'll get a switch box standard.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:04 PM   #15
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bclemens, I see your a factory rep, so maybe you can answer the DirecTV question. Can the 3101SS accomodate a DirecTV box to be used with a portable dish? If so, where would it go. If there is a switch box, I'm guessing the DTV box would be close to that for the input/output. Is there a "park cable in" in the storage bay / outside wall somewhere for the portable dish input? In my present unit, it was designed for the box and has a specific spot for it with the input / outputs wired to that point. Just curious on the wiring. Gotta make it work one way or the other.
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Emma-7 / Little John-5 / Iva-1
Full Timing Again, Rev B
2013 Ford F-350 Lariat CC LB PSD
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:52 PM   #16
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If you get the bedroom TV you'll get a switch box standard.
We have a 2013 Sunseeker 3100SS with a front bunk TV & bedroom TV. I don't see a switchbox anywhere. Is it "hidden" behind the walls & controls things "behind the scenes"?

There is a thing by the door to control the audio (A, B, or both) but sounds like you're talking about something for video.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #17
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Check behind the bedroom TV. I haven't looked at a 3100 for a while so I would have to check with engineering.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #18
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bclemens, I see your a factory rep, so maybe you can answer the DirecTV question. Can the 3101SS accomodate a DirecTV box to be used with a portable dish? If so, where would it go. If there is a switch box, I'm guessing the DTV box would be close to that for the input/output. Is there a "park cable in" in the storage bay / outside wall somewhere for the portable dish input? In my present unit, it was designed for the box and has a specific spot for it with the input / outputs wired to that point. Just curious on the wiring. Gotta make it work one way or the other.
1. It can. I know that some people do it now.
2. We do not have a specific location built in for it
3. There is a "park in" cable on the off camp side. Typically near the utilities.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #19
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Check behind the bedroom TV. I haven't looked at a 3100 for a while so I would have to check with engineering.
If it's there, it's really hidden. The bedroom TV is mounted on a bracket to a piece of wood. It's fully enclosed behind. The only access into the space is a drilled out circle (maybe 4" diameter?). The plug & coax cable go through the hole to their hookups. I've felt around in the space a little just to shove the excess cords there & haven't noticed anything. By the way, the cabinet above& below is empty. See attached pic...
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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We have a Georgetown now. We looked at the same floorplan in the class C version. We'd never had an RV before so honestly we were guessing. The Class A has more storage and yes I admit I pretty much fill it. The class A came with automagic levelers which means not having to get out to get it level, get the slides out and get the little ones in bed. (yes levelers could have been put on the class C). The class A had a bigger generator. We didn't use the generator much at first, but now use it more often. We were told the bigger generator wouldn't fit in the class C. The class A had the thermal pane windows (HUGE difference) as well as underbelly heating. We live in Canada so that's a necessity. So what did we lose out on? Well the bunk over cab turns out to perhaps have been important. The two boys started out sharing a bunk - but they have grown (how did that happen in 2 years??) and so the older one sleeps on the couch. I would like for him to have his own space (well space for his junk really). The other HUGE issue for me is the shower bath. The class C had a minitub at the bottom of the shower. The class A has just a shower. I do not understand why a unit sold with BUNK BEDS - wouldn't trigger someone's mind to think CHILDREN and of course the resulting image of mud encrusted urchins! I've made do by using a rubbermaid grey bus pan (like restaurants use for dirty dishes - buy them at Sam's Club) in the bottom of the shower to soak those creatures until they turn back into children. SO which would have been better? I probably could have gotten by without dragging the children's plastic picnic table (although it is handy next to the entrance for removing shoes as well as a place for children to eat) and the kiddos could have gotten by without every toy known to man. We were talking the other day about what we might do differently - and moving to a class C for that overhead bunk was one of the big topics.
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