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Old 02-23-2018, 03:34 PM   #1
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Overall Quality of the Forester Brand

Hey, I figured I'd cast the net wide on this sub-forum. Tomorrow morning I have to decide if I'm taking the plunge into my first Forest River product. My only past experience w/ RVs was Jayco.

There were some head scratchers w/ the Jayco, but nothing that left me stranded and nothing that 'fell apart' structurally. My last Jayco was a Greyhawk - their upper end Class 'C' which I presume is aligned w/ the Forester. My Grehawk was on the Ford chassis, the one I'm about to buy is on the Chevy.

My first walk through of the rig I did the typical things. Banged on the walls, the ceiling, etc. Rig seems very well thought out and sturdy. I was really taken back by the roof - it seem superior to my Greyhawk's in every way. Seems SOLID up there - I always felt flex on my Greyhawk. That nice fiberglass run up there is impressive. And there was no flex in it as I mentioned - some Greyhawk owners were lamenting their fiberglass roofs curled over on the sides but it was flexible. One or two poked thier finger through theirs. Not a issue w/ the Forester. I really like the roof - and its probably one of the more important parts of the rig.

How are the caps on these C's holding up?

I like the fact that the model I'm considering is not stretched; 159" WB is the stock WB for the Chevy 4500. So I don't have to deal w/ a chassis stretch, extended lines, etc.

I like the Azdel walls instead of wood - as I understand it the risk of delamination is significantly dropped as there is nothing to get spongy and warped should I have a problem. Plus its lighter, stronger, and more sound proof.

This rig doesn't have frameless windows, and while the frameless ARE attractive they are piss poor at letting ventilation through w/o running the Fantastic Fan. Are these more traditional windows in the Forester reliable? Not prone to leak?

I like the Bigfoot levelers. I had them on my Greyhawk and I've read countless good stories about the quality and durability of them. Not so much the HWH ones.

I don't like that it only has the 1 year of warranty - the 2 from Jayco was a nice cushion.

All in all from what I can see its a very solid coach. What say you guys? How are yours holding up? Would you buy another one?
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:35 PM   #2
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Oh I also appreciate the integrated steps into the coach. I always found the motorized steps of the Greyhawk to be something else to break. Really, the novelty of the motorized ones wears off quickly.

My roof AC would end up being a Dometic - I have a feeling I'll lament not having the Coleman. Lots more fans of Coleman out on these forums. To be honest the Dometic up there, right now, is my only heavy hesitation.
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:43 PM   #3
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In my humble opinion you will see the Forester is a little better built. The one thing you will miss is the custom drivers seat in the cab. Out of all the class C's I have sat in the Jayco uses an incredible drivers seat.
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:48 PM   #4
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The driver's seat WAS awfuly nice in my Greyhawk. However, the inherent off-center steering wheel of the E450 wasn't. It was nice to see the Chevy line up.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:52 PM   #5
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We special ordered our 2014 Forester(Ford chassis) and have always felt it was top-notch structure-wise. Windows and fiberglass roof never leaked nor did the overhead entertainment center. We would recommend the Forester to anyone considering purchasing a Class C.

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Old 02-23-2018, 05:49 PM   #6
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s1njin, I will have had mine 3 years in June. Only major issues was the Dometic air conditioner failed twice and both times was replaced. Forester started using the Atwood Air Command last August so yours must be an older units that has been sitting around (battery condition comes to mind). I love the Big Foot 4 point leveling system but they have just switched to a Lippert and are also changing the oven/stove to Furrion which is Lippert.

No problems with the windows although we primarily use the a/c. No front cap issues but I have full body paint which also has the 3M shielding on the front facing areas.

Only other things that have cropped up have been small items that I have replaced myself. The coach has a 1 year warranty but most of the appliances and electronics are at least 2 years. Fit and finish have been outstanding and the only rattles going down the road is the cover for the stove which a dish towel solves.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:59 PM   #7
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So it’s very possible my Dometic will be a problem. Was there a bad run of them where I could call in my S/N and see if they’ll do anything proactively?
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:37 PM   #8
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There was a bad run on them but I think that was before mine was built. First one froze up when the coach was 3 months old and the second one 7 months later in May of 2016. That one was replaced by a low profile Penguin as Dometic in South Carolina (we were at the mayberry rally) were out of the Brisk Air II. This one has been working great.

Fortunately I have not seen many posts of units going bad on here in the last few months so hopefully they got the issues fixed.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:41 PM   #9
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The unit I’m considering was finished 12/16.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:05 PM   #10
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Since it was built 12/16 and sitting on a lot for 14 months with very little charging, I would negotiate for 2 new batteries. Any time they drop below 50% charge harm is being done. As most on here say, they only last about 3 years. Mine are always hooked up to shore power or being charged by the alternator or generator going down the road so hope they last a little longer.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:06 PM   #11
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Overall Quality of the Forester Brand

Iím on my 3rd Forest River RV. 1 motor home. 1 TT And now a 5er. Iíve also owned a Jayco 5er.

I believe the FR quality is as good as any other brand. They have a low, mid and high line and the quality shows on each level...

If you spend $15k youíll get $15k worth of quality. Itís all relative. Not to say you spend $100k and youíll never have an issue...!
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:28 PM   #12
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I noticed the genny on the rig had 17 hours on it. Maybe they were keeping things moving / healthy.

I can ask about the batteries but I may have missed that boat. At least they are cheap.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:56 PM   #13
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Overall Quality of the Forester Brand

We have a Sunseeker 3170 that turns 5 years old next month. Other than small minor things and I have fixed my self the problems that required a shop were, broken drive pin in gearbox on the couch slide and no fault of FR a blowout that took out the fender well. I have done lots of mods. We are very happy with our purchase and would buy FR again.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:12 PM   #14
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Iím on my 3rd Forest River RV. 1 motor home. 1 TT And now a 5er. Iíve also owned a Jayco 5er.

I believe the FR quality is as good as any other brand. They have a low, mid and high line and the quality shows on each level...

If you spend $15k youíll get $15k worth of quality. Itís all relative. Not to say you spend $100k and youíll never have an issue...!
What would you say those lines are?
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:27 PM   #15
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What would you say those lines are?


Not sure exactly what youíre asking?
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:36 AM   #16
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Not sure exactly what youíre asking?
What are forest rivers low, mid, and high level lines?
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:50 AM   #17
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What are forest rivers low, mid, and high level lines?
FR doesn't define any low, mid and high levels.

The consumer has to look at features and MSRP.

Obviously any stick and tin construction would be entry-level.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:34 AM   #18
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Structurally the Forester is hard to beat, the Azdel walls and the roof/one piece cap were selling points to us. Ours is also on a no-stretch frame which is comforting. The only thing I wish that Forest River had done was address the handling/ride shortcomings- Jayco has at least attempted this with J-Ride and J-Ride plus. That is the one weakness we see after having ours a year, we have researched the J-Ride improvements and made them out of pocket on the Forester, which is ok because we knew this going in. Everyone says the Chevy rides better, may not be an issue.

Another aside- the Forester has real size queen beds, which is actually rare.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
Hey, I figured I'd cast the net wide on this sub-forum. Tomorrow morning I have to decide if I'm taking the plunge into my first Forest River product. My only past experience w/ RVs was Jayco.



There were some head scratchers w/ the Jayco, but nothing that left me stranded and nothing that 'fell apart' structurally. My last Jayco was a Greyhawk - their upper end Class 'C' which I presume is aligned w/ the Forester. My Grehawk was on the Ford chassis, the one I'm about to buy is on the Chevy.



My first walk through of the rig I did the typical things. Banged on the walls, the ceiling, etc. Rig seems very well thought out and sturdy. I was really taken back by the roof - it seem superior to my Greyhawk's in every way. Seems SOLID up there - I always felt flex on my Greyhawk. That nice fiberglass run up there is impressive. And there was no flex in it as I mentioned - some Greyhawk owners were lamenting their fiberglass roofs curled over on the sides but it was flexible. One or two poked thier finger through theirs. Not a issue w/ the Forester. I really like the roof - and its probably one of the more important parts of the rig.



How are the caps on these C's holding up?



I like the fact that the model I'm considering is not stretched; 159" WB is the stock WB for the Chevy 4500. So I don't have to deal w/ a chassis stretch, extended lines, etc.



I like the Azdel walls instead of wood - as I understand it the risk of delamination is significantly dropped as there is nothing to get spongy and warped should I have a problem. Plus its lighter, stronger, and more sound proof.



This rig doesn't have frameless windows, and while the frameless ARE attractive they are piss poor at letting ventilation through w/o running the Fantastic Fan. Are these more traditional windows in the Forester reliable? Not prone to leak?



I like the Bigfoot levelers. I had them on my Greyhawk and I've read countless good stories about the quality and durability of them. Not so much the HWH ones.



I don't like that it only has the 1 year of warranty - the 2 from Jayco was a nice cushion.



All in all from what I can see its a very solid coach. What say you guys? How are yours holding up? Would you buy another one?


Nope. Would not buy another Forester if they were the only company making Rvs. In my opinion and personal experience they are the worst when it comes to making any attempt at helping you a second after the warranty is up. If I were to buy another C I'd look at Dynamax. I know they are owned by Forest River, but Dynamax is explicit about the fact that they are autonomous when it comes to running their company. I believe they have a 2 year warranty as well. Winnebago, Phoenix and Nexus are putting out some pretty good products also.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:03 PM   #20
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Nope. Would not buy another Forester if they were the only company making Rvs. In my opinion and personal experience they are the worst when it comes to making any attempt at helping you a second after the warranty is up. If I were to buy another C I'd look at Dynamax. I know they are owned by Forest River, but Dynamax is explicit about the fact that they are autonomous when it comes to running their company. I believe they have a 2 year warranty as well. Winnebago, Phoenix and Nexus are putting out some pretty good products also.
We have had just the opposite results from FR warranty. There were a couple of warranty issues that occurred several months after the warranty ran out....we were very pleased that FR stepped up and took care of them..no problem.
We have been very happy with our 2017 Forester 3051S. Ours is on the E450 Ford chassis which I am very happy with. Have not noticed the driver's seat being off-set from the steering wheel....maybe my body is lopsided and compensates for it.LOL
Really like the Ford V10 engine..it has all the power and acceleration we need for towing our Honda CR-V. Also, as long as we secure the dishes, and other things in the cabinets, we get a pretty quiet ride.
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