Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-24-2020, 02:36 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
Hello, Doing my Research on a RiverStone Reserve

Hello to All,

1st post here but looking at the new Riverstone Reserve 3850rk. I've seen some pictures, a couple of videos and have contacted Forest River for more information, but other than that, it's so new, I can't find anyone who owns one or has any idea about the quality of them.

Overall, I am concerned about the quality of Forest River in the first place. The FR products, trailers mainly, that i've seen in the past have been pretty bad bordering on terrible as far as quality is concerned. I've had a couple of Class A Winnebago's and a Fleetwood class A before we moved down to a Grand Design 5th wheel. The Grand Design is built well, but the interior colors are rudimentary at best. Still, it's a pretty descent build and is well supported by their customer service.

In looking at this product, it looks very high quality. We are moving towards something that is of higher quality so on our short list are VanLeigh Beacons/Vilano's and possibly a DRV suite. Almost by accident, I came across this as I am not looking at something extremely long but I became intrigued when I saw the interior and how beautifully appointed it is (at least the pictures make it look that way).

In speaking with the rep and researching, it sounds like the "Reserve" will have the same guts for the most part that the Riverstones have, but they are trying to build smaller units for people with 3/4 ton's in mind. Yes, I chuckled about that as well, but I like the idea of smaller. Bottom line, after now owning one, what are your impressions of the RiverStone line and customer service responsiveness from Forest River (not the dealer which can really vary)? What in general do you like or not like about the units? Hows the paint job (from a quality standpoint)? If you were in the market again, would you buy another one again??

Thanks I do appreciate all feedback.
Bigtrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jim1521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtrace View Post
Hello to All,

1st post here but looking at the new Riverstone Reserve 3850rk. I've seen some pictures, a couple of videos and have contacted Forest River for more information, but other than that, it's so new, I can't find anyone who owns one or has any idea about the quality of them.

Overall, I am concerned about the quality of Forest River in the first place. The FR products, trailers mainly, that i've seen in the past have been pretty bad bordering on terrible as far as quality is concerned. I've had a couple of Class A Winnebago's and a Fleetwood class A before we moved down to a Grand Design 5th wheel. The Grand Design is built well, but the interior colors are rudimentary at best. Still, it's a pretty descent build and is well supported by their customer service.

In looking at this product, it looks very high quality. We are moving towards something that is of higher quality so on our short list are VanLeigh Beacons/Vilano's and possibly a DRV suite. Almost by accident, I came across this as I am not looking at something extremely long but I became intrigued when I saw the interior and how beautifully appointed it is (at least the pictures make it look that way).

In speaking with the rep and researching, it sounds like the "Reserve" will have the same guts for the most part that the Riverstones have, but they are trying to build smaller units for people with 3/4 ton's in mind. Yes, I chuckled about that as well, but I like the idea of smaller. Bottom line, after now owning one, what are your impressions of the RiverStone line and customer service responsiveness from Forest River (not the dealer which can really vary)? What in general do you like or not like about the units? Hows the paint job (from a quality standpoint)? If you were in the market again, would you buy another one again??

Thanks I do appreciate all feedback.
Welcome.

My impression of the Riverstone line is that they're on the same build quality as all large production RV manufacturers. We've lived full time in ours for one year now. Overall I'm very happy with the fit and finish. We ordered the full body paint Blue Thunder. The paint job is good - not great, but acceptable. If it were an automobile I would not be happy; there are a couple of places that I've discovered over the year where the paint ran a little bit. However, so far the paint job is holding up well.

Inside, the build is very good. They did a great job on the cabinetry. Good solid build, nice tight miter joints, nothing shaking loose. From a build standpoint they did a good job. Certainly a better build job than what we saw when we looked at DRV Mobile Suites.

They screwed up on the air conditioning ducting. The ducting on the roof where the A/C enters the coach was VERY poorly done. I had to go up and re-tape all the ducting. It would flap loose when the fan would kick on, and make one hell of a whistle inside the coach. Easy fix, but I shouldn't have had to do that.

They also had a problem with the A/C electrical wiring. For some reason the bedroom A/C unit was not wired correctly. I had two separate technicians come out to repair it. The first guy worked on it all day, screaming and cursing both Riverstone and Dometic. He was on the phone with them, and each one pointed the finger at the other. He quite literally threw his hands up in the air, and said "F... it. I'm done!" and walked away without getting paid a penny. The second guy came out, pretty much said the same thing, but was able to wire it in a manner that worked. He was an authorized Forest River technician AND Dometic technician, so he got it "right".

Having said all of that, I also owned a Grand Design prior to this. I heard all the wonderful things about GDRV, the quality of their builds, there great customer support. Well, I found the same build problems with them as all the others. The real problem with GDRV was their refusal to address the "grease in the brakes" problem. I bought the RV 9 months old from a dealer. Previous owner used it 3 times. When I heard about the grease problem, I immediately checked and sure enough there was grease all over the brakes. We were heading out on a trip the next day, so all I could do was get a technician to clean off the grease from the brake shoes, and put it together again. I contacted GDRV and was basically told to pound sand since I wasn't the original owner. I contacted Lippert, and they reimbursed me for the cost of cleaning the brakes.

So when it came time to buy a new fifth wheel, GDRV didn't make my short list.

My wife and I literally looked at over 100 fifth wheels, crawled all over them. The Riverstone was the one we eventually settled on. We worked with Riverstone to have the build customized - Ethernet wiring, HDMI cabling, desk built into it (I'm still working full time so I need a workspace). In each and every instance, Tom Ewing from Riverstone worked with me to get all of our modifications installed. Fantastic to work with. When the coach was delivered, every one of the modifications were as specified. Perfect.

I would buy another Riverstone.
__________________

2020 Riverstone 39FK
2016 Ford F-350 DRW 6.7L PowerStroke Lariat
Jim1521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 03:38 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1521 View Post
Welcome.

My impression of the Riverstone line is that they're on the same build quality as all large production RV manufacturers. ............ When the coach was delivered, every one of the modifications were as specified. Perfect.

I would buy another Riverstone.
Fantastic assessment Jim. Our GDRV is holding up nicely so I'm sorry you had a difficult time with their customer service. I think for what its worth, that all of these manufacturers have issues one way or another. I just never considered Forest River before due to their build quality (similar to Thor) but they own so many lines that sooner or later, you'll run into them. I have an open mind and have no pre-conceived notions other than build quality. Most of these are all built in or around Elkhart so its funny but most all of them, Grand Design included use Amish laborers to build their coaches. When someone gets rid of one, they seem to get hired on somewhere else.

We had a Winnebago Class A Horizon before. The paint job was top notch, like a car. Then we had a Winnebago Forza. The paint job on that was mediocre at best. Shine seemed dull and the front cap chipped with every pebble it took. The Riverstones, again from pictures, seem better, like there really is a shine.

Is the furniture comfortable? I know these questions are subjective, but hearing from other owners helps me to gauge what is hype and what is more realistic. Thanks again for taking your time to write such a thorough review for me. I really appreciate that!

I forgot to add, how is it when you tow it? Any issues? does it seem pretty solid going down the road and do you have the suspension upgrade like the mor-ryde SRE-4000 or CRE-3000? I wasn't sure if it come with one of those. Thanks again!
Bigtrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 04:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim1521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtrace View Post
Fantastic assessment Jim. Our GDRV is holding up nicely so I'm sorry you had a difficult time with their customer service. I think for what its worth, that all of these manufacturers have issues one way or another. I just never considered Forest River before due to their build quality (similar to Thor) but they own so many lines that sooner or later, you'll run into them. I have an open mind and have no pre-conceived notions other than build quality. Most of these are all built in or around Elkhart so its funny but most all of them, Grand Design included use Amish laborers to build their coaches. When someone gets rid of one, they seem to get hired on somewhere else.

We had a Winnebago Class A Horizon before. The paint job was top notch, like a car. Then we had a Winnebago Forza. The paint job on that was mediocre at best. Shine seemed dull and the front cap chipped with every pebble it took. The Riverstones, again from pictures, seem better, like there really is a shine.

Is the furniture comfortable? I know these questions are subjective, but hearing from other owners helps me to gauge what is hype and what is more realistic. Thanks again for taking your time to write such a thorough review for me. I really appreciate that!

I forgot to add, how is it when you tow it? Any issues? does it seem pretty solid going down the road and do you have the suspension upgrade like the mor-ryde SRE-4000 or CRE-3000? I wasn't sure if it come with one of those. Thanks again!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had to completely redo the water manifold (KantLeak - LOL) in the GDRV as the design was fundamentally flawed (replaced all fittings with brass).

The paint really shines on it. I just waxed it with Maguires ceramic stuff and it looks great!



Anyways, the Riverstone tows fantastic - but you MUST have a DRW. I did not get the Independent Suspension - we don't tow a lot - but it is available. Mostly between SWFL and N. GA. No problems towing it. I did get the upgraded hitch though That was worth it. I also have a B&W 25k Companion hitch.

The furniture is your typical RV stuff. It will work for a few years. One HUGE surprise with how comfortable the bed is. I purchased a Sleep Number bed for the GDRV because I couldn't get a good night's sleep no matter what. So when we bought this one, I fully expected to drop $$$$ on another Sleep Number. This memory foam mattress is incredible! But it's a major PITA to make the bed (king). Really tight along the edges at the head end.
__________________

2020 Riverstone 39FK
2016 Ford F-350 DRW 6.7L PowerStroke Lariat
Jim1521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1521 View Post
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had to completely redo the water manifold (KantLeak - LOL) in the GDRV as the design was fundamentally flawed (replaced all fittings with brass).

.........This memory foam mattress is incredible! But it's a major PITA to make the bed (king). Really tight along the edges at the head end.
Thanks again Jim, Your rig is very beautiful! I know what you mean about the Nautilus system/Kant Leak on the GDRV. I've heard a lot of complaints about that, but (knock on wood), ours has been fine thus far. It's a Reflection 337 and I've done quite a few mods to it to get it to what I wanted, but it still lacks the headroom and the styling I really was looking for. I added a memory foam mattress to our coach as well and I used to have a Sleep number type that I couldn't get used to but the memory foam worked out just fine.

I'd be pulling it with a 1 ton GMC 3500 SRW. Not sure why a DRW would be necessary other than its a shade wider at 8'6". I'm also looking at the new "Reserve" trim which is for smaller coaches. The one we like right now is 38ft.. We're not full-timers by any means and it's probably crazy moving up the chain to a rig like this for maybe 6 trips a year, but I'm a stickler for quality stuff and there's several things, like a wide body design, that you just can't find on mid-level coaches. 3" insulated walls are also nice along with dual paned windows. If I have to listen to my neighbors campsite one more night..... lol. Anyhow, thank you again and again for your candid comments and hopefully i'll get a few more opinions from others. We may also fly to the nearest dealer to go and see a Riverstone Reserve in person so we can feel it for some time before we actually purchase.

Thanks Tracey
Bigtrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 05:36 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1521 View Post
Welcome.

My impression of the Riverstone line is that they're on the same build quality as all large production RV manufacturers. We've lived full time in ours for one year now. Overall I'm very happy with the fit and finish. We ordered the full body paint Blue Thunder. The paint job is good - not great, but acceptable. If it were an automobile I would not be happy; there are a couple of places that I've discovered over the year where the paint ran a little bit. However, so far the paint job is holding up well.

Inside, the build is very good. They did a great job on the cabinetry. Good solid build, nice tight miter joints, nothing shaking loose. From a build standpoint they did a good job. Certainly a better build job than what we saw when we looked at DRV Mobile Suites.

They screwed up on the air conditioning ducting. The ducting on the roof where the A/C enters the coach was VERY poorly done. I had to go up and re-tape all the ducting. It would flap loose when the fan would kick on, and make one hell of a whistle inside the coach. Easy fix, but I shouldn't have had to do that.

They also had a problem with the A/C electrical wiring. For some reason the bedroom A/C unit was not wired correctly. I had two separate technicians come out to repair it. The first guy worked on it all day, screaming and cursing both Riverstone and Dometic. He was on the phone with them, and each one pointed the finger at the other. He quite literally threw his hands up in the air, and said "F... it. I'm done!" and walked away without getting paid a penny. The second guy came out, pretty much said the same thing, but was able to wire it in a manner that worked. He was an authorized Forest River technician AND Dometic technician, so he got it "right".

Having said all of that, I also owned a Grand Design prior to this. I heard all the wonderful things about GDRV, the quality of their builds, there great customer support. Well, I found the same build problems with them as all the others. The real problem with GDRV was their refusal to address the "grease in the brakes" problem. I bought the RV 9 months old from a dealer. Previous owner used it 3 times. When I heard about the grease problem, I immediately checked and sure enough there was grease all over the brakes. We were heading out on a trip the next day, so all I could do was get a technician to clean off the grease from the brake shoes, and put it together again. I contacted GDRV and was basically told to pound sand since I wasn't the original owner. I contacted Lippert, and they reimbursed me for the cost of cleaning the brakes.

So when it came time to buy a new fifth wheel, GDRV didn't make my short list.

My wife and I literally looked at over 100 fifth wheels, crawled all over them. The Riverstone was the one we eventually settled on. We worked with Riverstone to have the build customized - Ethernet wiring, HDMI cabling, desk built into it (I'm still working full time so I need a workspace). In each and every instance, Tom Ewing from Riverstone worked with me to get all of our modifications installed. Fantastic to work with. When the coach was delivered, every one of the modifications were as specified. Perfect.

I would buy another Riverstone.
How much customization did you guys do (IE Ethernet cable runs?)? How much did ForestRiver charge for those customizations?
JLightning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 08:58 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jim1521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLightning View Post
How much customization did you guys do (IE Ethernet cable runs?)? How much did ForestRiver charge for those customizations?
I had the following mods done at the factory:

1. Cat 6 Ethernet drop that ran from the bedroom closet to the shelf under the TV in the living room. I installed my WiFi controller on the wall in the closet as well as a WiFi access point.
2. Cat 6 Ethernet drop that ran from the shelf under the TV up to a point above the TV in the living room. That is the location of one of the WiFi access points.
3. 2 HDMI drops on the wall by the kitchen buffet table that terminate behind the TV. Originally, I was going to use the kitchen buffet table as my workplace, so I would run the HDMI off my laptop to the 65" TV and use it as my monitor. I would plug the laptop into one of the HDMI jacks, then patch it into the TV from one of the two behind the TV. I had them run 2 cables while they had the walls open - just in case.
4. Installed a 120v AC electrical outlet in the upper compartment where the LCI control panel is. I have a WiFi access point mounted on the wall inside the closet. It meshes together with the AP in the living room and provides outdoor WiFi access on the patio outside.
5. While the coach was in construction, Riverstone released a desk configuration for the door-side slide out. I asked them to HALT construction so that they could order the matching wood desk, and also include 120v AC outlets as well as USB charging ports on that slide as well, which they did. They had to special order the desk, since this was a new trim color that they had come out with this year, and the desk needed to match the trim in the rest of the coach. It was a 3-week delay but worth every minute of it.
6. Replace the bedroom fireplace with doors so that we would have additional storage space.
7. Replace that big staircase with the normal folding stairs for both doors. We have a large deck at our GA location, and the big staircase would not work there. By using the regular stairs, we can leave them stored when we don't need them.

I think that's everything. To be honest, I don't recall a charge for any of these modifications. As I said before, Tom Ewing from Riverstone was great to work with, as was my sales guy from Jeff Couch's RV Nation - Brandon Osterberger. I was very nervous doing all this customization - I ran into some major problems when we custom ordered our Bennington pontoon boat; the sales guy and the factory really screwed things up on the order (wrong color upholstery, wrong ladder, wrong decal package), so I rode Brandon pretty hard to make sure things were right. Tom was cc:'d on each and every email, photos and drawings were all approved by all of us. Great job by all of them.
__________________

2020 Riverstone 39FK
2016 Ford F-350 DRW 6.7L PowerStroke Lariat
Jim1521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:16 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jim1521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtrace View Post
Thanks again Jim, Your rig is very beautiful! I know what you mean about the Nautilus system/Kant Leak on the GDRV. I've heard a lot of complaints about that, but (knock on wood), ours has been fine thus far. It's a Reflection 337 and I've done quite a few mods to it to get it to what I wanted, but it still lacks the headroom and the styling I really was looking for. I added a memory foam mattress to our coach as well and I used to have a Sleep number type that I couldn't get used to but the memory foam worked out just fine.

I'd be pulling it with a 1 ton GMC 3500 SRW. Not sure why a DRW would be necessary other than its a shade wider at 8'6". I'm also looking at the new "Reserve" trim which is for smaller coaches. The one we like right now is 38ft.. We're not full-timers by any means and it's probably crazy moving up the chain to a rig like this for maybe 6 trips a year, but I'm a stickler for quality stuff and there's several things, like a wide body design, that you just can't find on mid-level coaches. 3" insulated walls are also nice along with dual paned windows. If I have to listen to my neighbors campsite one more night..... lol. Anyhow, thank you again and again for your candid comments and hopefully i'll get a few more opinions from others. We may also fly to the nearest dealer to go and see a Riverstone Reserve in person so we can feel it for some time before we actually purchase.

Thanks Tracey
My GDRV is the 2016 313RLTS bumper puller. I still have it (it's a long story).

The 39FK weighs in at around 20k+ lbs (don't have the CAT scale slip handy, so working from memory). I think my pin weight is around 3,600 lbs (again, working from memory) so in my case I was going with the DRW right from the start. "This will be my last truck" - famous last words.
__________________

2020 Riverstone 39FK
2016 Ford F-350 DRW 6.7L PowerStroke Lariat
Jim1521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 05:43 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 591
I don't have much to add to the previous posts other than my personal opinion, and have little knowledge on the new Reserve line. Fit and finish on my 2019 Legacy 38MB is very good, as is the full paint. Had an issue with some peeling where they used to paint the rubber roof as it came over the side. Fixed under warranty and no issues. They no longer paint that area. Overall, much better product than my 2015 Dutchmen Voltage 3990, which was still a pretty good unit. I give Warranty/Customer Service on the Riverstone an A. I've dealt pretty much exclusively with "Austin" from that department. Always got back to me via phone or e-mail, even in the midst of the factory move. He's gone above and beyond, even meeting me at a repair facility to take care of my after purchase punch list. He's even approved items that he wasn't obligated to cover. I'd buy another Riverstone in a minute.
Rusty
__________________
2019 Riverstone Legacy 38MB
Full Paint Merlot/All Options
2015 Black Ford Platinum Diesel F-350 Dually
lcv800 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 01:30 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
I don't have much to add to the previous posts other than my personal opinion, and have little knowledge on the new Reserve line. Fit and finish on my 2019 Legacy 38MB is very good, as is the full paint. Had an issue with some peeling where they used to paint the rubber roof as it came over the side. Fixed under warranty and no issues. They no longer paint that area. Overall, much better product than my 2015 Dutchmen Voltage 3990, which was still a pretty good unit. I give Warranty/Customer Service on the Riverstone an A. I've dealt pretty much exclusively with "Austin" from that department. Always got back to me via phone or e-mail, even in the midst of the factory move. He's gone above and beyond, even meeting me at a repair facility to take care of my after purchase punch list. He's even approved items that he wasn't obligated to cover. I'd buy another Riverstone in a minute.
Rusty
That's really good to know, I appreciate the feedback. More than likely, we'll be a new owner soon enough, but I'd REALLY like to see one in person. We're in Boise Idaho and there are no dealers here. Closest seems to be in Salt Lake City which is about 5+ hours away. Could be a great weekend trip, but it'll have to be in a few more weeks for sure.
Bigtrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2020, 07:11 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4,454
We have a 2017 Legacy 38MB and have been very pleased with our unit, has it been problem free of course not but what few issue we had were all taken care of by the factory. Now the new Reserve line does have a few differences as in I believe the upper deck is not steel like the River Stones which lightens it up some along with the shorter lengths. I will be out near the factory next week if by chance you have certain questions about the reserve line I could visit and try to find out for you.
__________________
2017 River Stone Legacy 38mb
2001 Kenworth T2000
2008 Smart on deck
dblr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2020, 10:05 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
Riverstone

I have a Riverstone legacy 34 SLE which is a 38 foot 5-er. I just love it and have not had any major problems with it.
According to the dealer that i bought it from, there is the Riverstone Legacy, the plain Riverstone and now the Riverstone Reserve. The Reserve is meant to compete with other higher end brands that are not in the Riverstone Legacy status. That means that what you see on the outside is not the same on the inside when comparing it to the Legacy. Its just like batteries, getting the better battery cost more but last longer
I am sold on Forest River and have had nothing but good results with them.
The key component is have a great dealer and ours is the best. Bill's Happy Camper in Mill Hall Pa is excellent. I live two and a half hours away but worth the trip.
E John Fedor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2020, 11:00 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 6
If interested,

I have been in contact with Riverstone and specifically Dava who has been great to work with. She provided me a listing of what is different about the Riverstone vs the Reserve so hopefully, it may be helpful for anyone here:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Riverstone vs Reserve.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	357.6 KB
ID:	240142  
Bigtrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:35 AM.