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Old 09-04-2019, 09:43 AM   #1
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Hi all, just bought a new Forest River NOBO 19.1 Toy Hauler

Hi everyone, new here, we were previous Casita trailer owners and we moved on up to a larger trailer that can haul the motorcycle.

I wanted a trailer that would be mostly composite and salt water and rot resistant, and I cannot afford Airstream or other custom all aluminum trailers. I love this trailer and the layout, and I really have high hopes for this trailer, except things were done so poorly by the factory that I am now worried overall.

I am questioning everything now about this trailer as stuff was literally falling apart on the drive home from the dealer, so I am not going to take it back to the dealer for these repairs because I don't think they will do as good of a job as I will, at least on all these small items. Also when I read about all this online, there are tons of complaints about poor workmanship everywhere on the Internet, so I don't think I got a lemon, its just the Forest River way of putting things together.

So on the 3 hrs drive home from the dealer, the cabinet/ cubby next to the door was falling off the wall. The main RV door kept flying open on the road, thank God its not a suicide door. The vanity at the top of each window that covers the mini blinds, one of those just popped off and lay on the floor of the trailer. We saw a big bend in the thin plywood that covers the outside of the refrigerator and it turns out, that much of this is being caused by too small of staples or the staples weren't driven in all the way.

So first, I immediately drove to Home Depot in Shreveport 10 miles from the dealer to get what was necessary to fix everything.

The cabinet, the staples were coming out all over, and it appears they are too short, which makes me think all the cabinets are using too short of staples. The staples only have about 1/4 in sticking into the next panel, and that needs to be about 1/2 in. So I wood glued everything on the cabinets and clamped all of them together and put in stainless corner brackets and screws and went on my merry way like that home so the clamps would take the bouncing until the glue sets. That turned out to be the right choice. The cabinets are very solid now so far.

About half the screws I am finding for the blinds covers were stripped. I changed those out with oversized stainless screws, and I can tell you right now, the interior of the Azdel side walls, the vinyl covered walls, they are paper thin and screws easily strip, so my advice is coat the screws with epoxy and install oversize stainless ones and so far that seems to have worked well.


Don't peel the stickers on the inside of the trailer off the walls right away! Use a hair dryer. They will pull the vinyl off the walls and cause bubbles. I was able to press the bubbles down and that appears to have holded so far. My feeling is the panels are so new the glue has not cured on the sidewalls.


The door was flying open because someone didn't actually put any holes in the frame for the latch and the deadbolt. They simply screwed the striker plate to the inside of the door frame right onto the frame with no holes. I used a dremel and a diamond burr and was able to route out perfectly sized holes into the aluminum frame and Azdel fiberglass and then paint it black. The door latch and deadbolt works well now.

The small staples used to hold paneling onto the side of the fridge, most of those have pulled out and once again, are not long enough. I haven't tackled that yet because its more cosmetic and thats going to be last on the list.

Anyhow, I do want to like this trailer allot but I am concerned that if they overlooked so much common sense things and didn't even bother to check their work. Am I going to have these problems with the actual frame and walls of the trailer? I mean am I going to go down the road and the entire Azdel side of the trailer starts to peel off?

I would be interesting in hearing any stories about other people with NOBOs. Like I was saying ,its all just little jobs so far, glueing, stapling, re-inforcing cabinets, nothing major, and its made easy by everything being new and clean so glue sticks well and problems are obvious.

Look forward to seeing yall on the road. Our first big trip will be the Lone Star Motorcycle Rally on Galveston Island Texas.

Sincerely,

Steve
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:53 AM   #2
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If you have benches that have storage underneath or can be converted to a bed, open them up and check all the supports. The dinette on our 2018 Cherokee fell apart the first time one adult slept on it. Nothing was right and I rebuilt the frame of the benches and supports for the table to lay on for making it a bed and now 3 adult's can stand on it and it won't give.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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Thanks. I didn't think about that, but the front bed is a queen and is built using light weight pine and 1/4 plywood, but I will go ahead and run a bead of glue underneath all of it and install extra screws and maybe some more stainless brackets. Under the bed is a pass through storage from one side of the trailer to the other with outside hatches. It needs an inside hatch and doesn't have one. I was going to install one.

I can say this. TightBond III exterior wood glue is really good. It drys a clearish light brown color so it matches the wood and the cabinets well and you don't see it. I have been running beads of it inside the cabinets and squeezing it down into the joints and it cleans up with water if any drips out and runs.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:43 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. As you found out new tt can be a bit of a sore spot for being perfect. I see where you are handling it quite well. Being handy helps. Enjoy and Later RJD
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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Welcome from SoCal! Sorry about your troubles - but you seem to have the repairs well in hand.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:29 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear about your problems. It's sad that we accept such inferior quality from the US RV mfg's. Look at the Austrailian and European RV's and there is a world of difference. Higher price..yes but I'd be willing to pay more for some quality workmanship.
The US RV community needs to stop buying these inferior products for 6 months and see if anything changes. I would love to have a new RV but I'm not willing to go thru the repair process of their poor workmanship.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:03 PM   #7
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I live to be handy, I think RVing is about improvising

So wife was just throwing fits the whole way home as all these problems happen right off the lot. She was saying things like "if I paid $25k for a car, I expect it to be perfect".

Also she was wanting the dealer to fix it all, but honestly in these rural RV dealers, who always have the best prices, they also have the least amount of talent. When "Bubba" looked at the cabinet which was already starting to show signs of failure at the RV lot, they said they would have to keep it another week and then we would have to drive back and pick it up. As far as I was concerned "Bubba" would probably have just glued it like I did, and thats about it. Not any further re-enforcement with stainless hardware, and stainless screws, so I am looking to upgrade what Forest River does factory, not just patch it. I want it to never come apart again. RVs shake and rattle far too much on the road for anything to just be stapled together like that.

I explained to her that an RV is really partially a vehicle but partially a house, and in my opinion it being built like a house with wood and separate modular components like AC, Water Heater, fridge and so forth is actually a must for RV's because all RV shops will have those components anywhere you are at.

Can you imagine if an RV was built like a car. Only a certain water heater or ac unit with a specific shape from that manufacturer would work, and if the part isn't available, just like the auto parts store you would have to order it.

Anyhow, lots of good glue and stainless hardware is a friend of the RVer, and zip ties. I live to go through the entire RV and check every fitting, joint, leaks , waterproofing, whatever.

Even our previous Casita which is built like a tank. I spent $100 on 3M Undercoat and first thing I did when we brought it home was spend all day undercoating it, and 14 years later, not one lick of rust anywhere.

Thats been a very good trailer but they don't make any bigger than 17ft and no toy haulers.

Anyhow, looking forward to many years with the NOBO. I just hope the trailer frame and walls live up to what they advertise as being well built and solid weather resistance.

P.S. I am not knocking the name "Bubba" if thats your name.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting. This is the camper I want to get into, and your post kinda scares me.

I like the idea of being able to put multiple kayaks on top, and then having the toy hauler space for a variety of uses. We don't actually plan to haul toys, but rather gear and such. To me the garage seemed like the perfect convertible space that could be used for a variety of things, especially when you add the back porch. I also figured you could throw an air bed down in the floor for added sleeping space.

Thanks for the update and keep us posted on your adventures!
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Old 09-28-2019, 06:10 AM   #9
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Wow, it sounds like you got more than your fair share of discrepancies off the lot. I purchased my 16.7 in Omaha and drove it back to Alaska. Each time I stopped I noticed more and more sawdust coming out of everywhere. A cabinet wouldnt close because the mechanisms didn't line up, and the left portion of the dinette/ottoman looking thing broke loose and is no longer secured.

I expected some wear and tear given I was towing across the Canadian wilderness in October but also kind of shocked that it did not appear to be as "rugged and off-road" as advertised.

After some more investigation, I came to the realization that it's basically an R-Pod with a different shape and mud tires.

Still love it and still enjoy it, but I think it's clever marketing more than anything.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:41 AM   #10
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I love my 19.1 too, but..

I've been living in my 19.1 since the day I got it last July. I havent had cabinetry or door issues but I've had to reseal everything. I'm removing the coveted underbelly cover that is just corregated plastic. It pools rainwater!! I noticed it dripping one day. So my plan is to get aluminum roof fairing panels to replace. My biggest concern is my front jacks and my garage door. My back jacks are bolted onto the chassis. My front jacks are screwed onto the front bumper frame (see upside down pic) this doesn't seem right. My garage door was locked closed for months in the rainy texas fall. No obvious leaks, until last week I finally opened it into deck-mode, and all of the top door bolts and corners were dripping (see pic). It was not from the weather seal and I have no idea how much is still in there very disappointed with that. I'll have to remove the garage door corner bolts just to drain it. Also, what are those vent looking things in the living room wall? I don't know but one immediately broke.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:53 AM   #11
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The jacks in the front , them being installed slanted like that was an issue for me

So I already bent one of the front jacks. Did that as soon as I got home. If you notice they are not installed flush against the frame. The front of them sticks off the frame about 1" so it can rest on the trailer lip in the front. They will buckle in the middle as a result. I just snug them up now, and thats it.



The factory needs to weld a backing plate in that area for the jacks sit flat against the frame beams and that would fix the problem.


I am not going to recommend installing heavier jacks because I am trying to keep the trailer light weight, and I am sure the factory is doing the same. Its just not well thought out what they did.


Also take some spray lithium white grease and hose down the screw in the middle of the jack. Mine started rusting pretty quickly.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:02 AM   #12
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So I already bent one of the front jacks. Did that as soon as I got home. If you notice they are not installed flush against the frame. The front of them sticks off the frame about 1" so it can rest on the trailer lip in the front. They will buckle in the middle as a result. I just snug them up now, and thats it.
.
Are those jacks or stabilizers? My guess would be stabilizers and they are not meant to hold any weight. Just snug them up and they'll do their job.
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:21 PM   #13
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I've been looking at this exact trailer. You guys all seem pretty forgiving of the build quality from these things. Is this just an industry standard that everyone is acting like it is normal? Did everyone with the NoBo's experience having to rebuild their trailers once they got them home?
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:24 PM   #14
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Price dictates allot, but also toy haulers are more limited in what you can get

So my first trailer in my mid 30's me and Wife newly married was a small 17ft Casita Travel trailer. Its basically a fiberglass egg, and its built just like a boat. Its very very solid, and has no stick construction or any framing of any kinds. Think of two giant hot tubs, one turned upside down like a clam shell and glue and bolt it together like that. Screw it onto a steel single axle frame. They start at $25k now, 17ft, like sleeping in a van. Super water and rot proof. Even the furniture and cabinets are molded fiberglass.







My dad was a big RVer so back in the 70 and 80's we went all over the place, and that was a Winobeggo brand, which was supposed to be top of the line for its time, and also a Coachman which also was top of the line. All wood, stick construction with that corrugated siding. He was always having to put screws into something wood, and caulk this and that, replace rotted wood. Constant battle against the elements.



So my opinion is you are either buying something that is all molded and composite and aluminum with welded and riveted frame work like a car is built with robots, and that doesn't ever shake or come apart, or you are buying a wooden house built onto a metal frame.


Wooden homes on a frame shake apart. Wood is just not good for traveling, at least not the kinds of wood they use. They use cheap light woods. Airplanes used to be made of Spruce. A wood that has properties like fiberglass but its super expensive. No point in building and RV with that if you have composites.



So you either spend $25k on the most composite "like" trailer with the least amount of wood, or you go with custom, and there are plenty of custom welded aluminum toy haulers out there from aluminum horse trailer companies, like Sundowner, but they are $75k - 100k, so like my dealer told me, pretty blunt when I bought the NOBO, he said, this is the best your going to get in this "price class". The NOBO is "almost" all composite. The floors is going to be the weak spot. Anything with wood.



I can do allot to it to make it better. I already undercoated it once, but now after seeing these pics , with the rust at the jacks. I am probably going to remove my splash guard and really spray paint everything with good paint. I already undercoated the frame. I will go back and do that again. I am a big believer in undercoating the trailers. It has served me well in the past.



My main concern is do they do a good job of welding the aluminum frame or is it spot welded. I can't find any pics of their aluminum framework on the Internet.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:38 PM   #15
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So my first trailer in my mid 30's me and Wife newly married was a small 17ft Casita Travel trailer. Its basically a fiberglass egg, and its built just like a boat. Its very very solid, and has no stick construction or any framing of any kinds. Think of two giant hot tubs, one turned upside down like a clam shell and glue and bolt it together like that. Screw it onto a steel single axle frame. They start at $25k now, 17ft, like sleeping in a van. Super water and rot proof. Even the furniture and cabinets are molded fiberglass.







My dad was a big RVer so back in the 70 and 80's we went all over the place, and that was a Winobeggo brand, which was supposed to be top of the line for its time, and also a Coachman which also was top of the line. All wood, stick construction with that corrugated siding. He was always having to put screws into something wood, and caulk this and that, replace rotted wood. Constant battle against the elements.



So my opinion is you are either buying something that is all molded and composite and aluminum with welded and riveted frame work like a car is built with robots, and that doesn't ever shake or come apart, or you are buying a wooden house built onto a metal frame.


Wooden homes on a frame shake apart. Wood is just not good for traveling, at least not the kinds of wood they use. They use cheap light woods. Airplanes used to be made of Spruce. A wood that has properties like fiberglass but its super expensive. No point in building and RV with that if you have composites.



So you either spend $25k on the most composite "like" trailer with the least amount of wood, or you go with custom, and there are plenty of custom welded aluminum toy haulers out there from aluminum horse trailer companies, like Sundowner, but they are $75k - 100k, so like my dealer told me, pretty blunt when I bought the NOBO, he said, this is the best your going to get in this "price class". The NOBO is "almost" all composite. The floors is going to be the weak spot. Anything with wood.



I can do allot to it to make it better. I already undercoated it once, but now after seeing these pics , with the rust at the jacks. I am probably going to remove my splash guard and really spray paint everything with good paint. I already undercoated the frame. I will go back and do that again. I am a big believer in undercoating the trailers. It has served me well in the past.



My main concern is do they do a good job of welding the aluminum frame or is it spot welded. I can't find any pics of their aluminum framework on the Internet.
My guess is the aluminum is bolted , not welded.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:58 PM   #16
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Sadly, in agreement and similar situation

I bought my 19.1 about two months ago. On the drive home from the dealer--a not-so-insignificant 1200 miles--things started falling apart. I do love my trailer, am handy, and have an entire wood shop at my disposal at the moment, but am also pissed.

It seems Forest River is churning these new items out too quickly to give any thought to quality. I will recommend beefing up the bed frame. Mine was built with crappy pine that has knots, and at 136 lbs, plus about 5 lbs of cat, my bed frame cracked in two spots.

I am hoping that anything really important was done well, and that they let the details slide. I'll know soon enough, I guess.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:17 AM   #17
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Are you saying the wooden floor is cracking on your NOBO?

Your floor is cracking? I haven't seen anything like that so far on mine, but like I have been asking everyone, does anyone know the actual quality of the frame, floors, walls, I am talking about the framing, things that if they come apart the trailer comes apart. I can deal with all the cosmetic stuff but if I have to start tearing out walls or floors to have to re-weld and put down flooring that things going up for sale real quick.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:31 AM   #18
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Corrugated plastic underbelly, that's royalty!
My factory underbelly cover is a glued/stapled on plastic tarp!

I've had my door open from chassis flexing on the road. I always lock & dead bolt it now AND flip the movable large hand grab handle across the door. If you don't have that style by the door, I strongly suggest getting one. My SIL's toy hauler, a Z1, came with a small fixed grab handle.

Like was mentioned, a Casata was built like a boat. And boats are made to take a frequent beating from the waves. A wood framed or even aluminum frame unit built like a house on a rolling set of metal beams is being subjected to a near constant earthquake. Made as cheap as possible to save time and materials cost, trying to keep the weight and the cost down for good sales. Lots of cost saving trade offs.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #19
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Had the door come open also but its because there were no deadbolt holes

My door kept flying open right off the dealer lot and I had to do the same thing and thats put the bar across it. So when I finally got home , we bought it out of State, about a 5 hr drive, when I got home, I discovered that NO holes were drilled in the door frame for the the deadbolt or the latch and it appeared to be closed because it was pretty tight fitting. It was just straight flat aluminum, no hardware had been installed into the door frame, so it was just completely overlooked step.

After drilling the holes using an Unibit (Step Drill) it works good now, but I do like that bar. Thats a nice feature. I am on the fence about whether or not I want to remove the ladder and go with a slide out for the door. The drop down ladder is a very good improvement over a traditional slide out in terms of stability but I am quite the road Throne King so I make allot of stops along the way traveling on the roadside to get a drink or whatever and the flip down is a problem roadside as you know, the road banks slope down to far.

Hmmm, ya know, a good upgrade would be to make the flip down removable and just bolt a basic slide out underneath, so while traveling you just use the slideout and leave the ladder in the back of the truck or in the garage area of the trailer.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:20 PM   #20
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Starting to get nervous about all these bad reviews. I have had my 19.8 for 1 year now about 12 trips and haven't had a single issue. Maybe I am extremely lucky. I did have some sawdust around in the pass through storage but otherwise no issues.
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