Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-06-2020, 11:20 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 5
Please help me choose a forest river product!

Hello every one!

Newbie to the camper trailer world. My wife and I are losing our minds trying to separate out all of the brands and floor plans and dealing with obnoxious dealers and sales people.

We are looking to stay under 6000 pounds (I have a 1500 pickup) and 26' to 24' box size. It sounds like 26' seems to be a magical number when booking campground sites? maybe I am wrong?

We have 2 adults, a dog, and a toddler. We like the idea of an outdoor kitchen , separate entry to bathroom, queen or larger bed in front with 2 bunks in the back. And something that doesn't crush the bank account for newbies

We seem to like forest river over Thor products

We are eyeing a 2020 wildwood 263BHXL or 240BHXL as it crosses off all the things we want.

I think we prefer stick and tin over laminated sidewalls as I am handy and confident in fixing issues as they come up, but not wanting to fix a delamination issue

Downside, they defiantly seem lacking in the quality when it comes to under the camper.

My question to this community is what other products in the family should we look at? And if you have this model wildwood or the Salem equivalent, what are your thoughts and issues you have had?
__________________

timmybish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2020, 01:04 PM   #2
Head Rambler
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 7,804
Both of those units come on at over 7500 lbs GVW, so I don't think you're going to be happy towing that with your 1500 unless it has great towing and payload specs. You didn't say which truck you have so we don't know how capable it is.

Get the payload info off the data plate of the truck and compare that to the GVW of any RV you're interested in.
__________________

__________________
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a GMC Sierra 2500HD!
Gotta go campin!
Bama Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2020, 05:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
SilhouettePenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: in the South, North West Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,512
The build quality across all RV manufacturers is not going to vary a lot regardless of the price range, amenities, appliances or size. What you really want to consider is the integrity of your dealer. Travel as far as necessary to find an RV dealer that will take care of the issues you ARE going to have. Learn how to repair the simple stuff yourself and use everything in the first year to maximize your one year warranty option.
__________________
2017 F350 Dually 6.7
2019.5 Hathaway

He who dies with the most tools, wins!
SilhouettePenny is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2020, 09:46 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 90
If you haven't already, I'd recommend looking through Forest River's web site at https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/. You can look at floor plans and also do virtual tours of the interiors of all of their RVs. Specifications are listed too which will give you some idea if your tow vehicle can pull it safely. After you narrow it down to a couple of units that look good to you, do an internet search of each particular model and find nearby dealers who stock the unit so that you can check it out in person.

An RV is such a personal decision that it's hard for us to make any recommendations other than find one you like, check out reviews on that particular unit, and find a good dealer who will take care of you.

As for us, we absolutely love our Cherokee Travel Trailer.
whjco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 12:45 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 28
We have had 6 different RV’s in our camping life. By far the most well built ones were Signature Series. We now own a Rockwood Ultra Light Signature Series 5er. I noticed the weight and quality of the cabinet doors and drawers. Son owns a Wildwood and his cabinets and drawers are very light and flimsy. His is not a Signature. Check everything when to do a hands on your.
GmaB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 06:57 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 5
Thanks everyone so far. My max towing capacity is 9200# and combined truck /trailer/cargo cap of 15000 pounds. I have pretty significant experience hauling equipment and box trailers so I know Id like to keep the unladen trailer under 6000# and max loaded under 8000#.

I've gone through the website and we have visited several dealerships. I guess for me each trailer and dealer seems the same. I haven't been impressed in quality control at all by any manufacturer but forrest river seems a step better.

Im just wondering if anyone has had experiences with a similar floor plan to the wildwood and have advice. If there is an absolute go to favorite? Other wise it just seems like any "brand" really is just different graphics? at least when it comes to stick and tin.

For example do any of the brands have a significant roof truss structure difference that anyone has observed? any brand seem to leak more than others? Anyone have lemon after lemon of a particular brand? or the opposite and have awesome luck?

I will say that its really frustrating to walk into dealership after dealership and seeing factory flaws such as mis aligned hinges, sloppy trim work, crooked screws, rubber propane gas lines secured to the lowest part of the frame totally unprotected, cheap pex crimps and so on.....

Im pretty handy, and not afraid of repairing any RV system, I just want to buy a frame and guts that will last for years and not break the bank.

I love the concept of the fiberglass sides but have seen so many failures of lamination. and weight is of concern.
timmybish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Dayton Ohio
Posts: 1,586
Keep shopping. One day you will stumble onto the one! Took us years.

Most do not care about structure. I wanted minimum luan. Stud walls. Fiberglass walls. Heavy floor. Expensive stuff.

Final rv for us is simply structurally better. Cost more.

Trailers are like bikes. Parts assembled from all over in A factory. Usually Indiana. Better parts cost more.

Lots like Grand Design reflection.

Keep shopping. It is out there.
tomkatb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 12:19 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 2
I see that you are looking for a much longer and bigger camper then we bought. But we were similar (2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 adults, bunks was a must have until we saw the Forest River 18TO. Instead of the bunk, the sofa pulls out into a bed then it has a hide-a-way bunk behind the sofa to pull out at night when ready for bed. Saves alot of room by taking out the bunks. Super light, do not even notice it behind the 1/2 ton.

Yes, like others have said these campers are made cheap. Good luck! We were out the door brand new at 15k.
sker2701 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 12:28 PM   #9
Member
 
rwhit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Georgetown Texas
Posts: 36
Just a suggestion

We have a Forest River Surveyor 241RBLE that we tow with an older Tundra. The cat scale says we are right at 6000 lbs fully loaded. As you have a child they have basically the same trailer with bunk beds. It is a FR Surveyor 248BHLE. Doesn't hurt to look.
rwhit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 12:44 PM   #10
ARLO
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: N Chili, NY
Posts: 781
Quote:
Originally Posted by GmaB View Post
We have had 6 different RV’s in our camping life. By far the most well built ones were Signature Series. We now own a Rockwood Ultra Light Signature Series 5er. I noticed the weight and quality of the cabinet doors and drawers. Son owns a Wildwood and his cabinets and drawers are very light and flimsy. His is not a Signature. Check everything when to do a hands on your.
We own a Flagstaff superlite, a twin to the Ultra Light Signature and agree with you. Ours is now 10 years old and has been great. O
ne major problem when it was new and FR was great about repairing it.
rlocicero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 12:54 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
PSUFan1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 824
Take a look at Grand Design, they have recently come out with the Imagine XLS models. We recently took a tour of their factory and they are trying to focus on building a quality product ( we were impressed) but you are always going to have some issues. These things do bounce down the road.
__________________
Tim & Tracy, Jennifer (17), Alyssa (13), our dog Jazy

2012 Ford F150 EB Crew FX4 3.73 gears
2017 Grand Design Imagine 2800BH
Previous: 2012 Flagstaff MicroLite 23LB
2006 GMC Envoy Denali V8 & 2005 GMC Envoy I6
PSUFan1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 01:07 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 5
My wife and I have a 2019 Northern Spirit 2758RB that I pull with my 1500 Ram. We got it Sept 2018 and have done 2 dozen trips with it. So far no major issue and everything is holding up well. We had up to 5 people in it, 3 adults and 2 teenage boys and there was plenty of room in the dinette, couch and we had a fold up bed in the middle and still could get to the bathroom. We notice the slide is twices as deep as comparable models so that give you alot more open space once parked.

They are not as common as other forest river products, I have only seen 1 other at a campsite in 2 years. Was told only certain dealers get them, not sure why.
merchjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 02:54 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmybish View Post
Thanks everyone so far. My max towing capacity is 9200# and combined truck /trailer/cargo cap of 15000 pounds. I have pretty significant experience hauling equipment and box trailers so I know Id like to keep the unladen trailer under 6000# and max loaded under 8000#.

I've gone through the website and we have visited several dealerships. I guess for me each trailer and dealer seems the same. I haven't been impressed in quality control at all by any manufacturer but forrest river seems a step better.

Im just wondering if anyone has had experiences with a similar floor plan to the wildwood and have advice. If there is an absolute go to favorite? Other wise it just seems like any "brand" really is just different graphics? at least when it comes to stick and tin.

For example do any of the brands have a significant roof truss structure difference that anyone has observed? any brand seem to leak more than others? Anyone have lemon after lemon of a particular brand? or the opposite and have awesome luck?

I will say that its really frustrating to walk into dealership after dealership and seeing factory flaws such as mis aligned hinges, sloppy trim work, crooked screws, rubber propane gas lines secured to the lowest part of the frame totally unprotected, cheap pex crimps and so on.....

Im pretty handy, and not afraid of repairing any RV system, I just want to buy a frame and guts that will last for years and not break the bank.

I love the concept of the fiberglass sides but have seen so many failures of lamination. and weight is of concern.
Max towing capacity is irrelevant. Cargo capacity governs. It's on your yellow sticker inside the drivers door jamb. The tongue weight of an 8000 lb trailer at 13% = 1040 lbs. Subtract this number from your payload from the yellow sticker. The result is the maximum you can load in your truck.
People, dogs, coolers, firewood, etc. Run some numbers before you buy. Don't buy too much trailer and end up having to buy a bigger truck. Don't ask how I know this!! Good luck and have fun!!
boogiejack75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 02:56 PM   #14
CGK
Camping with Labs
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Jarrettsville, MD
Posts: 144
Our current TT is a Rockwood Signature, and it's the best of the 4 we have owned over the years. That said, it is not perfect - nor are any that come off an assembly line. Agree with the comments about the right dealer....be sure their service department has at least decent ratings. Noticed someone mentioned cargo carrying capacity, and I'm surprised no one has said you'll run out of cargo carrying capacity before you run out of tow rating. Because you will. If you are at 8k lbs loaded, your tongue weight will be upwards of 800 lbs - closer to 1000 lbs if your tongue weight is around the typical 12% of TT weight. Take 1000 lbs off your cargo capacity, plus the weight of your family/dog/stuff and you will probably put a big dent in the cargo capacity of that 1/2 ton truck. If you are still within spec, great. Your experience towing other trailers will certainly come in handy, as will your willingness to DIY on mods and at least some repairs. I've seen on this forum that you want to buy your third TT first, and that's good advice. Do your homework, take as many virtual tours as you can tolerate, and actually see some TTs to judge how well they could work for you. Pay attention to interior and pass-through storage - you can never have too much. And remember the toddler won't be a toddler long - plan on keeping your well-researched trailer at least 5 years, and plan accordingly for family size. With the pandemic in full swing, RV shows are not likely to be a resource for your search, but the industry has dedicated time and effort to virtual shows that can give you information. Best of luck, and happy camping.
__________________
Chris, Paula, & camping Labs, Shasta & Cammie
2005 Yukon XL 2500 with 8.1 Engine, Allison Transmission, and 3.73 Axle Ratio
2019 Rockwood Signature 8335BSS with Hensley Arrow Hitch
CGK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 03:00 PM   #15
CGK
Camping with Labs
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Jarrettsville, MD
Posts: 144
....and while I was typing my response, I see boogiejack75 beat me to the punch on the CCC. Sorry for the duplication.....X2 boogie jack.
__________________
Chris, Paula, & camping Labs, Shasta & Cammie
2005 Yukon XL 2500 with 8.1 Engine, Allison Transmission, and 3.73 Axle Ratio
2019 Rockwood Signature 8335BSS with Hensley Arrow Hitch
CGK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 03:13 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
jrk341's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Etters,PA
Posts: 246
Have you looked at Arctic Fox?
__________________
TV:2019 F350 6.7L Diesel
RV: 2018 Coachmen Apex 249RBS
jrk341 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 03:14 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGK View Post
....and while I was typing my response, I see boogiejack75 beat me to the punch on the CCC. Sorry for the duplication.....X2 boogie jack.
No worries.
boogiejack75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 03:19 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Mid Michigan
Posts: 886
Daughter and son in law just took delivery of a new Puma ex lite 27dbqs (I think I got that model correct). Well under 6k UVW and they tow with F150. I rode with him to bring it home from the dealer and was impressed how nice it towed. Some nice features like outdoor kitchenette, dbl dbl bunks, front queen with a real door up front, U dinette, 12 volt fridge. They bought it from a small dealer in a small town and are actually happy with their buying experience. Only issue for you might be the actual length is around 32'.
markb422 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 03:52 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 17
Forest River search

We are in the same boat; wanted to be able to tow with a 1/2 ton truck. My truck is rated very similar to yours, so here's what we own;
Cherokee Gray Wolf, 234 VFK. 23 feet, plus the rear drop down cargo hatch. The VFK means, V shaped front, front kitchen model. The Front end is all kitchen, with fridge contained in the slide out portion with the dining room. That makes into a bed, couch make into a bed, and a queen size is in the bedroom. Weighs 5740 pounds; room for stuff!
We find it has good storage and everything functions well. A few small improvement/corrections here and there and "bobs your uncle"!
We love the unit, us and dog, and we have survived a one month live-in experiment!
Look at Forest River, Cherokee page and search 234VFK.
Good luck!

rennzfr
2019 Cherokee
2014 Chevy Silverado 4WD, Trailer Tow pckg, Firestone air lift system
Good wife, happy dog and Gods love is all I need.
Rennzfr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2020, 04:38 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Wisconsin/Florida
Posts: 1,517
If you are not married to the idea of FR, at least take a look at the Lance campers. We had a Lance slide in and the quality was excellent. Now they are building TTs and they have put thought and quality into them.
__________________

PenJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
forest river

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 06:58 AM.


×