Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-24-2021, 12:35 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 3
What is the quality ranking of the Forest River brands?

Hello all!

First post on the forum and I'm looking for advice so hopefully I can avoid a purchasing mistake.

My wife and I thought we were being smart and savvy consumers who did our homework but we were very wrong. Granted the climate of late 2020 was a bit unique and the worst time to buy an RV we did so anyway feeling we had weel reserched the brand in question.

We purchased a Shadow Cruiser 280QBS after renting various trailers and motorhomes the last 5 years and going to a few large RV shows in SoCal. Looking at 2018 and older shadows the build quality seemed to be decent not great but better than many and the floorplan and weight factored in considerably as we were towing with a 1500 Suburban and have 3 little boys.

The trailer is just garbage and as soon as the waranty work is complete we will be selling it.

Since purchasing the trailer I have purchased a new truck which is a smartly configured 2500 with towing specs exceeding most 3500's so now we are looking to get a 5th wheel.

My dilemma is I simply do not trust the advice of dealerships at all now. Forrest River happens to make or owns many of the brands we are looking at but what is the breakdown or stack ranking of the build quality within these brands?

Its frustrating that I read reviews on the same brand and model in the same model year (2021) stating at least one brand (Artic Wolf) is the best on one site and the worst on another.

We are not wealthy but we love camping and are able/willing to spend the money for higher quality.

We do have some restrictions in the area of length, weight and floorplan which rule out the obvious top end luxury 5th wheels.

What we are currently looking at are 5th wheels made by Impression, Rockwood and Artic Wolf which I believe all are Forest River lines.

Rockwood seems to be leading the pack as I have not found any negative reviews other than those related to equipment which to me seems more like a Furion issue than a Rockwood issue. People rarely go out of their way to post positive reviews but will not hesitate to post the negative ones. So by this logic it seems Rockwood is a line with few complaints that I have found.

Impression has very interesting floorplans and designs and while I want to like them there are some negative reviews about construction.

Lastly Artic Wolf has a tremendous amount of features packed into a somewhat lightweight package and would be my top choice but there is just so much negative reports out there I'm very suspect to purchase one.

Any industry insight into the various levels of quality within the FR product line I would be curious and appreciative of that information.

R/
A06
Anchor Zero Six is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 12:48 PM   #2
Retired Army MSG!
 
lazyjj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sharon, SC
Posts: 331
We or on our 3rd Forest River 5vr. Our first was a Palomino and we had very few issues with it. We moved on to a Coachmen Chaparral and the AC was replaced 3 times, Dometic issue not FR. We had a few other minor things like grey tank valve and a few trim issues as well. We currently have a 2021 Cherokee Artic Wolf 298LB. We love this floor plan. We just stayed 8 days in FL with my daughter and son in law and our granddaughter, 3 dogs and a cat and we did not feel cramped while in the rig. As for issues, a few minor trim issues I have repaired myself. I did find a delam spot on the back wall a little over two months ago. A first for me on any rig I have owned. My rig is parked under a 12 X 36 Carport when we are not on the road. A new back wall is on order and dealer will replace as soon as it comes in. FR has approved the warranty. I chalk this up to poor quality control and craftmanship. I think the laminate was not glued as well as should have been that caused this issue. We have camped 8 times since purchasing the rig in January of this year. Most of those trips have been at least a week. Other than the back wall issue, I have been very pleased with this unit. The only thing I have changed on this rig is tires. It came with Castle Rock Load Range E which I did not trust from the time I pulled the unit off the lot. I replaced them with Hercules H901 12 PLY load range F. Any unit you purchase, even the 6 figure ones will have some issues. Most are small things that you just have to deal with and more than likely can be repaired in your drive way. Best of luck in your new purchase and Happy Camping!
lazyjj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 12:54 PM   #3
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 7,055
It's like comparing mattresses. It's almost impossible. All I can say, is if a model seems priced too good to be true, it may be an indicator of build quality. At a massive RV show when I first looked, the dealer was showing me the Rockwood GeoPro in the 18k-19k dollar range. I noticed a Cherokee right across from the Rockwood. It was much larger, and looked pretty slick inside. I noted the outside had walls that appeared to be aluminum siding. It was only about 20% more expensive.


I asked him why I wouldn't get that one, seemed like so much more for the money. He shook his head and told me it was more cheaply built than the Rockwood GeoPro, and I wouldn't be as happy. He said the build on the Rockwood was more modern with Azdel/fiberglass bonded walls.


After I bought, I noted mine came with many features already included that the larger Cherokee didn't have, standard.
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
Yes, I drink the water!
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:01 PM   #4
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 28,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor Zero Six View Post
Hello all!



First post on the forum and I'm looking for advice so hopefully I can avoid a purchasing mistake.



My wife and I thought we were being smart and savvy consumers who did our homework but we were very wrong. Granted the climate of late 2020 was a bit unique and the worst time to buy an RV we did so anyway feeling we had weel reserched the brand in question.



We purchased a Shadow Cruiser 280QBS after renting various trailers and motorhomes the last 5 years and going to a few large RV shows in SoCal. Looking at 2018 and older shadows the build quality seemed to be decent not great but better than many and the floorplan and weight factored in considerably as we were towing with a 1500 Suburban and have 3 little boys.



The trailer is just garbage and as soon as the waranty work is complete we will be selling it.



Since purchasing the trailer I have purchased a new truck which is a smartly configured 2500 with towing specs exceeding most 3500's so now we are looking to get a 5th wheel.



My dilemma is I simply do not trust the advice of dealerships at all now. Forrest River happens to make or owns many of the brands we are looking at but what is the breakdown or stack ranking of the build quality within these brands?



Its frustrating that I read reviews on the same brand and model in the same model year (2021) stating at least one brand (Artic Wolf) is the best on one site and the worst on another.



We are not wealthy but we love camping and are able/willing to spend the money for higher quality.



We do have some restrictions in the area of length, weight and floorplan which rule out the obvious top end luxury 5th wheels.



What we are currently looking at are 5th wheels made by Impression, Rockwood and Artic Wolf which I believe all are Forest River lines.



Rockwood seems to be leading the pack as I have not found any negative reviews other than those related to equipment which to me seems more like a Furion issue than a Rockwood issue. People rarely go out of their way to post positive reviews but will not hesitate to post the negative ones. So by this logic it seems Rockwood is a line with few complaints that I have found.



Impression has very interesting floorplans and designs and while I want to like them there are some negative reviews about construction.



Lastly Artic Wolf has a tremendous amount of features packed into a somewhat lightweight package and would be my top choice but there is just so much negative reports out there I'm very suspect to purchase one.



Any industry insight into the various levels of quality within the FR product line I would be curious and appreciative of that information.



R/

A06
Are you actually talking about Forest River Inc and all its subsidiary brands or Forest River RV and it's brands?

Forest River RV is one of many Forest River Inc subsidiaries.

This thread may help

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...d.php?t=200163
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

Golf ball-sized hail wouldn't be as destructive if golf balls were just made smaller.
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Homebrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,609
Every model has issues, my biggest concern is all the issues with the residential fridge. Many brands and models have had to replace the fridge. Some had to remove the slide to remove the fridge. Who wants to deal with changing out a fridge?
I would recommend find a make and model that works with the payload and tow weight of your new truck. Then Find a dealer and build your RV to your type of camping style and order it custom from the factory.
We built ours and ordered thru a wholesale company. Every RV will have issues, just cross your fingers there not major.
__________________
XLR Thunderbolt 300X12HP
2014 Ram 3500 DRW
Homebrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:18 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
bbbeebop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 29
Why are you limiting yourself to Forest River products? Ther are many RV manufacturers out there that may be better than Forest River.
bbbeebop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:28 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: South GA
Posts: 26
I currently have a 2019 Forest River Grey Wolf model I purchased new. But I've been a travel trailer owner for over 20 years now. While I've really enjoyed all the ones I've owned they've all had their issues. Be prepared even if it's fresh off the lot. My advice to all is that if you aren't handy with tools and minor repairs you might not like being an RV owner.
dmayo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
Posts: 807
As one FR "retired" sales person said to me-------

"They are all junk!!!!! Sometimes you might get a good one if it is in the higher $$$$ bracket"!!!!

After 4 FR units we switched to a Keystone Montana this year A 5er!!! High end $130,000 Cdn $$
Jim in Halifax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:33 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
jeff64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: N. Illinois
Posts: 1,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmayo32 View Post
I currently have a 2019 Forest River Grey Wolf model I purchased new. But I've been a travel trailer owner for over 20 years now. While I've really enjoyed all the ones I've owned they've all had their issues. Be prepared even if it's fresh off the lot. My advice to all is that if you aren't handy with tools and minor repairs you might not like being an RV owner.
X2
__________________
2016 Flagstaff 27VRL Emerald
14K Equalizer
2020 Silverado 2500HD CC 4X4 6.6L gas 3.73
jeff64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:34 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Palinduff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 299
I stick with the lower end models as there is no expectation of quality, and I have had pretty good luck with almost no issues. I refuse to pay for all the bells and whistles, mostly because I’m cheap, but also because of where I generally camp which is mostly crown land with scetchy access. I have also work in the RV industry and have witnessed a lot of expensive RVs with lots of extras but really not much difference in quality, but to each his own.
__________________
2017 F150 Eco Boost, SC, 8' Box, 4X4
Max Tow (10 speed, 3:73, 11,700lbs), HD Payload (2440lbs)
2015 Puma 253 FBS
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
2000 Honda EX 400
Palinduff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:36 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 3
Thank you all for the replies!

I was referring to the Forest River brands which are under their corporate umbrella.

Not limiting to just FR products but I am limiting my choices to 5th wheels in the "1500" class towable catagory. My rig can handle much more but I would like to be over trucked rather than towing at the grunt limit. For this reason we have excluded some of the higher end models/brands. Also those brands tend to cater to full timers and couples with their floorplans and not the family bunkhouse configurations.

We did look at Grand Design but in their 1500 class they only have a double queen bunk configuration and we are firm in wanting an individual bunk for each kid.

From 2020-present I don't feel price is a useful indicator as the market is completely skewed at the moment. We paid $15k more in June 2020 for our trailer than we could have in May 2019. I work in manufacturing and understand supply chain issues but what set me off was while I can accept price increases I don't believe quality should decline. I'm ok with fixing small stuff here and there and expect to do so. Panels fall off and the slide not being properly adjusted however are items I simply cannot accept.

The dealership I purchased from was useless and later I found out they don't like doing warranty work bc they have a different labor rate for warranty repairs and prefer to do standard (non warranty) work.

I think the one realization we came to is that as more features are added and the weight doesn't rise proportionately the build quality will be very suspect. Logicaly there is no way to have a bath and a half, 3 slides, 4 bunk beds etc and still have a sub 10K weight unless the materials used are very lightweight and flimsy (looking at you Cougar 32BH lol)
Anchor Zero Six is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 268
I think the only way you can objectively compare FR brands is to have their internal warranty claim reports. I believe BClemens mentioned they share between business units. I'm sure it is proprietary and well guarded. But it's a good sign that the business is doing it.
__________________
Tow vehicle 2021 F-250
TT Apex 256BHS
Tabasco_Joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:42 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
BillyBass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brownsville
Posts: 1,146
attic fox is made buy
Northwood mgn
__________________
2019 Flagstaff 26 RBWS
2015 GMC Sierra 1500
2019 camp 17 nites. Bill,Alley and are two kids Sierra,Ivy. 2020 camp 9 nites
BillyBass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:46 PM   #14
Site Team
 
Mr. Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grayson County, Texas
Posts: 18,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBass View Post
attic fox is made buy
Northwood mgn
Are you talking about Arctic Fox?
__________________
FR Wildcat 295RSX / GMC Sierra

Nights Camped: '13 = 49/'14 = 74/'15 = 74/'16 = 85/'17 = 110/'18 = 111/'19 = 86/'20 =108/'21 = 115; Booked for 2022 = 41
Mr. Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 01:49 PM   #15
MCTroy
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Troy.Ohio
Posts: 1,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Halifax View Post
As one FR "retired" sales person said to me-------

"They are all junk!!!!! Sometimes you might get a good one if it is in the higher $$$$ bracket"!!!!

After 4 FR units we switched to a Keystone Montana this year A 5er!!! High end $130,000 Cdn $$
I hope your Keystone products does well for you. We camped beside a Montana last year, and the owner said he could hear it falling apart while parked in his driveway! I remember his quote because I thought it was funny. Not so much if it is your trailer though.

All brands are challenged now. I think it is just luck. Meanwhile, we are keeping our 2015 WJ by Rockwood.

Good luck to both of you on your new trailers. They are pretty!
__________________
2015 Windjammer 3029 Diamond Edition
2018 Ram 2500
Ohio River Rat
MCTroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 02:05 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 396
When we, DW and I, were looking at moving up to a larger TT we found selection to be bewildering. We thought of sticking with Jayco but none of the models we could tow had the amenities we were looking for at the time. So we started looking at all models, found several but the next hurdle was not only build quality but material used.

In our search to answer these questions we found RVReviews.net. You have to purchase their reviews which we did and landed on Rockwood as they gave good reviews for the price point. That TT was a 2020 2612WS purchased in the spring of 2019, right at the model switch. the DW found it was too small and since I opted to upgrade to a larger truck we (she) went back to Rockwood and we (she) purchased a 5th wheel as we did not have any issues with the TT, but it did have two recalls one for the skylight over the shower and second one for roof on the sliders. Now with the 5th wheel both the kitchen sink and bathroom sink are stainless steel, supposedly, and are starting to rust. Working with the dealer to get them replaced.

So the long and short of it look at RVReviews.net, see if it is worth the investment to see their reviews.
__________________

2022 Rockwood 2893BS
2019 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD
Theb2b is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 02:09 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBass View Post
attic fox is made buy
Northwood mgn
I was referring to Artic WOLF not Artic Fox...two completely different animals

Sorry that was too punny not to post.
Anchor Zero Six is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 02:26 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Odessa
Posts: 116
My 2018 forest river has had a few issues.
Frig connections were loose, it stopped working on gas. The panel wasn't nailed to the wall property and pulled away.front trim on the railing needed replaced. A few of th windows rubber trim comming off. One outside speaker doesn't work. Our microwave stopped working yesterday. Our awning motor has slowed down.
__________________
Clipper 17BH.
Chevy Avalanche 5.3
Chevy Tahoe 5.3
Tblt44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 02:44 PM   #19
Site Team
 
Mr. Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grayson County, Texas
Posts: 18,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor Zero Six View Post
I was referring to Artic WOLF not Artic Fox...two completely different animals

Sorry that was too punny not to post.
… and both are “Arctic” with 2 c’s if you’re searching.
__________________
FR Wildcat 295RSX / GMC Sierra

Nights Camped: '13 = 49/'14 = 74/'15 = 74/'16 = 85/'17 = 110/'18 = 111/'19 = 86/'20 =108/'21 = 115; Booked for 2022 = 41
Mr. Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2021, 02:58 PM   #20
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 7,055
Either our public education system or voice dictation have failed miserably, lol
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
Yes, I drink the water!
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
forest river, quality

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 11:58 PM.