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-   -   Buying a New Forest River Product? (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f2/buying-a-new-forest-river-product-216959.html)

Cmmjmoore 09-28-2020 09:50 PM

Forest River Camper.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KAL (Post 2417547)
Hi Everyone. My husband and I are new to the RV world and have been searching for a travel trailer for many months. I fell in love with the R-Pod at first sight but we finally settled on a new 2021 FR 203RKLE due to size, function and layout. Last night I started searching for reviews on FR and found a huge amount of complaints from FR owners who seemed to have very long lists of quality issues and repair challenges. The amount of complaints seemed excessive and now, just as we are about to put a deposit down on a new 2021, I feel like we should start looking all over again. Before I give up on FR, I’m hoping the experienced owners in this forum can give us some perspective and share their own experiences with FR and the Surveyor Legend series. Any information would be helpful. Thank you all in advance with your help. P.S. My husband has a great deal of experience with sail boats and is an A&P (airplane mechanic) so he has a lot of experience that should come in handy with travel trailers, I think? Thank you.

My 2012 Surveyor SP 240 has never given us any problem. Sure we have replaced the awning and the water heater but that is normal wear and tear. What I find about this forum is there are manly complaints. You don’t find a lot of people who enjoy there campers and talking about it. You do find some really good practical advise from some of the longtime campers.
We started looking last year for a replacement camper just because we thought it was time. Most offered us $8000 for our 8 year old camper which has about 14,000 miles. Which we thought was reasonable. I think we will probably buy another Forest River product based on our experience.
The most important item is your dealer, because they will back up the warranty. We were fortunate that the two items we had issues with the dealer replaced no charge.
Most important is find a camper that meets your need. We started with an Rpod and loved it just needed more room. Best of luck.
Clark.

snappy_1 09-28-2020 09:59 PM

Forest River
 
Just something to think about is the fact that lots of builders are using what’s callled “The Schwintec “ slide out system. I had one on my Forest River and it was serious trouble from the get go. I recommend after researching them to stay far away from this system. Way to weak for most slides with any size. They use a system of two electric motors that are on top of the slides and a gear driven rod to the bottom. There is a control module that times the works, if you can find it on your unit. There also was no emergency backup to manually get the slide back in. Wanna get stuck by the side of the road ? Half in and half out ? I did. The factory procedure is to find the control module. Press the button six times , click your heels together, and it will close to get you to the shop for the rest of the summer. NOT. Just say a lady solo the other day at Costco. Half in and half out. She was in a jam. Just sayin.

Keri 09-28-2020 10:05 PM

Rpod #3
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KAL (Post 2417547)
Hi Everyone. My husband and I are new to the RV world and have been searching for a travel trailer for many months. I fell in love with the R-Pod at first sight but we finally settled on a new 2021 FR 203RKLE due to size, function and layout. Last night I started searching for reviews on FR and found a huge amount of complaints from FR owners who seemed to have very long lists of quality issues and repair challenges. The amount of complaints seemed excessive and now, just as we are about to put a deposit down on a new 2021, I feel like we should start looking all over again. Before I give up on FR, I’m hoping the experienced owners in this forum can give us some perspective and share their own experiences with FR and the Surveyor Legend series. Any information would be helpful. Thank you all in advance with your help. P.S. My husband has a great deal of experience with sail boats and is an A&P (airplane mechanic) so he has a lot of experience that should come in handy with travel trailers, I think? Thank you.

We are looking at our 3rd Rpod- began with a 171, upgraded to a 179 (which we recently sold and now are so bereft we are looking at picking up a 202). We have not had a single (major or unmanageable) issue with either of our Pods and have absolutely loved them!

Wander Yonder 2 09-28-2020 10:17 PM

We bought a new 2020 Rpod 196 in December 2019 and have been able to use it for multiple weeks since then. Outside of a few minor irritations such as sawdust continually falling out of joints, the undermounted kitchen sink coming loose, the bathroom medicine cabinet coming loose, the black & gray tank sensors not showing the tank levels accurately and a piece of trim around the shower warping a bit we have actually been pleased with it. The minor issues we encountered are apparently not unusual for travel trailers in this price range and we easily took care of each item quickly by using general home owner skills. There are many helpful and informative YouTube videos about the Rpod line available which might be of help when deciding which travel trailer is right for you. We enjoy ours and have not regretted buying it at all, especially during this pandemic we are all in.

IvoryHemi 09-28-2020 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snappy_1 (Post 2423189)
Just something to think about is the fact that lots of builders are using what’s callled “The Schwintec “ slide out system. I had one on my Forest River and it was serious trouble from the get go. I recommend after researching them to stay far away from this system. Way to weak for most slides with any size. They use a system of two electric motors that are on top of the slides and a gear driven rod to the bottom. There is a control module that times the works, if you can find it on your unit. There also was no emergency backup to manually get the slide back in. Wanna get stuck by the side of the road ? Half in and half out ? I did. The factory procedure is to find the control module. Press the button six times , click your heels together, and it will close to get you to the shop for the rest of the summer. NOT. Just say a lady solo the other day at Costco. Half in and half out. She was in a jam. Just sayin.

How deep was your slide? I thought these are supposed to be fine for smaller 2-3’ ones vs a larger 4’

Pattimills2017 09-28-2020 10:52 PM

Horrible Workmanship
 
I was told that the horrible workmanship is industry-wide. My husband has to do a lot of repairs.

TEDRONEJR 09-28-2020 11:32 PM

When you consider that RV dealers are moving product about as fast as they can, and the factories are working at peak capacity, you have a recipe for mixed feelings among buyers. This activity/money bubble will not last forever, and the players are making hay while the sun shines. In this environment, it is very likely that smallish quality issues will be pushed down-stream onto the dealers. If the dealers don't catch them, the consumer will.....to some extent this was true before the pandemic, also. We bought a 2017 R-Pod 178 late in 2017 and have had only two issues with it. One of the ceiling speakers does not work - I didn't find it until after the warranty period, so we're living with that. The other issue was the metal strap that supports the output end of the black tank tube - it was weak and fractured after just a few hundred miles of vibration. Eventually our local dealer fixed the issue under warranty. We love the unit. It is on the low-end price wise, but the layout and room, compared to the Aliner we sold to get it make me feel great every time we use it. Some issues come with the territory.

eye95 09-29-2020 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rwriley1053 (Post 2423042)
I'm not too sure about that. I think the whole industry has a quality problem. Those who buy an RV that has few problems are fortunate.

I am. No one starts a thread to say what wonderful lines of RVs FR produces, but once someone posts a thread complaining about FR in general, many more complimentary than negative posts are added to the thread. And I still believe that many others, mostly very happy with FR, read the title and maybe the first post, shake their heads, and move on.

I don’t think the industry has a quality problem. I think they are building extremely lightweight houses that are constantly dragged from place to place. That will result in problems.

Folks who don’t want to deal with challenges are probably not going to like camping anyway.

When my kitchen spigot blew up the other day (before I realized how easy the fix was), my initial reaction was, “Well, we’re just going to have to figure out how to camp without using the kitchen sink this trip. We’ll fix it when we get home.” It wasn’t, “FR did a crappy job building this RV, putting in a cheap faucet fixture.” The faucet is inexpensive and lightweight. That’s the nature of the beast. More expensive faucets will also likely be heavier.

dsmiths 09-29-2020 07:17 AM

The wife and I purchased a 2011 R Pod RP-172 and used it for 7 years. The quality control was outstanding, very few issues and most were minor . The Kitchen cabinets were Cherry and better than a lot of high end homes. We sold it and bought a 2018 Palomino Real-Lite RL181. The Palomino is also built by FR. The fit and finish was almost as good as the Pod. The main reason we bought the Palomino was that being 6 inches wider and 1 foot longer with a single slide with a couch and a true walk around Queen bed meant one of us did not have to crawl out over the other to make a potty break. The Palomino also has a true dry bath. Both units were pretty much trouble free. Your Husband being an AP will have no problems, I know as I am a licensed Private Pilot and know what it takes to keep general aviation aircraft flying. If the Pod fits your needs , Go Get It and have Fun !

jhudson13 09-29-2020 08:55 AM

We have a Surveyor Luxury 251RKS and love it. We got it in Oct and the only major issue we had was we upgraded to a 15,000 BTU a/c and the factory installed the 13,500 BTU. So we had to go back to the dealer for that. With that being said, I think when you strap your living room to an axle or 2 and bounce it 100's of miles, things are going to happen. Yes, it does pay to do some homework first, read reviews, but things are going to happen. We have been camping for over 20 years and the best thing I did for our family was to learn how to "be handy". It saves money, long waits at the dealer and gives you a sense of accomplishment. We just spent 3 days at Point Lookout State park which is on the Chesapeake bay in MD. OH MY. What views!! So inform yourself, make the best choice you can based on your budget and get out there and discover!!!!!

Happy camping.

RAYSR 09-29-2020 09:23 AM

Very happy with FR had a small problem with the roof a nail sticking up under the roof covering but not through the covering went to the factory and they replaced the roof under warranty great service and repair

Joe M. 09-29-2020 09:36 AM

A lot of the problems and issues that come with buying an travel trailer are pretty common with most manufacturers. The complaint I have is the dealership and they way they handle warranty related repairs. So my suggestion is do some research on the dealership where you are planning on purchasing your trailer. Check reviews on there website also check them online from like Google. One other bit of advice, make sure you get a contact person from the manufacturer that you can email or call. The dealership will sometimes tell you one thing and the manufacturer will tell you something different. It's almost like some dealerships does not want to do the warranty work.

KJacksonJr 09-29-2020 09:39 AM

R-Pod
 
My wife and I fell in love with an R-Pod and bought one of the mid-range models with a double bed in the back, a U shape dinette convertible to a 2nd bed in the front, a slide out kitchen, and a combination bathroom/shower. We really loved it - it was good quality and had everything we wanted in a small travel trailer. Unfortunately the bathroom/shower was ultimately the reason we traded it away. The running joke was that bathroom was so small that one had to remove their pants before going in. It really is about managing expectations. We moved up to a 26' Salem Lite and are loving it even more.
:signhavefun:

RAR 09-29-2020 09:43 AM

We have a 2019 FR Rockwood Ultra Lite 2906RS and have had zero issues with it. I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet but when we were looking I subscribed to RV.net and purchased there online review book. We were first time buyers as well. It was very informative on all the brands as far as quality,warranty etc.

Richbo69 09-29-2020 10:15 AM

Have only had my FR for 3 months now and on 4 trips. Only issue I had was one outside speaker quit working, but had a new one shipped to me in less than 2 days from my dealer. Some have mentioned earlier, that if you are somewhat handy and can figure things out on your own, you can probably avoid a lot of expense. We love ours so far. As far as negative reviews go, it is like any other product you buy. You will see many negative reviews, some warranted, some not. Anyone can get a lemon sometimes too, just the nature of the beast. Good luck, I hope you enjoy your new camper.

salvarad26 09-29-2020 10:54 AM

Lemon lance
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mhill260 (Post 2418940)
We have a Rockwood which is a Forest River product, and we've been happy. We did have some issues initially, but I don't know anyone who hasn't. We looked at Surveyor and liked them. I think they use Azdel now. In my experience within specific tiers, most trailers are very similar. The differences are in the features and floorplans. They all use the same components, appliances, and tires with some differences here and there. The build quality is a little different across lines and price points. If you step up to something like a Lance or Airstream, you'll likely see some improvements, but you're paying for it. And the differences aren't usually dramatic. Those trailers have issues also. I would focus on a trailer that meets your needs, look it over really well, and make sure you're working with a reputable and reliable dealer. Because that is where the difference really is in my experience.

I payed big money for a Lance and have big problems. I had a VLite with No Problems. What a mistake.

db7512 09-29-2020 02:33 PM

Your servicing dealership can make or break you ownership experience with any manufacturer. Check your dealership out for customer service after the sale. IMO.

DesertCamp 09-29-2020 05:58 PM

Loved our R-Pod
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Kal,


As someone who owned an R-Pod 180 from 2016 to 2019, I can tell you we loved ours. We had so few problems with it. All, if I remember correctly, were created during setup by the dealer and repaired quickly by the dealer. The R-Pod is a solid TT, as good as any in it's price range. Someone else pointed out to you that FR has many brands and some are not as reliable as others, but the R-Pod is relatively trouble free. I only say relatively because all RV's have issues no matter the brand.


I'll add only because you may be wondering why we sold it in 2019 while I'm praising it so much, and that was simply because we decided to go bigger and purchased a Rockwood (another FR brand).


I think the best endorsement I can give you is that I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another R-Pod in the future.

eye95 09-29-2020 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KJacksonJr (Post 2423429)
My wife and I fell in love with an R-Pod and bought one of the mid-range models with a double bed in the back, a U shape dinette convertible to a 2nd bed in the front, a slide out kitchen, and a combination bathroom/shower. We really loved it - it was good quality and had everything we wanted in a small travel trailer. Unfortunately the bathroom/shower was ultimately the reason we traded it away. The running joke was that bathroom was so small that one had to remove their pants before going in. It really is about managing expectations. We moved up to a 26' Salem Lite and are loving it even more.
:signhavefun:

I think you just described the 178. That is what we have. The small bathroom is an issue, but we deliberately made that sacrifice to get everything else we wanted in a TT.

evalbert 09-29-2020 07:45 PM

Quality about what I expected
 
We've had a 2006 Forest River Flagstaff 5th wheel, rear kitchen, one slide since new. Never had any real quality issues. Original fridge, stove, microwave, A/C, furnace, toilet, shower still working. Water heater went out (leaking tank) at about 11 years, but we'd used in some hard water areas. The 12vt TV is gone - but only because it was only Analog. Just hung a $100 120Vt 24" flat screen on the wall instead. The radio and CD/DVD player still work. The Slide motor went out last year, but I was able to buy order a replacement direct from the motor maker for about $140 and replace myself. Awning fabric has rotted, but been subjected to years of Arizona summer sun and winter cold. Will replace it this fall. We're getting toward the end of our 5th wheeling days, doing more with our truck camper, but the Flagstaff has been a joy. Only real issue was the original Chinese cheap tires. Lost all four on trip around USA second year we owned the trailer. So buy good tires right away, toss the originals or use only as a spare.
:)


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