Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-04-2013, 03:46 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
FR3 vs Winnebago 31ke vs ACE 30.1/29.2

My wife and I are in the market for a 30ft Class A and the following models are available at dealers nearby. They share a similar feature set and seem marketed to buyers new to Class A motorhomes
  • Forest River FR3 30
  • Winnebago Vista 31ke
  • Thor ACE 29.2
  • Thor ACE 30.1

They all seem to be in a similar price range and the 30ft models all have a similar floorplan. Here are the pros and cons of the different models so far.
PROS: Side cameras, Full length queen bed with slideout. Tons of storage. 18,000lb GVWR. Nice looking linoleum. Outdoor shower
Cons: Longest of the 4 models, Rubber Roof, Brand new model (Issues not ironed out yet)
Vista 31ke
PROS: Winnebago build quality, fiberglass roof, Tons of Storage
CONS: No ladder, no outdoor shower, wimpy overhead bed, lower quality fit and finish than non "Value-Priced" Winnies (IE: no LED lights, no corian counters etc.) 16,000lb GVWR
ACE 30.1
PROS: Nice overhead bunk, 18,000lb GVWR
CONS: Tiny kitchen sink, Tiny black water tank, Much less exterior storage
ACE 29.2, Rubber roof
PROS: Smallest of the 4 but with similar features. Lots of exterior storage. Shower in Bathroom
CONS: Kitchen on slideout, tiny sink, 16,000lb GVWR, Rubber Roof
Any advice for me in choosing? I'm leaning towards the Winnie or FR3

sailorboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-04-2013, 04:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
usinvestment's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: AZ
Posts: 233
Looked at your list plus more for over a year. You're missing a few gems that are better but it depends on what you want. Stick to your list of priorities and what is important to you. Look at the details close, the ACE look pretty but look closer and look at the ratings and measurements of everything. Exterior storage is key, weight of drop down bed, quality of fit and finish.

Spend time reading this blog. Check each manufacturers section here. How long has the coach been in production? Are there bugs to be worked out still?

Pricing can be a factor, but I see too many people exclude other coaches because the MSRP is higher. Don't be fooled, you can get dealers to negotiate down a long ways, so look at coaches that you think are out of your price range, you will be surprised the deals out there for new coaches. Don't be afraid to fly and drive home as I did, saved thousands.

Phillip, AZ, 2013 Fleetwood Storm, Roadmaster Front Stabilizer, Koni FSD Front Shocks, DIY Rear Track Bar, CHF, 5 Star Tune, 2010 Kia Soul Toad
usinvestment is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 224
Ill add my experience with the caveat that we have not seen the Winnie, and it was out of the running first because of the "studio" bunk.

The FR3 has several advantages that Ive found over the Thor 29.2 and 30.1:
1. Front bunk is 300lbs vs 200lbs (I think) in the Thor
2. Fit, finish and materials are better on the FR3
3. IMO, I think the layout on the FR3 is better
4. Full size queen in the FR3
5. Pull out sofa seemed to be bigger in the FR3 as well
6. Interior appointments seemed to be better in the FR3 (nicer floor/carpet, leather/appliances etc).

FWIW, the ACE in both varieties and the FR3 have TPO roofs. I also noticed an immediate difference in build quality driving the FR3 and ACE on the same day. The FR3 was just better all around. Less bumps, jars and rattles from the get go. With the price difference rapidly narrowing between the two (i.e. the FR3 is quickly coming down in price), Id also pick the FR3 and intend to do so in the next few months.
2010 F150 King Ranch
2014 Forest River FR3
cucamelsmd15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Any more info on the Winnie 31ke?

I just read through the FR3 thread and got tons of great information on that coach. Sounds like you guys have been doing your homework! I was curious if anyone has heard much about the 31ke. The studioloft bead isn't a problem for us as our kids are still pretty tiny.
sailorboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 05:20 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 224
Originally Posted by sailorboy View Post
The studioloft bead isn't a problem for us as our kids are still pretty tiny.
Thats true, but consider this: IIRC, its the width of a single bed. But, your kids get older at some point, right?

Also consider, if you use it for storage, it greatly limits the space/weight of whatever you put up there. I know in the FR3, you can drive with the bunk down (just with a lack of headroom), but it is doable. Not sure about the Winnie.

The fiberglass roof is a big plus for the Winnie though.
2010 F150 King Ranch
2014 Forest River FR3
cucamelsmd15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 06:38 AM   #6
Senior Member
szn8tt's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 105
Vista 31ke occc must be really low
2013 Leisure Travel Vans Libero
Chevy 6.0L V8 3500 Cutaway Chassis

Travelling With Black Labrador Retriever
szn8tt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 136
I don't have any experience with the FR3 but I do with the Vista and ACE. I know these are not the size you are looking at, but I think my coments relate to all the ACE's and Vistas. I owned a 2013 Thor ACE 27.1 for 3 months. Took a loss and traded it in on a 2013 Winnebago Vista 27N. Not happy about loosing the money but very glad to be rid of the ACE. The ACE has very poor handling, wanders all over the road, the fit and finish is poor, lots of rattles and bangs. Check some of the other threads about ACE handling. I had multiple water leaks, trim pulling away from the body, one pocket door pulled off the rollers and jammed blocking the bedroom, and those are just the high points. Also try sitting on the throne,. Unless you're over 6 feet, your toes will barely touch the floor.

The Winnebago has so much better quality, more storage, more counter space, a real double sink (rather than one round sink), better handling, a level floor so the cockpit chairs really become part of the living area, It's was more expensive than the ACE but to me it was worth every penny.
Finally Time is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2
Saw a comparison of the Ace and FR3 on another site. She bought the Ace in December and saw the FR3 in a show in January. Her comparison was the FR3 "was truly upgraded; designers/engineers looked at the ACE and improved it just about everywhere." She gave me a list of 18 things better on the FR3 and a few things on the down side. I'd be happy to share the list with you if you message me to do so.We saw an ACE today. The dealer didn't have an FR3, but we saw a great Forest River Georgetown 328TS - residential size refrigerator, great floor plan, 34 feet (larger than what we were looking for), but also a great price listed in Texas. It's worth taking a look at. Like you we were looking for a 28-30 foot, but I'm now leaning at the 328TS.

fiddle girl is offline   Reply With Quote

forest river, thor motor coach, winnebago

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.