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Old 01-10-2021, 02:27 PM   #1
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Berkshire

Does anyone have any experiences/opinions as to the quality/reliability/issues on a 2014 to 2017 forest river Berkshire or Charleston?
They look like they may be thor quality stuff but I figured I would ask to see others experiences.

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:25 PM   #2
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Seems like it’s going the wrong direction in build quality and construction style and methods, and with all the emissions problems I’m having with my 2016, I am wishing I had something with pre-2010 emissions. I bought my coach to enjoy and the emissions issues are seriously impacting that. I’m just glad it’s a well built, nicely appointed Newmar or it would really be a disappointment. I looked at a new Berkshire briefly because the of the price point, but Id rather have a used Newmar or a Tiffin than a new Forest River. I’m sure the Berkshire is every bit Thor quality. They certainly look nice on the dealer lot. The question is durability and all-weather comfort and performance.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:54 AM   #3
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Anything emissions related is a Cummins issue and will be there no matter who built the coach. As for choosing, I would go by what you see when comparing in person and not what people say on these forums. If I listened to what people said here, I would never have bought our Mirada, but it has turned out to be the most problem free RV we have ever owned.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfoxy View Post
Anything emissions related is a Cummins issue and will be there no matter who built the coach. As for choosing, I would go by what you see when comparing in person and not what people say on these forums. If I listened to what people said here, I would never have bought our Mirada, but it has turned out to be the most problem free RV we have ever owned.
On emissions I was referring to the year built, not the mfgr. Note his current rig is a 2009, hence DEF free, and if 2007 emissions, which a lot of 2009’s have, DFP free as well. It’s a big deal and I am currently looking for the right 2009. If I find it my lovely 2016 Ventana is going to a new owner.

On the builder issue, not many would dispute that the OP’s current rig is built to a higher standard than those he’s listed as possible replacements. Especially the Dutch Aire - Spartan Mountain Master chassis, IFS, side radiator, ISL, Comfort Drive, 2 stage, compression brake 150 gal fuel tank....just no comparison.

Add to that the higher quality cabinets, R values in the roof and walls, the furniture, and Newmar’s workmanship. The Berkshire may look pretty on the lot, but it isn’t the same class coach. Not slamming the Berkshire or other FR coaches, they’re just in a different market.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the input.
I agree the emissions systems are annoying to an extent. Our 2009 has no def but it does have a dpf, which is still annoying.
But we love our 2009 newmar, its a solid coach and we don't plan to get rid of it anytime soon. My original post was looking for insight as I had a friend who was considering buying one.
Sounds like it might not be the best quality.
The one he was looking at sold anyway, so might be looking for something else of a better name. Maybe newmar or entegra.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:41 AM   #6
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The emissions are more than annoying if yours are malfunctioning. I’m not talking about the occasional regen or adding DEF. I’m talking about being stranded, waiting for parts, expensive repairs if you’re out of warranty, etc.

I’m currently stuck waiting a month for an appointment to have mine worked on for the third time. Also left me stranded over Thanksgiving and Christmas. DEF headers are at gen 6 and are still not reliable. DEF itself can be damaged by heat/cold, shelf life in the box, and minor contamination at the pump. I could go on and on - it’s serious.

Enough so that when I saw an 09 Monaco with 07 emissions I was going to buy it, get mine fixed, and then sell it. But the Monaco sold fast - 39’ ,Tag, 500hp, lots of options. Nice coach.

So I’m going to keep trying with mine. If filed with the NHTSA, written Reps and Senators, RVIA, etc. Squeaky wheel and all that. But for now I would recommend against any DP with SCR/DPF/DEF unless it’s under warranty - at least the emissions warranty or 5 years/100k miles.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
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The emissions are more than annoying if yours are malfunctioning. Iím not talking about the occasional regen or adding DEF. Iím talking about being stranded, waiting for parts, expensive repairs if youíre out of warranty, etc.

Iím currently stuck waiting a month for an appointment to have mine worked on for the third time. Also left me stranded over Thanksgiving and Christmas. DEF headers are at gen 6 and are still not reliable. DEF itself can be damaged by heat/cold and minor contamination at the pump. I could go on and on - itís serious.

Enough so that when I saw an 09 Monaco with 07 emissions I was going to buy it, get mine fixed, and then sell it. But the Monaco sold fast - 39í ,Tag, 500hp, lots of options. Nice coach.

So Iím going to keep trying with mine. If filed with the NHTSA, written Reps and Senators, RVIA, etc. Squeaky wheel and all that. But for now I would recommend against any DP with SCR/DPF/DEF unless itís under warranty - at least the emissions warranty or 5 years/100k miles.
Wow. I am having some engine codes related to my dpf, but nothing left me completely stranded yet.
Have you considered deleting the emissions system? It seems to be a common thing to do among modern diesel owners and seems to be much worth while. That way you can get the advantages of a pre emissions engine while still having a newer coach.

Sorry to hear about your scr issues, im sure it isn't fun at all.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:00 PM   #8
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Wow. I am having some engine codes related to my dpf, but nothing left me completely stranded yet.
Have you considered deleting the emissions system? It seems to be a common thing to do among modern diesel owners and seems to be much worth while. That way you can get the advantages of a pre emissions engine while still having a newer coach.

Sorry to hear about your scr issues, im sure it isn't fun at all.
That would be a last resort as there is a cost involved with that too, and it would decrease the value of the coach and impact resale possibilities. On the other hand, I can buy a lot in a state with so inspections cheaper than a spare DEF header, so....

Hopefully this next go-round will result in either a reliable repair, or an extended emissions warranty. I’ll know more by the end of the month. My emissions warranty expires at the end of April so I’ll be doing a lot of driving before that, always within easy reach of a Freightliner shop

Anyway that’s why I mentioned emissions and why I couldn’t get too excited about anything from about 2011 to 2019. You need a good long emissions warranty and good road service coverage for anything that runs DEF, regardless of the manufacturer as TeamFoxy pointed out.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:23 PM   #9
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That would be a last resort as there is a cost involved with that too, and it would decrease the value of the coach and impact resale possibilities. On the other hand, I can buy a lot in a state with so inspections cheaper than a spare DEF header, so....

Hopefully this next go-round will result in either a reliable repair, or an extended emissions warranty. Iíll know more by the end of the month. My emissions warranty expires at the end of April so Iíll be doing a lot of driving before that, always within easy reach of a Freightliner shop

Anyway thatís why I mentioned emissions and why I couldnít get too excited about anything from about 2011 to 2019. You need a good long emissions warranty and good road service coverage for anything that runs DEF, regardless of the manufacturer as TeamFoxy pointed out.
If you ask me the government has put these terrible regulations upon us, they should provide manufacturers with the means to provide extended/lifetime warranties for the emissions. Imho its crazy how the make laws and then put it upon the citizens and businesses to pay for the increased expenses because of the laws.
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