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Old 03-15-2020, 07:41 PM   #1
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Forest River Reliable?

Hello All,
I may have found an rv ( my first). Its a Forest River Grand Touring Series. E450 under 27 ft. Low miled. All records
What I am wondering is does anyone have experience with this make? Thanks
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluedoe View Post
Hello All,
I may have found an rv ( my first). Its a Forest River Grand Touring Series. E450 under 27 ft. Low miled. All records
What I am wondering is does anyone have experience with this make? Thanks
It depends on what year. Forest River built a better product 10 years ago, but these days most of their stuff is built in a mass-produced, cheap materials, minimal craftsmanship manner.

I did walk through a new Berkshire 36’ Class A that seemed a credible effort, but having seen their cheap stuff fall apart and not stand up to normal use, I’m not a fan. But people who have owned older FR products say they were happy with them.

Best bet is just to really scrutinize, especially mechanical systems, cabinet construction, drawer guideS and cabinet latches, and those areas not readily visible to get an idea of initial build quality and current condition. All these units look good when new(er) but many fall apart readily.

At least with a low milage class C you can count on the E450 as a reliable chassis and if you are gentle with it it should hold up. Just stay on paved roads and take it easy on bumps, potholes, etc because these are what cause the interior to self destruct on cheap builds.

I Looked at FR and most other decent brands of new class c coaches last year including Thor, Entegra, Coachmen, the Winne brands, even Dynamax which used to be great until Forest River got ahold of them and ended up buying a 10 year old Newmar Class A. Much better build quality than any of them. Lots of solid wood, sturdy cabinets, flex steel furniture, etc..

All that said, the Sunseeker GTS (that what you’re looking at?) seems to be their top of the line class C (B+).
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:31 PM   #3
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My 2017 FR GTS has been reliable so far. I have the 30 ft 2800. I did modify the suspension to improve the ride and handling. If you have the smaller GTS it should be similar to mine. While it has been reliable to date I would say the quality is average.
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:48 PM   #4
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Just bought a Winnebago Minnie Winnie to go to AK this summer. Because it was not a Forest River, Jayco or Thor...
On a Ford V-10 F350 proven chassis.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:41 AM   #5
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Our first RV was a new 2008 Forest River product-never again.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:13 AM   #6
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Well, the Ford E450 van chassis is as reliable as any Ford E450 that is being used to haul it's max-rated load. Pretty decent overall, I'd say. The Forest River house-body & systems is probably as reliable as any other lower-priced RV, which isn't saying a whole lot. However, since you are looking at a used one, you can evaluate how well things have held up, cosmetically and functionally. If it's all looking and working as you expect, go ahead and buy it. Expect to spend money every year on maintenance and repairs, though.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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what year? what model number?
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:51 PM   #8
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We bought a FR 2810 which is probably the same as you are looking at. Did it on a lark to prove to myself that being inexpensive isn't necessarily bad. Ordered it new, put 10k miles on it the first year. Drove it over every type road you can imagine and throughout that whole time NOTHING broke. EVERYTHING worked to spec. Never had to go to dealer for anything.

Once we had the front end caster set to 5+ degrees all handling problems went away without need for any after market add-ons.

To lend some credibility to my "test", I have owned 6 motor homes over the past 30+ years with somewhere near 500k miles in RVs. I have owned class A both gas and diesel to include a custom bus (Blue Bird Wanderlodge) and I have owned a few class Cs.

Understand that the quality is not equal to my $850k bus and the interior will wear out quickly. BUT, it's a good bang for the buck as long as you don't have unrealistic expectations.

I actually really liked it as a weekend or week type for me. We traded it for our current Super C due to wanting more comfort for 2-3 month trips and larger tanks for our love of boon docking.

After our trip to the Maritimes this summer (2 months) virus willing, we plan to sell our Super C and go back to one like you are looking at and we owned before. The reason for this is after 30+ years and the miles we have driven, we are through All the places we love best are 5-7 days drive away and that gets old after awhile to drive 2 weeks for 1-2 weeks in the desert. The class C will work fine when we visit the grand kids as it is 3 days each way and I hate hotels.

Sorry for the long winded reply and strong opinion, but *I* would buy another FR class C.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:13 AM   #9
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My prior RV was a 2008 FR Georgetown. One of the best and most reliable vehicles I ever owned.

Find an RV you like in your price range, inspect it thoroughly, talk to ACTUAL owners if you can, and make your decision based on that.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:45 AM   #10
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My prior RV was a 2008 FR Georgetown. One of the best and most reliable vehicles I ever owned.

Find an RV you like in your price range, inspect it thoroughly, talk to ACTUAL owners if you can, and make your decision based on that.
This is what I found when looking at Forest River coaches and asking the opinions of FR owners. Older FR coaches and trailers were satisfactory to their owners, and newer ones seem to get the same response as Thor - chassis and appliances are the same as all the rest, but the interiors are not as durable. I helped my daughter buy a 2018 FR 28í TT and it had numerous interior problems including a subfloor failure in the second year. I saw the same lack of quality in the new Dynamax coaches I looked at in 2018. Prices are lower and this is reflected in the materials and build quality of the interiors.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:57 AM   #11
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If you haven't owned an rv before the Forest River will be fine.
We've owned a total of 4 motor homes and the Forest River was our least favorite.
As far as dependable I'd say it was a good motor home as we had few issues with it. As far as a pleasant camping experience we would rate it as poor.


Uncomfortable seating and mattress.
Poorly thought out placement of outlets, kitchen area etc. If you have nothing to compare this to it will likely be workable.

I don't think the designer ever went camping they just know how to run a cad program.


If the price is right it would be ok to start with a unit like this and if you decide camping is for you then it is easier to decide weather this meets your needs or if you should trade for something a little more upscale.
Most campers own several campers in their lifetime, usually the first one is a learning experience.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:15 PM   #12
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Forest River Reliable?

Iíve been looking for a similar type unit here on the west coast. Been trolling RVT.com, RV Trader and local Craigslistís. Iíve had no problem locating units in the 25-27 ft range with a max $35K price tag up to 2014 models of various makes. What I have found is that the dealers are 15-20% higher that the private market. You may be limiting yourself with the mandate of auto level. Few units Iíve seen have that option. It can be added easily for aprox $3K. The one Iím looking at now is a 2012 FR 2450 for $31K just for comparison. I have not seen much quality difference between similar makes/models. The FR does have a fiberglass roof which I like. Also, pay attention to the water capacity. Older models sometimes had only 20 gal FW tanks, increased to 40 around 2011.
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