Silhouette of a woman standing outside of a class c motorhome as the sun sets over a field.

Don’t Overlook Forest River

Forest River doesn’t have the best reputation in the RV industry. There are rumors of quality control problems and owners stuck in the shop for weeks with warranty issues. But we’re not convinced that we should write off the brand. 

Keep reading to learn more about Forest River and determine for yourself if they’re a good brand. We highlight their top-of-line camper and luxury fifth wheel.

See for yourself if the rumors are true!

Silhouette of a woman standing outside of a class c motorhome as the sun sets over a field.

What Is Forest River? 

Forest River is an incorporated American RV manufacturer. Headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, and founded by Peter Liegl in 1996, the company is fast growing. They produce recreation vehicles, including class A and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and destination trailers.  

Who Is Forest River Owned By? 

Forest River RV is a Forest River, Inc. division, which Berkshire Hathaway owns. Billionaire businessman, Warren Buffett, owns Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett is currently its chairman and CEO.

Is Forest River a Good Brand? 

In general, RVs travel down roads at high speeds. It’s essentially taken through multiple hurricanes when this happens.

So no matter the brand, it has bumpy roads, wind, and other elements to contend with. This is why the making of a good RV brand needs to rely on quality control and construction. 

Forest River products are mass-produced, which can make quality assurance a challenge. As a result, things may get missed. But that doesn’t make Forest River a lousy brand.

They claim to focus on quality and dependability. Often, when you hear of customer complaints about their Forest River product being in the shop, it’s a relatively minor problem missed during the dealership’s inspection.  

So is Forest River a good brand? While owners may run into build quality issues from time to time, overall, it is a good brand.

It’s a leading manufacturer, and they’re not going anywhere. So whether you’re an experienced RVer or just starting out, don’t overlook Forest River. 

A couple pulls a bag out of exterior storage on their travel trailer as they set up camp.

What Types of RVs Does Forest River Make?

Forest River makes motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-up campers, toy haulers, and destination trailers. It has 46 brands under its name, several of which are award-winning.

In addition, Forest River has a members group that hosts rallies throughout North America.

What Is the Top of the Line Forest River Camper? 

The Surveyor RV is Forest River’s top-of-the-line camper. They offer two models, the Grand Surveyor and the Surveyor Legend. 

The Grand Surveyor has two spacious floorplans. Both have front bedrooms with a walk-around queen-sized bed and a full-size bathroom. They also have a large kitchen with ample counter and storage space and a sleeper sofa and dinette that converts into a bed. In addition, they have luxury features such as an electric fireplace, a walk-in pantry, and an outdoor kitchen.

The Grand Surveyor from Forest River is a great couples trailer.

The Surveyor Legend has several floorplans, including four versions under 4,000 lbs. There are also various options such as bunk beds, murphy beds, and two-bedroom floorplans. Each has full bathrooms, and the 303BHLE has a half bathroom. Additionally, the kitchens in each have pantries and lots of counter space. 

These travelers share how their Surveyor Legend has held up after a year on the road.

What Is the Most Luxurious Forest River Fifth Wheel?

Forest River’s award-winning Cardinal holds the coveted “Luxury Fifth Wheel of the Year” prize from RV news in 2021. It also won the “Full Profile Fifth Wheel of the Year” award from RV News in 2022. 

The Cardinal Luxury fifth wheel has been around for a long time and was Forest River’s first full profile they designed and produced. There are currently three floorplans on the market. Each has large kitchens, living areas, and bedrooms. 

The 390FBX is the largest at 43 ft 3 in long and has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 15,500 lbs. It has a large main bedroom in the front with a king-sized bed. And at the very front of the fifth wheel is a large full bathroom that spans the entire width of the front cap. The bathroom has double sinks, a toilet, a shower, and a wardrobe. 

Just down the stairs, walking into the living area, there is a second bathroom with a sink, toilet, and washer and dryer. The living room has two tri-fold sofas and theater seating. The kitchen is in the rear of the RV with countertops wrapping around in a u-shape, a walk-in pantry, plenty of overhead storage, and a dining room table. The 390FBX is a great luxury option for full-time RV living.

What Is the Difference Between Forest River Brands? 

All Forest River brands are under the mission and direction of Forest River. However, each has its distinct floorplans, design, features, and amenities. For example, Forest River’s Berkshire brand makes luxury diesel class A motorhomes. The brand is quite different from the entry-level travel trailers that Forest River’s Ozark brand manufactures. 

Forest River produces a wide variety of brands and classes of RVs, which makes it all the more important to pay attention when you’re purchasing one. Whether new or used, getting an inspection before buying an RV is a smart choice. Any brand can have quality or construction issues, so an inspection can help you decide on your investment for peace of mind.

Is Purchasing a Forest River Product Worth It? 

Don’t overlook Forest River. It’s a good brand worth purchasing as long as you keep in mind that any RV can have problems. But you can prevent them with an inspection before buying and keeping up with maintenance on any RV you own.

Are you ready to shop for a Forest River RV? If you purchase one, we would love to hear about your experience. Drop us a line in the comments below!

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