Forest River R Pod reviews?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-27-2018, 11:06 AM   #1
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Name: Mark
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Missouri
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Forest River R Pod reviews??

At the risk of alienation, and after 3 years of researching, I have about come to the conclusion that I will never be able to afford or justify the cost of a nice used fiberglass RV. No need to waste your breathe, I've heard all the arguments, but $15K-25K is too much for a recreational toy on my very modest income and savings. I would love a Lil Snoozy or Egg Camper, not to mention a Oliver or Bigfoot that cost half a house, but it's never going to happen without winning the lottery. An 11 yr. old Lil Snoozy just sold on here for $15K.
My main criteria are accommodating my 6"5" frame (which rules out 90% of models, but I will insist on being able to stand up straight and sleep comfortably), AC/Heat, and around 2,000 lbs. and 19' or less. Everything else is whistles and bells to me.
Right now there are two 2010 Forest River R Pod 171 online for $8K. They are very similar to Lil Snoozy in shape and layout, and fits my criteria. No wood in frame to rot, with aluminum sides and one fiberglass piece that forms front, top, and back. I'm not concern about resale value on a $8K investment, if I can use it 10-15 years than I feel like I got my money's worth.
I have read a few negative reviews about minor issues with the R Pods but nothing too major. I understand you get what you pay for - I don't expect a Cadillac - just something that is functional and will last for many years.
I would appreciate anyone with some firsthand knowledge of the Forest River R Pod 171 - no foldouts. I've research all types to death, and it's time to make a move on buying something. I'm single, tired of tent camping, and hotels get expensive travelling alone, and I plan to travel 1-2 months at a time when I retire is a few short years. I want to make the purchase and do any modifications before taking long trips. This will be my first and last RV purchase.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
At the risk of alienation, and after 3 years of researching, I have about come to the conclusion that I will never be able to afford or justify the cost of a nice used fiberglass RV. No need to waste your breathe, I've heard all the arguments, but $15K-25K is too much for a recreational toy on my very modest income and savings. I would love a Lil Snoozy or Egg Camper, not to mention a Oliver or Bigfoot that cost half a house, but it's never going to happen without winning the lottery. An 11 yr. old Lil Snoozy just sold on here for $15K.
My main criteria are accommodating my 6"5" frame (which rules out 90% of models, but I will insist on being able to stand up straight and sleep comfortably), AC/Heat, and around 2,000 lbs. and 19' or less. Everything else is whistles and bells to me.
Right now there are two 2010 Forest River R Pod 171 online for $8K. They are very similar to Lil Snoozy in shape and layout, and fits my criteria. No wood in frame to rot, with aluminum sides and one fiberglass piece that forms front, top, and back. I'm not concern about resale value on a $8K investment, if I can use it 10-15 years than I feel like I got my money's worth.
I have read a few negative reviews about minor issues with the R Pods but nothing too major. I understand you get what you pay for - I don't expect a Cadillac - just something that is functional and will last for many years.
I would appreciate anyone with some firsthand knowledge of the Forest River R Pod 171 - no foldouts. I've research all types to death, and it's time to make a move on buying something. I'm single, tired of tent camping, and hotels get expensive travelling alone, and I plan to travel 1-2 months at a time when I retire is a few short years. I want to make the purchase and do any modifications before taking long trips. This will be my first and last RV purchase.

Make sure you keep the caulk up to date along the edge between the roof and the wall. Once the delamination starts it is very expensive to correct.
Same goes with the top pipes , windows, and any place where water could enter.
If you keep on top of it they are fine. Just make sure you monitor for potential leaks frequently, not just every 3 to 6 months..
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:02 PM   #3
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Mark, you may try asking this same question on a R-Pod forum to get better responses from thosse who actually own one. I have a friend who has one with a slideout, and have camped last summer with someone who also had a slideout in their R-Pod, but he had nothing good to say about it, and has an Escape on order. Best of luck on your search. Lil Snoozy has not been around for 11 years, but the one that sold was a 2011, one of the first made.
Dave & Paula
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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Mark, you may try asking this same question on a R-Pod forum to get better responses from thosse who actually own one. I have a friend who has one with a slideout, and have camped last summer with someone who also had a slideout in their R-Pod, but he had nothing good to say about it, and has an Escape on order. Best of luck on your search. Lil Snoozy has not been around for 11 years, but the one that sold was a 2011, one of the first made.
Dave & Paula

We have friends with both the slide type and the non slide type R-Pods. They are common down here. Since they use the many of the same components as mine ( fridge, water heater etc ) they will be similar as far as how that stuff works. Some of them have had to fix or have fixed wiring and build defects. All say the only real issue with them is making sure to stop leaks before they start as the fiberglass outside surface is glued to a thin luan or patterned composite. And once a bubble starts it is hard to do a non noticeable repair. They like them and are not looking for something else so that tells me they are OK. I get told I'm lucky as I do not need to pay as close of attention to water entry.
Here is a factory tour showing how they are made.

R Pod Plant Tour - r-pod Nation Forum - Page 1
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
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Fiberglass trailers are an expensive luxury especially when you trying to pay for necessities. It doesn't really matter how many great attributes a FG trailer has if you can't afford any of them..
Have you given any thought to a pop-up trailer . We have several friends who bought nice used pop-ups and are quite happy.
We've looked at going to a bigger trailer but to gain 2 ft it would cost us $20,000 to $30,000.; Hard to justify even if you have the money
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:33 PM   #6
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Mark, at 6'5" I'd mostly urge you to get inside any model you're interested in before you actually get really interested in it. I'm 6'2" and at shows I've decided an R-Pod could probably work, but it wasn't a slam dunk, and IIRC the roof curve comes into play. Might be worth seeking experienced voices from not only an R-Pod forum, but more general such as RVForum.net and IRV2.com.

Also, have you thought of popups? And A-liner types with a high peak? I eventually decided solo set up wouldn't thrill me, among other things, but YMMV. Many do solo set up. see popupportal.com

FWIW, I haven't heard anything particularly negative about R-Pod quality. A buddy has one w/o slide, and seems satisfied.

Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:44 PM   #7
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+10 Molded FG trailers aren't for everyone. First, they are expensive, very expensive on a sq footage basis compared to other non-molded trailers. Second, many aren't that tall in the center. Third, it is very easy to camp on a much more modest budget than an Airstream, or a molded FG trailer, a motor coach, or whatever.

Now all that being said, you don't have to spend $15K or more for one. And if you are up to doing some work, or accept one that is on the basic side, you can get in at a reasonable price.

Depending where you live, Oliver and Bigfoot prices approach the cost of a home. And then you need a serious tow vehicle.


In the end, any RV is a luxury. We car camped for years with a tent, a tent I picked up at a garage sale. No tow vehicle required either. And we had a lot of fun doing it!


Google R Pod reviews, you will hear plenty! You might also see some useful videos on youtube.


And considering the recurring costs of any RV: license and tag fees, personal property tax, insurance, maintenance, etc., really a tent is not a bad deal! For much of my camping, there is someone at the same campground with an RV that costs 20X my Escape, and someone else with a tent that cost 1/100 of my Escape (or even 1/1000 if they get a used tent like I started with). They are both seeing the same stuff, enjoying the same park, hiking the same trails, bicycling the same paths, etc. The experience is really not that much different.

I personally don't use the "never" word. Life goes through its ups and downs. If you can predict the future, I recommend focusing on either the stock market or lottery powerball numbers.

When I think about the camping I have done over the last 50+ years, its always been about the experience and not about what I was camping in. So my hike down the Grand Canyon, at age 18, with a crappy tent is probably #1 on my list. #2 is my trip out west after graduating from college, with my soon to be wife, to start our adult life. Loaded the car up with everything from sandwiches to the same tent I used on the Grand Canyon hike, left the suburbs of Chicago, and camped our way across the country to my new job in Seattle. #3 trip was three years ago, solo, on my motorcycle, with a $10 garage sale tent, 13,000 miles, 21 days, and all the way to Homer, AK and back home. Kind of interesting that my top three trips were all via a tent!

If the aversion to tents is about not sleeping on the ground, then I have owned three motorcycle popup campers over the years. All can be found used, all can be towed by pretty much any car, and all get you off the ground. The last one I had was a Bunkhouse branded motorcycle trailer. Weighed less than 300 pounds. King sized bed. Stand up dressing area in front of the bed. Add a room screen room for longer stays. It was really a nice rig. I thought about keeping it to tow behind my Honda Element. Maybe I should have kept it, but I let it go.

I wouldn't buy one of these new. There are always people getting out of motorcycling, so you can find plenty of them used if you are patient. They even build in a spot for an AC!


https://www.bunkhousecamper.com
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Old 02-27-2018, 03:27 PM   #8
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Some Rpod reviews, not all good. Forest River is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, so almost unlimited $$ resources to get them right.

https://www.rvt.com/Forest-River-R-p...er&brand=R-Pod
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:35 PM   #9
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Another brand similar to rpod was the Heartland MPG... possibly a tad better quality, but not much different.

You might cover the seams with eternabond tape. Should last for 10-15 years, and easier than caulking every few years.

Too bad you are limited to a small, light trailer, or you could get a unit from Outdoors RV. Heavy frame, super insulated, big water tank, heated underbelly, and optional thermal pane windows and shock absorbers. But the smallest is 23' and over 4000 lbs.
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
When I think about the camping I have done over the last 50+ years, its always been about the experience and not about what I was camping in.
A very insightful point.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:08 PM   #11
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There are lots of good points in this thread. A thank you to those who have posted.

It's very true that any RV is a luxury. When we were younger and poorer we camped in tents and had a ball.

It's also true that on a per square foot basis, a molded fiberglass trailer is a more expensive way to go. Having said that, I've seen several decent ones that can be had for 6K to 8K, and would only require minor work to make very nice.

The point about never say never was very well taken. If you keep saying you'll never be able to afford it, you're probably going to be right. Just 10 years ago, I could not have conceived that in less than a decade I'd be making 4 times what I did, but it did happen. Thinking outside the box and keeping a positive attitude no matter the obstacles goes a very long way, trust me.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:08 PM   #12
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I was going to get one in 2014, b/c they were cheaper then FG campers. I looked at them, all sizes at a local RV dealer. I liked them a lot, especially the larger one, 179 I believe. I have a 2012 Rav4 v6 tow pkg. and i thought it was a little close in weight for my tow. So I went with the 16' Scamp. All worked out fine. Good Luck Carl
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:52 PM   #13
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Name: Mark
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My tent camping is limited to once a year now, I want a bed for longer trips. Don't want a pop up either. I want to pull over and sleep anytime I want without setting up, and wake up and leave in the morning. And leery of the mess and canvas materials, and moveable parts on pop ups - I foresee eventual problems. Not a fixer upper type of guy either. As stated, my biggest obstacles are interior height and length of bed, then AC and heat.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:32 PM   #14
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We had a 172 Hood River ed in 2013, pretty loaded. Great looking, solid little unit. Had the mud tires on it.
Didn’t have it that long but everything worked great. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend based on our experience. We have an 2017 Escape 19 now and have yet to try it out. Hoping to have the same positive experience. Good luck.
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