I just spent 3 months in the AZ. desert parked next to a person with a 2003 Salem by Forest River. I personally read all the repair orders for the items that had been fixed on it by the dealer while it was in warranty and also helped fix a few items that never got fixed before warranty ran out. From my personel experience of fixing several items/systems, I would run the other way in a heart beat before I ever offer to help work on another Salem. (Out of all fairness to Forest River, this one may have been a lemon built on a Friday before a long weekend holiday.) Parked on the other side of us was a Cardinal by Forest River 5th wheel that the owners loved and said they had never had any problems other than a couple of little minor items that they took care of thereselves.
Just keep in mind that all rv brands have had bad reviews posted so read them and then make up your own mind. I have no experience with Forest river but have looked at them. If you look hard you will find shoddy work in all of them. Finding a good dealer is most imporant. A poor technician can make any company look bad. Be understanding when problems occure and work with the dealer or company. good luck
DL, I have heard that from a lot of forum members on different manufactures and don't doubt it. All I am saying is read them all and then make up your own mind. Some of the post could be from other manufactures or trollers. Remember the one on Gulfstream or it may have been on another forum. The poster was really blasting Gulfstream because they would not honor warranty work. Happened I was in Alanta at a show and Gulfstream rep was there and I asked him about it. His story was that the owner had bit off more than he could pay for and was trying to get them to buy back. He new exactly who I was asking about. I just like to hear both sides before I make up my mind.
Chelse, I agree. I usually wait until I hear 3 or 4 or more bad complaints about a particular manufacturer before expressing an opinion. Just an opinion.
I own a HitchHiker 5th wheel and I have heard a lot of complaints about HitchHikers, in fact at certain times I have contributed to the complaints. I have toured their factory twice and still find faults. However, having said that, I don't think the complaints are significant and I can still recommend HitchHikers. I do think the complaints on the Forest River are significant and I would never recommend them.
Just like right now I think Ford Diesels have a lot to prove and would not recommend them. I am a Dodge person, but I think GM Diesels are good tow vehicles and I could recommend them. I think if the cons out number the pros it isn't a good idea to say all is well. People are asking for the pros and cons not just the pros. Although I think if they are sold on a certain RV, all they really want deep down are the pros. Sorry can't do that. :laugh:
I actually started selling campers with the Forest River Salem and Sierra. Sold them a few years. My biggest complaint is the warranty issue. They still owe me $$$$. I went to the factory and had a face to face meeting with the warranty administrator. Did no good. I saw the hole I was in getting deeper and deeper, and decided to bail out. It was the best thing I could do for business. There are LOTS of better trailers out there that don't cost any more or the same. I do still sell their Cargo Trailers, but that is it.
Forest River at that time was owned by the guy that sold to Warren Buffet a little over a year ago, but Buffet left him in charge, so little changed.
We had water leaks, both from plumbing and rain, they still do. We had paint falling off the frames, they still do. They used the smallest axle they could get away with, they still do. I could go on and on, but I am restraining myself.
As a dealer, I had to keep my customers happy, but Forest River left me hanging by not paying warranty money back to me, and that has left a bad taste in my mouth.
If anyone is considering purchasing a Forest River, take a REAL close look at their warranty. They have changed it recently. Now a dealer has 90 days to fix anything that comes to them wrong. If it is on the dealers lot longer than 90 days, the dealer is on his own to fix it. The customer has a piece of paper stating they have a year warranty. If they read close, most small items are not covered after 90 days. Slideout adjustments, Drawer adjustments, water leaks, regulator adjustment, and the list goes on and on. I have a copy of it on my desk, but can't lay my hands on it now. All I am saying is CHECK IT OUT. Forest River makes fair trailers, far from the best, but there are worst ones out there also.