Forest River R-pod Reviews and Problems (Quality + Specs)

Headroom is always a concern. Average height people don't think about this but above average height people do. Most trailers just do not have the height for tall people to be comfortable and the R-pod is one of those trailers

Some people think that the R-Pod is made with top-quality construction materials that keep it strong and lightweight. The negative aspects of this trailer are that the fridge is too small and there is no built-in air conditioning unit. These are issues that can be deal-breakers.

To learn more about this trailer and its issues, just continue to read our article. it has the information you need to know about before you make your purchase. These trailers are supposed to be affordable and with 11 different floor plans, those negatives may not amount to much.

R-pod Build Quality


Many people complain about this aspect of the R pod. While the construction materials are supposed to be the best and resist corruption and other ills, there are still complaints about how that material was put together.

Last year, a recall was sent out by Forest River. It seems that there was a problem with the wiring. One owner found this out when their trailer went up in flames due to an electrical issue.

There are also issues with leaky roofs, poor sealant, and other issues that were common for other owners. The build quality of the R pod may be hit and miss as some owners like their little trailer. Others, found lights installed crooked, screws that would fall off, cracks, and other problems.

Forest River may be a powerhouse RV manufacturer but it seems to be slipping when it comes to quality control. They are able and capable of producing well-put-together RVs and trailers, yet cannot maintain any consistency in their build performance.

Forest River R-pod Reviews

These are mixed as many owners are very happy with their R-pod model and cannot say enough good things about them. The best review we found was that the owners were happy campers. Those words say a lot about the potential of this trailer model.

However, many owners have found nothing but trouble with their R-pod trailer. Some complaints have been around the customer service end of the deal. They were told any Forest River dealer will help them if there is a problem.

For at least one owner, that was not the case and they had to search for a dealer that would solve their issues. Like these owners, other owners complained about the inferior build quality.

They liked the way the trailer was towed and the organized floor plan but they were tired of having to repair the trailer. Another owner took these minor repairs in stride and bought a new model recently.

He loved his trailer even when a tree fell on it and did not cause a lot of damage. This proves that Forest River can build a good R pod when they put their minds to it.

R pod 171 Review

When you look at one of the floor plans for this trailer, it is a compact unit. That is understandable as this is the smallest model of all the R pod models you can buy. it only sleeps between 3 to 4 people and there is a small bathroom and shower inside.

The queen size bed takes up the rear of the trailer, leaving little room for storage. The trailer’s towing capacity is a mere 252 pounds but you can fit about 700 more pounds of supplies, etc. over the dry weight rating of 2504 pounds.

This is a small trailer and no slides are included to extend your living space. It is a basic camper that is designed for those people who want affordability not luxury. This unit does have a 13,500 BTU AC unit and a 20,000 BTU furnace so cooling and heating should not be a problem for you.

There are upgrade options available but you will pay for those. This trailer is more for the weekend camper who likes to take his family away on short vacations. It's not great for long trips.

Common R-pod Problems


Where should we start? This trailer seems to come with a lot of issues that make their owners sad that they bought one. The potential is there to build a good trailer but the inconsistency in construction effort undermines that potential.

The first issue that gets owners upset is the faulty wiring. many outlets have loose connections bad wiring and so on. It gets so bad that one trailer caught fire. Then there is the leaking issue.

Forest River is using top-quality construction materials but those are not the source for the problems. The source is usually in the seals that join the frame to the exterior and the roof to the walls. It is said that the sealant wears out and you have to replace it often.

Then the sewer and holding tank hangers could be improved. There are complaints that they let go at the wrong time and one owner was stopped on an interstate and informed they were dragging a sewer pipe.

One could say that the most common problem with the R pod is the construction effort. There are just too many minor issues that keep popping up in reviews to list here and they all relate to bad craftsmanship.

Do R-pods Leak?

Before we answer that question, we do have to say that some owners have not experienced any leaks. They are praising their R pods for being put together very well and have no complaints about the joints, sealant, or water getting in where it shouldn’t.

However, other owners are not so lucky and the answer to the question is yes, some R-pods do leak. The problem is that some of those leaks occurred over the wiring and shorted the trailer out.

One of the problems owners have with the R pod trailer is that Forest River uses the cheapest sealant possible. This sealant does not hold up and owners are complaining about their leaky roofs. This could be put down as a common problem as we have seen other similar complaints.

If the sealant was good, then water would not leak in anywhere. Some owners said their roofs did not leak but they had to replace the sealant before it did.

How Long Will an R-pod Last?

There are different factors at play here and those factors make it difficult to set any kind of time limit on the R-pod’s longevity. For example, one owner said their trailer was falling apart when they picked it up at the dealer.

In other words, the craftsmanship was so bad, the owners did not have to use it and it was near its lifespan end. Other owners have not had this experience and have enjoyed their R-pod trailer for years. A couple of owners stated they have had no problems over the 5 years they have owned an R-pod.

If you maintain it well, then you can expect the trailer to last you at least a decade but there is a big if to that statement. The qualifying statement would be ‘if it was well-built’. Some owners do get well-built R-pods, others do not and their trailers are gone a lot quicker than 5 years.

As we stated earlier, the electrical issues could cut the lifespan very short as one owner used his twice before the electrical problem burned it down.

Do R-pods Have AC?


We stated earlier that the R-pod did not come with an AC unit. But as we researched further, it seems that some models do have AC and it is quite powerful for the space inside.

The Forest River brochure for the R-pod lists two ways to keep you cool. One way is the 3 fans that run on DC power and come with 3 speeds. The other way is the 13,500 BTU AC unit. You can see both of these cooling options on page 13 of the brochure found at this link.

With that said, we have seen some photos where the R-pod did not have an AC unit on its roof. Whether those are earlier models or not, we are not sure. Those without AC may have the unit as an optional feature you can upgrade your model with.

The AC unit is on some lists that include all the optional features you can purchase.

Are R-pods 4 Season?

In all the websites we looked at, including Forest River’s, we did not see one of them mention that these trailers were 4 seasons. This was not even listed in the pros and cons section of many reviews.

The units may come with a 20,000 BTU furnace but the people writing that information only mentions that it help son cold camping nights and say nothing about the winter months.

No one is talking about the insulation factor in these trailers and we would like to give the trailer the benefit of the doubt but we can’t. Since this feature is not mentioned in the places we were able to look, we will conclude that it is not a 4 season trailer.

If we are wrong, it won’t be the first time. With the AC unit as an optional feature, it stands to reason that this trailer is built just for warm weather camping where the temperatures do not get close to freezing. Take your chances if you like to camp in the colder months of the year.

How Much Does an R-pod Cost?

Forest River has made many different models of the R-pod. That means that this trailer will come with many different prices, depending on the model and the optional features you include.

We will give the average price here for several models to give you an idea of what to expect to pay when you go with this camping option. The 171 average price is $18,100; the 190 with a slide-out kitchen will cost you on average $22,000 approx; the 191 with twin beds reaches $22,700.

The 193 with a murphy bed option will run you on average about $23, 325; The 176T special order is costing owners only $21,000 approx; the 182G teardrop is priced around $22,500 on average.

That should give you an idea of the cost of the trailer and you may pay more or less than the average depending on what features you want inside.

Is an R-pod Worth It?


That depends on who you talk to. if you talk to a satisfied customer, then yes the R pod trailer will be worth it. The units come with many standard and optional features which help you to personalize the trailer.

And the 11 floorplans are ideal. having some choice in how your trailer looks makes it a better place to camp. But not all is rosy with the R-pod trailer series. There is the other side of the story you have to consider.

Those owners you talk to who ended up with a faulty unit will tell you that even spending $15,000 on one is not worth the hassles you have to go through. Many owners experience a lot of faulty construction work that has them running from the R-pod as quickly as they can.

If you get a good one, then yes, it is worth it but if you don’t, then you have wasted your money.

What Does R-pod Stand For?

We found no special meaning to the term R pod except that it is merely a sub-brand of Forest River RV products. Like NIKE, R-pod is only a brand name that identifies the shape, size, and uniqueness of that trailer series.

We did not find an explanation on the Forest River website and would conclude they used the word pod because regular pods are small and this series of trailers is not large.

You may have to contact Forest River directly to see if there is any special meaning behind this use of the word R pod. The focus point on these trailers is their size, affordability, and easy towing capability.

Plus, the floor plans. Those are the items most reviewers and websites are talking about including the Forest River one. What is in a name? In this case, not very much.

Can R-pod fit In a Garage?

It is possible as the smallest R-pod trailer, the 171, is only 9 feet 6 inches high on the outside. That measurement may or may not include the rooftop AC unit. Then your garage door opening will have a lot to say about this topic.

If it is not that tall, then you won’t get one inside the garage even if you have a large ceiling area. Taking good measurements will help you answer your specific situation. The standard garage opening will not accommodate anything larger than a Scamp.

That should give you a good idea if you can fit your R-pod in your garage. People who own garages with larger door openings will not have a problem fitting their R-pod inside their garage. Their issue will be if their garage is long enough to hold the trailer.

Finding R-pod Users Groups


This is not a difficult task. A simple internet search will turn up Facebook user groups, as well as other locations where you can talk to R-pod owners. On Facebook alone, there are 3 different groups listed, owners, owners forum, and owners V-2.

Outside of Facebook, you can find rvillage and rpodnation with the latter tied into Forest River. Then you can check the different RV forums. They have special groups for owners of different RV and trailer brands.

Their threads in those groups discuss specific issues, etc., surrounding owning an R-pod trailer. It will take a little time to hunt down a variety of R-pod user groups and then picking one or more to join.

The usual information will be needed to join those forums. Just keep looking until you find a friendly group but do not be alarmed if you see a lot of negativity concerning these trailers.

Some Final Words

It seems that owning an R-pod trailer is hit and miss. Some people get very good units while other people get to define the term lemon in new ways. Do your research well and pay attention to the reviews. Those will help guide you and give you clues as to what to look for.

How well you examine your R-pod trailer before you buy it will determine which side of the fence you sit on.

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply