Some of the individual problems have been slides cutting the floor when extended or retracted, cracks in the gel coat, black water flush not working, hard to refill the fresh water tank, and more. But are these company-wide issues?
To learn the answer to this question and find out if the Prime Time Crusader is a good RV or not, just keep reading our article. It examines this company and its RVs to provide you with the best information possible so you can make an intelligent purchase decision.
This is the name on the company’s website and it comes with the usual start up story. In 2009, a group of experienced industry executives formed a new company that focuses on building 5th wheel and travel trailers.
They say that before any trailer leaves its plant, it must pass a 125-point inspection. The website also says that they care about quality. This all sounds good if it were an independent start up company.
The About page does not mention when it became a division of Forest River but that association may be the reason why owners are experiencing a lot of problems with the units they bought.
The good news about this association is that if you buy your trailer from this company, you have access to their vast Forest River dealer network as well as the FROG program. Membership is free in the Forest River Owner’s Group and there are 165,000+ members.
You also have access to the dealer rejection attitude. That is when you buy your trailer from one dealer and others will not service it because you did not buy it from them.
This is a tricky subject to delve into as all RVs, no matter who makes them, will have issues. Some will be major and others not so much. The word so far is that Prime Time does seem to do a better job at handling repairs than other Forest River associated companies.
There are different common problem lists for this company’s trailers and we chose the one that was the longest. These problems are different from the individual issues other owners may experience and may be company-wide.
1. Poor paneling installation and ceiling issues- you may have to re-install the paneling and repair gaps in the ceiling
2. Decals can fall off- this may be due to harsh scrubbing on your part. To avoid this wash your trailer firmly but gently
3. The microwave door gets stuck- could be an opening button issue and that would need to be replaced
4. Uneven insulation- if not under warranty you may need to install heat curtains in those areas.
5. Fender cracking- the source here may be that the fender skirt screws are too tight
6. Bamboo mattresses may be too firm- a matter of preference and use a top cover to help provide comfort
7. Countertops have scratches- a little sanding on your part may fix this issue
8. The table top is warped- replace the top or add glass to cover it
9. Endcap fades- this is supposed to have a 30-month warranty so you may be able to have it re-painted for free by the company (source for the problems and some of the solutions)
These common problems we think are company wide. The following is a list of some of the individual issues you may face after you purchase this RV brand:
The black water tank sensor is not wired properly, Cable TV is not connected correctly, the black Darco wrap wears too quickly, slides damage the floors during operation, the black water tank does not work, the freshwater tank can’t be refilled, pipes leak, water heater stops working due to a problem with electricity, doors do not open easily and get warped fast, and so on.
This list can go on forever and if you want more individual issues, click this link. It takes you to the Prime Time forum on the Forest River discussion website.
According to the About page on the Prime Time website, this company is a division of Forest River. The company may have been independent when it was formed in 2009, but Forest River bought it out only a few years ago.
This change in ownership may be the reason for so many owners experiencing the individual and common problems listed above. We can’t be sure but it is a possibility.
The word is that Prime Time may have some independence and their customer service has been reported as well above average. The company is supposed to operate a 24/7 customer call-in service as well as in-person customer service.
But in the end, the quality and production of these 5th wheels and travel trailers will be the result of Forest River and Berkshire Hathaway policies. The latter company owns Forest River.
These 5th wheels and travel trailers will be as good as the construction build made them. This is not a cop-out but identifying the actual problem with this or any RV model or brand.
You will find that corners may have been cut, items may not have been installed correctly, and the overall construction could have been done better. But not all models from this company will experience this type of construction process.
Some will be put together perfectly and you will not experience any of the problems listed above. The answer to the question then is yes and no. It will depend on if your model was built right or not.
According to their website, the company is heavy on quality. That means they want to produce top-quality luxury trailers for their customers. The reality just does not match the claim all the time.
In the end, whether these RVs are good or not will be up to you to decide. If you do not experience many of the woes that other owners experience, then you have a good 5th wheel or travel trailer.
One RV website created an interesting yet humorous review about Forest River Prime Time Crusader 395BHL's fifth wheel. The site said this 5th wheel trailer was a carbon copy of a Winnebago model and it seemed like the two companies basically photocopied the trailers and made the same thing.
While the two companies use the same appliance manufacturers, the Prime Time option used higher-grade products to give their customers top-of-the-line features to use.
Another reviewer stated that Prime Time has used innovation, thinking outside the box, to create a well-constructed luxury trailer. The company only makes 5 trailers in total with 2, including the Crusader, being 5th wheel models.
One owner who experienced some of the individual problems above said their trailer was okay. Not great but just okay. Another owner has stated that the company wants to repair his trailer for him but it needs to come back to the factory to get that done.
He is pleased with that request but his overall impression is that it is not a good RV to own. Then on RV Insider, the review website for all RVs, this brand only received a 3.0 out of 5 stars. Only one category got a 4.3 rating and that was for the floor plans.
The other categories received under 3.5 stars with the factory warranty only getting 1.5 stars.
The company website lists this as a 2022 model and we did not see it listed under the 2023 model year. The website only lists the two years. There is supposed to be a 2021 model but as we said it is not listed on the company website.
This model is supposed to provide you with 3 slides, a large king-sized bed in front, and bunk beds and entertainment are in one of the slides. It weighs just over 13,000 pounds UVW and has a hitch weight of 2,298 pounds.
There is an outdoor kitchen but the indoor option is in the second slide. The black water tank is the smallest at 39 gallons, the freshwater tank is next at 54 gallons and the gray water tank is built to hold 73 gallons.
The 2021 model is the exact same as the 2202 model for floor-plan.
This is listed in both the 2022 and 2023 model years and the same floor plan is in both models. This is an almost 42-foot 5th wheel that comes with 2 bedrooms. One in front is the king-size and the one in back is the queen with a loft as well.
The overall weight is almost 12,000 pounds with a hitch weight of 2175 pounds. In this model, the black and gray water holding tanks are the same size at 73 gallons and the freshwater tank is built to hold 54 gallons.
3 slides are a part of this model and you can buy it with a 15 or 11-foot awning. There is a small outdoor kitchen and a small indoor one that is placed on the third slide.
This is the smaller 5th wheel option and used it is going for almost $50,000. The floor plan looks like it also has 3 slides but at just over 36 feet you do not have a lot of room to work with.
Its weight reaches slightly over 10,000 pounds and has a hitch weight of 1708 pounds. The holding tanks are smaller as well with the gray water tank at 70 gallons, the freshwater tank at 60 and the black water tank at only 35 gallons.
This is a one-bedroom unit that is well-designed with lots of living space inside. What features you will get will depend on the original owner’s order.
If you own a 2015 or newer model, then you can get an interactive owner’s manual at this link. This link takes you to the company’s website and the manuals page is divided into 5th wheel and travel trailers.
That website also has a separate components manual web page or web pages where you can find the manual for the different components included in your 2015 or newer trailer.
We did not find any other manual website advertising that they have copies of. You may be limited to the Prime Time website or even the Forest River website to find an owner’s manual.
This is a Forest River company and that means this company will follow Forest River parts policies. In other words, replacement parts are only available through Prime Time Dealers as well as authorized parts outlets only.
When we checked for parts on the Prime Time website, we were sent to the Forest River page describing their policy and how dealers were free to refuse to do repairs, etc.
We did find one RV parts company that advertises that they have parts for a variety of Prime Time RVs. They are called Myers RV Center and they do sales, parts, and so on. Click on the name to go to their website.
This may have started out as a top-quality independent company for 5th wheel and travel trailers. But once Forest River bought them out things may have changed.
No matter what item you will buy it is always a gamble that you do not get a lemon. These RVs may be good but there are enough problems to influence people to go elsewhere for their trailer.
If the price is right, you may luck out and snag a great 5th wheel or travel trailer. They are worth checking into and considering.