The R-Dome may sound like a fancy RV or travel trailer accessory. But when you see it, this nice device looks like a tent that attaches to the trailer. It is easy to set up and provides a nice living room area that will be bug-free.
It seems that Dometic makes the R-Dome for the Forest River R-Pod trailer. You can get one through Forest River but it may cost you about $850 and it does set up easily. Some reviewers have stated that they love this addition to their little trailer.
To learn more about this travel trailer accessory, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can decide if this is the perfect addition to your R-Pod and camping time.
The overall measurements for the R-Pod are 19 feet in length, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet 7 inches high. This trailer is too small to accommodate a regular awning. While awnings do come in different sizes, Forest River felt it necessary to produce a different exterior protective cover than a simple awning.
The regular awning would not work that well on the R-Pod due to the rounded corners. The coverage would not be that great if one was put on this smaller travel trailer.
That does not mean that all R-Pods are too small for a regular awning. There are some longer ones that do come with a nice unit that extends out far enough for you to enjoy the nice cool summer evenings.
You can buy a longer R-Pod if you want the awning accessory or you can go with the 171 which has the specially made R-Dome attachment. It all depends on what type of outdoor cover you want to use when you are camping.
If you look at it, you might not think that there is anything special about this product or its design. It is basically a screened room designed to attach to the R-Pod and it is supposed to give you more living space outside.
The light fabric does not weigh that much so you will not be losing very much off your cargo weight limit. Plus, it is designed to go up easily so you can have a nice bug-free outdoor room in minutes.
There may be a skirt to go along with it and the skirt covers the area under your trailer making sure it is a completely enclosed room. Some people only use the skirt to keep their dogs from getting out of the dome.
Once set up you should have about 99 extra square feet to play with. The 171’s R-Dome is listed as being 9 feet by 11 feet in size. The height will be over 8 feet. That can be a lot of room when you are traveling with such a small trailer.
Once attached it does give you lots of living options as the kids could sleep outside safe from bugs.
The word is that Dometic is the company that makes this product. We did check their online store but we did not see the R-Dome listed under the awning category or any category.
This may be one of those products that are made by this company yet not sold directly to the public. There are many RV companies that do this. What they sell to the public may be determined by the type of license they have.
Or it could be an agreement between Forest River and Dometic to not sell to the public. This is an RV brand-specific accessory and Forest River may want to keep control of the sales.
Most of the owners we have read all stated that they ordered theirs from Forest River and they and other owners did not mention if this product was available elsewhere.
There does not seem to be any aftermarket manufacturers getting in on this deal either. Not one listing came up in a search results that exposed any aftermarket manufacturers marketing this product under a different brand name.
The reviews are somewhat mixed. There are no real negative reviews to report. Those negative ones are written by anonymous people who claim the product is junk, didn’t last more than one outing, and so on.
The reasons some people did not use their R-Dome are that it blocked the light, it is not as simple to put up as claimed, and the dogs may get out and start wandering.
Another reason they did not use it was the fact that it was too large for some public RV Parks or campgrounds. After being set up, the R-Dome extended too far past the boundary of the campsite.
There is the problem of rainwater leaking through the connection between the R-Pod and the R-Dome. Those are the roughest reviews we have seen to date. There are a lot of good reviews as well.
At least one owner loved theirs as it did exactly what they wanted. They got an extra room, easy to assemble and take down, and so on. Their biggest problem was attaching the skirt around the stairs.
Some owners cut their skirts to make it work around that needed item. Other than that, those owners that loved or really liked theirs did not have that many complaints.
The price of this product has certainly changed over the years. In 2010 the R-dome cost only $400 and in 2015 it cost about $600. Today you may find it selling for between $800 & $1000. The reason for these higher prices is that you may only get it new through Forest River.
The used prices should be a lot better than the new prices. It will all depend on what type of shape the canopy and skirt are in. We have seen used prices as low as $400 but the price you see will depend more on the owner than anything else.
To get a good deal you may be lucky and the dealer will through one in when you buy a new R-Pod 171. It has happened to at least one owner and it could happen again.
If you have good negotiating skills, that might be a way of getting one for free. The best thing to do is to check around to see where you can get the best price. There are not too many sellers who are offering the product new so you may be stuck with a high price tag no matter what.
This can be a bit difficult as we looked at the Dometic online store and they did not offer one for sale to the public. You may be stuck with talking to Forest River dealers as this is a brand and model-specific product.
This canopy is not something that is made for every model of travel trailer out there. The R-Pod comes with a specially designed groove that holds the R-pod in place and other trailer models do not have that groove.
There is some good news though. You may be able to find them on sale on eBay for the 2010 price. We found 1 listed there in our search. If you do not want to go directly through Forest River, you can check out the R-Pod Owners Forum.
It seems that the main page has a Flea Market thread where you will find quite a few used ones for sale. We did not check the prices on that thread. Amazon did not list any either.
Amazon does sell R-Pod accessories but the R-Dome was not included in the products listed there. You may find someone sale on Craigslist or other classified ad newspapers. That will be the best way to find one near you.
Other than that, Forest River dealers may be the only place to get this item new.
From what we can see, this is not a hard task to do. All you need to do to start is make sure all the pieces are there and in good shape. Then insert the spine of the canopy inside the special groove.
From there simply follow the instructions that came with the product. It is not that hard to do and if you do it right one person can set it up in less than 3 minutes.
Te R-Dome may be hard to find in your stores but if you want more living space, this is an ideal product to use. It is specially made for the R-Pod 171 and it should provide you with a nice extra room when you have the campsite space.
The biggest drawback to this product will be its price. It is not going to be cheap unless you buy used. And even then that is no guarantee it will be inexpensive.