R Pod

Does anyone have any experience with a forest river R Pod. The layout works for us with bunk beds and indoor toilet. Looking to use on Forest Roads no heavy off road

Thanks
 

ottsville

Observer
We owned a 2016 177. It worked fine for us at that time but with my son becoming at teenager we quickly outgrew it.
General build quality was okay but finish on the interior was poor and we had a few warranty issues that my dealer remedied. The were lots of issues with 2017 and 2018 models (leaky windows and power units failing). I would be wary if most your travel is on forest service roads. But that goes for pretty much any mass produced camper.

There's an R-pod owners group on Facebook; I would join that and see what issues people are having before purchasing.
 

Grassland

Well-known member
Winnibago has an RPOD clone as well, and I think the gel coat walls are better built, but is otherwise of typical poor mainstream RV quality. Has a wood floor rather than the sandwiched foam and luan floor of the R POD
 

CCH

Adventurer
Had an R-Pod with no major issues, but quality is as described above. Large tanks for a camper that size. The biggest problem with the R-Pod in my opinion is the inefficient use of space due to the teardrop construction. Looks cool, but really impedes on livability for a camper that you're supposed to be able to stand in. Have an Econ 16RB now that is about the same length and weight, but much more room and better construction.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
I have an RPod that I picked up for $2k a year ago. Needed a little work but its in pretty good shape now. I think they're overpriced unless you get a deal on one. I'm debating gutting mine now and rebuilding it how I want it or just building a trailer from scratch.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The more I look at what we want / need for our next trailer family of 4. Looking to move up from the Original Lifetime tent trailer. I’m probably going to do a custom build with a trailer builder.

Not a single builder builds the family of 4 compact multi use camp trailer. Not one! After over 10,000 miles of trips with our 4x6 tent on a trailer I have a pretty solid idea of what works best regarding footprint size vs camping location options and ease of road performance and towing etc.

The existing RVs try so hard to be houses on wheels they completely lack the important stuff active families need yr around. The small toy haulers start to touch on whats needed but then fall flat as soon as they cram crap closets and kitchens inside with 8+Ft high boxes you then need to drag down the highway.

I have come to the conclusion we’re just going to build our next trailer. The closest thing to what we want is the Intech Explore. The major piece missing is a popup roof, giving us head room at camp and bunk options up high and down low. Tipout bunks are great however they still pose challenges with wind storms and bear restricted locations. Road mode we need to retain decent highway performance with ability to load, bikes, boats camp gear in the trailer, secure, out of elements and as clean as possible for highway miles. Lots of miles! If the trailer sucks to tow on the highway it impacts the level of interest to make those big trips.

To avoid being relegated to crowded RV parking no more than 6 ft wide and less than 15ft ideally 12-13ft long. And being 100% dry camp capable. We have ended up in “RV parking” with our small tent trailer and parking lot camping isn’t our style. In many cases with some pleading with inexperienced front desk staff they let us relocate to the tent camping areas. Which works just fine. Experienced staff only need to see us roll up and they typically just suggest we look at the tent sites.

I get people want AC and all the House stuff but every family we camp with including our own seek out places and times of yr where AC isn’t needed. By design👍. 99% of us don’t want to pay storage fees on a box on wheels used 2-3 weeks a yr if that. Only 1 in 5 have the interest or space or can use a full sized Truck/Yukon wide vehicle. Which translates to a multi use trailer that can serve as a bunk house on camping adventures, and a uhaul to haul junk the rest of the yr. By mid sized SUVs, mini vans and the like. Hell the Jeep falls into that size too.

That happens to be why my lifetime tent / utility trailer has been so great. It has negatives and thats what my next trailer will fix.

Intech comes very close but the last piece is missed in a big way. Bunks for 4 behind 6ft high hard sides and bunks that stay within the foot print of the trailer.
 

Grassland

Well-known member
^^^
Thats the plus of small trailers, can get them in the good spots at camp grounds.

My local RV lot has RPODS listed at 25k CAD, so another reason to look elsewhere.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
My first trailer was simple tiny cargo trailer we tent camped out of, just a gear hauler.. did >40k pulling that thing around, I splurged and bought a nice fancy one for a whopping $3k and within the first 10k miles I figured I got that back in fuel from not just buying a truck.. just gave it to my dad today, he needs more room for gear w/his campervan setup.. really hard to beat that kinda value setup.

Aerodynamics are a bit overrated for back country exploration, yeah when I was in a lightly powered vehicle wanting to cruise full speed on interstates it played a big role.. but when you get a vehicle that takes the back way and your doing most of it at 35-40mph tops the height of it is more of an issue for tree branches than it is wind resistance dragging it down the road.. at some point you cross the weight barrier where all the aero in the world's not going to get you any better returns than towing a parachute.. its okay to break the roof line and tow a wall behind you if your going to load it down to 5k pounds anyhow, nothing's getting you great fuel economy at 80mph.. my lil 6cyl diesel gets me about 12-14mpg pulling my 10ft tall trailer at 70mph, if I take the all day route through the forest roads I show up at camp reading 17-18mpg, ******** yeah thats basically my city fuel economy w/my all terrains, a heavy foot and a spare on the roof.

I feel your pain, was miserable finding my trailer, we drove over half the country looking at stuff and going to shows and other garbage, and by the time I found my rig I was far more willing to compromise than when I started, mostly because I didnt want to miss out on basically two seasons since I had been sitting on cash for 8 months without anything the least bit suitable for my family of 4 and didnt have granite countertops, tile floors and jet tub bathrooms.. for fucks sake, I just dont wanna sleep in a tent anymore because I was sick of hours of setup/teardown every stop.
 

The Artisan

Adventurer
The more I look at what we want / need for our next trailer family of 4. Looking to move up from the Original Lifetime tent trailer. I’m probably going to do a custom build with a trailer builder.

Not a single builder builds the family of 4 compact multi use camp trailer. Not one! After over 10,000 miles of trips with our 4x6 tent on a trailer I have a pretty solid idea of what works best regarding footprint size vs camping location options and ease of road performance and towing etc.

The existing RVs try so hard to be houses on wheels they completely lack the important stuff active families need yr around. The small toy haulers start to touch on whats needed but then fall flat as soon as they cram crap closets and kitchens inside with 8+Ft high boxes you then need to drag down the highway.

I have come to the conclusion we’re just going to build our next trailer. The closest thing to what we want is the Intech Explore. The major piece missing is a popup roof, giving us head room at camp and bunk options up high and down low. Tipout bunks are great however they still pose challenges with wind storms and bear restricted locations. Road mode we need to retain decent highway performance with ability to load, bikes, boats camp gear in the trailer, secure, out of elements and as clean as possible for highway miles. Lots of miles! If the trailer sucks to tow on the highway it impacts the level of interest to make those big trips.

To avoid being relegated to crowded RV parking no more than 6 ft wide and less than 15ft ideally 12-13ft long. And being 100% dry camp capable. We have ended up in “RV parking” with our small tent trailer and parking lot camping isn’t our style. In many cases with some pleading with inexperienced front desk staff they let us relocate to the tent camping areas. Which works just fine. Experienced staff only need to see us roll up and they typically just suggest we look at the tent sites.

I get people want AC and all the House stuff but every family we camp with including our own seek out places and times of yr where AC isn’t needed. By design👍. 99% of us don’t want to pay storage fees on a box on wheels used 2-3 weeks a yr if that. Only 1 in 5 have the interest or space or can use a full sized Truck/Yukon wide vehicle. Which translates to a multi use trailer that can serve as a bunk house on camping adventures, and a uhaul to haul junk the rest of the yr. By mid sized SUVs, mini vans and the like. Hell the Jeep falls into that size too.

That happens to be why my lifetime tent / utility trailer has been so great. It has negatives and thats what my next trailer will fix.

Intech comes very close but the last piece is missed in a big way. Bunks for 4 behind 6ft high hard sides and bunks that stay within the foot print of the trailer.
I have a frp pod kit coming out that might fit your needs with a hardsided full poptopper. Mine will be 7 x 12 x 4 and will increase to 9 feet. You build your own shell and build to your specs
Kevin
 
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obchristo

New member
The more I look at what we want / need for our next trailer family of 4. Looking to move up from the Original Lifetime tent trailer. I’m probably going to do a custom build with a trailer builder.

Not a single builder builds the family of 4 compact multi use camp trailer. Not one! After over 10,000 miles of trips with our 4x6 tent on a trailer I have a pretty solid idea of what works best regarding footprint size vs camping location options and ease of road performance and towing etc.

The existing RVs try so hard to be houses on wheels they completely lack the important stuff active families need yr around. The small toy haulers start to touch on whats needed but then fall flat as soon as they cram crap closets and kitchens inside with 8+Ft high boxes you then need to drag down the highway.

I have come to the conclusion we’re just going to build our next trailer. The closest thing to what we want is the Intech Explore. The major piece missing is a popup roof, giving us head room at camp and bunk options up high and down low. Tipout bunks are great however they still pose challenges with wind storms and bear restricted locations. Road mode we need to retain decent highway performance with ability to load, bikes, boats camp gear in the trailer, secure, out of elements and as clean as possible for highway miles. Lots of miles! If the trailer sucks to tow on the highway it impacts the level of interest to make those big trips.

To avoid being relegated to crowded RV parking no more than 6 ft wide and less than 15ft ideally 12-13ft long. And being 100% dry camp capable. We have ended up in “RV parking” with our small tent trailer and parking lot camping isn’t our style. In many cases with some pleading with inexperienced front desk staff they let us relocate to the tent camping areas. Which works just fine. Experienced staff only need to see us roll up and they typically just suggest we look at the tent sites.

I get people want AC and all the House stuff but every family we camp with including our own seek out places and times of yr where AC isn’t needed. By design👍. 99% of us don’t want to pay storage fees on a box on wheels used 2-3 weeks a yr if that. Only 1 in 5 have the interest or space or can use a full sized Truck/Yukon wide vehicle. Which translates to a multi use trailer that can serve as a bunk house on camping adventures, and a uhaul to haul junk the rest of the yr. By mid sized SUVs, mini vans and the like. Hell the Jeep falls into that size too.

That happens to be why my lifetime tent / utility trailer has been so great. It has negatives and thats what my next trailer will fix.

Intech comes very close but the last piece is missed in a big way. Bunks for 4 behind 6ft high hard sides and bunks that stay within the foot print of the trailer.
You hit my dilemma right on the head. The criteria I am looking for is basically a light off road, hard sided pop up toy hauler with bunking platforms for 4 for 25X78 Inflatable mats. I want to be able to tow it clean behind my 4WD Sequoia into Baja and up into the Sierra with aquatic toys and bikes stowed inside.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
My first trailer was simple tiny cargo trailer we tent camped out of, just a gear hauler.. did >40k pulling that thing around, I splurged and bought a nice fancy one for a whopping $3k and within the first 10k miles I figured I got that back in fuel from not just buying a truck.. just gave it to my dad today, he needs more room for gear w/his campervan setup.. really hard to beat that kinda value setup.

Aerodynamics are a bit overrated for back country exploration, yeah when I was in a lightly powered vehicle wanting to cruise full speed on interstates it played a big role.. but when you get a vehicle that takes the back way and your doing most of it at 35-40mph tops the height of it is more of an issue for tree branches than it is wind resistance dragging it down the road.. at some point you cross the weight barrier where all the aero in the world's not going to get you any better returns than towing a parachute.. its okay to break the roof line and tow a wall behind you if your going to load it down to 5k pounds anyhow, nothing's getting you great fuel economy at 80mph.. my lil 6cyl diesel gets me about 12-14mpg pulling my 10ft tall trailer at 70mph, if I take the all day route through the forest roads I show up at camp reading 17-18mpg, **** yeah thats basically my city fuel economy w/my all terrains, a heavy foot and a spare on the roof.

I feel your pain, was miserable finding my trailer, we drove over half the country looking at stuff and going to shows and other garbage, and by the time I found my rig I was far more willing to compromise than when I started, mostly because I didnt want to miss out on basically two seasons since I had been sitting on cash for 8 months without anything the least bit suitable for my family of 4 and didnt have granite countertops, tile floors and jet tub bathrooms.. for fucks sake, I just dont wanna sleep in a tent anymore because I was sick of hours of setup/teardown every stop.
Just did a 3000 mile National Park trip 13 days. 80mph we do 16mpg - 70mph we do 17mpg 65mph we do 18-19mpg that’s towing btw. But the trailer has nearly zero foot print. Given bikes on the roof have more mileage impact than the trailer. Pile junk on the roof we see 14’s.

I sold my 11-12 mpg rig because we’ll it was terrible on those long trips.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
We are halfway through our 2nd year with our 2018 R-Pod 179 Hood River Edition.

It works well for us. Has everything we need and nothing we don't. We used it "dry" the first year then this May I de-winterized it and now we can use the bathroom, sink and shower if we want.

Even though the HRE has the "off road tires" it's really at most a mild-dirt road camper. The thing would shake itself apart on any gnarly trail, plus it's very top heavy.

However for the kind of camping we do it does fine.


Cheyenne Mountain Reduced.jpg


goosenecks 3.jpg

Build quality seems to be about on par with the rest of the RV industry. From what I've seen on the facebook group, the HRE's (which are made in Oregon) seem to have fewer QC issues than the ones made in Indiana.

In the second picture above, we camped with some friends who bought a brand new Little Guy Max. I think they paid almost twice what we paid for our barely-used R-Pod and they had to go back to the dealer several times to fix various issues. Ours has never needed repairs.

Best thing about the R-Pod is the dedicated user group. I can ask a question on the Facebook group and literally get an answer within 2 minutes.
 
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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
In case it wasn't clear from my comments above, with regards to fit/finish issues, R-Pod, at least in the HRE version, seems to be about on par with the industry if not slightly above.

However, that "par" is pretty atrocious compared to both the auto and home industries. This is not a problem unique to Forest River. Believe it or not, but there are people with 100k Airstreams complaining about the same quality control and slapdash finish issues.

I think it's the double-edged sword of the market and customer. If manufacturer A makes a "quality" trailer with good fit and finish, then prices it accordingly, it would run $35k and be 22' long and sleep 3 people.

Then their competition would cut quality and slap together a 26' trailer that sleeps 6 and sell it for $15k. To the customer, the $15k trailer seems to offer "more" and therefore that's the one that sells.

Pretty soon the manufacturers realize that pouring money into quality or fit and finish is a waste. So they slap them together as quick as they can, secure in the knowledge that many people buy trailers on a whim an rarely (or never) use them (you'd be amazed at how many never-used 2 and 3 year old trailers are on the market.)
 
my wife and I will more than likely be getting an rpod next year. I really want a truck camper (Alaskan camper preferably) but she was pretty adamant against it. Truck campers are "ugly" in her opinion. The rpod, however, is cute.

Compromise is everything in a relationship, they say. I'm pretty excited about the rpod, honestly, and think the 182G will be perfect for our family. I wouldn't want anything bigger, and I like the layout with the bunk beds and outside kitchen.

I wish the quality was better, but I understand that quality costs. I think the profit margins on these things must be huuuuge however. How can an enclosed cargo trailer sell for $4k, but throw a sink, stove and toilet in it, with a bit of wood and a few extremely cheap cushions, and suddenly it's worth $25k+?
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
my wife and I will more than likely be getting an rpod next year. I really want a truck camper (Alaskan camper preferably) but she was pretty adamant against it. Truck campers are "ugly" in her opinion. The rpod, however, is cute.

Compromise is everything in a relationship, they say. I'm pretty excited about the rpod, honestly, and think the 182G will be perfect for our family. I wouldn't want anything bigger, and I like the layout with the bunk beds and outside kitchen.

I wish the quality was better, but I understand that quality costs. I think the profit margins on these things must be huuuuge however. How can an enclosed cargo trailer sell for $4k, but throw a sink, stove and toilet in it, with a bit of wood and a few extremely cheap cushions, and suddenly it's worth $25k+?
Lol the only happy RV types are or become very handy Mr fix it types. I predict the RV business will collapse to near zero once those over 40yrs old right now age out of the RV life. The age group under 40 can hardly handle calling a tow truck for a flat tire let alone deal with trying to get some goofy RV part fixed or working.
 
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