In today’s post, I’m going to take a look at the Forest River R-Pod. So what is an R-Pod travel trailer? The Forest River R-Pod is a lightweight travel trailer with a very unique shape. This is what the exterior of an R-Pod looks like.
It is indeed an odd shape travel trailer when compared to the rest of the industry. However, don’t let the shape of the R-Pod fool you into thinking this is not a serious camper. Let take a look at the R-Pod in more detail
Before I begin my review of the R-Pod please be aware I do not own one. This review is based on research I have conducted on the manufacturer’s website, RV forums, and consumer product review forums. I will indicate all sources at the end of this article.
The Forest Rover R-Pod has been around for over 10 years. It’s an affordable travel trailer with the lowest towing capacity in its class. Like I mentioned previously it has a very unique shape. It comes standard with an excellent feature set and one of the features I like the most is the Azdel exterior construction.
When it comes to the floorplans the R-Pod has 10 ultra-lite plans and 1 expandable floorplan plans. The expandable floorplan adds an expandable canvas tent to either side that adds a queen size bed and 43×74 inch bunks with storage to the other side.
The non-expandable floorplans are pretty diverse for such a small travel trailer. Seven of the floorplans include a queen bed which to me is a very nice feature in an ultra-lite travel trailer. Four of the R-Pod layout come with a dry bath while the others have a wet bath. Here is my take on RV dry bath versus a wet bath.
The features in the R-Pod is where I think it really shines. Let go over some of the features you will find in the Forest River R-Pod.
The chassis of the R-Pod is a powder-coated steel frame this gives the R-Pod lots of rigidity and strength. You get stopping power from the travel trailer self-adjusting electric brakes.
The R-Pod also comes standard with aluminum wheels nitrogen-filled radial tires and dual battery racks.
Moving from the chassis to the exterior of the R-Pod you will find Azdel exterior walls and welded aluminum sidewalls and floors. The roof of the Forest River R-Pod is a one-piece seamless fiberglass roof. The windows on the R-Pod are tinted safety glass.
In addition, you will find:
- 20 lbs LP tank with cover
- All exterior lights are LED
- High-pressure exterior spray port
- 120V exterior receptacle
- TV and stereo antenna and much more.
When we move to the interior of the R-Pod you will find just as many features. Like I mentioned earlier some models have a wet bath while others have a dry bath. Personally I prefer the dry bath even though it does take up a little bit more of the interior space. Tammy and I don’t think that is a big issue.
The flooring in the R-Pod is designer Carefree flooring, the cabinets are residential-style shaker cabinets with solid core fronts assembled with screws. The drawers have hardwood fronts and ball bearing extensions.
The appliances included in the R-Pod are very nice for a travel trailer this size. You have a choice of either an electric or gas 6-gallon water heater. A gas, electric, or 12V power 3.7 cubic-feet refrigerator. The included cook-top is recessed and has to burners with a flush-mount glass cover.
You can stay warm during those cold camping days with the 20,000 BTU furnace. Added to the R-Pod is a 55 amp converter with charger and US charging ports.
There is also a handful of safety features on the R-Pod. These include:
- Breakaway switch
- Fire extinguisher
- LP detector
- Smoke detector
- Deadbolt door lock
Some of the most popular features include a large 36-gallon holding tank, a pet-friendly frame-mounted utility hook and food/water bowls, and LED interior lights.
If what is already on-board isn’t enough you can order a 13.5K BTU a/c unit, a convection microwave oven, a bike carrier, power tongue jack, a pretty cool outside kitchen, and a solar package. There is also a 10th Anniversary Package that includes Bluetooth radio, seamless kitchen counter-tops, and much more.
I won’t bore you with a list of specifications since they are all available on the Forest River website. Here are some highlights of these travel trailers specifications:
- Exterior length 18 feet 4 inches all the way to 20 feet 4 inches. The freshwater tank is 30-gallons, gray water, and black water is 30 gallons each. The GVWR varies so check with your dealer for exact specifications.
Interior Video Walkthrough
Pros and Cons
After researching the R-Pod here are some of the things I really like.
- It’s lightweight so it can be towed with a good SUV or small truck
- The aerodynamic shape is pretty cool and might save a bit on fuel
- The exterior walls are Azdel which has many advantages
- The choice of a dry bath on some of their floorplans
These are some of the things I don’t like about the R-Pod.
- Small refrigerator. I know this might b a result of the small size of this camper but I think a larger fridge could have been added.
- A/C is optional, really? Come on Forest River just include it as standard.
- Build quality not so good
What Consumers Think
At RVInsider the R-Pod has 30 user reviews. On average it is getting a 4-star rating., but that 4-star rating can be quite misleading. As you scroll through the review it seems owners have had problems with their R-Pod. This is just a sampling of what I read:
- The interior suffers from quality issues such as storage doors that are hard to open, not enough staples on the seats to keep the material affixed.
- Loud air-conditioning
- The freshwater tank is at the rear of the camper. If you fill it with water that adds 300 pounds which might cause sway when towing
- The refrigerator appears to be made from cheap plastic as per one owner.
Some owner had good things to say about the Forest Rover R-Pod such as:
- Lots of room and amenities
- It has a good design and tows easily
- The queen bed is a nice size
- Lots of storage
- Several owners like the aluminum frame
Forest River R-Pod Review Summary
After much research, it appears to me that the R-Pod has some good things going for it and one major bad thing. The overall design seems to be very good and is quite comfortable for most people. Sleeping quarters are limited to two people in the non-expandable layout and 4 in the expandable layout. The interior has lots of storage and is quite functional.
The one major issue that seems to stand out in my research is the build quality. From reading the available owner reviews I believe the build quality of the R-Pod is not as good as it should be. This prevents many existing owners from recommending this travel trailer. Forest River needs to do better at quality control and responding to consumer issues.
Not all of the owners have had issues so it could be a hit or miss if you decide to buy one.
If you have any questions let me know or want to add your comment below please do so. Looking to buy something other than an R-POD take a look at our list of who we think makes some of the best quality travel trailers.
Looking for something a little bit different check our our writeup on the Rockwood Geo Pro and pricing.