Forest River R-Pod Review [Is It Worth The Money?]

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 unique shape. This is what the exterior of an R-Pod looks like.

Forest River R-Pod Review
Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer

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’s take a look at the R-Pod in more detail

Review Disclaimer

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.

R-Pod Overview

The Forest Rover R-Pod has been around for over ten years. It’s an affordable travel trailer with the lowest towing capacity in its class. As I mentioned previously, it has a 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 plan. 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 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.

Forest River R-Pod Floor Plan
Forest River RP-171 Floorplan

Features

The features in the R-Pod are where I think it shines. Let’s 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’s 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 with 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.
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When we move to the interior of the R-Pod, you will find just as many features. As 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 two 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 popular features include a large 36-gallon holding tank, a pet-friendly frame-mounted utility hook and food/water bowls, and LED interior lights.

forest river r-pod dog leash attachment

Optional Features

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, a 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 countertops, and much more.

R-Pod Specifications

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 to 20 feet 4 inches. The freshwater tank is 30 gallons, and 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 like.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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? Come on, Forest River, just include it as standard.
  • Build quality is spotty

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, and 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, per one owner.

Some owners 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, the R-Pod appears to have some good things 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 improve quality control and respond to consumer issues.

Not all owners have had issues, so it could be a hit or miss if you decide to buy one.

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to add your comment below. Looking to buy something other than an R-POD, look at our list of who we think makes some of the best quality travel trailers.

Looking for something a little different, check our writeup on the Rockwood Geo Pro and pricing.

Article Sources: www.forestriverinc.com, www.rviinsider.com

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Ray & Tammy Roman

Ray and Tammy Roman are the co-owner/authors of Go Travel Trailers. They have been featured in AARP, RV Today, and Porch.com, among others. When not writing about RVs and the RV lifestyle, you'll find them fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.