Table of Contents Show
As you begin exploring the vast array of RV model options available, one of the first areas you’ll learn about is the various manufacturers. One of the largest RV manufacturers is Forest River RV.
They seem to be everywhere, in fact, you may even notice their RV brands in your neighbor’s driveways. So who are they and who owns Forest River?
About Forest River RV
Since 1996, Forest River RV has produced all types of recreational vehicles. The RV company, founded by Peter Liegl and operated by the family until 2005, has become one of the most well-known names in the RV industry.
And the company doesn’t just manufacture RVs. It expanded to include pontoon boats, cargo trailers, commercial trucks, and shuttle buses.
Its brands include travel trailers by Cherokee, fifth wheels by Cardinal, toy haulers by Shockwave, and park model trailers by Wildwood.
Additionally, you can get drivable RVs under the Forest River umbrella. From Class A motorhomes by Berkshire to Class C motorhomes by Sunseeker, Forest River RV has a huge selection of recreational vehicles.
In 2011 the Forest River Owners’ Group (FROG) was formed, and today has grown to over 125,000 members. It’s not just about who owns Forest River RVs. Above all, they believe every employee and customer plays a vital role in delivering quality and dependable goods.
Who Owns Forest River RV?
In 2005, Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, acquired Forest River Inc. The process took a mere three months and concluded in August 2005.
This is the only recreational vehicle brand that Berkshire Hathaway owns, but the sheer volume of RVs that Forest River produces made this acquisition a no-brainer.
According to Floor Daily, upon the completion of the transaction, Peter Liegl stated, “‘Partnering with Berkshire creates a great opportunity for the employees, dealers, and suppliers of Forest River to dramatically grow and build our business.’”
He continued, “With Berkshire’s strong reputation and financial backing, we now have the firepower to make investments and acquisitions at a rate that otherwise would not have been possible.”
About Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company for a variety of businesses with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
Berkshire Hathaway isn’t an RV company like Thor or REV. Instead, it owns all kinds of companies from GEICO and Duracell to Helzberg Diamonds. Warren Buffet serves as the chairman and chief executive officer.
According to Forbes Global, Berkshire Hathaway is the eighth largest public company and the largest financial services company by revenue globally.
How Many Brands Are Under Forest River?
As one of the top three manufacturers of RVs, it is no surprise that Forest River has many brands in its production. There are a whopping 45 separate brands under Forest River! You’re bound to find something the whole family loves.
Forest River brands manufacture more than just RVs, but also pontoon boats and toy trailers. As a result, you have a pretty good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for when shopping for an RV.
Where Are Forest River RVs Built?
For decades, Elkhart, Indiana, has welcomed RV brands like Alliance, Grand Design, Jayco, Thor Motor Coach, and Winnebago. One out of every two RVs is manufactured in this Midwest city. So it’s no wonder that you’ll find Forest River and its subsidiary of brands located here.
Forest River RV established its home in Elkhart, Indiana, several years ago. However, it didn’t begin its manufacturing process in the “RV Capital of the World.”
Its original home was in Goshen, Indiana, but after growing too large for the facility there, Forest River RV moved to its current location in Elkhart.
What Brands Does Forest River RV Make?
From towable RVs to drivable RVs, Forest River produces all RV types except for Class Bs which their subsidiary, Coachmen RV makes. No matter if you want a 35’ Class A motorhome or a less than 5,000 lb travel trailer with bunk bedss, you’ll find something in this vast lineup of RVs.
The Forest River product line has four brands of Class A motorhomes: Georgetown, Berkshire, Charleston, and FR3. The FR3 is more of a crossover vehicle between a Class A and a Class C.
The Berkshire and Charleston units feature diesel engines. Additionally, the Berkshire line features the Berkshire, the Berkshire XL, and the Berkshire XLT.
The Georgetown features the 3 Series, the 5 Series, and the 7 Series — all gas engine models.
Coachmen, a division of Forest River, manufacturers some of the only Class B options. The Nova, starting around $135,000, is the least expensive option.
RV News voted it the 2021 Type B Motorhome of the Year. Built on a Ram Pro Master 3500 extended chassis, this model has two floorplans.
The Beyond is the next on the pricing scale. The MSRP starts at around $161,000, and it features three different floor plans.
The Galleria is the most expensive Class B option by Coachman, starting at around $188,000. It has a 3500 Mercedes Sprinter extended platform with a “Blue TEC” turbo-diesel engine.
Additionally, it features four different floor plans. The 24A, the most expensive option at $194,000, is the only one with a fixed rear bed.
The Forest River Class C RVs include the Forester, Solera, and Sunseeker brands.
The Forester and Sunseeker lines feature four different models: the Forester/Sunseeker Classic (Ford chassis), Forester/Sunseeker LE (Chevy chassis), Forester/Sunseeker MBS (Mercedes Benz series), and Forester/Sunseeker TS (Ford Transit series).
The Solera line has two floorplans built with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500, two floorplans built on the Ford E350 chassis, and three built on the Ford E450 chassis.
Forest River has 20 brands that manufacture fifth-wheels. A few include Flagstaff, Impression, Riverstone, and Sierra.
Their fifth wheels come in many different floor plan options; from a rear bedroom or bunkhouse options to kitchen islands. You can also get toy haulers within the fifth wheel lineup.
Choose from a Wolf Pack, a Stealth, or a Sandstorm, among others. The Vengeance Rogue Armored fifth wheel toy hauler received the 2021 Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler of the Year award from RV News.
You have so many options even within the same brand as most offer several floor plans for each model.
The travel trailers come just as varied as the fifth wheel options. With so many to choose from, you can find the perfect floor plan for your travel needs. Forest River RV has a huge volume of travel trailers for all RVers.
Some include entry-level trailers like the Aurora to smaller, lightweight options like the Geo-Pro. Additionally, you can choose the RV Pro 2022 Best New Model, the Wildwood FSX.
Destination and hybrid travel trailers also make their way into the lineup. Six brands manufacture destination trailers for campers looking to remain stationary.
Choose from a Cedar Creek, Cherokee, Salem, Sandpiper, Sierra, or Wildwood. The Shamrock expandable units feature five floorplans with pop-outs on the ends and driver side.
Additionally, they have slide-outs that provide even more living space. Flagstaff and Rockwood also produce pop-up tent campers.
Pro Tip: If you like the sound of Forest River, then you need to check out The Best Travel Trailer Brands This Year!
Other Products by Forest River
Forest River owns brands that create other products beyond what is obtainable in the area of RVs. More options include pontoons, park model trailers, buses, cargo trailers, and commercial trucks.
Being one of the highest-selling names in the manufacturing industry, with their vast variety of product options ranging well beyond the area of RVs. As a result, it’s easy to see why they are one of the leaders in the RV industry.
Is Forest River RV a Good RV Brand?
Forest River RV has made RVs for decades. Their acquisitions over the years prove their desire to produce quality RVs for all types of travelers. Like any RV manufacturer, you will find negative reviews about this company. We always recommend joining a brand-specific RV Facebook group before purchasing. This way you can hear from real owners using their RVs if they are happy with the purchase.
So whether you want a toy hauler like the XLR Boost or a small travel trailer like the E-Pro, Forest River RV will have a wide selection available. Have you had your eye on this brand? What will be your next purchase?
Sorry, but just knowing who the CEO is would turn me away from buying anything Buffett is part of. Just my opinion. I’ve read to much about him and he isn’t a good man. Again, just my opinion. So if anyone plans on damming me, just remember, everyone has an opinion.
Hello Jason, Rae, and Carmen, In short, want to THANK YOU for taking time to point out all the interesting points of interest, tips and advice on RV’ing. Interesting and educational to say the least. And I’m grateful to learn every little facet of info that you provide. Yes, the lessons you speak of, are well worth (and then some) buying you a cold brew.🙂 Again, THANK YOU, HAPPY TRAILS, and STAY SAFE. Mark
Our 2019 Luxury Cardinal 5th Wheel is a lemon. We purchased itbrand new on June 2020 at Campers Inn Raleigh. The dealership have been disrespectful, and the most dishonest group of service people I habe ever dealt with in my life. We have
had multiple, all under warranty repairs. The list is innumerable. $60 000 spent to travel relax and enjoy and we have had stress frustration and rudeness Leigh McKenzie Clayton NC
Forest River warranties have so many limitations that they are now Forest River protection documents, not a warranty. Read it carefully before you buy (if you will) ! ! !