Forrest River Avenger

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stephentyoung

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My first post on an RV forum.  My hope is to keep anyone from making the same mistake we did purchasing the Avenger line. 

Having owned several RVs, some of which were Forrest River products, now that the kids are now grown we decided to downsize and mistakenly trusted the "Forrest River" brand.  Bad mistake!

Living close to "RV Alley" outside of Tampa, we ended up at General RV (another story)  (In case anyone is interested that that bunch, you can Email me. . . ) and we ended up being guided to, and ultimately purchasing an Avenger 260BH.  This was Jan 2019.  By March the Avenger starting showing too many issues  --cabinets falling apart, electronic issues all over, etc.  Then, when I really looked hard at the unit it had to go!  I explained to some general managers at General, there is no way to unsee it! Two long days of drama, I had marginal success getting General RV to take it back in trade.  We swapped it for an identical floorplan KeyStone and are pretty happy with it.  (I had to make an appointment at their General RV Headquarters in Michigan to get their attention and to come out with a decent trade. . . )

I really understand that we are NOT living in the golden age of RV quality. (Understatement)  Most of the units are not made well.  However, no doubt, this Avenger line is the worst of the worst.  We had to learn this the hard way.  Also, we learned that General RV and probably other resellers OWN pieces of Avenger.  I am all but certain the SPIFs to the salespeople (the incentives for them to sell them) are larger than other companies and the salespeople guide you to Avengers pretty quickly if they think they can get away with it. . .

Things I should have seen that are apparent in Avengers is first the cabinetry.  Its horrible.  Our Dinnette started falling apart the first trip and looking more closely at it I saw very poor workmanship, very short staples holding them all together long enough to get out the door, a lot of fake, fake wood, etc., etc. Other issues that are apparent are the electronics, i.e, holding tank indicators, the inverter station, radio, our flooring had fasteners backing out through the flooring first trip.  All of this is worse than industry "standard" --which aren't great to begin with.  When I looked harder I found some of the structural bolts had already started to rust (Avenger did NOT even use galvanized bolts to hold the walls to the frame and yep, they started to rust away very quickly.) 

I will attach a few pictures.  The dinette if you look closely you can see the very short staples that are supposed to hold it together.  The pic by the stairs shows the frame bolts rusting after two months (the stair unit is a "standard" part, but those bolts are galvanized, probably a $.02 cost increase to the manufacturer of the stairs .  The pic of the water pump shows another standard part, but Avenger just left it hanging under the couch, not bothering to mount it. . . etc and etc.  The drawers did not even have anything to hold them shut when traveling. . .

My lessons learned is that there are wide variations in Forrest River products. That even though we are in a time where it is almost impossible to find true quality, that there some things that do make a difference. Cabinets should be jointed together (I call them Shaker joints)  staples will not hold up over time in a TT, real wood is much better than Avenger presswood for door frames.  Electronics vary and I saw a level of cheapness I did not previously think existed. 

Hope this helps someone.  We lost $3-4K learning this lesson. Again, exact year, floorplan, weight and length, the KeyStone is much better. (BTW, the Avenger did have a belly pan, the KeyStone does not, and yes, there is a difference in gas mileage  --but not much)

Shop carefully and be informed

Steve and Portia Young

 

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Your photos do not display. We keep on telling people not to buy new and let some other poor fool take the huge depreciation hit and get all the warranty repair work done. You should have been here asking about your purchase before your purchase.
 
So these things were visible if one looked?  Perhaps you just got a lemon.  Perhaps you learned a relatively cheap lesson.  Sorry.
 
Welcome to the RV Forum. Sorry about your bad experience, but so glad you were able to get a much better replacement. I hope your trailer gives you a lot of years of enjoyment.

Do you have any trips planned?
 
They all make a percentage of lemons.  Production workers have a bad day, or the proper parts are in short supply, or whatever. Quality control (consistency) is totally lacking.
 
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Avenger and General RV.  I purchased a 2014 Avenger ATI 26BB new from General.  This is the ATI version of the 26BH.  It has been a fantastic trailer.  In the past 5 years and over 20,000 miles I've had to replace 1 of the plastic storage door latches and tighten the OTA antenna cable.
 
stephentyoung said:
My first post on an RV forum.  My hope is to keep anyone from making the same mistake we did purchasing the Avenger line. 

Having owned several RVs, some of which were Forrest River products, now that the kids are now grown we decided to downsize and mistakenly trusted the "Forrest River" brand.  Bad mistake!

Living close to "RV Alley" outside of Tampa, we ended up at General RV (another story)  (In case anyone is interested that that bunch, you can Email me. . . ) and we ended up being guided to, and ultimately purchasing an Avenger 260BH.  This was Jan 2019.  By March the Avenger starting showing too many issues  --cabinets falling apart, electronic issues all over, etc.  Then, when I really looked hard at the unit it had to go!  I explained to some general managers at General, there is no way to unsee it! Two long days of drama, I had marginal success getting General RV to take it back in trade.  We swapped it for an identical floorplan KeyStone and are pretty happy with it.  (I had to make an appointment at their General RV Headquarters in Michigan to get their attention and to come out with a decent trade. . . )

I really understand that we are NOT living in the golden age of RV quality. (Understatement)  Most of the units are not made well.  However, no doubt, this Avenger line is the worst of the worst.  We had to learn this the hard way.  Also, we learned that General RV and probably other resellers OWN pieces of Avenger.  I am all but certain the SPIFs to the salespeople (the incentives for them to sell them) are larger than other companies and the salespeople guide you to Avengers pretty quickly if they think they can get away with it. . .

Things I should have seen that are apparent in Avengers is first the cabinetry.  Its horrible.  Our Dinnette started falling apart the first trip and looking more closely at it I saw very poor workmanship, very short staples holding them all together long enough to get out the door, a lot of fake, fake wood, etc., etc. Other issues that are apparent are the electronics, i.e, holding tank indicators, the inverter station, radio, our flooring had fasteners backing out through the flooring first trip.  All of this is worse than industry "standard" --which aren't great to begin with.  When I looked harder I found some of the structural bolts had already started to rust (Avenger did NOT even use galvanized bolts to hold the walls to the frame and yep, they started to rust away very quickly.) 

I will attach a few pictures.  The dinette if you look closely you can see the very short staples that are supposed to hold it together.  The pic by the stairs shows the frame bolts rusting after two months (the stair unit is a "standard" part, but those bolts are galvanized, probably a $.02 cost increase to the manufacturer of the stairs .  The pic of the water pump shows another standard part, but Avenger just left it hanging under the couch, not bothering to mount it. . . etc and etc.  The drawers did not even have anything to hold them shut when traveling. . .

My lessons learned is that there are wide variations in Forrest River products. That even though we are in a time where it is almost impossible to find true quality, that there some things that do make a difference. Cabinets should be jointed together (I call them Shaker joints)  staples will not hold up over time in a TT, real wood is much better than Avenger presswood for door frames.  Electronics vary and I saw a level of cheapness I did not previously think existed. 

Hope this helps someone.  We lost $3-4K learning this lesson. Again, exact year, floorplan, weight and length, the KeyStone is much better. (BTW, the Avenger did have a belly pan, the KeyStone does not, and yes, there is a difference in gas mileage  --but not much)

Shop carefully and be informed

Steve and Portia Young

Post your pics in PDF or jpeg.
 
Since this post was obviously a "rant" as the poster has not been back since making the post, there is a positive note in it.  The fact that General took the unit back at all is amazing to me. Many times the policy of RV dealers is that once you roll it off of the lot, you bought it.  I have no particular love for Forest River products as I have owned 2, and neither were particularly well made. But that is also my opinion. 

The true message here is "buyer beware" of anything you buy, regardless if new or used.  And you know that General simply took the RV back and put it on the lot as a "lightly used" nearly new unit. So much for buying used being a great deal.
 

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