A Complete Primer on Forest River RVs

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If there’s an RV for everyone, Forest River RV is certainly one of the companies meeting that vast variety in demand. A division of Forest River Inc., Forest River RV is one of the largest RV manufacturers in the industry, operating since 1996. 

All told, their offerings make up a significant segment of the total units available to today’s RVers. That’s why it warrants a deep dive to learn how to navigate its various companies, brands, and RV models to discover which is right for you. 

What RVs Does Forest River Make?

Geo Pro travel trailer being towed on a dirt road with lake and mountains in the background.
Photo by Camping World

Across its brands, Forest River RV offers hundreds of towable and motorhome options. Forest River is one of the three RV companies — along with Thor and Winnebago — that features its own line of RVs while simultaneously operating subsidiary brands. 

All in all, Forest River comprises approximately 60 lines and brands. Some of those are minor brands or have similar product offerings. 

Such a wide net allows the subsidiaries and unique brands to focus and specialize in specific portions of the market. In some cases, these brands compete against one another by improving and diversifying their offerings in competitive segments. That’s good news for RVers who want the most thoughtful, quality-built RVs possible. 

Let’s break down Forest River’s catalog into its subsidiary companies and the Forest River lines they operate, separated by RV types.

Forest River Travel Trailers

The travel trailer segment is one of Forest River’s largest. Many of these brands also manufacture toy haulers, destination trailers, and fifth wheels. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the most widely available travel trailer lines in the national Camping World inventory. Visit a dealership to tour more RVs.

Cherokee

Cherokee travel trailer against a white backdrop.
Photo by Camping World

The Cherokee lineup features versatile travel trailers (as well as fifth wheels and toy haulers) to reach a wider audience of RVers. Brands like Alpha Wolf and Grey Wolf fall under the Cherokee lineup. Alpha Wolf has aluminum framing and a fully laminated exterior, while the Grey Wolf is Cherokee’s stick and tin option. 

Explore some of the Cherokee travel trailers at Camping World:

Flagstaff/Rockwood 

Rockwood RV against a white backdrop
Photo by Camping World

If you are familiar with Flagstaff and Rockwood, you know these offer nearly identical lineups of pop-up campers, tent campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and hybrid campers. Rockwood and Flagstaff have a long history as manufacturers with tried-and-true production processes. Among their travel trailers, their Mini Lite, Micro Lite, Classic, and Signature models are especially popular.

Rockwood and Flagstaff are known for producing lightweight options that don’t sacrifice design quality or amenities. 

Explore some of these travel trailers at Camping World:

Salem

Salem FSX travel trailer against white background
Photo by Camping World

The Salem family includes the Salem, Salem Cruise Lite, Salem FSX, and Salem Hemisphere series. As with many Forest River series, these appeal to a wider group of RVers, including those looking for affordable or luxury, family-friendly or couples-focused, lightweight or more substantial. For example, Cruise Lite is designed to be lighter for easier towing, while the Hemisphere series includes luxury travel trailer options. 

Explore Salem travel trailers from Camping World:

Forest River includes the following travel trailer brands in its expansive lineup. Many of these can be found at Camping World dealerships: 

  • Alpha Wolf
  • Aurora
  • Campsite Reserve (New!)
  • Evo
  • Grand Surveyor
  • Ibex
  • No Boundaries
  • Ozark
  • R-pod
  • Salem
  • Sandstorm
  • Shockwave
  • Stealth
  • Vengeance Rogue
  • Vibe
  • Viking
  • Wildcat
  • Wildwood
  • Work and Play
  • XLR

Forest River Fifth Wheels

Like their travel trailers, Forest River includes a diverse and sweeping lineup of fifth wheels ranging from small to large and base-level to luxury. We’ve highlighted some of the most widely available fifth wheels in the Camping World national inventory, but be sure to check out the complete lineup at Camping World or Forest River

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf fifth wheel against a white background
Photo by Camping World

Arctic Wolf is a popular, affordable fifth wheel under the Cherokee lineup. This series is ideal for those looking to upgrade from a travel trailer without a high price tag. Arctic Wolf fifth wheels are known for efficient floorplans and modern household amenities.

Shop Arctic Wolf RVs at Camping World

Sabre 

Sabre fifth wheel against a white background
Photo by Camping World

High ceilings, large slideouts, and luxurious finishes and amenities — Sabre fifth wheels are the perfect balance between luxury and affordability. Sabre fifth wheels area great option for those looking to step up their fifth wheel’s design and comfortability. Sabre includes more advanced construction features than other fifth wheels in the Forest River lineup, like improved insulation. 

Shop Sabre RVs at Camping World.  

Salem Hemisphere

Salem Hemisphere fifth wheel against a white background
Photo by Camping World

As we’ve mentioned, some Forest River brands target similar segments of the market, and that’s likely the case with Salem Hemisphere and Sabre fifth wheels. The Salem Hemisphere RVs offer mid-level luxury in a fifth wheel with upgrades like an enclosed underbelly and solar prep with options. 

Shop Salem Hemisphere RVs at Camping World

Forest River includes the following fifth wheel brands in its expansive lineup. Many of these can be found at Camping World dealerships. 

  • Cardinal
  • Cedar Creek
  • Cedar Creek Experience
  • Cherokee
  • Columbus
  • Flagstaff
  • Impression
  • Riverstone
  • River Ranch
  • Rockwood
  • Sandpiper
  • Sandstorm
  • Shockwave
  • Sierra
  • Stealth
  • Vengeance Rogue
  • Wildcat
  • Wildwood Heritage
  • XLR

Forest River Toy Haulers

Forest River Nightfall Ultra 21N at the Tampa RV Show 2024
Photo by Camping World

Several Forest River toy haulers appear in other towable lines. Brands like XLR offer fifth wheel and travel trailer toy haulers. The following brands appeal to a host of applications, including options that are affordable, rugged, luxurious, designed for remote work, or more practical. 

  • Cherokee
  • Nightfall
  • Sandstorm
  • Shockwave
  • Stealth
  • Vengeance Rogue
  • Work and Play
  • XLR

Explore all Forest River toy hauler RVs at Camping World. 

Forest River Motorhomes

Forest RIver motorhome against a white background
Photo by Camping World

Forest River’s direct brands focus on Class A and Class C motorhomes. These lineups feature fewer models than their other towable lines, but Forest River’s motorhomes are highly regarded, and their lineup includes some of the most competitive Class A and C RVs in their respective classes. 

Explore the following motorhome models at a Camping World dealership near you. 

Destination Trailers

Grand Villa destination trailer against a white backround
Photo by Camping World

Forest River is a leader in the destination trailer segment. Check out some of our favorites here. If you are looking for a larger rig built for longer stays at the campground – or the perfect moochdocking situation – a Forest River destination trailer may be right for you. 

Explore the destination trailers available at Camping World. 

What Brands Does Forest River Make? 

Forest River acquired the following subsidiaries, but they continue to operate as independent brands. 

Coachmen RVs

Northern Spirit by Coachmen on a dirt road and mountainous terrain
Photo by Camping World

Forest River acquired Coachmen RV in 2008. Coachmen’s history goes back to 1964, making them one of the oldest operating RV manufacturers. Coachmen makes motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, and pop-up campers. 

Coachmen is best known for its expansive offering of quality RVs that remain affordable for a large category of buyers. They place a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction, pre and post-sale.

Shop Coachmen RVs at Camping World. 

Dynamax RVs

dynamax isata 5 super c rv
Photo by Dynamax

Dynamax specializes in luxury Class C motorhomes with serious power. The DX3, for example, is equipped with a Detroit DD8 7.7L 375 HP engine and the Allison 3200 TRV automatic transmission, giving it a towing capacity of 20,000 pounds. Forest River acquired Dynamax in 2011. 

Shop Dynamax RVs at Camping World. 

East to West

East to West Fifth wheel at dusk in a field
Image by Camping World

A relative newcomer, East to West was established by Forest River to provide a brand with a limited number of floor plans to better ensure quality across their manufacturing process. They make fifth wheels, travel trailers, and Class C motorhomes. 

Shop East to West at Camping World. 

Palomino RVs

Puma travel trailer against a white backdrop
Photo by Camping World

Palomino offers an expansive lineup of towables, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, destination trailers, and truck campers. Palomino has been making RVs since 1968 and was acquired by Forest River in 2002. 

Like Palomino, many of Forest River’s brands have a long history in the RV industry. Under Forest River’s brand family, they are able to benefit from larger production capabilities and a greater market reach. 

Shop Palomino RVs at Camping World.

Prime Time RVs

prime time rv tracer travel trailer
Photo by Prime Time RV

Prime Time was established in 2009 by Forest River RVs. They offer travel trailers and fifth wheels ranging from intro-level to mid-level. Their three travel trailer brands include options in the laminate and stick and tin categories, with lightweight and luxury options at affordable prices. In addition, they offer two fifth wheel brands, Sanibel and Crusader. 

Shop Prime Time RVs at Camping World

Shasta RVs

Phoenix RV against a white background
Photo by Camping World

Shasta is one of the oldest manufacturers in the industry and produces fifth wheels and travel trailers under the Forest River umbrella. Founded in 1941, Shasta was acquired by Forest River in 2004. They merge straightforward, practical RV design with over seventy years of heritage.

Shop Shasta RVs at Camping World

Is Forest River A Good RV? 

Image by Camping World

With such a comprehensive towable lineup – and substantial motorhome presence – it’s nearly impossible to make generalizations about the Forest River product offering, including its features, construction, and build quality. The various brands and product lines are designed to provide RV options to many audiences. 

As you consider any Forest River brand – subsidiary or direct – be sure to evaluate these products’ design, construction, and build on an individual basis. 

Remember that many of these brands were acquired by Forest River, and some retained aspects of their manufacturing operation, including processes, designs, technology, and manufacturing locations that remain integral to their final product and customers. In the case of some brands, retaining their reputation made them valuable acquisitions. 

Where Are Forest River RVs Made? 

Forest River relies on over 100 manufacturing locations across the United States. Many of these locations specialize in certain lines. For example, Forest River Rockwood RVs are manufactured in Middlebury, Indiana, at the original location of the Rockwood plant, where they continue to specialize in Rockwood and Flagstaff RVs. 

Many other Forest River manufacturing sites are located in  Elkhart, Indiana. But due to its size and complex product offering, Forest River also maintains operations in Silverton, Oregon, Hemet, California, and White Pigeon, Michigan, among others. 

Not only does this allow these locations to specialize in products and RVs, but locations on the West Coast reduce shipping charges for certain RVs. The spread-out distribution allows Forest River to cater to regional markets and demands. 

Who Owns Forest River RV?

Sunseeker RV against a dusk background, field and road.
Photo by Camping World

Though Forest River owns approximately 60 brands and subsidiaries, Forest River itself is owned by Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company that also produces pontoon boats, buses, commercial trucks, cargo trailers, and park models. 

Forest River was formed in 1996 by Peter Liegl and was then purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2005, with Liegl still at the helm to run Forest River. That organization has stood in place. 

Forest River Camping World Partnership

Photo by Camping World

In 2023, Camping World introduced Forest River-specific dealerships specializing in the full lineup of Forest River RVs and products. These locations will be staffed with specialists, sales personnel, and service and maintenance technicians who know and have experience with the full catalog of Forest River products. 

These locations will exist in a number of states and geographies to service the surrounding Forest River RV community. And as we’ve seen from the lineup, that will include a wide audience of various products and needs.

Check this article for updates on new Forest River locations debuting in early 2024.


Do you or have you owned a Forest River RV or one of its subsidiary brands? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below. 

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