Are r-Pod Trailers Any Good? r-Pod Review, Problems, and More

are r-pod trailers any good

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 r-Pod campers are some of the most popular small travel trailers on the road today. Their wide variety of floor plans combined with their budget price make them an attractive option for many new RVers. But are r-Pod trailers any good?

In this article we’re taking a closer look at r-Pod RVs. We’ll dive into each floor plan and share our own review as well as reviews from different r-Pod customers.

And we’re not holding anything back! We’ll share the most common problems owners experience with their r-Pod campers, too.

Short on time? Click through the table of contents below this paragraph to jump sections.

All images credit to Forest River RV.

First, What is an r-Pod Camper Trailer?

The r-Pod campers are beautiful travel trailers that offer “affordable luxury” with the lowest tow weight in their class. 

These efficient RVs have everything you need for a weekend camping trip, a summer-long road trip, or full-time RVing. 

There are currently seven models in production and dozens of used r-Pod models for sale on the market today. 

These lightweight travel trailers are arguably one of the most popular campers in the US. I see them everywhere!

There are many benefits to the r-Pod campers, but these travel trailers are not without their own set of problems, too. 

Are r-Pod Trailers Any Good?

r-Pod trailers are pretty decent budget campers. These RVs improve every single year with new features, the latest tech, and high quality building materials. The roof itself has a 20 year warranty. 

Although no RV brand is without its own set of problems, the r-Pod trailer is a fantastic choice for new RVers, weekend campers, and more.

We’ll talk more about the features that make this camper great later in the article, but a few key features that make this camper great include rot-resistant Azdel sidewall construction, the largest holding tanks in its class, a central vacuum, and so much more.

How Long Do r-Pod Trailers Last? 

With proper use, care, and maintenance, you can expect an r-Pod to last a decade or longer

The r-Pod camper brand has been around for over a decade and it’s not uncommon to see old ones still on the road! 

In fact, there are plenty of used r-Pods currently for sale (in great condition) that date all the way back to 2010. It’s clear that this is a camper that is built to last. 

The biggest concern with older RVs is water damage from rain and condensation. When water gets into the walls, the wood begins to rot and the structure becomes unsafe. 

The r-Pod campers are now made with Azdel sidewalls, which is a composite material and not wood. These campers now have a much longer lifespan because water does not damage, rot, or mold Azdel sidewalls! 

Do r-Pod Campers Have a Bathroom?

r-pod camper interior

r-Pod interior: RP-195 Bathroom

Yes, the r-Pod campers all have a full bathroom with separate toilet, sink, and shower. Some of the larger r-Pods have very large bathrooms! 

Even the older used r-Pod models have bathrooms, too. 

What Vehicle Can Tow an r-Pod Trailer?

The lightest-weight r-Pod that’s still in production has a GVWR of right around 4,500 pounds, and the heaviest is around 6,500 pounds. 

This means you need a vehicle that can tow at least 5,000 pounds for an r-Pod camper. 

Here are some vehicles that have a 5,000 pound towing capacity: 

  • Chevy Traverse
  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Explorer
  • Honda Pilot
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Toyota 4Runner

You don’t even need a pickup truck to tow an r-Pod. All of these vehicles are standard and midsize SUVs.

How Much Do r-Pod Campers Cost?

New r-Pods cost anywhere from $21,000 to $49,000. Used r-Pods cost anywhere from $12,000 to $40,000. Price depends on the floorplan, dealer, year, location, and added features. 

r-Pods manufacturer does not list MSRP on their website, so these figures are pulled from dealers all around the US on RVTrader. These figures are kept accurate and up to date.

Why Azdel Sidewalls Matter in the r-Pod Trailer

azdel sidewalls in r-pod trailer

Image Source: r-Pod brochure

Azdel is talked about a lot these days, but what makes it so great? 

Well, for starters, Azdel sidewalls are the reason that r-Pod campers will now last longer than ever. 

Traditionally, RV frames and walls are made of wood. A wood frame with thin lauan  plywood walls. 

As you might know, wood is heavy. And not only is wood heavy, it’s susceptible to rot, mold, and water damage. 

When wood becomes water damaged it becomes brittle and literally starts flaking away. And the mold causes human health problems. 

Wood rot is the leading cause of camper damage these days. 

Azdel is a huge deal because it’s a composite material made of polypropylene and fiberglass. This material is strong and lightweight and completely impermeable to water. 

That means that even if your camper does develop a leak, you don’t have to worry about water damage. 

Plus, Azdel panels have a higher R-value (insulation value) than traditional wood panels. 

This is an amazing new technology and all r-Pods come standard with it. 

r-Pod Camper Trailer Floor Plans 

As of right now there are seven r-Pod floor plans in production, but there are dozens of previous models for sale on used RV sale websites. 

Let’s take a closer look at the current floor plans. 

RP-153

r-pod RP-153 camper layout
  • Length: 17’6”
  • Dry Weight: 3,159 lbs 
  • Height: 9’8”

The RP-153 is the smallest r-Pod currently in production. 

This r-Pod model has a queen murphy bed that folds up to reveal a dinette. There’s also a sofa for seating, a fridge and pantry, a full bathroom and kitchen. 

This is a really unique small camper. The door on the RP-153 is located on the back! This allows the interior space to be used really efficiently. So even though this camper is small, the space is used really well. 

The rear-door design is reminiscent of truck camper floor plans. 

RP-192

rpod RP-192 camper
  • Length: 22’2”
  • Dry Weight: 3,379
  • Height: 9’10”

The RP-192 is a whole 5’ longer than the previous camper and it makes a great use of the extra space. 

There is a queen murphy bed with storage and two end tables, a sofa, a convertible dinette, and more. 

The bathroom in this r-Pod trailer spans the whole rear of the camper and has a separate toilet, sink, shower, and wardrobe closet. 

There’s plenty of storage in this rig and it can comfortably sleep up to 4-5 people. 

RP-193

r-pod trailer RP-193 floorplan
  • Length: 22’11”
  • Dry Weight: 3,654
  • Height: 9’10”

The RP-193 is not even a full foot longer than the previous model, but this model has a slide-out! 

The slide-out adds a ton of room to this family-friendly travel trailer.

This is a bunkhouse model with two twin bunks in the rear of the camper. It also has a queen sized murphy bed, a sofa, and a convertible booth eating area. 

This model is perfect for families with a large kitchen pantry and a huge sink and sleeping space for 6 people. 

RP-195

r-pod camper trailer RP-195 layout
  • Length: 22’2”
  • Dry Weight: 3,587
  • Height: 9’10”

The RP-195 is the smallest r-Pod model with a slide-out, yet it doesn’t add a lot of extra weight. 

This model features a spacious rear kitchen, a convertible u-shaped dinette, and a stationary queen bed with storage underneath. 

The bathroom in this model is located in the middle of the camper, directly across from the dinette. 

The slideout in the RP-195 makes this little camper feel really roomy. 

This model can sleep up to 4, but it’s best suited for couples. 

RP-196

r-pod RV RP-106 floor plan
  • Length: 22’2”
  • Dry Weight: 3,600
  • Height: 9’10”

The RP-196 is almost identical to the RP-195 except for one thing: instead of a u-shaped dinette, this model has a jackknife sofa. 

Everything else is the same: 

  • Rear kitchen
  • Mid bath
  • Stationary queen bed with storage

One of my favorite things about these models with the mid-bath is that although there are no doors for the bedroom, it still feels like it’s separate from the living space. 

The bathroom wall does a good job at making it feel like its own space. 

RP-201

r-pod camper RP-201 floor plan
  • Length: 25’
  • Dry Weight: 4,379
  • Height: 10’7”

The RP-201 is a much larger travel trailer than the previous models. 

This 25’ long trailer is pretty incredible! 

There’s a bedroom with a queen sized bed, side tables and wardrobes and it’s separated from the living space by a mid-bath. 

The bathroom spans the whole width of the camper: it’s huge. 

The living area features a jackknife sofa, removable table, recliner, and a small yet spacious kitchen. 

RP-202

r-pod trailer RP-202 floorplan
  • Length: 25’
  • Dry Weight: 4,574
  • Height: 10’7”

The r-Pod RP-202 trailer is the largest of the r-Pod campers currently in production. 

This thing is massive. 

This RV has a slide-out in the living area for a convertible dinette. 

There’s a spacious rear kitchen, a nice sized pantry and wardrobe, and a huge bathroom. 

The bedroom has a queen bed with tons of additional storage. This is a great RV for a couple, and it would make a great rig for full-time RVing. 

Standard Features with r-Pod Trailers

r-Pod travel trailers come loaded with features and have several great optional upgrades, too! 

Let’s dive into some of the top features. 

Exterior Features

  • Azdel Fiberglass exterior
  • Enclosed Underbelly
  • Tufflex PVC roof with 20 year warranty
  • MorRyde steps
  • Black tank flush
  • Tinted safety glass windows
  • Outside speakers
  • Wired for solar
  • Battery disconnect switch
  • Power tongue jack
  • Aluminum wheels
  • 30 Gallon fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks

Interior Features

  • Central vacuum cleaner
  • Pet friendly accessories
  • Aluminum bed bases: even kid bunks can support 300 lbs
  • Large sink
  • Full sized appliances
  • Fireplace (select models) 
  • Full sized refrigerator
  • Convection microwave oven
  • 13.5k BTU air conditioner
  • 20k BTU furnace
  • MaxxAir fan
  • USB charging ports throughout

Something that’s really unique about the r-Pod campers is that although they are smaller and more lightweight than most travel trailers their size, they have all the luxuries of bigger RVs. 

Optional Upgrades

  • Power Thule Awning 
  • R-Dome awning with screen room
  • Solar package (110 watt panel, controller, 1000 watt inverter)
  • Outside kitchen
  • 15k BTU air conditioner

r-Pod Travel Trailer Customer Reviews (And Problems)

r-Pod Travel Trailer

Towing
Floorplans
Livability
Construction Quality

4

The Forest River r-Pod is a mass-manufactured RV, and it’s also a budget RV. 

With both of these things, the saying “you get what you pay for” can ring true.

Some owners have stellar experiences with their r-Pod campers, but others seem to experience problem after problem. 

Common problems according to customer reviews include: 

  • Fixtures rattling loose with travel (this happens with many RVs)
  • Leaks (this is commonly reported on older models without the new construction)
  • Random appliance failures most things are covered under warranty
  • Sewer pipe hanger coming undone (this is a very common experience)

After reading through all of the lowest-rated customer reviews, I came to a couple of conclusions. 

Things Break, It’s Inevitable

If you buy an RV, you have to be prepared for things to break and rattle loose with travel. I don’t care who you are or how much you spent on your RV. It’s a rolling earthquake and it’s inevitable. Ask anyone who has ever owned an RV: they’ll agree! 

So, some of the “things breaking” issues are to be expected, and many are even covered in the warranty. 

You Can’t Expect New Quality with a Used Camper

I noticed that many people who came to complain in the reviews had purchased older used r-Pod campers. 

Who knows how the person before them took care of it? 

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t buy an item from a thrift store and expect it to work properly, then blame the company when it doesn’t. 

Forest River Quality Traditionally Lacks, But Is Improving

Forest River hasn’t traditionally had a great reputation for quality workmanship. It’s something I’ve heard and known of for many years. 

However, in recent years I have noticed a dedication to quality materials, floor plan innovation, and an overall commitment to quality. 

Additionally, I think if you do your research and thoroughly examine a camper before you buy it, there’s a high probability that you will end up with a great unit. 

I am not affiliated with Forest River in any way so I am not trying to convince you to buy one by any means. 

But I am offering my own “grain of salt” along with all of the negative reviews. 

If you are considering purchasing one of these RVs, I highly recommend you do your own research first. 

While I do think they are a quality camper, bad apples do roll off the assembly line from time to time. 

Read forums and join Facebook groups to hear more from real r-Pod owners before making your final decision. 

Who Manufactures r-Pod Travel Trailers?

r-Pod travel trailers are made by Forest River RV

Forest River is an RV-industry giant: they own 45 RV brands that produce hundreds of models of RVs. 

The r-Pod was first introduced by Forest River in 2008 and it has remained a favorite ever since! 

Are r-Pods Worth the Money?

r-Pod campers are worth the money if you’re looking for an entry level camper with all the amenities of a larger RV. An r-Pod trailer can cost as low as $12,000 for a used rig and as much as $50k for the biggest new ones. r-Pods are truly budget campers with something for everyone.

These campers come with everything you need for a comfortable short camping trip, extended road trip, or full-time RVing.

As with any budget-priced camper, you can’t expect luxury appliances, building materials, or fixtures.

But what this camper lacks in expensive luxury, it makes up in affordability and longevity.

If you’re considering an r-Pod camper, I highly recommend getting out to an RV dealer near you and touring one for yourself!

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