Skip to Content

This the Best Entry-Level Motorhome

Many families love the idea of purchasing a motorhome. It’s ideal because motorhomes can tow a second vehicle that allows travelers to visit sites away from the campground. Plus, drivers of motorhomes don’t have to worry about hitching and unhitching a towable RV.

However, many new owners struggle with the high cost of motorhomes. Often, a new Class A will cost over $250,000. That’s not feasible for people who long to explore but are on a budget. Forest River manufactures the FR3 that solves this problem.

The 34DS might be the best entry-level motorhome on the market. Let’s learn more!

About the 2022 Forest River FR3 34DS

Specs: The GVWR of this motorhome is 20,500lbs. The overall length is 35’11” with a cargo-carrying capacity of  2,435lbs. There’s an 80-gallon fuel tank, and all the tanks (fresh, black, and gray) have 52-gallon capacities. The FR3 34DS comes with a 7.3L 445 cu V-8 6-speed TorqueShift transmission and sits on a Ford F53 gas Class A motorhome chassis.

An auto-transfer switch makes going from generator power to shore power convenient. This unit comes with a 5.5KW NPS Yamaha generator on board.

Features: Numerous outdoor storage bays provide ample space to put away your camping gear. The roof is a one-piece fiberglass roof. With the slides in, you can reach the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom easily. There’s a drop-down bunk above the cab area. The kitchen features a pull-out drawer with countertop space and a 12 cu ft two-way refrigerator.

The living room features an electric fireplace underneath the TV, across two theater seats. A unique feature is the pantry behind the TV. A pocket door leads to the rear main bedroom with a king-size bed and huge wardrobe. There’s a full bath in the rear and a half bath leading to the bedroom.

MSRP: $192,230

Exterior of the Forest River FR3 34DS product shot from company website
Cruise the country with up to five friends in a Forest River FR3 34DS.

Is the Forest River FR3 34DS the Best Entry-Level Motorhome?

At under $200,000, the FR3 34DS is an affordable, family-friendly rig. Because of the price point, there are some luxuries you won’t have. However, all the necessities to make travel enjoyable and convenient are on board. The vacuum-bonded construction prevents leaks and provides proper insulation. The 5,000lb tow hitch with a seven-way plug allows you to tow a small second vehicle.

The unit has two air conditioning units and two deep cycle house batteries. With the Yamaha generator, if you need to stop in a parking lot for a night, you could do so. The flush floor construction leading into the cockpit is excellent because you don’t have to worry about tripping into that space.

The addition of the 34DS macerator stool in the half bath is an amenity you might not expect in an entry-level motorhome.

Pro Tip: New to RV buying? Make sure not to do any of The Don’ts of Buying an RV.

How Many People Does a Forest River FR3 34DS Sleep? 

The FR3 34DS can sleep five people comfortably. For families with smaller children, this is an excellent non-bunk option because you can convert the dinette into a sleeping area. The drop-down bunk over the cab provides more sleeping space. A family with three or four kids could easily find sleeping accommodations for everyone in the FR3 34DS. The bunk is rated for 350 pounds, so even an adult could sleep there.

Interior of the Forest River FR3 34DS from company website.
The Forest River FR3 34DS boasts luxury finishes and plenty of comfort.

Is Forest River a Quality RV? 

Forest River is one of the largest manufacturers of RVs in the country. Because of this, there are concerns about quantity over quality. Since Forest River produces so many models of RVs, from travel trailers to fifth wheels and motorhomes, some wonder if the quality is up to par.

However, a company wouldn’t be in business for 25 years by producing less-than-stellar work. When Peter Liegl started Forest River, he wanted to help people enjoy the outdoors. Forest River has done that for decades, building RVs for weekend travelers who wish for an escape, retirees who want to travel the country, and families who want to make memories.

Berkshire Hathaway purchased Forest River in 2005. Warren Buffet saw that Forest River met the acquisition criteria for his company and closed the deal on August 31. A company like Berkshire Hathaway wouldn’t buy an RV brand that didn’t produce quality RVs for its consumers.

Pro Tip: Forest River is known for making high quality RVs. Check out these 5 Best Forest River RVs.

What Other Motorhomes Are Manufactured By Forest River?

In the Class A line, Forest River manufactures the Berkshire, Charleston, and Georgetown in addition to the FR3. The Berkshire is the only diesel pusher. In the Class C line, Forest River manufactures the Forester, Solera, and Sunseeker. The Sunseeker was voted Best of Show in 2020 by RVPro.

Forest River also manufactures towable RVs. The Aurora, Evo, and Grey Wolf are good options for entry-level travel trailers. The Impression fifth wheel was Best New Model in 2022 by RVPro, while the Riverstone earned the 2022 Luxury Fifth Wheel of the Year award by RV News. Forest River also has park models and toy haulers among its line of RVs.

Is Buying a Forest River FR3 34DS Worth It?

If you’re looking for an entry-level motorhome to get your family on the road making memories, the FR3 34DS is an excellent option. You won’t find many brand new Class A motorhomes under $200,000. So if you can get by without luxurious tile flooring, leather sofas, granite countertops, and double vanities, the FR3 34DS will meet your needs.

No frills mean a cheaper price tag. It can also get you on the road faster, so you can start adventuring. Is the FR3 34DS a suitable model for you? Tell us in the comments!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: