Skip to Content

The Good & Bad of Forest River A-Frame Campers

If you’re considering a Forest River A-frame camper, you’ll want to know some things about them before making your decision. 

They may seem like the perfect rig for your adventures. But jumping into ownership too quickly may result in experiencing feelings of buyer’s remorse. 

Today, we’re looking at the good and the bad of Forest River A-frame campers to help you make the right choice.

Let’s check it out!

Thumbs up painted green and thumbs down painted red. We're discussing the good and the bad of Forest River A-frame campers.
We’re discussing the good and the bad of Forest River A-frame campers

About the Forest River Brand

Peter Liegl started the company in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1996. The goal was to help “people experience the joy of the outdoors by building better recreational vehicles.” 

Almost 30 years later, they’re producing motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. They’ve established themselves in the industry and are one of the most familiar names in the community.

The company experienced tremendous success and attracted the attention of billionaire Warren Buffet. After hearing about the company’s achievements, Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, purchased the brand for an estimated $800 million. 

Forest River continued to grow and now employs approximately 11,000 workers. And the Forest River Owners’ Group (FROG) has over 165,000 members.

Over the years, they acquired various manufacturers, including Coachmen, Cherokee, Wildwood, Rockwood, Palomino, and Shasta. In total, over 45 brands are in their lineup. 

With multiple models, types, and floor plans available, you have hundreds of options to choose from.

What Is a Forest River A-Frame?

An A-frame is a type of travel trailer that gets its name from its unique shape. As you might guess, it looks like the letter A. Some people also call them a triangle camper because of the roof’s outline. They easily fold down for transport and quickly extend once you arrive at your campsite. 

Despite their simple construction, they come with many amenities. You’ll typically find multiple sleeping areas, a kitchenette, and storage compartments. 

Specific models also feature a dinette that converts into a bed, and some even have a bathroom. They can make great options if you want to get out on weekends to make memories.

The Benefits of Forest River A-Frames

Owners love many things about their A-frame Forest River campers. They’re typically smaller, lighter, and less expensive than other options. It’s like the trifecta of characteristics for anyone shopping for a recreational vehicle.

Since they’re lightweight, you won’t need a beefy vehicle to haul them on your adventures. You may even be able to pull it with a truck or SUV you already own. However, checking your vehicle’s towing capacity is essential before hooking up your new camper and hitting the road.

Another benefit of a Forest River A-frame RV is the price. They’re more expensive than smaller pop-up campers but less than fifth wheels and travel trailers. The more money you save, the more you can spend on reservations and camping gear.

While they may share similar features to a pop-up, they have one distinct advantage, their hard sides. Manufacturers often use fiberglass for the exterior, which provides more insulation and protection from the elements. As a result, you can stay comfortable inside your A-frame, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The Disadvantages of Forest River A-Frames

Unfortunately, while you’ll find many things to love about these units, disadvantages do exist. The smaller size will almost always result in less interior and living space. They may work for solo travelers, couples, or families of three, but they can quickly feel cramped. Those days when the weather keeps you inside can be dreadful.

In addition, these units often lack storage space. You’ll need to be very picky with what you bring and get creative for storing supplies to avoid feeling cluttered. 

Naturally, A-frame campers don’t offer much headroom. They’re typically less than six-and-a-half feet at their highest point. If you’re tall, you may find yourself hitting your head occasionally.

Lastly, their folding design makes it nearly impossible to have shelves inside. You’ll have to make optimal use of the storage compartments in cabinets and other areas. If you can’t squat, bend, or crouch easily, it may not be the most comfortable unit for you.

These lightweight camp chairs are compact and support up to 320 pounds: Helinox Chair One.

Is Forest River a Good RV Brand?

Most RV manufacturers have fans and critics. One of the biggest complaints from consumers is the build quality. Many feel these units get thrown together too quickly, resulting in shortcuts and inconsistencies. Unfortunately, this is a common complaint across all manufacturers in the industry.

Users on RVinsider give Forest River a 3.8 out of five stars which places them towards the middle of the pack in terms of ratings. However, it’s important to remember that these aren’t the most expensive trailers. You can’t expect premium results when you’re paying budget-friendly prices. 

Being in business for almost 30 years, they’re likely doing some things right. So while they’re not the best, they’re also not the worst. Taking the time to maintain your investment can help avoid issues down the road.

Forest River has several options if an A-Frame camper sounds perfect for your travels. Here are two of the most popular versions you’ll want to check out.

Flagstaff Hard Side Pop-Up

The Flagstaff line comes in three different floor plans. They range from 18’8” to 21’2” in length and 2,120 to 2,700 pounds. You can pack a lot of gear with a cargo carrying capacity between 650 to over 1,100 pounds.

With the Flagstaff series, you get the ease of tent camping with the comfort of a camper. Whether you plan to be in a state park or boondocking on public lands, these are worth considering. 

They load modern conveniences into the smaller space while allowing for increased maneuverability. It’s hard to ask for anything more in this sturdy pop-up camper.

These rigs have a kitchenette, refrigerator, and multiple sleeping spaces. The exterior grill lets you keep the heat from cooking outside. You’ll be able to prepare some delicious meals and stand a better chance of staying comfortable with these options.

Speaking of Flagstaff: 7 Amazing Flagstaff Camping Spots.

Rockwood Hard Side Pop-Up

When you compare the Rockwood line of campers with the Flagstaff, it might seem confusing. They’re identical in length, weight, and other specs. The only significant differences between the two are cosmetics and the name on the side.

As we mentioned, Forest River includes multiple brands under its umbrella. They work with a network of dealerships across the country, some of which are close to one another. As a result, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to offer the same camper but with a different name. Doing so allows them to sell more to dealers while appearing to create variety in the market.

That’s the lowdown between the Rockwood and Flagstaff hard-side pop-ups. They’re the same trailers but with different color schemes and branding. If you’re struggling to find a specific model, consider searching for the twin from the other label.

Looking outside of Forest River campers? Check out the 5 Best A-Frame Camper Trailers.

Is an A-Frame Camper in Your Future?

Overall, Forest River A-frame campers are a great option. They make it easy for your small family to get out and spend time in nature. You can gather around the campfire and make priceless memories. 

After reviewing the good and bad of these units, you’ll be able to determine if they’re the right choice for your getaways.

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 who 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: