Forest River R Pod Review

| Last Updated: July 18, 2022

Designed for endless camping fun, the Forest River R Pod is a small trailer, with a unique shape and design. They've been around for over 10 years, so if you’ve heard about or seen these cute little trailers, then you may be wondering whether this compact vehicle is the right choice for you.

Marketed as an inexpensive luxury, the small camper from Forest River has the lowest tow weight among its class. Its compact size increases towability, but it’s still able to provide a lot of roomy functionality while camping and even on the road.

The size also ensures you'll be welcome at pretty much any RV park across the country, so you and a small group of friends can enjoy the great outdoors.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve reviewed the Forest River R Pod in detail. Make sure you stick till the end, because we go into more detail further down about specific features such as safety, and what Forest river could do to improve the trailer.

So, with that said, let's take a dive in...

Forest River R-Pod RP-171

Forest River R-Pod RP-171

Forest River R-Pod Specs and Dimensions

  • Height: 9’ 6”

  • Weight: 2504 lbs

  • How Many Does it Sleep: 3 to 4

  • Chassis (basic info): Powder-coated steel frame with 2” coupler

  • Exterior Material Used: Adzel and fiberglass

  • Towing Capacity: 252 lbs

  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): 3252 lbs

Forest River R-Pod Layout

The RP-171 model does not have slides and boasts vinyl flooring. The bedroom, which boasts a queen-size bed is located in the rear of the vehicle, while the living area is located in the frontand includes a dinette with bench seats. The unit also includes a sofa bed, so it can comfortably accommodate a family of four.

The bathroom is located in the center and has a plastic toilet, a sink, and a standard fan system. The kitchen is also located in the center and includes two oven burners. The kitchen features a convection microwave, a sink, a compact refrigerator, and overhead drawers.

The Forest River R-Pod also boasts residential-style shaker cabinets that have solid core fronts. Meanwhile, its drawers boast ball-bearing extensions and hardwood fronts.

This model is designed with all essential camping needs in mind. Its floor plan is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, but still want all the conveniences and comforts of home.

Does The Forest River R-Pod Come With Appliances?

The Forest River R Pod comes with some standard appliances that are pretty good for a trailer of this size. Buyers can choose between a gas or an electric six-gallon water heater and an electric or gas 3.7 cubic-feet refrigerator.

The model also includes a recessed cooktop and burners with a glass cover. It boasts a 20,000 BTU furnace, so you can easily warm up during cold camping days. The RP-171 features a radio, a 55-amp converter with a charger, and the US charging ports as well.

You can choose to add a 13.5K BTU air conditioner, a 24-inch flat-screen TV, and a convection microwave. The RV comes with a roof-mounted solar preop and offers a Solar Package for all customers. If you go with the solar option, then the unit will include a 1000W inverter, a 110W solar panel, and a digital controller

Lastly, the R Pod boasts storage areas that are designed with expandable cargo netting. These storage areas are extremely useful in keeping things organized, even if they have non-standard shapes.

Who is the Forest River R-Pod Best For?

Boasting a lightweight and small design, this Forest River R Pod model is ideal for weekend getaways. Since it sleeps four, it’s perfect for singles, duos, and couples that have one or two kids. It’s incredibly easy to set up, which further makes it perfect for duo or solo travelers.

If you’re looking for a small travel trailer that has curb appeal, then this RV is certainly worth a look. However, if you have a large family, are someone who needs a lot of storage space, or are just a camper who prefers a residential-style RV, then it’s better to look elsewhere.

All in all, the RP-171 is a decent trailer, especially for first-timers and people who just need a base camp for their outdoor adventures.

Popular Features

This compact travel trailer is perfect for last-minute trips to all your favorite vacation destinations. Following are some of the most popular features that you’ll certainly love as well:

Compact Design

One of the most outstanding features of the Forest River R-Pod is its lightweight and compact design. Boasting a gel-coated fiberglass exterior, so keeping nice and comfortable in the winter will be easy. The hitch weight of this unit is only 332 lbs. This means that the travel trailer can easily be towed by most crossovers, small trucks, and SUVs.

This unit is also considered pet-friendly and includes pet leash connections and outdoor showers, so you can bring your four-legged companion on your trip as well!

Luxurious Bedding

This model includes a large 60 x 74 queen bed, so you can comfortably relax after a long day of adventure. You can also attach a 24” wall mounted TV and enjoy all your favorite movies and shows from your bed. If you need additional sleeping space, then you can fold down the dinette to convert it into a bed.

Comfortable Showers

This trailer's bathroom comes with all the essential amenities, including a six-gallon hot water heater, enabling you to enjoy hot showers during the winters. It also features a black tank flushing system, which helps eliminate all your worries about cleaning up when you return home.

Kitchen for Two

The RP-171 comes with a 3.7 cubic feet refrigerator, so you can easily store your favorite drinks and snacks and enjoy them throughout your trip. The included recessed two-burner cooktop further allows you to cook scrambled eggs and French toast, so you can start your day right!

Forest River R-Pod interior

Included Safety Features

Along with having a lightweight and compact design, this model also boasts a sturdy build. To ensure you have peace of mind, it is designed with safety in mind. Some of its safety features include:

Solid Construction

The exterior of this travel trailer is built with Azdel, which is a combination of fiberglass and polypropylene. This innovative blend makes it lightweight, strong, environment-friendly, and temperature and weather resistant.

Azdel further boasts twice the insulation value compared to wood and absorbs both energy and sound effects. This means that the R Pod's interior is cool during the summers, warm during the winters, and quiet in noisy campgrounds. 

Excellent Structural Integrity

The Forest River R Pod’s composite walls have a fiberglass layer and are designed to be rot- and water-resistant. It boasts aluminum framing around all openings, which ensures great structural integrity. It also has weather-proof and watertight automotive window seals, which require very little maintenance.

Emergency Roadside Assistance

Forest River provides one-year of 24/7 roadside assistance as a bonus. The emergency assistance benefits include jump-starts, fluid delivery, winch-out, technical support, towing, tire changes, mobile mechanic, dealer locator services, and lockout services.

The trailer also includes additional safety features, including a breakaway switch, an LP detector, a smoke detector, a fire extinguisher, and a deadbolt door lock.

Aspects to Improve

It’s important to remember that no product is perfect, and there are aspects to the R Pod RP-171 that could be improved...


Some customers mentioned that the dinette wasn’t the comfiest, and it was better when they added foam toppers to the sleeping and seating areas. You can also switch out the dinette in favor of a sofa to increase comfortability.

Storage Space

Most customers complained about the lack of storage space in the trailer. They were disappointed with the fact that there was nearly no overhead storage compartment in the sleeping area. Although there is storage space underneath the dinette, it is a bit hard to access.

Quality Control

Forest River should improve their quality control as customers stated that they faced issues with loose screws, sawdust, and markings on the trailer’s interior features. Some also found the factory hoses to be too short for most hookup areas. It would be better if Forest River replaced these hoses with longer ones.

Repair Work and Warranty

A recurring issue for most R Pod owners was that they were unable to get their warranty work completed and covered in a timely manner. It’s important to remember that you’re going to have to deal with the dealership more than the corporate headquarters, so make sure you buy your trailer from a reputable dealer.

Comparison Overview

A travel trailer is a big investment. To ensure you don’t end up wasting your money, we’ve compared the R Pod RP-171 with some other models. Give these a look before you make your decision:                                      

R-Pod vs. T@b Trailer

The T@b trailer is a popular model that’s perfect for a long camping adventure or a weekend jaunt. Similar to the R-Pod, it has a galley kitchen and a dinette that can be converted into a sleeping area. Both models also have a sink, shower, and toilet.

However, the T@b has a smaller fridge than the R-Pod and is only in the two to three cubic feet range. Lastly, the former can only accommodate two people, while the latter can comfortably sleep, four people. 

R Pod vs. Tear Drop Trailer

The R Pod is a type of teardrop trailer. All teardrop campers are unique in their own way and can start from as small as 11’. However, the R Pod is one of the biggest teardrop trailers and can be as long as 20’. Almost all teardrop trailers, including the R Pod, boast a queen bed in the sleeping area and a compact bathroom.

However, most teardrop trailers can only sleep two people. This is where the R Pod truly stands out as it can comfortably accommodate up to four people.

Forest River R-Pod FAQs

Purchasing a travel trailer can be a very confusing and difficult task, especially if you’re making the decision for the first time. To ensure you don’t regret your purchase, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the Forest River R Pod:

What Does R Pod Mean?

A sub-brand of the Forest River RVs, R Pods are incredibly lightweight travel trailers. With this unit, you can tow lighter and easier, allowing you to save on maintenance costs.

How Wide is an R Pod?

Different R Pod models have different lengths but have the same widths. All R Pods measure eight feet in width. The largest R Pod measures 25 ft in length. It further has an exterior height of ten feet and seven inches. This height means that it cannot fit in a traditional residential garage.

What Vehicle Can Tow an R Pod?

Since the R Pod is extremely lightweight, it can be towed easily by SUVs and crossovers, even on twisting roads and in tight spots. However, it’s advisable to use an SUV with a towing capacity of at least 4500 lbs.

Is an R Pod Worth it?

If you’re looking for a small travel trailer with great curb appeal, then the R Pod is certainly worth it. However, if you’re traveling with a big family, are someone who needs to entertain and requires a lot of storage space, or is just someone who prefers a residential-style trailer, then this is not the best option.

Where Are Forest River R Pods Made?

Although Forest River has its headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana, the R Pod construction plant is located in Dallas, Oregon. Forest River even offers a virtual tour of the plant, so you can see the construction process from the start to the end.

How Much is an R Pod Trailer?

The R Pod trailer is available in a wide range of prices. New models can cost as high as $28,430, while used models can cost as low as $16,000.

What is the Smallest R Pod Trailer?

The smallest R Pod trailer is the RP-171 Ultra Lite Travel Trailer. It has an exterior length of 18’4”, an exterior height of 9’6”, and an exterior width of eight feet. However, this trailer is still too big for a standard residential garage.

What is the Difference Between a 2020 Forest River R Pod 195 And the Cherokee Wolf Pup?

The 2020 R Pod 195 measures 22’2” inches in length and eight feet in width. It has a black water capacity of 30 gallons and a dry weight of 3587 lbs. On the other hand, the Cherokee Wolf Pup measures 23 feet in length and 7’1” in width. It has a black water capacity of 23 gallons and a dry weight of 3797 lbs.

How Much Does an R-Pod Trailer Weigh?

Different R-Pod trailer models have different weights. The hitch weight of R-pods can range from 252 pounds to 485 pounds, while the unloaded vehicle weight can range from 2504 lbs to 4574 lbs.  

What Classification is a Forest River R Pod?

The Forest River R Pod is a travel trailer that can sleep up to four people. Due to its light weight, it is considered an ultra-light travel trailer.

What Makes the R-Pod Trailer so Popular?

The R-Pod trailers are popular because of their distinctive shape and compact design. Their small size increases towability, but they’re still able to provide lots of space, so you can camp and travel in comfort.

Bottom Line

Weighing around 2500 lbs and measuring just over 18’, the Forest River R Pod includes all essential camping needs. Boasting two-burner cooktops, a furnace, refrigerator, wet bath, TV, air conditioner, and convection microwave, the travel trailer has an excellent floor plan.

It can comfortably sleep three to four people, and is perfect for those who want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, but need the conveniences and comforts of home nearby. All in all, it is an affordable option that has a lot of storage space, features a functional design, and offers comfort to most people.