Forest River Fails, Denies Responsibility – Part Two

What’s worse than having a one year old RV with a broken sidewall? What’s worse than that is when the RV manufacturer goes to great lengths to blame _YOU_ for the failure. Read on for the next installment in the story of our Forest River COVID camper.

At the conclusion of Forest River Fails, Denies Responsibility – Part One we knew these things:

  • Our RV does not have a frame issue, despite Forest River’s insistence to the contrary.
  • Our RV was built using fasteners which either:
    • Weren’t tightened appropriately at the factory, or
    • Were tightened at the factory, but backed off from the tight position because they were not the proper fastener for this connection.
  • Forest River claims that they have no responsibility. They claim this based on statements apparently made by LCI (Lippert) centering around the Sumo Springs we added to the RV.

But as you read in episode one, there is no issue with our frame, and there never was. But we are not alone in this failure.

There are Others

After we received the denial email from Cheyenne Clark, we sent our response to Forest River.

[Update: The SuperSprings link above is no longer valid. Anyone wishing to view that page should view the internet archive version located here. Thanks Wes! The FTC link is valid and located here. ]

We mention another RV that we know Forest River had repaired. That RV belonged to a very kind gentleman named Kevin that we met through Facebook. Kevin’s 2019 model 36BHQ had failed in almost exactly the same way that ours had.

I spent a while talking with Kevin about his issue. Kevin let me know that it took a very long time to get it resolved. Kevin had to involve his State’s Attorney General’s office, the Better Business Bureau and the process still took _two years_ to be resolved. Forest River had fixed his issue under “good faith” in 2022, over _two years_ after Kevin’s “warranty” expired.

Forest River Fails - Picture of Kevin's Sidewall failure
Kevin’s Sidewall Failure

Since this whole mess began we have met several more people online who have this exact issue with their Forest River RV’s as well. Most of those have either not begun a warranty/”good faith” repair claim, or have just begun the process.

Forest River is obviously aware that this is a recurring problem with these units. I hope that we are not the first to link the loose body bolts with the sidewall failures for them. If we are, we also have a simple solution for the problem.

Use of Incorrect Fastener

Forest River uses serrated flange nuts to fasten the body bolts to the frame. Anyone with even a little mechanical experience (or a Forest River RV) knows that this is not the correct fastener for this job. Perhaps the nuts were spun up finger tight on the studs by the worker who drilled the holes in the floor, and then left for the next guy. Perhaps the timer on our unit ran out before those fasteners could be tightened. We can only speculate as to whether the fasteners were tightened properly at the factory.

But let’s assume that the flange nuts were tightened at the factory. If any of that structure compresses (which it really shouldn’t) during shakedown there is nothing to prevent the flange nut from vibrating and shaking itself more loose. If only there were a fastener that could be used which would stay in place once it’s tightened, even if the things it’s holding get compressed. There is! The correct fastener would be the nylon lock nut.

There are 24 of these bolts exposed on the 36BHQ. When purchased at Fastenal by an individual the price difference is a mere $5.80. Forest River undoubtedly has the purchasing power to get that down even lower. Or they could build that into the sale price of each unit. I am sure the retail customer that ends up with the unit would happily pay the $6 to know that the body won’t fall off their RV. We certainly would have.

[Update: The SuperSprings link above is no longer valid. Anyone wishing to view that page should view the web archive page here.]

If you own a Forest River RV, it’s worth checking these body studs. We have met several people online since posting part one of this story who have checked their body studs to find the bolts loose as well.

* Join “Sabre RV Camper by Forest River” and “Sabre 36BHQ Owners Group” on Facebook to follow these conversations.

A bag of 25 3/8-16 304 stainless steel nylon lock nuts can be had from Amazon for $9. Stainless washers are another $10. If your RV’s body hasn’t started falling apart, $20 now might save you much headache and heartache down the road.

We purchased both for our RV, but we fear it is already too late. There are signs that more damage has been done, and that the damage may be ongoing.

This post may contain affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission at no additional expense to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Stay Tuned!

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Forest River has maintained that they have no responsibility for this failure. We maintain that they do. How will it all shake out?

Don’t miss the next installment in episode three of Forest River Fails, Denies Responsibility!

This post may contain affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission at no additional expense to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Wes Duncan

    Interesting. The Super springs link you provided has been taken down and is now a 404. Do you have any screen shots of it?

  2. I noticed the same fasteners repeatedly loosening on my 2021 36BHQ, and on my own volition I removed the nuts and replaced them with nylon locking stainless nuts. They have stayed tight for over a year now.

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