If you are looking for an affordable, lightweight camper, many travelers recommend the Forest River R-Pod. The R-Pod is a unique travel trailer that provides basic living space for life on the road.
The R-Pod trailers come with steel frames that provide strength and rigidity. The exterior length is 18’4” up to 20’4”. Typically, R-Pod campers use Azdel walls, aluminum floors, and sidewalls.
The wheels are aluminum with nitrogen-filled radial tires and a pair of battery racks. The R-Pod offers 10 extendable floor plans and one non-expandable floor plan.
Read on to learn more about the R-Pod camper’s key features, its pros and cons, and tips for maintaining it.
About the R-Pod Travel Trailer
Some of the key features of the R-Pod trailer include:
- Steel frames that provide strength and rigidity;
- Exterior length is 18’4” up to 20’4”;
- Typically, R-Pod campers use Azdel walls, aluminum floors, and sidewalls;
- The wheels are aluminum with nitrogen-filled radial tires and a pair of battery racks; and
- The R-Pod offers 10 extendable floor plans and one non-expandable floor plan.
The Forest River company has built R-Pods for about 10 years now, upgrading each model accordingly. R-Pod trailers have been popular because of their compact, lightweight size, with enough amenities for a comfortable trip.
If you plan to travel, you can choose from different R-Pods sizes, from the lightest to the biggest size. The R-Pod RP-171 is the lightest model and sleeps three to four people.
The biggest R-Pod is the R-Pod R-193. This camper provides more amenities, such as more bathrooms, extra cabinets, and more appliances.
As more travelers discover the perks of R-Pods, companies continue to improve and build upgraded trailers to respond to customer preferences.
R-Pod Specs and Features
The R-Pod camper can weigh 3,000 to 4,761 pounds (gross vehicle weight) and 3,581 pounds for its dry unloaded/weight. You can tow the R-Pod travel trailer with a 3.5L engine.
R-Pod trailers have an exterior length of 18’4” to 20’4”. They are 8 feet wide and 9’6” to 9’7” tall, with an interior height of 6’6”.
The black water and gray water tanks can accommodate 30 gallons, while the freshwater tank can contain 30 gallons.
The R-Pod’s chassis is made of a durable powder-coated steel frame. The trailer’s exterior walls are of Azdel, and the floors plus the sidewalls are of aluminum-welded material.
The trailer’s roof is fiberglass, finely designed, and incorporated to complete a classy exterior. The R-Pod’s windows are of tinted safety glass material.
4. Wheels and Tires
The company built the R-Pod camper’s 14-inch sturdy aluminum wheels. Nitrogen fills up the radial tires to supply the correct pressure (PSI). Two battery racks complete the set-up.
Additionally, the camper provides full-sized spare tires mounted on the camper’s right rear or inside the left-thru storage.
The R-Pod campers use an independent torsion-axle suspension or a rubber-on-rubber independent suspension.
You can light up your campsite by connecting to the GFI electrical outlets found at the R-Pods exterior sidewall.
An amber porch light provides a porch light or front docking lights you can use whenever necessary. You can find at the back the rear spoiler with LED lights.
The brakes are electric Nev-R-Adjust brakes that could ascertain smooth driving and stops. Most states require brakes for R-Pods due to their weights. The brakes are also for your safety. You would surely want the trailer to stay in place securely.
Does the R-Pod Have Trailer Brakes?
Most states require R-Pods to have brakes because of their weight. You have to check if your trailer has self-adjusting brakes. Make sure they work by testing them. You must install a brake controller for your brakes to become functional. Otherwise, they are useless.
8. Unique Features
The R-Pod camper provides various unique features that would ensure your safe and comfortable travel.
Here are some of them:
Collapsible Dinette Table
You can collapse the table to create a bed measuring 43” by 74”. You can use the table outside if you want to. When you want to rest, you can convert the table to a bed. This amenity can accommodate two people.
R-Pod campers have digital thermostats to control the temperature. You can adjust the 13 500 BTU air-conditioner settings or heat the interior with a 20,000 BTU furnace.
High-quality seamless fiberglass is stretched on the roof from front to back to provide leak-proof roofing.
The R-Pod features an LP tank and a dual battery rack on top. It provides a sewer hose storage compartment at the bottom as well.
Digital Multi-Directional Antenna
R-Pod campers feature a pre-wired system for satellite TV and cable. You can watch your programs with high-definition images at the convenience of your R-Pod’s entertainment center.
You can use the 4.2 cubic ft. gas/12V/electric DSI freezer and refrigerator combo. You may want to heat your food in the microwave oven. During hot weather, you could turn on the Fantastic Fans or the BTU air conditioner.
You have the option to include a 19” LED TV and a Bluetooth CD/DVD/AM/FM/USB stereo. You could listen to music outside the trailer as there are two exterior speakers, aside from the two interior speakers.
Black Tank Flush System
You need this essential system to ensure that your human waste will not solidify and block your dump tubes.
LP Quick Disconnect Hook-Up
You can quickly connect to a gas grill or water supply outside. The detachable power cord makes it convenient for you to connect and disconnect.
Optional Bike Rack
You may want to use the bike rack mounted to the R-Pod’s rear hitch. You can take two bikes with you on your trip with this optional R-Pod feature.
If you want more space (8’11”) for your living quarters at the campsite, you can opt to add the r-Dome to your R-Pod. This item could provide more space for large groups.
Ventilation is not a problem as the extra area has large windows with roll-down covers. You can roll them up, should you want some fresh air. You can conveniently bring it with you with its nylon carry-on bag.
Panel Cabinet Doors and Wood Drawers
Your R-Pod camper features light wood drawers and cabinet doors. They are glued together to ensure they stay in place during your travel.
You can use a handheld shower and a faucet. The camper provides sufficient space for you to take a bath and attend to the call of nature.
Do R-Pods Have Bathrooms?
Most R-Pod models provide enough space for an efficient wet bath. One of the best home-like R-Pod bathrooms is that of the R-Pod 180. This model features a full bath with a toilet, a separate shower, and a vanity table.
Warranties for Essential Parts
The fantastic fan has a lifetime guarantee, while the warranty for other essential parts is from 1 year to 2 years. 
9. R-Pod Top Speed
Since the R-Pod is a trailer, the speed of the towing vehicle would be its speed too. The maximum speed when towing a trailer slightly varies from state to state. In some states, the maximum speed you can go with a trailer in tow is 55 mph.
Most travelers use the maximum speed of 60-65 mph when towing their R-Pods on interstate highways. You will have to be aware of the towing speed in the state you plan to travel to.
Below is one of the best R-Pod reviews by a user, including a detailed look at its specs and features:
Below is another one of the excellent R-Pod camper reviews:
Pros and Cons of the R-Pod Camper
1. Lightweight and Easy to Tow
R-Pods usually have a gross vehicle weight of about 3,900 pounds. You can tow this weight with a 3.5L engine. Reportedly, the best tow vehicle for an R-Pod trailer is the Ecoboost 3.5L vehicle.
2. Efficient Insulation
You can be sure that the R-Pod trailer is efficiently insulated with no leaks. This would maintain the ambient temperature inside the trailer. The fully sealed area would conserve energy and decrease energy costs.
There are no rubber seams or roofs where leaks could originate. The roof is from one seamless fiberglass sheet providing leak-proof roofing.
3. Easy to Maintain
R-Pod campers are easy to maintain, especially if you utilize them properly. You only have to clean up and check your parts regularly. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars for your R-Pod’s upkeep.
4. Quick to Set-Up
You can quickly set it up during short or long travels. There are no complex parts that require a helping hand. You can do it all by yourself. As long as you follow the instructions correctly in setting up the sliding parts, you are good to go within minutes.
5. Ideal Shape for Easy Navigation
R-Pod trailers have tear-drop shapes. This shape makes it easier for travelers to navigate against the wind. Drivers encounter more opposing wind pressure when driving with box-shaped trailers.
6. Durable Aluminum-Framed Material
R-Pods builders framed the windows and floors of the camper with durable aluminum material. This material provides a stronger foundation and R-Pod’s long-lasting lifespan.
The R-Pod provides sufficient space and equipment so you could enjoy your travel in comfort. You can cook, sleep, do various activities, and turn your trailer into a home while traveling or staying at a campsite.
You can opt for a wet or dry bath. An electric DSI water heater can provide a hot bath. Hardwood drawers, a refrigerator, and an optional solar package could make your travel comfortable.
1. Manual Emptying of Holding Tanks
There is no way of automatically emptying the tanks. You have to do it manually with some help from your R-Pod’s disposal feature. This task may be arduous to some travelers.
2. Limited Storage Space
You will have limited storage space for a few belongings. You will have to pack some of your pieces of luggage in your towing vehicle.
3. Not Suitable for Large Families
If you have a large family, the R-Pod may not be suitable for you unless you have a large towing vehicle where some of your family members could stay.
What Is the Cost of the R-Pod Camper?
The R-Pod cost depends on its model and whether it is used or not. The cost usually ranges from $23,000 to $50,000.
What Is the Biggest R-Pod Model?
The biggest R-Pod model is the R-Pod RP-193. The trailer provides two twin bunk beds, a Murphy bed, 5-seating sofas, and a large bathroom.
Tips for Maintaining Your R-Pod
1. Always Double-Check All Systems Before You Travel
Whether you travel far or near, it would be best to double-check that all your systems are in good working condition. You should prepare a checklist of your “to-dos.”
You may want to:
- Charge necessary electrical gadgets (batteries and similar items);
- Test the air-conditioner, stove, taps, shower, water heater, and other features;
- Ensure that all doors and windows can close and open smoothly;
- Clean your water containers thoroughly before pouring in new water; and
- Check your stock if you have enough for the trip (food, water, and personal necessities).
2. Discard All Waste and Clean Your R-Pod Before and After Use
If you clean your R-Pod camper every after use, you will not have a tough time cleaning it before you hit the road. Discard all your garbage. Also, get rid of your gray and black water properly at appropriate dumping sites.
3. Use Suitable Descaling and Cleaning Liquids
There are specifically produced descaling and cleaning fluids you can use to clean your R-Pod. You could refer to your dealer’s recommendations about these fluids, filters, and other basic cleaning items for your R-Pods.
4. Attend to Minor Damages ASAP
You must repair minor damages as soon as possible. To do this, you have to visit your dealer regularly to conduct a thorough check of all the R-Pods parts.
Procrastinating minor repairs will cost you more down the road when the damage becomes a major one.
Conclusion – R-Pod Camper Review
R-Pod campers typically come with steel frames with their exterior measuring from 18’4” to 20’4” long. R-Pod trailers have Azdel walls and aluminum sidewalls, floors, and wheels.
You can choose from 10 extendable floor plans and one non-expandable floor plan for the Forest River R-Pods. Your choice would depend on how many people would travel with you. Choose the most suitable R-Pod for your journey and enjoy your drive.
To help you maintain your R-Pod, here is a list you can follow:
- Always Double-Check All Systems before Each Travel
- Discard All Waste and Clean Your R-Pod Before and After Use
- Use Suitable Descaling and Cleaning Liquids
- Attend to Minor Damages ASAP