What Companies Does Forest River Own: A Guide to Its Subsidiaries and Brands

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Forest River Inc., a notable player in the recreational vehicle (RV) market, is an American manufacturer that has grown substantially since its inception. Established in 1996, it has expanded its reach in the industry with a broad range of products, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. The company’s expansion is partly due to its acquisition strategy, where it has incorporated various subsidiary companies under its umbrella, thereby increasing its market presence and product diversity. These subsidiaries enable Forest River to offer an extensive array of recreational vehicles to cater to the varying needs and preferences of its customers.

Over the years, Forest River has emphasized innovation and product development, ensuring it stays ahead in the competitive RV market. This focus on innovation is reflected in their diverse product lines and the quality of the vehicles they manufacture. Additionally, their commitment to customer and owner engagement has bolstered the company’s reputation, establishing Forest River as a key figure in recreational vehicle manufacturing. Moreover, as part of Berkshire Hathaway, Forest River benefits from financial stability, which enables continued investment in manufacturing excellence and market expansion strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • Forest River has acquired a diverse portfolio of subsidiary companies, enhancing its RV offerings.
  • Innovation and customer engagement are central to Forest River’s business philosophy.
  • The company’s growth and market presence benefit from strong financial backing and manufacturing excellence.

History of Forest River

Founded in 1996 by Peter Liegl, Forest River has established itself as a major player in the RV industry. Liegl’s background in the industry includes time at Cobra Industries, which Forest River acquired assets from in its early days. This acquisition laid the groundwork for Forest River’s expansion and diversification in the recreational vehicle market.

Operating under the keen business acumen of Liegl, Forest River caught the attention of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s multinational conglomerate. In 2005, Berkshire Hathaway saw the potential in Forest River and added it to their portfolio, a testament to the company’s success and promise. Since then, Forest River has continued to grow and prosper, contributing significantly to the RV industry in North America.

Today, Forest River is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, where it commands a substantial presence in the region known as the RV capital of the world. Over the years, it expanded its family of brands by acquiring various other companies, such as Coachmen RV, further cementing its status in the market.

Beyond RVs, Forest River also produces an assortment of other leisure and commercial vehicles, highlighting their versatility and commitment to meeting a range of consumer needs. The backing of Berkshire Hathaway provides a strong foundation for Forest River’s ongoing innovation and customer-driven focus within the RV industry.

Forest River’s Main Products

Forest River, Inc., a significant player in the recreational vehicle market, offers a wide range of products suited to various outdoor experiences. This section will highlight the main products under the Forest River umbrella focusing on travel trailers, motorhomes, park models, and commercial vehicles.

Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels

Forest River manufactures an extensive variety of travel trailers and fifth wheels, designed for comfort and convenience. These include a range of sizes and amenities to suit the needs of solo travelers, couples, and families. Some models offer luxurious features, such as fully-equipped kitchens and residential-style interiors that provide a home-away-from-home experience.

Motorhomes and Class A Vehicles

When it comes to motorhomes, including the spacious Class A vehicles, Forest River delivers state-of-the-art designs that cater to those seeking to travel in style. These motorhomes are built for long-term travel and come laden with features that offer both functionality and luxury.

Park Models and Destination Trailers

Park models and destination trailers from Forest River serve as the perfect solution for those who prefer a semi-permanent vacation home that can be situated in campgrounds or RV parks. These models blend the mobility of RVs with the feel of a stationary home and are ideal for extended stays.

Buses and Commercial Trucks

Lastly, Forest River contributes to the transportation industry with the manufacture of various buses and commercial trucks. These vehicles are designed to meet the demands of commercial transport, ensuring reliability and quality that’s necessary for schools, businesses, and city transportation.

Subsidiary Companies

Forest River, Inc. is recognized for its wide range of recreational vehicles, and many consumers are familiar with its extensive lineup of subsidiary brands. Each subsidiary brings unique features and styles to the RV marketplace, catering to various consumer preferences and travel needs.

Coachmen RV

Coachmen RV stands as a notable member of the Forest River family, providing reliable vehicles for over five decades. They specialize in manufacturing a variety of RV types, including motorhomes, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. Not only do they offer vehicles under the Coachmen brand, but they also include lines such as Chaparral, Apex Nano, and Freelander.


Within Forest River’s umbrella, Palomino shows a commitment to creating quality RVs that cater to the needs of adventure enthusiasts. This subsidiary brand includes the Puma, Columbus, and SolAire series, known for their exceptional design and comfort.

Shasta RV

The Shasta wing of Forest River brings a rich history to the RV industry. It’s recognized for affordable yet quality travel trailers, such as the Shasta Flyte and Shasta Revere, providing consumers with a blend of tradition and innovation in camping experiences.

Dynamax Corporation

Dynamax Corporation, under the Forest River name, sets the bar high with luxury class C motorhomes. Their models, including the Dynamax Isata and the Dynaquest XL, boast high-end finishes and superior craftsmanship, showcasing the prestige of Forest River’s luxury lineup.

Through these subsidiaries, Forest River ensures a vast selection of RVs that resonate with diverse outdoor lifestyles, exemplified in models from the rugged Flagstaff to the versatile Rockwood. They continue to set industry standards with vehicles such as Salem and Georgetown, affirming their place as a powerhouse in the world of recreational travel.

Each brand under Forest River’s portfolio, from the sturdy Starcraft to the home-like comforts of the Georgetown motorhomes, emphasizes the company’s dedication to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction. Through sustained growth and strategic acquisitions, they cater to the ever-evolving demands of the RV market.

Innovation and Product Development

Forest River has established itself as an innovator in the recreational vehicle industry, emphasizing both development and quality throughout their diverse line of products. They manage a dynamic creation process that keeps their models fresh and appealing.

One can notice their dedication to crafting luxury motorhomes and other recreational vehicles by the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies. The use of precision engineering ensures that every unit constructed adheres to stringent quality control standards.

Recognizing that comfort and amenities go hand in hand with the modern traveler’s expectations, Forest River constantly explores new ways to enhance the living spaces within their RVs. This is evident in the luxurious finishes and thoughtful designs, which maximize utility without compromising on comfort:

  • Innovation: Incorporates cutting-edge designs and technologies.
  • Models: Supplies a broad spectrum, from entry-level to luxury RVs.
  • Quality: Adopts rigorous quality inspection for reliability.
  • Manufacturing: Utilizes modern techniques to streamline production.
  • Comfort: Designs interiors with ergonomic and cozy spaces.
  • Amenities: Installs contemporary conveniences for home-like experiences.

The result is a fleet of vehicles that are not only reliable and safe but also equipped with the latest conveniences to enhance the travel experience. Forest River’s dedication to continual improvement and responsiveness to customer feedback serves as the backbone of their product development strategy. Their vehicles often come with recommendations for personalization, allowing owners to select features best suited to their individual needs and tastes. This approach underlies their reputation for delivering comfort, quality, and innovation, aimed at ensuring that each adventure in a Forest River RV is a memorable one.

Manufacturing Excellence

Forest River is recognized for its dedication to manufacturing excellence, where the company emphasizes the significance of quality control and robust manufacturing facilities to maintain its high standards in build quality and pre-delivery inspection processes.

Quality Control

At Forest River, quality control is a critical step that ensures all recreational vehicles meet stringent industry standards before they reach customers. The company implements a comprehensive approach to quality assurance; every unit undergoes a detailed pre-delivery inspection. This encompasses checks for material integrity, craftsmanship, and adherence to both safety and design specifications.

Manufacturing Facilities

Manufacturing facilities operated by Forest River are designed to optimize the assembly and production of RVs with efficiency and precision. These facilities are equipped with advanced tools and machinery, which contribute to the high build quality of the RVs. They routinely upgrade their technology and processes to stay at the forefront of the RV manufacturing industry, balancing high-volume production without compromising on the quality each brand is known for.

Forest River’s Market Presence

Forest River has become a significant name in the recreational vehicle market in North America, demonstrating a wide-reaching impact through its extensive portfolio of RV brands.

North America Market Share

Forest River is one of the leading RV manufacturers in North America, commanding a substantial market share in the industry. They produce a diverse range of recreational vehicles, including motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. The company’s growth in market share is reflected through its comprehensive selection of brands designed to cater to varying consumer needs and preferences.

Competition with Thor Industries

In the competitive landscape of RV manufacturers, Forest River goes head-to-head with Thor Industries, another industry giant. Both companies vie for top positions in the North American market, with Thor Industries’ subsidiaries like Keystone RV and Dutchmen being significant players in the sector. Forest River positions its brands strategically to compete with these industry counterparts.

RV Brands under Forest River

Forest River owns over 20 RV brands, further establishing their presence in the recreational vehicle market. Some of their notable brands include:

  • Cardinal
  • Cedar Creek
  • Salem
  • Sierra
  • Sandpiper
  • Wildwood
  • Rockwood
  • Flagstaff

These brands under the Forest River umbrella are diversified to appeal to a variety of consumer needs, from luxury motorhomes to budget-friendly travel trailers, thus reaching a broad customer base across North America.

Customer and Owner Engagement

Forest River Inc. places a strong emphasis on creating a sense of community and providing support channels for their RV owners. They achieve this through the Forest River Owners’ Group and various community events, where RV enthusiasts can connect, share experiences, and learn more about their vehicles.

Forest River Owners’ Group (FROG)

FROG provides a platform for owners of Forest River RVs to come together. Membership to this group offers various benefits including organized tours to the Forest River factories, where members can observe the manufacturing process and gain a deeper understanding of their RVs. This initiative fosters transparency and strengthens the relationship between the manufacturer and the customers.

Rallies and Community Events

Forest River Inc. encourages owners to engage with one another through rallies and community events. These gatherings are ideal opportunities for people to share their passion for RVs, discuss travel experiences, and form lasting friendships. At these events, attendees can expect to enjoy social activities, informational sessions, and workshops tailored to enhance their RV lifestyle and maximize the enjoyment of their Forest River RVs.

Diversity of Product Range

Forest River’s extensive portfolio showcases a variety of products that cater to an array of outdoor and recreational activities. From road-ready travel vehicles to water-based leisure crafts, the company has earned a reputation for its wide-ranging product line.

Utility Trailers and Cargo Options

Forest River offers a range of utility trailers and cargo trailers, equipping customers with the necessary tools for hauling and transportation needs. The utility trailers are designed for versatility, making them suitable for both commercial and personal use. They provide options for simple open models as well as enclosed cargo trailers, ensuring there’s a fit for various preferences and requirements.

Pontoons and Watercraft

Under the Forest River Marine brand, customers find an impressive selection of pontoon boats, which are crafted with leisure and comfort in mind. Designed for relaxation and enjoyment on the water, these pontoons integrate quality materials and thoughtful design to enhance the boating experience. Forest River strives to bring innovation to their watercraft, merging style with functionality for memorable aquatic adventures.

Financial Perspectives

In considering the financial aspects of Forest River, one must examine both its pricing strategy in the RV marketplace and the significant role that Berkshire Hathaway has played in its investment and growth potential.

Price and Affordability

Forest River has positioned itself within the recreational vehicle market as a provider of varied price points to suit a diverse customer base. By offering an array of brands, Forest River ensures that there are options that lean towards affordability for budget-conscious buyers. This strategy has enabled the company to cater to a broad market segment, from entry-level travel trailers to more luxurious motorhomes.

Investment by Berkshire Hathaway

In 2005, Berkshire Hathaway recognized the value in the expansive and diversifying RV market and accordingly acquired Forest River. This investment by a notable conglomerate brought not only financial stability but also an increased growth trajectory for Forest River. Berkshire Hathaway’s involvement suggests a strong confidence in Forest River’s market position and its potential for sustained profitability.

Geographic Influence

Forest River, a significant player in the recreational vehicle market, has expanded its manufacturing influence across various key geographic locations in the United States.

Elkhart’s RV Capital

Elkhart, Indiana is renowned as the RV Capital of the World, and Forest River has firmly established its presence there. The city’s infrastructure is heavily geared towards RV manufacturing, with a skilled labor force that has grown alongside the industry. Forest River benefits from Elkhart’s robust supply chain, fostering efficient production and distribution.

West Coast Expansion

Moving beyond the Midwest, Forest River has extended its reach to the West Coast. This expansion allows them to tap into new markets and cater to the recreational demands of a different demographic. The strategic positioning of manufacturing facilities on the West Coast enhances their logistic capabilities, reducing lead times for deliveries in these regions.

Midwest Manufacturing Hub

The Midwest houses Forest River’s manufacturing hub, with Goshen, Indiana playing a crucial role in their operations. The concentration of production units in this area reflects the company’s commitment to capitalizing on the Midwest’s manufacturing heritage and its proximity to a network of suppliers and dealers.

Frequently Asked Questions


In this section, readers can find answers to common inquiries about Forest River’s scope, ownership, products, and contact information.

Who are the largest manufacturers of RVs similar to Forest River?

Other major RV manufacturers similar to Forest River include Thor Industries, which owns a range of brands such as Airstream and Jayco, and Winnebago Industries, known for its iconic motorhomes and travel trailers.

Can you list what product types Forest River manufactures?

Forest River manufactures a diverse array of recreational vehicles, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-ups, toy haulers, and class A and C motorhomes, catering to the varied needs of outdoor enthusiasts.

What are the different brands that fall under Forest River’s ownership?

Forest River owns over 20 different brands, ensuring a wide variety of RV choices for consumers. They offer everything from budget-friendly pop-ups to luxurious motorized Class As, aiming to cover every kind of traveler’s needs.

Is Forest River a subsidiary of a larger company, and if so, which one?

Yes, Forest River is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company led by CEO Warren Buffett.

Where can I find information about parts for Forest River vehicles?

Information regarding parts for Forest River recreational vehicles can be obtained from their official FAQ page, which provides guidance on how to procure parts through authorized dealers.

How do I contact the corporate office of Forest River Inc?

The corporate office of Forest River Inc can be contacted for customer service and support through the contact details provided on their official website, ensuring customers can reach out for any assistance needed.