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Who Owns Forest River RV? The Fascinating History of a Giant RV Manufacturer

Written by Stephen Ryan / Fact checked by William Turner

who owns forest river rv

For those who are searching for a potential RV, it is important to study various manufacturers. Understanding each brand’s products and features will help RV owners make purchase decisions more easily.

When it comes to the most reliable and well-known RV manufacturers, Forest River travel trailers tops the list. The company is so famous that you can find Forest River products in almost every campground.

Hence, a question is raised: “Who Owns Forest River RV?” The answer to this question may give customers a better understanding of Forest River brands. To give you a hint, Forest River RV is under the management of Forest River Inc. and Berkshire Hathaway Corp.

However, that isn’t the only thing we have in this article. We will provide all knowledge about this legendary RV brand, from its background story to how they work on the Forest River manufacturing process today, along with other interesting knowledge.

Still, before exploring Forest River RVs’ parent companies, let’s have a look at the brand’s fascinating background!

Table of Contents

About Forest River’s Proud History


1. The establishment of Forest River Inc.

To start, we need to clarify that Forest River RV is a division established by Forest River Inc. Aside from RVs, this company manufactures many other products for different purposes, such as travel trailers, camper vans, and commercial trucks.

The great reputation of Forest River has been recognized since its founder, Peter Liegl, fulfilled his passion for making innovative recreational vehicles by establishing Forest River Inc. in 1996. His mission was to help people experience joyous outdoor activities while traveling in a cozy motorhome.

Following the acquisition of certain assets from Cobra Industries, the company began producing pop-up tents for camper vans, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and separate RV parts. Several sub-brands have been put out ever since, including the famous park models by Wildwood, fifth-wheel trailers by Cardinal, and toy haulers by Shockwave.

From 1997 to 1998, Forest River Inc. continued to grow and expand its business into other fields of the recreational vehicle market. In 1998, they introduced Forest River Marine, a division that specializes in pontoon boat production.

In the same year, Forest River Inc. bought assets from Firan Motorhomes and started to manufacture the very first excellent Forest River Class A motorhomes. Thanks to Forest River RV’s non-stop development, people now have a wider choice when choosing an RV.

Under the Forest River brand, you can purchase the RV that suits your taste. This manufacturer has a large selection of products, ranging from Berkshire Class A motorhomes to Class C camper vans by Sunseeker.

2. A great deal with Berkshire Hathaway

Throughout its growth, Forest River Inc. has proved itself to be an excellent business and investor in the market. In 2002, Vanguard Industries as well as Palomino’s assets were purchased by the company, adding Palomino to Forest River’s amazing RV lines.

Despite the rapid expansion, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s company, purchased Forest River Inc. in 2005. The acquisition process took only three months and was completed in August 2005.

The deal was a win-win situation for both sides. While Forest River’s owner, Peter Liegl, would no longer have to worry about finding funds and dealing with rivals who aim to buy his company, profits from Forest River manufacturing would be beneficial to Berkshire Hathaway (even though this is the only RV brand they own).

Thanks to the reputation and financial backing from Berkshire Hathaway, the number of RVs produced and sub-brands acquired by Forest River grew dramatically. This made Forest River RV one of the top manufacturers in the country.

Therefore, since the Forest River Owners’ Group, or FROG was founded in 2011, it has attracted over 150,000 members. Above everything, Forest River Inc. believes that each employee and purchaser is critical to delivering high-quality and dependable products.

Where Are Forest River RVs Made? A Closer Look at Forest River RV’s Production

Despite its popularity, not many people realize that they have seen or have used Forest River’s products. This is because Forest River has acquired up to 45 subsidiaries, including some of the most luxurious RV brands like Elkhart Coach, Berkshire Coach, and Shasta RV, even though they are still under the management of Berkshire Hathaway Corp.

As a result, Forest River factory systems must be located in a place that is both large and convenient for transportation. Hence, it isn’t surprising that Forest River RV’s headquarters are situated in different locations within Elkhart, Indiana, which is also known as the “Capital of RVs.”

Nevertheless, Elkhart wasn’t the first home for this RV manufacturing giant. During its early years, Forest River was founded and operated in the city of Goshen, Indiana. Many production and storage facilities have been built during this time, including 75,000 square feet of warehouses and factories in 1988.

Still, it seems like the modern manufacturing plant and the addition of 100,000 sq. ft. of facilities in 2002 weren’t enough to serve the huge number of orders from Forest River’s clients, as Forest River RV relocated to its latest Elkhart facility.

Is Forest River a Good RV Manufacturer?

Although Forest River has produced RVs for years and proved to be a top manufacturer, you can still see both negative and positive comments about its products. To have the most objective viewpoint on the quality of Forest River RVs, we always recommend searching for honest reviews and advice from real RV owners.

In our opinion, Forest River has some outstanding features that distinguish them from other brands. Firstly, they require strict standards for their products.

Forest River RV’s manufacturers often conduct multiple experiments and tests to ensure that only the highest quality vehicles are produced. Random components are chosen to be examined at their pre-delivery inspection (PDI) facility before being delivered to customers.

Secondly, these automobiles are subjected to additional review to make sure that each model meets all criteria, including pipework, electrical and LP systems, cosmetics, rain bay, function, navigator, as well as other miscellaneous tests.

Hence, by this continuous examination, Forest River RV guarantees that every item in every line meets and exceeds requirements. It is what sets them apart from other RV manufacturers.

What Are Some of the Forest River Brands?


We have come across quite a lot of information and knowledge about Forest River Inc. and Forest River RV. If you believe that Forest River RV’s quality and mission meet your needs, here are some of Forest River RV’s models we think you may be interested in.

  • Class A: Berkshire, Georgetown, Charleston, and FR3. While FR3 is said to be a combination of Class A and Class C RVs, Georgetown and Berkshire motorhomes feature diesel-engine RVs.
  • Class B: Although Forest River RV does not work on Class B camper vans, they are covered by Coachmen, a sub-brand of Forest River Inc. specializing in luxurious Class B RVs.
  • Class C: Forest River’s Class C motorhomes are available in the Solera, Sunseeker, and Forester models.
  • Travel trailers and fifth wheels: As one of the first items ever produced, travel trailers and fifth wheels are the pride of Forest River Inc. There is a very wide range of options with various popular brands like Wildwood, Wolf Pack, and Sandstorm.


Who owns Forest River RV? Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, is currently the owner, and it is doing very well in continuing to expand the brand’s legacy. The great quality of Forest River’s products has made traveling in a Forest River RV a dream for many RVers. If you are amazed by Forest River RV’s reputation, experiencing its motorhome will not be a bad idea!

We hope that this post was helpful! Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let us know and leave a comment below.

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