7 Most Common Problems with Cedar Creek Cottages

The Forest River Cedar Creek Cottage is a popular RV choice. However, Cedar Creek Cottage owners have reported several common issues. Four main problems include unpleasant water heater odors, furnace fan malfunctions, poorly positioned dining tables, and broken slider arms. Specifically, the water heater can emit foul smells inside the RV. The furnace fan often makes loud noises or fails to distribute heat properly. The dining table placement blocks windows, reducing natural light and views. 

Finally, slider arms frequently break, preventing windows and doors from opening and closing smoothly. While minor, these issues can detract from owners’ enjoyment. Implementing simple solutions can alleviate these nuisances and enhance the overall Cedar Creek Cottage experience.

1. Damaging UV Exposure Issues

Without protective finishes, exterior cedar siding is vulnerable to sun damage. Over years of exposure, UV radiation can cause unchecked graying, drying, cracking, and warping.


  • Lack of protective stains/paints on exposed siding
  • Harsh UV exposure from sunlight in uncovered areas


  • Stain or paint all exposed siding using high quality UV resistant exterior grade finishes
  • Make sure exterior paints/stains are reapplied every 3-5 years
  • Construct overhangs above exterior walls to provide shade and protection

Taking steps to shield or cover exterior wood from sunlight preserves its integrity and appearance for longer. This prevents premature replacement costs down the road.

2. Ventilation & Temperature Regulation Issues

Ventilation & Temperature Regulation Issues

Cedar cottages charming wood construction also comes with some drawbacks for controlling interior temperatures and ventilation. This can lead to issues with condensation, humidity, and comfort.


  • Lack of modern insulation in walls/ceiling
  • No forced air heating/cooling system
  • Limited windows preventing cross breeze potential


  • Install adequate insulation levels during any renovations
  • Add mini-split heating/cooling systems for better climate control
  • Strategically add extra windows/doors to encourage passive air circulation
  • Use dehumidifiers during humid/damp seasons

Improving insulation levels and adding supplemental climate control systems helps regulate interior temperatures and airflow. Enhancing natural ventilation can also passively cool and dry the indoor space.

3.Higher Upfront & Maintenance Costs

While aesthetically charming, cedar cottage owners must account for higher upfront builds costs compared to standardized construction. Their wood composition also requires more ongoing maintenance.


  • Specialized custom carpentry skills required
  • Shortages in qualified cedar wood supply chains
  • No economies of scale compared to tract housing
  • Need to continually maintain wood exteriors


  • Get multiple bids to find most cost-efficient custom homebuilder
  • Plan adequate timeline for sourcing high quality cedar lumber
  • Build maintenance budget for annual upkeep costs
  • Stain interiors instead of wood paneling to reduce future restoration needs

Being realistic about the higher initial and long term costs associated with cedar cottage ownership is important. Creating adequate maintenance budgets and using lower maintenance finishes selectively helps moderate future expenses.

4. Smelly Heater Water

Smelly Heater Water

The electric water heater in Cedar Creek Cottages frequently emits a bothersome “rotten egg” odor from the hot water. This smell results from bacteria buildup on the magnesium anode rod inside the tank. The rod connects to the water heater’s hot water outlet at the top.

Fix 1 – Vinegar Flush (Temporary)

To temporarily alleviate smells, drain all water from the tank. Then, fill with a water/vinegar solution. Let sit for several hours before draining vinegar solution through all fixtures. This cleans bacteria buildup inside. However, it’s only a short-term fix.

Fix 2 – Replace Anode Rod (Permanent)

For a complete fix, replace the anode rod. First, drain all water from the tank. Then open the tank and unscrew the old anode rod unit located at the top. Purchase a new anode rod online and screw it in tightly. This permanently stops smelly odors. Watch a YouTube video for visual guidance on replacing the rod if needed.

Replacing the anode rod is an straightforward, permanent solution to eliminate unpleasant water heater odors in Cedar Creek Cottages. The vinegar flush offers temporary relief if a replacement rod is unavailable.

5. Faulty Furnace Fan

A properly functioning furnace fan is critical for heating Cedar Creek Cottages in cold weather. Common furnace fan problems include complete failure, slow spinning, limited airflow, loud noises, and lack of heat.

The Little Guy Mini Max problems may manifest subtly, with an indicator light occasionally failing to signal issues. In some instances, the fan may spin but struggle to adequately warm the RV, hindered by slow spinning that limits airflow through vents. Additionally, loud spinning noises are a common occurrence.

Fix – Check Power Sources

If the fan works but provides no heat, check that the fuel tank has sufficient propane/diesel and the battery is adequately charged. Insufficient fuel or battery power can prevent ignition and heating.

Fix – Clear Air Intake

Slow airflow often results from debris clogging the furnace’s air intake vent. Carefully clear leaves, dust, or other blockages to restore full airflow.

Fix – Inspect Fan Blades

Loud spinning noises indicate fan blades are touching the fan cover. Carefully inspect the mounting and ensure blades have sufficient clearance. Also check wiring connectors.

Fix – Replace Fan

If previous solutions do not resolve the issues, the furnace fan likely needs replacement. Fans contain moving parts subject to wear. Locate the furnace fan assembly within the RV and disconnect all wiring. Remove old fan and replace with an identical new unit, reconnecting all wiring when done.

With simple troubleshooting and replacements when needed, Cedar Creek Cottage owners can continue enjoying cozy winter camping. Evaluating power sources, clearing intake vents, assessing fan blades, and replacing broken fan units will restore warm air flow.

6. Dining Table Too Close to Window

Dining Table Too Close to Window

A common complaint with Cedar Creek Cottages is that the dining table is positioned too closely to the RV’s side windows. As a result, the table prevents the window shades from fully extending. An annoying gap remains at the window bottom with light streaming in. The tight quarters also make sitting in the nearby chairs difficult.

Fix 1 – Install Smaller Table

An easy solution is to replace the existing table with a slightly narrower model. First unscrew the current table from the floor. Purchase a table a few inches slimmer and secure it in the same spot, allowing a bit more room between the table edges and windows.

Fix 2 – Reposition Existing Table

Alternatively, unbolt the legs of the current dining table from the floor. Place the table a few inches away from the windows, ensuring sufficient room to fully extend the shades. Re-screw the table legs securely into the new location.

If the dining table is unnecessary, removing it completely frees up additional space and eliminates the problem.

With a slimmer table or repositioning the existing unit just a short distance, Cedar Creek Cottage owners can restore functionality of the window shades and chairs in the dining area. The simple adjustments go a long way in making mealtimes more enjoyable.

7. Broken Slide Arms

Slide-outs may become stuck and unable to retract if their extension arms become bent or broken over time. Weight pressure and repeated use can compromise these critical moving parts.

Attempt Minor Fixes

If damage seems minimal, unload gear to release pressure. Then gently try realigning slightly bent arms by hand or with an RV technician’s assistance. This may restore full slide functionality.

Replace Broken Arms

Severely damaged arms with full breaks or tears cannot safely be repaired – replacement is necessary. New slide support arms, professional installation, and fine-tuning typically ranges $100-$500, varying by damage extent. Replacing fatigued parts before complete failure occurs will maximize longevity of slide function. Prompt repairs allow safe resumption of Cedar Creek Cottages’ convenient slide-outs.

Cedar Creek Cottage Reviews

Despite a few common fixes needed, overall owner satisfaction with the value-packed Cedar Creek Cottage line remains high. Thousands of positive reviews praise the RV’s spacious floorplans, clever storage solutions, smooth towing capabilities, and reliability enduring many trouble-free miles. The insulated four seasons construction enables camping in comfort across a wide climate range. 

Although the Cedar Creek Cottage offers affordability in both purchase and maintenance, some users express concerns about Cedar Creek poor quality. Despite occasional minor issues, Forest River’s extensive service network aids in resolving warranty-covered defects or simple repairs such as slide outs, ventilation, and water systems, ensuring a satisfactory ownership experience.

For the combination of quality, convenience, and price, many owners consider the Cedar Creek Cottage a perfect starter RV to embark on carefree, budget-conscious adventures for years to come.

Cedar Creek Cottage 40CDL

  • Sleeps 10 with bunk beds, queen bed, tri-fold sofa, and convertible dinette
  • Length 41ft 10in, height 13ft 6in, double slide outs add living space
  • Automatic leveling jacks, heated underbelly, and laminated roof for weather protection
  • Full kitchen with 8 cu ft refrigerator, convection microwave, and residential sink
  • Enclosed heated underbelly protects tanks and pipes in cold weather camping
  • USB ports, LED lighting, skylight, and entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Roomy bathroom with glassed shower, porcelain toilet, power vent fan
  • 75-gallon fresh water capacity, dedicated black/grey tanks with sprayer hoses
  • Multiple large exterior storage compartments for gear, accessible even with slide-outs extended
  • Sleeps up to 10 comfortably with bunks for kids and multiple couple’s accommodation
  • Top selling Cedar Creek for larger families seeking space, convenience & value pricing

The 40CDL balances roominess, insulation, amenities and affordability for four-season adventure seekers.


The popular Forest River Cedar Creek Cottage RV suffers a few common issues based on owner reports. Smelly hot water, faulty furnace fans, poorly placed dinettes, broken slide arms, thin insulation, and leaky tanks rank among top complaints. Reasons range from manufacturing defects to inevitable wear after years of vibration and use. 

Fortunately, most issues have straightforward DIY fixes – like adjusting furniture layout, sealing cracks, or replacing individual broken parts. More involved repairs like comprehensive re-insulation may require hiring professional mobile technicians. But prioritizing early diagnosis and repair prevents small problems from cascading into major systems failures down the road. 

With responsive upkeep and custom upgrades as desired, Cedar Creek owners can resolve annoyances and continue enjoying comfortable camping no matter the destination or season for years of memories ahead.

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