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TOPIC: Thinking about buying a Redwood....

Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #1

  • OldGoat
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Hello all! Janet and I have been full-timing for almost three years now in our '08 Forest River Cardinal. We have enjoyed it immensely and have decided we are going to do this until we can't do this any longer....which should be for a very long time.....god-willing and the creek don't rise. So we need to get something bigger! And better! I welcome any comments, positive or negative, that may help us decide on a Redwood....or not. I have admired them since I first saw one and am considering getting one.

Please help...

OldGoat
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #2

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We purchased ours last August, one year old and very slightly used, and have never regretted our decision. Upgraded from a Montana and our rig has been very reliable and no issues. We full time and couldn't be happier.
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #3

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OldGoat wrote: Hello all! Janet and I have been full-timing for almost three years now in our '08 Forest River Cardinal. We have enjoyed it immensely and have decided we are going to do this until we can't do this any longer....which should be for a very long time.....god-willing and the creek don't rise. So we need to get something bigger! And better! I welcome any comments, positive or negative, that may help us decide on a Redwood....or not. I have admired them since I first saw one and am considering getting one.

Please help...

OldGoat
US Navy, Retired


Welcome to the RW Owners Group forum from a fellow mariner.

Our RW is 4 years old and looks almost as good as it did when we drove it off the dealer's lot. Regardless which RV you purchase you can expect to have some issues, especially considering the condition of the roads.

We believe the 2 most important considerations when considering an RV are - how does the company stand-by the product and dealer after sales service. During our warranty period we had a few minor issues due to normal use, but RW dealt with everything to our complete satisfaction.

At the recent Rally, we had numerous RW technicians running around the campground fixing issues, regardless of whether the coach was in or out of warranty. The even took larger issues into the service centre, or pre-approved dealers to address repairs. That was exceptional service.

As an owner's group we also have an excellent relationship and maintain open communications with the Executive, who do listen to owner feedback, with many of the biggest owner issues resolved with the new 2017's.

Is every coach perfect, sadly that isn't the case, but RW has also built a new pre-delivery inspection building and every new coach gets a PDI before departing the factory.
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Andy & Judi, Canines - Kona & Bella
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #4

Welcome! We too are fulltime & the last 4 years in our RW. In our case it was taken to the factory service center once where they took care of our punch list & fixed items I didn't notice were a problem, other than that it has never been in any shop, I've taken care of all issues with guidance & most cases reimbursement from RW for parts.
Personally I highly recommend the RW to anyone that is fulltime, or even part time.
If ordering the unit I would recommend getting disc brakes & H rated tires, that will be 2 items you'll not have any worries with going forward.
As Andy stated there are NO rvs that will have no issues, but for me RW has been great to deal with when you do have a problem.
Good luck with your search & safe travels!
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Travelin' Texans
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #5

Our Redwood 36RL was good to us, but Redwoods are heavy. We had an F350 like yours and found that we couldn't haul water and we were still overloading the rear tires. We ended up going to a dually.

Given this is your long term plan, I would recommend a heftier truck, and expect to do some upgrades to the suspension (Moreryde IS as an example - $3500 - like what DRV uses). The factory suspension is just sub par for what it has to do. I would also recommend disk brakes, either factory or have them installed with the IS suspension.
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2014 36RL (Sold) - Brad, Dory & Sarah

Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #6

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Paul, Thank you for the info. I have received several replies, all very positive.

Kolin

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #7

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Andy and Judi, thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate the information...lots of positive replies so far. I will let everyone know if I end up purchasing one....leaning that way....

Kolin

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #8

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Danny and Linda,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I have received several positive comments and am starting to lean more and more to the RW.

Thanks again,

Kolin

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #9

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atom ant,

Thank you for the reply. I do have a dually now...that is an old picture I posted... so I am good there. I have received comments regarding upgrading to H-rated tires and disc brakes. Good idea on the suspension as well. We are going to look at a couple today to start getting a feel for the RW.

Thanks again,

Kolin

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #10

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Kolin,

The new RW's now come standard with H-tires, 8K axles & Centre-point suspension.

I added Centre-point at the rally and in the 5,000 miles back to the West Coast it was a huge improvement.

The IS system is probably better, but it is also an expensive upgrade

Disk brakes are still only an option and as most others suggest, should be the 1st option selected.

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Andy & Judi, Canines - Kona & Bella
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2016 F350 DRW
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #11

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Good afternoon Kolin ,

We went through this very same thought process not too long ago when we were purchasing our "16" Redwood 38RL...

I am 100% thrilled with the decision to buy it , with the trailer, and most importantly, with the dealer. Like stated already , most RV's will have issues, it is the dealer that can make or break the good feelings...

We still have our "15" SRW as our tow vehicle, as we are weekend warriors still and are just within all our capacities.. If I were to go full time , i would not do it with my truck.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #12

Welcome Kolin,

You've done the right thing by asking BEFORE buying!

Since this is a favorite topic, here goes:

1) 16,500 lbs...You've got a dually. Good job. But check your ratings. They vary a lot by brand and year model.

2) SINCE THE RV INDUSTRY IS NOT REGULATED:

2A) Double check axle weight ratings. DO NOT settle on 7000 lb axles. MAKE SURE you have 8000 lb axles. There is a tag on them.

2B) Look at the suspension. If money is a factor, you can't go wrong with a Lipert CenterPoint System. If you have money, get the Mor-Ryde IS System. We're purchasing the CP soon. There is a $3000 price difference. Do your homework.

2C) Get Disc brakes. DO NOT settle on electric. The 3.5" on the 8000 lb axles are better than the 2.5" on the 7000 lb axles but you WILL be forever grateful once you experience Discs. I just got ours completed today. It wasn't night and day. Instead, it was like 2017 versus 1717! More on that with a new and separate post forthcoming...

2D) H-rated tires...G's are good and E's are forbidden. When a tire blows, it can cost in the neighborhood of $8000 to repair. 16-Ply H is far superior. More on that to also come...

Some "other" items to consider:

3) Power Monitoring, Surge Protector - Progressive Industries. There is a portable unit a a hard-wired unit. I opted for hard-wired to prevent theft. Many parks have electrical issues. This WILL protect your RV. It has already paid for itself twice for us.

4) If you are looking at new, consider the Lippert FlexAir pinbox. We have the older TrailAir Pin Box and it works great. Some have experienced issues, but we are happy with this pin box. If you get stuck with the standard stock pin box, invest in a medical policy for whiplash.

5) Do you want a Generator? There will be a lot of opinions here but we're opting for the 8000W Diesel unit. There are weight considerations but Propane units think it is an open tab at the bar. By installing a 109 gallon tank in your truck, you can buy Diesel in one state cheap to use to cross the country our fuel up the generator.

6) Air bags for the truck. That will help to level out the RV and truck.

7) Hitch - B&W Companion Hitch can't be beat.

Some issues we've had with our Redwood:

1) Plugs pull out of the island. To fix this, you'll need to install some backboards. I'll post examples and solutions shortly.

2) The Maxx-Air fan in the kitchen had to have new fears after only 2 years and very little use. You'll have to call Maxx-Air to get replacement gears.

3) The fireplace thermostat went out but Redwood was great at the 2015 Rally. Instead of changing the stat, they put in a new fireplace!

4) Cabinet latches are sorry but the RV industry just refuses to use good ones. By a large supply.

5) The couch and recliner plether fabric is crap. It lasts about 2 years and begins to flake off. We'll replace with a cloth type fabric shortly.

6) A/C ducting....CRAP in the 2014 and 2015 versions. Redwood runs the supply side through the return side. They foam so much around it that it limits the air flow. You will have to check the new 16 and 17 to see if any improvements have been made. The A/C vent collars also stick to far into the duct work to get any air.

Things to consider:

Get 3 A/C units if travels include visits to the south. 2 just struggle like crazy to get you to 80 degrees. If staying with 2 units, try the new Atwood Helium Based units. You'll get 18,000 BTUs for the same wattage as the 15,500 BTU units.

Stay with the propane stoves unless you plan to invest in a new st of $300 special dishes. The induction units do not give you the same level of heat as they are 120 volt units. Not 240 volt.

This will give you a few things to think about. As others come to mind, I'll continue to post....

Happy trails.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #13

Kolin,

Are you considering new or used? Private party or dealership?

If new or used at a dealership, send me an IM for tips we used at the dealership that could save you $$.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #14

Another thing...

For this price point, there are only a hand full of brands to choose from. In no particular order:

Redwood (Thor/Crossroads)

Cardinal (Forest River)

Landmark 365 (Heartland)

Lifestyle (Independent that went out of business last year?)

Montana Big Sky (Keystone)

Big Horn (Heartland)

Trilogy (Dynamax)

Excel (Peterson Industries)

Cedar Creek (Forest River)

There may be one or two more since its subjective on price point and amenities.

There are a couple of upper end models such as DVR/Mobile Suites and Horizon.

Going back to this price point, we went back and forth until we found the Redwood. Its all a matter of preference but the GK had a lot more galley space.

I also reviewed all kinds of construction data, R-values and the like.

Finally, I researched "Recall" data.

For the price, Redwood had fit the full-timing requirements. Short of all of the things I've had to do (that I should not have had to do), its still our choice at the moment. There has been a lot to learn about this lifestyle but so far, neither of us are looking back. We still go to every RV show to see whats new and out there. So far, "we" would consider Redwood and Landmark 365 very comparable. Each offer 1 or 2 things that the other one does not. If price and a whole new truck was not required (i.e. a 4500 or 5500 Ram), then we would have definitely gone DRV Mobile Suites for a bunch of reasons. They just weigh too much and cost another 35-50% more.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #15

If you check recall information and customer complaints registered to each brand alone, you'll narrow your choice down real quick, fast and in a hurry...

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #16

GipCTravelers wrote:
5) Do you want a Generator? There will be a lot of opinions here but we're opting for the 8000W Diesel unit. There are weight considerations but Propane units think it is an open tab at the bar. By installing a 109 gallon tank in your truck, you can buy Diesel in one state cheap to use to cross the country our fuel up the generator.

I have the 8000W diesel Onan. Water cooled, variable speed pure sine wave, nice unit, but also enormous, and heavy (420lbs empty). I really thing trying to jamb one of those into a Redwood is an exercise in futility for not a lot of gain. By the time you brace for it, add the weight, and all that fuel in the truck, I doubt you would still be in dually territory. Our 5500 Propane unit served the Redwood just perfect and it fit like a glove (plug-n-play). Portable tanks are easy to get refilled.
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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #17

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GipCTravelers wrote: Another thing...

For this price point, there are only a hand full of brands to choose from. In no particular order:

Redwood (Thor/Crossroads)

Cardinal (Forest River)

Landmark 365 (Heartland)

Lifestyle (Independent that went out of business last year?)

Montana Big Sky (Keystone)

Big Horn (Heartland)

Trilogy (Dynamax)

Excel (Peterson Industries)

Cedar Creek (Forest River)

There may be one or two more since its subjective on price point and amenities.

There are a couple of upper end models such as DVR/Mobile Suites and Horizon.

Going back to this price point, we went back and forth until we found the Redwood. Its all a matter of preference but the GK had a lot more galley space.

I also reviewed all kinds of construction data, R-values and the like.

Finally, I researched "Recall" data.

For the price, Redwood had fit the full-timing requirements. Short of all of the things I've had to do (that I should not have had to do), its still our choice at the moment. There has been a lot to learn about this lifestyle but so far, neither of us are looking back. We still go to every RV show to see whats new and out there. So far, "we" would consider Redwood and Landmark 365 very comparable. Each offer 1 or 2 things that the other one does not. If price and a whole new truck was not required (i.e. a 4500 or 5500 Ram), then we would have definitely gone DRV Mobile Suites for a bunch of reasons. They just weigh too much and cost another 35-50% more.


GipCtravelers, Dont forget about Riverstone by Forest River. Lots of standard features that Redwood owners were asking about for the last few years. Heavy too...
www.forestriverinc.com/brochures/2017/20...verstonebrochure.pdf

But you have to go with a unit that fits your budget, and hopefully you don't need a bigger truck to pull it with either.

Chris

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Chris & Maria

2012 36RL, Full Body Paint, Dual Awning, Dual a/c, Splendide Combo, Fisher Paykel dishwasher, 6.5kW Onan, Goodyear G614's.
2015 F550 6.7l, 4X4, Lariat, CC, 176" WB, Long Box, B&W Companion

Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 2 years 3 weeks ago #18

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For what is worth, I agree with GipCtravlers almost 100%. If you want a very clear and to the point and very Factual review on the Redwood then read what he has to say. I have a 2015 GK and have found everything he says to be exactly as he list it. No surprises. I have found that the 5500 Onan to serve my GK well. Now I do not use it often and certainly not for days. Mainly for cooling it off about hour before I get to my site and when I stop for lunch. Fits perfect.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 1 year 9 months ago #19

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Just curious to know if you landed on a particular brand/unit? If you should have any further questions regarding the Redwood please don't hesitate to call Redwood and ask to speak to the Regional Manager local to your market for the most up to date product information.

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Thinking about buying a Redwood.... 1 year 9 months ago #20

We bought our 2015 31SL a year ago brand new. After a rough start with the Redwood in the shop for a month getting all the discovered issues fixed, we are happy to report a flawless experience now! We just returned from 3 weeks in St. George UT and loved the comfort and features of this 5th wheel. It is the perfect size for us. No new issues discovered since June of last year so think we are good. I would advise a thorough walk thru PRIOR to signing and paying for a Redwood. We did the opposite only to find out that our pre-purchase punch list had not been touched. So, we waited all day for those items to be fixed and discover many more issues on our first trip out. Also, make the first trip close to home! We went north to Alberta Canada, should have stayed within a couple of hours of home since there were some major difficulties including a roof leak and slide out ceiling falling down, oh and old batteries that had not charged since they had no water in them.

It is the best rv though, after everything is fixed :)
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