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TOPIC: Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #1

  • CFlohr
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Hello to all. I joined here awhile back, but never introduced myself.

I purchased my first Redwood product in April of this year. It is a 2015 Sequoia 38HRL. This was my first 5th wheel RV. I moved up from a 27ft. Springdale tow behind that I had for 10 years. The upgrade was beyond belief!

I travel a lot due to work and had been staying in my camper whenever possible or practical. A recent divorce prompted me to re-evaluate my short and long term plans. I decided to forego a new home that I would only be in part time and go full time into a 5th wheel. Made more sense due to work and the desire to become a snowbird. I had been staying in my old camper up to 6-7 months a year already, so it wasn't much of a step to full time.

I have been very pleased with the Sequoia!! NO problems with it at all so far of four months of full timing. Over these last four months I've realized that it wasn't quite what I want. All along Ive been wishing for the full blown Redwood with its beautiful paint and nicer interior. My Sequoia is indeed very nice with solid Cherry interior, don't get me wrong... I was not quite happy with my bedroom either, wanted more room around my king size bed. Factor all of this together, and I have decide to move up to the RW38GK.

I'm very excited about getting the GK. I'm going to pick it up around August 15th. I'm a little concerned that I'm under trucked with my 2014 GMC Denali HD SRW. I'm fine with the pull power, but worry about the weight and stability. I will manage in the short term, but know that a truck upgrade will be required eventually. In the meantime, I'll just have to travel slower and more cautiously, especially in the mountains. My truck did fine towing the Sequoia from Michigan into West Virginia. I was totally fine until I got into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, then I had to slow down to feel comfortable in the down hill turns. Fortunately I don't travel very often. I usually stay put for a few months or more at a time. Planning on going to Florida in December though.

Any advice is welcomed.

Chuck

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #2

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Congratulations on the new Redwood!

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #3

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Chuck,

Welcome to the ROG and our forum, where you will find lots of owners with great advice. Congratulation on you choice of coach, the GK is a great floorplan.

Regarding your truck, I don't know any specs on the GMC, but we towed our 36FL over 15,000 miles with a 2012 F350 SRW. This included numerous trips through the Rockies with long grades of 8%. We managed the weight carefully and never carried any water to keep the pin weight about 3,000 lbs, which was the max load I could put on the rear axle.

Our new dually is more stable, but the old SRW was not overloaded and handled every towing challenge without issue.

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Andy & Judi, Canines - Kona & Bella
Maple Ridge, BC
2013 RW 36FL
2016 F350 DRW
Cruise & RV Blog: www.andyandjudi.com
President - ROG

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #4

Congratulations and you've made a fine selection! We also have the 38GK (2014). It's been great with all the extra cabinet space.

A couple of things you may want to consider:

1) That tow vehicle is very important. Under-sizing can cost safety concerns and at least durability concerns. Without getting political, at least get a diesel dually truck. It provides a lot more stability and with the added pin weight, it can carry the load a lot safer. BTW...I choose the Ram 3500...:)

2) Here are a few issues WE are concerned about.

2a) 7000# axles. They are too light for this vehicle. You should consider (as funds allow) getting the 8000# axles and Disc brakes. Disc's will make a 100% difference in your braking ability. And upgrade to the "H" tires. Contact Titan Guy here on the blog and he can fix you up.

2b) Get an upgraded Pin Box. We have the Tri-Glide Pin Box. Apparently Lippert no longer makes that one so you would have to switch to the MorRyde equivalent or Lippert latest, the Lippert FlexAir Pin Box.

2c) Upgrade your roof to the Armor roof system. If you stay with the existing roof, you'll hear plenty of complaints about "bubbling" and eventually, leaks.

2d) You'll definitely want to invest in some kind of surge protector. You'll have a choice between the portable or fixed model. We have the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C. It's worth it to protect your electronics.

2e) If you end up with a small stress crack on the passenger side, garage door, don't panic. Ours has been there for some time. It's on the left side of the door at the bottom. The crack is about 3" long. Just another one of those design flaws from a weak frame...There are no engineering standards apparently for the RV industry and since there are only 2 major players left, they don't worry about quality anymore.

2f) Do your Pre-Delivery Checkout. There are several good ones on the internet. Or hire an RV inspector (about $400) if you don't have the time or patience to do this yourself. Here is one of the better ones: changingears.com/rv-checklist-inspection.shtml

2g) Look especially close to your slide seals. On one side of our unit, the seal at the top doesn't even touch the RV roof. It's as if they cut the opening too big and then didn't have the right size seal. It's on the passenger side living room. Fortunately, up to this point, we have been pretty lucky to avoid rain. On the one storm we did encounter recently with 70 mph winds, the rain was driven from the opposite direction. Otherwise, I might be writing a different story here...I guess I'll have to install a custom 6" seal in order to reach the roof. How sad...yet, another quality control issue.

2h) Did you order yours with 2 or 3 A/C units? We have 2. In the Texas heat, it WILL NOT be enough unless you turn the unit down to 60 at night, leave your shades closed, and never open the door. THEN you might be able to get to 80 during the day. Expect to have to modify your duct work and add extra return air grills and dig out the foam to the best of your ability if you have the duct system that runs the Return air thru the Supply air. There is plenty about that here on this blog. You could upgrade to the latest 18,000 BTU units. They are helium based and pull the same amount of watts at the 15,500 BTU units. That would give you an extra 1/2 ton capacity.

2i) Don't panic over the dirty carpet you'll have to endure on the passenger den side as the slide comes in and out. There are no rollers for the slide to come in and out on. The "glide" in on some silly plastic slides. As it rains and collects dirt on the outside underbelly, that dirt will just make your carpet look worn out and used. If you get a chocolate brown carpet, you might be able to avoid this fine ugly feature. It's amazing that there are no rollers under there. And, don't be surprised that you get a gouge or two on the bottom of the slide form the wonderful carpet staples that are not thoroughly driven in. You can't repair this ugliness yourself as it will require the slide to be taken out for the right fix.

2j) With the full body paint, don;t be surprised if you get a few scratches in it from tree branches. The good part is that at least you can use the Scratch Doctor wax. It seems to work pretty good.

2k) If you have the Maxx Air fans, be sure to call the company now and get a new set of plastic worm gears. You'll probably strip them out (unintentionally of course) in the first 2 years and have to replace them about every two years after that. More of those quality control issues. Of course, some here here will tell you how great their customer service is about sending you a new one. I've yet to receive mine after the 3rd try...

2j) Move the water filter right away. You'll not like having to deal with the spilled water every time you change the filter. There are pictures of the modifications we've made on other links here.


Other than the items above, you have purchased a great product. We're in the process of downsizing now. We're getting ready for full timing in the very near future. Our first Workkamper assignment has been offered to us and we're looking forward to it.

One thing you will like is all of the storage space and the double bedroom slide out (if you opted for that).

Congratulations again on your new purchase!

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #5

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Thanks for all the advice!

My biggest concern is my truck. Yes, it is a diesel. Plenty of pull power... I worry about pin weight and stability, especially going down hill into turns. It has tendency to want to wash out the rear end, kind of lift and push so to speak. I have solved this issue so far by slowing down to the 55-60 mph range in the hilly and curvy areas. On flat open roads... no problem running 70 mph, can't even tell its back there. This is with my Sequoia 38HRL, I'm sure the Redwood 38GK will be heavier yet.

Considering air bags for now as a short term fix till I can upgrade to a dually. Hoping that I can avoid it, as this is also my only vehicle. The SRW is much easier to maneuver around town.

My new 38GK comes with the Tri-Glide pin box.

I have a surge protector already. A Progressive Industries SSP-50X Portable RV Surge Protector.

Two A/C's, I think I'll be okay. I don't spend any time down south when it's too hot. More of a snow bird so to speak.

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #6

We've lived in ours since Nov 2012 & towed it from coast to coast border to border, about 40-45k+ miles) with the 7k axles & electric brakes with only the MorRyde heavy shackle wet bolt upgrade & have not had any problems (knock on wood) with the suspension or the G rated tires. I'm upgrading to disc brakes/H tires this winter not due to problems, but it's time to replace both & it's as cheap or cheaper to upgrade than to replace.
We've been in Arizona, Texas panhandle, east coast in the summer & with the help of a couple oscillating fans & only 2 acs we can keep the place as cool & comfy as we like.
Welcome to the forum & congratulations on owning 2 RW products & wish you luck with the GK!!
This is a great place to solve about any issue that comes up, so dont hesitate to ask.

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Travelin' Texans

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #7

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Chuck,

Congrats on your new GK purchase, I hope it is all you want it to be!!

I believe you are smart in your logic and think you;ll be much happier with the DRW truck, though the SWR will do a good job as long as you don't exceed the weight limits, you'll have much more comfort and confidence with the dual wheels.

Glad you're happy with the Redwood brand, I hope you will consider joining the ROG to keep the full benefits of this valuable resource (can still get a Charter membership until August 6th for $35, after that a Regular membership will be $50/annual)

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Chuck & Ruth Treadway
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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #8

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GipCTravelers wrote: Congratulations and you've made a fine selection! We also have the 38GK (2014). It's been great with all the extra cabinet space.

A couple of things you may want to consider:

1) That tow vehicle is very important. Under-sizing can cost safety concerns and at least durability concerns. Without getting political, at least get a diesel dually truck. It provides a lot more stability and with the added pin weight, it can carry the load a lot safer. BTW...I choose the Ram 3500...:)

2) Here are a few issues WE are concerned about.

2a) 7000# axles. They are too light for this vehicle. You should consider (as funds allow) getting the 8000# axles and Disc brakes. Disc's will make a 100% difference in your braking ability. And upgrade to the "H" tires. Contact Titan Guy here on the blog and he can fix you up.

2b) Get an upgraded Pin Box. We have the Tri-Glide Pin Box. Apparently Lippert no longer makes that one so you would have to switch to the MorRyde equivalent or Lippert latest, the Lippert FlexAir Pin Box.

2c) Upgrade your roof to the Armor roof system. If you stay with the existing roof, you'll hear plenty of complaints about "bubbling" and eventually, leaks.

2d) You'll definitely want to invest in some kind of surge protector. You'll have a choice between the portable or fixed model. We have the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C. It's worth it to protect your electronics.

2e) If you end up with a small stress crack on the passenger side, garage door, don't panic. Ours has been there for some time. It's on the left side of the door at the bottom. The crack is about 3" long. Just another one of those design flaws from a weak frame...There are no engineering standards apparently for the RV industry and since there are only 2 major players left, they don't worry about quality anymore.

2f) Do your Pre-Delivery Checkout. There are several good ones on the internet. Or hire an RV inspector (about $400) if you don't have the time or patience to do this yourself. Here is one of the better ones: changingears.com/rv-checklist-inspection.shtml

2g) Look especially close to your slide seals. On one side of our unit, the seal at the top doesn't even touch the RV roof. It's as if they cut the opening too big and then didn't have the right size seal. It's on the passenger side living room. Fortunately, up to this point, we have been pretty lucky to avoid rain. On the one storm we did encounter recently with 70 mph winds, the rain was driven from the opposite direction. Otherwise, I might be writing a different story here...I guess I'll have to install a custom 6" seal in order to reach the roof. How sad...yet, another quality control issue.

2h) Did you order yours with 2 or 3 A/C units? We have 2. In the Texas heat, it WILL NOT be enough unless you turn the unit down to 60 at night, leave your shades closed, and never open the door. THEN you might be able to get to 80 during the day. Expect to have to modify your duct work and add extra return air grills and dig out the foam to the best of your ability if you have the duct system that runs the Return air thru the Supply air. There is plenty about that here on this blog. You could upgrade to the latest 18,000 BTU units. They are helium based and pull the same amount of watts at the 15,500 BTU units. That would give you an extra 1/2 ton capacity.

2i) Don't panic over the dirty carpet you'll have to endure on the passenger den side as the slide comes in and out. There are no rollers for the slide to come in and out on. The "glide" in on some silly plastic slides. As it rains and collects dirt on the outside underbelly, that dirt will just make your carpet look worn out and used. If you get a chocolate brown carpet, you might be able to avoid this fine ugly feature. It's amazing that there are no rollers under there. And, don't be surprised that you get a gouge or two on the bottom of the slide form the wonderful carpet staples that are not thoroughly driven in. You can't repair this ugliness yourself as it will require the slide to be taken out for the right fix.

2j) With the full body paint, don;t be surprised if you get a few scratches in it from tree branches. The good part is that at least you can use the Scratch Doctor wax. It seems to work pretty good.

2k) If you have the Maxx Air fans, be sure to call the company now and get a new set of plastic worm gears. You'll probably strip them out (unintentionally of course) in the first 2 years and have to replace them about every two years after that. More of those quality control issues. Of course, some here here will tell you how great their customer service is about sending you a new one. I've yet to receive mine after the 3rd try...

2j) Move the water filter right away. You'll not like having to deal with the spilled water every time you change the filter. There are pictures of the modifications we've made on other links here.


Other than the items above, you have purchased a great product. We're in the process of downsizing now. We're getting ready for full timing in the very near future. Our first Workkamper assignment has been offered to us and we're looking forward to it.

One thing you will like is all of the storage space and the double bedroom slide out (if you opted for that).

Congratulations again on your new purchase!


Ditto to most everything stated above. As of yet my slides are not a problem. But can see where they possibly will be. As for the 2 AC's, ABSOLUTELY do not work properly. Anyone telling you they do either has pickle juice for blood or spends no time in there RW during the hot summer. i am currently parked in Ark. today it was 96 degrees with a 105 heat index. Coolest my RW will maintain is 83*. I have the widows cover with aluminum bubble wrap. I love the Redwood. However .... I do have some HUGE disappointments.

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #9

You've made mention that your Maxx vents had plastic gears, I've replaced 2 since new & the originals & replacements were all metal so something may have changed!
Also my dill pickle blood has not had any problem keeping cool in any of the very hot areas weve been to, granted they may not cycle off/on, but had no problem keeping cool with only 2 acs.

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Travelin' Texans

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #10

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Ditto to most everything stated above. As of yet my slides are not a problem. But can see where they possibly will be. As for the 2 AC's, ABSOLUTELY do not work properly. Anyone telling you they do either has pickle juice for blood or spends no time in there RW during the hot summer. i am currently parked in Ark. today it was 96 degrees with a 105 heat index. Coolest my RW will maintain is 83*. I have the widows cover with aluminum bubble wrap. I love the Redwood. However .... I do have some HUGE disappointments.


I am in Shipshewana IN at the Redwood Rally, sitting in direct Sun, outside temp is approx. 86 degrees and my inside Temp as I currently am looking at the thermostat shows 72 degrees. I did have to do some A/C system upgrades / improvements to get the system to function as it should.

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Robert, Sheryl & Bale (The Wonder Dog)
2014 Redwood 38FL
MoRyde 8K IS, Disc Brakes, MoRyde Pin Box
17.5 Goodyear G114s, RV Armor Roof
2018 RAM 3500 DRW
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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #11

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I'm just down the street from Rob at the Rally. My RL is a very comfortable 73 degrees and when I went out to get propane at 3:30 the truck said it was 93. I too have done some collar and duct work to get better flow. No complaints here.

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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #12

Danny and Linda wrote: You've made mention that your Maxx vents had plastic gears, I've replaced 2 since new & the originals & replacements were all metal so something may have changed!
Also my dill pickle blood has not had any problem keeping cool in any of the very hot areas weve been to, granted they may not cycle off/on, but had no problem keeping cool with only 2 acs.


I'd count your blessings that you're not all clogged up with expanded foam. You must of had a good day during production....Come to think of it, they probably didn't spray foam yours at all and your loosing cooling out into the attic space...Did you ever take a camera phone and look in there? I wonder...

So far, the evidence is clear with all the posts that this is a well known and documented issue. I can do it with 2 if I build a space dome over the RV and never leave the port of entry. When I get time, I'll fix it the best I can.

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #13

mstan wrote:

GipCTravelers wrote: Congratulations and you've made a fine selection! We also have the 38GK (2014). It's been great with all the extra cabinet space.

A couple of things you may want to consider:

1) That tow vehicle is very important. Under-sizing can cost safety concerns and at least durability concerns. Without getting political, at least get a diesel dually truck. It provides a lot more stability and with the added pin weight, it can carry the load a lot safer. BTW...I choose the Ram 3500...:)

2) Here are a few issues WE are concerned about.

2a) 7000# axles. They are too light for this vehicle. You should consider (as funds allow) getting the 8000# axles and Disc brakes. Disc's will make a 100% difference in your braking ability. And upgrade to the "H" tires. Contact Titan Guy here on the blog and he can fix you up.

2b) Get an upgraded Pin Box. We have the Tri-Glide Pin Box. Apparently Lippert no longer makes that one so you would have to switch to the MorRyde equivalent or Lippert latest, the Lippert FlexAir Pin Box.

2c) Upgrade your roof to the Armor roof system. If you stay with the existing roof, you'll hear plenty of complaints about "bubbling" and eventually, leaks.

2d) You'll definitely want to invest in some kind of surge protector. You'll have a choice between the portable or fixed model. We have the Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C. It's worth it to protect your electronics.

2e) If you end up with a small stress crack on the passenger side, garage door, don't panic. Ours has been there for some time. It's on the left side of the door at the bottom. The crack is about 3" long. Just another one of those design flaws from a weak frame...There are no engineering standards apparently for the RV industry and since there are only 2 major players left, they don't worry about quality anymore.

2f) Do your Pre-Delivery Checkout. There are several good ones on the internet. Or hire an RV inspector (about $400) if you don't have the time or patience to do this yourself. Here is one of the better ones: changingears.com/rv-checklist-inspection.shtml

2g) Look especially close to your slide seals. On one side of our unit, the seal at the top doesn't even touch the RV roof. It's as if they cut the opening too big and then didn't have the right size seal. It's on the passenger side living room. Fortunately, up to this point, we have been pretty lucky to avoid rain. On the one storm we did encounter recently with 70 mph winds, the rain was driven from the opposite direction. Otherwise, I might be writing a different story here...I guess I'll have to install a custom 6" seal in order to reach the roof. How sad...yet, another quality control issue.

2h) Did you order yours with 2 or 3 A/C units? We have 2. In the Texas heat, it WILL NOT be enough unless you turn the unit down to 60 at night, leave your shades closed, and never open the door. THEN you might be able to get to 80 during the day. Expect to have to modify your duct work and add extra return air grills and dig out the foam to the best of your ability if you have the duct system that runs the Return air thru the Supply air. There is plenty about that here on this blog. You could upgrade to the latest 18,000 BTU units. They are helium based and pull the same amount of watts at the 15,500 BTU units. That would give you an extra 1/2 ton capacity.

2i) Don't panic over the dirty carpet you'll have to endure on the passenger den side as the slide comes in and out. There are no rollers for the slide to come in and out on. The "glide" in on some silly plastic slides. As it rains and collects dirt on the outside underbelly, that dirt will just make your carpet look worn out and used. If you get a chocolate brown carpet, you might be able to avoid this fine ugly feature. It's amazing that there are no rollers under there. And, don't be surprised that you get a gouge or two on the bottom of the slide form the wonderful carpet staples that are not thoroughly driven in. You can't repair this ugliness yourself as it will require the slide to be taken out for the right fix.

2j) With the full body paint, don;t be surprised if you get a few scratches in it from tree branches. The good part is that at least you can use the Scratch Doctor wax. It seems to work pretty good.

2k) If you have the Maxx Air fans, be sure to call the company now and get a new set of plastic worm gears. You'll probably strip them out (unintentionally of course) in the first 2 years and have to replace them about every two years after that. More of those quality control issues. Of course, some here here will tell you how great their customer service is about sending you a new one. I've yet to receive mine after the 3rd try...

2j) Move the water filter right away. You'll not like having to deal with the spilled water every time you change the filter. There are pictures of the modifications we've made on other links here.


Other than the items above, you have purchased a great product. We're in the process of downsizing now. We're getting ready for full timing in the very near future. Our first Workkamper assignment has been offered to us and we're looking forward to it.

One thing you will like is all of the storage space and the double bedroom slide out (if you opted for that).

Congratulations again on your new purchase!


Ditto to most everything stated above. As of yet my slides are not a problem. But can see where they possibly will be. As for the 2 AC's, ABSOLUTELY do not work properly. Anyone telling you they do either has pickle juice for blood or spends no time in there RW during the hot summer. i am currently parked in Ark. today it was 96 degrees with a 105 heat index. Coolest my RW will maintain is 83*. I have the widows cover with aluminum bubble wrap. I love the Redwood. However .... I do have some HUGE disappointments.

Mark
I have had mine in 115 degree Temps not counting the heat index and it will stay at 72degrees if I want. Take off the cover on your ac's off. They install a piece of foam that is the barrier between the intake and exhaust that moves out of place allowing the warm intake air to mix with the cold. Get some aluminum duct tape an close off the hole where the foam is. Makes a world of difference in cooling. Also remove the output grills and check the collar that goes into the ducting as some have found them to long and actually are blocking off the air flow in the duct. Take a measurement and shorten them with a utility knife. While you have them out take a pic inside the duct with you phone as some have found wires, bubble wrap,blocking the duct.

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Woody
Last Edit: by Shane Wood.

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #14

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Here is my new 2016 Redwood 38GK So far its great! The 1000 mile trip home was pretty good. The new Firestone airbags made a huge difference. Discovered that I have issues with the factory brake controller on my 2014 GMC Denali HD, not producing enough voltage! I don't have nearly enough camper brakes. They are working, but not nearly enough. Going into the GMC dealer shop next Wednesday...







Heading home with my new home...
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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #15

Nice rig!

Don't panic over the brake controller...It's probably a proportional controller like the one on the Ram. With that, you may have settings on your truck to change from Light Electric, Heavy Electric, Electric over Hydraulic, etc...Also, make sure you have upped your gain to 10.

I had the same bad thoughts when I first starting pulling the Redwood. Here is the real problem...You probably have the 2" or 2.5" electric brake pads on the RV. It's a shame that we have to change them out to Hydraulic ourselves and understand that this is a very hotly contested item on this site. Just read over the other blogs about it.

Start saving $2500 so that you can change out the electric brakes to Hydraulic. Titan Guy (on this site) can really fix you up.

For now, there likely is nothing wrong with the truck voltage or the existing brakes on the RV. They are just crap...Sorry to have to be the one to tell you...

But hey! You have a really nice looking rig and the 38GK is going to be great! We have the 2014....

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Last Edit: by GipCTravelers.

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #16

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I hear what you are saying... I have a problem though. With the controller on 10 (max) I can't even stop the truck and camper with just the trailer brakes at say 15 mph! It should lock up the brakes, but doesn't. This is the third camper I've pulled with this truck and all three have been under performing. It is now an issue because I'm in the 16,000 - 17,000 pound range with my camper.

Thanks,
Chuck

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #17

Something else...Your RV is new. Right?

Your brakes were never burnished in by the factory. They are not required to. Its another money savings ploy at your safety risk. (Remember this when you crash your vehicle because you can't stop. Your attorney will have a field day) So, having said that, you probably need to do your own burnish job. Its a series of driving 20-30 mph and making quick stops. You'll need to do this several times. BE SURE to allow time between stops or you will end up with smoking brakes! You can read more about this in several websites.

Next, the brakes do not automatically adjust. You will have to get under the RV on occassion. Use your hydraulic jacks to lift the tires off of the ground. Be sure to use rated stabilizing jacks for extra safety. Be careful when performing this task as the wheels will teeter between axles.

Go under the RV and pop the small rubber caps behind the brake backplates. Rotate the wheels by hand and adjust the brake screw wheels . I don't remember if it is up or down, but you can only make it go one way without performing additional steps to loosen the spin wheel. Spin the tire until it gets snug with the brake pad but not tight. Do the same on all 4 wheels.

It's also possible that the bearings may have been over-greased at the factory. If the grease has come out and gotten on the brakes, that will also make it hard to stop.

On my Ram, I put a meter on the electric brake wires and had the wife step on the brake pedal. All I could ever get was 6V. BUT, I had an epiphany and connected a pair of wires to the wires at the junction box on the pin box and ran them to my cab. Using the meter, as I drove and braked, I could achieve the 10-12 volts for full braking. It's a proportional controller that applies voltage based on centrifugal force. That's also when I determined that electric brakes were crap for a rig this heavy. I had the same issue. When someone pulls out in front of you (which WILL happen), you need braking power. On the 7000# axles, you will only have limited braking ability with the 2-2.5" brakes pads. So you better drive 20 mph every where you go. If your fortunate enough to have the 8000# axles (as this should be the minimum standard), then you should have the 3-3.5" electric brakes. They help but no where near the hydraulic brakes. REMEMBER, since there are only a limited number of manufacturers and the competition is so fierce (Right - said sarcastically), they want to get these units out the door as fast as they can and as cheap as they can. YOU live with the consequences as a consumer because you are not trained on what to look for. WE all look for pretty. WE'RE not trained engineers who know what the design criteria should be. AND since there is no regulation in the industry, crap units will continue to be the norm (industry wide). YOU just have to decide which unit you want to rebuild as you go.

Your truck is probably doing just fine. It's regulated for safety. Someday...maybe the RV industry will take safety seriously and engineer these things right.

My two cents...

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #18

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Dump those electric/toy brakes and go with the Titan set up... YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT ! ! The difference is NIGHT AND DAY... especially if you plan on keeping your SRW ( Like me ) .. That will be some of the best $2500.00 or so that you will ever spend , hands down...

Oh , great looking rig also ! ! ! and Good Luck with it
Joe
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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #19

CFlohr wrote: I hear what you are saying... I have a problem though. With the controller on 10 (max) I can't even stop the truck and camper with just the trailer brakes at say 15 mph! It should lock up the brakes, but doesn't. This is the third camper I've pulled with this truck and all three have been under performing. It is now an issue because I'm in the 16,000 - 17,000 pound range with my camper.

Thanks,
Chuck


With a proportional controller, you won't be able to lock them up. It won't apply enough voltage at the slower speed.

Ensure your brakes have been properly adjusted.

Re-adjust after 50 miles.

Re-adjust after 250 miles.

Make sure you have burnished them properly.

Make sure that grease has not popped out the seal and onto the brakes.

Beyond that, it would take 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity in order to get the electric brakes to stop you.



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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #20

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Decided to check out my camper's brakes this afternoon. Started on the drivers side (got to love hydraulic leveling jacks!), they seemed a little loose. I tightened them up to the point that I have to roll the wheel by hand, no free-wheeling. Moved to the passenger side, this is where things went to crap. Front axle was loose also, tightened it like the other side. Rear axle, would completely free-wheel and sounded like it had a rock or something in there? Noticed a piece of metal hanging out the bottom also... not good. Removed the tired and wheel, pulled the drum and what do you know, the brake isn't even complete!! Missing the adjuster screw and wheel! Part of a return spring was just laying in there (that's what was protruding between the drum and backing plate. Took pictures and put it all back together. Will be calling Redwood first thing Monday.

Hopefully this will make a big difference. I would think that a 1000 mile trip would have "burnished" the brakes. Tightening them up will help also. Only having 3 out of 4 brakes working on a 17,000 pound camper isn't going to cut it! Hopefully after replacing the bad brake assembly, adjusting the brakes tighter and getting my truck looked at by the GMC dealer I will have sufficient brakes.

Yes, it sounds like a axle, brake and tire/wheel upgrade is in my future... hopefully not too distant future.

You would think this wouldn't be the case on a brand new $140,000.00 camper... but apparently it sounds to be more the norm than the exception. Otherwise, so far so good!!

Many thanks,

Chuck

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #21

CFlohr wrote: Decided to check out my camper's brakes this afternoon. Started on the drivers side (got to love hydraulic leveling jacks!), they seemed a little loose. I tightened them up to the point that I have to roll the wheel by hand, no free-wheeling. Moved to the passenger side, this is where things went to crap. Front axle was loose also, tightened it like the other side. Rear axle, would completely free-wheel and sounded like it had a rock or something in there? Noticed a piece of metal hanging out the bottom also... not good. Removed the tired and wheel, pulled the drum and what do you know, the brake isn't even complete!! Missing the adjuster screw and wheel! Part of a return spring was just laying in there (that's what was protruding between the drum and backing plate. Took pictures and put it all back together. Will be calling Redwood first thing Monday.

Hopefully this will make a big difference. I would think that a 1000 mile trip would have "burnished" the brakes. Tightening them up will help also. Only having 3 out of 4 brakes working on a 17,000 pound camper isn't going to cut it! Hopefully after replacing the bad brake assembly, adjusting the brakes tighter and getting my truck looked at by the GMC dealer I will have sufficient brakes.

Yes, it sounds like a axle, brake and tire/wheel upgrade is in my future... hopefully not too distant future.

You would think this wouldn't be the case on a brand new $140,000.00 camper... but apparently it sounds to be more the norm than the exception. Otherwise, so far so good!!

Many thanks,

Chuck


Burnishing is a procedure...If it is not followed, I don't think you can drive 10,000 miles and get them properly burnished.

The good thing about hydraulic brakes? I don't think this is required.

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #22

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CFlohr wrote: I hear what you are saying... I have a problem though. With the controller on 10 (max) I can't even stop the truck and camper with just the trailer brakes at say 15 mph! It should lock up the brakes, but doesn't. This is the third camper I've pulled with this truck and all three have been under performing. It is now an issue because I'm in the 16,000 - 17,000 pound range with my camper.

Thanks,
Chuck


When our redwood was new the brakes performed exactly as you described. Being concerned that the trailer had difficulty stopping with the brake controller set at maximum gain I removed all four of the wheels. All four brake drums were deeply scored, all eight brake linings were deeply scored, all four electric magnets were badly scored and the inner surface of the brake drums were also scored. Two of the wheels had leaked grease around the grease seals and contaminated the linings. To solve the problem I purchased four new Dexter brake backing plates made in USA complete with new brake shoes and magnets. I also replaced the Chinese single lip grease seals with Dexter double lip grease seals. While I was at it I also replaced the Chinese tapered roller bearings with Timken made in USA bearings. All four brake drums were turned on a lathe. After burnishing the new new brakes I have have reset the controller to 7 and the wheels will lock up from 25 mph.. The new Dexter brakes are self adjusting. I have put about 20k miles on the trailer since and it works as it is supposed to. Cost to replace all these parts was about $500 using my own labor.

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2012 RW31SL chasing 2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax 4WD SRW

North Left Coast, WA

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #23

Same here Snowbirds, all 4 of mine were contaminated, replaced & have been working good since. Mine now has 40-50k on the electric brakes (Same as 90% of all rvs) & had about 80k on the last 2 SOBs before with the same set up & all did the job, are disc better, Im sure they will be when installed this winter, but I can't say that the electric drums are horribly dangerous to the point of telling everyone to replace them immediately, they do/will work if properly maintained. I'm upgrading not because I'm afraid of the originals, but with the amount of miles on mine its time to replace the shoes so just as well spend a few more $$ to upgrade. I'm also upgrading to the H tires, the Gs have worked flawlessly & due to age & mileage it's replacement time & it's as cheap or cheaper to upgrade rather than replace. RW builds to their engineers specs, are they under engineered, I don't know I'm not an engineer, most all rvs are built the same & I don't think they engineer them with the plans of being unsafe just doing it as cheaply as possible. If they implemented regulations on QC, Engineering, & safety then in my opinion I more than likely couldn't afford a pop up, the consumer WILL foot the bill for all of those required regulations so it doesn't affect their bottom line.
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Travelin' Texans

Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #24

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Danny and Linda wrote: Same here Snowbirds, all 4 of mine were contaminated, replaced & have been working good since. Mine now has 40-50k on the electric brakes (Same as 90% of all rvs) & had about 80k on the last 2 SOBs before with the same set up & all did the job, are disc better, Im sure they will be when installed this winter, but I can't say that the electric drums are horribly dangerous to the point of telling everyone to replace them immediately, they do/will work if properly maintained. I'm upgrading not because I'm afraid of the originals, but with the amount of miles on mine its time to replace the shoes so just as well spend a few more $$ to upgrade. I'm also upgrading to the H tires, the Gs have worked flawlessly & due to age & mileage it's replacement time & it's as cheap or cheaper to upgrade rather than replace. RW builds to their engineers specs, are they under engineered, I don't know I'm not an engineer, most all rvs are built the same & I don't think they engineer them with the plans of being unsafe just doing it as cheaply as possible. If they implemented regulations on QC, Engineering, & safety then in my opinion I more than likely couldn't afford a pop up, the consumer WILL foot the bill for all of those required regulations so it doesn't affect their bottom line.




I agree. I'm sure the disc brakes are probably better, but the electric drum brakes should work and I'll get it figured out.

I strongly disagree with you on the whole issue of proper engineering, safety and quality control. They are in the business to sell campers. They can not pass on all cost to consumers. There is a tipping point at which people won't buy. They will have to eat the cost and their profit margin will have to come down. This is unfortunately a cultural problem in America today... profits above all else. My two cents...

Chuck

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Upgrading to a 2016 RW38GK 2 years 7 months ago #25

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Burnishing is a procedure...If it is not followed, I don't think you can drive 10,000 miles and get them properly burnished.

The good thing about hydraulic brakes? I don't think this is required.[/quote]



Could you explain this "burnishing procedure" and just what is being accomplished.

Thank you,

Chuck

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