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Old 07-07-2017, 01:07 AM   #1
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BRAKES Redwood 38 RE Fifth Wheel


Hi Folks -We are new here and happy to be a Redwood Owner.

We just purchased a pre-owned 38 RE Fifth Wheel. Wonderful unit however we just encountered something I can't understand. Long story Short version

The unit is a 2014, only traveled 600 miles by the previous owner, I know the people and trust them, friends from the local area. So try to follow this as it's gets crazy. Previous owner bought the unit new to live in, they only did this for a year and half. After that they decided that RV life style was not for them so they built a new home in the area - Parked the fifth wheel and was for sale. The unit sat for one year in a parking lot on our base (Military Base in Maryland) A year later - Now we made a deal and purchased the unit. So stay with me I'm getting there. Last Sunday I went to pick up the trailer (Dodge Diesel) Hooked up, lights were good, tires normal pressure. Went to pull away and like I always do I tested the brakes using the controller. Very little braking even on the highest setting. Got the unit home ( 4 miles) getting ready for a trip to West Virginia and figured I would call my truck shop "Just to Check" the brakes. Again long story short - Sorry ----- The brakes were found falling apart, the drums are scored and even one wheel the brake shoe was missing, not wore down but GONE. Two tires have flat spots on them so need to replace all tires. So as of now , July 6, 2017 parts coming in tomorrow and tires coming Monday. Total cost for the job including tires is $1900 and some. HOW COULD BRAKES FALL APART LIKE THAT I contacted the previous owner and he is upset as well the condition of the brakes and drums. PLEASE HELP - ]Is it Possible that brakes were just bad from the Factory? I never in 20 years of owning Rv's had this problem. All four wheels need Brakes, Drums and Tires. I am so Glad I did NOT go on the trip. HAS anyone else ever heard of this or has happened to You. PLEASE REPLY BACK WITH ANY INFO OR COMMENT. I am a retired tractor trailer driver so I know about brakes, this is Not normal. Possible Defective brakes from the factory whoever supplies Keystone RV with brake shoes?? CRAZY. My name is Tom - please let know you're thoughts
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:20 AM   #2
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Oh it's VERY possible it left the factory that way. Many did. If the previous owner never checked the brakes it probably has been that way since transport. Surprised they weren't full of grease.

Do yourself a favor and look at disc brakes if you are going to travel a lot. Not much more than what you just paid for parts.
Brad & Dory - Lone Tree, CO
CURRENT - 2013 Itasca Meridian 42E/2013 Wrangler 4dr Sahara
SOLD - 2014 Redwood 36RL/2014 F350 DRW
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:37 AM   #3
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Quite likely that it was delivered that way from the factory. Many of the units have problems with the grease Seals leaking grease on to the brake shoes. It is also highly likely that the transporter never bothered to properly burnish the new brakes. I can't account for the missing brake part which is very suspicious .

Our redwood had very similar symptoms when new. When I removed the brake drums all four had scored drums and scored brake linings. Even the magnets were scored. The solution was to replace all four brake backing plates which included shoes and magnets. All four drums had to be turned on a lathe. The cost to do this myself was approximately $500. After reassembling I burnished the brakes in accordance with the Lippert manual. A further improvement was to replace the 16 gauge electrical brake wiring from the pin box with 10 gauge wiring. The 16 gauge is not in accordance with the Lippert manual and has too great voltage drop between the pin box and the wheels. After making these changes the braking improved significantly.
2012 Redwood 31SL chasing 2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax SRW
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:02 AM   #4
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Thank you for the reply. After spending that kind of money for a full time luxury unit you would think it would be great Not with issues.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:14 AM   #5
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If you're planning on doing some traveling or keeping the unit for a while, than I agree with Atom Ant, get yourself the disc brakes and if you want to spend a bit more, have the IS put in as well. These products are generally solid and well tested.
2017 F-350 SRW 4x4 CrewCab
2017 Redwood 36RL with Goodyear 17.5 G114 and MorRyde IS, Disc Brakes
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tomlouis View Post
Thank you for the reply. After spending that kind of money for a full time luxury unit you would think it would be great Not with issues.
Agree, you would think an RV promoted as being a luxury unit for full timers there would be high end quality to go along with that. Our brand new RW had a similar problem with grease all over the brakes. They all had to be replaced within a couple of weeks of our purchase. The dealer, I guess, didn't believe my husband when he said that the brakes didn't feel like they were working. Our brakes didn't even get checked while in the shop for other warranty issues for 3 weeks because they didn't believe they could possibly be bad. The RW is a beautiful RV. But quality control is about nonexistent. Hopefully you don't have all of the problems that we've had. And hopefully we can get ours fixed so that we can use and enjoy it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
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Thank you for the comment. Yeah I guess no mater what kind of unit you have there is always some issues. Just did not think brakes would come apart like that. Trailer is in shop now getting new brakes, drums magnets and the works even new bearings. Next year when go full time we are going to switch over to Disc brakes, just not enough time and funding right now so hope the new brakes will last for awhile. Also purchased new "G" rated tires. Keep me posted if you have any other comments. Thanks again
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:24 PM   #8
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You have me wanting to pull the drums on my new rig and check everything. I am getting the disk brakes before too long also.
Tim and Patty
2017 Redwood 31SL
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:57 PM   #9
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Well you might be able to look behind the rear backing plate (dust cover) and inspect that way. If your brakes work okay I would leave it alone until you get disc brakes. Ours just did not have any brakes and when the shop pulled the wheels is when the problem was discovered.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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We picked up our RW on a Saturday, we then left 1-1/2 weeks later for our trip to the Florida Keys ( from PA ).. Brakes worked fine, but i knew I was changing to discs soon..
When I swapped To the discs ( about 1 year later ) my factory brakes were in order, with really no grease to speak of on any of them.
BUT - - The discs are unbelievable ! ! !
2015 F-350
2020 3991RD with-
17.5 Goodyear 114's , Titan Disc brakes, MorRyde 8K IS, Onan 6.5..
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