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Old 08-18-2015, 02:57 AM   #1
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EquaFlex Trail Air

In my quest to learn about my rolling second home, someone discussed suspension systems. Any information to share about my EquaFlex Trail Air suspension system?

I'm basically making a list of to-dos before the spring and going to get one trip before we pack her up for the winter. Wheels are on the list but discount tire has been kind enough (and I trust the guys there as I've worked with them before) to inspect my tires before my only run of the Fall in our new rig. What other items do you all consider necessary improvements?
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:20 AM   #2
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Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but I think if you read historical posts on the two forums, you'll find that the suspension/axles are the weak link on the Redwood as it comes off the production line. We have a swelling group of members who have spent thousands on upgrades such as MorRyde to fix suspension issues. We had to replace our trail-aire suspension, springs and mounting bolts on our last trip to AZ last fall, as a spring broke. I think what I'm trying to say, as they come from the factory the tires/suspension is the weak link. Goodyear G rated tires are quite an improvement over the Marathons.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:37 AM   #3
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I think the Equa Flex is alright, not as much travel as the Mor Ryde 4000 SRE, but adequate. Definitely inspect the brakes for
grease contamination due to poor seals, & replace at least the plastic bushings in the spring eyes, better options are Mor Ryde heavy shackles & wet bolts. Possibly all could be winter projects.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:35 AM   #4
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So to summarize from various comments:

Switch to Mor Ryde
Change the axles
Minimum change to Goodyear or equivalent G rated tires with possible change to new wheels.

Now the question is, what axle, and what should I expect to pay retail for this work?

The rest of the RV seems great. We've checked seals, roof, filters, windows, went with the Interstate ECL batteries, and the condition is excellent. Even came with granite counters (as if the unit isn't heavy enough with corian).

Am I missing any winter projects to freshen a lightly used, cared for but not updated/upgraded 36RL?
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:35 AM   #5
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If you go with the Mor Ryde IS you won't have axles. So far on mine other than switching to MR heavy shackles & bolts & replacing greasy brakes, I've had no other issues with axles in about 30k miles.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:41 AM   #6
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BTW, MR IS is $3000 installed + $3000 for disc brakes if you want them. I will have to pass on both til my ship comes in, but I don't think it's left port yet though.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:49 AM   #7
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Ouch....I think I will stick with the MR 4000 SRE that appears to be something I can do myself...might have to buy more than one X cross for an additional couple $100...but that looks like a very good spring improvement. Just need to get one trip out of the existing set up and I can't believe the whole thing is going to fall apart when the previous owner took good care of her but did actually travel.

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Originally Posted by travelin' texans View Post
BTW, MR IS is $3000 installed + $3000 for disc brakes if you want them. I will have to pass on both til my ship comes in, but I don't think it's left port yet though.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenR View Post
So to summarize from various comments:

Switch to Mor Ryde
Change the axles
Minimum change to Goodyear or equivalent G rated tires with possible change to new wheels.

Now the question is, what axle, and what should I expect to pay retail for this work?

The rest of the RV seems great. We've checked seals, roof, filters, windows, went with the Interstate ECL batteries, and the condition is excellent. Even came with granite counters (as if the unit isn't heavy enough with corian).

Am I missing any winter projects to freshen a lightly used, cared for but not updated/upgraded 36RL?
according to Morryde the SRE 4000 is not for 8K axles.
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
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according to Morryde the SRE 4000 is not for 8K axles.

The 2013 36RL would have come standard with 7K axles.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Warren
Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but I think if you read historical posts on the two forums, you'll find that the suspension/axles are the weak link on the Redwood as it comes off the production line. We have a swelling group of members who have spent thousands on upgrades such as MorRyde to fix suspension issues. We had to replace our trail-aire suspension, springs and mounting bolts on our last trip to AZ last fall, as a spring broke. I think what I'm trying to say, as they come from the factory the tires/suspension is the weak link. Goodyear G rated tires are quite an improvement over the Marathons.
THANKS Jim...well said

I'm sorry to hear that you had issues with the springs. I guess we can add you to the "another one of those suspension stories that are exaggerated" group. Funny how this group keeps growing.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:24 PM   #11
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Hi Dave....so are you off the opinion that smoke does not equal fire? Am I only hearing from a loud minority? The bottom line for me is that stuff can happen with even the best equipment. But, if there is a weaker area of manufacturing I'd like to know about it, watch it, and change it before I'm in the middle of a trip on a schedule and have something fail. I don't worry about about things inside the unit, but I worry a lot about the wheels, suspension, and axle system since it carries everything!
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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Sorry I guess I didn't make myself clear.

I believe Redwood makes a good trailer with bad suspension. This has been going on since day one when these trailers came out with "E" rated tires that blew up quicker than pop corn in a hot pan. It was only after a long fight that this got resolved.

All along the owners have had issues with the suspensions and Redwood has routinely denied any knowledge of the issue and they keep building them the same way. Now lately it was said that those of us talking about the issues are simply exaggerating or simply don't have all the facts.

Here are the facts the way that I see it......
Redwood builds a RV that is designed to be towed down the road. I understand that these units are beat to death due to bad roads however Redwood should take this into consideration when designing their units. When a unit is being used as designed, then the problem is in the design and not the owners fault.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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It certainly sounds like a known problem. I made sure my dealer gave me a 90 day instead of their standard 30 day warranty in hopes that if anything happens it does so this Fall prior to winterization. I'm not sure they fully inspected the suspension system since they delivered the RV with 60 psi in the wonderful Marathons instead of the 80 it calls for. Needless to say they are coming to me to check and resolve things...hoping to maximize their oversight and get a good hard look at the suspension as I'd like to wait until the Spring to start the big changes with tires, suspension, and axle unless I go with the IS system.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:22 PM   #14
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Don't know how much the previous owner towed it, but it's a '12 & hasn't blown up yet I'd suspect you could get one good trip out of it before it does. Seriously, just be aware & "don't worry, be happy".
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #15
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WELL SAID DAVE! I agree. Many of us here have been long time, consistent fans of Redwood's product, me included. I still love my trailer! That does not mean that when I find a clear weakness I am not going to talk about it, that's why were are HERE. COUNTLESS potential BIG problems with our trailer have been avoided BECAUSE people took the time to share their experience and we were able to prevent it from happening to us. It's just like having only 60 pounds of pressure in your tires... NO you haven't had a blow-out YET, but that doesn't mean you are going to keep towing without airing up your tires. The outcome of not airing them up will be predictable, and ON YOU for not fixing it. It's still your dealers' fault for not checking it, but that doesn't mean a whole lot when you've had a blowout and torn your trailer apart in the process.

I am grateful to those who shared their problems. They are usually not meant to "complain" but to "resolve". There is a difference. Redwood has implemented many changes to their manufacture because of this feedback, and they want more of it. I can't fault them for that. BUT my hackles go up when there is a blanket statement saying that there haven't been any problems and people are being dishonest.

Also, we always keep in mind that people don't often come on the forum and post "Our trailer is working fine and there are no problems." We understand that "normal" is not news and so seems under-reported. Everyone should keep that in mind, we sure do. There are almost 5000 Redwoods on the road! But when there are multiple stories of the same issue coming up, it is worth a look and a discussion. Some of them have been minor, and a very few have been quite serious. I do not "discredit" the person reporting it as a "nay sayer" just because they reported something negative. To be honest, I have not seen many "Redwood Haters". People love their Redwoods overall, and are willing to work through some of these issues. But there are a few issues. There always will be.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:25 PM   #16
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Excellent feedback Romany and all. Despite my possible lack of clarity, I am completely committed to doing all I can to avoid problems and not try and justify a lack of action to prevent a problem simply because I somehow suggest that only complainers post on a board.

In some ways I wish that I had paid attention to boards for my Montana. I never had any issues with my 38 foot bunk house which means either the RV gods were merciful, I was lucky, or it was a pretty solid product.

It appears the Redwood has some wheel/axle/suspension issues that I need to address. Preferably before a blown tire or some other issue tears up what is otherwise the best RV we've ever seen. We love our Redwood and find the floor plan, construction, set up to be the best we've seen at any show or any location. We've admired them for several years. A weak point doesn't mean it's a bad product. It's just a reality that they hopefully are improving with newer models.

Unfortunately for my wife and I we are learning about these weak points after the purchase. And apparently the previous owner didn't have issues since nothing has been changed or improved on the RV which either means he truly had no issues, or he ignored it until he couldn't any longer and traded it rather than repair/replace it which makes the problem mine. But we do not regret the purchase, it's just figuring out how and when to address these issues.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:31 PM   #17
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Warren, I do not think you will regret your purchase, and learning about POTENTIAL issues will only calm you when you try to get perspective, because if it happened to others there is probably a way to overcome it, either through RW or through an owner mod that you can do. That's the bright side. You said it right when your said "the RV Gods were merciful". That definitely comes into play! Or others might say, "I got one that was NOT built on a Friday!" LOL! It is what it is. Again, MOST of the issues are not deal breakers (some are), but worth taking a look at. EVERYONE buying any big RV should expect to budget in some time, some money and some tolerance for some imperfections. I can just about offer a 100% guarantee that you will be glad you did.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #18
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Hope we haven't scared you. The Marathons are the biggest issue and replacing them will give you piece of mind. I have 20k or more on mine, 7k axles and no upgrades on the suspension. Will be getting better brakes. It has towed well, nothing bad inside during all these miles and love the layout. Basic maintenance will go a long way. Take care of the seals, caulking, lubing the suspension and checking all the nuts and bolts. Check the covers for the wheels, they like to flap like a duck going down the road. Most of all, enjoy it. Not many RVs that are this nice and give you some place to come home to.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #19
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Don't know if you guys saw the recent Trailer Life Pg 107, but they show changing out the bushings to Bronze. It's written like it's expected the plastic bushings will be bad by the time it hits the Dealer lot from the factory - yet they have used them for years.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:41 PM   #20
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Thanks Romany! Since I have a month before our only big trip of the year, I'm seeing if the dealer will step up and take care of assessing the suspension/axle/tires. On the plus side, the dealer actually outsourced the delivery prep due to their busy schedule which turned out to have missed some obvious things. They are working to overcome those and I'm hopeful they will go the extra mile to make us happy (we are multiple time buyers and also believe in being kind but persistent). We shall see what happens and may very well switch to the Mor Ryde system depending on what they find. I'll still need tires but am confident I can get one trip down I-80 and back out of them.

A rolling house is going to have problems...don't want problems, don't buy a house on wheels.
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