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Old 12-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Maneuverability question

For any of you with the 36RL my husband and I could use your input on the ease of pulling and maneuverability of this 39 foot fifth wheel. For the last 6 years our rig has been a 29 ft Keystone fifth wheel towed by a Ford F-250 crew cab/long bed diesel truck. We now have a F350 DRW Crew cab/long bed truck. We are planning on ordering a new Redwood in January and have been debating between the 31SL and the 36RL. We both agree we really need the room of the 36RL (we plan to start full-timing in the next 12 months). The down side is the 36RL will make our overall rig 10 feet longer than we are used to. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:07 PM   #2
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I would not worry about it. Yes at first it seems a little intimidating but I went from a 24 TT to a 36RL and the 36RL pulls so much easier. Plus you will not regret the extra room! You have the right truck to pull it so that is a good start. It could have been better if it was a RAM
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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We have been pulling the 36RL with the F350 for almost three years. For me it's taken time to get accustomed to the total length of the two. We came from a 29' Carriage Domani and the extra ten feet makes a world of difference. It's a little scary at first but with time you will learn to avoid tight camping spots and be aware of the extra back end as you turn. I've wished for a back up camera for my unit but have made it so far without incident. If you order the 36RL add the disc brakes. They're worth the additional expense. My advice is to go for it! Life is an adventure!
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fischerfam View Post
For any of you with the 36RL my husband and I could use your input on the ease of pulling and maneuverability of this 39 foot fifth wheel. For the last 6 years our rig has been a 29 ft Keystone fifth wheel towed by a Ford F-250 crew cab/long bed diesel truck. We now have a F350 DRW Crew cab/long bed truck. We are planning on ordering a new Redwood in January and have been debating between the 31SL and the 36RL. We both agree we really need the room of the 36RL (we plan to start full-timing in the next 12 months). The down side is the 36RL will make our overall rig 10 feet longer than we are used to. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

We went from pulling a 12 ft Coleman pop-up with a Dodge Dakota and mini-vans for over 35 years to pulling a 40 ft 2 inch Redwood 36RL with Dodge RAM 3500. It takes a little practice, mostly in learning to back this big beauty and learning where you can go and where not to go. But, it can be done and after a few trips you will become at ease with it. You do have the right size truck for it. We really enjoy our 2012 36RL and now have over 15,000 miles on her with only very minor issues. Welcome to the world of Redwood.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:01 PM   #5
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Don't worry you have a good rig to pull it that the same rig we have
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:34 PM   #6
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We agree that the 36rl is the way to go. Ours is a 2012. We went from pop up with Jeep grand cherokee and minivan, to F150 and 19' TT, then 24' TT then to our F250 Diesel and 37' Seville 5th wheel. Had to gradually learn along the way, but with practice its pretty easy. Had the 37' less than a year due to a house fire and upgraded to our 2012 36rl. Haven't looked back. Very gorgeous unit and with practice you will soon not have problems about backing in. But you will also know where it will and won't go too. Some old favorite spots are gone due to size. Welcome and enjoy your future Redwood!!

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Old 12-04-2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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Our 36RL was/is our first RV. It was a bit intimidating at first, but didn't take long to get used to it. It is just over 2 years old now and we have towed in excess of 14,000 miles.


Get the Disk brakes, also make sure you get the TriGlide TrailAir hitch and put AirBags on the truck.


Welcome and enjoy your Coach !! Hopefully we'll see you at the Rally or on the road.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:56 AM   #8
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We just returned from a 17,000 mile trip that took us up through British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and into Alaska and that included lots of pretty tight SwitchBacks where you need to use the entire road to keep from putting the RW in the ditch or over the clift. We had a few tight spots, but never anything we couldn't get into. Yes the Disk Brakes are almost a must have and because the RLs are heavy you may want to think about the 17.5" wheel option also.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:44 AM   #9
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You'll find the Redwood has very good road manors in about any weather. As others on here already said, the 36RL is easy to get used to. By simply adding water, the 36RL handles VERY easy on very windy days.

If I can help in any way, private message me.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:49 AM   #10
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1 suggestion that has been said before is to find a BIG EMPTY parking lot and practice, practice, practice. Put a cone out to learn where your pivot point is when turning going forward and in reverse. The biggest thing is to just relax and take your time.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by hoosierguy View Post
We went from pulling a 12 ft Coleman pop-up with a Dodge Dakota and mini-vans for over 35 years to pulling a 40 ft 2 inch Redwood 36RL with Dodge RAM 3500. It takes a little practice, mostly in learning to back this big beauty and learning where you can go and where not to go. But, it can be done and after a few trips you will become at ease with it. You do have the right size truck for it. We really enjoy our 2012 36RL and now have over 15,000 miles on her with only very minor issues. Welcome to the world of Redwood.
On a side not, I wonder why they downsized the 36rl? It is 38' 11" now, pin to bumper. That's over a foot shorter than yours.
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #12
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Jerry, the 38' 11" is as you noted, from the King Pin to the rear, but the actual overall length from Tip to Tail is 40' 2".
Plus many think because it's tagged 36RL that it's on 36' "not"
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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On a side not, I wonder why they downsized the 36rl? It is 38' 11" now, pin to bumper. That's over a foot shorter than yours.

Jerry,

The dimensions stated in the Redwood brochures and website don't include a Trail-Air Tri-Glide which is longer than the standard pin box. Also, I don't think their dimensions include the ladder at the rear. To the best that I could measure, she is actually 40 feet 2 inches. Also, the height dimension that Redwood provides I believe is 13 feet 2 inches, but, when the dealer installed my satellite dish (Roadtrip Mini-Max), they installed it forward of the front air conditioner. That is now the highest point on the trailer at around 13 feet 4 inches to 13 feet 6 inches. As a result, I now plan my travel routes very carefully!!

I don't think anything else has changed length wise since the 36RL model was introduced.

Guy
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:39 PM   #14
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My 38BR with the Tri-Glide is actually very close to 42' actual length from the tip of the tri-glide to the back of the ladder.

As to maneuverability, now that I've gotten used to it I'm very comfortable backing this behemoth up. Last time I managed to get it right the first time! It definitely gets easier with time, and remember those trailer tires track a bit inside in the turns. Always allow for that, always use the outside turn lane if there is one!

On the highway I love how it pulls. I'm very comfortable with its size at this point and don't worry about the height as much as I used to. The only time I keep an eye on things now is down more rural roads with trees hanging over or campgrounds at night (for the same reason).
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:17 AM   #15
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I haven't pulled this 36rl yet, but I've owned several RVs that are around the same length or longer, and they pull and maneuver great. Actually, I think these longer rigs are easier to back into sites. One thing I've noticed with longer rigs is that you have to watch your forward moving turns a little closer.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:31 AM   #16
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Over the years the biggest mistake I see 5th wheel maneuvering occurs when trying to back into a camp site. Most drivers don't pull ahead far enough and try to cramp around too tight.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:47 AM   #17
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Same here the 36 RL was our first Rig and although my husband did not have experience with RV's he did have experience with farm trucks and equipment. We have not had any problems pulling and we also have the Ford 350 Diesel.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:28 AM   #18
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I too went from a 26 TT to The 36RE and I will never go back to a tow behind. Very easy transition.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:48 AM   #19
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We went from a truck camper to our 36RE. Takes a bit of getting used to, although I did learn to back a trailer with 40 footers. That was in 1971. When we drove off the lot with ours, I told my wife, you realize I haven't pulled anything this big since 1973. Just watch the right turns.


Also that 36le is near 35' overall.


Mark
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:11 AM   #20
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My wife and I took a one day couples RV driving class in Loveland Co. It was the best thing I ever did. My wife (spotter) and I can park it on a dime. This instructor taught us all the tips and pointers. My wife drove up Thompson Canyon and all around Loveland in traffic. I feel because she learned how to drive she better understands how to help and be my best eyes. http://www.mmrvtraining.com/
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