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Old 10-11-2015, 01:58 PM   #1
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Redwood Quality

Just finishing a Heartland Rally in Bullard, Tx. with about 30, Landmarks and Big Horns. I did a disc brake install on a 2014 Bighorn on Thursday. The level up quit working and owner called lippert who diagnosed it as a bad pump. 2 weeks out of warranty, the pump was $1400. We ran some tests and found a series poor factory wiring connections. Repaired and all was fine.
On Friday a new Landmark pulled in next to me and owner promptly pulled out his tool box and started pulling a tail light off that did not work. Bad wiring was causing a periodic short. No way to access the wiring. Back to the dealer for warranty.
Saturday was fix it day, everyone had tool boxes out doing repairs, at least 1/2 were being worked on by different groups of guys.

Felt really good to be able to sit back and have a beer and watch the action.

Feeling better and better about my decision to buy another Redwood vs. the Landmark.
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Old 10-11-2015, 02:36 PM   #2
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That's good to hear Ron.... All too many times we think that all the issues are based around our own specific brand....I am sure those folks you helped were thankful , and the folks that have new Titan Braking Systems are even more thankful !
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Old 10-11-2015, 03:00 PM   #3
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I know you do suspension work for a living, but for me, I'd much rather be fixing taillight wiring that what is facing me ahead this next spring on this rig - replacing the equalizers, springs and bushings because they were never designed to work together from the factory.

The beer will have to wait for me I guess.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:28 PM   #4
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The reliability in the RVs MUST improve and unfortunately I don't see it happening in the near future. However, until then a company's quality is measured by how they treat the owners and if they make a genuine effort to eliminate the issues in future RVs.

Most of the rv manufactures aren't building these trailers with future repairs in mind. Stapled cabinets, poorly ran and un-accessible wiring, slide motors hard to get to, self tapping screws throughout that loosen with every mile and cheep suspension that won't last. Percentage wise....most of the trailers built will sit along a lake somewhere and that's how they're designed........not to be towed much.

None of this is going to change until the "traveling full timer" buyers demands it and they stop buying until the true needs are fulfilled. Fancy pant and a nice floor plans isn't enough. The Manufactures are currently using the Amish as their "advertised poster boy builders" however they've tied their hands and put them on a "piece meal" pay system. The entire RV manufacturing will change when one of 2 things happens:

#1 they put the worker on profit sharing that has a direct impact from warranty work.

#2 the Japanese give competition to the RV industry simply because they don't tolerate the 1 in a 100 failure rate with their workers.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:05 PM   #5
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Dave - x2. Totally agree
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #6
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Dave - x2. Totally agree
Personally, it looks to me like when the market demand took off a couple of years ago, most of the quality control went with it. The manufacturers went from taking the time to build an RV to trying to satisfy demand by building as fast a s possible. I can't remember the exact number, but when I toured the Redwood facility in early 2014 the employees were told that when they completed 4 or 6 for that day they could go home. What do you think that policy did for quality? Sounds like "we need to satisfy demand and worry about quality later"!
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:33 PM   #7
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Don't get me wrong, my Entegra is one of the best builds I've seen and I enjoy the confident feeling every time I go on a trip knowing it's going to make it without parts falling off. But when someone buys a "full time" 5th wheel they should be afforded that same confident feeling without spending $300k.

I had a service rider once tell me a few years ago that someone would be better off buying a 50k unit and then building it the way it should have been built. He said he'd get the "IS brakes and suspension", change out the wheels and tires, take it to the paint shop and change out the interior for the good furniture. Altogether he said he'd have about 85k invested which would include all new plumbing (with manifold) and water pump. But at least he knew it was done right. Id probably spend more if I did it because I would probably drop the ceiling and walls so I could install a top of the line energy management system. This sounds better than spending 100k for a "full time" unit and then starting to correct what should have been built to begin with.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:44 PM   #8
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Dave...... EXACTLY what I've been saying all along. We can use the auto industry in the late '60's early 70's as an analogy when American cars were slapped together like current RV's are. The Japanese built a superior product at a more competitive price and FORCED the US auto industry to get their act together. Maybe the same thing needs to happen to the the American RV industry.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:50 PM   #9
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To me, starting with the redwood and making the improvements I see fit makes sense. The Redwood has a good frame, walls and basic layout, for me. How many people buy trucks and jeeps and then spend $$$ replacing suspensions, tires, engine components to meet their desires. I'm viewing the RV in the same vein. I believe I put Titan brakes on for less then the factory would have charged. The same will probably be true for the IS suspension, if they would offer IS. If you start with a 50K trailer, you will also have the 50k frame, walls, etc which would be impractical to change.

If Redwood included all these updates, wouldn't the price be closer to the Luxury Suites?

I short, what I am trying to say, is rather then bashing Redwood, it would be more fun to read about cool upgrades and improvements. (more like you would read in truck and jeep forums.) I personally am accepting the Redwood for what it is and then making a whole bunch of improvements. Still haven't figured out where to put the pool table yet.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bergeman View Post
To me, starting with the redwood and making the improvements I see fit makes sense. The Redwood has a good frame, walls and basic layout, for me. How many people buy trucks and jeeps and then spend $$$ replacing suspensions, tires, engine components to meet their desires. I'm viewing the RV in the same vein. I believe I put Titan brakes on for less then the factory would have charged. The same will probably be true for the IS suspension, if they would offer IS. If you start with a 50K trailer, you will also have the 50k frame, walls, etc which would be impractical to change.

If Redwood included all these updates, wouldn't the price be closer to the Luxury Suites?

I short, what I am trying to say, is rather then bashing Redwood, it would be more fun to read about cool upgrades and improvements. (more like you would read in truck and jeep forums.) I personally am accepting the Redwood for what it is and then making a whole bunch of improvements. Still haven't figured out where to put the pool table yet.

Nice comment Scott !!
I could not agree more , I did a bunch of research here before buying my RW and I knew the common complaints. I had ever opurtunity to RUN before the purchase , but thought the same as you , I'm still ahead of the game. I purchased it and began my proactive upgrades... Shackles, Mor/Ryde equalizers , Titan discs, 17.5 tires to name a few...
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:18 AM   #11
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I both agree and disagree. I think the main thing is that we are not willing to spend what it costs to build a BMW or Mercedes. I am from Sweden and if a Redwood was built after Japanese or German standards the price would be around 300.000 USD.

We have smaller RV:s in Sweden, much smaller. Also much more expensive but higher quality. I would like to see RV:s (Fifth Wheels) in the range of 150-300.000 USD like Class A:s.

Looking at the annual reports of the RV-companies here in the US their margins are not huge. I drive a BMW motorcycle and that costs about 75% more than a Harley but the quality and expected life time is in accordance.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:44 AM   #12
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Nice comment Scott !!
I could not agree more , I did a bunch of research here before buying my RW and I knew the common complaints. I had ever opurtunity to RUN before the purchase , but thought the same as you , I'm still ahead of the game. I purchased it and began my proactive upgrades... Shackles, Mor/Ryde equalizers , Titan discs, 17.5 tires to name a few...
Same here, I had done my research and pretty much had a good idea what I was getting into.

I was not going to find everything I wanted no matter what, but with all our Redwoods issues and faults, I still think it is a pretty good unit for the $$$ when you start comparing it to others in the market.

I could have spent more $$$, does that mean I will get a better unit with less problems?
In reality I have only had a few true "Redwood Build" quality issues, I have had a number of "Purchased Component" issues but the other guys at a higher price point are purchasing the same components !!!
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:59 AM   #13
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I was at Myrtle Beach Travel Park a few years back and the spot next to me had Mobile Suites. The owner was trading it after only 2 years... Had many issues , including leaks that cannot be found , or fixed.. They were disgusted with their purchase,,, you just never know
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:23 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Ford truck guy;56126]I was at Myrtle Beach Travel Park a few years back and the spot next to me had Mobile Suites. The owner was trading it after only 2 years... Had many issues , including leaks that cannot be found , or fixed.. They were disgusted with their purchase,,, you just never know[/QUOTE


I don't think the issues are brand specific.......it seems to be across the board.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:47 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Dave&Ginny;56130]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford truck guy View Post
I was at Myrtle Beach Travel Park a few years back and the spot next to me had Mobile Suites. The owner was trading it after only 2 years... Had many issues , including leaks that cannot be found , or fixed.. They were disgusted with their purchase,,, you just never know[/QUOTE


I don't think the issues are brand specific.......it seems to be across the board.
I agree .. that's why I posted that,,, to show that no matter what you dish out , there is a great chance for let down from ALL manufacturers . .
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:13 PM   #16
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I haven't seen any changes in RVs over the last 25 years, and any perception that they have is just a perception. They are all junk, always have been, and as long as they can continue to sell enough volume to overcome their poor quality and design, they will continue to produce junk. It's the American way, sadly enough.

If you have ever held something in your hand and wondered how anything could ever be manufactured to look so much like a house product but built so cheaply, turn it over and you will find the Indiana address! It is almost like they need a sticker that says "SUITABLE PRODUCT FOR RECREATION VEHICLES ONLY, DO NOT USE FOR ANY REAL APPLICATION".

When I first bought mine I was a big cheerleader too, and I did the same research everyone else did, but I'm not seeing where I made any step "up" from any brand I had before.

Problem is, I enjoy RVing, so I somehow tolerate it.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #17
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Wouldn't say I am a cheerleader. I would say I don't see much difference between the RV manufactures and home builders. Big difference between custom home builders and corporate home builders like david weekly. Over the years I have replaced all the contractor grade stuff in the house. First to go was their $15 dollar toilets. Then flooring, etc. If I had ordered the upgrades or used a custom builder, the cost would have tripled. The way I see it, I can keep up grading the Redwood and never come close to the cost of the Luxury Suites. Plus, I really enjoy tinkering.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:37 PM   #18
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please sign me up for the cheer leading section
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:53 PM   #19
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I got lured into the "residential grade quality" trap myself. Sure there's lots & lots of "glitz" (lights on kitchen island etc, etc,) but now I realize that it's still just an RV built using many of the same components as a fifth wheel costing 1/2 as much with the same issues.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:58 PM   #20
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I would say you don't get somethin' for nuthin'. Personally, I'd prefer to do business with a company that designs and builds correctly the first time. The idea of ripping apart an RV to make it "your own" is something I'm not interested in doing. How far do you go? Maybe it's possible with loads of free time and money but I don't fit that category. I think the market is just beginning to respond to what folks are requesting in a real fulltime unit. Case in point, New Horizons has now brought to market their Summit line, which is built with the same integrity as their high end Majestic line, but without most of the glitz. Another relative newcomer is Augusta RV. I spoke with a friend who saw their Luxe model at Hershey. Apparently, this brand has come a long way since it was first introduced last year. It's fantastic to see the market respond.
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