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Old 04-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
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Smile Not so Nube, with questions

Hello to you all: retirement looms at the end of 2014, the house is up for sale, the RW 38GK has been purchased and we'll take delivery as soon as the new truck and body are delivered - we hope in early July. After that, we're full-timers! I've ordered a Crew Cab Ram 3500 dually (2WD) as a chassis cab, and finally settled on a Knapheide Westerner utility body: it sits only about an inch higher (39") than the same truck configured as a pickup bed, but the side tool boxes should be 6 or 7 inches lower than a pickup box. Not only do I want the additional storage the utility body offers, but I'd like to avoid all the problems those high pickup rails seem to cause people. I've read about all the troubles which 2014 Ram owners are having getting a hitch installed, and I'm hoping to avoid these too. My local Knapheide body distributor assures me that they'll install a 20 or 22K Reese with no trouble; my RW dealer prefers the Pull Rite. I called Pull Rite this morning; they say that they can't deliver a hitch for me because they don't have the adapters yet. I made sure that I clearly explained that I wasn't getting a pickup box with the factory 5er hitch prep package, and that this would be a custom install on essentially a flatbed frame; she said that there was no way to make any of their hitches work. So I guess I'll have to trust my Knapheide upfitter to know what he's doing: while they don't have much call to install 5er hitches, and not on this body, they have done a few dozen of them and hundreds of goose neck installations (they've been around over fifty years). I'm getting nervous, but don't have the $$$ to get a Classy Chassis tow body. It's hard to believe that I'm breaking new ground here. We measured the pin of the GK at 44" off the ground, level, so I don't think I'll need a low-profile hitch, but I'd sure appreciate the input of anyone who has done something similar. I've read just about every post on every thread here, compiling a pre-PDI list for my RW dealer in Rochester NY, 300 miles away. It's up to several pages now - shower leaks, FW tank syphoning, water pump back flow, toilet ball valve failure, basement awning switch cover, etc. - all these known issues will have to be inspected and corrected to my satisfaction before I'll take delivery. I want to thank you all SO MUCH for doing such a great job of posting all your problems - I feel much more prepared to accept delivery. I also found some excellent PDI checklists on one of the threads here - my poor dealer will be happy that we're leaving New England and the Northeast: after I send him my pre-PDI checklist and my intended walkaround checklist, he'll never want to see me again. :-) But I really don't care: this has to be done as well as possible the first time out. It's been stored outside since last September (we bought it at the Hershey RV show, they hauled back to Rochester), so when we made a "measurement visit" earlier this month, I came away pretty convinced that there are no roof leaks - at least yet. Now only 99 issues left to inspect - wish us luck! In my business as a photographer I worked all over the country, and hauled a 30-footer TT with a one ton truck for more than 20 years for months on end, so neither of us is new to the lifestyle. In fact, it's been my wife's dream to retire this way for at least that long. Angele teaches business and has a CPA, so if she ever gets bored she can always find work at tax time. I can always find some work doing real estate photography or creating a custom book for a client, but most of the time we expect to slowly explore this great country of ours - a year in the desert, a year in Alaska, a year in the PNW, a year in Canyon Country... As the wind blows us.
So thanks again for all the great information; you've all been a great help even if you didn't realize it! Cheers!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:58 PM   #2
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Congrats on the the near retirement!

Can't help you with the truck much- but let me offer this on the list you have prepared -

I bought a new 2003 Montana off the lot. I joined the owners forum, and for years I noted every single thing that went wrong with them by model, series, or just in general. I had compiled a list of about 2 or 3 pages when we ordered our new 2007 Montana that I wanted checked before I ever took delivery. Things from fireplace fires from loose lugs to water leaks at the tank fill.

I sent the list in advance asking sales to be sure this was completed. I carried the list with me to the PDI. I asked the Service Manager about the list, and here is the answer I got - good our bad:

"son - I don't build these things, I only sell them and fix them. Here is your shiny new rig as the factory built it, and I have done the cursory inspection on it before delivery to cover my own keester. You are more than welcome to spend the 12 or 18 hours it would require to check all of those things on your own, and I'll fix anything wrong that you find. In other words, if its broke, bring it back and I'll fix it, but I'm not in the business to rebuild these things when they get here. If you found that many things wrong with it before it even got here, I have to ask why you bought it anyway! "

Guess what - I did it myself, and it was one of the best rigs I ever owned. I went in for warranty once and they did great with it.

Just my experience. I really feel you might posture yourself for a bad start with the Dealer before you even get your unit.

Our Redwood Dealer did a comprehensive check before the PDI, and I signed the bill that went back to Redwood for the work. I was impressed. I only had 2 things wrong I found at the PDI, but I do inherit the same issues everyone else has had and I just hope they don't surface (crack in side, toilet valve, etc) on my unit. If they do, I'll get it fixed after I grumble a bit.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:17 PM   #3
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Hahahahaha ... I appreciate your candor! Nah, I'm a realist, not a stiff pre-postured PITA. But I can at least ask my dealer to use my list. If he doesn't want to, then I'll camp nearby and spent a day or two going through that inspection myself - one way or the other, it should be done. If I do it myself, I'll know a lot more about the rig when I'm done and will have confidence that the spare tire holder won't let loose because half the self tapping screws were torqued off. I don't want to be one of those folk squishing my way across the bedroom at 3am because the toilet water valve didn't seat correctly. :-) I don't think it's unreasonable to ask a dealer to look at known issues, but if they don't share that philosophy, that's cool too. But more importantly, thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge on this forum ... I've seen your posts like, a bazillion times. Keep up the good work!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:45 PM   #4
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It is sure difficult when you're living in the rig. We bought ours on a Friday afternoon. The dealer had some work to do on it and started Saturday. We moved in Saturday and Sunday while staying on the lot. Finding several items in the 2 days, it went back in the shop Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most items but not all were taken care of. We camped for 6 weeks about 2 hours away and made an appointment for service items before we headed back home (which was out of state). We spent an additional 2 days at the dealership. Work was not complete and I didn't want to stay longer.

Once home, I scheduled an appointment for the balance of the work. It has been at the dealer for 3 1/2 weeks....work is still in progress.

We spent a total of 7 nights in the dealer parking lot which was fine since they had hookups but still not a great place.

Best of luck with your PDI,

Ken
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brenkco View Post
It is sure difficult when you're living in the rig. We bought ours on a Friday afternoon. The dealer had some work to do on it and started Saturday. We moved in Saturday and Sunday while staying on the lot. Finding several items in the 2 days, it went back in the shop Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most items but not all were taken care of. We camped for 6 weeks about 2 hours away and made an appointment for service items before we headed back home (which was out of state). We spent an additional 2 days at the dealership. Work was not complete and I didn't want to stay longer.

Once home, I scheduled an appointment for the balance of the work. It has been at the dealer for 3 1/2 weeks....work is still in progress.

We spent a total of 7 nights in the dealer parking lot which was fine since they had hookups but still not a great place.

Best of luck with your PDI,

Ken
That's a lot of fixing!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #6
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Yea,
A great deal of the initial time involved moving items from our old rig to the new.....balance has been repairs.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:38 AM   #7
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Alan,
I'll let you know how they respond to the PDI process. I actually just purchased the unit right next to yours on the Rochester, NY Redwood Dealer lot. We bought the 39MB. We are scheduled to take delivery on May 6th so we're keeping our fingers crossed for a uneventful process.

Tim
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:53 AM   #8
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OK now Tim, they say it's a small world, but this is riDICulous! Haha! Hey, neighbor! But seriously, please do let me know ... Dave and his crew all seem like pretty decent folk, and I have no reason to believe that they don't want exactly what we want, a smooth delivery with minimum problems. It'll be a lot easier to resolve any issues now, however, than to have to go back again and again - it's a 600 mile round trip. Maybe we'll be two of the lucky ones and will have no major issues. That MB unit is really gorgeous, and I'll bet you're gonna love it. Congrats!
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brenkco View Post
It is sure difficult when you're living in the rig. We bought ours on a Friday afternoon. The dealer had some work to do on it and started Saturday. We moved in Saturday and Sunday while staying on the lot. Finding several items in the 2 days, it went back in the shop Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most items but not all were taken care of. We camped for 6 weeks about 2 hours away and made an appointment for service items before we headed back home (which was out of state). We spent an additional 2 days at the dealership. Work was not complete and I didn't want to stay longer.

Once home, I scheduled an appointment for the balance of the work. It has been at the dealer for 3 1/2 weeks....work is still in progress.

We spent a total of 7 nights in the dealer parking lot which was fine since they had hookups but still not a great place.

Best of luck with your PDI,

Ken
Thanks for sharing your story, brenkco ... Sorry it has some hard twists. Since my wife doesn't retire until December, that SHOULD give us plenty of time to get all issues resolved and get moved in after selling the house. But then, life seems to have its own ideas about where it will lead us, doesn't it! See ya down the road...
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:34 AM   #10
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I purchased my unit out of Province as at the time there were no dealerships in Province. Time was very crucial as work was involved the unit was almost 2 weeks late in delivery this left very little time for PDI. I carried out my own PDI as the dealership carried out theirs, WE found only minor things and fixed as we went. Now with the dealership over 1200 miles away I carry out as many fixes as I can, most have been minor.
A PDI is great while you are there but as soon as you hook up and drive away the real business begins

Enjoy as Dave says its a house on wheels being shook like hell going down the road
Almost every issue we have had has been with items from other manufactures
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:35 AM   #11
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Wow, great thread!! I'd like to start this by saying I'm really happy to be part of the Redwood Graduating class of 2014! I can tell this will be a grand adventure!!

We have our first look at our model year 2015 38FL next Wednesday in Tampa, FL. My wife and I firmly believe our best course is to first do the full coach inspection, then and only then, if all looks in order, sign papers and take delivery. We are willing to accept minor cosmetic issues during the delivery, but any large system issues will be enough for us to say they need to be fixed before we take delivery. Also note that we believe that all appliances even if they are not Redwood issues, (i.e. fridge, over, stove, hot water heater, furnace, etc etc) although are not covered by the manufacturer warrantee (Redwood) should be in perfect working order prior to delivery.

I am not going to ask the dealer to use our checklist, they need to produce the best product they think is worthy of putting their dealership reputation behind and then we will determine if that is something we can accept.

That said, buyer beware, I am going to check, double check, cross check and recheck every list I can find, before I hand over my $$. We are about 700 miles away from the dealer but will be willing to spend extra nights in a hotel and/or head back home w/o the coach if it is not ready for delivery. FULL STOP! I believe this acquisition will be part of my life for many years, perhaps a decade (or two), so a few days/weeks upfront to get what we believe we paid for makes perfect sense.

I have the very good check list posted here at this forum that I will use as the master list, and have paid attention to the other issues presented here that I need to check during the process. If anyone has more lists of things to check please share. I would prefer to spend a couple/few days at the dealership before driving away checking (and re-correcting) things, then find myself a couple/few days away from the dealership needing to get something repaired!
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:22 PM   #12
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Atom Ant: my wife agrees with you and your dealer. RW doesn't reimburse the dealers for doing an extensive preventative QC inspections: if I insist on having that done, I need to either plan to do it myself or pay someone to do it, as we would when buying a house. Fair enough... At least I now have a base if information to work from, and will know what problems to look for. Thanks again to you all!
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:20 PM   #13
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ksaltman, Lazydays may let you stay in the coach while it is being worked on [depending on the issues], they have a huge campground with different sections for service, swaps, etc.

Best of luck on your coach...and congratulations!!!
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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OnTheRoad,

Yes Lazydays is being really nice to us. They are letting us stay 2 nights on their delivery lot (electric only) and 2 days in the camp ground (full hookup) for free next week. We plan on spending another 3 days in the camp ground (at a small discount) to continue to check things out and start provisioning the coach. They are even going to help us move the coach and store it for a few weeks after because we don't have our TV yet.

My only concern is taking possession of something I'm not 100% sure about. Basically I don't know what I don't know so I want to take my time. That's my issue not theirs.

It's going to be great!
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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We took delivery in February on our new RL.
After the initial PDI, we moved the unit into a nearby RV park for about 10 days of "shakedown" during which we operated every system in the unit until we were sure we knew we were operating it correctly, and that it worked properly.
We were about to enter into our unit as full-time RVers.

Before we pulled away from the dealership, we made an appointment with their service department to correct any issues we might discover. During our initial few days, we did find some issues (mostly minor) that we had corrected on the scheduled appointment. Some of those things were an alignment of our expectations as we were new to fifth wheelers.

When we left the dealers service department, we felt confident that we were starting our new adventure with everything operating as it should.

We were lucky to have ben able to dedicate that kind of time to checking the unit. The dealers generally schedules around 3 or 4 hours to your PDI expecting that you will bring the unit back with a punchlist of things for warranty repair.

I would suggest that if time allows, once you check out the unit during your PDI and take delivery, spend some time in a nearby RV park instead of a hotel. You will learn a lot about your 5er and get a first hand look at each system and how it works.

If any issues are noticed, your dealer can correct them for you before you travel 700 miles. Be sure to give your dealer a list at the end of your trial. They will quickly become tired of the unit if it gets pulled up to the service bay each time you find an issue.

Good luck and best wishes. We are very happy with our Redwood.

Safe Travels
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #16
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that is exactly what we plan to do. A shakedown trip and then an appointment with the service department on the last day. We can drop it off on our way home. And not have to make an appointment later down the road. It would be happy news to have to cancel the appointment. I am certainly not expecting that.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:02 PM   #17
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Great advice, George... I was planning for an extra day or two, but allowing a week - or whatever time it takes if large issues are involved - makes perfect sense. Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #18
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George,

Yes my hope is we can stay in the coach for the week after we take delivery to make sure everything works. The back up should there be any large issues is to stay in a hotel while they fix them so I don't have to feel pressured into signing before the unit is ready. I doubt that will be the case.

Since we will leave the coach with them for a few weeks after (since we don't yet have our TV) they can work on the punch list then.

I'll just say ditto to Todd & Theresa, just wish next week would come so we can get this done!
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #19
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I will say that if there are major issues to fix during the PDI, I would not pay for the unit until they were addressed. Minor issues are a different matter, but major issues can sometimes fall in two weeks of waiting for them to get the repair done. I have seen this happen. I can guarantee you that if they are waiting for payment they will magically find more time in the service department to get your issues addressed, right Blue Dogs?
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:36 PM   #20
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I will say that if there are major issues to fix during the PDI, I would not pay for the unit until they were addressed. Minor issues are a different matter, but major issues can sometimes fall in two weeks of waiting for them to get the repair done. I have seen this happen. I can guarantee you that if they are waiting for payment they will magically find more time in the service department to get your issues addressed, right Blue Dogs?
Correct TNT!
I talked with Ryan the service manager last night (seems like a sharp guy) and he says he has a fix for the residential fridge install problems that "sound" good to me. Says they will be applying the fix to all Redwoods to go through their dealership.

I can't stress enough, at the very minimum do an initial walk through and check over BEFORE you sign or pay for anything!
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