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Old 07-01-2019, 06:05 PM   #1
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Considering a used 2011 36RL from PP

Hi! After our motorhome burned to the ground in May we decided to replace it with a 5th wheel. We found a 2011 36RL (it was posted as a 3821RL, which appears to be the wrong model number) in another state and are supposed to head down there to inspect it next week. I also saw a 2012 of the same model, but the interior was not good.

Questions:
Is the 2011 a good model year?
What should we pay particular attention to in the inspection?
What size truck do you recommend to tow it (long bed, short bed, 1 Ton?)

We’re trying to find out as much as we can before making the 1400 mi trip. The owners seem kind of clueless so we are proceeding with caution. Any information would be helpful and very appreciated.
Thank you so much!

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Old 07-01-2019, 09:09 PM   #2
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There are few things to look for
#1 if it isn't full body paint, the front and rear caps are probably faded.
#2 if it has original Gy Marathon tires change them out before towing it anywhere.
#3 they are prone to have poor grease seals on the hubs which lets grease leak into the brakes.
#4 the 36rl is pin heavy around 3400lb. I pulled my 2012 36rl with a 3/4 ton not a rewarding experance. I now pull with a 1t drw. A 1t srw would be at its limits.
#4 My 2012 36rl that bought new has been an ok trailer. It has about 60k on it now still going strong. I have installed dic brakes, upgraded the springs to 8k springs and upgrade tires and wheels. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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First thing is you'll need, definitely want, a 1 ton dually as the Redwoods, especially the RLs, are pin heavy, So do the dually & have 1 less worry.
The 2011 is the 1st year of the RWs & in my opinion the models up to about the '14-15s seem to be better build quality.
In those 1st few models be sure in the RL to check under the bed that the washing machine water lines & drain are connected properly & not kinked, several had their bedroom flooded with 1st laundry load. Also that the bottom of the shower door has been caulked. These items were 2 items that seemed to show up on all & that still show up on RWs today.
One other item I can think of in those years was on the unpainted models, the front & rear caps tend to fade badly & the only sure cure was to have them painted, if the owners were very lucky they got them painted under warranty, but many did not.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
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While 2011 would be a good year, I would approach with caution. 3821 sounds like a Montana model number, so do they have a Redwood or Montana. At that time there was also a Blackwood, a more entry level version of Redwood, but I know any of their model numbers.
We owned a 2012 36RL and it was a great unit and we were one of the first with the Washer drain hose under the bed pulling apart and flooding the Bedroom. And has been said they are Pin Heavy, several members bought RLs and started with F350 SRW TV and shortly upgraded to DRW TVs.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:48 PM   #5
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Looks like the one in Stuart FL. Looks like it has a new roof as the edges are not painted (this is probably a good thing). I noticed that all the furniture is covered in covers. If it is original furniture you do not want them anyway. Onan generator is a plus. Price makes me cry as it shows how much they drop over the years. I once had a dealer tell me to stay away from any RW with a serial number less than 400. I do not know his reasoning except that they did have some start-up issues. I personally would look it over good, make sure everything works. I would examine the roof very carefully and the underside of the slides as well, especially at the ends. If solid you will love it. I would agree with others comments on tires, disc brakes, etc. Use it as bargaining tools. Keep in mind that if it is the one I think it is it has been for sale for over 200 days which is not unreasonable.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:00 PM   #6
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I think before going 1400 miles, I would at least request a close-up of the sticker on the Left Front corner, between the Basement door and the Propane door. It would have all the important info, VIN, Model Number, Date of Manufacture, Carrying Capacity, etc.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA1817 View Post
Looks like the one in Stuart FL. Looks like it has a new roof as the edges are not painted (this is probably a good thing). I noticed that all the furniture is covered in covers. If it is original furniture you do not want them anyway. Onan generator is a plus. Price makes me cry as it shows how much they drop over the years. I once had a dealer tell me to stay away from any RW with a serial number less than 400. I do not know his reasoning except that they did have some start-up issues. I personally would look it over good, make sure everything works. I would examine the roof very carefully and the underside of the slides as well, especially at the ends. If solid you will love it. I would agree with others comments on tires, disc brakes, etc. Use it as bargaining tools. Keep in mind that if it is the one I think it is it has been for sale for over 200 days which is not unreasonable.
If I recall there wouldn't be any with a vin# less than 400, the 1st one was numbered 1400 as the last 4 numbers of the vin.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:08 PM   #8
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You are right Danny. I had forgot about that. I think the salesman I talked to also stated to avoid the first 200 instead of 400.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:27 PM   #9
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There are plenty of weird things about that unit and it's sale. Model number is wrong, listed as a bunk house to sleep 6, the video looks like a child walking through the unit with their phone on. Pictures do at least confirm that it's an RL.
I think it would be well worth the money to hire a third party to go over the unit with a Fine Tooth Comb.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:20 PM   #10
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Thank you for all your comments!

Thank you for all your comments. We are not buying the 2011 unit, for a variety of reasons. So we are still looking.
Thank you again!
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:17 PM   #11
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For your consideration:

There are a number of people on here who believe that the 2012-2015 or 16 years were the better built of the lot compared to the new ones. Some may argue a bit, but we've had ours now since April of 2013 and had very little trouble (some small things I was able to fix myself). I would pay very close attention to tires, brakes, and suspension----------not glamorous, but if those things aren't right, you're not going anywhere.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Mary View Post
For your consideration:

There are a number of people on here who believe that the 2012-2015 or 16 years were the better built of the lot compared to the new ones. Some may argue a bit, but we've had ours now since April of 2013 and had very little trouble (some small things I was able to fix myself). I would pay very close attention to tires, brakes, and suspension----------not glamorous, but if those things aren't right, you're not going anywhere.

I agree. We have a 2012 Redwood 36RL (built in Sept. 2001). I ordered the coach with upgraded wheels/tires and Kodiak disk brakes. I subsequently upgraded the suspension after 3 years.

I have had very few issues with the coach in comparison to what some of the folks on this forum and the other forum have experienced. Most issues I have been able to service myself except for a leaking tank issue which I had a service shop work on.

Issues that I have seen:
1. Replaced water heater thermostat year 1.
2. Replaced LP gas pigtails years 2 & 3.
3. Replaced LP regulators year 3.
4. Replaced water pump year 2. Also added a 3 gallon expansion tank to
minimize pump cycling.
5. Upgraded suspension with MorRyde SRE4000 and heavy duty shackle kit
year 4.
6. Replaced black tank gate valve year year 5.
7. Replaced LP leak detector year 5.
8. Used RV service shop to repair leaking water tank and replace gray tank
gate valves year 6.
9. Replaced furnace control board year 7.
10. Replaced most of the ceiling halogen lamps with LED lamps starting year
1 to present.
11. Replaced 2 Goodyear G614 tires year 4 on heavy side of coach. Moved
those 2 tires to light side year 7 and added 2 new G614 tires to heavy
side. (normal wear and tear)

I would have preferred not to have any issues with a coach that costs this much. But, compared to what some folks have experienced with their unit, these seem to be rather benign.

We live in northeastern Indiana and are about 575 miles from your location in Pennsylvania. We have traveled a little over 27,000 miles with our RW from Indiana to Florida, to Colorado and to Washington state. If you are interested in seeing a 2012 Redwood 36RL, or, have questions send me a PM.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:31 PM   #13
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Definately a 2011 - you can tell by the split front cabinet doors where the generator is and the winterizing and HW bypass valves in the convenience center (they no longer give you the winterizing valve), the missing wardrobe in the dresser and an actual mirror at the end of the dresser by the bathroom.

They were good in that they had more of the beautiful wood interior (radius in the hall, etc) that was gone by 2015, but the furniture was terrible (didn't fully recline) and they had those day night shades which were awful in my opinion with the strings. Suspension was in the infancy (7K was as good as it got) and they were heavy with the washer and dryer and generator because the tanks were in front. Our 36RL pushed a pin weight of 4,350 lbs with 100 gal of water with a gen and W/D.

I hate to even ask what he did to that roof. Looks like he used a roller and painted on that Camping World white sealer which is supposed to be used on aluminum roofs, not rubber membranes. I would say for travel the roof is a loss.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:03 AM   #14
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Don't do it is all I can say. Buy another brand and manufacturer.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:55 PM   #15
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Just decided to sell our 2014 36RL. We hate the thought since we love the unit and have met so many wonderful people.
If interested, contact me at 804-426-9269 for details. Price is $51,900. Located in Tn.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:40 PM   #16
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Purchase used 36RL

When one adds to the dryweight of an RV, location and balance can be important, whether it is forward or aft of the trailer wheels. The location of the W/D is usually forward of the trailer wheels and can easily add another 170-250 lbs to the overall trailer weight. That will add proportionately to the Pin weight. However; an onboard Onan generator is very forward of the trailer wheels and will nearly add another 200 lbs of weight, most of which will be transmitted to the Pin weight. Also, fluids retained in your holding tanks, LP cylinders and batteries play in the mix. Certainly something to consider when determining what TV you require.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:48 AM   #17
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Cool 2500HD Silverado pulling a 2011 36RL

Ok before I went out and bought the 2011 36RL Redwood I Queried on this forum and most agreed my 2012 2500 HD Silverado was plenty of Truck. I have pulled the 5Th wheel from Atlanta GA to Kansas City empty and was only disappointed with Chucking. I Believe that a new pin box is going to take care of most of that if I can believe Lippert.

Today I have read more experienced RVs and you all are saying 1ton Dully. I don’t really want to buy a different truck! Please explain why or why not please.

Thanks for any advise!!
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:32 AM   #18
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First off, RLs are extremely Pin heavy ranging anywhere from 3500 to close to 4500 pounds depending on options and basement loading.
You will have to look at your door sticker to see what the cargo capacity is of your truck, but probably in the 2000 to 2500 pound range. So before you even get you and your family in the truck your're already approx 1000 pounds over limit, now add hitch, firewood, chairs, etc. and you're way over.
You have plenty of pulling power, provided you have the Duramax, it the cargo capacity that gets the 250/2500 Series trucks.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:15 AM   #19
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My 2013 is newly listed on rvt.com maybe it wold interest u. I might consider my tow vehicle 2015 gmc Denali as part of the purchase. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silcottjd View Post
Ok before I went out and bought the 2011 36RL Redwood I Queried on this forum and most agreed my 2012 2500 HD Silverado was plenty of Truck. I have pulled the 5Th wheel from Atlanta GA to Kansas City empty and was only disappointed with Chucking. I Believe that a new pin box is going to take care of most of that if I can believe Lippert.

Today I have read more experienced RVs and you all are saying 1ton Dully. I don’t really want to buy a different truck! Please explain why or why not please.

Thanks for any advise!!
Can't believe anyone from this forum would've ever indicated a 3/4 ton truck of any brand would have enough payload for any of the RWs built to date.
Most all RWs are in the 1 ton range with most in dually weight category.
Yes, your 2500 will tow it without any strain, stopping + safely towing within weights of your vehicle isn't happening though.
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