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Old 07-10-2014, 05:12 AM   #1
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First Week in our38FL

We are finishing up our first week fulltiming in our new 38FL

To be honest is has been disappointing, the poor quality and lack of pride / craftsmanship and care during build and assembly is apparent all over the coach.

I would expect much better in a coach at this price point.

We like the 38FL floorplan, features and amenities, but little things keeps cropping up that I have to fix / repair, that should not be happening.

Guess I have been spoiled by our last two SOB 5ers and TT, much less problems and issues at the beginning of use and much more pride / craftsmanship in the build.

Since we fulltime in our Redwood, taking it to a dealer for repairs is a real PITA and leaving it for any length of time for repairs is a real problem so I will keep fixing and repairing all the minor items that continue to come up.

Robert
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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Yup, it's a shame that these kinds of issues keeping popping up time to time. I hope you get everything ironed out and begin to enjoy the coach. Best of luck.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear

I've had to fix a few things, the Dealer had to fix a few things, but I still consider this Redwood to be better built than our previous rigs. Of those things I fixed, I don't really find it to be a pride and craftsmanship issue. Maybe poor supplier quality, or not so great design, but it would seem Redwood, like most other RV manufacturers, correct them as fast as they can.

As an example, two issues I've had: peeling finish on the Durafaucet fixtures in the shower, and broken hinge on one of the cabinet doors. Neither are the same on the new ones.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:17 PM   #4
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Funny reading all the complaints. I do think that people seem to get upset over little things not working and I understand their frustration, but I think getting upset should be left for BIG issues. My cousin lives in Shipshewana and he has a friend who works on RV's.He has nothing to gain by saying this, so I value his opinion. He said that Redwoods are the only 5th wheel he would consider owning and he works on all of them. Overall he said there are far less major issues with Redwoods.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:12 AM   #5
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Funny reading all the complaints. I do think that people seem to get upset over little things not working and I understand their frustration, but I think getting upset should be left for BIG issues. My cousin lives in Shipshewana and he has a friend who works on RV's.He has nothing to gain by saying this, so I value his opinion. He said that Redwoods are the only 5th wheel he would consider owning and he works on all of them. Overall he said there are far less major issues with Redwoods.

That's great to hear....I was talking to a guy one day that works at Redwood. He said that he'd be working at RV factories for his entire adult life and Redwood is a good product. He said that the company was always reviewing their processes and harping about getting it done right.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:22 AM   #6
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All the positive comments are great to hear, when we were shopping for a new 5th Wheel, we heard lots of positive comments from owners, dealers and service centers about the Redwood product.
We like our Redwood Floorplan and a lot of the amenities and features it has to offer.
Lets hope once we get through these initial minor issues we will have a great 5th Wheel / Home.

Robert
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:57 AM   #7
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Robert,

Just curious, are the issues you've encountered things that were obvious or were they discovered while "looking under the hood"? In other words, are they things that should have been corrected by the dealer?

We were very fortunate when we took delivery of our RW, our dealer had it ready, there were no noticeable issues. Not to say there weren't problems but they were not obvious and most occurred after delivery.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:13 AM   #8
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We spent about 1/2 a day in it running everything and testing all that we could, nothing really stood out.
Many of the issues were found after the first trip up to our homebase from the dealer and use during our first week living in our Redwood.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:20 AM   #9
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We spent about 1/2 a day in it running everything and testing all that we could, nothing really stood out.
Many of the issues were found after the first trip up to our homebase from the dealer and use during our first week living in our Redwood.
Well at least your dealer did their work, tuts good news.

It's unfortunate that there have been problems, there really are no excused, just poor production practices. Based on JohnEileen and Dave's comments that Redwood is far better than most I'm glad I have a Redwood!!

I just hope you only have minor issues, though annoying they are minor issues!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:33 AM   #10
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We've travelled thousands of miles with our RW over the past 18 months of full-time. It's likely issues will crop up, especially during the first one or two trips. Once we got through the shake down period I have had very few problems even after driving on a number of really rough roads. I find you need to learn how to best travel down the road with your coach. This includes how to pack it, secure it, learn where the hot spots are and fix them before they become a major issue, and setup your TV properly for towing a heavy coach such as RW. A piece of trim may fall off (which I've had) but I just re-secure it better than it was and move on. Unless you have an IS suspension system your inside of your coach is getting shook pretty hard. I've had days where my furniture have traveled several inches on the floor. Those are the days you open the door and give it a good inspection before you open the slides :-)

Previously we owned a $500K home and had plenty of items to repair over the 17 years we owned it. In our stick and brick we had appliances failing after 3 years and some serious wall cracks early on. So I tend to not get upset when I occasionally see a minor issue crop up on the RW after traveling 400 miles that day on some rough road.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:00 AM   #11
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I get it, I am not bashing Redwood and do not mean to come across negative, I just stand by my comment of when you get a "High End 5th Wheel" at this price point I would expect better quality, craftsmanship and materials than the "Weekend or Non Fulltimer" type of 5th Wheels.
This is not our first towable RV, we previously have had 2 5th Wheels, 5 Travel Trailers and 2 Popup Campers and have traveled cross country many times over the years.
Just before trading our SOB 5th Wheel on our Redwood, we completed a 10,000+ mile trip from our Home Base in North Florida to Ft Lauderdale Florida to Baltimore Maryland, to Houston Texas to Pomona California then back up through Las Vegas Nevada to Amarillo Texas then to Atlanta Georgia before returning to our Home Base in North Florida.
We had less issues on that trip than we had on our 275 mile trip from the dealer in Tampa Florida to our Home Base in North Florida.
Maybe I jumped the gun a little bit, lets hope it is just a few loose items and we are over the worst of it, I am just a little nervous since we fulltime and do not want to sit at a dealership for repairs.
We do not take our RVs back to the dealer for minor items, it just seems a waste of time so we just take care of them ourselves.
In all my years of having towable RVs, I have never had to leave my RV at a dealership overnight for repairs. The few visits to the dealerships over the years have been minor adjustments and such that were completed while we waited on the same day.
I think Redwood is a good company and really is trying to listen to their customers and builds a good product at a reasonable cost, that is why we bought a Redwood in the first place.
I also realize they are in the business to make a profit, that is the American way!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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Bob...I hear 'ya and agree 100%. If the RV industry wants to come into the 21st century, these QC issues need to be dealt with at the time of production. Personally, I thinks it's ridiculous for the manufacturer to expect a dealer to put significant hours into "prepping" a unit when those items should have been adressed on the production line. I think the dealer's PDI is an inspection to make sure that what the customer ordered is what the customer receives as far as options and the like, and to make sure there was no damage in transit. Finally, and most importantly, that the customer understands all of the systems in the RV.

When I buy a car I don't expect that my dealer will need to go through the vehicle with a fine tooth comb to find the problems that were missed at the factory. Why should the RV industry be any different? There needs to be cultural shift.

With that said, I own a Redwood because even though they can improve, they're one of the manufacturer's that's leading the movement. And I always want to be at the head of the line.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:38 PM   #13
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We've travelled thousands of miles with our RW over the past 18 months of full-time. It's likely issues will crop up, especially during the first one or two trips. Once we got through the shake down period I have had very few problems even after driving on a number of really rough roads. I find you need to learn how to best travel down the road with your coach. This includes how to pack it, secure it, learn where the hot spots are and fix them before they become a major issue, and setup your TV properly for towing a heavy coach such as RW. A piece of trim may fall off (which I've had) but I just re-secure it better than it was and move on. Unless you have an IS suspension system your inside of your coach is getting shook pretty hard. I've had days where my furniture have traveled several inches on the floor. Those are the days you open the door and give it a good inspection before you open the slides :-)

Previously we owned a $500K home and had plenty of items to repair over the 17 years we owned it. In our stick and brick we had appliances failing after 3 years and some serious wall cracks early on. So I tend to not get upset when I occasionally see a minor issue crop up on the RW after traveling 400 miles that day on some rough road.
Great reality check, as you mention, any home, permanent or mobile requires TLC and plenty of upkeep so why should we be surprised when little things happen. Thanks!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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Parked in St. Regis Mt. next to Butch Voles, another okie and an ex 36RL Redwood owner. Now owns a Mobile Suites and wishes he had his Redwood back. His Mobile Suites listed for $126k and he expects $126k quality.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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So far with mine, I've had small things I expected and others I thought should not have ever been if QC had been on par. Another thing that has been frustrating is the dealer says something is fixed and checked out only to find it's not. In my last conversation with service manager, I explained in great detail my frustration with "it's fixed" only to travel 125 miles to find "it's not fixed". So far it appears there will be much better organization on my next vist to be sure it gets fixed and is double checked before I pick up!
We really like our Redwood. We are coming from a Tiffin Motorhome and like the redwood much better! Sure I had some problems with the tiffin to but very few were Quality controll issues most were product adjustment and a couple supplier product failures. I really believe once the Redwood is tuned up it will be a awesome coach and a pleasure to use.
IMO, Redwood could add one step of Inspection that checks all the system functions of the trailer and it would eliminate most of the complaints. It's clear once on the dealers lot they sell it to the consumer as delivered then let us the consumer do the system check and bring them back. Dealers too could step up and be much more through with their PDI and 90% of the issues would be caught. Not to say there aren't some problem coaches or systems that just fail but all the small things would never been seen by the consumer.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:47 PM   #16
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The quicker everyone understands price point means number of gadgets and chrome, not quality, the less disappointments there will be.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:05 PM   #17
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hey blue dogs, love the blue heelers by the way. I agree with you all the way as well and I am still waiting for my dealer to get off there duffs and fix what needed to be fixed the first two months ago...but eventually several hundred dollars in diesel later maybe "fixed" is actually correct for once. peace out
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #18
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The quicker everyone understands price point means number of gadgets and chrome, not quality, the less disappointments there will be.
Why does it have to be that way? If there's no consumer pressure and no competition on the manufacturing end, things will stay the same. I hear all the time, "Well, what do you expect when something lik this is dragged down our highways." It's not as though an RV isn't supposed to pulled down the road.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:43 PM   #19
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Why does it have to be that way? If there's no consumer pressure and no competition on the manufacturing end, things will stay the same. I hear all the time, "Well, what do you expect when something lik this is dragged down our highways." It's not as though an RV isn't supposed to pulled down the road.
You are correct, the only way things will change is if the consumer pushes back. Look at the auto industry, when the American automakers were putting out junk in the 70's & 80's people quit buying them, that woke up the industry and they changed.

BUT, we consumers had a choice with the auto industry, when American automobiles were junk we quit buying American and bought Japanese, German, etc.

There is no competition in the RV industry outside of what we have available, Sure you can switch brands but the entire American RV industry does the same thing, all of them. It would take someone doing things different but so far no one has ponied up and made quality their priority, it cost millions to withstand that hit, the cost would be out of line with the competitors.

We all want quality but how...the only way I see is to boycott the manufacturers until they decide to put emphasis on quality, then of course we would all pay more, there is a price for everything!!!
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:11 PM   #20
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Why does it have to be that way? If there's no consumer pressure and no competition on the manufacturing end, things will stay the same. I hear all the time, "Well, what do you expect when something lik this is dragged down our highways." It's not as though an RV isn't supposed to pulled down the road.
No, it doesn't' have to be that way, but it is. One of those times when "made in USA" isn't necessarily a good thing.

I don't know the fix, but I know the quality and assembly of RVs has been poor since I started using them. Is a QA inspection of any value? Probably not - the Dealer inspected it and you inspected it before you bought it, but you all missed the issues.

Is better training and better attitude in assembly of any value? Probably - only the worker knows he is not tightening the screws on the breaker panel properly, or plumbing properly, and it would take a team of QA oversight to ever spot that on the line.

Would better engineering be of any value? Probably - the incorporation of a residential fridge in these was one of the poorest thought out designs I have seen in a while, and it was not new to RVs.

Is the choice of raw materials and parts supplier (foreign or domestic) of any value? Probably - but the country of origin doesn't seem to make a big difference - my good old "made in USA, or made in "Indiana" parts seem to prematurely fail as fast as those imported.

It is clear that competition between brands within Indiana means nothing, as they all have issues. Maybe it will really take an import to start the shift in culture like the auto industry, but probably not in my lifetime.
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