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Old 03-21-2016, 08:21 PM   #1
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Prospective Buyer Questions

Afternoon Redwood Fans,

Sonya and I are close to buying and have a few questions. As background, we are a few years from retirement when we plan to travel extensively, but will always retain a home base on our ranch. When our kiddos were younger we pulled around a bunkhouse model 5th wheel so we know most of the pros/cons. We still have all four of our parents healthy, and plan to take weekend and week long vacations with them while they can still enjoy seeing God's canvas of nature. We all live in the Ozarks of S Missouri and N Arkansas, so plenty to see close by. Within 2 years, Sonya and I plan to hit the road.

Questions
1) Extended warranty through the local dealer or not? $240 a year which includes annual checkup and winterization, covers the big ticket items as long as you complete the annual required preventives by a certified tech? thoughts?

2) Is the factory installed Onan 5.5 generator under the bed loud while sleeping above? Do you get used to it or does it keep you awake at times?

3) Solar versus Generator? I've read the posts here by some who swear by the solar, but prime summer in this area is hot and humid, don't like the idea of no A/C while boondocking. I expect we will be "unplugged" 20% of the time in full retirement

4) Warrenty repairs, I've read the posts here and on other sites from owner experiences. I understand that the most negative experiences cause owners to " vent" more frequently, but some of them are truely scary to a prospective buyer. Knowing what you have experienced to date, would you buy Redwood again?

Thanks in advance for sharing your valued input into our RV adventures, God Bless and safe travels.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:57 PM   #2
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Kevin & Sonya,
Welcome to the forum.

I can't help you with 1 & 2.
3 is fairly simple.

You are not going to be able to run your a/c with solar and batteries for more than a few minutes. You'd need a huge bank of batteries to do so. The question for you is built in or on board generator. Clearly the on board is convenient, but they are fuel hogs. Not sure if you can run both a/c's with the Onan 5.5, Others that have one hopefully will chime in.

I use 2- Honda 2000, when hooked together they provide 26.6 amps so I can run 1 a/c unit but not much else The Honda's are quiet and fuel efficient.

Bottom line, if you want/need both a/c's you probably should consider the Onan.

As far as warranty repairs, Redwood has treated me very well. I had one issue that was initially denied but in the end, they came through. Personally, I have been very happy with the warranty service.

Ken
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:13 PM   #3
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We chose no extended warranty, we'll worry about it as it comes. Plus $240 yearly for them to walk around it & say "yep, looks good" & a $10 winterization?? We are fulltimers & can't leave ours with a "certified technician" to do the annual maintenance for 4-6 weeks, I'm capable of doing it myself & will do a better job.
Can't comment on solar/generator as I don't have either, DW has 3 minimum requirements, water, 50amps, & sewer.
We've lived in ours for just over 3 years & we took it to the factory service center with our small list of warranty items after 9 months on the road & that's been it's only trip to a shop, all of the other minor issues I took care of.
If we were interested in trading I would look at another RW, but would go through the option list carefully & definitely upgrade the chassis with MorRyde IS, H rated tires & disc brakes at a minimum.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:29 PM   #4
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I do not have extended warrenty. But still have warenty for another year. I have a 6.5 onan and it is quiet. You can hear it inside but is very tolerable. Solar is great for boondocking but will not run AC. I have had good experience with Redwood on warrenty repairs. Most I have done myself as we live in it fulltime right now and will not take it to a dealer. If there is anything to be repaired that is out of my skill level or do not have time to do I have a mobile rv tech that takes care of it. Depending on what our needs are when we decide to sell or upgrade I would look at the redwoods.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:01 PM   #5
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$240 a year for an extended warranty that also include winterizing and annual inspection sounds too good to be true. The deductible must be high. Normally I never get them, but with all the issues some of the owners have had, I went to Good Sam and bit the bullet. I like the idea of never having to see my Dealer again as well.

The Onan 5500 is pretty quiet, but I don't think I could sleep with it running for fear of carbon monoxide. If I were to sleep with the AC running, I would probably go to a portable like Ken says and stick it away from the RV or in the back of the pickup somewhere. Besides the small sine wave portables are much more efficient as they will idle down when the load is low.

Warranty just sucks - and you are right in the middle of new management with Redwood so no one really has any experience yet, except for maybe Loving Life who is fighting the uphill battle on a roof. Redwood has been relatively good about honoring warranty except when they have to go through Lippert, and the Dealers can give life an additional layer of misery with poor workmanship and schedules that can stretch out for months. Not all, but many.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:22 PM   #6
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We just took delivery a week ago so still a little new. We ordered the Onan from the factory. It is surprisingly quiet. The factory exhaust is run almost back to the tires so well away from the bedroom slide. I would not be afraid of it running overnight but will have the necessary CO2 detectors for backup.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:39 AM   #7
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I keep doing that too - It's CO, not CO2.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:40 AM   #8
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I had the 5.5 LP Onan and it did run both a/c units without a problem. I loved the generator but it was hungry. If I were to do a 5th wheel again I think I'd figure out a diesel generator in the bed of the truck and suck the diesel out of the trucks fuel tank. This would eliminate the problems associated with the LP
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by KevinSonya Harmon View Post
Afternoon Redwood Fans,
Questions
1) Extended warranty through the local dealer or not? $240 a year which includes annual checkup and winterization, covers the big ticket items as long as you complete the annual required preventives by a certified tech? thoughts? We're self insured, used extra money from rebates, can refunds and such and have enough to cover most major repairs if we were to have one.

2) Is the factory installed Onan 5.5 generator under the bed loud while sleeping above? Do you get used to it or does it keep you awake at times? Yes the Onan will run both, have done so on both our previous 36RL and this 39MB. Never tried to sleep with it running for both ACs as it would burn thru a 40 Lb tank of Propane overnite easily. We've run it in the evening to cool the RW down, then open windows and use a portable fan.

3) Solar versus Generator? I've read the posts here by some who swear by the solar, but prime summer in this area is hot and humid, don't like the idea of no A/C while boondocking. I expect we will be "unplugged" 20% of the time in full retirement. We're not big boondockers so solar really isn't in our plans.

4) Warrenty repairs, I've read the posts here and on other sites from owner experiences. I understand that the most negative experiences cause owners to " vent" more frequently, but some of them are truely scary to a prospective buyer. Knowing what you have experienced to date, would you buy Redwood again? We had a slide issue early on with the MB and made arrangment for repairs at the factory, our RL never saw the inside of a shop. Any and all other repairs we've handled our selves. Growing up a Farm in rual Western New York, I learned early on, "If it broke, Fix it"

As for buying again: We're on our second RW, first a 2012 36RL, now a 2016 39MB. When we decided we were interested in a "Front Bath" floor plan, we looked at all the others we could and found that RW made the most effective use of the available space. We worked a deal with RW to have our unit sent over to Mor/ryde for the IS install prior to going to paint, so we're not going through some of the suspension issues that others are having.
Regards,

Michelle & Ann
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:30 AM   #10
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Wow, what a great group of folks to offer so much feedback in 6 hours time, thanks a lot to all. Hope to join the RW owners in a few months.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:05 AM   #11
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I would not be one that would offer such ringing endorsements as my experience was different

good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:40 AM   #12
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Our last SOB had an Onan 5.5 and we loved it. Easily would run both AC's. But here is the problem. LP gen sets just suck up the fuel and not sure why they can't make it more efficient but we had the Gas which would use no more then 1 gallon an hour and I have had the Diesel in my work truck that would use about .75 an hour.
I have run the Onan's for days and never miss a beat. My opinion is they are the quietest out there and most dependable except Honda may be just ahead of them but I don't think they make an RV gen set.

Steve
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinSonya Harmon View Post
Afternoon Redwood Fans,

Sonya and I are close to buying and have a few questions. As background, we are a few years from retirement when we plan to travel extensively, but will always retain a home base on our ranch. When our kiddos were younger we pulled around a bunkhouse model 5th wheel so we know most of the pros/cons. We still have all four of our parents healthy, and plan to take weekend and week long vacations with them while they can still enjoy seeing God's canvas of nature. We all live in the Ozarks of S Missouri and N Arkansas, so plenty to see close by. Within 2 years, Sonya and I plan to hit the road.

Questions
1) Extended warranty through the local dealer or not? $240 a year which includes annual checkup and winterization, covers the big ticket items as long as you complete the annual required preventives by a certified tech? thoughts?
We purchased the warranty but I think if I had to do it all over again, I'd pass.

2) Is the factory installed Onan 5.5 generator under the bed loud while sleeping above? Do you get used to it or does it keep you awake at times?
We have an FL so that's an unfair question. Quiet as a church mouse.

3) Solar versus Generator? I've read the posts here by some who swear by the solar, but prime summer in this area is hot and humid, don't like the idea of no A/C while boondocking. I expect we will be "unplugged" 20% of the time in full retirement
As others have said, no way will solar support your AC. I'm a bit of an odd duck since I have a gasoline fired Onan 5.5. I'd never leave home without it.

4) Warrenty repairs, I've read the posts here and on other sites from owner experiences. I understand that the most negative experiences cause owners to " vent" more frequently, but some of them are truely scary
to a prospective buyer. Knowing what you have experienced to date, would you buy Redwood again?
With the complexity of today's upper end RVs, I think you absolutely have to have a fairly large amount of do-it-yourselfer. Otherwise, you're probably spending a lot of money and/or time at the dealer for when it comes out of warranty. We really enjoy our RW but we're saving our pennies for a custom build that will come when we're ready to retire.

Thanks in advance for sharing your valued input into our RV adventures, God Bless and safe travels.
We'll look forward to seeing you down the road.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:07 AM   #14
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prospective buyer questions

I opted to go with the Good Sam's warranty

Yes i have the onan 5500 runs everything. If I am going to run it all night i have the Gen-Turi set up so that I don't have to worry about the O2. Propane is not as bad as gas anyway. i carry a extra tank of propane.

Solar? I wouldn't know.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:15 AM   #15
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Kevin and Sonya, Thank you for asking such great questions. My husband and I are planning on purchasing a Redwood also. We are torn between the 39MB wine bar and the 38GK. He likes the 38GK and I'm leaning toward the wine bar! If anyone has some personal input on this, I would really appreciate it. We aren't new to motorhomes but are new to fifth wheels. I agree, what a great group of folks! Susan
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:42 AM   #16
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Kevin and Sonya, Thank you for asking such great questions. My husband and I are planning on purchasing a Redwood also. We are torn between the 39MB wine bar and the 38GK. He likes the 38GK and I'm leaning toward the wine bar! If anyone has some personal input on this, I would really appreciate it. We aren't new to motorhomes but are new to fifth wheels. I agree, what a great group of folks! Susan
I have the GK and on my last trip I had two friends with me. I like the idea of them getting to the bathroom without going through the bedroom. However, what originally sold me on the GK was the two large pantries.

After using the GK what I found that I like is the ability to use the bathroom and Bedroom at rest stops without moving out the slides.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:17 AM   #17
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No, CO is colorado😬 jus funnin.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:37 AM   #18
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Thank you, Scott! I'm still trying to figure out how to use the forum. This is all new to us.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:37 AM   #19
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I have the GK and on my last trip I had two friends with me. I like the idea of them getting to the bathroom without going through the bedroom. However, what originally sold me on the GK was the two large pantries.

After using the GK what I found that I like is the ability to use the bathroom and Bedroom at rest stops without moving out the slides.
I love the two sinks also. Makes getting ready in the morning much easier.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:29 AM   #20
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I love the two sinks also. Makes getting ready in the morning much easier.
Your right, and it keeps your personal stuff out of the main bathroom. There is a lot to like about RW in general and the GK specifically, it's hard to remember.
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