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Old 08-09-2016, 02:09 AM   #1
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Texas Newbie Interested in 31SL Comments

Greetings from Texas. We are lifelong campers, but new and slightly intimidated about jumping into the big league world of 5th wheels. We currently have a 16’ Jayco pop-up, so this is a significant transition. We grew up around travel trailers and Class A's, but have never owned one.

Our intended use is extended travel after retirement. We’re not interested in full timing, but want something we can live in for a few weeks or a few months at a time. I appreciate all the advantages of 5th wheels, and have focused our search around 35’ length. That seems to be a good length for us, and still get us into many state and national parks.

I recently purchased a 2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW 4x4 LWB Duramax. I possibly should have purchased a Dually, but this is the truck I have. My attitude is that if I need more truck, then what I really need less trailer.

We’re in the research stage now, and really like the Redwood 31SL. I am interested in any advice, comments, opinions, or experiences with the 31SL and with Redwood.

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:29 AM   #2
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We've been full-time in our 31sl for about 3 years and have enjoyed our unit. We tow with a F250 SRW with air bags. The 31sl is the only Redwood that can be towed with an SRW, as your pin weight will likely be in the low 2,800 lb. range.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:30 PM   #3
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Dean - Thank you so much for your comments. The trailer and hitch weights are one of the things that attracted me to the 31SL given my SRW. As full-timers, do you have a feel for how much cargo you're carrying, and if your pin-to-weight ratio has gone up due to the distribution?

Danny

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We've been full-time in our 31sl for about 3 years and have enjoyed our unit. We tow with a F250 SRW with air bags. The 31sl is the only Redwood that can be towed with an SRW, as your pin weight will likely be in the low 2,800 lb. range.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:50 PM   #4
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We went through the same process as you. We started looking at the 36FB and loved the layout. After looking at the weights and knowing that I already had the truck that I was going to use, the 31 made much more sense.

If you get a chance to order it the way you want from the factory, you will be much more pleased than an in stock unit.

There were some changes to the 2017 that we absolutely love.

No regrets the 31 fits both us and the truck perfectly!
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtasee View Post
We went through the same process as you. We started looking at the 36FB and loved the layout. After looking at the weights and knowing that I already had the truck that I was going to use, the 31 made much more sense.

If you get a chance to order it the way you want from the factory, you will be much more pleased than an in stock unit.

There were some changes to the 2017 that we absolutely love.

No regrets the 31 fits both us and the truck perfectly!
Larry, I see that you have the 17.5H tires on your 31SL. Do you feel that is a little overkill? What PSI do you run them at?
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:19 AM   #6
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Yes it is probably overkill. However I have always been in the camp that heavier the better. I also have the 8000 pound axles and disc brakes. After reading all of the tire and suspension problems that people have had I wanted to be extra safe.

I also live in the mountains so the extra equipment is worth it especially the brake option.

I also believe that you should always run the recommended pressures in the tires so I am running them at 125 pounds. So far everything tows extremely well and things stay put in the trailer just fine.

The best thing about it is the DW will not be able to overload it ��
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:05 AM   #7
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Unfortunately we lost our last weight numbers. But I do remember the pin weight was around 2,830 lbs loaded. I never carry fresh water, grey or black, and we do not have a factory generator or washer and dryer. Our gross loaded weight for the RW was around 14,200 lbs. So we carry roughly 1,900 to 2,000 lbs. I tend to go through our basement items 1-2 times per year and weed out things we do not use. We also have been reducing items such as excess clothes over the past couple of years. The longer your on the road the better you understand what you really use.

We typically are pretty mindful about the amount of items and weight we carry. One of the benefits of full timing is that you cannot recklessly shop for new items for you and your rig. We've found that we are saving money/weight by not purchasing the number of items we normally would if we owned a house.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:05 PM   #8
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If you go to Goodyearrvtires.com there is an inflation table for all their RV tires. Load based and it will give your better wear pattern and contact patch.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:10 PM   #9
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We've been is ours 3 seasons now and love it. It has everything we need and want. We tow with a srw F350.
We're not full timers but have camped about 150 days a year for the last three.
As far as cargo my wife carries enough clothes to put us over the GVW LOL
All kidding aside I know I'm loaded and have no problems.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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Here are my last weights:

Truck only: Steer Axle: 4700
Drive Axle: 3360
Gross Weight: 8060

Truck with 31SL: Steer Axle: 4760
Drive Axle: 5740
Trailer Axle: 10740
Gross Weight: 21240

The above weights would reflect a 13,180 gross trailer weight and a 2,380 lb pin weight.

The weights were taken with the truck full of fuel and my wife and I in the cab. We are not full time at this time and we are conservative in what we pack. We did have most of our garage loaded with necessities and most other items packed except food and clothing. I do have Firestone Airbags which levels the truck up nicely. I don't know if that helps keep the pin weight lower. We also try not to load heavy items in the closet. We also pull with a Ford F350 SRW and usually get between 11-13 miles per gallon. I usually set the cruise for 55-58 and let the truck do its thing. We are not in a hurry and feel safer at these speeds.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:15 PM   #11
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This is a copy from my previous post about my weights.

2017 31SL numbers
I did not want to post this until I had the real numbers. Here is how my 2017 31SL weighs in. Keep in mind this is the "Baby Redwood".

The brochure shows 12,120 lbs and a pin weight of 2,265.

I ordered the 31 because I already had a newer 3/4 ton Duramax and the other trailer I was looking at first (36FB) really needed more truck.

I ordered the options I wanted (listed below) but do NOT have the residential package, Washer/Dryer or Dishwasher.

I loaded my camping stuff (not much) like chairs, mats, grille, propane, a few tools etc. and we were careful to not have heavy kitchenware. Mostly plastic or paper. This weight is with the water tanks mostly empty. No clothes

The Trailer weighed in at 14,650, and the pin at 2,580. So much using factory weights....

The airbags I added, and running 75 lbs of pressure in them, really helped the stability and it tows very nicely. The disc brakes on the trailer make a HUGE difference comparing it to my boat. In my opinion if you are towing with a lighter (than a DRW) truck, you really will love the extra security of the brakes.

The issue is the truck tires. I have 305/55 R20 tires rated at 3195 each. With the Superglide hitch and 3/4 tank of fuel, the drive axle weighs in at 6060 leaving 330 pounds for extra pin weight.

That puts me under but not by much.

We are very careful now with where we load extra stuff. Because we ordered the 8K axles and H tires, the trailer is way under GVW ( by 3K lbs). The truck tires not so much...
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:23 PM   #12
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After a lot of research, we just bought the 31sl and believe it will be the "goldilocks" RV for us. Not too large, not too small. Our combined weight is only about 250 LBS. I also did NOT want to go with a DRW truck, since we (according to Jeanie) will never be full-timers. Our only previous RV was a 25' Airstream and we could travel for 2 - 3 weeks without too many "excuse me" movements about it, except when we were cooped up during bad weather. Traveling in the Airstream, I could take all my clothes in a locker about the size of a large rolling suit case (Jeanie needed 2 lockers). We had everything we needed and much of what we wanted. Prior to that, we traveled thousands of miles for weeks at a time through the US and Canada, 2-up on a Harley (no trailer), so we know how to pack light.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:27 AM   #13
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Hi We are from Australia but have always dreamt of touring the US, Canada & Alaska in an RV. With our youngest about to leave home we are hoping to be joining you around Easter 2017. We have not purchased a rig yet but have just returned from a month in the US where we did some 'window' shopping and since then spending (way too much) time online looking at different options. We are looking at getting a 5th wheeler, 36 to 38'. I have fallen in love with the Redwood interiors!! So many rigs we looked at and also online have such DARK cabinetry that it feels like you're in a cave! I love the light airy feeling of the Redwood and so many of the great features.
Could anyone share your experience with dealing with and owning a Redwood? Anything we should be aware of?? Thank you and have a great day!!
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