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About to Retire for (Round 1) Question about Full time RV choice


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Hello all,

 

Second life Rv beginner here. I  am about to retire this year and my wife and i will be trying to hit the road late next year going full time in an RV. We have looked at numerous manufacturers in the decision making process and have narrowed it down to a few. One that we are looking at is the Redwood RW3981FK or the RW4001LK. We watch RV full time living videos all the time and see very few large 5th wheel RVs. We have never seen someone using a Redwood as a full timer although they feel very well made and are rated for full time living. So I decided to get some other opinions. Does anyone have any dealings with this company ? Thanks in advance and I look forward to sharing experiences in this community. thanks 

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Sorry, I've never heard of it.  Here's a link for others to see:  https://www.crossroadsrv.com/products/redwood-rv/redwood/floorplans/rw3981fk/

Just a quick look at the spec and I see the holding tanks are small for this size RV.

It's a very heavy RV so you'll probably need a HDT to pull it and I wouldn't want to sitesee and shop using the HDT.

If this is your first RV I'd recommend to look at a smaller unit...... just my thoughts.

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Unless you have an extensive knowledge of RV’s I would recommend that you join the RV Consumer Group and take advantage of the educational material supplied to new members. The are the only reviewers I know of who take no money from any part of the RV industry. As a result it does cost to belong but the information given is worth the price and particularly so for new RV buyers.

Should you choose to buy a used RV it is very important to get a professional inspection before you pay any money. 

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I’d never heard of them either, but then I full-time in a smaller travel trailer so don’t pay much attention to huge 5ers.  The trailer is beautiful, but I can’t imagine me towing it - beyond my driving skills.

What are you planning on doing as a full-timer?  Are you going to do a lot of traveling or are you planning on spending winters in one location and summers somewhere else?

Do you have a Class A drivers license or a CDL?  If you have a CDL then you’ll be well aware of what it needs to back up a trailer that size.  I agree that you’d need an HDT - it’s well beyond the capability of my 1 ton SRW pickup (which I’m perfectly happy to have as my daily driver - I would not be happy with an HDT as a daily driver).

A good thing to do is draw up a list of the disadvantages for having a big rig like that and then decide if they would be anything you would care about.  The size and power consumption (residential fridge, multiple air conditioners, etc.) of such a big trailer would be deal-breakers for me since I like dry camping in the national forests and BLM land and dislike listening to generators (including my own).  Lots of things take extra thought, like gas stations, maneuvering in cities or in the mountains, etc. when you have a rig that size.  Not something to be entered into lightly.

Good luck with your decision.

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I know nothing about that brand and would not buy a rig that big myself but I do enjoy looking at floor plans so I did that. The first thing I tend to look at is TV seating placement because we do like watching Netflix. Both of these models let you do that without getting a crick in your neck. The next thing I look at is interior steps; I am not fond of them so, if I was going to buy one of these two, I would buy the 4001 with a half bath on the main floor and no steps up to the kitchen. I'm a bit concerned if the dinette slide is big enough for Dave to fit his long legs under the table without kicking me. But, I doubt very much if your concerns would be the same as mine so take what might help and ignore the rest of my comments.

Linda Sand

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34 minutes ago, fpmtngal said:

I’d never heard of them either, but then I full-time in a smaller travel trailer so don’t pay much attention to huge 5ers.  The trailer is beautiful, but I can’t imagine me towing it - beyond my driving skills.

What are you planning on doing as a full-timer?  Are you going to do a lot of traveling or are you planning on spending winters in one location and summers somewhere else?

Do you have a Class A drivers license or a CDL?  If you have a CDL then you’ll be well aware of what it needs to back up a trailer that size.  I agree that you’d need an HDT - it’s well beyond the capability of my 1 ton SRW pickup (which I’m perfectly happy to have as my daily driver - I would not be happy with an HDT as a daily driver).

 

Yes we will be full time working from the road and seeing the country. i do not have a CDL but have extensive background in pulling large 40'+ triple axle trailers. Sop no big deal there. We will surely  need another truck and that is in our soon purchases.

 

9 minutes ago, sandsys said:

I know nothing about that brand and would not buy a rig that big myself but I do enjoy looking at floor plans so I did that. The first thing I tend to look at is TV seating placement because we do like watching Netflix. Both of these models let you do that without getting a crick in your neck. The next thing I look at is interior steps; I am not fond of them so, if I was going to buy one of these two, I would buy the 4001 with a half bath on the main floor and no steps up to the kitchen. I'm a bit concerned if the dinette slide is big enough for Dave to fit his long legs under the table without kicking me. But, I doubt very much if your concerns would be the same as mine so take what might help and ignore the rest of my comments.

Linda Sand

We will be both working from this RV so we had thought about taking the dinette out and making an office area. Still in the works and idea phase on that. 

We have looked at many other models but the redwood made by Thor seems to be the better quality built even better that the Tippin VanLeigh . 

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Part of the problem is knowing how you plan to use your rig while you are full-timing.  The bigger the RV, the more of a pain it is to move it and find a camping spot big enough to hold it.  Also more of a pain to drive it.  Need to ask yourself the following:

  • Are you planning to stay several months at a time in a commercial campground?
  • Or are you planning to keep on the move and stay only a few days at a time in each place you visit? 

If your answer is positive to the first item, then a super-big RV makes sense.  I could see you leaving such a rig in an RV resort for several months.  However, if you plan to do a lot of moving around, you probably ought to consider a lot smaller rig.  Just getting into and out of gas stations is going to be very difficult.  And a lot of campgrounds or even "RV resorts" are not going to have spaces big enough for you with such a large rig.  Pulling it through a large, or even a small city, is going to be really difficult.  

One thing you do not mention is how many people will be traveling with you.  Do you need all that sleeping space for a large family?  A lot of us make the mistake of assuming we will be taking along grandkids and company a lot of the time, and then find out that does not really happen that often.  (That is how my aunt and uncle, who had no children, ended up with a house with five bedrooms and three full and two partial bathrooms!)

I also agree about  the steps up to the kitchen.  You are going to be going up and down every time you want something from the refrigerator.  That could get old quickly.

Edited by Solo18
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1 minute ago, Solo18 said:

 

  • Are you planning to stay several months at a time in a commercial campground?
  • Or are you planning to keep on the move and stay only a few days at a time in each place you visit? 

   

One thing you do not mention is how many people will be traveling with you.  Do you need all that sleeping space for a large family?  A lot of us make the mistake of assuming we will be taking along grandkids and company a lot of the time, and then find out that does not really happen that often.  (That is how my aunt and uncle, who had no children, ended up with a house with five bedrooms and three full and two partial bathrooms!)

Yes we will be full time. It will be me and my wife and two mid size hounds . We will be staying in one place for at least several weeks if not a month. We will not be braving the sub freezing temps and will try to keep it bearable for temps anywhere we go. Maybe even planning the locations to the temps. We will both be working remote and don't need the other distracting or bothering each other during work days. I will be retired but not jobless. 

Driving the rig will be aggravating in the cities but that will not be every day . This will be our home as we are selling our brick and mortar home.

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Are both you and your wife planning on doing the driving?  Is your DW comfortable handling a rig that size?  Which tasks are you going to do and which tasks will she be doing?  There’s a lot of work with a rig that size.

The reason I’m asking is that I’m active on a manufacturer-specific forum and there’s been a recent thread about whether both partners could drive and manage a rig.  One member told the story about her husband having a heart attack on one of their camping trips.  She had just started to learn how to drive the rig (tuck and trailer) and how to set up/break camp when she found herself having to do it all because her DH was admitted into a hospital 100 miles away.  You should discuss how to handle such situations - they do happen.  If your wife isn’t able to handle the rig on her own, you’ll need to discuss and agree on a different plan.

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we tow a 40' 5R, tri-axle- ~20k..we do use a hdt, was cheaper and much safer than a 1 ton truck and I don't like the mdts. hdt cost less than 5R, is reg and insured as an rv..we can short camp in truck, carry 100gals fresh and 100 gals gray on it also our genny. Can boondock over a month (our 5R has 100 gal fresh and 165 grey)..no cdl needed, as is reg as rv...also drives  (bobtail) sorta like a big class a..also I can do the work myself, can drive truck, but as long as hubby can, I like my passenger seat.

Edited by seeya
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Redwood has been out since 2010-2011. We went through them at a show and were comparable to drv mobile suites back then. We pull a triple axle fifth wheel gvwr of 28500 and tow with a hdt. Once the kinks got worked out it drives better than any pickup does. It’s safer and cheaper over time. It’s a one time buy. Backing is even easier because of where the pin is located. If your looking at red wood look at mobile suites too. If your going custom you are limited to new horizon,spacecraft or dune sport. Just be careful buying a new one for your first one, I haven’t met anyone who sticks with there first one. Better to buy something used to see what you want different. 

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We've had Redwoods in our RV park. They seem to be a reasonable rig, if on the larger side. People are pulling them with newer duallys, and 450/4500 series, not just HDTs. We use a Kenworth for our Trilogy, but it works for us. I agree about looking at DRV.

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5 hours ago, Damon Green said:

We will be both working from this RV so we had thought about taking the dinette out and making an office area. Still in the works and idea phase on that. 

In my last rig, I had a simple counter installed to be my desk. I put eye bolts under it so I could use a bungee cord to fasten my desk chair to it when moving. I put non-slip mats under lightweight things I was willing to leave on it when moving but I packed my computer away for moves. It's a lap top so it simply slid into a soft-sided cooler bag, which provided padding for it, and it was strapped to the back of the driver's seat.

Previously, when Dave was traveling with me we simply sat one on each side of the table to work then moved the laptops to the buffet beside it for meals. The printer sat in the buffet in that rig.

If you have not yet discovered the Mobile Internet Resource Center, I highly suggest you go there to learn what you will need to have to be able to work online while on the road. https://www.rvmobileinternet.com Chris and Cherie have been working on the road for many years and they do all the research and publish their findings so the rest of us can just follow their guidelines. They are good people.

Linda

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I considered a Redwood a number of years ago but don't remember why I chose a DRV but I think the Redwood dealer was a pushing to much.

I quick comments on those two models and that may be negative comments. Why is the Fresh water tank so small compared to Grey tank. The rear of the RV is part of roughest ride, Imagine how you kitchen items will travel. I didn't see the suspension but if your getting big unit consider the MORryde I.S. suspension option as it eliminates the axles and leaf springs.

Final comment and it applies to all manufactures with full time use. Will you be satisfied with recliners and soda?

Clay pulling and STOPPING 20,000 pound RV with a MDT (Class 5)

Edited by ms60ocb
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We didn’t get any furniture in ours I put my recliner from the house is ours and we had a daybed built it across the back with storage underneath. Most manufacturers will put in rv furniture and some say they put in residential furniture. Buy your own furniture from a place you would buy if you were buying for your house, some are happy with lazy boy recliners but there are better furniture that is made in the states that hold up better than most. Do a lot of research this next year and good luck. Try rv factory tours and start comparing frames and not all the fancy stuff that most people go for

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Thanks for all the advice and tips. We definitely have our work cut out for us in determining what to get. I have see some pretty cheap made Rvs and don't want to constantly fix stuff. I know that the more traveling you do the more stuff breaks. I get that. But i would rather pay more for better quality than to fix cheap stuff constantly. 

Per everyone's advice i have looked at some DRV mobile suites and they are very nice . i will have to visit my vendor to actually touch one and look it over. Will update my findings. Again, thanks for all the help

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If you have the time try to plan a factory tour to see how they are really put together, in the factory where the Redwoods are built they also build the Crossroads Cameo, around the corner from there Cedar Creek and River Stone are built then not far in Howe is the DRV plant. Plus there is a lot of great tourist things to see and do while in that are and the Amish restaurants will have you gain some pounds, also stop at what a lot call the " Amish Crack House" which is really Rise n Roll Bakery with possibly the BEST donuts ever.

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9 hours ago, ms60ocb said:

I considered a Redwood a number of years ago but don't remember why I chose a DRV but I think the Redwood dealer was a pushing to much.

I quick comments on those two models and that may be negative comments. Why is the Fresh water tank so small compared to Grey tank. The rear of the RV is part of roughest ride, Imagine how you kitchen items will travel. I didn't see the suspension but if your getting big unit consider the MORryde I.S. suspension option as it eliminates the axles and leaf springs.

Final comment and it applies to all manufactures with full time use. Will you be satisfied with recliners and soda?

Clay pulling and STOPPING 20,000 pound RV with a MDT (Class 5)

I also looked at a Redwood and went with a DRV. The structure of the DRV is much stronger. My Ram 3500 CTD DRW tows it fine. The benefit to DRV is that custom changes can be made. 
I would try to stay at 40’ or below as it will give you many more options of places to stay.  

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2 hours ago, dblr said:

If you have the time try to plan a factory tour to see how they are really put together, in the factory where the Redwoods are built they also build the Crossroads Cameo, around the corner from there Cedar Creek and River Stone are built then not far in Howe is the DRV plant. Plus there is a lot of great tourist things to see and do while in that are and the Amish restaurants will have you gain some pounds, also stop at what a lot call the " Amish Crack House" which is really Rise n Roll Bakery with possibly the BEST donuts ever.

They have good cinnamon buns also. 🤤

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11 hours ago, rynosback said:

They have good cinnamon buns also. 🤤

Very true, but we really have never had anything bad from there. A friend had the do-nut filled with soft serve ice cream and said it would probably send a diabetic person into a coma ( this being said only in a joking manner as it was just that sweet )

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing to think about if you plan to use the trailer with slides in while traveling from one location to another is access to important items like bathroom, bedroom, kitchen (refrigerator and microwave), etc.. with slides in. The two floor plans you noted block access to some of those items. 

Also I could not find their warranties online so check to make sure that using them for full time use is still covered. 

I did not think those were very big units buti did not see what axles they use, capacity and brand, and the carrying capacity was not very large. Remember that it has to be able to handle  water & propane weight along with all your personal items. 

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26 minutes ago, Star Dreamer said:

Remember that it has to be able to handle  water & propane weight along with all your personal items. 

And many canned goods weight one pound per can. Obviously, a pound of ground beef weighs one pound. It's easy to not realize how much food weighs. Or clothes. Or shoes. We literally weighed everything we put in our first motorhome since its capacity was limited.

Linda Sand

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On 7/20/2021 at 3:39 PM, Damon Green said:

Yes we will be full time working from the road and seeing the country. i do not have a CDL but have extensive background in pulling large 40'+ triple axle trailers. Sop no big deal there. We will surely  need another truck and that is in our soon purchases.

 

We will be both working from this RV so we had thought about taking the dinette out and making an office area. Still in the works and idea phase on that. 

We have looked at many other models but the redwood made by Thor seems to be the better quality built even better that the Tippin VanLeigh . 

If you have free time in October (9th to 16th) the National HDT Rally is taking place in Hutchinson, Kansas. Rigs of all shapes and sizes will be there and usually one day Spacecraft, New Horizons and maybe another manufacturer come to show off their recent "Show Rigs". That day also typically offers tours of some of the "Custom" designed units. Check out the HDT section of the forum for more info. 

My story has probably been written several times, but how to find it is another matter, so here it goes again. 

I have been a Travel Nurse since 1989. If you don't know what that is here is a brief description. A hospital is short on Nursing staff and place an order for a temporary nurse. Many companies see the order and try to find someone qualified to fill it. They offer all sorts of perks and such to nurses to get them to sign on with their company so they may fulfill the order. A contract is usually 13 weeks in length. I have usually stayed more than the 13 weeks at some locations. 

I considered the purchase of an RV in the early 90's to travel with, but at the time it didn't seem feasible. I had completed two "Assignments" in California and had very nice apartments with brand new rental furniture supplied at no cost. I had just left an assignment where the "Housing by Hospital" was the living arrangement and it wasn't as nice. (Hence looking at an RV). I went back to California, then Reno and finally off to Hawaii. (My plan when starting was, do an assignment every 13 weeks for 2 years go to Hawaii and then come back to settle in the place I liked the best. It was a good plan, but I have yet to find the best place to settle. (Should have bought an RV when I came back from the islands.)

I did try to stop the travel lifestyle in Michigan, Florida and Kansas. (Those are other stories). After selling my last sticks and bricks house in Kansas I embarked on a find the best RV mission. I had rented my brothers Toyhauler for a 3 month trip to Florida and found out I could actually live in the space provided. IT wasn't without problems. I was less than a mile from my destination when the transmission on my Ford F350 decided to spill out almost all of it's transmission fluid on the road and stranded me in the middle of a multilane  major roadway in Hollywood, FL. Had the transmission rebuilt during the assignment and had  no issue pulling the trailer back to my brother in Iowa. 

While in Florida I attended the Tampa RV Show, visited many RV Dealers on both Coasts and really didn't find anything I wanted. I initially was set on a Class A Pusher and was going to pull a trailer with my Toyota Celica and Goldwing inside. After staying at a park for 3 months and finding it would be difficult to have everything on site I nixed the additional trailer idea. It may have been less expensive in the long run, but I didn't see it at the time. 

I found what I thought would be a rig good for 10 years in Utah. It was about an year old, hadn't been used much and was pretty close to matching one I really liked but made too much of a low ball offer that I didn't get it. (It was probably a sign, but it didn't get it either. What was already going on with that rig ultimately happened to mine and was not as easy a fix as the owner suggested. Maybe dodged a bullet). Anyway, that rig lasted about 3 years. I stretched it out to 5, but it was done when I turned it in for my Spacecraft. 

I went with a Custom built unit and while it's not everything I wanted or expected, it will last me as long as I want to keep it and will last the next owner many years too. It was born in 2013 and has had no significant structural issues and I doubt it ever will. Design errors, both mine and the company, a bit of questionable workmanship in areas have been found over the years, but nothing that would stop me from hooking up tomorrow and moving a 1000 or more miles to set up in another place. I could most likely survive a below zero winter with the proper preparations, not ready to try a full winter yet. It's first week of my full time use did see temperatures of minus 12 degrees and it's been in the snow more than once. 

So my final thought. I am borrowing from many people with some of these sayings and I hope they don't mind. Mission Profile (what do you plan to do), Give and take ( make a list of the have to have and the want to have. Maybe you can have them all, but maybe not). You can do anything with enough money. Finally it's a work in progress. Probably true in all forms of life, but to me most evident in the Fulltime RV life. 


Rod

 

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