2012 Redwood 36FL Fifth-Wheel

Redwood 36FL Exterior

Photo Credit: Redwood RV

The new Redwood 36FL is designed with entertainment and livibility in mind.

Bruce Hampson
January 6, 2012
Filed under Trailer Reviews

Bookmark and Share

When an RV manufacturer establishes a new division — or even a new line — it isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. The general shape and operation of travel trailers and fifth-wheels has been established for decades. Even interior square footage is uniform: Under standards established by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, trailers can build out to a maximum of 400 square feet of floor space, while fifth-wheels are allowed to push that by another 30 square feet.

It’s what they do with that interior space that makes all the difference in the world.

Redwood RV is a fairly young company, established in late 2010 to give its parent company, Thor, a division capable of building upscale residential-style fifth-wheels for full-timers. With barely a year of manufacturing under its belt, the company has grown to offer eight floorplans, ranging from 34 to 40 feet. By far, the most interesting of these is Redwood’s model 36FL — its only floorplan offering a front lounge in the upper deck.

Front lounges aren’t new to the marketplace, by any means — but Redwood offers a few twists others don’t, including a forward ceiling height of 6 feet 7 inches that slopes down to a still-comfortable 6 feet 2 inches at the front cap. “We managed the extra headroom by mounting the second air-conditioning unit (an option) mid-coach,” said Paul Craven, a Redwood regional sales manager. “That not only allowed us to raise the ceiling but also to reduce its overall height, and making it quieter in the forward section.”

Redwood 36FL Lounge

This model easily entertains six with plenty of comfy furniture, a fireplace and TV.

And, while Redwood didn’t extend the length of the upper deck — a decision that provides campers with more kitchen space on the main floor — there’s still ample room for a sofa in the streetside slideout and either paired stuffed easy chairs with matching ottomans (standard) or a second sofa in the front cap. The curbside slideout, one of five in the trailer, is home to a 40-inch flat-screen TV, pullout executive desk with storage and a fireplace.

All the furnishings are inner-sprung residential-quality pieces by Williamsburg Furniture. In building its fifth-wheels, Redwood subscribes to the “6-4-2 Baby Boomer code” — entertain six, feed four, sleep two. That’s why the units have freestanding dinettes and, until recently, Redwood didn’t even offer a sofa-bed option.

Redwood 36FL Bathroom

The bathroom, like the rest of the unit, strives for a homey, open feeling.

On the main floor, the 36FL is awash in high-end solid-surface countertops and cherry solid hardwood cabinetry. The rich cherry finish, which includes door inserts for the 12-cubic-foot refrigerator, is the only wood tone available, although the unit does offer a choice of three interior decors. In keeping with the full-timing focus, the galley includes a host of “homey” touches, from a plate-storage drawer and concealed 13-gallon trash bin to a large pantry and whole-house water filtration system.

A real door with glass insert — not a flimsy pocket door — separates the rear of the unit from the galley. Behind it, the streetside bath features more cherry cabinetry and an enclosed one-piece shower surround with glass doors. There are additional cabinets in the rear master suite. The entire curbside wall is covered with them, along with a second flat-screen TV, and the pedestal bed incorporates two huge drawers on each side. “We found that most people really didn’t like having to pick up the mattress to access storage,” Craven noted. Opposite the bath is a second entry door; all Redwood fifth-wheels have two entries. The front one, in fact, can be swapped out for a sliding glass patio door.

Designed as a four-seasons coach, the Redwood employs insulation with varying R-values in the deck floor, ceiling, front and rear caps, side walls and slideouts. Even the exterior storage incorporates insulated walls and baggage doors, and water lines are run inside the heated floor next to the furnace ducts.

Redwood 36FL Kitchen

The kitchen accommodates four for dinner with its freestanding dinette and huge galley.

Interestingly, while Redwood says that nearly 45 percent of its units are ordered with full-body paint (a $9,500 option), the “standard” aesthetics on the fiver, which include color gelcoated front and rear caps, give the Redwood the appearance of a partial-paint exterior without added cost.

From an owner’s perspective, though, perhaps the Redwood’s best feature is its exclusive Falcon Integrated Technology (FIT) platform. Developed by Lippert Components, FIT incorporates the frame, axles, suspension, six-point hydraulic jacks, rear hitch, front pin box, even the steps and slide-room mechanisms. If problems arise, an owner won’t get shuttled between companies; since all the parts were sourced to a single supplier, problems can begin their resolve with a single phone call.

Print Friendly

Comments

7 Responses to “2012 Redwood 36FL Fifth-Wheel”

  1. Gene on January 15th, 2012 8:14 pm

    Saw this unit a the San Antonio RV show, was very impressed.

    [Reply]

  2. Donnie Bowerman on January 16th, 2012 1:16 pm

    I could be wrong, but I believe that only King Of The Road, bult in York , NE, was the only RV company to build a fifth wheel with a front living room. But they went belly-up about 2007. I am thrilled to see this new Redwood model and am absolutely captivated by it. I purchased a 39-foot Landmark Grand Canyon in March 2011…….I desperately wish that I’d seen this unit first!!! Major UGH!!!

    [Reply]

  3. David on January 18th, 2012 4:44 pm

    The redwood does look nice, but there are a few other 5th wheels out there with forward living areas. I’ve seen them at RV shows but don’t remember what they were.

    [Reply]

  4. Linda on January 21st, 2012 12:35 am

    I noticed that in the bath, the toilet is located right against the wall. From the picture, it looks like one might have to sit *side-saddle* for comfort. And do you know how hard it is to clean that area? Think hands and knees!

    [Reply]

  5. Richard on January 29th, 2012 11:01 pm

    Saw this model today, very impressed with layout. Just minutes before viewing we commented on having entertainment center in slide instead of nose and there it was. We really liked the LR set-up and viewing. The kitchen was Great, 6 person seating possible at DR table. Large bedroom, nice and airy with big window. Great, usable storage throughout. We spent an hour or so looking it all over, found the fit and finish very good. The layout does lessen the underneath storage bay though.

    [Reply]

  6. Peter LIBAL March 10 2012 on March 10th, 2012 4:49 pm

    My first fifth-wheel was CITATION and it has front living room . Beside this Citation from Oliver in British Columbia, I did see some more company with the same floor plan ” Montana ” and Wilderness – done by Fleetwood. In year 2005 I sold my Citation and bought that Wilderness with aluminum framing in all 6 sides. I have a 4 slideouts, but what I’m missing ( very much ) is window in the front wall in the living room . Looking at that REDWOOD 36FL with only different front cap, it could be possible having window at the front. I like to have a closet at the entrance door for the shoes. I’ll check this unit more in the neer future and make up my mind.

    [Reply]

  7. Mary Bourgeois on March 17th, 2012 7:58 pm

    OMG! This is drop dead gorgeous.

    I WANT ONE. I’m getting ready to buy a 2009 Gulf Stream 5th wheel…until I saw THIS! Have to think twice now. I travel so much and wanted another 5th wheel so bad that….THIS HAS GOT TO BE IT.

    [Reply]

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!





Get a FREE issue of Trailer Life Magazine

Sign up for your trial subscription and you'll receive a FREE issue. If you like Trailer Life, pay just $17.97 for 11 more issues (12 in all). Otherwise, write "cancel" on the invoice, return it and owe nothing.