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Old 09-13-2005, 02:22 PM   #1
Montana_4581
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M.O.C. #4581
Initial Montanna 2880 problems

Ideas and requests for ideas

Quality Control Manager:

As a new owner (February 2001) of a 2001 Keystone Montana 2880, I wanted to let you about problems I have experienced with the Montana model 2880.
I live in Georgia but I purchased the unit in Illinois. The reason for this is that I am a software management consultant and travel to different sites to work. I am currently working in Bloomington, Illinois and have been for over a year now. Winters here are cold and I wanted a unit that would handle this weather.

The literature for your products stress quality. For instance, my reason for purchasing this unit was for year-round use and I specifically asked for a four-season unit when I was looking at purchasing this unit. I have found, however, that the cold water has frozen up in the shower and bath area twice and it was not that cold (20s or teens). Additionally, I have now had a number of water leaks caused by what I believe to be inferior workmanship.

Water Leaks
The flange on the toilette was cracked and leaked into the storage area. This was an unnecessary occurrence that I luckily noticed on the second day of ownership. At the same time I noticed that the storage area was wet around one of the storage access doors. The dealer came out and promptly repaired the flange so it was not much of a problem. However, I continued to experience a water leakage problem in the storage area. This turned out to be a problem with the water connection going to the toilet which I eventually personally replaced. This solved that problem.

I hooked the Montana up to the same site as my previous RV and during my second week, the main hose connecting the city water line inside the Montana (inside the table at the pump) came loose during the night and flooded the entire camper – running out on the ground and freezing a considerable area around the 5th wheel. This was the same water hookup I had with my previous camper. This connection is just a hose with a metal clamp (just like the one on a car radiator or heater hose) and not a bona-fide screw-on connection, although the part is made with a screw-on connection, it is not used. Again, the dealership took care of vacuuming the water out of the carpet and drying it and giving me a pressure regulator to use.

The second problem came when the faucet in the kitchen just came out of the unit when I turned the water on. I replaced that myself with a metal unit that should alleviate further problems. I have now also replaced the fixture in the bathroom sink with a more substantial fixture before it caused a problem.

The third problem consisted of a repeated water leak under the sink in the bath area. I replaced all the exposed faucet connections twice but the leak continued to occur. I finally removed the panel under the sink, which hid the water line connections and found the T-connection used for the outside shower so compressed by the water line going to the faucet in the bath that it would always leak. I cut a larger hole in the floor in order to relieve the pressure between the connectors and then replace the damaged lines with ones purchased at a hardware store. I have had no leaks from this since. This leak resulted in wetting the storage area repeatedly. I finally placed a bucket beneath the leak and emptied it periodically until I performed the above actions to repair the leak.

The fourth leak consisted of the kitchen sink connections leaking repeatedly. So much so, that the shelf under the sink is now warped. I replaced all the connectors and tightened them according to the dealer recommended method. It never went more than a couple of months before leaking again. Finally, I purchased a plumber’s wrench and tightened the connections and have had no problems since.

The dealer has been aware of all of these leaks through out the entire time of the problems as I have made numerous visits and phone calls to the dealer trying to get help in solving these problems.

Now almost 1 year later, the hose feeding the water for the entire RV became disconnected once again during the middle of the night and again flooded the entire RV. (I do have a pressure regulator attached to the line as instructed by the dealer and as furnished by the dealer.) I shut off the water, and reconnected the hose but noticed that this connection is NOT made for this type of a connection. It is made to have a screw on connection with a compression fitting. The plastic connector is made with a threaded receptor and there is no provision for a clamp connection (there is no nipple on the end of the plastic connection). I hooked it back up, tightened the clamp and it held. However, without a nipple on the end of the plastic tube which the hose slides over, this problem will just reoccur. It is 15 degrees outside, there is a nice ice sheet from my trailer that extends across three other sites and I now have a mess to clean up inside. This is the second time for this particular connection in less than one year of ownership and I believe it is a defect in the design of the product. I have now purchased a wet-vac to get the water out of the carpet; however, I can only imagine the damage done to what is underneath the carpet.

I sent most of this information to Keystone in April of 2001 and received no response at all. I called them about some of this later and was just told that it was not their problem. The dealership has worked quite well with me on much of this but I am frankly getting tired of fixing design and quality control problems and I certainly am not looking forward to waking up with water everywhere again. I would appreciate any help you can give me and hopefully get this resolved.

Water Freezing
In my previous RV, I had water even when the temperature was –17 degrees below and a steady wind of 30 mph. I was of the belief that the insulation (artic pack) in the Montana was supposed to be better. To solve the water-freezing problem, I have unhooked the bathroom heat vent and vented it directly into the storage area. That appears to have solved the problem but this area should have a vent heating the area containing the water lines which should be enclosed in a small trough to make heating easily done and also protect the lines from accidental damage in the storage area. I do not feel that I should have to re-route heating vents in this level of unit to prevent water lines freezing.

Electrical

The GFI circuit which runs through various places in the trailer has failed to function. After about 4 months, the circuit began to trip multiple times during the day. Pressing the reset button would reset the circuit and get it going again, however after about 1 month of this, even that failed to keep the circuit working. I replaced the GFI switch with a comparable switch and it worked for about three months and then had the same problem. I finally replaced the GFI switch with a regular switch and now have no GFI circuit in the RV. Keep in mind that the only thing plugged into this circuit is a charger for my cell phone which should hardly be a load on the circuit.

In order to resolve these problems, the dealer has come to my campsite once, I have taken the unit into the dealer once, and have had numerous visits and phone conversations with the dealer in an effort to resolve these problems. Also, I have sent one letter to Keystone and made one phone call to Keystone. The letter was not acknowledged and the phone call yielded unsatisfactory results (as in no results).
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
HamRad
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John,
I see that this is your first post to the Forum..... so welcome. I'm sorry you're having all the problems with your rig. If you had visited this Forum prior to buying your unit you would know that these rigs are NOT true 4 season type rigs. They will do fairly well in relatively cold weather but do need some user assistance. This topic has been discussed in detail several times. A "search" will or should shed some additional light on the subject. Lots of good tips on how to make the unit more suitable for cold weather.

Your dealer sounds great. Wish all of them were as good as yours.

The water leaks thing is also a much discussed issue. Seems there was quite a number of rigs that had questionable connections. Of course some of these things are simply going to happen.

As to expecting some sort of results from ONE call and or email to Keystone.... that is a bit optimistic. Most of us have had to make several attempts. In a perfect world, of course, this would not be a problem. This issue, too, has been discussed in some detail.

As you can see a lot of reading may be in order.

Again, welcome and enjoy the Forum.

HamRad
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:34 PM   #3
RADHAZJOE
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M.O.C. #3149
Although I do not have a 2880, in my unit, the one GFI is used to protect several outlets. Almost all outletsnear the kitchen and the outside. You might check for a short in one of these other outlets.
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Old 09-14-2005, 03:05 AM   #4
Montana_4581
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M.O.C. #4581
After more water problems with the main feed (once while running on the holding tank and pump), I was finally able to come up with a the proper fitting for the water feed and hook the hose up properly. No problems since.
I have replaced all the factes which I would recommend doing on any new or newly acquired RV. For a new RV I would make it a delivery item from the dealer.

According the the dealer, the GFI problem was indeed related to the exterior connection. Seems if you use it, moisture can get in the plug and short it out. Options were to not use it and leave the cover closed or change out the GFI switch. Working in the north, I preferred to have lights outside for leaving in the am and returning in the pm since it was quite dark during the short days of the winter.

As for wintering in the RV, it works great but you have to fully enclose the bottom so that NO wind can get to anything. If it does, you will have a problem. I have added a 2 inch vent feed in this RV for the underbelly but have not been back to below zero environments to see if it solved everything. The dealer added a heat pack for the fresh water tank because he stated it would definitely freeze. I added the foam pipe insulation to the water lines so if air did seap through, they would be protected. I used plywood and 2x3s with foam insulation along the top edge for a seal. I also used long threaded rods to secure the plywood across the unit so I would not need to drill into the unit. I tried the hay bales one year but it took a lot of hay, was a big mess, gave a place for the asian beetles (look like lady bugs but not) to winter and a problem for me to dispose of in the spring.

Sounds like some good improvements have been made by putting the water lines up next to the floor instead of allowing them to lie on the underbelly.

After correcting these problems, I have had no further problems and will probably trade this in for a new Montana. I certainly have not found anything I like better.

I would like to see an option for more heat in the underbelly or in a channel (similar to a heat conduit) that would surround the water lines as a part of the artic package. Also, make metal facets standard even at an increase in price. It only makes sense to not put a known problem in the initial installation.

If I were in charge of QC for Montana, I would use these forums to eliminate any of the regularly occuring "nuisance" problems.
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:48 AM   #5
sreigle
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It sounds like your dealer misrepresented the Montana to you. When I asked Keystone I was told they are warranted to 28F. That was for our 2003 model. I don't know if the newer ones are different.
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Old 09-14-2005, 04:35 PM   #6
richfaa
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I would go back to that salesperson that said the Montana wasa all season unit and have a long chat with him.He is the cause of your problems not the Montana. Bet if you asked him if a Ford Ranger would pull the Montana he would say sure , no problem..When we order our 3670 we are NOT ordering the artic package because it would be useless..not to mention that we do not plan to be anywhere cold... Why do they call it the Artic package when it would not last 1/2 hour in the artic.
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Old 09-14-2005, 04:50 PM   #7
CountryGuy
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Rich,

I would order the Artic package again, it isn't that great for cool weather, however, we feel that it is helpful in the warmer weather. Course, not sure I want to find out how much it really does do in the cooler weather, ain't giving it up!

The newer units have those water lines in the floor, not under the floor. Heard statements that they did not freeze all the way down to 0 degrees.

Seeing that ya just never know what the weather will be, (they had snow in the Rio Grande Valley last Christmas Day! first time in like 100 years they had ANY snow there), I want all the help I can get, and even a little from the Artic Package is gladly accepted!

Do feel the name was an unfortunate choice tho!
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Old 09-15-2005, 05:57 AM   #8
richfaa
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Understand what you are saying about the artic package..You being from MI and us from Northern Ohio can understand what cold weather is about That is why we will flee this part of the country at the first hint of cold weather.Not having the artic package will provide incentive to make sure we are somewhere where we will never need it. I know it is a lot of work but after years of Rving, and winterizing campers I am guessing that we can do a better job of protecting the camper from freezing water lines if need be that the so called artic package..We also heard that they may not freeze down to 0 degrees but have never heard from someone who has tested that theory... Except from johnruff with the indicated results...
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:16 AM   #9
CountryGuy
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Rich,

For us, the Artic package has NOTHING to do with freezing water lines. We winterize about November 1st, and when we leave here after the holidays for points south and warm, we DO NOT put water in the unit till we get to at least Alabama or Arkansas, someplace where we know the temps will be mild enough so that we do not have to worry about that till next November 1st.

The Artic package is basically some insulation kinds of things (at least that is the way I understand it and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong! ) To keep the pipes and water from freezing you need heat tape, heat in the basement, all the things that have been discussed here at MOC.

For comfort of the ole body, you might want to reconsider, a warm(ER) floor is a wonderful thing for the ole toes!

Getting under Montana, pulling down that underbelly (which includes the Artic package stuff) and wrapping the lines with heat tape and all the stuff that some of our full timers have done is more than Al and I are interested in doing. IF, we were full timers and needed to stay in cold places for work or for family as some of our members do, then we would do what ever we had to do to be able to sit for weeks in the cold and use the water. We are NOT full timers and IF we were to winter camp for the fun of skiing or something, we still would not do all that work, then we would use the facilities of the campground and no water in Montana.

But, still, would have the Artic package, as previously stated, anything that helps keep me comfy is more than welcome! Pampering I can handle! HA HA
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:37 AM   #10
richfaa
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Well you gave us something to think about..anything that involves physical labor requires more thought.I note the the Artic package is only a 306.00 option and anything that might warm up the floor would be welcome. We do have a friend with a 3670 with the package just a couple of miles from here..we will take a closer look. Might have made a snap judgement based on the word "Artic" We were thinking along the lines of preventing water line freezing and figured we would not be anywhere where the water lines would freeze.. Will also ask the question "what does the Artic package do for us" on our factory tour.Just added it to our list...
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