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Old 09-16-2019, 09:26 PM   #1
DenaliGuy
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Why Montana?

🤔 I'm new to this Montana forum and really, really like the Montana 3120RL Legacy Edition. I don't currently have a Montana, I have a relatively new bumper tow, but I want to upgrade. I know it's said in numerous locations, forums, advertisement, etc, etc, that the Montana is the #1 selling 5th wheel on the market. Well, I'm an engineer, can anyone tell me why? What attributes of the Montana makes it better? There are a bunch of fifth wheels out there, specs all over the place, prices too, some seem very nice too. So, in layman's terms, why do Montana owners believe the Montana is the #1 fifth wheel, this would really help me out in my decision process. 🙂
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:58 AM   #2
DQDick
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Those of us who've had multiple Montana's will tell you that we like the rig, have had a positive relationship with Keystone and our dealer and also feel we're getting the most for our money. More the approach of a businessman than an engineer.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
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Montana is advertised as the number 1 selling fifth Wheel. That is correct for that price point. Pretty good bang for the buck. Reliable rigs if you are a bit handy with self repairs that come along. There are better quality fifth wheels out there, with better customer support, examples Vilano, Mobile Suites, New Horizon, etc if you want to go to a higher price point and pay more for the quality that comes with it. A loaded New Horizon or Deluxe Suite price will pay for two Montana fifthwheels, and you will likely need something heavier than a 1 ton diesel dually to tow. I consider New Horizon as one of the top fifth wheels out there, and we looked at one at last years Tampa RV show, priced at $183K. For the brands in the price range of a Montana unit, ie Jayco, Cedar Creek, Cardinal, etc, Montana holds its own with the competition. Folks like their rigs, and many are repeat buyers because of that.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
timandsusan
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Good Question. As another engineer, we choose Montana in 2006 because of the floor plan, price, and what I thought was quality. As I have learned over the past 13 years with about 1200 nights in the rig, just keep upgrading and maintenance and it will work. Yes, we have had a few issues, refrig failed on the first trip (replaced under warranty), other odds and ends--new televisions from the 500 lbs of junk in 2006, satellite system ( I installed), plenty of tires ( replace mine every 3 years), Moryde king pin, TPMS, etc. We like ours because it is light compared to the current crop of units. Yes, Keystone buys the cheapest components to build any RV--just like others in the price range. Just keep an eye out for failures and upgrade!
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #5
speedster100
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Thor who owns just about every manufacturer out there buys the cheapest components to build all their RV's..

Own a 2015 Montana 3790RD, we really like our layout. We just spent some time looking at new units from various makers and stayed with looking at Rear Raised Den models for the most part.

Price point on the various units was all over the place, didn't see much of a difference in build quality regardless of price point, was focusing on some of the parts & pieces we'd replaced on ours when looking at the new ones and low & behold they were all pretty much the same parts & pieces regardless of whether it was Forest River, Keystone, Heartland.

Construction wise and insulation wise most were comparable although a couple of them were only 3 season not 4 but I'm sure you could order an upgrade for more money.

The top end Heartland (Pheniox I think it is) was $140,000 and to be honest I wouldn't trade the Montana for it even at the same price point as it sure doesn't have anything I can see or read in the specs that is worth the extra money.

Full paint is standard but for $8000 you can get that on a Monty...

The Units that impressed the most for basically the same ball park were the Solitudes, slightly more money than the Montana but also a few extras come standard than the Montana.

In 2015 when we bought the Solitude in the same model was $30,000 more, they were then owned by independents that left/sold Keystone to Thor and struck out on their own.

Grand Design was their new Manufacturer, since then Grand Design was bought by Thor, many of the same parts & pieces now are the same as all the others, the price point seems to have come down and there is only about $3000-5000 difference in price on same basic models now.

So as someone indicated earlier, comes down to layout, price point pretty much unless you have the money to basically pay double the amount for one of the high end independent makers.

That is alot of repairing for the money and guess what they break down too....

We've fixed alot on this Monty in comparison to the previous Cougars we owned but we also have put thousands of miles on this Monty and live in it about 9 - 10 months of the year compared to the Cougars which were weekend use & small two or three week trips.

No matter what you buy EXPECT to do ongoing repairs & maintenance as that comes with owning an RV period.
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Anyone who thinks that New Horizon or Deluxe Suites build a better quality unit for the money, has not been looking at the recalls or hanging out on their forums.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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Even though this is our first venture into the RV life, I have to agree with DQDick and Iretired 06, the Montana presented well and based on all research was as good as or better than any competition from a structural and base amenity package for the price point. Once you get over the initial hump of adjustments/repairs, etc., all is good. We're not full-timers but just spent four months living in the RV without an issue. Plus, as the picture shows, they look pretty darn good!
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:56 PM   #8
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Best bang for the buck and a great forum for support & assistance.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DQDick View Post
Those of us who've had multiple Montana's will tell you that we like the rig, have had a positive relationship with Keystone and our dealer and also feel we're getting the most for our money. More the approach of a businessman than an engineer.
Well sir �� these days I suppose I am more a business man, money manager and paper pusher than engineer, but, that's my title, I believed coming to owners for thier opinions about quite an investment makes good "business" sense. I certainly appreciate your opinion as well as all the others on this forum.
I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on a Montana 3120RL with the Legacy Package, body paint, generator and 265w solar panel...I have mixed use planned for this unit, some might require short dry camping.
For the most part I'm convinced there is something to why the Montana is so popular, further, I do understand ANY RV requires maintenance, however, I'm pretty handy and I have inside storage at my house.
Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by speedster100 View Post
Thor who owns just about every manufacturer out there buys the cheapest components to build all their RV's..

Own a 2015 Montana 3790RD, we really like our layout. We just spent some time looking at new units from various makers and stayed with looking at Rear Raised Den models for the most part.

Price point on the various units was all over the place, didn't see much of a difference in build quality regardless of price point, was focusing on some of the parts & pieces we'd replaced on ours when looking at the new ones and low & behold they were all pretty much the same parts & pieces regardless of whether it was Forest River, Keystone, Heartland.

Construction wise and insulation wise most were comparable although a couple of them were only 3 season not 4 but I'm sure you could order an upgrade for more money.

The top end Heartland (Pheniox I think it is) was $140,000 and to be honest I wouldn't trade the Montana for it even at the same price point as it sure doesn't have anything I can see or read in the specs that is worth the extra money.

Full paint is standard but for $8000 you can get that on a Monty...

The Units that impressed the most for basically the same ball park were the Solitudes, slightly more money than the Montana but also a few extras come standard than the Montana.

In 2015 when we bought the Solitude in the same model was $30,000 more, they were then owned by independents that left/sold Keystone to Thor and struck out on their own.

Grand Design was their new Manufacturer, since then Grand Design was bought by Thor, many of the same parts & pieces now are the same as all the others, the price point seems to have come down and there is only about $3000-5000 difference in price on same basic models now.

So as someone indicated earlier, comes down to layout, price point pretty much unless you have the money to basically pay double the amount for one of the high end independent makers.

That is alot of repairing for the money and guess what they break down too....

We've fixed alot on this Monty in comparison to the previous Cougars we owned but we also have put thousands of miles on this Monty and live in it about 9 - 10 months of the year compared to the Cougars which were weekend use & small two or three week trips.

No matter what you buy EXPECT to do ongoing repairs & maintenance as that comes with owning an RV period.
�� Agree, the Solitude is nice, but, for some reason I keep coming back to the Montana. I think the Legacy Package with generator and solar installed is what raises the bar over Solitude for me...
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:12 PM   #11
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Best bang for the buck
x2!

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and a great forum for support & assistance.
x10!!
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:45 PM   #12
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I would highly recommend installing at least 2-6 volt "golf cart" batteries as they will give you a little more run time when dry camping. I looked for several years before making my 5er decision. I am not sorry at all.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:12 PM   #13
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Montana is advertised as the number 1 selling fifth Wheel. That is correct for that price point. Pretty good bang for the buck. Reliable rigs if you are a bit handy with self repairs that come along. There are better quality fifth wheels out there, with better customer support, examples Vilano, Mobile Suites, New Horizon, etc if you want to go to a higher price point and pay more for the quality that comes with it. A loaded New Horizon or Deluxe Suite price will pay for two Montana fifthwheels, and you will likely need something heavier than a 1 ton diesel dually to tow. I consider New Horizon as one of the top fifth wheels out there, and we looked at one at last years Tampa RV show, priced at $183K. For the brands in the price range of a Montana unit, ie Jayco, Cedar Creek, Cardinal, etc, Montana holds its own with the competition. Folks like their rigs, and many are repeat buyers because of that.
I totally agree with you. If your going to buy a run of the mill 5th wheel then the Montana is on average about as good as any of the others dollar for dollar. But if cost is not an issue there are much better built products out there and from what I have seen your spot on that New Horizons is the top end.

As weekend warriors it was all about the floor plan and price point on our 381TH. We love the floor plan but when we get ready to trade it will likely be the New Horizon if we don't go class A diesel pusher.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:21 PM   #14
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Anyone who thinks that New Horizon or Deluxe Suites build a better quality unit for the money, has not been looking at the recalls or hanging out on their forums.
Hmmmm this might be were we disagree Dick. I have looked at those New Horizons and they do look far superior to the Montana. Heck just the fact they build their own frames and they are substantially heavier frames is enough to turn my head but then the whole unit is considerably heavier than the same size SOB. I saw them side by side at Hershey and you could just feel the quality. Sorta like the difference between Sears Craftsman tools and Snap On and I know ya can appreciate that one.

Granted it can be argued if the nearly double the price is worth the additional quality. Especially if your like us and likely to trade every few years......

Hurry up and get back here so we can debate this stuff in person LOL.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:20 AM   #15
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Don't think the 265 watt solar pkg is even remotely worth Keystone's asking price... even discounted. I'd source that aftermarket. More bang for the money spent by far, or get the same size for way less. JMHO.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:40 AM   #16
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As a long-time RVer and recent Montana owner I can agree with most all that's been said here. With many years behind us we know what we like and what we don't like. We also know what we're willing to spend and what we're not. There's a reason we drive a Toyota and not a Mercedes...I can get there reliably and comfortably or I can get there expensively. Greater expense doesn't automatically translate into greater quality of build.

As we were considering a newer 5er we didn't start out by planning to buy a new one. I do a lot of research before this kind of purchase. Reading reviews of the various Rv's isn't for the faint of heart. They are more inclined to talking a person out of buying any of them. However, as a long-time RVer I knew what to expect when buying any RV and that being handy is helpful in the day-to-day. I discovered that in all of the noise of disgruntled RV owners that Keystone generally had less noise than the others in our price range. I discovered that there were a lot of happy owners and repeat buyers. When I found our current Monty on a pretty good sale it became a pretty easy decision for both of us.

We've had a couple small warranty issues but have been fortunate that overall the unit performs as expected. We really enjoy it and are looking forward to more traveling.

Good luck with your search. I think the 3121 is a great choice for it's floorplan, weight, and length.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenaliGuy View Post
🤔 I'm new to this Montana forum and really, really like the Montana 3120RL Legacy Edition. I don't currently have a Montana, I have a relatively new bumper tow, but I want to upgrade. I know it's said in numerous locations, forums, advertisement, etc, etc, that the Montana is the #1 selling 5th wheel on the market. Well, I'm an engineer, can anyone tell me why? What attributes of the Montana makes it better? There are a bunch of fifth wheels out there, specs all over the place, prices too, some seem very nice too. So, in layman's terms, why do Montana owners believe the Montana is the #1 fifth wheel, this would really help me out in my decision process. 🙂
We look for quality and do our homework!
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #18
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Why Montana

I won't get as detailed as some. I bought a used Montana and used it for 11 years with only small problems. I repair everything myself. Decided it was time for a new one. Looked at a lot of them and decided on a 3791 RD Montana. So far I'm real happy. Had to replace toilet but I expected that. Had to adjust furnace. Otherwise all is fine. We are full-time and it tows well. I do wish there was a heat pump in both air conditioners.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:13 PM   #19
glkids2
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Grand Design was bought by Winnebago not Thor
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:43 PM   #20
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On my 3rd. Each time I look at others but have found nothing as good I n the price range.
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