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Old 03-05-2006, 05:48 AM   #1
Montana_5471
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Montana vs Alpenlite? Help!

We were ready to sign papers on a Montana 3400rl and called the factory to ask last minute questions.... gentleman at factory was nothing but doom and gloom. We explained we were moving to Cody,Wyoming and planned to live in the RV for approx 1 1/2 yrs until home was completed. He quickly told us that this vehicle was not intended for anything but recreational use and that condensation could build up in cold weather and was not recommended for full time use in colder climates. Help.... we need answers....we prefer the Montana, but are being guided to the Alpenlite because of its cold weather reputation. We are moving from Texas and as soon as the house sells we are gone... need to make a decision soon. Thanks!
Gary and Carol
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:14 AM   #2
steves
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Condensation in an issue in any RV in cold weather. There are workarounds specifically related to ventilation that will help control this situation. To live in a RV in extreme cold conditions there are additional steps that must be taken to maintain running water in the coach and not have water lines freeze. There are quite a few of our members full timing in their Montana's and will probably be along shortly with tips and suggestions on how best to do this. You can also use the search facility on this Forum to look for Cold Weather and Water Lines Freezing type topics that will also give you a lot of information. The majority of 5th wheels are categorized as not being full time units but as stated before with the proper planning and know how that is very doable.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:36 AM   #3
richfaa
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The Keystone guy told you the truth. Rv's in the Montana price range are not recommended for full time use. In the alpenlite price range they are. There is a 30K+ Difference MSVRP in a alpenlite comparable to the 3400rl.As you will see there are MANY folks full timing in the Montana and it would be my guess that you can implement the mod's and suggestions that you will read about here for way less than 30K. Of course if the price of the Alpenlite is within your Budget go for it. I would buy it just for the Electric roll down awning..if I could afford it.....
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
jrgwdenner
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Unfortunately, there seems to be at least one person at Keystone who tells a tale of gloom and doom. That person has most likely very little practical experience in a Montana in cold weather. He is merely trying to give Keystone a waiver of responsibility. You will glean much more valuable information from the many people on this forum who have spend time in cold weather in their Montana. You will find that their outlook is much more positive. Try a search on the topic by clicking on 'search' which is listed above the log-in box and you'll find many threads that address the reality of wintering in a Montana.

Welcome to the forum and have fun searching. Don't discount the Montana based on one person's report.
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:50 AM   #5
Dave e Victoria
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Rich, this is a little off topic but we have the electric awning on our Cambridge and I would trade it back for a conventional awning if I could. The electric awning is incredibly flimsey compared to our manual awning on the 3295RK. We used to stake down the awning when we were camped in one spot. No way could i do that with the electric. The auto retract function has never worked on ours. It retracts whenever it damn well feels like it. It is back in for service as I write. Moreover, In sudden gusts it cannot react fast enough to prevent damage. If I was buying either an Alpenlite or Montana, I would make sure the awning was the good old fashioned manual extension version. Just my opinion but, I have used both.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:15 AM   #6
Montana Sky
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highcountry,
There is alot of great information on "wintering" in a Montana here. Keystone claims the new Montana's are good till 0 degrees. The Alpenlite is a great unit, friend has one in the campsite across the road. From what I have been told from him, they are pretty good in the colder months, but he also has times where his water and pipes freeze. Steve R is our expert on winter camping, hopefully he will be along very soon and can give you some tips to help prevent any problems in the winter months. Having grown up in South Dakota and spending much time in Wyoming, you winter temps are going to get cold and that wind is going to blow, I am not sure the additional cost of an Alpinelite is going to do much better for you. I have been camped in my Montana to temps down as cold as 20 degrees without any trouble. I wish you the best of luck with your purchasing decision and upcoming move.
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:34 PM   #7
Montana_5471
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We really appreciate all the responses to our problem. We are so confused and really take everyones advice into consideration. It seems as though the more you investigate and research, the more confusing it all becomes. If anyone out there has actually spent some time in the winter months in Wyoming we would really like to hear from them, especially if they have a Montana. Thanks again for all the great advice and help.
Carol and Gary in Texas
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:35 PM   #8
dsprik
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Hang in there until Steve Reigle (sreigle) gets here. You won't be disappointed. He full times (FT) in the Kansas City, KS area into the Christmas/New Years holidays, You will not be disappointed with his advice.

Cheryl and I are ordering a 2006 3400RL. We have done EXTENSIVE research. We will be in the NW Mich snowbelt with our grandkids and kids through at least late fall, and maybe even Christmas. We know the 3400 is not "rated" for FT, but I will also tell you that Montanas are much better designed to handle cold weather, compared to the same models just a couple years ago, due to Keystone monitoring this forum, and taking that info back to their design teams. MOCers have seen these changes year by year improve the ability of the Montana to handle cold weather.

Still have to make some modifications, but Alpenlite does NOT have anything like this forum, which can get you through just about every conceivable problem, or situation, that you could ever imagine happening in or around your Montana (or Alpenlite, in their case)... and some that you can't imagine...

Where are you Steve?
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
CountryGuy
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Steve and Vicki left the RGV this AM and will be traveling for a few days, maybe 5?? Not positive on the number of days, but I know they are rolling north and west. Start by checking the archives and old posts as has been suggested. Montana's are now supposed to go to 0 without a serious freeze. Steve has posted his suggestions and solutions many times. ORRR, find a post he has made and click on his name, and check for ALL POSTS that are NOT archived! that should keep ya reading for a day or so!

Cheers and good luck in your decision.
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:10 PM   #10
richfaa
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You know we were given the data sheet on the Freezer testing on the Montana that shows the "down to zero " without freezing at the Toledo Rv show but I can not find it anywhere. I know it is in this mess somewhere..if and when I ever find it I will post it.Dave I think you got one also can you find yours????
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:39 PM   #11
Kathi
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highcountry, We bought the 3400RL and have lived in it in Northwestern Montana for 3 months. The only problem we had was when the drains that are in the compartment on the driver side below the bedroom slide. They are the only thing that is exposed to the cold. Heat tape is great for covering anything that you think might freeze. If you are moving to Wyoming then you know it is just as cold in Montana in the winter. Our trailer has been in 28 below, as long as you take the precautions against the cold and make sure you keep your propane full for the heat you shouldn't have a problem. We were going to buy the Alpenlite till we saw the Montana. We felt that we got more bang for our buck with the Montana.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:45 PM   #12
dsprik
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Sorry, Rich. I told Bill, when he went to hand it to me that I had already received a copy from my local dealer. Now I can't find it. The test was done in November (or at least that's when this sheet was produced). I believe Dometic did the test. I did a search on the internet and I came up blank.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #13
Garin1
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highcountry, you will get a lot of great advise here on that subject but let me put my two cents in. I spent a winter in Maine in a Cougar (not a Monty but still Keystone) and with proper skirting and heat tape was able to live very comfortably. You do not have to spend big dollars to protect yourself from the cold. I have some pics of the old Cougar under a recent snow fall. It held up great. I also used that unit for three years full time as my home traveling from job to job. I am sure the keystone rep was having a knee jerk reaction . The Alpinlite is a fine unit ($$$) but I think you will be very happy with the Monty, and the savings.



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Old 03-06-2006, 02:55 AM   #14
Wrenchtraveller
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I think a Keystone product will do just fine if you follow the above advice and if inside humidity becomes a problem, you can get a good dehumidifier for around 150 bucks. I only part time but I have purchased one a Home Depot to bring along. It brings high humidity down real quick.
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #15
Montana_5036
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The 0 deg rating info is out on the Keystone site, but its a bit of a pain to get to and you better have a high speed connection - its a large file. Go to the media page ( http://www.keystonerv.com/media.php### ) then click on Montana. One of the options you will see is a pdf for the 0 deg fact sheet. Click on that, then click on the agreement to keep the info secret for all time and then down load it.

My wife has been staying in our 3000RK several day a week for the past few months with temps down to 0 deg with no problems. One work of warning - they burn a lot of propane when its cold out.

Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:40 AM   #16
dsprik
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Badgoat, do you actually read those things? I just click and go. If I find my bank account empty some day, I'll know why...
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:20 PM   #17
smc
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We have been full timing in our 2980RL for nearly 2 years, and have not had any serious problems at all. We summer in Alberta, and winter in Yuma (record 139 days with no rain) We have survived temperatures from 15F to 95F and have been comfortable throughout. Last winter they had record rainfalls here, and we stayed dry (but a touch grumpy) and never had any moisture problems. In all we have been very satisfied with our Montana for full timing.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:18 AM   #18
Montana_5036
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dsprik

I usually do not read them but the keystone site just had a one liner there. Probably should read them all since we are agreeing to something.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:56 AM   #19
dsprik
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Badgoat

dsprik

I usually do not read them but the keystone site just had a one liner there. Probably should read them all since we are agreeing to something.
One line??? Wow, I didn't even read that! Now how lazy is that???

Or is that "Stupid"?
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:34 PM   #20
Garin1
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That is impressive info there badgoat. We have the 3650rk and am anxious to see how it performs in the real (cold) world. The picture I posted was of my Cougar, first cousin to the Monty. It did very well in the cold weather.
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