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Old 05-16-2006, 04:55 PM   #1
CmdrDewey
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Keystone Factory Service Center

I have just returned from the Keystone Factory Service Center in Goshen, Indiana and to say that I am very pleased would be a great understatement.

I ran into Aram who used to be the northeast area rep and is now Product Manager for Montana. I consider him a friend of mine since I have visited with him a half dozen or so times and I actually literally bought my 2955 because of him in 2002. His family also owns a campground in Maine. I told him that I had experienced some misalignment in the bedroom TV cabinet and some other things on that side. He immediately introduced me to Nic Davis who is the Team Lead for Keystone Service. Nic asked me if I could get to Indiana and took my information. About 10 days later I got a call from Darrell Turner who is the head service writer and we made an appointment. He sent me a confirming letter and I confirmed back.

I arrived at Keystone on Saturday afternoon for a Monday morning appointment. There is a small campground which we began to affectionately refer to as Camp Keystone. There are four slots and I was number 5. There are 4- 30 amp services and 4 50's. there are also 4 water outlets and a dump station. There will be sewer connection at all sites as they are all in but not yet connected. The place is a work in progress. WiFi and cable is allegedly coming, at least to the waiting area. They have only been in this facility for a few months and it is still being improved.

The facility is located on Davis Drive but that street is so new it isnít on any map yet. If you get there, go to Hackenberry, the address of headquarters and just keep going. Camp Keystone is just past it on the right.

Anyway, we found room for me and soon another rig pulled in and we found room for her as well. We all became pretty good friends very soon. I might add that a few had heard of the MOC but none were members. We passed a pleasant weekend just like any club camp out.

The factories out there start work at 4:00 AM and the service facility at 5:00. We were supposed to be ready to go at 5:00. It was impossible to sleep after 4:00 anyway because there was so much activity. A steady stream of trucks were coming and going and new Keystone products were headed out for delivery. We were told that 227 Keystone products leave there EVERY DAY. Fourteen of those are Montanas.

At 5:00 we all checked in at the office and by about 5:15 my rig was on a fork lift and in the bay. In nothing flat my bedroom slide was out and on the ground and they were welding. As happened with all of us, they found much more than they expected so they got a bit behind. Darrell checked in with us frequently so we knew what was happening. They were unable to finish mine on Monday so I stayed in a motel. It wasnít done Tuesday either but Tuesday night they pulled it out and back to the campground. 5:00 on Wednesday morning it was back in the shop. The same thing was repeated that day. It was finished just before noon on Thursday.

When they were done they had reinforced the frame rails on the front, retrofitted some new teflon bars that the slide moves on, generally upgraded the slide with newer technology, replaced the filon all around the slide, replaced all the seals around the slide, resealed the roof, changed all the metal skirting all around the rig, replaced all the seals around the main slide, replaced my outside steps, replaced my stove vent, cleaned my carpet, checked and pressure tested my propane system, did a complete electrical integrity test and replaced my rechargeable flashlight. Iím probably missing something because there was a three page work order generated. The four of us that had become the closest agreed that the work done to our rigs would be over six thousand dollars if we had to pay for it. In all cases, some of the work was frame and out of warranty but most of the work was way above and beyond warranty. It was just plain good relations and a desire to please. They found carpenter ants in one rig. The owner had no idea. The ants were exterminated, all the damaged area taken out and replaced. None of this cost any of us a nickel except the trip to Indiana. We had rigs from Wyoming, Maine, Long Island, Texas, Tennessee, and Ohio.

I might add that the extras were never promised. I mentioned that my steps needed replacing and Darrell told me he couldnít do that. When it was done they had been replaced. The same thing was true about the flashlight. I told one of Darrellís associates, George and he said he couldnít do that either. When I opened my door to go in one night there was one in a box on the floor.

While we were there we got a private factory tour and we each had individual tours of the service facility. There are nineteen Keystone factories in this complex alone and they have several others. It is amazing to see stacks of TVs, stereos and microwaves. Aram told me the furniture truck delivers three times a day.

We were told and I believe it, that Keystone has the lowest failure rate in the industry, between one and two percent. They acknowledge that if one of those bad rigs is yours you have a right to be unhappy. After seeing all the ways they try to prevent problems, I am convinced they want to get that rate down even more. I can tell you if you can get to Indiana and you treat them right, they will make it better.

We could not have been treated better and to be fair, we treated everyone there the same way. It is absolutely true that you get what you give. Although we all had issues, some quite serious, we all agreed that our next rig will be a Montana. We all agreed that the entire process was very pleasant.

From Keystone I went 8 miles up the road to Morryde and I will tell you about that positive experience tomorrow.
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:23 PM   #2
stiles watson
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What a fantastic report!! Thank you for sharing it with us. Happy RVing....
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:39 PM   #3
rvfirefighter
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If only everyone could experience this kind of service, there would be more Montana owners and all happy owners.
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:57 PM   #4
CountryGuy
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Pretty much our experience there, treated like kings and queens. But, ya need an appointment!
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:52 AM   #5
steves
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Thanks for the great report and thank You Keystone for standing behind your product. This is customer service that will keep many of us in the Montana family.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:43 AM   #6
Dave e Victoria
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Great report. I just heard from another Cambridge owner that was there and had a similar experience. For them, the wait for an appointment was five months.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:28 PM   #7
MIMF2
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Yup Gang! That is pretty much the way it is.

Last July, the Challenger went in to have an issue repaired. It was a fairly major issue. That was, three of the four rooms leaked rain water. They took it into the shop and with in four days had that thing completely disassembled and put back together better than new. It was there for almost two weeks because they had to replace the living room sofa and it was back ordered.

We had bought a pillow top mattress made by Elkhart Bedding and they replaced that for us. I now recall, that was also part if the reason it was at Keystone. It took a week to make the new mattress. I was in no hurry anyway and had told the guys that the regular retail customers came before me.

When Darryl called and said I could come get her, he show me a list 3 pages long of what they went thru and checked and repaired. I had no idea they did this. They said as long as the unit is in, they go thru it with a fine tooth comb.

So yes. That is what they do. Gail and I have pretty much made up our minds since we have had two Keystone products, there probably will be a third. That most assuredly will be a Montana 3400RL like the rest of you fine folks have. In the Challenger, Everest and Montana, that floor plan seems to be one of the most popular for Keystone. So, I doubt they will discontinue it for a while.
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:46 PM   #8
CountryGuy
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I have been trying to think of a way to say this for a long long time, without upsetting MOC members, or others, so, oh, well, here goes, I'll try to make this not hurt too much!

I know that some Montana (and other Keystone product) owners feel that they should be able to just stop by the factory/service center and get their issues addressed and fixed on the spot, no appointment required.

Trouble is, when owners do just "stop by", and the service center is booked solid, well, those owners are intruding on the reservations scheduled time. Many times the personal at the service center will do whatever they can to fix the really huge problems for you and maybe have you stop by in a few weeks for the other stuff. Those guys at that service center really do care, and they are NICE people.

However, when they are pulled off a scheduled repair to do a "off the road, I just stopped by" type repair, it puts them off schedule. Sometimes puts them days behind.

I'll just bet you want to know how I know, I'll leave it to the simple reply, "been there, done that". 2 days turned into almost 5.

I guess I am trying to say, being considerate of the "scheduled" repairs and the owners behind those schedules would be a good thing.

Ok, I'll go duck the flames!
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:03 PM   #9
Mac
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I think that's an honest response and you shouldn't be getting flamed. I would say if some catastrophic happened and I was "in the neighborhood" I might just stop by, but I wouldn't expect anything other than my large issue to be resolved. Those are my thoughts, for what they're worth.

mac
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:12 PM   #10
Glass Guy
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Well said Carol, It is just like any other place that does service work, you will not see a car dealership stop working on a car that has an appointment and pull your car ahead of it. With out appointments those service repair centers would be taking four to five days on a repair that should be done in one.Roman
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:47 PM   #11
CmdrDewey
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Carol,

I couldn't agree more. The service center will try to help out but sometime that might be at the expense of those who have been waiting weeks for an appointment. As you probably know Carol, they do service for all Keystone products. They also do all transportation related repairs and they have many rigs out back that have been left. They schedule 4 or sometimes 5 for Monday mornings and once in a while 1 or 2 on Tuesday. If things work right they have Thursday and Friday to work on other stuff. All of us had more than we thought so they had no time for the "other stuff". Certainly no time for "drop ins".

[quote]Originally posted by CountryGuy

I have been trying to think of a way to say this for a long long time, without upsetting MOC members, or others, so, oh, well, here goes, I'll try to make this not hurt too much!

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Old 05-17-2006, 05:02 PM   #12
Charlie
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Carol-
That is the way that it should be handled. Most people will have to travel some distance to get to Goshen and would expect that having made an appointment that Keystone will be ready to service you on that date. Anyone just dropping in upsets the system and a stop-by should not be taken ahead of an appointment.

A sign at our Vet's office says patients will be seen in this order....
emergencies, appointments, then walk-ins.
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:17 PM   #13
CountryGuy
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Hey folks, thanks for the support. I cringe when I read that owners of rigs, expect to drive over to Goshen, unannounced, and get their rigs worked on. I feel for them, cause I know they are uspet, concerned, possibly ticked off, scared, all that. But, I also feel for the service center, those guys handle a lot of angst filled owners, I don't know how they do it! And I feel for the customer that played by the rules and then watches someone else drive in, and someone else is screaming all the way, and because someone else was so squeaky, they get shut up, aka, fixed. When someone acts that way, someone else is gonna pay. Like I said, been there, done that. Course, who promised the world is fair??
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:49 PM   #14
8.1al
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We have been having problems with frame and slide for the last year. One dealer said we had no problem our selling dealer in AZ talked to Montana and did some frame repair but didn't solve the problem. Seeing as how Goshen is almost on the way home we stopped by the service center. I talked to Darrell and George and told them my problems and stated "I'm not asking anyone to go out and fix it, I just want someone knowledgeable to look at it and tell me whether or not I really have a problem. Talk about friendly people. It was determined there is a problem and an appointment has been made. After they told me everything they were going to do I said " That's wonderful, how much is all this going to cost?" Darrell's reply "nothing" It doesn't get much better than that. Keystone's tops
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:01 PM   #15
CountryGuy
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That is Great Charlie, how long do you have to wait for an appointment??? And I think anyone who has been there will agree, they are REALLY nice nice people!!
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:25 PM   #16
8.1al
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I had to wait about 7 weeks. They told me that it would only take 1 day but based on what they said they were going to do I think that's awful optimistic. They said they were going to remove the front cap, the cover under the overhang and the bedroom slide, reinforce the frame,retrofit the slide and put then it all back together. That's okay though. If it takes 3 or 4 days to do it right it will be worth it
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:54 PM   #17
CountryGuy
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Charlie,

I think you are wise to expect more than 1 day. We had the retrofit done on the bedroom slide, took over 2 days, like 2.5. Honestly cannot remember what else we had done that trip, but they did not have to take off our nose cone. You WILL be happy when you leave there, they do a great job on those slide retrofits!
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Old 05-21-2006, 02:58 AM   #18
raucnd
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Dave & Kathy,
We are more than curious, just how did you get your appointment to have your rig worked on
We have been told, by Keystone Customer Service, that they do not do maintenance/warranty work, at the factory. We know of someone else that had a Keystone product (Everest) and they took in in to the factory for repairs.
Guess we don't know the "lingo".
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:43 PM   #19
sreigle
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Excellent writeup, David. Thanks.

Raucnd, the factory service center is not a retail repair facility. The usual way to get an appointment is when they request you bring it to them because for whatever reason they want to do the work themselves. Or maybe they want to analyze the problem to see if there needs to be a change on the assembly line. We have an appt in July. Both times they requested we bring it in although this time they gave us an option to bring it in or get it fixed locally. We'll be in the area in July anyhow so opted to have them do the work.

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Old 05-22-2006, 08:55 AM   #20
CmdrDewey
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by raucnd

Dave & Kathy,
We are more than curious, just how did you get your appointment to have your rig worked on
We have been told, by Keystone Customer Service, that they do not do maintenance/warranty work, at the factory. We know of someone else that had a Keystone product (Everest) and they took in in to the factory for repairs.
Guess we don't know the "lingo".
In my case, I was talking with the Montana people at the Tampa RV Show and I told them about some issues I was having. They immediately feared stress cracks made me an appointment. The appointmet was 3 1/2 months out. (That was partially for my convenience) It turns out they were right about the stress cracks. My repairs took 3 1/2 days. That was partly bacause the owner of another brand, a mouthy one at that, "dropped by". We did have another Montana owner there with sort of an emergency. They discovered their problem while enroute to Alaska. They had an appointment but they made it two days before. I certainly have no issue with that one. They did have to wait until most of the rest of us were done.
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