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Old 02-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #1
agesilaus
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New here, looking at Montanas

Hi, someone on RV.NET suggested joining MOC. I don't own one but they are at the top of our short list right now.

I'm about to retire full time about a year from now. We have a TT right now with a Ford F150 TV. We aren't new to camping over the years the family has visited 47 states and Mexico and Canada. But when I retire we want to at the least spend 3 or 3 1/2 months on the road and the Trailmanor is just too small to think about that, even if we upgraded to the largest size.

So we are looking at 5vers and moving up to the F350 to haul one. We just spent most of today at the Jacksonville Florida RV Show and will head up to the one at Perry GA next month. I'd already been thinking about Montanas after watching their videos. And we were impressed with what we saw at the show.

On the way back we stopped and test drove a F350. Boy they have all sorts of toys on them now, even the wife was impressed

I am somewhat confused about the different types of Montanas tho, some seem to have better construction than others. Are there different grades of models?

I'm still leaning towards the smaller units the 29 or 30's. We want a floor plan with big back windows. I have to say getting behind a Montana with those windows on the road has always activated my envy system....heh. So no rear kitchen models or bunkhouses. We will be traveling with our soon to be thirteen year old at least until he is out of high school. But he is willing to use the pull out bed.

But my concern with the larger units is hauling up an down mountain highways, plus the fact that we have always been the off the beaten road types and get off into smaller rougher roads. And we very much want to do the ALCan highway. I thought about doing that next year but it might be better to wait until we have a full year experience with the big rig before tackling that.

So that's all about us. Any thoughts or suggestions will be very welcome.

BK
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
ols1932
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With the F-350 or any of the big 3 one-ton trucks, you need not worry about the length of the Montana you get. Don't short yourself (no pun intended). If you buy one that's too small you'll be sorry you did. Look at several different floor plans and go with the one that you and your wife both agree on. We bought ours in 2000, 36 feet in length and we had a F-250 Power Stroke to pull it with. It'll pull it with no problem, however I have to drive defensively to avoid having to panic stop because the truck is small. I believe that when Keystone started up back in 1998 (I think), they were catering to folks that towed with the 3/4 ton trucks like mine. But since then they've been getting bigger and heavier. Go with your gut feeling and have happy travels.

Orv
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
bncinwv
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Welcome to the forum. With the truck you are looking at, you will have no problem with hills or even mountains. There are several members who have done the Alcan and can give you good advice on preparations and specifics. As to floor plans, when you enter the one that fits, you will know it. We were extremely happy with our 3400RL and thought we would have it for years. We walked into a 3750FL and things changed and it is now our portable vacation home. Good luck in your search and I will re-emphasize that going in, sitting down, imagining situations, etc. will benefit you to no end. One thing that has been forefront in our selection process was not having to turn our heads to watch the television, with the newer models and articulating mounts, most of this concern has been taken care of. Another of our criteria for both rigs was the capability for a separate washer and dryer (two teenage girls, no further explanation required). The new rig came with a double fridge which was important to us as well. The selling point on the newest rig was the separate bathroom. Talk about what you really need, then look at the various floorplans to see what meets those needs. Shows are great ways to spend some time in the rigs and see how they fit with your needs. If you have specific questions, you have found a great source for information from a varied, experienced group of knowledgeable members. Don't hesitate to ask questions and join in on discussions.
Bingo
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
NCFischers
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Welcome to the forum.
I agree with Bingo, when you enter the rig that's right for you, you'll know it. We had certain criteria when we were looking, an enclosed bath and a kitchen with enough counter space to name two. We found what fits for us and we're very happy with our decision.
With a one ton diesel, you won't have any problems with the mountains. I also agree that you shouldn't "short" yourselves. You'll regret it later. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
8.1al
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Speaking of short, don't let the model numbers fool you. Montana does not make a 29-30 foot fifth wheel. I haven't looked at the specs lately but I believe the shortest they make is 33 ft. long
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:19 PM   #6
agesilaus
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Yeah I was referring to the model numbers. And looking at the floor plans I can see already that the 3150RL and 3400RL might make the most sense for us. With the wife's kitchen space demands and the fact that I want a work area--ie desk. To work on my photography. And I can already see that the 3400RL looks better with the washer/drier closet up front and what looks like more room in the bedroom. I wonder if I could convert that second wardrobe into a desk area with a shelf above for a printer?

LOL up to 37 foot already.

BK
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
agesilaus
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BTW what's the difference between Montanas and Mountaineers?

Did I see particle board in the Mountaineer?

BK
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
donscomp
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Welcome to the forum!!!!
There are a LOT of helpful soles here.
I agree also with both Jim & Bingo. Kinda felt the same as Jim and ended up with the 3665. LOVED the floor plan of Bingo's but just to long to park where we park the coach to store, Then again, the 3665 may be as well since we havnt tried yet. LOL But right now we just wana get outa town to the races and worry bout that later.
Another day and we can hit the road.
Again, welcome to the forums
Don
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
exav8tr
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We fulltime in a 3400 and love it, however, I would not want anything smaller with a third person in the mix. When you go looking, make sure you take your son with you and sit in them for some time. I personally think a 13 year old needs some space to himself. The 3750FL may be just what you are looking for......Good luck and congrats for joining the "Best Darned Forum on the WWW!!!

I can't tell you much difference in the Mountaineer and Montana except the price point on the Montana is a little higher. I believe the Mountaineer comes in a bunkhouse model.....
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:28 AM   #10
jimcol
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BK, We stepped up from a 26' TT to our Monty after a 6 week trip to New England. DW informed me if we were going to do trips of that duration more space was needed. Biggest mistake we made was going too small. I really got hung up on the lengths as it related to towing. As I found out too late 34' long tows about the same as 38'. The length does limit access to some of the older state parks we like to visit and I think it will keep you out of some the "off the beaten roads". If those kinds of places are really important to you a larger unit may not be the right choice. She wanted the rear kitchen and loves it. I like it also until both of us sit down to watch TV. One of us, (guess who), is too close to the TV. It works just not as comfortable as it could be. Now I am too cheap to correct that mistake but if we had to do it over again we would go with the 3400. As the others have said take the time to spend a lot of time in each unit before you make your decision. Visualize the day to day situations you will encounter while traveling in your unit. You will know when it is right.
Don't want to leave you with the impression we hate the 3000RK. We love it and use it a lot. In our travels we have also meet the nicest people and many of the meetings happened via this forum. Just wish we had the advice of this forum before we made our decision. Always read Phil's post saying "Best Darned Forum on the WWW!!!". He's right. Good luck with your decision. Jim
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:02 AM   #11
Captain Joe
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We travel with our 35 year old Downs Syndrome son and the 3750FL was the best for us. Welcome to the forum....keep going to those RV shows and you will know when you see it.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #12
CamillaMichael
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Welcome to the MOC! Agree with others, if you end up going too small, you will not be happy and may likely feel you need to buy another larger unit latter on. We tow our 3400 with an F350, and make the steep grades through the Smokies with no difficulty. Also agree with others who have said you will know what unit is right for you when you do a walk through. Hope you find that "right" unit.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
BrokenElbow
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Welcome! I'm a new member here and just took delivery of a 2011 3455 (very similar to the 3400 with an enclosed bathroom/shower..the wife insisted). Like you, I thought I wanted a 35' length max so I could fit into some of the "neat camping spots". By the time I got done looking at what I really wanted, 38' was ok. To me, you have two competing desires; fulltime and staying in "out of the way" spots. I'm not fulltiming or planning on it anytime soon, but I agree with the advise you have received so far; get a large enough unit to meet your fulltiming needs. Keep us up to date on your progress.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:08 AM   #14
deadeye
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with others on getting it right the first time on your length. When you sit down it, you will know immediately that it is what you want. My wife and I have the shortest version of the Montana, 2955, which is 33 feet. This unit has a nice floor plan, but is not for 3 people. It is just right for 2 people with a lot of room and is easy to pull, even in the mountains with a 3/4 ton. Our height is 12 ft. 6 in. I have to rent enclosed storage as my shop is only 12 ft. One of my many screw-ups.... I had the shop long before this unit and thought it would fit..... Have fun choosing the one for you and your family. From reading the post and getting ideas, I am sure there is the right Montana to fit your needs....JB
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:12 AM   #15
agesilaus
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Thanks for all the advice. I talked to my wife last night and we pretty much decided that we should get one that's big enough and that will probably be a 37-38 footer.

BK
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:13 AM   #16
08UltraRider
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I can speak from experience.... You'll be happy you joined this forum and listened to what the people say here.

The Search feature is your friend... I've found a lot of info using it.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:22 AM   #17
Sky
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I let the boss pick out what she wanted..I played it safe and kept my mouth shut and let her have her way. She felt that turning your heads to watch TV was going to be painful so we (she) picked out the 3455SA and we love it. One thing to remember is that the lounge chairs can be moved to different locations once you set up. We also agreed (both of us on this one) that a private bathroom was a must as family members would at times be joining us. We also took into consideration that we would soon be living in the unit for the winter down south somewhere so we wanted more room. Your new TV will have no problem hauling whatever length unit you pick. We didn't get the washer/dryer as we wanted more storage room and also figured that most CG's had washer/dryers and we could put more into one of their wahsers at one time then could be placed in the smaller washers in the camper. Again our way of thinking but we set up for what we want to make us happy and you should do the same. Keep checking out the shows and you will find what you are looking for. Good Luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:53 AM   #18
TAKPAK
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BK, for what it's worth, we went from a 25 foot Cougar (Keystone) trailer to (one year later) the 38 foot 3400 Montana. We've NEVER looked back. You can see what we tow it with by our picture and signature. Others are right, go to the shows and check them out. One thing we did, that was very helpful, was go to a dealer that specialized in Montanas. He had virtually every model on the lot that Montana made. We spent half a day going from one model to the other. For us, we just kept going back to the 3400 time and time again, and finally decided it was the one for us. And it tows just fine. Campgrounds are now becoming more "big rig friendly" because there are more of them. And, as everyone says, make sure you get one that you feel is right for you.
Enjoy whatever new rig you get.

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Old 03-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #19
agesilaus
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We are probably running down to Ocala to look at Montanas this weekend. One dealer down there has been emailing me.

BK
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:45 AM   #20
jdvier
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We purchased a Montana 3400rl last Oct. Some things I would suggest is living room in the back. Need to get to the coffee early. Options are many. Just do the research. I do not think you can go wrong with a Montana. We upgraded from an Open Road. You will love your choice. Easier to pull and fifth wheels pull easier.
Good up and God bless
Jack and Margie
Hi, someone on RV.NET suggested joining MOC. I don't own one but they are at the top of our short list right now.

I'm about to retire full time about a year from now. We have a TT right now with a Ford F150 TV. We aren't new to camping over the years the family has visited 47 states and Mexico and Canada. But when I retire we want to at the least spend 3 or 3 1/2 months on the road and the Trailmanor is just too small to think about that, even if we upgraded to the largest size.

So we are looking at 5vers and moving up to the F350 to haul one. We just spent most of today at the Jacksonville Florida RV Show and will head up to the one at Perry GA next month. I'd already been thinking about Montanas after watching their videos. And we were impressed with what we saw at the show.

On the way back we stopped and test drove a F350. Boy they have all sorts of toys on them now, even the wife was impressed

I am somewhat confused about the different types of Montanas tho, some seem to have better construction than others. Are there different grades of models?

I'm still leaning towards the smaller units the 29 or 30's. We want a floor plan with big back windows. I have to say getting behind a Montana with those windows on the road has always activated my envy system....heh. So no rear kitchen models or bunkhouses. We will be traveling with our soon to be thirteen year old at least until he is out of high school. But he is willing to use the pull out bed.

But my concern with the larger units is hauling up an down mountain highways, plus the fact that we have always been the off the beaten road types and get off into smaller rougher roads. And we very much want to do the ALCan highway. I thought about doing that next year but it might be better to wait until we have a full year experience with the big rig before tackling that.

So that's all about us. Any thoughts or suggestions will be very welcome.

BK
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