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Old 11-25-2015, 07:08 AM   #1
Tithy242
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2015 / 2016 Montana Construction & Quality

We bought our first RV in 2011; it’s a Montana Mountaineer 324RLQ and we have really enjoyed RV’ing even when dealing with minor glitches/repairs and the big ones too like blown tires, etc. Having said all that, we are WAY more experienced and knowledgeable now and have a better idea of what we need/want in a 5th wheel which is still our preferred class.

My wife and I are both totally sold on the Front Bath plans which have really taken off throughout the industry in the last 4 to 5 years; yes there may have been some around beforehand but now every manufacturer has at least one.

We like Montana’s version but recently I’ve noticed that they’ve gone away from the nice looking fiberglass end cap and have gone (from what I’ve seen) exclusively to the flat wall with four corners.
Not trying to offend anyone but in my mind I always thought the fancy end cap was a sign of a nicer rig. I feel like I can say that because mine has the flat wall and I don’t think it looks as attractive as some of the others.

A competitive Salesman told me that Keystone is starting to put less into their RVs than in past years. If not for the rear end, I wouldn’t have noticed anything that might backup his claims but to me it does seem like a shortcut and is less attractive.

So, what is the word on the street regarding Keystone and the Montana line? Other SOB brands are still doing the fancy end cap and their Front Bath floor plans are just as nice.

We’ve been happy with the current Keystone product so they get a nod for that reason and as others have said in another post called “MONTANA LIFE EXPECTANCY” it should last a long time if maintained.
On the other hand, in another thread called “Moving to SOB” some have indicated that Montana is slipping.

So which is it?

Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
dieselguy
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To get the moulded rear cap on Montana's nowdays, you have to spend a few thousand bucks to "upgrade" to the legacy package. Yes ... I hear crickets chirping on this move as well.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:58 AM   #3
Tithy242
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What you've said does make sense. I saw in another SOB model (exact same model number) a version with the molded end cap and another with the flat wall. The price was roughly $5K different. Everything else was equal as far as I could tell.

So, maybe I'll give Keystone the benefit of the doubt and assume they're trying to provide a less expensive option but will allow you the upgrade if you wish.

Does anyone know of other areas I should be concerned with? Like what you can't see? Framing, insulation, components, etc.

I do appreciate the feedback.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:30 AM   #4
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There are other things besides the rear cap that are included in the Legacy Package. You owe it to yourself to do your research and see if it suits you personally. Heated bathroom floor and upgraded window shades are 2 things that come to mind and I'm sure there are others. I'm glad I'm not faced with the decision for now. Best of luck.
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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We see a minus difference in the quality of our 2015 when compared to our 02, 05, and 10. Bit disappointed.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:21 PM   #6
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Agree with Mike on his quality observation comparing my 2011 to last couple of model years. If you really look down past the fancy LED's behind the ceiling trim moldings you'll find many quality of build issues that leave you scratching your head. But having looked extensively on SOB lots ... they for the most part share the same build quality decline. If you're just getting into the RV scene the past couple of years ... you have nothing to compare to ... those of us with 10-15 years of owning prior models do have something to compare to. For me, it boils down to hanging on to what we have as the "eye candy" isn't worth the trade.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:06 PM   #7
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Had an opportunity to talk with the factory rep at the Portland RV show this month. I mentioned to him about the change in the Montana line, and how people were reacting (negatively). He said it was a matter of competition. He didn't mince any words. After years of being "on top" he said more and more manufacturers were copying Montana, and undercutting the line with cheaper products. He said it was a matter of staying competitive to do what they did. I guess it makes some sense.....you are on top for so long that others start to chip away at you and undercut prices. He said the Cougar's "High Country" became the old Mountaineer, the "Montana" became what was the Mountaineer, and the Legacy is now the "upper" Montana line, IF I understood him right.

And so it goes.........!
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:24 PM   #8
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I'm with Dieselguy, going to stay where we are for now.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by TAKPAK

Had an opportunity to talk with the factory rep at the Portland RV show this month. I mentioned to him about the change in the Montana line, and how people were reacting (negatively). He said it was a matter of competition. He didn't mince any words. After years of being "on top" he said more and more manufacturers were copying Montana, and undercutting the line with cheaper products. He said it was a matter of staying competitive to do what they did. I guess it makes some sense.....you are on top for so long that others start to chip away at you and undercut prices. He said the Cougar's "High Country" became the old Mountaineer, the "Montana" became what was the Mountaineer, and the Legacy is now the "upper" Montana line, IF I understood him right.

Not sure I understand how changing branding solves their market challenge. Hope they understand

And so it goes.........!
Not sure I understand how changing branding relates to market share and profit. They are losing the repeat Montana buyers, and the reputation that used to come with the Montana name.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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The Montana Legacy is what we all knew as the old Montana name and the Montana is now what we used to know as the Mountaineer. The Legacy comes with the back cap and the Montana has the flat back. There are a few other add-ons that the Legacy has that the Montana(Mountaineer) does not. We were told about the change over last year at the Fall Rally and were able to see the differences when we went through the Factory Tour this year. There was quite a bit of discussion on the changes and the use of the Montana name changes per say. We were told that the Montana(old Mountaineer)was also brought in for the families that cannot afford the higher price Legacy and the Mountaineer name was dropped. I guess we will just have to "wait and see" as they say and see if it does make a difference in the sales.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by DQDick

I'm with Dieselguy, going to stay where we are for now.
We'll also be staying with our 2012. Didn't see one at the factory tour this year that we would trade our 3585SA for,
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:07 AM   #12
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Based on personal experience, Rondo, I believe the changes Keystone has made in the Montana line will make a difference in sales. We owned 3 Coachmens before moving to Montana. The last being a Somerset with a molded rear cap. Then, Coachmen was bought out by Forest River and did away with the Somerset AND the rear cap going to a flat back with the ugly black square bumper called the Wilderness. Should we decide that our 2013 not be our last, and if Keystone decides to go the same route as Coachmen, we will be looking elsewhere.
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Old 11-26-2015, 03:51 AM   #13
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For those that never knew the Montanan line it will make no difference. Buyers now have a price range choice and they are all named Montana . Simple there are now various price levels of Montana just like there are various price levels of the Ford F 350 truck.

When we first saw the changes on the fall rally tour at the factory we thought...not a good idea then after thinking about it realized it was a good idea.
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:29 AM   #14
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Well let me jump into this conversation. We are happy with our 2015 new Montana 3440RL. It has everything we wanted to migrate to from our 2005. The wife and I are very critical when we spend money on something like this. Regardless of other comments concerning the new Montana's we are well satisfied and happy with the trailer.

Like they say different strokes for different folks!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:56 AM   #15
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Paying more for less...
No thank you Keystone. We'll keep what we have (it's paid for) and take the money we would have spent on a new one and go camping.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:02 AM   #16
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Now that we have got all the bugs out of our 2015 we are happy as well, except for maybe we wish we had a residential fridge.

Our first thought when we now look at a Montana without the Legacy package and fiberglass rear cap, etc. is that we wouldn't buy that. Of course there are those that will be perfectly happy to have a Montana with a few less features for quite a few less dollars.

Guess it's nice that people have choices but IMHO if a Montana dealer loads his lot with all the base models they may get bypassed by those that drive the lots looking for a more featured unit. That is exactly what our dealer is doing and I find it disappointing, but of course I am not paying their bills.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:05 AM   #17
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Just to add my 2 cents, I think a lot of these type conversations confuse quality with options. Not having a molded rear cap does not indicate lower quality; just lower level option. Having been a prior owner and club/forum member of a highly popular SOB and Keystone competitor I hear the same thing about the new Montana within that circle. In other words, confusing options with quality and making the claim that Montana's quality has been degraded. I just dont believe that. Having been an owner of the two brands, there is no comparison.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:17 AM   #18
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As with anything ... different experiences with different owners. The molded rear cap is nice, but by no means a deal breaker IMHO. Attempting to assign blame on confusion between quality and options kinda fanned my fire. I'm not confused between quality and options ... I'm irritated by declining build quality of frame welds, sidewalls, and cabinetry trying to be covered up by more "eye candy" options like LED light strips everywhere, Correct Track, remotes for anything that turns on, heated theater seats, heated floors, ability to link smart phone to control various functions. I know a couple of the listed items are near and dear to some of you, but they are still "eye candy" in the overall scope of things to get you to not think so much about what it is hooked to. I'm not excluding SOB's as all manufacturers seem to have similar marketing strategies.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dieselguy

As with anything ... different experiences with different owners. The molded rear cap is nice, but by no means a deal breaker IMHO. Attempting to assign blame on confusion between quality and options kinda fanned my fire. I'm not confused between quality and options ... I'm irritated by declining build quality of frame welds, sidewalls, and cabinetry trying to be covered up by more "eye candy" options like LED light strips everywhere, Correct Track, remotes for anything that turns on, heated theater seats, heated floors, ability to link smart phone to control various functions. I know a couple of the listed items are near and dear to some of you, but they are still "eye candy" in the overall scope of things to get you to not think so much about what it is hooked to. I'm not excluding SOB's as all manufacturers seem to have similar marketing strategies.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:09 AM   #20
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What the PLM for Montana told us at the Fall Rally was because of their changes, they are now selling more Montana RVs, mostly at the lower end of cost. So they are doing what they want, make more money. They are not making Big Sky's now, they are concentrating on making what sells and generates profits. Those of us who've been involved with Product Line Management and making something that sells, understand that. However, when I spend my money, I may not find the Montana meets my needs. For now I like my rig and will keep it. Only 2 years old and now that I have a new toilet seat it's perfect. :-)
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