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Old 05-30-2018, 02:49 PM   #1
Montana3725RL
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5th year of ownership thoughts

It's year 5 in June of owning our 3725RL:

Conclusion, expensive pile of crap built to poor standards, the one year warranty for so many people is really 6 months since it's stored for half the year. Designed so mice can get in, there are places I can't get to to stop them, but in the building process they could have put in measures to make it difficult for the little bastards, they didn't and likely never will.

The main AC unit has been bad since year one, Keystone doesn't care since it wasn't caught until right after the 1 year warranty expired. The unit is not serviceable per Keystone but some people have said it can be modified, we haven't needed it so we're waiting.

The hydraulic system was popping badly the first 2 years, the dealer ate part of the cost and installed heavier duty fluid. Still pops now and then but much better.

The Black/Gray tank valves have been replaced twice, leaking tanks have been repaired twice.

The big storage doors have been replaced due to swelling, the new ones are also swelling, go figure.

We have mice in the roof that nobody can get rid of, it would be nice if they did something about all of the easy access holes in these rigs. The mice are destroying whatever is up there.

The water heater stopped working on electricity this year, but still works using gas. Researching the cause, any ideas I'd be happy to hear them.

2 bad batteries even though proper usage and winter storage procedures have been used, their response, we don't make the batteries.

The hallway tile is lifting as is the tile near the heat duct by the bathtub.

The front blue LED's have been replaced 3 times, they no longer function properly, again. Not worth the effort to fix.

Some moron thought putting the junk subwoofer behind the fake fireplace was a grand idea, it wasn't, the entire fireplace rattles and the system sounds like crap.

The Montana 3725RL was expensive as 5th wheels go, I like the full welding on the chassis and the floor plan and my wife loved it so much I bought it.

Biggest.....mistake....I......have.......ever..... made......
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:04 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have had a really bad time with your rig, and never another Montana in your future. Different for us. First three units, trouble free except for normal maintenance. Some initial major issues on our 4th (2015), but Keystone and dealer resolved all of them under warranty. Unit has been basically trouble free now for two years, although I am anal on preventive maintenance and can do almost all repairs on my own. Keystone customer service has deteriorated to the point the last couple of years where I give them a big F. Product quality is not what it used to be but on par or better than what I see with our snowbird buddies in Florida with similar priced SOBs. At the same time, have to admit our next rig will not be a Montana.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:25 PM   #3
Montana3725RL
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Originally Posted by 1retired06 View Post
Sounds like you have had a really bad time with your rig, and never another Montana in your future. Different for us. First three units, trouble free except for normal maintenance. Some initial major issues on our 4th (2015), but Keystone and dealer resolved all of them under warranty. Unit has been basically trouble free now for two years, although I am anal on preventive maintenance and can do almost all repairs on my own. Keystone customer service has deteriorated to the point the last couple of years where I give them a big F. Product quality is not what it used to be but on par or better than what I see with our snowbird buddies in Florida with SOBs. At the same time, have to admit our next rig will not be a Montana.
I am also anal and stay on top of everything, what was worse than the build quality was the horrible service Keystone provides. Reminds me of car manufacturers in the 70's and 80's.

Unfortunately with barely any competition this will likely get worse. My next move is to a Newmar pusher, if I can ever afford one.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:50 PM   #4
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We are on our 2nd Montana first was a 06 3400 and now a 13 3402 Big Sky. We long time do many many miles a year and live in them 6 to 9 months of the year. We have had several problems most if not all of them due to poor quality of construction but we see no difference in any brand. The main problems have been failed holding tanks and IMO due to improper installation once we got them properly supported we have not had a problem.

The gas struts on our compartment doors are all pulling out of the doors due to poor design and installation. wear and tear is above average but we do not use these things as a recreational vehicle but rather as a near full time home. The Big Sky paint job is sub standard and we had to have the entire front lower panel done in bed liner because of the horrible chipping. We have had RV's long enough to understand that a good extended warranty is a must and except for deductibles all our failures and expenses have been covered.The latest was a failed wheel bearing that destroyed everything in the hub including the hub .Cost 730.00 covered less deductible. We were at a weigh station on the Florida,TPK and Keystone customer Service found us a dealer, parts and mobile repair person.(we could not move the unit as the entire wheel came off)

We have not always got our way when dealing with Keystone Customer service but have been treated fairly and with respect.

We have been rv'ers for a very long time having gone through 6 rv's including selling them at large RV shows.The Montana is not the best and certainly not the worst. This is our last RV as our on the road days are drawing to a end.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
We are on our 2nd Montana first was a 06 3400 and now a 13 3402 Big Sky. We long time do many many miles a year and live in them 6 to 9 months of the year. We have had several problems most if not all of them due to poor quality of construction but we see no difference in any brand. The main problems have been failed holding tanks and IMO due to improper installation once we got them properly supported we have not had a problem.

The gas struts on our compartment doors are all pulling out of the doors due to poor design and installation. wear and tear is above average but we do not use these things as a recreational vehicle but rather as a near full time home. The Big Sky paint job is sub standard and we had to have the entire front lower panel done in bed liner because of the horrible chipping. We have had RV's long enough to understand that a good extended warranty is a must and except for deductibles all our failures and expenses have been covered.The latest was a failed wheel bearing that destroyed everything in the hub including the hub .Cost 730.00 covered less deductible. We were at a weigh station on the Florida,TPK and Keystone customer Service found us a dealer, parts and mobile repair person.(we could not move the unit as the entire wheel came off)

We have not always got our way when dealing with Keystone Customer service but have been treated fairly and with respect.

We have been rv'ers for a very long time having gone through 6 rv's including selling them at large RV shows.The Montana is not the best and certainly not the worst. This is our last RV as our on the road days are drawing to a end.
730 for a spindle and wheel bearing? I think an entire axle is less than that..
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
We are on our 2nd Montana first was a 06 3400 and now a 13 3402 Big Sky. We long time do many many miles a year and live in them 6 to 9 months of the year. We have had several problems most if not all of them due to poor quality of construction but we see no difference in any brand. The main problems have been failed holding tanks and IMO due to improper installation once we got them properly supported we have not had a problem.

The gas struts on our compartment doors are all pulling out of the doors due to poor design and installation. wear and tear is above average but we do not use these things as a recreational vehicle but rather as a near full time home. The Big Sky paint job is sub standard and we had to have the entire front lower panel done in bed liner because of the horrible chipping. We have had RV's long enough to understand that a good extended warranty is a must and except for deductibles all our failures and expenses have been covered.The latest was a failed wheel bearing that destroyed everything in the hub including the hub .Cost 730.00 covered less deductible. We were at a weigh station on the Florida,TPK and Keystone customer Service found us a dealer, parts and mobile repair person.(we could not move the unit as the entire wheel came off)

We have not always got our way when dealing with Keystone Customer service but have been treated fairly and with respect.

We have been rv'ers for a very long time having gone through 6 rv's including selling them at large RV shows.The Montana is not the best and certainly not the worst. This is our last RV as our on the road days are drawing to a end.
730 for a spindle and wheel bearing? I think an entire axle is less than that..i believe the reason we see no difference in brands is BECAUSE THOR OWNS 17 companies! So yes!. They are all the same because Thor is who owns them.. write your congressman and let him know this hurts consumers..
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:00 PM   #7
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Spindle,both bearings, Brakes, hub,Upper bearing disintegrated and shot shrapnel everywhere destroying everything. Trucker noted smoke from the wheel and alerted us.We were approaching a Weight station and got in just as the wheel was coming off. We were very lucky.

Weight station employees were very helpful as was Keystone Customer service in finding a nearby dealer that got the parts and dispatched a mobile repair service. The entire incident was over and we were back on the road in less than 4 hours. I am sure we paid top dollar parts and labor but we had no choice and our extended warranty approved the repair on the spot.

We have no problem with Thor owning 17 companies and we will not be writing our Congressman.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:33 PM   #8
bigred715
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Rich, I know you have extended warranty on your unit. Was it necessary to contact Keystone, or could you have just contacted your warranty provider? Did Keystone help in getting dealership to find shop and then go through your warranty to get it covered?
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:29 PM   #9
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We took care of the warranty issues this time although we have had the dealer take care of everything. You always need prior approval before repair can be authorized and in this case we were in a Florida weigh station with a wheel that was nearly off the RV. First we called the dealer and the dealer said do not move the Montana.We called the warranty company explained the situation and the fact we could not get the RV to the dealer. In short the the warranty company said that when the mobile repair company broke down the wheel and identified the parts to be replaced and the cost to send a picture via Cell phone Email which we did while the claims guy was on the phone with us. The repair was approved on the spot. Keystone Customer service did find the nearest dealer that had all the parts. Normally extended warranty companies deal with the dealer /repair facility but in this case we were in a weigh station.It was sort of unusual. We have had three extended warranties on our two Montana's and we have found that if you understand the terms of the warranty and understand that prior approval is a go/ no you will be good. Normally the warranty provider does not deal directly with the warranty holder but with the dealer/repair facility.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:45 PM   #10
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:21 PM   #11
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Regarding the water heater - Assume you cheked the breaker?

Check the Reset on the Water Heater Thermostat - When you remove the outside cover to the heater, do you see a rubber cover that has 2 reset buttons? If one or both are out, press them back in to reset. If that doesn't fix it, then - Before proceeding turn off the outside electrical switch on the heater and turn off the breaker to be safe.

Check the Continuity of your Element - The heating element will be covered with a rubber cover attached with probably 3 screws. To get to these screws you will probably have to remove the 1" gas tube running to the firebox. Remove the 2 screws attaching the wires to the element. Using a multimeter set it on the lowest ohm setting probably RX10. Touch the 2 probes to the 2 screw holes. if the meter doesn't register max or not at all, your element is bad. There is a number on the side of the element. Give that number along with the model and Ser # on your water heater to your RV Dealer to get a new element. You will need about a 1 1/2 " socket to get the element out. I think they make a special socket just for this. It looks like a thin walled pipe with 2 holes near the back to insert a small screwdriver into. We were wintering in Texas when I bought mine. Think I got it at Camper Clinic after not being able to find one at the Auto Parts. If the element doesn't fix it then -

Replace your thermostat (the unit with the 2 reset buttons). Remove the rubber cover. Remove the termostat. Remove the wires and attach to same connections on the new one.

Good Luck. Heating elements do go bad. I've replaced mine 3 times. The thermostat has a fuse in it that can burn out especially when you have the water heater bypass turned on and fill the unit with water thinking the water heater is full and you turn on the exterrior switch to the heater.

While you have the element out, it is a good time to flush out the sediment from your water heater. Remove the drain plug. Insert a hose into the upper hole where the element was and force the sediment out the drain hole. They sell a plastic wan at the RV Dealer with an angled end to force the water back at you to help forcing the sediment out.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:37 AM   #12
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Problems with the AC ~~ why even talk to a dealer about it? They are under warranty from the manufacturer for 2 years. The manufacturer will direct you to an authorized repair place or a mobile tech if willing to pay the service charge. Always use manufacturer instead of dealer on appliances and etc.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:02 AM   #13
Montana3725RL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richfaa View Post
We are on our 2nd Montana first was a 06 3400 and now a 13 3402 Big Sky. We long time do many many miles a year and live in them 6 to 9 months of the year. We have had several problems most if not all of them due to poor quality of construction but we see no difference in any brand. The main problems have been failed holding tanks and IMO due to improper installation once we got them properly supported we have not had a problem.

The gas struts on our compartment doors are all pulling out of the doors due to poor design and installation. wear and tear is above average but we do not use these things as a recreational vehicle but rather as a near full time home. The Big Sky paint job is sub standard and we had to have the entire front lower panel done in bed liner because of the horrible chipping. We have had RV's long enough to understand that a good extended warranty is a must and except for deductibles all our failures and expenses have been covered.The latest was a failed wheel bearing that destroyed everything in the hub including the hub .Cost 730.00 covered less deductible. We were at a weigh station on the Florida,TPK and Keystone customer Service found us a dealer, parts and mobile repair person.(we could not move the unit as the entire wheel came off)

We have not always got our way when dealing with Keystone Customer service but have been treated fairly and with respect.

We have been rv'ers for a very long time having gone through 6 rv's including selling them at large RV shows.The Montana is not the best and certainly not the worst. This is our last RV as our on the road days are drawing to a end.
Agreed, they are not the worst but are definitely a statement on the industry as a whole. I'm glad their support helped you.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CaptnJohn View Post
Problems with the AC ~~ why even talk to a dealer about it? They are under warranty from the manufacturer for 2 years. The manufacturer will direct you to an authorized repair place or a mobile tech if willing to pay the service charge. Always use manufacturer instead of dealer on appliances and etc.
Had I known when we bought this turd to call the people who made the AC unit instead of the worthless Keystone support I would have done so. This purchase was our first new one, I have learned A LOT, one of which is to never assume somebody you're responding to on a forum knows what you know.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:18 AM   #15
Montana3725RL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whutfles View Post
Regarding the water heater - Assume you cheked the breaker?

Check the Reset on the Water Heater Thermostat - When you remove the outside cover to the heater, do you see a rubber cover that has 2 reset buttons? If one or both are out, press them back in to reset. If that doesn't fix it, then - Before proceeding turn off the outside electrical switch on the heater and turn off the breaker to be safe.

Check the Continuity of your Element - The heating element will be covered with a rubber cover attached with probably 3 screws. To get to these screws you will probably have to remove the 1" gas tube running to the firebox. Remove the 2 screws attaching the wires to the element. Using a multimeter set it on the lowest ohm setting probably RX10. Touch the 2 probes to the 2 screw holes. if the meter doesn't register max or not at all, your element is bad. There is a number on the side of the element. Give that number along with the model and Ser # on your water heater to your RV Dealer to get a new element. You will need about a 1 1/2 " socket to get the element out. I think they make a special socket just for this. It looks like a thin walled pipe with 2 holes near the back to insert a small screwdriver into. We were wintering in Texas when I bought mine. Think I got it at Camper Clinic after not being able to find one at the Auto Parts. If the element doesn't fix it then -

Replace your thermostat (the unit with the 2 reset buttons). Remove the rubber cover. Remove the termostat. Remove the wires and attach to same connections on the new one.

Good Luck. Heating elements do go bad. I've replaced mine 3 times. The thermostat has a fuse in it that can burn out especially when you have the water heater bypass turned on and fill the unit with water thinking the water heater is full and you turn on the exterrior switch to the heater.

While you have the element out, it is a good time to flush out the sediment from your water heater. Remove the drain plug. Insert a hose into the upper hole where the element was and force the sediment out the drain hole. They sell a plastic wan at the RV Dealer with an angled end to force the water back at you to help forcing the sediment out.
You need to work for support, this is the best response I could have hoped for. The breaker is fine, the reset buttons I couldn't see their position. I'll be heading up to the CG this Friday and will go through it with your instructions.

Thank you.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana3725RL View Post
It's year 5 in June of owning our 3725RL:

Conclusion, expensive pile of crap built to poor standards, the one year warranty for so many people is really 6 months since it's stored for half the year. Designed so mice can get in, there are places I can't get to to stop them, but in the building process they could have put in measures to make it difficult for the little bastards, they didn't and likely never will.

The main AC unit has been bad since year one, Keystone doesn't care since it wasn't caught until right after the 1 year warranty expired. The unit is not serviceable per Keystone but some people have said it can be modified, we haven't needed it so we're waiting.

The hydraulic system was popping badly the first 2 years, the dealer ate part of the cost and installed heavier duty fluid. Still pops now and then but much better.

The Black/Gray tank valves have been replaced twice, leaking tanks have been repaired twice.

The big storage doors have been replaced due to swelling, the new ones are also swelling, go figure.

We have mice in the roof that nobody can get rid of, it would be nice if they did something about all of the easy access holes in these rigs. The mice are destroying whatever is up there.

The water heater stopped working on electricity this year, but still works using gas. Researching the cause, any ideas I'd be happy to hear them.

2 bad batteries even though proper usage and winter storage procedures have been used, their response, we don't make the batteries.

The hallway tile is lifting as is the tile near the heat duct by the bathtub.

The front blue LED's have been replaced 3 times, they no longer function properly, again. Not worth the effort to fix.

Some moron thought putting the junk subwoofer behind the fake fireplace was a grand idea, it wasn't, the entire fireplace rattles and the system sounds like crap.

The Montana 3725RL was expensive as 5th wheels go, I like the full welding on the chassis and the floor plan and my wife loved it so much I bought it.

Biggest.....mistake....I......have.......ever..... made......
Wow, sorry for all the problems on your rig. I too have the same model 3725 purchased Aug 25, 2013.

My story is so very different than yours. I will agree with the mice issue though, still fighting that battle but did not to your degree.

Travelled all over the country and the rig has performed super. Only issues I had was a shackle bolt decided it didn't want to be part of the one of our trips and left. Lucky for me this is something I carry in my spare parts and was able to repair in campground when I discovered it. The hydraulic system was a must for an easy repair. I also carry hydraulic bottle jacks and was able to service and repair right in the campground myself.

All appliances work perfectly and rear AC again works great. We have an AC up front too and need need both at South Padre Island a few years ago. Hot water, refrigerator work on all modes....

LEDs up front I replaced after 6 months. They were NOT designed for outside use and replace with some that were and still are working perfectly today.

I also agree about the subwoofer, sucky sound but I made sure mine was secured tightly behind the fireplace. It was just floating back there and when in use had a lot of vibration. Sound not the best, but we are outside most of the time anyhow....

Storage doors have not been any problems. There has not been any swelling whatsoever.

I am still on the original interstate battery that was installed Aug 2013.

So I am truly sorry for your troubles and I do believe it has caused you much grief. I also consider myself lucky and our 3725 has never been to the dealer for any service or repair. I do ALL my own service/repair and I am lucky that I am able to do so. Funny to me, but I know not to you, I also considered the service/repair part of the RV experience. I know it should not be that way, but I have been doing this since 1981 and have learned what you need to have and what the weakness of ALL these campers are. It has been that way with every trailer I have owned.

In closing, our 2014 3725 has been a fabulous camper. My wife and I, like you guys, love the floor plan and we have zero plans to get rid of it in the future as it is now.

Again, hope you are able to rectify something to make your experience better.

Jay
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:29 AM   #17
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After reading this have to feel that the OP needs another pastime
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:15 AM   #18
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After reading this have to feel that the OP needs another pastime
The op is "venting" his issues. everyone has the right to say what the issues are with the product they bought. Ive had issues with ours. How does a company improve without feedback?. Companies pay big bucks for customer satisfaction surveys..
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:44 AM   #19
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The op is "venting" his issues. everyone has the right to say what the issues are with the product they bought. Ive had issues with ours. How does a company improve without feedback?. Companies pay big bucks for customer satisfaction surveys..

I have no problem with owners venting if there is a real problem and that an owner has taken the steps to correct. But when I see maintenance situations and the lack of anything that says that said owner has really taken any initiative to correct them other then call it a "turd" or "pile of crap". In this case, I see no attempt to contact an appliance vendor or even do any research other then VENT.


Please recall that these RVs are put together as a box mounted on a frame --- built by a vendor. The water is heated by a gadget built by a vendor. The air is cooled by a device manufactured by a vendor and batteries are made ---- by a vendor. What I haven't seen on this thread are any complaints about that basic box which holds all of these vendor made items, which can be directly attributed to anyone but Keystone.


Like it or not, every RV manufacturer uses the same vendor made items. While Thor/Keystone (might add Forest River too)have the ultimate responsibility to choose what they use in that box, there just aren't many choice. If you feel the need to own an RV, this is what you get. For well over $200K you can purchase a custom built New Horizon --- except those vendor made tems are exactly the same manufacturers that a $15K entry level unit uses. Buy a $500K Tiffen or similar, guess what, same thing. These are not a S&B where you have dozens of 'gadget' choices with lots of reviews which will tell you how good/bad an item operates. Your choices are limited to a handful.


So, vent away, but understand that these RVs are not "Turds" or "piles of crap" but are what the industry produces - like 550,000+ last year. And yes, there should be better quality but I'm not holding my breath until the demand settles to a more reasonable number and built by people dedicated to their job, not who will pay them a few cents more and hour down the road.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:30 PM   #20
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Im not complaing about lipert, or dometic, or her, . Most complaining is about fenders that have no backing, slides that gouge floors, rear walls falling off the back of the rv, water leakes, carpet that wont last 6 months, staples coming thru the roof because the roofs were not one piece,the choice of using TRAILER KiNG tires, ... so, theseare not complaints about the suppliers, but about the company.. Keystone customer service, when I wanted to know who made the rope lights was call your dealer.. so i have to set up a date to drive it seventy miles. Then leave it at the dealer and wait weeks or months til they get on it. When i could have ordered the lights and fixed it myself..
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