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Old 01-09-2007, 03:00 AM   #1
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Suggestions for Keystone exec's

Here's a real life idea; Load up a new Montana, checked out by a local dealer, take the wife and her mother, or whoever, across to Santa Fe, through some cold weather, drop down to I-10, catch some warm weather, put 5 or 6 thousand miles on your Montana, then come back to the factory and build a revised model.
Maybe you will then have enough electrical outlets, and circuits, maybe then you will take a stroll out to the line and oversee the installation of the wiring and put forth new quality control measures. You will redesign the slide out wiring looms, (Plastic strips holding wires to slides) redesign the day night shades so they all work at the end of the day, change the crappy carpeting and buy a carpet stretcher, change the vendor, so we get a fireplace that doesn't smell like burning plastic when we run it, put a quiet water pump in it, support the shelf above the hot water heater so it will hold a teacup without breaking and falling, have Lippert make a frame you will authorize a bicycle rack to be installed on it, redesign the decade old era lighting for the Montana, and MAKE THE BATHROOM BIG ENOUGH FOR US TO ACTUALLY STAND UP AND TURN IN.
I bet none of you exec's have subjected yourselves to a 6,000 trip in a 'dealer ready' unit, just to see what we customers go through.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Montana, I am a businessman, so I know costs, you can't perform miracles for the price you charge, but you can improve this product.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:22 AM   #2
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Thank you Ozz.................You hit every point we all have endured.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:43 AM   #3
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And after they spend 6000 miles in a factore ready Montana, have them visit yours(Ozz) and try to figure out how to incorporate your changes! Or, better yet, have the engineers visit thr rally this Sept., and go thru all the changes we have all done to make our Montanas more homey!
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:48 AM   #4
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Well put Ozz.

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Old 01-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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Maybe not, if they change a few things, like upscale indirect lighting for instance, just think how it would 'Shine' in an RV show in comparison with other models, using the same $2.00 two bulb 12 volt direct glare lighting. Lighting and built in electric heat would be noticed by the buying public. I sure as hell could sell that modification concept at a board meeting. (Unless everyone there had never been in an RV.) It would not be a significant cost to have maybe one more dedicated 20 amp circuit for the kitchen and one more for the living room.
Oh well, I have mine, they either do it, or their direct competitor will.
When you snooze, you loose.
Ozz the troublemaker......
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Don't forget to tell them that there are people out there like us, who don't own a rig yet and read this forum regularly and could be swayed to another brand if improvements aren't made.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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Don and Bonnie
You will run into the same problems, maybe worse, with another brand. Believe me, voice of experience. Remember Glenn's statistics, of all the Montana's sold, only a few have problems. We just hear about the problems more and sometimes the people that have problems are the most vocal. We have had very few problems with our unit and most of them were the problem of outside vendors not Keystone. Many of the other brands use the same outside vendors. We have had the same stove, furnace, frig, water heater and toilet in all of our units. The manufacturer of the furnace and frig took care of the problems in our other unit. We replaced the toilet ourselves as we have done in the Monty.
Happy trails........................
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:34 PM   #8
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My thoughts are that the Montana is still of very high quality and much better than most. Could there be improvements? Absolutely, and I think that new couch that everyone is chomping at the bit to get is just such an example. Do they have problems? Again, absolutely, but I would say that is more of an anomaly rather than business as usual.

Just my two cents.

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Old 01-09-2007, 01:24 PM   #9
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Parrothead, Businesses have to continually work on being the best if they want to retain or grow their marketshare. An inferior product will soon be surpassed by another of better quality. Perhaps today, Montana is the best. But will they be the best tomorrow if quality issues continue to crop up in their product.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:34 PM   #10
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Question I asked my husband was why is Keystone not putting in the fluorescent lighting? Husband answered, "To Cheap!" There are many other manufactures that have offered it for quite sometime.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #11
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IMHO, one of the major problems with engineers who design things (RVs, boats, airplanes, trucks, etc), and the execs who approve those designs, is that they do not use them. They don't hook up that Montana and drag it across the USA and live in it, use it, fix it, clean it, and care for it. Like Ozz, I have a list of things that are on the Montana that are an easy fix to improve. I love my diesel dually, but there are many things the average owner (who really uses his truck) can see that could be made better and need to be made better.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:03 PM   #12
David and Jo-Anna
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As others have noted, Montana execs are businessmen interested in making a profit. They are smart enough to know that they need to control costs, but not to the point that it costs them sales. One problem they have is that they don't always know which upgrades people will pay extra for, and which would increase their costs without a corresponding increase in sales. I don't think it helps very much to just point out deficiencies that will cost them money to upgrade if they can't be sure customers will pay extra for them. I'll bet that's particularly true for upgrades that can't be seen by customers and thus don't readily translate into greater sales or higher prices. That may be one reason so many manufacturers focus on upgrades that are mostly "eye candy" since those are upgrades that can be seen and appreciated by potential buyers.

That's where IMHO MOC members can provide a useful service--feed the Montana execs info on what we are willing to pay extra for and what isn't worth the extra cost. The easiest way to answer that is to tell them what you in fact have paid for in the way of upgrades after you bought your Montanas--that's a factual indication of what something was worth to you.

Soooooo--what upgrades did you pay for, and what did you pay??
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:02 PM   #13
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A word on this "it's a vendor problem" saying. Keystone makes nothing.They assemble a RV from a multitude of vendor supplied items as do most all Rv manufacturers. If everything is a "vendor problem" then nothing can be a Keystone problem..they and most every RV manufacturer's are off the hook.I don't buy that for a instant. Keystone chooses the vendor and the quality of the vendor supplied item.Keystone is responsible for each and every vendor supplied item..therefore it is a Keystone problem. The Rv manufacturer is entirely responsible for the quality of workmanship that goes into the assembly of the vendor supplied items into a RV...My Rv and your RV.I do like my Montana..execpt for poor workmanship issues it is a Quality coach. I have little issue with the vendor provided items (Apollo excluded) I do have a problem with the way Keystone assembles them into a RV. Read DonnaldBonnies post..he knows of what he speaks..Example.. Dutchman RV.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:41 PM   #14
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Keystone/Montana does do a little too much, "that's a vendor problem". What they really need is an organized, solid, and VISIBLE, customer feedback program. Seems the only thing they have now is during a factory tour when an experienced MOCer comes by, or during our Fall Rally. when we come in direct contact with company execs. This is OK, but they need a constant, ongoing program - not just a once a year notepad full of ideas from us MOCers.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:56 PM   #15
Tom Gina 06
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I believe that Keystone is trying to make inteligent changes. Bottom line is where is the line on cost control so you can get all those extras? I am willing to put up with some of the problems after all the industry has to make decisions when it comes to cost control. Where I have a problem is in quality control! If Keystone spent little more in making sure the empoyees were doing their job right and spent just a little more money in keeping the warranty service to a minimum it would even out. But they like all other corperations will do only what they have to to get by. After all if the Airline industry figured they could save how many millions of dollars taking peanuts away. Get real, the RV industry is no different bean counters are bean counters.

The way the RV industry as a whole puts out their products, those bean counters have it figured to the penny for profitablilty. The warranty issues are because they have the longevity planned to that one year of warranty. Once that is over then another industry will get some gravy, the service centers that remove your hard earned dollar because of the manufacturers planning. See I do believe that Keystone stands behind their product from all that has been said in people returning to the factory service center. Many people do not have that option keeping the RV service industry viable. I purchased mine knowing it was a good value for the buck, also understanding that I would have to repair and modify my Monty at times. Sometimes it is hard to take the pitfalls of new/used ownership and the hardship it creates when things go to hell. Also something to think about, no matter how much prep and expectation we all have when we purchase something, it sometimes becomes disappointing.

Like some people here I am not happy unless I am tinkering, making my Monty the best for our wants and needs. This being a double edged sword, also leads me to find many of the things I feel could be done better. I do believe that if I had an unlimited supply of cash and purchased the most expensive, best built, product on the market today. I would still have problems with one thing or another, finding the same things I have found on the Monty to be substandard in my opinion.

I am just greatful to having this forum and to all those people helping me make my Monty the best for my needs. This forum makes a big difference in helping all Monty owners get the most out the good times these homes/home away from homes offer. Not to mention what I feel is the best bang for the buck on the market.

One thing I do advocate is the consumers, we all should have a way of bringing major safety items to force change in the industry. It will have a cost but then at what expense is safey worth?

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Old 01-09-2007, 07:01 PM   #16
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Statistically, Glenn's figures did not show that, however, I do agree that there are a lot of industry problems out there and Montana has avoided some of them and seems to step up to the plate when needed. In some respects, it is hard to ask for more than that.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:33 AM   #17
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Any reputable, etablished company will keep close tabs on their vendors. Any vendor that provides an inferior product or does not perform satisfactorily will be eliminated and replaced. If Keystone is having problems with their vendors providing inferior products or sub-assemblies, and they take no action, sooner of later those who might have chosen a Montana will begin to look elsewhere. On the other side, the American free enterprise system has always generated someone who will build a better mousetrap. If Keystone doesn't feel that it is important to correct the issues, either their own or those of their vendors, that have been presented in this forum, someone somewhere will build a better mousetrap.
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:30 AM   #18
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I think Keystone does pretty well keeping up with the market as far as features. We all have ideas on how we would design our RV, and someone's idea for a change may serve them well, but may have an equally negative response from the other side of the customer base. The black/wood fridge door is an example - A single change and months of positive and negative hoopla here on the MOC. Flourescent lighting would be a big negative to me personally, but may be a positive to others.

QA is a different issue - and will bite them in the end if they don't start showing some improvement. I still see new 07s on the lot with serious flaws. That can cave a company in faster than any interior designer choices.

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Old 01-10-2007, 03:43 AM   #19
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I worked with the public in sales for years, I used to hire and fire, and told my people that one happy customer will tell a friend, one dissatisfied customer will tell everyone they know.....
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:10 AM   #20
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One more item that I have not seen any discussion about. Install an A/C outlet duct in the kitchen area in the 3295RK. The way the overhead cabinets are installed over the sink blocks any air that might need be directed to the cook. It gets hot in the kitchen area when preparing meals!!!
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