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Old 04-30-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lyme Regis
Posts: 8
M.O.C. #8443
Buying our first Montana

Hi Everybody
we were referred to your forum by the escapees, we are looking to buy a 5th Wheel Montana 3075RL or 2980RL, we do not mind where we go to buy it but has anybody got advice on a good dealer, we keep getting mixed opinions. Will be pleased to hear from anybody about this. We are coming out from the UK in September and also buying a truck have been advised to get 350 4X2 short box to tow this with.
Many Thanks Jeanne
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:03 PM   #2
Montana Master
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas City
Posts: 5,736
M.O.C. #7673
You did not say where your U.S. home base will be, or are you just planning on a long tour of the Americas?

I personally have been happy with Holiday World on I-45 S located in League City, TX. Houston International Airport (IAH) would be the closest place to come into.

Maybe others will have more information knowing what means and where you will come into the U.S.

Edited: Actual, Houston Hobby (HBY) is 15 miles up the road from Holiday World, but it is not International. You would have to fly in from an international airport after clearing customs. IAH is about 65 miles from League City. HBY is only about 15 miles from League City.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:10 PM   #3
Montana Master
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Merlin
Posts: 668
M.O.C. #7368
Hello Jeanne, First a big Welcome to the Forum. You will find a lot of information here, take your time and enjoy.

To answer your questions, we need to know some information. Since you are coming from the UK, will you be staying mostly in one area, or traveling around the country with no permanent location.

My opinion only:
If you have a permanent location, you will want to find the closest dealer to your location. This is so you can take it in for warranty or maintenance work as needed, so you want it close. But you will also want to make sure they have a good service deparment. With a permanent location Service can offset a slightly higher sales price.

If you are traveling with no permanent location, then I'd suggest finding either a dealer closest to where you buy the Tow Vehicle (TV) or find your best deal. You won't care as much about service from that dealer as most of your service will be on the road as needed.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:32 PM   #4
Montana Master
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bakersfield
Posts: 5,316
M.O.C. #15

Welcome to the MOC. I saw your post on the Escapees and suggested you check in here. Glad you made the trip! You are still a few months away but it's not too soon to get everything in order.

We have members all over North America so you should get a good variety of information.

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Old 04-30-2008, 03:35 PM   #5
stiles watson
Montana Master
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Leona
Posts: 6,382
M.O.C. #2059
We have had good dealings with Lifestyle RV in Grain Valley, Missouri. Grain Valley is very near, (suburb) east of Kansas City, MO. Several other MOC members have used them also.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
Montana Fan
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oviedo
Posts: 418
M.O.C. #8297
It looks like Jeanne needs some input about pros/cons/suggestions for a tow vehicle as well in relation to the two units they are looking at for possible purchase. All I know is BIG and strong enough to pull the unit with whatever "can't live with out it "stuff"!" Also, I know there are LOTS opinions about short and long beds, but my impression is/has been that long bed is the preference...could be wrong, but that's what I've seen out on the road, in campgrounds, and seen on this forum. So all of you TV "experts" have an opportunity to wax poetic about the "perfect" TV and the one that will still do the trick without reducing Jeanne to total poverty! LOL


Welcome to the forum! You will find this is a lovable and knowledgable crew of men and women who are PASSIONATE about their "Monty's" and have NO problem sharing their ideas, opinions, and expertise.

While you stated you are coming from the UK are you from there originally or are you returning stateside after an overseas soujourn? Who will be coming/traveling with you? Is this a permanent or temporary change of location and if it is permanent is the Monty going to be your full time residence?

Look forward to hearing from you and be sure to ask any questions you might have about Montys in particular and RVing in general. I've found I learn as much (if not more) from other members' posts as I do from my own questions!

(Oviedo, FL (northeast side of Orlando))
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:44 AM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lyme Regis
Posts: 8
M.O.C. #8443
Thanks guys for all your info, more confused than ever, but what ever we are coming out to the BIG US.
WE are planning on buying a 3075RL or 2980Rl both are about 34foot long never having done this before did not want one any bigger. WE were going to buy a Ford 350 short bed 4X2 we have had mixed replies and info on the truck, but would still welcome any comments. We are planning on coming out early September staying 6 months touring then putting it all into storage to go back home to the UK for a few months then returning to tour some more. We really not sure what state we are coming into, possibly Phoenix ?
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:43 AM   #8
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Location: South Shore
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It seems as though you pretty much have your mind made up as to the model you want. However, I wouldn't want to try and change your mind on that anyway. What I will comment on is that when we bought ours we bought it pretty much on the spur of the moment. We bought our unit used and was looking at another brand at the same time. I don't even remember what it was but it was newer and less expensive.

Comparing the two we chose the Montana. It just had a better feel to it of quality and I was especially impressed with how it was built and constructed using the aluminum framing. We even noticed a few things that could be problems but went ahead and bought it anyway. We felt the overall quality was a big plus at the time. After owning the Montana for a year now and it being a 2002 model we have no regrets. We enjoy it very much and it is a pleasure to travel while towing it behind us.

As far as a tow vehicle it’s difficult to give advice as to what someone else may need. There are so many different combinations that may work well for you. Personally, I feel that with the long bed and the dually I have control of the unit when I’m towing. I had an experience once when towing a pull trailer with a van where I nearly lost control. It wasn’t a good feeling having the trailer controlling me. I hope I never make that mistake again. I have never had that feeling since I started using the dually. I didn’t realize just how much more stable it felt than before until I started using it.

At any rate, I would make certain that whatever vehicle you choose was adequately rated for the job.

Welcome to the Montana Owners Club forum!
2011 GMC 4X4 dually CC, 6.6 Duramax with Allison Transmission. Formally 2001 Montana,2007 3400RL Montana, presently 2018 3401RS Alpine.
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:56 AM   #9
Site Team
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Location: Omaha
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Good Morning Jeanne and welcome to the forum! We own a 2980RL and it is a 2004 model. We enjoy it. As far as the tow vehicle(TV), we have Chevrolet 2500 shortbed with as Duramax diesel powerplant with a 6 speed Allison transmission. It is an automatic but can switch to the manual transmission if you need to shift gears do to a grade change or whatever. I have a single axle not the dually. We also have a Reese 16K slider hitch in the TV to hook up the Monte to. Any of the three major brands (Ford, Chevy, or Dodge) will work for you but I would recommend a diesel for the powerplant in them. You will find out that there will be many different opinions when it comes to a TV--to each his own! This is only MY thoughts on the matter and there will be many I'm sure! As for dealers, this is a toss up also since I bought ours from a private owner. We have a good one here near us in Omaha, NE. It is across the river from us in Council Bluffs, IA Leach Camping World) and so far they have treated me right in the way of prices for materials I've bought there. Their pricing on the rigs is about the same as all others and the service is good from what I understand (have not had to have mine services there however). Good luck on your adventure here in the US and please keep up informed on all of your plans.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:55 AM   #10
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Hello Jeanne. I am a bit too far away from the US to comment on dealers. I am sure if you run into a problem on the road a quick post to this forum will elicit both a reference to a nearby dealer and perhaps even a visit from a fellow MOC'r. Even if you don't have any problems, letting people know what campground you are in might result in an opportunity to meet someone with local knowledge and some good stories.

With respect to tow vehicle, a quick search of the forum will turn-up a lot of conversation, debate and even a wee difference of opinion, sometimes emphatically stated. It all comes down to your comfort level. Any diesel engined truck made by Ford, GM (Chevrolet or GMC) or Dodge in the last 8 years will have the towing capacity for either of the Montana models you are considering. The problem is they may not have the rated capacity to carry the weight of the trailer that the truck takes from the connection to the trailer. This is called the pin weight and is transfered through the connection pin, to the hitch in the bed of the truck to the truck frame and suspension components and finally to the truck's wheels. This rated capacity is set by the truck manufacturer. I have given some links below that will help you understand the concepts, jargon and help you make an informed choice for a tow vehicle. It all depends on whether you wish to stay within the capacities set by the truck maker or not. This is a good place to start. Just choose the 2007 year in the towing guide section on the left column. This is guide from GM Canada for selecting a pick-up truck from their line-up. It is a bit complicated. Dodge's site for towing and payload capacity. Ford's towing guide.

If you ever decide to make a trip to Newfoundland let me know and I'll assist in any way I can. If you have any questions, you can post them here or PM me using the forum's message system. Just double click on my user name.
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