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Old 09-04-2011, 03:15 AM   #1
Phil P
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My opinion of Keystone

Hi

Your opinions and views of a subject are influenced by the actions of people associated with the product.

After reading several post regarding dealers and the PDI inspection I have come to the conclusion my problems are the result of a dealer that has a totally incompetent service department.

On top of this my attitude toward Keystone as far as their product was slanted against Keystone by the fact that the RVIA citified electrician that didnít know what a VOM was or how to use it was an X Keystone employee.

I have not change my perspective of Keystones poor business practices. I feel they should do something to correct the problems caused by their appointed dealer not doing a proper PDI

Phil P.
 
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:00 AM   #2
klash
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I spent 36 years in the Canadian Navy as a Chief Engineer. I worked in both new ship building, and repair and overhaul of running vessels. In our business we were concerned that a contractor (or our own crew) were always using Quality Assurance. From Wickipedia, Quality Assurance is using all material and practises to their correct standards to maximize the chances of the finished product being built or fixed to high standards.
I had a 2005 Outback fifth wheel that had a black tank leaking problem from day one. Dealer wouldn't do dick all for me, and finally after living with the smell of human waste for 2 years, at 70 years of age, I fixed it myself. When I removed the belly liner i discovered that the removable bracket which was supposed to hold the tank in place had not been secured properly. The workers had twisted the heads off the screws and even left them laying on top of the belly liner. So whenever there was any weight put into the tank, it twisted and had cracked the outlet fitting so that the "stuff" would leak into the basement area of the trailer. The inside of the trailer smelled like one of those Port a Johns on a hot August day. I wrote several letters to Keystone, they wouldn't help me, nor would the dealer. I think the dealer we had worked on the principle of the 3 G's; Get their money, Give them the keys, and Get them off the lot.
The second part which I think Keystone is lacking in their plants is Quality Control. That is simply a series of tests, checks and balances to ensure that all the systems in their units are performing as they should.
So many little things slip through the manufacturing process, and then the poor dealer is expected to eat the costs to make good all the defects they find when doing the PDI, or in the first few weeks after we take delivery.
I think companies like Keystone need to get away from the policy of build them light, build them cheap and build them fast.
If we are buying a 30 foot Montana or other luxury product, it sure isn't going to be used for a 2 week vacation at the lake, or maybe a 500 mile vacation trip. Most of us are going to use our rigs for big trips across the continent, from home then down south for the winter, and back.
We have a 2007 Montana 2995 RLS and I now have it working the way it should, but I have spent countless hours fixing and adjusting silly little things that should have been picked up during manufacture or at later inspections. I guess I learned to do the job right the first time, as there was always the threat of a size 10 hard toed boot, being placed exactly where you would normally sit down.
I know I sometimes think I live in a perfect world, but I simply do not understand why Keystone keeps repeating their mistakes. If holding tanks are repeatedly leaking why don't they install a more superior tank. If springs and spring hangers are breaking, why use such inferior installations. Why are axles barely capable of meeting the minimum requirement of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the trailer.
Having said all of this we love our Montana, and once we corrected all the nasty little deficiencies, it is a great rig. Also nice to know that a year from now, Keystone will still be on the map. So many other companies produced thousands of rigs and now they are gone.
Many years ago a major US company used the slogan; Quality goes in before the name goes on. Keystone could borrow this same principle. They should also realize that owners of Keystone products spread a lot of information out there, both the good and the bad.
Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Phil P

Hi

Your opinions and views of a subject are influenced by the actions of people associated with the product.

After reading several post regarding dealers and the PDI inspection I have come to the conclusion my problems are the result of a dealer that has a totally incompetent service department.

On top of this my attitude toward Keystone as far as their product was slanted against Keystone by the fact that the RVIA citified electrician that didnít know what a VOM was or how to use it was an X Keystone employee.

I have not change my perspective of Keystones poor business practices. I feel they should do something to correct the problems caused by their appointed dealer not doing a proper PDI

Phil P.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:18 AM   #3
Rondo
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There is no company anymore, that I know of, that the Quality Control is what it used to be! They are all out to make the items as fast and as low of overhead as they can get. I don't blame any company for this but there is a limit to this and when the product comes out with inferior quality or workmanship then they need to step back and take a look at what they are doing-- Right or Wrong-- and correct any problems that may be occuring.
Sure wish you guys were going to be at the Fall Rally and express this to the Customer Service and Administrators of the Montana Divisiom of Keystone during our sessions with them! If you don't mind, I'll be printing these comments out and presenting them to them at the Rally. If you prefer me not doing this, PM me and let me know your thoughts on it! I may not have to present these because I know that they read the MOC site and do listen to us on things that have been brought up in the past few years. We'll see what they have to say on this subject at the Rally!
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
Phil P
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There is such as thing as integrity.

I purchased a modular house from one of the major manufacturers. The dealer that sold the house didnít honor their contract with the manufacturer. Apparently I wasnít the first to complain.

The manufacturer sent a crew to my location and finished the product as their contract with the dealer said the dealer should do it.

The dealer was no longer a dealer.

Thatís integrity.

Phil P
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:10 PM   #5
Longwell
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I've been a member here for 5 1/2 years because I checked out different manufacturers and found that Keystone Montana seemed to be the best at support after the sale (IF you assume the dealers are going to vary no matter which brand you buy.)
Since we will be going fulltime I am concerned about getting service all over the country; we will have no fixed home.
I still feel that Keystone is the best bet for us, since we will be going out with little money coming in and Montana seems the best "bang for the buck."
However, we are much more realistic now and realize that quality control is minimal and that there will be problems (such as there are with almost any other brand, especially in this price range.)
We are setting our attitude to be prepared for recalcitrant dealers and poor instances of construction/installation.
It's too bad it has to be this way, but that is how it is and this is what we want to do so we will do it and enjoy it, by gum!
We just hope our unit is built on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday since the "old world craftsmen" seem to be more and more like everyone else - lol.
We hope to see you on the road next year.
Larry
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
swanny
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I talked to a Keystone rep last week at a campground and I told him about all the thing I didn't like about their workmanship and QA. All those things that are just not right, and we must fix as we find them. He said to me that we are all human and do make mistakes or have a bad day. that was his final answer.


kevin
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
exav8tr
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Larry, In our four years of fulltiming all over the country, we found that IF you call a Keystone dealer and explain your problem, well in advance, if possible, that most will work with you. What they seem to frown upon is coming in Monday AM to find an out-of-towner waiting for them to open then demanding instant service. I did not have any problems getting warranty service while on the road. I used "other" dealerships also when a non-warranty, generic problem existed......
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:13 AM   #8
richfaa
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If A major Rv manufacturere implemented a good QC program it would in the long run be profitable to them. I have been part of a program that implemented QC at large organizations. It is very costly and takes a very long time to train everyone concerned and come up with a working program. It is obvious that no Rv manufacturere is will to take the chance and spend that kind of $$. They could go broke while implementing the program.

As a experiment Keystone might take one plant and one product and implement a good QC program.IMO it would take 1 maybe 2 years to design and implement the program and 3/5 years before results could be documented. It might be worth it????
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:20 PM   #9
c214dick
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Our experience with Keystone and our dealer has been wonderful. Our previous SOB was replaced with the 3400 because of the same QC problems you have expressed with Keystone. When we decided to upgrade to a more residential unit we went to our SOB mfg and were very disappointed in the quality of the product. In a few short years they went from a quality unit to a terrible one. If anything happens to our lifestyle, I doubt that we would replace our 3400 with anything else. Assuming our good fortunes continue with our Montana, that should be a long time in the future.

FYI, in the automotive world, the dealers are paid by the mfg extra $ to make the necessary repairs while performing the pre inspection delivery. The mfg realizes that they can't catch everything during the assembly stage and rely on the dealer to catch it before the customer receives the vehicle. I know that the process of assembly is somewhat different between the RV industry and automotive but there are also similarities. If you get a good dealer you will get a good product as long as the base product is good. In the case of my 2008, it was exceptional.

Sorry for the problems that some of you have/are experiencing but there are positives to be said about Keystone and their staff.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:39 AM   #10
ols1932
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It's the dealer...It's the dealer...It's the dealer!!!

Orv
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
richfaa
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The only thing I have aginst Keysone is that I do not always get my way when I want them to do something for me. What is the matter with that bunch.If I want something I want it now.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:32 PM   #12
moutard2
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My experience with Keystone and Keystone products has been for the most part excellent. Attention to quality control and customer feedback (tires) are my only concerns. Your experience will probably be as good as your dealer and will no doubt and unfortunately vary widely.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:48 AM   #13
richfaa
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There are some positive things concerning Quality IMO. Montana has a new plant for the Montana.They are now in Plant # 1 but have greatly expanded
that plant. It is now double or more in size. One example was the first station on the assembly line. At the old plant 4 functions were performed at that one station. The new plant has four stations and 10 more workers to perform the same functions. We saw that all over the plant. Expanded stations and more attention to detail has got to equal better quality.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #14
awaywego
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Rich,
Is the new plant since June? We took the tour in June and it was a large plant but I did not know it was new.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:45 PM   #15
ALAN
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Concerning cost to repair items at the dealer level. I was told by a high ranking Keystone Manager that each dealer receives cash to pay for non warranty repairs during the first 90 days of ownership by a new buyer. The interesting question is how many of these dealers simply take the money as additional profit, then give you grief when you request repairs by having you wait to see if Keystone will approve the repair.
This approach would seem to imply that Keystone knows there are adjustments that need to be made and are putting the responsibility on the buyer to find and request these repairs. It would be interesting to know if the estimated cost to implement the QC issue is greater than the cash they give the dealer. No complaints no additional cost to Keystone and the dealer just made more money on the sale.
Alan
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:28 AM   #16
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ALAN

Concerning cost to repair items at the dealer level. I was told by a high ranking Keystone Manager that each dealer receives cash to pay for non warranty repairs during the first 90 days of ownership by a new buyer. The interesting question is how many of these dealers simply take the money as additional profit, then give you grief when you request repairs by having you wait to see if Keystone will approve the repair.
This approach would seem to imply that Keystone knows there are adjustments that need to be made and are putting the responsibility on the buyer to find and request these repairs. It would be interesting to know if the estimated cost to implement the QC issue is greater than the cash they give the dealer. No complaints no additional cost to Keystone and the dealer just made more money on the sale.
Alan
I'll keep beating this horse. That's why it's important to know your dealer from whom you purchase. Just getting the cheapest price may feel good at the time but you pay for it in the long run. There are a lot of unscrupulous dealers out there. Take a look at how many different brands some of them carry in inventory. Just after the buck. But the good dealers support their customers even though you may feel that you've paid a little more.

Orv
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #17
bw2
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On the quality control issue, I am not sure the factory checks all of the equipment or not, MW, water system, tanks, propane, stove. I would think that the legs, slides and lights may be checked. But, if all is checked, could there not be failures during transport that would still require the PDI by the dealer?
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:34 PM   #18
clutch
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It is the dealer that will leave a poor impression of the product. We bought a SOB last Feb and the selling dealer really sucked. Broken promises and incompetent techs. We have found a dealer that is just the opposite with an excellent staff. They are several hundred miles from our home but anything our trailer needs will be done there. If fact we have an appointment for May of 2012 for a cargo rack for our trailer. We are currently in Az and they are in Idaho.

All these trailers are assembled by the same "quality" employees. Nothing like Amish quality. LOL
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:17 PM   #19
simonsrf
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ols1932

It's the dealer...It's the dealer...It's the dealer!!!

Orv
Orv,
Guess I have to agree with you here, but I can't remember the last time I was near my dealer when I needed a repair.

We feel we got the best "bang-for-the-buck" purchasing this Montana. We've been on the road now for 5 years, and every time we need a repair, we just pay for it instead of going through Keystone or our dealer.

Keystone can't even tell me what model of anything I have attached to my trailer VIN number.......kinda leaves any dealer in the lurches to help. I have found myself educating both dealers and workers on how to fix the problems we've had to fix.

BTW, in 10 months we'll be buying another RV, and guarantee it will not be a Montana.


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Old 10-03-2011, 12:58 AM   #20
Phil P
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Hi

I have been watching this thread but had nothing to add until today.

We have the Montana in a RV park in south Florida. Next to us is a 2010 SOB fifth wheel the same size as our Montana but built by a company not owned by Thor Industries.

My wife received an invitation from one of the extended warranty companies that is often mentioned here on the forum.

Both my wife and the woman next door sent applications to them.

The quote for the Montana was double the annul cost for the SOB and the deductible for the Montana was 10 times greater than the SOB.

Insurance underwriters do do their research.

Phil P
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