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Old 07-01-2014, 02:23 AM   #1
nowinter
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Looking at new fifth wheels

I finally have my wife convinced we need a new fifth wheel and we have started the search. So far we have been looking at SOB's and not Montana. Based on what I read on the MOC Forum, it does not appear that Keystone responds to owner's concerns. My biggest concerns are decal failure and quality tires and of course build quality. So far this season, I have spent lots of time removing failed decals. I look at other fifth wheels of similar age to ours and their decals do not appear as bad as the Montana. Our problem is that we feel the Montana floor plans suit our wants more than other brands. So now we will start to look at Montana and the Big Sky. Does anyone with a Big Sky feel the build quality has improved, compared to previous years?
 
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:54 AM   #2
JandC
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I think sometimes we read about all the stuff that is posted on the MOC about issues with our Montanas, along with issues dealing with factory repairs, and we tend to get the impression that there is a huge quality control problem starting at Keystone. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there are about 8,000 members on the MOC. Probably 1 out of 10 Montana owners I run across in CG's turn out to be members or even know about this site. I have friends and family who have SOB units that have had horrible problems right out of the factory. Both of those SOB units cost more than my Montana (SOB Toy Hauler: $90,000 and SOB Class A: $350,000). Could Keystone perform better? Yes. Could they improve their quality control? Probably. I just think overall they provide a pretty good product for the price. I know this didn't answer your question about Big Sky build quality improving. I'm just not sure that can be gauged by polling on a forum.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:30 AM   #3
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Adding to what J&C said, Keystone went out of their way to respond to our initial problems including authorizing a non-dealer to do warranty repairs when a dealer wasn't available and paying for it in a timely fashion. I always call Keystone Customer Service first before going to a dealer and they've always been responsive. For the most part, only the problems get discussed here.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:41 AM   #4
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If you go on other SOB sites, they have the same complains on them as there have been on this site. This ranges from Class A's down to pop-ups. You will never find a perfect RV. There is to much that can go wrong on an RV. You have to remember these units are going over roads that vary from smooth, flat spans to some of the worst poured concrete in the world. There's even the occasional rough rocky potholed roads to a campground that one would never think about driving on but to get to that campground you have to. Our units and theirs go through some really rough tough situations. I believe we as owners of the Montana's are getting the best bang for the buck industry wide and if there is a problem one CAN work things out with Keystone IF you are patient and not get all torqued off if you don't get the right answer you want right off the bat! We don't have the Big Sky but we do have a unit we really like and that's all that matters to us.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:47 AM   #5
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X2 on both JandC and Dick's comments...We are on our second Montana and have not had anything significant to complain about....In fact we love the layouts, fit and finish.

We go to a lot of shows and have been in hundreds of rigs and by far for the price point you cannot beat Montana. You can spend 20 to 50 thousand dollars more than a Montana for SOB and because it is built by human hands there will be no better quality regardless of what it is...Mistakes happen, period. There are always little annoyances in everything we buy, some worse than others.

We have also been in the super custom coaches like New Horizons, Spacecraft and Continental Coach and trust me if you are will willing to pay starting at 3 times more than you get to a different level of QAQC because those rigs are built one at a time to a customers specs. But they are still a house on wheels that will get subjected to a 7.0 earthquake every time you go down the highway and things will break and come loose on them too!

We wish you luck in your decision. For us it was a no brainer.

Les

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:21 AM   #6
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Decals get a lot of discussion here. But if you frequent the open roads forum comments on failed decals of other brands also come up. There is a Forest River 5er near ours in storage that appears to be similar age and the front graphics look worse than my 7 yr old ones. And a couple of other different brand SOBs with similarly fading grapics.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:30 AM   #7
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I could be totally wrong about this, but what I think one sees with the wrath of issues on new build montanas can be traced to the economy downturn which lead to a lot of experienced workers going away and new workers being hired when the upturn happened. I would be surprised if any of these workers have an rv and understand what they go through on the road. Then there is the quality control thing...extra people that only look at units in assembly and relate things that need to be fixed cost a lot of money...expecting the worker to be their own quality inspector has never worked in any assembly business or environment. John
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:57 AM   #8
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Our 3402RL is now three years out from build date and the decals show no signs of peeling and I don't cover it. I believe the decal issue has been corrected. G614 tires are available as an option now, at least they were. My opinion on build quality is it is still a Keystone product. Keystone hasn't marketed it as a higher quality product, just a higher level of luxury. As for build quality, I've compared what can be seen before our purchase and since, I've seen some SOB's on the level of Montana that have had major problems. We don't full time in ours, but we have put a fair number of miles on it and it has held up well, we've not had any major issues, just small things. I've seen at least one comment "What they look like, what they have in them is not what to look for." We disagree, as I'm sure others do as well. Most people, I believe, have to like what they see, if they don't, quality really doesn't matter because you won't be happy with it. It occurred to me that it COULD be possible that there are more variables than build quality and manufacturer's response to concerns involved. Frequency and duration of use are large factors to be sure, but one that stands out is the owners themselves. Some are quite picky, while others come to accept things others would not. I hope you find just what you're looking for to suit your needs, enjoy it and expect that there will be some warranty issues to correct. I don't think the "perfect" rig exists. Just keep in mind that we all use our rigs differently, also most of what we read on here are the problems we encounter and how to deal with them. We rarely read where someone had a great trip because NONE of their tires blew or ALL the doors stayed in place.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:06 AM   #9
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Said it in a different thread. IMHO you won't find any manufacturer to be any better than Keystone unless you're willing to spend twice as much at minimum. None of even close to the same price range makers are any better at all, and that's from my personal observation of a whole lot of new units. As jcurtis said, it may be due to the economy downturn, but it is what it is.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:56 AM   #10
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You will not get any better in any other brand in the price range. In our experience Keystone has been very responsive to customer concerns. Keystone changed graphic vendors some time ago graphic are a issue on other brands. You can get G614's on the big sky. Read some of the other forums and you will see the exact same problems. IMO Montana is no better no worse than other brands but can be had for a lot less money.

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Old 07-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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After nearly two months in the shop mostly 'awaiting parts" we will get our 2013 3402 Big Sky back July 8th. Replacement of two holding tanks, One gate valve and the rear wall panel in the Ardmore were the major repairs. we also had the wheel bearing checked and packed and since the belly was down a good look under there and tiding up where necessary. The 87 1/2 inch wall board over the kitchen slide also fell off and we wanted that put back up so it would not fall off again. We will pick up the Montana and head up to Mpr Ryde for a Mor Ryde IS install. Our Extended warranty will pay for the tanks and ins tallation but the rest is on us but when we get back from Mor Ryde we will have a quality Montana I believe will be up to the use we put it to.It will cost us about 4K for the repairs and upgrades. We will have less $$ in the new improved Montana than we would have if we had purchased a SOB with those upgrades.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:24 AM   #12
Tom S.
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by richfaa

After nearly two months in the shop mostly 'awaiting parts" we will get our 2013 3402 Big Sky back July 8th. Replacement of two holding tanks, One gate valve and the rear wall panel in the Ardmore were the major repairs. we also had the wheel bearing checked and packed and since the belly was down a good look under there and tiding up where necessary. The 87 1/2 inch wall board over the kitchen slide also fell off and we wanted that put back up so it would not fall off again. We will pick up the Montana and head up to Mpr Ryde for a Mor Ryde IS install. Our Extended warranty will pay for the tanks and ins tallation but the rest is on us but when we get back from Mor Ryde we will have a quality Montana I believe will be up to the use we put it to.It will cost us about 4K for the repairs and upgrades. We will have less $$ in the new improved Montana than we would have if we had purchased a SOB with those upgrades.
Are you getting disc brakes too? I really like ours.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:33 AM   #13
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No moving Rv is going to be without problems. Believe me, after 9 different kinds of rvs since 1976 we should know. We had decal peeling on our 2004 Sunnybrook Titan and Sunnybrook said "too bad" while Keystone provided new decals to many, many customersat no cost for them.
This is our first Montana
and although it has had some some minor problems, most have been due to product manufacturer problems. Our dealer was great to work with and excelled in taking care of our warranty work. Having a DH that can repair almost anything does help, as just like a S&B the Rv always requires maintenance. Surely hope this rv will continue to be relatively problem free as its got to take us on out of here.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Tom S.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by richfaa

After nearly two months in the shop mostly 'awaiting parts" we will get our 2013 3402 Big Sky back July 8th. Replacement of two holding tanks, One gate valve and the rear wall panel in the Ardmore were the major repairs. we also had the wheel bearing checked and packed and since the belly was down a good look under there and tiding up where necessary. The 87 1/2 inch wall board over the kitchen slide also fell off and we wanted that put back up so it would not fall off again. We will pick up the Montana and head up to Mpr Ryde for a Mor Ryde IS install. Our Extended warranty will pay for the tanks and ins tallation but the rest is on us but when we get back from Mor Ryde we will have a quality Montana I believe will be up to the use we put it to.It will cost us about 4K for the repairs and upgrades. We will have less $$ in the new improved Montana than we would have if we had purchased a SOB with those upgrades.
Are you getting disc brakes too? I really like ours.
I am not sure Tom. Would really like to have them but with all the other expenses it may be over our budget for this year.. Perhaps more hours at Disney and next year on the brakes.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:35 PM   #15
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We have a 2009, built 11/2008, Big Sky. Quality was horrible but Keystone stepped up to the plate and addressed the deficiencies. Currently our rig is in for frame flex evaluation at Keystone's expense.

We think Keystone gives more than others after the sale.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:40 PM   #16
richfaa
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Unless you have had a 5th wheel with the Mor Ryde Is and one without there is no way to express to others the huge difference. Our 06 3400 had the Mor Ryde IS from early 09 to the trade in May of 2013 and this 2013 does not have the Mor Ryde IS but soon will. I had said that when we put the Mor Ryde on the 06 3400 it was no longer a Montana but something far better. IMO not having the IS on this 13 Big sky contributed to many of our problems like collapsed wall
panels and trim falling off the wall. The IS relieves a lot of stress from the frame. It should be a option for those who require it.. It is not cheap...
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by snfexpress

We have a 2009, built 11/2008, Big Sky. Quality was horrible but Keystone stepped up to the plate and addressed the deficiencies. Currently our rig is in for frame flex evaluation at Keystone's expense.

We think Keystone gives more than others after the sale.
They certainly do.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:19 PM   #18
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I had a friend who was an RV dealer. He said once the skin off campers there isn't much difference in any of them. Not far from true.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:13 PM   #19
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We have had issues with our '14 3150RL. If you are not ready to fix stuff your self, are at the mercy of a RV Dealership. You probably should take up golf.

That said, I have been able to fix everything that has broken so far, or adjusted stuff to make it fit. I honestly feel I can fix stuff better than any RV tech.

The one thing I can not fix it the fact is the spring hangers that Lippert welds on are 1/4" too wide for Dexter springs. I had Mor/Ryde X Factor braces installed and the too wide hangers bent inward 1/4". Keystone said it was not a warrantable defect.

As for bang for the buck. Montana is probably as good as it gets. They all use the same vendors, just how they are put together.



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Old 07-03-2014, 03:19 AM   #20
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snfexpress, Our experience with our Montana is/was exactly opposite of yours. We have a 2005 built 10/2004, our build quality was excellent, probably one of the best I've seen but the few things that did go wrong neither the selling dealer (out of business 2 years after purchase) nor Keystone were any help. Wound up fixing everything myself. Have graphics going bad after 8 months, 6 attempts and countless photos to get Keystone to do something, graphics still bad, I'll live with it.
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