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Old 09-20-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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Question about Cougar 5th Wheels

I am in the market for a new 5th wheel. The floor plan that we like the best is the Cougar 377 FLS, the front living room. We have looked at a lot of reviews of Cougar and Keystone in general, and have found a lot of negative reviews, however, you do seem to see a lot of them at campgrounds, so must be doing something right. I know that people are more motivated to complain if something has gone wrong. Our current 5th wheel is a lemon, we have had many, many things go wrong, so we are trading it in after less than 2 years. We don't want to get into an endless cycle of warranty issues and poor customer service, so we are a little gun-shy. Any current experiences that people have with Cougar 5th wheels and Keystone Customer service would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
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Hi,

While I don't have a Cougar we do have friends with a late model Cougar (2012) fifth wheel. We camp alot with them.

They are a family of five and it is a rear bunk model. They use it sparingly during the summer season here in Ontario and have had good luck with it. Just some trim problems inside and a leaky set of taps (plastic) in the bathroom. They tow it with a F150 Ecoboost.

Why don't you tell us what types of problems you have had with your current unit. Other forum members can share their experiences. Is it possible that your issues are common to the trade??



Adam
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
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Cougar makes a lot of trailer for the money. Hence, you see a lot of them. They typically have lots of frame problems and little finish problems. We just finished 14,000 miles in Alaska with friends who have a 27'er. They did OK with minimal problems but did have issues before they left and since returning home. I would really be leery of a 37'er - - pretty big for their frame style. Better to go with a high grade used one than a cheaper new one.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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My first two 5th wheels were cougars (2008 and 2010) both bought new. We now have a Grand Design Solitude. We had problems with both cougars. I felt the cougar was more of an entry level 5er.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:21 PM   #5
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Cougar by Keystone

Made that mistake in 08. 31'. 2 slide 5er
Interior paneling 2 different dye lots Keystone paid $1000.00
Shower door fell apart Dealer
Pantry door came apart me
Roof leaked 2day after accepting Dealer
Manfr forgot to arch axle= 2 tires-Me& extended warranty
replaced axle
Check valve in hot water heater Me
Spare tire fell off carrier Bolts broke Me
Window fell out Salt Lake City I-15 Me
Roof leaked again Dealer $95.00
TV antennae went up Vehicle behind stopped me $100+ Me
Vacuum Breaker in John $100+ Me
AC $980.00 Me
Floor falling out of Big slideout $$$$ To be determined ME
Decals $$$$$ ?????
Blackwater Tank Split ?? can't remember amount ME
Blackwater flusher hose not hooked @ factory Me
(Hose was before tank problem)
Brother just bought New Laredo and his are already beginning
Blk water tank and fresh water tank both replaced, 1 was cracked,1 had holes?
Can't keep batteries charged
I used to know some of customer service people at Keystone by name.
MAde 10.000 mile trip around US. Brother was following picking up parts.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:40 AM   #6
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We had a keystone once, NEVER AGAIN!
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:41 AM   #7
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Forgot to mention, buy a good quality used unit.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:55 AM   #8
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We have a 2011 Cougar 327RES and are happy with it. There were a few items that needed attention in the first year but nothing major. We looked for about a year at different units on the internet and by visiting dealerships in the area. DW walked into the 327 and said "honey I'm home". It was one of first units we looked at that had the things we were looking for. With the slideouts closed we could still get into the fridge and cupboards, use the washroom and access the bedroom. We both thought it was the first one that we had been in that had been designed thoughtfully. We are replacing all the lights with LED's. Last year we replaced the convertor, which I thought was a bit early for it too fail.
As for Keystone Customer service, that would be a function of the dealership. Our dealer is amazing. They showed me how to winterize a unit when I bought it. We won two toppers for our unit and they threw the third on in for free. They replaced the standard batteries that come with the unit with 6V golf cart batteries. When we brought the rig in too get it blocked they replaced the original equa flex system with a EZ flex wet bolt system after finding the original system was worn out (nylon bushings were completely worn away). We did buy an extended warranty for about $1500. We have only claimed the convertor replacement against the warranty.
We would definitely buy another cougar. I see a lot of cougars when we travel about.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:46 AM   #9
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IMO I would jump up to a Mountaineer or Montana High Country. I think Keystone is trying to do too much with too little in the Cougar line.

At almost 38' and a GVW of 12,385 it looks like they're cutting some corners somewhere. I know the new trend is in light weight products and that's how they keep the cost and weight down. But even so with a 38' 5'er and the thinner frame they put under them I could see some flexing issues down the road. IMO it would be a decent 5'er for weekend trips or week vacations. But I would be leery about hauling a 38' 5'er with the lighter weight frame under it on a lot of long trips. Putting 5-7000 miles a year on it would make me nervous. I would be more excited about it if the CCC was in the 3500-4000lb range. That would show me that the frame and suspension were stronger.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Hunter View Post
Hi,

While I don't have a Cougar we do have friends with a late model Cougar (2012) fifth wheel. We camp alot with them.

They are a family of five and it is a rear bunk model. They use it sparingly during the summer season here in Ontario and have had good luck with it. Just some trim problems inside and a leaky set of taps (plastic) in the bathroom. They tow it with a F150 Ecoboost.

Why don't you tell us what types of problems you have had with your current unit. Other forum members can share their experiences. Is it possible that your issues are common to the trade??



Adam
Our current unit is our 3rd RV. The first was a used Class C, the second was a Forest River Wildwood Heritage Glen that we liked, but the layout didn't work in the long run. We had the usual shakedown issues after we took possession. The current one, that was a new model when we bought. We bought it at a show, and took the show model. We have had the usual issues when picking it up, no cable in bedroom, issues with the linoleum, carpet, toilet. Then it went from bad to worse. Multiple issues with slides, the axle broke, whole island had to be replaced because it wasn't placed correctly and was rubbing against the handle of the stove. The slide issues and the axle have caused multiple vacation cancellations and delays. It has gotten to the point where whenever we put out or pull in the kitchen slide, we hold our breath. Last summer the slide was unseated and it rained in the camper, literally. We woke up the next morning, the carpet was soaked, stank to high heaven. We feel that we have gotten a lemon, that was rushed through for the show, and then we are suffering. There are other issues that lead me to think that maybe there are some structural things wrong with it.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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Ok, thanks for telling us about your current unit. Nothing stinks more than a unit that stops a well deserved vacation!

Well its not appropriate to brand bash on the forum I can tell you our first fifth wheel 15 years ago was terrible it was a 26' POS!! It chucked and banged on the hitch worst than the 40' toyhauler that replaced it - and that was pulling it with a F450.

I mentioned on another forum that these things are all built alike. Some just a little better than others. On our current unit that is near new, some of the stuff that comes out of the factory, well - you just shake your head at. Obviously because you have been RVing for a bit now you understand that a well stocked tool box is paramount.

Have you looked at the Sundance line by Heartland?
How big/capable is your tow vehicle?

As another poster mentioned there is some great value in late model used units.......


Let us know


Adam
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:33 PM   #12
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Hi, my wife and I own a 318SAB Cougar bought in 2010 new and have put on over 10,000 miles on the 5er so far. The only issue we have had, has been the decals they are fading and peeling which I find is unacceptable. I know this is not a big deal but it does hurt the trade in value. I have contacted Keystone and discuss this with them. After our discussion I than informed them that I will not purchase another Keystone product because of this issue.

We are looking at upgrading to another 5er and are looking at either a Heartland or a Grand Design manufacturers unit. These seem to be will built and have great floor plans with decent features.

Just my opinion.

Jim W
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:12 AM   #13
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I did many, many months of research before buying our first used 5th wheel. Joined several brand forums, lurked on others, spent a lot of time looking at reviews and problem reports for various brands. That's why we ended up buying an Oregon built Northwood Arctic Fox and very pleased with that brand. We traded up to a new, larger Arctic Fox 5th wheel and had some issues, mostly related to parts supplied to Northwood (doors, windows, electrically operated dump valves, sound system). Northwood still builds their own solid frames from heavy steel beams and I have never heard of one of their frames cracking or bending, unlike a lot of other brands. I think if you buy an RV, especially a lower end rig, you need to be prepared to fix a lot of small fit & finish discrepancies and do a lot of little upgrades. If you have to depend on the RV dealer to fix everything, it's going to cost you time and travel expenses, not to mention long periods with your RV waiting to be fixed at the dealer......
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:32 AM   #14
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I have an 07 keystone cougar and I've only had it one and a half years. The only issues I have had so far are the outlet in the slide not working, the doors on the storage under the dinette have the screws ripped out of the wood so they don't latch properly, the screws holding the blinds strings rip out of the wall easily if you aren't careful cause there's nothing to screw them into but thin paneling, and the previous owner removed the fuse for the front Jacks which run hard and kept blowing the fuse when I replaced the holder and burned out 2 switches before I replaced fuse holder.

I don't know how much is abuse by previous owner but I stayed in it for 8 months about and had zero issues. Held up to me and a doberman and a chihuahua and a 5000 mile trip quite nicely. I imagine any brand has little things like that due to the thin construction to keep weights down. But this is only one I've ever had. You see tons of them everywhere so I doubt there's a much better brand, if there is no one knows about it cause these dominate the parks around here.
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