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Old 05-29-2016, 11:04 PM   #15
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Bought a new Montana 3610RL last October and just return home from our second 3000 mile trip. There's always a very minor things that needed to be fix and the local dealer where I bought it was great.
Weather your buying new or used you need to be careful and do a full investigation of the 5er
Happy Trails
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:18 AM   #16
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"Buy a late model 5er that meets your needs" Thats what we did. It's been paid off for a while and has has countless miles and trips and memories. It's not a FR.

I thought this was going to be about stories like....

Right after repacking wheel bearings, we took off on a trip. We rolled into Bastrop Texas. Decided to fillup and have a Whataburger. The highway had been repaved and the entrance ramps had been made a little steeper. I was concerned about dragging the tail so I was easing into the entrance of the HEB. Al of a sudden, things just stopped. I got out and looked and we were not dragging. tried to go again, and nothing. Locked up. Then a thought hit me. Did I do something and the bearings fail. Surely not all 4 at once as all 4 tires were leaving a black mark. This whole time our sons were saying-Dad that wire pulled out--. I thought they meant the pigtail so I said its' ok because that will release the brakes and not hold them. Then it hit me. A short board to block the wheels had rolled on top of the breakaway cable. When we made the turn, it did waht it's suppose to do. A quick hop into the bed while passerbyers were all reassuring me that I was #1, and we were back on our way. Too this day, I still make sure noting will roll onto that cable and do that again.


BTW The Wahatburger in Bastrop has always been a good one. Buns are always soft. We stop there often for driving breaks.

If your driving the Hwy 21 path, DO NOT stop into the Jack in the Box when you make the cut off heading to I35. There's one driveway for in and out. Making a U Turn while they are busy, in the parking lot, you will be reminded again many times that you are #1. Some will even roll down a window and tell you.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:46 PM   #17
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The fact is rvs are made of a lot of parts and usuallt not perfectly assembled. So plan on some or many repairs even if it's new or near new. All the problems of a house in motion. Lots of moving parts, wires, screws, staples. Lots of equipment that doesn't always work right. So plan on either making lots of repairs or buy one used that has been straightened out. It's not like a car that works perfectly. You may have loose wires, crooked plumbing, loose screws and bolts. If you rely on dealer repairs prepare to leave your rv for extended time. Personally I think an rv owner better get handy and keep everything running well. So if you buy plan on a break in period to put some use on it and figure out what it needs. Then plan on some time for repairs and regular upkeep.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:13 PM   #18
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Chances are Low

I've read the stories too and it does put a lot of worry in your mind as it does say when researching buying a new car or truck. It seems that most of the issues come from the dealership themselves and then secondary to that, the manufacturers. But I've also read some feel good stories about manufacturers coming through big time. I would scrutinize your dealership(s) to death. We have a Keystone 5th wheel that we really love and very well built (mid profile) and previous to that we had a Rockwood TT which we loved. Both units were very good to us with typical maintenance and warranty work. The thing to remember, is expect things to go wrong. It's inevitable for sure. Best thing to do is plan for what you expect may go wrong and I would suggest def get a Good Sam membership. I don't think you need to worry about the two units you've mentioned as long as the dealership fully guarantees they've pressured checked the unit and the unit passes their inspection. (Camping World is getting a lot of backlash on You Tube for not doing this!). Once the rig is purchased, keep up on the proactive maintenance and get your roof checked every year and keep the rig clean. You can download spring cleaning checklists online. Also, get your tires replaced every 3 yrs! Our past two RVs have had blow outs right at 3 years! Oh, don't buy a Starcraft - we had SERIOUS issues with a TT a long while back and they were of no help!
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:19 PM   #19
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Lots has been said here about buying a fifth wheel. Buying new or used has it's pros and cons.

After reading online on RV websites for the last 2 years, I've finally decided to shop for a very high quality dealer first. Then shop for the brand.

If a dealer is truly superlative, he's going to have some of the better brands on his lot. Marginal dealerships have franchises from marginal companies.

I shopped every dealer within 300 miles of my house, and found the "price leader" willing to compete for customers with low price. Then I went to the dealership with the great service reputation and put the low cost dealer's deal on the table. They undercut the price by $1,000 to make the deal. And it worked out well.

I would have bought locally, however the dealer 60 miles away was about $7K higher than I paid. They were not even competitive. I've also read of service complaints on that dealership too.

Summary: Go for a great dealership first. If he really wants your business, he can also get down on the price to a reasonable level.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:57 PM   #20
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DW and I have been shopping for a fiver for a while now, and we like the Forest River Sierra 377FLIK and a couple of front BR Jayco units, as well as the Montana Front BR models. I have been looking at reviews of these and other manufacturers. The stories of poor quality, workmanship and poor to nonexistent warranty work has just about scared us into dog friendly motels instead. Some customers say they have even had hostile encounters with dealers and manufacturer's representatives.
What say you folks with some to lots of experience with these brands and dealers?

Dave, the industry is kinda broken from a consumer perspective. These units are hand-built by humans who are typically paid "per unit" (not per hour) - so they're incentivized to do it fast and just good enough not to stop the line. Typically the more expensive units are build with the less expensive units, so you really can't buy your way out of this issue until you really move up to smaller-volume "luxury" manufacturers.

Across brands, construction techniques don't differ radically, mostly the same components are used for appliances and systems.

Warranties do differ quite a bit, from 1 year, all the way up to 2 year full and 5 year partial.

What differs more than that is service by the manufacturer and factory support. I can tell you as a former order that Jayco was pretty good about supporting customer, sold parts directly, etc.

Keystone has been the opposite - they push problems off to the dealer and if that dealer fails to resolve them or even provides 90+ day wait times, Keystone points to their warranty terms that say you have to use the dealer.

If I were you, I'd read BBB complaints. Pretty much all manufacturers are going to have unhappy consumers, but pay attention to how the company responds to the consumer and ask if such a response is reasonable and responsive to the consumer.

All brands have issues - it's how they get sorted out that matters.

You may depend on your local dealer, so sort out the dealers sales reputation from their service reputation. I've found that sales and service are fun like separate businesses and once you've paid, you're last on the priority list - retail (paid) work is preferred.

Most people simply don't buy an RV every 3 years (like a car) so there is less incentive to continue to earn your business after the sale.


Some brands (Grand Design) has started to flip the support model on it's head - they'll act on behalf of the customer and generally have a great reputation for service. They're relatively new, so lets see if they keep it up.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:27 PM   #21
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Sometimes I think I'm an old 78 record with a damaged grove that keeps skipping and saying over and over,,, Buy a late model 5er that meets your needs, that the original owner took the hit for depreciation ,had the mfgr. defects fixed and also passes your inspection. Sometimes bright and shiny isn't the best deal. MHO

CLIFF
That's sound advice. We did exactly that. Our unit was 3 years old and we got it for 1/2 the price of new. The unit was used about 3 months per year. It was still bright and shiney when we got it.

It's a great unit and we are really happy with it, manufactured by what most say would be a poor manufacturer company, but so far we have not had any real problems. I have definitely had to tinker on it, but I knew that going in since I bought it from a small town dealer.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:56 PM   #22
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Dave, the industry is kinda broken from a consumer perspective. These units are hand-built by humans who are typically paid "per unit" (not per hour) - so they're incentivized to do it fast and just good enough not to stop the line. Typically the more expensive units are build with the less expensive units, so you really can't buy your way out of this issue until you really move up to smaller-volume "luxury" manufacturers.

Across brands, construction techniques don't differ radically, mostly the same components are used for appliances and systems.

Warranties do differ quite a bit, from 1 year, all the way up to 2 year full and 5 year partial.

What differs more than that is service by the manufacturer and factory support. I can tell you as a former order that Jayco was pretty good about supporting customer, sold parts directly, etc.

Keystone has been the opposite - they push problems off to the dealer and if that dealer fails to resolve them or even provides 90+ day wait times, Keystone points to their warranty terms that say you have to use the dealer.

If I were you, I'd read BBB complaints. Pretty much all manufacturers are going to have unhappy consumers, but pay attention to how the company responds to the consumer and ask if such a response is reasonable and responsive to the consumer.

All brands have issues - it's how they get sorted out that matters.

You may depend on your local dealer, so sort out the dealers sales reputation from their service reputation. I've found that sales and service are fun like separate businesses and once you've paid, you're last on the priority list - retail (paid) work is preferred.

Most people simply don't buy an RV every 3 years (like a car) so there is less incentive to continue to earn your business after the sale.


Some brands (Grand Design) has started to flip the support model on it's head - they'll act on behalf of the customer and generally have a great reputation for service. They're relatively new, so lets see if they keep it up.
I have had the complete opposite experience with Keystone than you as mentioned several times. I have diagnosed my own issues, contacted my dealer and when needed had the parts shipped directly to me. I believe you have a dealer issue, not a Keystone issue. You keep repeating the same thing over and over again about Keystone on numerous posts, and I believe you have a dealer issue, not a Keystone issue.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:04 PM   #23
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We are on our second FR product. The first a Catalina tt and the second a FR sandpiper. We haven't had a problem with eithet. Not even a call to the dealer. I am guessing this is more typical than the few who have problems. Of course we are a nation of whiners. I'm old school.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:08 AM   #24
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Scary 5th wheel stories...I once ran out of cold beer!
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:22 AM   #25
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Scary 5th wheel stories...I once ran out of cold beer!
Now That would be a BAD thing !!!! Not going to happen here !!! I'd rather run out of T P ...
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:05 PM   #26
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Scary 5th wheel stories...I once ran out of cold beer!
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:38 PM   #27
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I bought a 2007 Montana on E-Bay. So I did not know any history of the unit. It looked good and has been better. Sure, I have had some minor problems but nothing serious. I have never brought it to a dealer for repairs yet. We live most of the year in it and travel all over. We are in Alaska now. Been to the factory (Keystone) in Goshen,Indiana twice for a tour. I have come to realize most complainers are just whiners and their attitude has caused their problem with dealers and Manufacturers.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:40 PM   #28
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I have had the complete opposite experience with Keystone than you as mentioned several times. I have diagnosed my own issues, contacted my dealer and when needed had the parts shipped directly to me. I believe you have a dealer issue, not a Keystone issue. You keep repeating the same thing over and over again about Keystone on numerous posts, and I believe you have a dealer issue, not a Keystone issue.

Raineman, I'm glad that you've had a better experience. And I'm starting to believe that you're right - that it's really the dealer's inability to provide any sort of creative problem solving that has hung me up. It sounds like the dealer has some flexibility and should have assisted better in solving that lighting issue.

However, with some other brands, Grand Design in particular, there is a direct consumer support model. To be 100% fair, I knew that I wasn't getting direct support when buying Keystone, so I shouldn't whine about it. I will, however, continue to point out the distinction to people who ask as it may steer someone else's buying preferences if such service is important during or after the warranty period.

Generally, I'm a fix it yourself guy, but when you buy something new, you expect it to be right - or at least to be able to make it right (eventually). I'm still working on that 2nd part and you're right - fault on that is a dealer issue. Keystone has approved a correctly modeled repair in all circumstances except for 1 (roof)...
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