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Old 03-19-2016, 12:02 PM   #15
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Our new Cougar

Ok, here's our new 2016 Cougar 28SGS . Of course I needed a new truck to pull it with... You only live once..... So far we love it....
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:41 PM   #16
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Pretty Good Couger Experience

My wife and I purchased a Cougar X-Lite 28RLS TT last June. We had two issues we found during the walk through, a marred ceiling panel in the bedroom and a loose floor molding on the shower. Both were repaired under warranty. At the time I took possession, I found the lock on the rear entry door was defective. The service technician installed a new lock immediately. After that, we camped many nights over the past year with no other problems. Our experience in the Cougar was wonderful compared to the Cruiser Fun Finder we previously owned. It seemed like it was in the shop more than at home during the time we owned it. The Cougar brand seems to me to be nicer equipped and finished than some of the other Keystone brands in the same price range. I like Keystone Owners Manuals and the information they give to make the RV experience better. We wanted more room than the TT had, and we have just bought a Cougar 303RLS 5th wheel. We spent 3 nights in the dealer's campground, and found a few issues that the dealer fixed before we had to drive it home. Like the previous TT, this Cougar seemed to have only minor problems. The coach had been on the dealer's lot for three or four months. The issues we found were cosmetic and could have been the result of people being careless during their walk through viewing.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:45 AM   #17
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Hi Rob
Not sure if you already got this finished. I have a 327 RES too and installed a fantastic remote controlled vent above the kitchen. I fished a wire to the bathroom fan switch. I had to use a stiff stiff wire to get past the insulation, but it worked. then it was a "breeze"
lol. Anyway good luck. It made A LOT of difference getting that useless crankup vent replaced and now yuo can feel the air moving through the coach

Regards !
Dave E.
2015 Cougar 327RES
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:51 PM   #18
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We have had our Cougar 1/2 Ton Series 279RKS for 3 years. We chose this model for the rear kitchen with a big picture window and tons of counter and cabinets.

You are doing the right thing by asking questions and researching reliability and satisfaction.

There were a few quality issues we experienced on delivery:

Free standing dining table not secured well
Several cabinet doors were either misaligned or didn't latch securely
Staples poking up through the carpet
Slam door in one of the main cargo areas hard to latch
LP system makes a high pitched noise if several appliances were in use (cooktop and water heater, for example) when drawing off the secondary tank
Trim on lavatory counter loose
Wardrobe slide-out needed adjustment
One of the privacy curtains didn't stay up during transport

Most of these were resolved by the dealer (ours was great!) under warranty. The LP noise was thought to be from the regulator. After the dealer installed a new regulator, the noise persisted; the problem was never resolved. Our solution was to move the secondary tank to the primary position where the noise did not occur. An inconvenience, but we didn't have to listen to the noise which emanated from the area next to the head of the bed.

In the three years we have used the Cougar, we experienced only one issue when the toilet flush valve began leaking. This was after the 1 yr. RV warranty was up, but the dealer replaced the toilet with a new one under the 2 yr. toilet warranty with no problem.

IMO, Keystone is, at best, an entry level RV with a little better than average quality. From our experience I would say they lack something in quality control or simply don't care about customer satisfaction. This said, if well maintained and cared for properly, the Cougar should serve you well. On the other hand, if your expectations are for high quality, you should look elsewhere, realizing that quality translates to higher price. I suppose it depends on how much time you intend to spend in your RV and how much you can afford. When we purchased ours we did not know how much we would be using the RV, so hesitated to pay more.

Moving into a new phase in our retirement, we have decided to downsize to a B+ MH for these reasons:
1. We can be more mobile and take some longer trips.
2. Less fuss getting ready to go, setting up and breaking camp
3. Towing the 5th-wheel is effortless for my husband, but I want to be able to help with the driving or even take off by myself.
4. Such a big unit (30' RV behind a 22' pickup, restricts where we can stay. We prefer to stay in campgrounds and state parks and never consider taking off without having a reservation at our destination.
4. Do we really need all that space when we spend a majority of our time enjoying the outdoors, not inside?

Our perfect RV will have the basics needed to enjoy our travels but with a higher level of quality and reliability. Many RV brands will add luxury amenities but the quality is still the same. We don't need luxury amenities, just a solid, well-built home on wheels that will provide us with many good memories.

I hope this will help others in your RV decision making. We all have different needs (and budgets) when choosing the right RV.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:07 AM   #19
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We now have our first big trip done. 2600 miles from Arkansas to Arizona and back. The Cougar is at the dealer right now getting a few warrenty things done. Both rear opposing slides need adjustment. One was rubbbing on the furnace vent in the floor. The dinning table was loose, propane tank door latches would not latch properly. A couple stops and I'd find one or the other latches popped open. The fridge fan was loud. The propane hose feeding the fridge and stove was kinking when the slide was in. Assorted loose screws that I tightened. We expected some teething pains with a new rv, so far we are happy with it. We had a great trip. When we got it, I got rid of the china bomb tires and put on Maxxis E rated tires.. No problems so far and we ran 70 mph on the interstates. Oh ya, the night shade in the bedroom pulled off the wall. One of the bathroom sliding doors came unscrewed. I fixed that. Nothing major so far.
I don't like that it takes 4 different keys for everything, and I had to spray wd40 in all locks to get them to work.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:40 PM   #20
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manonthehill Hope you are still enjoying your Cougar 303RLS as we are enjoying ours.
We purchased the 5er in December 2015 and the maiden voyage was 760 miles from home, 715 from the dealer. During the PDI we found nothing, same as the last camper purchased from CW in Myrtle Beach. We found the furnace blowing fuses on the way to FL. A call to Atwood and a tech was sent which ended that problem. Since then nothing but a bulb burned out. Of course we have only pulled her about 3500 miles and stayed about 45 nights. We added toppers to all three slides and a TV in the bedroom and pass through. The rest, just making it more like home but it is perfect for the 2 of us and the two pups. I tow with a 2016 F250 diesel and thinking I really want to check out the 2017 F350s....
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:04 AM   #21
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manonthehill Hope you are still enjoying your Cougar 303RLS as we are enjoying ours.
We purchased the 5er in December 2015 and the maiden voyage was 760 miles from home, 715 from the dealer. During the PDI we found nothing, same as the last camper purchased from CW in Myrtle Beach. We found the furnace blowing fuses on the way to FL. A call to Atwood and a tech was sent which ended that problem. Since then nothing but a bulb burned out. Of course we have only pulled her about 3500 miles and stayed about 45 nights. We added toppers to all three slides and a TV in the bedroom and pass through. The rest, just making it more like home but it is perfect for the 2 of us and the two pups. I tow with a 2016 F250 diesel and thinking I really want to check out the 2017 F350s....
We towed our 279RKS with a 2013 F350 diesel long bed crew cab. The F250 probably would have been sufficient, since the Cougar is rated for 1/2 ton towing, but we needed a 1-ton for our ranch anyway.

Plenty of power to spare with the F350. Ours has factory tow package. Difference between 3/4-ton and 1-ton might be noticeable pulling long hills. Don't know about fuel economy with the F250; we get 15-19 mpg not towing, averaging 10-12 mpg towing.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:50 AM   #22
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We towed our 279RKS with a 2013 F350 diesel long bed crew cab. The F250 probably would have been sufficient, since the Cougar is rated for 1/2 ton towing, but we needed a 1-ton for our ranch anyway.

Plenty of power to spare with the F350. Ours has factory tow package. Difference between 3/4-ton and 1-ton might be noticeable pulling long hills. Don't know about fuel economy with the F250; we get 15-19 mpg not towing, averaging 10-12 mpg towing.
The 303RLS is not rated 1/2 ton towable but no problem towing. The engine and driveline are the same. The only difference is in the payload. The tow capacity is the same at 15,100, the GVWR is only 100# less on the F250. To go to a larger 5er with a heavier pin I'll need the F350 ~~ thinking a Montana is in our future.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:13 PM   #23
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IMO, Keystone is, at best, an entry level RV with a little better than average quality. From our experience I would say they lack something in quality control or simply don't care about customer satisfaction. This said, if well maintained and cared for properly, the Cougar should serve you well. On the other hand, if your expectations are for high quality, you should look elsewhere, realizing that quality translates to higher price. I suppose it depends on how much time you intend to spend in your RV and how much you can afford. When we purchased ours we did not know how much we would be using the RV, so hesitated to pay more.

I think this is a very accurate summary. They are a lot of RV per unit cost, but I found that warranty issues could be very difficult to resolve and that it was difficult, if not impossible, to get manufacturer support if your selling dealer was not able to make repairs.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:47 PM   #24
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I think this is a very accurate summary. They are a lot of RV per unit cost, but I found that warranty issues could be very difficult to resolve and that it was difficult, if not impossible, to get manufacturer support if your selling dealer was not able to make repairs.
We were at CW to purchase a Rockwood when the transporter brought a Cougar 303RLS in. A tech brought a battery and opened it up. We followed and bought it an hour later. It was clean when it arrived. The dealer had it ready in a few days ~~ a nearly 3 hour PDI nothing was found on a warm December day. A few days later the 5er was hitched and off we went ~~ about 760 miles where we spend a month in FL. During that time the furnace blew fuses. A call to Atwood and a tech was sent, problem solved. That was not a Cougar or Keystone problem, but one of the supplier Atwood. in nearly 6 months, 40 nights camped, and about 3500 miles towed a few small items found I took care of. From my past experience CW in Myrtle Beach takes care of warranty items. Cougar is the #1 selling 5er for the past 14 or 15 years. Because of that not only is a line dedicated to that product but 2 plants are. Many times a builder will run 1 model down a line for a few weeks then switch off to 1or two more, just rotating as orders require. I paid a bit more for the Cougar than the Rockwood but received so much more. However, Forest River CS does have a better reputation and maybe because they are needed so much more.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:01 AM   #25
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Another 400 mile trip under our belt, and we are still "happy campers" ! This was the first trip where we really tested the AC,, camped at Toad Suck Park near Conway AR. Mostly shade, but full sun from about noon to 3pm. 95 degrees and very high humidity, the one (upgraded 15K) AC did us just fine. The auto fan did kick up to high for about an hour, but then back down. Again, so far we love it ! I do have a complaint about the auto-level jacks. Sometimes it wants to lift a tire or two off the ground, even on realitive level ground. Is that normal ??? I don't like it.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:11 AM   #26
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Another 400 mile trip under our belt, and we are still "happy campers" ! This was the first trip where we really tested the AC,, camped at Toad Suck Park near Conway AR. Mostly shade, but full sun from about noon to 3pm. 95 degrees and very high humidity, the one (upgraded 15K) AC did us just fine. The auto fan did kick up to high for about an hour, but then back down. Again, so far we love it ! I do have a complaint about the auto-level jacks. Sometimes it wants to lift a tire or two off the ground, even on realitive level ground. Is that normal ??? I don't like it.
Monkey
No ~~ not normal IMO. Before disconnecting I look for any dips where the legs will hit. If any found I add a little more of the plastic blocks. Then disconnect and lower the front a few inches prior to hitting auto-level. If the front legs are more than about 3 holes distance different an error will show up. I put enough plastic blocks under the legs they usually only need 6 - 8 inches of travel . That seems to work best for me.
I was told the system was rated for 20,000 pounds and thought that was including all 4 legs. I have heard of using them to lift to change a tire but I'd not do that. Call Lippert, their CS is generally excellent but ONE not so much.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:18 PM   #27
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... A few days later the 5er was hitched and off we went ~~ about 760 miles where we spend a month in FL. During that time the furnace blew fuses. A call to Atwood and a tech was sent, problem solved. That was not a Cougar or Keystone problem, but one of the supplier Atwood. in nearly 6 months, 40 nights camped, and about 3500 miles towed a few small items found I took care of. ...
I have no doubt that many people are happy with their Cougar and I wouldn't discourage it as a "below average" or "poorly built" RV. And I completely agree with the above - if you've got an Atwood problem, it's common component across all sorts of brands. That's not a Keystone problem.

The difference, for me is a few things:
1) Keystone simply won't do direct support. If they do it in extenuating circumstances, I haven't experienced it - and I've had extenuating circumstances.

2) They will refer you to a dealer. In all likelihood - and in my experience - non-selling dealers will refuse to service or will provide a huge delay on service date if you didn't buy it there. This is a reality, IMHO likely because of how they pay for warranty work - it's better for the dealer to everything else first. It's probably also due to lack of enforcement - Keystone will allow them to continue to sell even if they won't honor warranty work for Keystone RVs that they didn't sell.

3) I don't think that Keystone customer service reps are particularly empowered. I've probably sent 5 emails to Keystone in a total of 14 months. Only 2 were answered/even acknowledged. I've had one follow up phone call in 14 months. We've had in-repair times now exceeding 90 days. That doesn't count waiting-for-service time and loss of use time.

I don't own a Cougar, but I do own a 2015 Keystone.

I think the RV is reasonably well built, minus a few things that need some significant (dealer or factory) sorting out. If those things get fixed, I'll be reasonably happy with the RV for the amount of money spent..

If after-the-sale service is a big deal to you, buy a Grand Design. It'll cost more. Their service reputation is excellent. Keystone's... Well, not so much...
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:06 AM   #28
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I have no doubt that many people are happy with their Cougar and I wouldn't discourage it as a "below average" or "poorly built" RV. And I completely agree with the above - if you've got an Atwood problem, it's common component across all sorts of brands. That's not a Keystone problem.

The difference, for me is a few things:
1) Keystone simply won't do direct support. If they do it in extenuating circumstances, I haven't experienced it - and I've had extenuating circumstances.

2) They will refer you to a dealer. In all likelihood - and in my experience - non-selling dealers will refuse to service or will provide a huge delay on service date if you didn't buy it there. This is a reality, IMHO likely because of how they pay for warranty work - it's better for the dealer to everything else first. It's probably also due to lack of enforcement - Keystone will allow them to continue to sell even if they won't honor warranty work for Keystone RVs that they didn't sell.

3) I don't think that Keystone customer service reps are particularly empowered. I've probably sent 5 emails to Keystone in a total of 14 months. Only 2 were answered/even acknowledged. I've had one follow up phone call in 14 months. We've had in-repair times now exceeding 90 days. That doesn't count waiting-for-service time and loss of use time.

I don't own a Cougar, but I do own a 2015 Keystone.

I think the RV is reasonably well built, minus a few things that need some significant (dealer or factory) sorting out. If those things get fixed, I'll be reasonably happy with the RV for the amount of money spent..

If after-the-sale service is a big deal to you, buy a Grand Design. It'll cost more. Their service reputation is excellent. Keystone's... Well, not so much...
After the sale service is a problem for nearly every builder. You are correct, if you did not buy it there you are not a priority. I could have saved a couple thousand dollars buying 1250 miles from home. Not worth it to me. Some dealers of all brands have terrible after sale service, others fantastic. My dealer has been fantastic on after purchase service ~ fast. I have not required warranty work on the last 2 units bought there but they do much of my work. Warranty is only a year from the builder, longer on most appliances. After warranty a mobile tech is often faster and with no overhead less expensive. When looking I spoke with the service manager and asked about warranty coverage compared to another builder being considered. He said of the two being considered Keystone was his choice to work with. Have you tried emailing Jason Clark?
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