Although Keystone is a relative newcomer to the RV market, it has quickly become one of the most well-known manufacturers of towable RVs in North America.
If you’re looking for a spacious, fuel-efficient camper with a floor plan that many people rate highly, then a Keystone camper could be the way to go.
That being said, Keystone campers do have quite a few issues that you should know about before you buy.
Here’s our list of the most common problems with Keystone campers.
1. Low-Quality Materials and Features
When you spend tens of thousands of your hard-earned dollars on a camper, you expect a product that will provide a somewhat luxurious home away from home.
Although many people are satisfied with their Keystone camper, there are many reports from disgruntled customers who feel that their camper didn’t live up to expectations.
Poor Quality Finishing
An all-too-common complaint among Keystone users is that poor quality materials were used in the camper’s finishing.
There are numerous reports of trim strips coming falling off, loose fixtures, and peeling veneer on doors and closets.
Unfortunately, this lack of quality also extends to some cases of screws falling out and even mysterious holes in the flooring and walls.
Another quality issue that has surprised many Keystone users is the poor quality of the shelves and cabinets.
Aside from the issue of peeing veneer that we already mentioned, cabinet doors can fall off due to flimsy latches and hinges. It’s also common for storage shelves to collapse because of weak supports and clothing bars to bend beyond repair.
You can improve the situation by installing more sturdy hardware and shelf supports, but not everyone wants to deal with this kind of job.
Keystone campers are loaded with features, including an AC unit, dishwasher, fireplace, and much more.
However, many people find that the appliances installed in their camper are cheap and prone to failure. The AC unit is often faulty, and the electric fireplace is notorious for breaking too easily.
If the camper is still under warranty, Keystone should be responsible for fixing these issues.
2. Leaks are a Common Problem
No-one expects the weather to be perfect all the time, and it can be quite fun to spend cozy time in your camper while it pours outside!
If your camper is prone to leaks, though, you’ll be too worried about water soaking your belongings to have a good time.
Here are some of the areas where leaking is a problem with Keystone campers:
Whether it’s raining or not, a leaking AC unit can cause a major headache.
In many Keystone campers, there isn’t anywhere for AC condensation to drain, which can cause a buildup of moisture on the surrounding wood, which can drip down walls and onto the floor.
If you aren’t aware of the problem, you might not notice until it’s too late. Excess moisture like this can lead to mildew and even rotten floors.
Camper slide-outs are great for creating extra living space but are a common source of leaks.
Keystone campers are no exception, and this is the most commonly reported place for bad leaks to occur. Badly fitting seals or windows can allow water to enter the camper, sometimes so slowly that you won’t notice right away.
This can lead to a whole load of serious problems such as rotten floors and walls. In the worst cases, rotten areas will grow mold that can be hazardous to your health.
Grey and Black Water Tanks
One of the most popular features of Keystone campers is the large, private bathroom. Being able to comfortably shower and use the toilet in your camper adds to the sense of luxury you’ll feel when camping.
If there’s a problem with one of your storage tanks, though, it could lead to major frustration and messy cleanup.
Many Keystone users have discovered problems with the grey and black water tanks, including faulty seals and broken drain pipes. Having this kind of problem could mean that your shower and toilet might be out of action until the issue has been fixed.
Lastly, several people have found the tanks to be mislabeled, leading to a messy and embarrassing experience at the RV park!
3. Electrical and Wiring is a Concern
Although most Keystone users haven’t had to worry about electrical problems in their campers, some users have had major issues.
From AC failure to sound systems that continue to have problems, even after replacement, electrical issues have plagued some users. This can lead to frustrating interactions with dealers and customer service representatives when dealing with the problem.
There are even alarming reports of improperly wired appliances, such as TVs and dishwashers. This kind of oversight is especially unnerving, as badly wired outlets and appliances can cause fires in the camper.
4. Customer Service can be Frustrating
Easily the most common complaint from unhappy Keystone customers is that the post-sales support is lacking.
Although not all negative reviews are to be trusted, there are too many bad experiences to ignore.
If your camper is still under warranty, you expect any problems that arise will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Sadly, it seems that isn’t always the case with the Keystone Post-sales team.
Firstly, the Keystone website is notoriously difficult to navigate, and finding a way to report an issue can take a long time. The customer service helpline isn’t much better, and representatives are often unfriendly and dismissive of customer concerns.
Furthermore, once a problem has been reported, customers have complained of long wait times for replacement parts.
It seems that if Keystone wants to retain loyal customers, they really need to step up and improve their post-sales department.
General Pros and Cons of Keystone Campers:
People love the size and spacious layout, which features plenty of seating and a large kitchen, and a roomy bathroom with a residential-style toilet.
Keystone campers offer great maneuverability and are easy to tow, which means driving long distances will be a breeze.
These campers are designed with luxury in mind and are jam-packed with features such as an entertainment center, dishwasher, microwave, and a motorized awning.
A prevalent feature of all Keystone campers is the ample storage space, both inside and out. You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you have enough space for everything you need.
- Low-quality materials and fixtures
- Leaks are a common problem
- Electrical and wiring is a concern
- Customer service can be frustrating
What do the Reviews Say?
Keystone has quickly become a popular choice for many RVers, but this reviewer obviously feels that they need to make some improvements.
“Despite the fact that the brand already earns fame in less than a decade of operation, it needs to pay more attention to quality control. Before Keystone completely patch up the drawbacks of its vehicles, it’s far from ideal as one of the travel trailers not to buy.”
On the other hand, this reviewer is impressed with the quality and style of a Keystone.
“Keystone’s reputation and long-term commercial success with the Montana brand raise the bar in this segment of the industry and produce high expectations. For the prospective buyer who is looking for an up-to-date luxury fifth-wheel with a true master-suite floorplan, the Montana 3931FB deserves serious consideration.”
[Source: trailer life.com]
Keystone campers retain a loyal following, and many users are happy with the size and ease of movement.
“The kitchen area is pretty large with the long slide out. The bathroom is a great size too, full shower, plenty of room around the toilet, etc. This trailer tows like a dream.”
What’s the Resale Value on Keystone Campers?
As we’ve seen, Keystone campers can have a variety of problems, ranging from smaller issues that are easy to fix through to major headaches that could ruin your camping experience.
It should be said that any camper can have issues, and sometimes bad luck can play a part.
However, if you’re thinking about buying a Keystone camper, you should make sure to check out a variety of different models. Always perform a thorough inspection of a camper you’re interested in, paying close attention to any areas that might have water damage.
As long as you take your time and know what to look for, you might find that a Keystone perfect for you!
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.