Thursday, September 21, 2023


RV review: 2021 Keystone Outback 260UML Travel Trailer

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive. 

By Tony Barthel
There are more than a few people who complain about all RV interiors looking the same and RV manufacturers are addressing this slowly. So, last season, when the new Keystone Outback line was revealed and we got a few of these at the dealership I worked at, it was a refreshing change indeed to the interior as they debuted their “farmhouse” look. 

Keystone Outback 260UML floorplanKeystone’s Outback brand wasn’t the only farmhouse interpretation, but they really did a super job with their look, in my opinion, as it combined all the right elements and color choices to really come across as classy yet rustic at the same time. Interior colors and accents were really nicely done. 

Now, my job isn’t really to evaluate color palettes, but when you see brown #7 over, and over, and over, and over again, it’s a delightful surprise to see a change. Especially one this nicely done. 

But that’s not the meat and potatoes portion of the equation, is it? 

The Outback line essentially comes in two versions – Ultra-Light and regular. The Ultra-Light line is probably more of what people will be getting with typical half-ton pickups that most folks have. The regular ones are likely more to sit somewhere and be a home base as they’re very substantial trailers with luxurious appointments. Both were popular when I was selling RVs. 

The Outback Ultra-Light 260UML was one that didn’t stay in the showroom long at all. 

For example, there is a camp-side super slide. This is unusual as many slide rooms are on the driver side of RVs – but having it on the passenger, or camp, side means that you can get into some campgrounds that might not be able to accommodate wider trailers, although, obviously, you’ll be cutting into the space you can use on the camp side. 

Inside there are a huge number of drawers and cabinets. The kitchen is at the rear of the coach. Like in a fifth wheel, there’s a huge pantry at the back (do not open carbonated beverages from this pantry after a long trip!). 

In the super slide, there is a dining table with a well-done mechanism that allows you to simply push down on the table to get it even with the bottom of the dinette benches and turn it into a sleeping surface in the blink of an eye. 

Then there are heated theater seats with massage opposite a large TV. For anyone who loves watching movies while camping, this is a well-done situation for two. 

Another unique thing in these Outback trailers is the kennel built-in under the bed. For those who have crate-trained pets, this is a pretty welcome idea. If it doesn’t work as a kennel it’s simply more storage with a vented door. But it lets Fido or Mr. Meow Meow (I seriously know someone who named their cat “Mr. Meow Meow”) come along and have a place to sleep.  

RVs nowadays are becoming so well lit with LEDs throughout, and this is no exception. However, the floor-level lighting in the dinettes here acts as a nice nightlight. Another nice touch is a place for a trash can among all that storage in the kitchen.

On the outside of this trailer behind the TV is a tall storage cabinet that would do well as a holding place for camp chairs, especially those zero-gravity chairs. Oddly enough, I sold one of these to an artist who claimed it was the perfect size for her easel. Whatever you use it for, it’s an interesting use of space. 

As I’ve mentioned in reviews of other Keystone products, I am impressed with their HyperDeck laminated flooring product. According to the company, this has better screw retention than wood and is lighter, plus the fact that it’s essentially impervious to water damage is my absolute favorite part. 

The Keystone reps who would come to tell us about Outbacks were also keen to mention that these trailers use a powder-coated BAL frame and that each frame is specific to that individual trailer so there are no random holes in the structure.

Keystone Outback 260UML specificationsThere isn’t much that I dislike about this trailer, and I’ve mentioned before how well Keystone serviced our warranty claims. But for as nice as the rest of this trailer is, the super cheap bathroom fan stands out to me and I would replace this with a MaxxAir fan if this were mine. Also I’m seeing more and more RV manufacturers stepping up to a better brand of tire, and I might tow this straight to the tire shop and throw a set of Goodyear or Carlisle tires on it, especially as these are just 14” tires. 

Overall I really think this is a tasteful, very usable, and quite pleasant travel trailer floor plan for a couple. Yes, it can sleep up to six people if two are in the theater seats (you can have a couch instead). For some, the camp-side slide is going to make a great deal of sense – for others not – but options are a good thing in life. 

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Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


    • Can you explain why no rear kitchen? Ours is pretty much in the middle, but I remember looking at some that had rear kitchens. Do they not travel well?

      • Hi Dan, I myself have never owned a rear kitchen, and I do like the layout quite a bit. I almost bought one! But I’ve read in a couple different forums that it’s hard on the appliances, particularly the fridge. I’m glad I decided against it. Since the end of the TT is the most affected by vibration when traveling, cookwear, dishes and pantry items seem to be thrown around quite a bit! If you’ve ever driven down a washboard dirt road at 20 or 25 mph you know what I mean!


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