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
More folks RVing means more folks of all ability levels are looking at this outstanding way to see this country. Smart RV manufacturers are also looking at folks of all mobility levels and seeing how to best serve them. Recently Keystone reached out to us to share a new floor plan, the Keystone Outback 324CG.
At first glance, I thought I had seen this floor plan before as I sold a similar Outback to a family who had planned to full-time in it – with five kids. But this is actually an adaptation of that floor plan.
According to product manager Nick Ebenroth, “We took the basic footprint and reconfigured the kitchen counter, slimmed down the wall for the entertainment center and replaced a hinged door with a sliding barn door to create an easy transition for a wheelchair into the living area. We also widened that main door to 30” so that it would work with an aftermarket wheelchair lift.”
By modifying the pantry to be wider and shallower, sliding doors are now featured in the bedroom and bathroom. The team also replaced door and drawer pulls with handles to make them easier to open.
The “CG” in the name of this trailer stands for Cargo Garage, and there is one of these up front. As mentioned with the Grand Design 24MPR, this space can serve a wide variety of purposes. There are bunks at the very front so it can be a sleeping room, an office, or a place to put toys.
Unlike many toy haulers, this one has the ramp on the side measuring 56” with an extension. I assume there are some power chairs that can zip right up this ramp but I’m not sure a wheelchair would do it as it’s pretty steep. But that depends on the wheelchair, I’m sure.
The Outback trailers are total beasts. The high-strength powder-coated frames are specific to each trailer model so no random holes, and the trailer bodies are Huck-bolted to the frames. There is outstanding insulation in them with Keystone’s “race track” air conditioning to blow cool air throughout more evenly.
We never had an Outback where we had to mess with the wiring, but the company does brag that their wiring is consistently color-coded. You might think this is normal if you’ve ever worked on a car, but trailers can be almost a random guess with many having no wiring schematics even that dealers can get. So this little thing can be a big deal.
I have doted on Keystone’s HyperDeck flooring in the past as a man-made water-impervious product, and our whole staff was very impressed with the interior decor on these. Obviously that last part is subjective, but I think Outback’s “farmhouse” interior is outstanding.
The company also talks about their “Tru-Fit™” slide construction. Essentially their claim is that the frame being custom built for the specific floor plan provides a more accurate structure for the slide system, resulting in a better fit. Along with flexible seals on the slide room and the wall, they claim the driest and most durable slide rooms available.
In addition to the main access door and the access ramp, there’s also a door to the bedroom at the back of the trailer which sports a king-sized bed in a slide. Under that king bed is a pet kennel which could just be storage if your furry travelers don’t use it. It’s a cool idea though.
Outback was also the first brand I was exposed to that featured a 12-volt fridge as standard equipment, though now that’s more common. The one here is 10 cubic feet.
So with all these positives is this floor plan perfect? Of course not. You’ll find the TV in the main living quarters faces the back wall and, yeah, it’s on an articulating arm but you’re still going to have to crane to see it. There are also floor heater vents which are not my favorite. Lastly, the walls are put together with pinch rollers rather than vacuum lamination. Industry sources tell me vacuum lamination provides a potentially more consistent lamination.
Still, this is another of those floor plans that I think work for people even though they might not think of this first.
But if you have children or grandchildren whom you suspect will travel with you, this can offer them their own sleeping space. Again, you can use it for the obvious toys or cargo but also as an office or just a second place to relax. Outback has attended to a lot of details that I think make for a good experience in the real world.
From my personal experience, I will NEVER BUY A KEYSTONE product again. IMO they build JUNK and they will not back their product. Former Cougar owner.
I had a 2017 Keystone Outback 240 URS that I bought used. It was two years old, but was in excellent condition. Loved the side ramp and used the cargo garage for my dogs. Didn’t feel comfortable with the quality. The outdoor kitchen stove separated from door panel that held it. They did away with the outdoor kitchen. Had constant problems with the Dometic Fridge. The plastic strips that covered the screws along the rain gutter cracked. The dealer said you shouldn’t walk on the roof. You could see some of the roof support location on the roof. A ceiling panel by the door separated from the wood ceiling at the molding strip. The cabinet above the bed on the drivers side came loose. Had to reglue. Couch wasn’t comfortable. Wife felt the bathroom was too small. After owning it a year I traded it for a new Jayco Jayflight. Loved it in principle, would be nicer if they had a roomier bathroom.
Inside pictures in the reviews would be great.
Hi, Linda. You can click on the link to an RV’s website and see all of the pictures, including of the inside, that are available. Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Very flexible rig and a wonderful first attempt. I’m no expert, but I see some things they need to work on for the next Accessible rig. Things that are too high: the shower, the microwave, the freezer, some handles, and the counter extension. There is probably a way to make that ramp doubled in length when unfolded so the angle could be manageable. The bathroom could be a proper wet bath (drain in the floor) with a shower seat so the shower won’t have the step and can have more room. I don’t see grab bars around the toilet, either. The bedroom needs a lower clothes hanging bar instead of the drawers under the closet. While RVs don’t have to meet ADA standards–and while this is a fantastic first attempt–there are several things that can be flipped/switched to make this even nicer for someone who finds standing or walking difficult or impossible. The designers get in wheelchairs, maneuver through the whole rig, and do all the tasks.
Thanks, Parker. I’m going to pass these great suggestions along to Tony Barthel (in case he doesn’t see your comment — he’s out today possibly picking up a new-to-him [rescued from a hoarder] 4-legged RVing companion) and maybe he can forward them to a connection at Keystone. Happy Thanksgiving, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Your points are very well taken and I’ve shared them with the folks at Outback. Thank you for your input!
My perception in talking with them is that this trailer is designed as something that can then be further adapted for those with physical challenges and is a foundation on which to further build that. For example, the entry door was widened to accommodate a wheel chair lift but it’s not something they offer.
But the idea of the designers actually getting into wheel chairs and then using the trailer for a weekend getaway while in those wheelchairs is brilliant. I’m absolutely sharing that with the folks I know who want to better accommodate people who are using a wheel chair.
Finally, an RV for the handicapped people. Now, how about a unibody construction to get rid of the tall heavy frame?
I’m surprised you don’t see a travel trailer manufacturer doing this to be honest. While Winnebago has their exoskeleton in the Hike I think doing something like the equivalent of a monocoque design in a trailer would be cool. Except then it would be more difficult for them to make rapid changes and that may be their reticence.