Today’s RV review is of the Keystone Montana High Country 295RL fifth wheel. From the campers I know who have fifth wheels, there are almost two extreme categories of fifth wheel owners. There are those that tow them around quite a bit and those who move them infrequently and use them more as a home base.
Of course, with every generalization there are a million subcategories. So if I didn’t get how you use yours, don’t worry. Again, a generalization.
But I can see today’s Keystone Montana as one of the fifth wheels that tends to travel more. One of the reasons is that it’s not so large that you can’t tow it successfully with a single-axle one-ton truck like an Ford F-350 or Ram 3500, that sort of thing. A gasser would likely do a fine job and, as always, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve done your due diligence in matching truck to trailer so that you are towing safely.
But this also isn’t overly large, at 34 feet in overall length with about four feet of that or so over the truck. So really you’re only increasing the length of the truck by about 30 feet. This is not a small number. But considering the interior space, this makes sense compared to some larger travel trailers we’ve been looking at lately.
Highlights of the Montana High Country 295RL
The Montana High Country 295RL fifth wheel has what I consider the classic fifth wheel floor plan. It has a couch and theater-style seat at the back, and that theater seat is facing a larger TV and electric fireplace. Generally speaking, this has a relatively common floor plan. But I’ve written lots of times about how any RV company has the chance to make their products stand out, even within a common floor plan. I believe that Keystone has done just that with this model.
For example, as much as I beat the poor dead horse that is RV ovens, this one has one I’ve never seen before. It’s an even larger RV-specific stove and oven where the oven really could accommodate a Thanksgiving turkey.
I know some of the more upscale offerings in the fifth wheel world have even larger ovens approaching residential-size units. But this is still a great compromise and is very, very usable.
Atop the oven, of course, is a microwave. That, too, is larger than what you’ll find in some RVs. Kitchens are an area where fifth wheel trailers really shine. These are a good place to be if cooking is a priority along with seeing this incredible country.
Keystone nailed it in the bedroom and bathroom
Another area that Keystone nailed it is in the upstairs bedroom and bathroom. There is a larger bedroom slide that incorporates the standard king-sized bed (a queen is an option), but also a larger wardrobe. This opens up the bathroom in this trailer, making it feel like a bathroom in a much larger fifth wheel model.
As some of you have figured out, I am not a big fan of windshields in any towable RV. But I do like the way this all works in this unit. There’s a large windshield at the front of the trailer. It really does open the bedroom up and makes it feel like a place to enjoy some time.
Further, Keystone has put an MCD shade over the windshield and boxed it in. So when the shade is down, it blocks out the light. Part of my frustration with so many towables that have windshields is that you get the thinnest, cheapest shade over the windshield, which is the place that would really be better suited to having something really thick.
I like the Road Armor pin box up front, and the Road Armor suspension system, as well. If you’re a fifth wheel owner, I wonder if you have experience with this setup and what you think? I love hearing from readers, and we even have a forum to share your thoughts and ideas here. Please feel encouraged to share your experiences, challenges and questions there.
As mentioned before, I think Keystone is probably the leader in the mainstream RV world in terms of innovative or useful features. That is directly attributable to their Innovation Labs.
The biggest area where they’ve absolutely taken a leadership role is in solar. Every Keystone RV comes with a minimum of 200 watts of solar on the roof. There are models available with up to 1200 watts that power large high-performance batteries that will run the AC systems. From the factory. Under warranty.
Another thing I like that they’re doing is what the company calls their Blade Pure™ air handling system. Combining the ducting and vents with more efficient air handling and even residential-style filtration, Keystone has proven that their system runs about 20% more efficiently. It is also unique in that it actually has air filters like you would have at home. Brilliant.
There are other things, as well. But check out their Innovation Labs. It’s something that really should be copied by more RV companies and sets Keystone apart in a good way.
Observations on the Montana High Country 295RL
While I love the stove and oven here, I’m less of a fan of residential refrigerators in RVs. Yeah, yeah, they do okay in motorhomes. But I’d rather see a 12-volt fridge what with Keystone’s leadership in the solar world. And now there are larger 12-volt fridges that rival residential models for space but are well-suited to the mobile lifestyle.
At least it’s not a Samsung fridge.
And, you can get a propane-electric RV fridge, as well. So you do have choices.
This also has a four-point electric leveling system. I know some of you have stated that you much prefer the hydraulic systems and six-point, as well. On the plus side, I like that Keystone put the controls for this system in their own tiny compartment on the road side with a lock, albeit using a 751 key. But I’ve seen plenty of these in baggage compartments. In some cases the controls have been beaten to death by whatever’s in the baggage compartment. So I like this setup for the controls.
The other thing I noticed is that there are almost no road-side windows at all. So you’re really closed-off from the world if things are going down on the road side of this trailer. I’d like to see a window in the kitchen by the fancy stove, at least. As it is, there’s only one window way at the back of the trailer by the couch.
Though that tri-fold couch does make into a king-sized bed, so that’s kinda nifty.
There are some nifty things about this layout including the upstairs bedroom, the very usable kitchen and the advantages that the Keystone brand brings with them. At this writing I don’t believe there’s a 12-volt fridge option, but I’m sure that’ll change soon enough.
The Montana High Country 295RL is a nice place to spend time in
If I were in the market for a fifth wheel that was small enough to be relatively mobile, this is certainly an option that wouldn’t disappoint. It has some features that really make it a nice place to spend time in.
Incidentally I got to speak with the head of Keystone’s Montana brand for this podcast episode if you want to learn more.
One last thing. Yes, the photos I used in this article had to be ripped off from a video once again. Where are my RV company photographers?
Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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.
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