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RV Review: Keystone Montana High Country 295RL fifth wheel

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. 

Keystone 

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.

In summary

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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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Daniel Webb
2 days ago

We have owned this model for 2 years now. LOVE it. We have been traveling the country in it and it is very roomy and comfortable. I do agree with a window over the stove. That would make this 5th wheel even better.

Roger Spalding
13 days ago

I have been hoping for a couple of years that Keystone would update the few shortcomings which exist in the 295 HC Montana. Firstly, the removable arm rest on the theater seats is an accessory I wish all RVs carried. The video narrator skipped past the control panel. He must have been squeamish about showing it. I don’t blame him. Why all Cougars are equipped with InCommand, yet all Montanas are not, is inexplicable and is a glaring flaw. In addition, it was never explained why the nightstand was installed exclusively on the left hand side of the king bed. If a queen bed is installed, does it create enough room for nightstands on both sides of the bed? Keystone has never adequately explained this disparity. Perhaps, it would explain it to you, Tony. Thanks.

Spike
13 days ago

That window up front in the bedroom just cost users a full front closet for storage. If the owners opt for a washer/dryer where the prep is then there’s almost no closet space. All for a window that will be constantly filthy with splattered bugs, hard to get to to clean it off, and a potential long-term leakage spot. Hmmmmm. I think I’d pass.

Steve
13 days ago

Tony, having had a 27′ fifth wheel with a GVWR of 8645# that we towed in Colorado with a single rear-wheel, 3/4-ton diesel, this Montana is a “monster” fifth wheel. In an Oklahoma campground that we once pulled into, the Montana owner hooking up his utilities in the next site shouted, “Look, it’s a baby fifth wheel!” But the young couple who bought our fifth wheel last fall are full-timing in it. All in your perspective, I guess.

Can’t object to the front windshield in the Montana because it is not over the head of the bed. And there is no street-side window in the bed slide over the bed either. Even my “bedroom must be totally dark” wife might not mind this one!

If you want to boondock in this 14,000# monster, you must opt for an old-fashioned fridge? Those solar panels were put there to help power a 12v fridge, so it is a mystery why they don’t option one. Oh well, at least the residential fridge and bath look accessible with the slide in. Gotta be grateful for small favors!

Don
14 days ago

And here I was thinking “oh good – almost no windows looking over my hook-ups and the neighbor’s front yard”. To each his own, I guess…

Ruben Nourian
14 days ago
Reply to  Don

I too, share your thought. Anyone else?

Steve
13 days ago
Reply to  Ruben Nourian

Yes, having had both a travel trailer and fifth wheel with street-side windows, I much prefer this floor plan. Looking at the lake we just backed up to and our own picnic table, camp chairs, and fire pit is a much more desIrable view than looking at my neighbor’s door and my hookups. That’s exactly the reason we only looked at fifth wheel floorplans with a rear picture window!

Les
13 days ago
Reply to  Don

Yep, few or no windows on the driver side is a bonus.

Tommy Molnar
14 days ago

Looking at a lot of fancy 5’ers in the RV park we’re currently in, I see that many of them have the ‘automatic levelers’. When these are in travel mode (brought back up) they seem to hang down quite a bit. Especially those at the far rear of the trailer. I would be afraid of scrunching one of these while trying to get into a shopping area parking lot with a ‘too much angle’ approach. But, this is just me. I’m also surprised by the term “residential size microwave”. I’ve never seen that before. I thought the days of turkey roasting size radar ranges were gone. :}