Today’s RV review is a renewed look at the Keystone Montana High Country 377FL. What sparked this gander is a comment from a reader, Dave, asking us to look at front living fifth wheels. Very specifically, the comment was, “My favorite layout! As opposed to fivers with a front bedroom, blah, blah, blah. Front LRs rule in fivers!!!”
But, how do you really feel?
Honestly, I love hearing from you and many, many of you have written in through the contact form I put at the bottom of these reviews—so thank you. I’m paying attention. I’m also slow.
After reading Dave’s request I thought this would be easy peasy, lemon breezie. Finding front living fifth wheels would be like shooting apples in a barrel. Until I started looking. And it seems that a number of the ones that were out there no longer are.
It has become our given right as ‘Mericans to have a BC and AD. You know. Before COVID and After (that) Disaster. A good number of RV manufacturers have actually curtailed production on some slower moving offerings so they could maximize efficiency and all that during the challenges they faced getting bits during COVID.
So I looked and found that one of my favorite front living fifth wheels is still in production: the Keystone Montana High Country 377FL.
You can also find a similar floor plan in the Forest River Sabre 37FL. The proof that this works well for family travels including full-time living is the fact that Jason and Abby Epperson of RV Miles travel the country in the Sabre with their three boys on a full-time basis.
Number of separate places to sleep
This floor plan has the benefit of offering a number of places for people to sleep that are distinctly separate from one another, offering parents and offspring their own space in the trailer.
For example, the drop frame and rear bedroom affords a large private bedroom at the back that’s completely separate from the loft upstairs, which is the other bedroom in this model. Keystone has also put a shelf above the bed that’s perfect for CPAP machines and the like. Kudos!
But I could also see using that loft without the mattresses for a couple or a business person traveling around. The loft offers great storage for stuff like crafts or work-related items.
Door on road side of the Keystone Montana High Country 377FL
I also like that there’s a door on the road side in the back of this specific Montana—which isn’t something you see often. That door gives you access to the bedrooms at the back as well as the bathroom which is behind the kitchen, even when the slide rooms are closed in for travel.
In fact, this is an unusual trailer in that you have pretty good access to a lot of the trailer with the slide rooms closed. That’s unusual in something of this size.
Speaking of the bathroom, since the roof line of this trailer has to maintain a single height to afford space for those in the loft over the rear bedroom, the bathroom benefits from this with an almost laughable ceiling height. It would be no exaggeration that a pro basketball player could take a shower in this trailer.
One of the things the Sabre has going for it is that they’ve put a loft bed over the bathroom, too, so there’s more sleeping space. But this also means the ceiling height in the bathroom is somewhat limited. As with all things, it’s all about the priorities.
The kitchen in this fifth wheel is also a real highlight to me. There is a genuine 22” oven. You don’t often see that in RVs intended for larger groups, but they nailed it here. These fifth wheels come with a choice of either a residential refrigerator or a gas-electric “absorption” fridge. I’m surprised Montana’s not offering a 12-volt model at this point.
There is a good amount of kitchen counter space, though. This floor plan features both a bar right at the entryway as well as a table and chairs. That table is mounted to the wall of the RV so there are no knee knocking poles—also nice. There is an extension, but I could see most gathering, even for meals, being done upstairs. Still, the kitchen-level options are good.
Upstairs in the Keystone Montana High Country 377FL
Of course, the main living space here is similar to other front living models, with this one featuring a windshield in the nose. There’s a TV on a televator here and blackout shades for the windshield, as well.
This is another situation where I just don’t see the point of the windshield—but there it is, just the same. I guess you can get light in when you’re up there and aren’t watching TV—so there’s that.
Other things you’ll find, again like others with this floor plan, is the fact that the couches on either side of the living room fold out and can become one gigantic bed. Hugh Hefner might like this floor plan for the size of that large of a sleeping space.
There is a downside
There is always good and bad with any choices in most things in life, and in particular with RVs. For example, the drop frame that makes the rear bedroom possible also rides low to the ground. So this fifth wheel might be a challenge to navigate in some situations, including even steeper driveway aprons.
Storage, too, isn’t a hallmark of this floor plan. I like how Montana has provided outside storage in the rear under the bed, but this rig isn’t the one to get if you’re looking for huge outside storage.
But if you do want a fifth wheel that offers really great interior space and truly separate spaces for the various family members, this might be a great choice. I would also look at the Sabre, as the differences between this one and that are sufficient that you might really prefer one over the other.
Also, being a Keystone product, it comes with the SolarFlex™ 200 solar system at a minimum. You can spec this up to much larger solar systems, if you choose. I also like that this fifth wheel comes with the Blade Pure™ air conditioning system. This has been shown to provide 20 percent more air flow and also offers home-style air filtration.
As I’ve written before, there are a lot of similar floor plans among all the RV manufacturers. Just this and the Sabre are so similar, yet details here and there may make enough difference to sway someone in one direction over the other.
But the number of front living models has definitely dwindled and, as Dave wrote, they’re a great option so I hope we see more reintroduced.
More from Tony
I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.
If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!
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. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.
You can also check out his RV podcast with Peggy.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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!