Wednesday, February 8, 2023


RV Review: Keystone Outback 341RD – A big, livable trailer

Today’s review is of the 2022 Keystone Outback 341RD, a large travel trailer that sits at the top of the pile in terms of size and also in terms of market position. While many, many towable RVs are sold on the basis of how light or towable they are, these Outback trailers are really meant to be more of a long-term investment. 

So, for all the people who bemoan the structural build of ultra light trailers, here’s your answer. And it’s hefty, indeed, at 8,432 pounds dry weight and just a smidge over 38 feet in overall length. 

This trailer also reminds me of the customer we had who had one of these. She was a traveling medical professional. Unfortunately, she experienced her own medical emergency. Her brother came to tow it back to the family home for her (she recovered thankfully)—but with a half-ton pickup. Yikes. 

Oh, he managed to get it from wherever she had it back to our dealership, and then proceeded to destroy the trailer pulling out into the street. 

These are absolutely and positively not the trailers you tow with a half-ton truck. I would be most comfortable seeing this behind a one-ton truck, quite frankly. 

Highlights of the Keystone Outback 341RD

One of the many reasons these are so heavy is just how they’re built. 

On the outside you see both the high-gloss fiberglass cap as well as the roof wrap over the sidewalls of the trailer. I was told that this kind of build results in less of a stress point on the joints and makes the whole darned thing last longer. 

Cool. Plus, there’s also a spray-on protectant on the front that’s similar to some bed liner material on the bottom. 

On the side you can’t see, the underside, the frame is also a heavy-duty piece made by BAL® RV Products Group. It is built of heavier gauge steel and then predominantly huckbolted together. The idea is that the frame is more rigid and better able to support the weight of this very large trailer. 

When I was selling these things, we had a lot of people who bought them because they didn’t want a two-story trailer but did want all the luxuries of a fifth wheel. As I’ve written before, not everybody wants to tow a fifth wheel, either. Although there are advantages to that configuration in something of this size. 

What’s inside the Keystone Outback 341RD

Inside, the floor plan on this unit is different than I remember, and quite unusual. 

Unlike many travel trailers, this one almost defines the different spaces you occupy quite dramatically. For example, you enter into a hallway just off the kitchen and that kitchen has an “L”-shaped counter that extends toward the rear of the trailer. There’s an interesting dining nook here, where there’s a bench along the camp-side wall and then a table on a half-wall. On the side facing the kitchen there is a bench. It’s rather unusual, but if you are a couple who lives in this, or travels in it, then the bench may be all you need. Also, the bench can go away for most of the time, which also means more walking space in the kitchen. 

I can see this being something you either love or you don’t. I think it’s neat. 

Also under that bench is a good amount of storage. I remember these Outback trailers having really substantial padding on the benches of the dinette. 

The microwave in this didn’t have a spinning plate but I was assured that this is a higher class of microwave that doesn’t need a spinning plate. Though, how are you going to measure the cabinets at an RV show without the spinning plate as your guide? 

Drawers and cabinets have a little detail that’s a big deal

On the subject of the cabinets, they are black with gold handles. The drawers and cabinet doors not only have hinges that hold them closed, but also there are magnets. This might seem like no big deal. But for anybody who’s had a drawer slide open in transit and break the slide mechanism while also spewing its contents all over the inside of the RV, this little detail will be a big deal. 

If entertaining is something you like to do, or something you are, this is a good living space for that. There are opposing couches in the back, and then theater seats on the back side of that half wall that holds the dining table. 

This makes for a great conversation place. But there’s also an electric fireplace and a very large TV at the back of this trailer. 

I can see this trailer appealing to folks who like to entertain. It’s got the seating for that and the kitchen prep and cooking space, as well. And no worries about having forgotten something—the drawers and cabinets I mentioned earlier are quite plentiful. 

The bedroom in the Outback 341RD

Up front is the bedroom, which features a king-sized bed in a slide room. Having the bed extend out the road side of this trailer means the entire front of the trailer can be a wardrobe and closet. Believe it or not, there is no windshield! 

There is, however, a bureau on the camp side and even a pet kennel built in under the bed. These newer Outback models even have a different material in the pet kennel portion of the storage under the bed that’s more pet-safe. Although, of course, you could just use this for storage if your pet isn’t into being in a kennel. 

There’s even plumbing and space for a combo washer-dryer in here. The demand-based water heater can definitely pump out the hot water. 

One more feature that was a big hit with customers on these is the auto-level system. This system has several nifty features including that it remembers how high the tongue jack had to be to get the trailer on and off your towing truck. 

When you unhitched from the truck, it remembered this position. You then just use the system to automatically level the trailer. When it’s time to hook up and leave, it lifts the jacks and raises the tongue jack to wherever it was when you unhitched most recently. It’s a neat setup. 

It’s also further proof of the build quality of the frame, as an RV’s frame has to be able to withstand these forces to accommodate automatic leveling. 

Boondocking and travel access

Unfortunately, the theater seat structure does block access to the 12-volt fridge, but you can still easily access the bathroom and bedroom with all the slides in.

Remember that this being a Keystone product, it comes with at least 200 watts of solar. You can get upgraded packages either dealer-installed or factory-installed, including packages with lithium batteries.

I have said before how much I appreciate the features that the Keystone Innovation Labs have come up with including their flooring, their air handling systems and more. They have really set themselves apart in this field in a lot of ways.

In summary

We sold a lot of the larger Outback models when I was at the dealership. Almost universally, these were sold to people who were more going to live in them rather than weekend warriors. In our rural area, we got a lot of traveling medical professionals or seasonal workers who appreciated the build quality and features of a trailer like this. 

The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the tires on these. For this kind of price point, I wish they used something better than what’s on here. I could also kvetch about the simple leaf spring suspension. But my experience is that these are not towed frequently so it’s less of an issue when it’s just sitting around. Though, if you do plan to do a lot of towing, the tires and suspension are the first things I’d consider upgrading, frankly. 

Durable and well-made models

Generally, these also proved to be durable and well-made models. I don’t remember them coming in for warranty work. Well, except there was one where a customer claimed the slide was defective and had actually left it only partially extended during a major rainstorm. 

If you don’t know, slides should be all the way out or all the way in, as that’s how the seals work on them. Period. And, no, that wasn’t a warranty issue. 

Overall, these are nice rigs and this layout, in particular, is well-suited to entertaining and providing relatively defined living spaces. 

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.

Tony comes to 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, Peggy. 

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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8 months ago

A $69K travel trailer with a 74″ “king-size” bed. King beds are 80″ long; anything shorter is NOT a king! My sister has a 35′ Outback with a bed slide that has an 80″ long king. But this even longer, heavier TT doesn’t!

And I would never buy any RV with painted cabinets, especially black ones. I can’t even imagine spending one night in a black RV like that. Prison gray and dungeon black-is that what RV designers think newbies want or is it just a cheap substitute for real quality cabinetry?

What is Keystone thinking?

8 months ago

“…these Outback trailers are really meant to be more of a long-term investment.”

Good review of a nice trailer, but I always laugh when anyone uses the word “investment” in relation to RV’s…much less “long term!” RV sales people say that all the time. While the used market has been different the last couple of years, historically RV’s fall into the category of enormous cost…or maybe an “investment” in a crashing market! 🙂

Bob M
8 months ago

Don’t know why the call it a RD when the dinette is in the middle. Such a large travel trailer and only one entry door. Could have used a larger water tank, but I guess since most people leave it parked, you’re hooked up to water and sewer.

8 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

Model numbers have become more and more meaningless of the past few years. Used to be you could look at the number portion and get an idea of the length but that is almost never the case now.

8 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

Maybe RD stands for Rear Den?

RV Staff
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You’re correct, Tom. On their floor plan page it says, “Rear den entertainment…” Gold star for you today! Take care. 😀 –Diane

Scott R. Ellis
8 months ago

I wouldn’t tow this with a half-ton, either, but I’m not sure how your story about the nurse’s brother makes that point. He “destroyed” it pulling out of your lot? How? In what way that having a stouter truck would have made any difference?

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