View Full Version : Outback quality

07-25-2020, 10:20 AM
Hi. A good friend is looking to buy a four or five year old Outback TT. Over the years it seems all the manufacturers have had good and bad years. When I got my Starcraft Aruba in 2004 it was a quality unit and it was a toss up between that and an almost identical Outback. When looking for my new TT I looked at Starcraft units and was not very pleased which is why we now own a Cougar.
Anybody have any insight on mid-teens Outback Quality?

07-25-2020, 12:39 PM
Ours is not exactly 'mid teens' it is a 2018 Outback.
It's not a great trailer, but not a terrible one either. The price was right for what it is, an economy trailer. There were some things that I thought could be better and a lot that was good with it.
Our 272UFL is an ultralight and 'you gets what you pays for'. Lots of room, but lightly constructed.
If you accept that proposition, they're good enough.

07-25-2020, 01:04 PM
We had a 2013 Keystone Outback 295RE for 5 years. Good camper.

About the only thing we did to it was swap out the original air conditioner for a bigger one and added the electric tongue jack. In the 5 years, we got new tires. We had vent covers added when we purchased it. I replaced the original battery after almost 5 years. I'd never had it disconnected. The cables were so corroded to the battery terminals, I ended up breaking off the terminals, which resulted in a bit of rewiring for the battery, as all the small connecting cables were corroded, and one broke one one end, causing the other end to need to come loose, causing the next one to break. I eventually got it all straightened up, and then took a real good examination of the camper and didn't object to just "visit" different dealerships.... well, that led to the purchase of our current Montana High Country fifth wheel. (Thinking full timing and retirement.... which by the way ... is only 10 months away now).

Over all, we never had any issues with the Outback. All the appliances worked great, the refrigerator held temps right at 34 degrees, in any weather or outside temperature and the freezer always stood at 5 below .... always, gas or electric.

I burned up the water heater electric element once, but that was my fault.

I kept the camper plugged into shore power 5 years non-stop, unless actually on the road. We did a LOT of winter camping (dry camping) in it too, and we used it for our bedroom in our driveway and slept in it every night for 5 years, except in the months of January and early February. It traveled from central Indiana to Florida about 10 times, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa several times. It towed great with our Chevy 3500 dually diesel long bed crew cab with an Equal-i-zer 4-point weight distribution hitch system.

I say all that, because the only true "repair" we had done on it that truly required an RV service facility was to replace the awning when it simply wore thin and tore, also bent one of the awning arms, so had the entire thing replaced. I do believe, that was the only true repair beyond the scope of my ability and talent, time and energy, space and help to do, other than tires.

It was a very good camper. Probably one of the best we had, especially for the amount of use we got out of it.

Just an FYI, a camper can come out of the factory in pristine condition and built with the highest quality and craftsmanship. But if the owner does not take care of it, and AGRESSIVELY maintain it, the best one ever manufactured will be a pile of junk in 6 months if the new owner will not take care of it and abuse it. Regardless of how old they are, new or used, or what kind of condition they are in when you purchase it, it will require diligent work and pay maticulous attention to detail to keep them nice. If you are not prepared to invest your full time effort into keeping it in good shape, and be willing to invest money into keeping them nice, then you might as well go ahead and purchase a used beat-up one to start out with then.


07-25-2020, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the input. I understand the maintenance part but over the years I have looked at a lot of new units from many companies and there have been some - even at shows - that made me cringe when i "pulled the curtain back" and looked under things. Maybe it is/was an occupational hazard being that I always worked in Quality Control. Made shopping hard but when I was impressed there was usually a sale.
I always stress research to shoppers and in this case I decided ti help my friend with his. To narrow it a little he is looking at around 23 or 24 foot long. Thanks again for the help!

07-25-2020, 03:36 PM
After you have worked on them for a while, you’ll get even a better (scarier) idea of how these things are built.

Tripping Over Normal
07-25-2020, 04:34 PM
I have had my 2014 Outback Terrain for the last 6 years, and things now are starting to break. It seems like this is the norm with most TT.

07-27-2020, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the replies. Seems like the Outbacks are no better or worse than most trailers. Didn't see any giant red flags come up and five or six years before things go wrong is not bad for what is out there these days.

07-27-2020, 10:15 AM
The only thing I'd look for is "styrofoam laminated floors"... Many (probably most) ultra-lite trailers use a laminated flooring system. The "older method" (from top to bottom" was "vinyl, double 1/8" luan, styrofoam, single 1/8" luan, DARCO"... The DARCO was subject to pin holes caused by rocks when towing. That allowed water to enter the structure and soak the luan, causing it to rot prematurely....

NEWER construction techniques have replaced the bottom luan layer with a water resistant rigid structural material (similar to ADZEL)... I don't know if Outback has started using that technology or if they are still using the older and less reliable luan structural process.....

MANY owners have has significant problems with water intrusion, so many, that Keystone opened a "floor repair/replacement facility both in Oregon and in Goshen... If the company constructed two facilities to address a problem, it's more than a "minor issue" .....