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Old 06-18-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
Stinger381
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Looking really hard at the Cougar 326SRX

Looking at trading out and up to a Keystone Cougar 326SRX from my Sundance 3300RLB. I frequently travel with kids and would like to take a toy with me ( my Harley ). I want to keep the loft option and the rear room option which the 326SRX would allow. I don't boondock much so I don't need a generator or a fuel station. I do need sleeping options though. As I have seen on the Cougar website the 326 SRX seems to be ideal. The only problem is there aren't any close by at the dealerships. Atlanta and Panama City are my closest options so I haven't stepped into one yet. I am a big guy and am concerned with ceiling heights in the front. If anyone knows the height of the bedroom and shower I would appreciate it. I am 6'5 and a short ceiling height would definitely be a deal breaker for me. I have a 2500 mega cab Cummins Dodge so pulling it is not a problem but the three axle big toy haulers are out. I am not dealing with those large weights.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
jje1960
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32xsrx

We have really loved our 325SRX, think the 326SRX is awesome looking at the pictures. We haul a golf cart in the back, when parked, roll out a nice carpet and have a portable aircon unit, the garage get's real warm and the main aircon does not/not handle. All n' all, super nice 'lite' toyhauler.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
bdaniel
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We looked at the 326 but found a 2014 325 that we love. The problems I had with the 326 were:

1. The crazy slide in the bedroom/bathroom. Who had that brainstorm? The door does not fit flush with the slide wall. There are huge gaps at the top, side and bottom of the door. Why even have a door? There is no privacy for someone in the bathroom if anyone is in the bedroom. Seems like a bad design.

2. The long couch looks nice, but sit on the thing. Feels like sitting on a park bench as the seat depth is very short. I felt like I was falling off the couch all the time.

3. Do you really want to set up the dinette table in front of the couch every time you want to eat a meal? I think there were three posts, maybe four. I don't remember where that table was stored. And the table has to be disassembled before bringing in the slide.

4. I read there was something screwy about how they changed the door into the garage area, but I forgot.

5. The whole outside TV, fridge thing was something we would never use.

6. The auto level thing seemed like an expensive gimmick to me and if it quits working it will be an expensive thing to repair. My touch control panel in my 325 freezes every time I disconnect 120v power. I am hoping to get it replaced with the old style rocker switches under warranty.

Other than that it is a great unit <grin>. We just fell in love with the 325SRX. The bunk is a great option that does not take valuable floor space but is there for guests or grandkids.

Our 2006 Honda Goldwing 1800 fits in the garage fine but I had to tweak the ramp a little.

One last thing, I think the design is solid but ours was manufactured by a bunch of drunks on a Monday morning. Three of the four axle grease seals were damaged at the factory. One had grease all over the brakes and they had to be replaced. Two more had started to leak grease but I was able to clean the pads. The grease seal was so warped, the installer knew he had damaged the seal but did not care because he knew it would never get back to him. Found a couple of other things like that. A leaking vent where I could see light from the outside coming inside around the caulk.

We traveled 1400 miles in less than 48 to get our 325SRX because there were few left. So I have done the repairs myself so far. I have not contacted the dealer.

Sorry for the lengthy post.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bdaniel View Post
...
One last thing, I think the design is solid but ours was manufactured by a bunch of drunks on a Monday morning. Three of the four axle grease seals were damaged at the factory. One had grease all over the brakes and they had to be replaced. Two more had started to leak grease but I was able to clean the pads. The grease seal was so warped, the installer knew he had damaged the seal but did not care because he knew it would never get back to him. Found a couple of other things like that. A leaking vent where I could see light from the outside coming inside around the caulk.


Sorry for the lengthy post.
Bobby
I share many of your concerns. There really is no "excuse" for grease seals that are improperly installed, leaking vents and problems directly attributable to workmanship. But, to hopefully give you some idea of how the grease seals can be sent out that way, here's what I saw at the factory:

The frame comes in "upside-down" and is placed on a set of "forward rollers". The insulation, aluminum bubble wrap and coroplast are installed, then the axle/spring assemblies are installed, tires are installed, the gas line is installed and if called for, the stabilizer jacks (electric, manual or "level-up") and the frame is then "turned over onto a set of "side rollers"....

Then the wiring harness, insulation, heat ducting, holding tanks, gyros for the level-up are installed, the tank sensors are connected and the wiring harness is laid around the frame so it can be accessed as the frame rolls sideways down the assembly line. As it continues on its way, the floor, furniture, appliances, walls, roof substructure, end caps, etc are installed and then the EPDM roofing membrane is installed.

Next the coach goes to the "fitting" area where windows, roof and sidewall vents, etc are installed. Work on the inside at this area includes connecting the appliances, electrical inside work like switches, heat and A/C ducting and vents, lighting, stereo, TV antenna etc are installed,

It then goes on to "final" where decals, finishing touches and cleanup occur. Next it's pushed backwards out the door and put in the "Quality Check" area. Holding tanks are filled, plumbing, electrical, heat and air systems are checked. I saw the QC team filling holding tanks, water tanks, pulling dump valves, checking thermostats, A/C's, furnaces, lighting stoves and HWH, turning on lights and vent fans. They didn't do a 100# check on each unit, but a "representative check" on each system in each unit. I believe they expect the dealership to do the 100% function check during the PDI, yet many dealers skip major parts of that service before the sale.....

While I was there, I saw large numbers of "orange stickers" placed throughout, in and on the coaches. These were "call-backs" where the team would be pulled off the assembly line to repair their own mistakes. This slowed the line, so there was a "push" to not have any mistakes...

Workers do not get paid an "hourly wage" but are paid by production. If the line slows, then everyone on the line starts losing money. There is a good amount of personal pride in not being the "one who has to go to QC and repair mistakes. Motivation to keep the line moving and not causing it to be slowed by repair issues is a major part of their production schedule.

While there are problems with any assembly line product, I don't believe that Keystone is any better nor any worse than their competition (in the same price range)...

As for the grease seals, if Dexter axles are being installed, it's a Dexter issue since the axles are brought to the line as a complete assembly and installed on the frame while it's upside-down. Possibly, Keystone's workforce should be doing a "QC check" on Dexter's product, but then, why wouldn't they also be doing a "leak check" on the holding tanks before laying the floor? and why wouldn't they be checking every switch, every light bulb before installation? One of the key elements of a production cycle is the expectation that you are installing functional components.

There are some Keystone RV's that get out with issues (it's an assembly line product") just as there are Dexter axles that get out with bad grease seals (it's an assembly line product) just as there are Dometic air conditioners that get out with defective components (assembly line product) just as there are Fords, Chevrolets, GMCs and Dodges that get out with defective components that never get noticed until the product is in the hands of the consumer...

From what I saw in Goshen, the axle seals are not a Keystone problem, rather a Dexter problem. They are never checked at the factory, but the factory expects the dealer's PDI (for which Keystone pays the dealer) to include servicing the axles as well as every other component and system on the RV before you ever see it. Some do, some don't.....

I'm not defending Keystone, they certainly can do better (all assembly lines can do better) rather just trying to illustrate that what comes off the line is hardly ever "perfect" but usually is functional and almost always can be repaired under warranty to the consumer's satisfaction (although the frustration can usually never be eliminated along the way).....
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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325 vs 326

Wow. After reading, feel same, even better about our 325SRX. It's really been nice owning our unit since pickup in Fall of 2010. So far, we have not had any issues with the axle grease, will be giving a few pumps in each after our Myrtle Beach trip.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:06 PM   #6
Stinger381
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I appreciate the info on the new 326SRX.

While I feel the crazy slide would not be an issue I do like the fact that it does have a door closing off the bedroom. Even if there is a second pocket door with some gaps at the floor and ceiling. My current Sundance has that stiff curtain for a bedroom door so even the pocket door would be an upgrade. Plus I get a closet in the bathroom. The current RV has the bathroom closet in the bedroom.

The couch would definitely be an issue if it is not comfortable. I doubt we would use it much like a dinette but we would probably use the table while preparing meals. There is very little counter space in either the 325 or 326 models.

The outside fridge and TV would also be a plus for us. We spend a lot of time around the fire and watch a portable tv outside right now so a fridge for beverages and a mounted tv would be great.

Level up stuff I've never had before so I really would just have to wait and see.

I am still very concerned about ceiling heights in the bedroom area though. I may just have to make a road trip and check one out in person before I am ready to buy.

Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Well I made the 150 mile trek today to take a look at the Cougar 326SRX. I was not impressed.

At first approach to the trailer the front cap on top was faded badly. There was a deep 5 inch scratch under the under belly storage bin too. I went into the camper and just felt cramped. The living area is so much shorter in length than my current SOB unit. I sat on the couch. It wasn't bad at all to sit on. They had the table set up with dishes and such so I didn't take it down to try out the leg room but the table was crooked. Not warped but the holes in the floor that the pipes went into were not installed straight so the table was crooked and not square with the couch.

The loft was ok with a very cheaply made mattress but would have been ok. The loft mattress in my SOB is much nicer. The TV in the 5'ver's living area was too small. I didn't measure it but I'm guessing it was 24 inches and a no name brand ? My current unit has a 32 inch TV in the living area by Jenson that is nice. The TV in the garage is about 15 inches and too small as well. We use the back room of our current unit with the Playstation and that's not happening on that small TV. The rest of the back was ok and useable.

The slide is awkward in the bathroom too, I didn't think it would be but it was. The door does leave gaps and no privacy. The bedroom was useable but not as nice as my SOB 5'ver I have now. An odd thing I noticed is there was no 110v plug by the night stand. It would have been nice to put one there so you can charge a phone or have an alarm clock maybe ?

The real disappointment was the outdoor entertainment center. The TV again was too small and the refrigerator won't even hold a 12 pack of drinks. It literally is smaller than a dorm room frig. This unit did not have the level up leveling system but it had a remote that I didn't understand.

There is very little counter space in the kitchen and the drawers are awkward in location. I just didn't like the 5'ver at all. I was expecting a little more quality from the Cougar and I realized real quick it was a lower quality unit than my Midprofile Sundance.

The Salesman asked if I wanted to talk numbers and I simply said I am not impressed at all and I'm not interested. I did look at a Raptor that was on the lot and it was nicer and the quality I was expecting in the Cougar but I wasn't wanting to spend $65,000. I went to their other lot and saw the new Carbon 327 but again it was $65,000. I really liked it too. I think I am going to keep my current unit and just miss my Harley while camping. There was a Cougar with a rear loft I saw and I liked somewhat and a Cougar with a rear patio option with a frig and TV that was nice but I was a little disappointed with the Cougar line and glad I made the trip to see them myself.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:32 PM   #8
pmedic433
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We love our 326srx! I wonder if stinger looked at a model with the recliners? Love em! Also our living room tv fills up the entire space! At least 40". Also the quality is what sold it for us. I found only a loose facade, and a loose vacuum breaker. Fit and finish for the rest was awesome! Now we originally looked at a heartland torque, and the quality was horrible. May be the one that stinger looked at was made on a Monday morning or Friday! Lol!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:30 PM   #9
Stinger381
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I didn't see any recliners in this one. I think it has definitely sat on the lot for a while though.

One question I do have is, do the tv's come installed from the factory or does the local dealer pick and choose what is installed. Every tv was a legend brand, I think. But every tv failed to even come close to filling up the holes. One of the tv's appeared to have a scuff on it too that dug into the glass.

Don't get me wrong the cabinetry was as nice as my current heartland product. The trailer was nice but just not what I was expecting. The one grey tank valve under the slide was a little odd too but it wouldn't have been a deal breaker.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:32 PM   #10
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Srx

We did some modifications to our 325, now very happy with how the layout and more open main cabin and ability to load our cart. Other mod's include sat dome, 2nd aircon and inverter to run TV while unhooked.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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I really like this model but have serious doubts it would be functional with atv's. That door is awful small I think. Anyone using their 326 and ride quads?


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Old 07-18-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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I ride quads, but the 326 is still in storage until we have the opportunity to retrieve it.

I did some measuring. Even though the door is only six feet wide, it is offset to the right, so I figure I can load one on the left and then go straight in with the second one.

Most of the time we'll haul a BMW GS, and there will be plenty of room.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:40 AM   #13
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Does anyone know the true interior dimensions of the garage? Seems with some models the measurements listed tend to be off a bit
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:56 AM   #14
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Its my understanding that it is 94" wide by 10' long. The folding couches/beds encroach into that width, so I plan to remove them after I take possession.
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Old 10-23-2023, 12:41 PM   #15
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Hauling a golf Cart

Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1960 View Post
We have really loved our 325SRX, think the 326SRX is awesome looking at the pictures. We haul a golf cart in the back, when parked, roll out a nice carpet and have a portable aircon unit, the garage get's real warm and the main aircon does not/not handle. All n' all, super nice 'lite' toyhauler.
Hello, we are looking at a Unit like yours. We have a Golf Cart, not lifted, its a 4 seater. Was your very tight fitting under the Loft Ceiling in the Garage? Ours is 9 ft long, trying to figure out if it will fit. Really appreciate a reply, thank you
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Old 10-23-2023, 01:40 PM   #16
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Hello, we are looking at a Unit like yours. We have a Golf Cart, not lifted, its a 4 seater. Was your very tight fitting under the Loft Ceiling in the Garage? Ours is 9 ft long, trying to figure out if it will fit. Really appreciate a reply, thank you
Since the member you are waiting on a reply from hasn't been on the forum since 2018, doubt you will hear from that member. Best to take a tape measure and find out for yourself if your golf cart will fit if you can find the camper you refer to. Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2023, 07:19 PM   #17
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Since the member you are waiting on a reply from hasn't been on the forum since 2018, doubt you will hear from that member. Best to take a tape measure and find out for yourself if your golf cart will fit if you can find the camper you refer to. Good luck.
And, after you measure and determine that it's going to be close but "should fit", then take the golf cart and actually attempt to load it and close the door. There are a number of variables that might preclude you from actually getting your cart into the garage that go beyond the length, width and height. You've also got to clear the ramp and be able to get out of the cart to "escape the garage" or learn to ride in it until you reach your destination.....

A "hands on successful load, tie down and door closure" is the only real way to know for sure that it's going to fit.
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