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Old 08-15-2022, 08:07 AM   #1
mtwaggin
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2022 Keystone Passport - Yay or Nay?

I'm a prospect and have been down rabbit holes for weeks and still on the fence about the 268bh trailer. Floor plan is the bomb for us BUT I do have some questions for you all that are bothering me.

1. It is a trailer built during the boom in business (and covid) and honestly that is probably my biggest concern because of what I've seen in the forums and elsewhere about quality control and parts issues (including but not limited to the Lippert frames), many leaky roof issues, leaky slides, plumbing issues and some structural as well as some axel/leaf spring issues. Those are pretty huge and my pet peeve is plumbing issues most of all.

It seems like most built before 2019 - people are very happy with but after that things went awry. Any input from the group and do you have a 2019-2022 trailer that has issues.

2. Keystone and Dealer warranty coverage (aka the royal run around). Now I'm pretty handy and most things I just take care of but BIG stuff that requires tearing apart the trailer or replacing a roof - no way. It does seem like the dealers are the key to these things (and I'll admit the dealer I'm looking to buy from doesn't have a stellar reputation for service - even their sales people admit). I did go out to BBB to just see what kind of Keystone responses there were - it's pretty generic where yes say, Forest River has as many complaints but their responses seem much more helpful and less scripted. Input from the group?

3. To be fair I'd love to hear from newer owners what their feeling is about the quality of their trailers. I'm seeing pretty stable comments about mostly love for pre 2019. Honestly I'm a data analyst by profession, I'd love to know are 90% of the later models really super great and only 10% suck?

Thanks y'all!

Sherry
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:21 AM   #2
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The quality issue has a lot to do with the buyer. Stand firm on a complete inspection of the trailer BEFORE signing on the dotted line. Examine the roof, plumbing, and insure all things work as they should; that means the trailer should have water and electricity connected. Spotting issues before you sign is a great impetus to the selling dealer to fix those things BEFORE you buy or take delivery; if they claim they will, get it in writing. To be honest, I personally could catch almost every problem a trailer has prior to purchase and if buying, would hold them to fixing it before signing or IN WRITING commit to fixing it after purchase in a TIMELY fashion. I would tend to want the stuff fixed prior. Too many new owners don't have the selling dealer extend/retract the slides, make sure all appliances work or take a look at the roof to ensure things are sealed as they should. Carefully check out the selling dealer to see if they stand behind their sales after purchase. Keystone will only accept warranty claims to the degree these are documented and pursued by the selling dealer. All brands are in the same boat as far as quality and parts go as they all have the same worker pools and suppliers.
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:34 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Letís start with the warranty. IMO, extended warranties are a joke. Many require checks at least annually, they donít kick in until the factory warranty expires. That could be anywhere from 1-3 years. The only time I have ever seen one pay for itself is if there is a major problem with a big ticket item such as a fridge. BTW, rood warranties are 15 years for the material.

As for water leaks/problems, it happens with all RVs. They typically good when they leave the factory, but the first few times bouncing down the road, things loosen up. Donít be surprised if any rv you buy ends up with some water leaks at some point in the first year or two. Typically, you tighten the connection and youíre good to go.

As someone who worked at a dealer, Forest River was a nightmare for our warranty and service departments. Many times it was a fight to get approvals, then after the approval, they would change what they paid the service department for. It got to the point the dealership dropped the FR products.

When it comes to RVs, I worry more about the structure, whatís under the skin that you canít see. The passport is a very well built light weight trailer. One of the main differences are the double welds in the walls. That keeps the structure square. The other thing, everything that attaches to a wall has a steel plate behind it. Iíve seen soooo many RVs where the exterior grab handle is loose or falling off, grab the handle on a passport and start rocking the rv, itís solid!! Iím 240 lbs, when I sold RVs, I would demonstrate this by hanging on an interior cabinet, I could do pull-ups on a passport cabinet. I wouldnít have the confidence to do that on a non keystone.

As for the quality of Covid vs non-Covid units, yes there seems to be some issues with some, probably more than in the non COVID units, but the passport is a pretty basic trailer. Most of the quality issues Iíve seen seem to be with the more advanced items on higher end models.
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Old 08-15-2022, 09:54 AM   #4
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Some thoughts on your quandry;

I do believe that quality has dropped a notch since Covid but also think that is probably going to change since units aren't moving like they were so they won't be trying to throw them out the door as fast as they can. That said I believe the number one failure of a new buyer is to do a thorough PDI; insist on it by the dealer with a copy of their pre delivery repairs given to you then following up with your own top to bottom PDI using the list available on this forum. That in and of itself will eliminate many, if not most/all, of the complaints of terrible quality before it ever reaches your hands.

Know what RVs are all about. On that PDI, after delivery and every 6 mos. you need to go over an RV checking the roof and all seams for any cracks or voids. These things bang, shake, rattle and roll down the highway and things come undone, loosen etc. due to that. If you don't stay on top of it things will most assuredly "come undone" and usually with some sort of damage. When you stop look for loose screws, drawers, doors etc. - it happens to all of them. Staying on top of them is the key vs thinking they are like a s&b and just letting things ride until they break.

Make sure you have a good dealer if you think you will use warranty repair. I've had warranty work done on nearly every new trailer I've purchased. A good dealer goes a long way in assuring customer happiness. Be vigilant always but particularly in the first 12 mos. of warranty. When something comes up don't let them drag it out past the warranty expiration. Also, if it looks like that is going to happen document it and let the dealer, and Keystone, that you expect repairs after the warranty period is up. I've done that a few times and they've never balked.

Mine is a 2019 bought literally just prior to the shutdown. It had some issues and they did quite a bit of warranty repair on it. I expected some of it, some I didn't but it didn't matter because I KNEW there would be something. When they agreed (Keystone) to replace the entire undersides of my slides I was very happy.

Extended warranty? Bought it for the first time on the last one and by golly it paid for itself then the black tank developed a hole in it and it had to be replaced. Is it always that way? No. It's just something you have to weigh for yourself.

Bottom line I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new unit if I was in the market but I know what I'm looking at, what I'm looking for and what I expect. The things we see are usually non structural (seams, seals, caulking, loose this and that) and the damage that can bring and lots of things that should have been caught at point of sale. Floors, slide floors, roofs etc. generally get ruined by water intrusion hence stressing the sealing and inspections of same. If you're in the market and really want one I wouldn't wait "until" since none of us knows when that might be....if ever. If you decide yay we would be happy to answer any questions you may have as you enter the process.

BTW, welcome to the forum and sorry for the long post!
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Old 08-15-2022, 01:41 PM   #5
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We have a Passport 240BH. It is a 2019 model built in August 2018. It has no more or less issues than any other trailer we have ever owned.
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Old 08-16-2022, 07:38 PM   #6
mtwaggin
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Thanks

....for your insights and thoughts. Luckily not my first RV but always have stuff to learn. Still not sure if it a go or not and to be honest the Universe will take care of that too! I have a trailer and have camping planned and I know how good it is and with 8 years together, how it works. Not 100% sure I am ready to part with it either so I promise if I do get the Passport I will let ya know!
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:53 PM   #7
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We just purchased our second camper (upgraded a 2017 Clipper) - a 2022 Passport GT 2704RKWE knowing full well the issues that have crept in during the last two years with QC and build issues. If helps that we have a dealership that *does* care about the customers satisfaction - and for all the complaining I've heard about Keystone's customer service (mostly on Facebook) the two times I've had to deal with them directly (minor stuff) they've been more than helpful.

We had already decided on the floor plan - the 2704 is a perfect layout for a couple with two small dogs and there weren't a lot of options that met layout my wife had and the length and weight requirements I had.

So when we went to the dealership, we went with a notepad and a packet of red stickers and did, short unscrewing things and pulling off panels, and looking in the deep crevices, a very very thorough inspection top to bottom, hitch to bumper. We made them hook up power to it to do some base systems checks.

All told the list was about 25 or so items long, all minor really, and things I could have addressed myself, but didn't want to. They were 100% understanding and assured us that everything on the list would be taken care of before we took delivery and signed. We also ended up coming in well under Keystones MSRP for the camper as equipped.

I should also note our camper had been on the lot since late April and we had some pretty significant rain out here up until late June/early July - and there was zero evidence of leaks/water incursion.

When we went in for signing/delivery - before we even set foot in the dealership we did *another* walk around and went down the list of things we had annotated - every one of them were fixed. I also tested every single system on the rig - (they hooked up propane so I cold verify stoves, oven, fridge, water heater, outdoor stove, etc).

We had a couple things installed - backup camera and a slide awning - they did a fantastic job - installed correctly, sealed correctly. During hookup the tongue jack crapped out - they replaced it on the spot (not that they had a choice)...

Once all of that was done and we were 100% happy we then did the signing portion while they set up my Equalizer hitch on our TV (with the exception of the jack which happened during hookup).

Since we got it home, I've of course opened things up, and did some deeper QC inspection. For the most part things weren't too terrible. A few crappy staples in the dinette frame and bed support - all easily fixed with good brackets. A couple items that were mildly cringeworthy (but cosmetic really) - ie the cutout for the water heater looks like it was cut by a toddler with Parkinson's and a dull jigsaw - but not visible, so something I can fix for my own OCD sake over the winter.

Some things I felt Keystone went cheap on (no friction hinges in the overheads was SUPER annoying, but easy to fix) but all things that they were willing to have dialog on. The (N)Everchill fridge in the outdoor kitchen crapped out, they sent a replacement - that was dead on arrival. They sent me a check to buy a new one myself - which was great because I ended up with a bigger one (that still fit) and a few bucks in my pocket.

What I've personally discovered is having a good dealership is a huge part of making sure you get treated fairly. Approaching any support issue with them and Keystone with non-combative attitude, but still being firm, and using humor, the support experiences I've had so far have been great. I get getting upset - we spend a lot of money on these things - but being overly irate/abusive is going to go nowhere.

The other key is not "settling" and just driving it off the lot....give it a hard look when you finally decide - if you're new to this stuff - take someone with you who's been around the block....

Sorry for the long read, but that was my Covid-Era TT Build experience....
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:41 AM   #8
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IZf you're expecting new car quality, you will be disappointed with any trailer from any manufacturer, regardless of model or price. That "quality standard" does not exist in the RV market.

That said, I'm not sure there's an "overall decline in quality" as much as there is an "increased level of technology that hasn't been adequately tested before introduction"... What I mean by that is when the design engineers build a concept vehicle and "test the components in field trials" and everything works perfectly, then half way through the year, the supply chain can't provide THOSE SPECIFIC COMPONENTS and the line supervisors solve the problem by installing "something close to the same component", well when that trailer gets to its owner, it may develop "glitches that nobody knows how to fix" and that leads to increased frustration and a feeling of "this trailer is crap"....

Looking at trailers on the sales lots, I don't see a remarkable increase in bad build mistakes over previous years. What I do see is trailers with a Furrion stereo, Legend TV, Dometic microwave and Atwood range with a "Kuree 12 volt refrigerator" in place of the GE that was shown in the brochures. Go to the owner's manual for the refrigerator and there's no troubleshooting guide, no contact information for customer service and "third world English printed on polished tissue paper"... When the In-Command system fails to recognize the "various components that were substituted for what was called for in the build, it's usually in a campground, miles from any dealer and the owner "discovers that his trailer is crap"....

But, I don't see a marked increase in sloppy installs, missing trim pieces, crooked or slanted installed vinyl flooring or missing slide seals.... The build quality is about the same, but the overall reliability due to how things were designed and what was installed seems to be an issue.

Bottom line: Don't expect a flawless trailer. Plan on being back to the dealer's service center several times and expect some level of frustration, you won't be disappointed as it can only go up from your expectations....
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:11 AM   #9
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Extended warranties: I have only seen a select few that require annual inspection, there is a checklist that we have to sign off and IIRC it costs about $300.00 each time. They donít start until the factory warranty expires so your paying for coverage you ďcanít useĒ. I bought an extended warranty only because I was retired and didnít like the thought of buying another fridge/AC. At 4 yrs my AC did quit and I only paid $100 deductible. I had EZ care, no annual inspections, but there are numerous others. They generally only pay for a failed component, not cosmetic things.

Would I do it again? Not anymore since I have acquired years of experience working on these marvels, but a person who is not versed in the skills needed to diagnose/repair these things it might me well worth it.
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Old 08-26-2022, 05:33 PM   #10
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Several years ago I knew nothing of RVs I had spent most of my adult life rebuilding heavy collision on high end euro trash

I bought an old camper proceeded to test and repair all systems ( good thing I only gave 500 bucks for that one ) I had basic knowledge of 120v AC from home repairs/remodels am intimately familiar with 12v DC I had basic plumbing skills again from home ownership
To summarize you may know absolutely nothing of an RV but these aren't space shuttles theyre big boxes that are half car half house and with a little common sense you can handle about anything they throw at you
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Old 09-13-2022, 06:39 AM   #11
mtwaggin
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Cool Thanks All! PP out but Kodiak or Outback Maybe? LOL

Thanks all for your thoughtful replies. You gave me a lot to think about and while the Passport didn't pan out (for a number of reasons) I am still looking at some Keystone products. With that I've also been introduced to some Dutchman products (which I was surprised to find out is also Keystone/Thor) literally yesterday. I saw some Kodiak's which were interesting and I'm also thinking I may go take a peek (out of town) at the Outback. I have family that have had 2 Outbacks and as you all noted - not perfect but they like them. There are a couple floor plans that intrigue me so think I'll drive the hour and go get a feel for the build quality on those as well. I most DEFINITELY am looking to get from a dealer that is more local and isn't just in the biz to churn out sales. We shall see and while shopping is exciting it is definitely getting exhausting (okay I may "overthink" things a bit too much". If you all have any input on the Dutchman lines or the Outbacks - throw them at me!
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Old 09-13-2022, 07:56 AM   #12
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Dutchman was "assigned to Keystone management" several years ago. Part of that decision by THOR was location. Dutchman is literally "behind the fence" from Keystone's "head shed"... So, it was a logical decision to reduce management costs by putting Dutchman under the Keystone umbrella...

It is "sort of like adoption".... When Dutchman first came under Keystone, there were lots of differences in how things were done, how warranty claims were handled, how customer service was handled, what parts were used and how the supply lines were managed as well as "worker benefits and worker training"....

Like an "adopted child", before too long, that child starts acting more and more like a member of the family.... So did Dutchman, for the most part, and when Keystone took over the warranty process, the Customer Service process and started training Dutchman employees as well as signing their paycheck, Dutchman started looking more and more like Keystone......

So, other than the "uniqueness that maked Dutchman stand out from the crowd" if you look at the "skeleton under the FILON or aluminum siding, you'll find they are very much the same as Keystone.

Which likely is much the same as you'll find with Outback or Cougar or Montana or Laredo or .....
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Dutchman was "assigned to Keystone management" several years ago. Part of that decision by THOR was location. Dutchman is literally "behind the fence" from Keystone's "head shed"... So, it was a logical decision to reduce management costs by putting Dutchman under the Keystone umbrella...

It is "sort of like adoption".... When Dutchman first came under Keystone, there were lots of differences in how things were done, how warranty claims were handled, how customer service was handled, what parts were used and how the supply lines were managed as well as "worker benefits and worker training"....

Like an "adopted child", before too long, that child starts acting more and more like a member of the family.... So did Dutchman, for the most part, and when Keystone took over the warranty process, the Customer Service process and started training Dutchman employees as well as signing their paycheck, Dutchman started looking more and more like Keystone......

So, other than the "uniqueness that maked Dutchman stand out from the crowd" if you look at the "skeleton under the FILON or aluminum siding, you'll find they are very much the same as Keystone.

Which likely is much the same as you'll find with Outback or Cougar or Montana or Laredo or .....
Keystone also became the parents to the Crossroads line at about that same time as well.
Mtwaggin about 80-85% of the rvs you'll see on the highway are owned by Thor, the other 15-20% is split between Forest River & Winnebago.
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Old 09-13-2022, 12:39 PM   #14
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Yup I know Thor is the big player in the field for sure so how about I give a little bit more information. The Kodiak's surprised me when at the lot. I will say the builds felt a LOT like the Passport (I'll also admit I was looking at a Rockwood Mini Lite and I was really disappointed in that build quality). Then I started looking at Outback floorplans and well there are actually 2 that work well for me the 21UMD and the 2244UBH so if anyone has those would love to hear more. To say this has been an adventure would be a gross understatement! This group is amazing though - so much experience and wisdom!
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Old 09-13-2022, 01:46 PM   #15
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Do some very serious comparisons with the Outback 221UMD and the 224UBH.

The may be similar in length, but they are very different in conceptual use.

The 221UMD is only available with a single air conditioner (and no optional 50 amp service) which means it can't "grow to stay cool by adding a second A/C". It has no bunks and with the main bed, dinette and sofa, it will sleep 6 people total. It has 30 gallons of gray water capacity and an open floorplan with only a curtain to close off or separate the sleeping areas. The galley is "sort of" separated from the "gathering area" which keeps people from crawling over each other while someone is trying to prepare meals. There are two additional spaces for people to sit without having to use the dinette to relax. The sofa makes having more than 2 people in the trailer during bad weather "tolerable" because they don't have to crawl over each other to find a place to sit.

The 224UBH has an optional second air conditioner, comes standard with 50 amp shore power system, and can "grow to stay cool". It has two "double bunks" plus the dinette and main bed, and can sleep 8 (2 more than the 221UMD). There is a "wall to close off the main bedroom", but the galley is "in the middle of the gathering area" which can make it difficult to prepare meals with people coming and going to the seating spaces, which are limited to the dinette (have to crawl over each other to sit or sit on the beds to avoid standing). It also has 60 gallons of gray water capacity.

Both have 14" wheels with 205 75R14D tires, which are the heaviest 14" tires available. That means to upgrade tire capacity, would mean upgrading both tires and wheels (an added expense)...

The 244UBH GVWR is 7670 while the 221UBH GVWR is 7200 pounds. That means the tires on the 244UBH have 430 pounds less "reserve capacity". Something to think about as tires age and lose capacity.

I'd urge you to "dig deeper" than just "this floorplan will work" although that is/should be the major consideration. When you start comparing two "very similar trailers" and dig into the standard features/options, it gets clearer that one trailer can "grow with you" while the other has limitations that may make it more difficult to expand features in the future, if you come to need those features.....

Yeah, you'll have many more than just a few headaches as you try to analyze trailers to find the one that meets the most needs while not "blowing itself out of the water" with things we want, but don't necessarily have to have.....
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