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Old 03-09-2011, 10:26 AM   #1
Berick
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Is the Keystone Outback a well made trailer?

I just sold my very poorly built Travelaire and I am hoping that my research into the Keystone Outback was worth it. I bought a 2011 Outback 298RE 10th Anniversary Edition and I'm hoping I didn't buy another dud. The framing is supposed to be all aluminum except for the roof that is supposed to be galvanized steel truss'. My last trailer (the Travelaire) had less than 4,000 easy kms on it and the lino on the floor was cold cracked and lifting in the corners. One of the bottoms of a shelf fell down as well! When I went to put it back up I noticed the builder didn't even screw the bottom on... it was stapled with no glue! Didn't help that it was made out of crappy wood by-product cardboard stuff either.

Sooooo.... if anyone has an Outback and can let me know how it's done for you that would be great! Good or bad... it doesn't matter. At least I will know what to expect!
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
ktmracer
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We have a 2011 295RE, basically the predicesor to the 298RE, same length, same layout but w/o the bedroom slide. So far I'd say the quality is great for the class of trailer it is, "medium" range. No issues and IMHO I'd say outback designers must have been actual campers based on what was done inside. someone actually knows how campers use the trailer. We did a very through PDI, took about 4 hours, found two very minor cosmetic items to be fixed while we went to lunch. Since then we've camped in it a total of 45+ days, probably 10 different trips including a 3 week trip to Zion/Bryce etc. towed great. Our only "complaint" is that the decorating "themes" that are available aren't really to our tastes, but that's not unique to outback. Seems like everyone has the same basic themes this year. It's ok, but DW did redo the bedroom drapes, headboard and bedspread as soon as it was home, and plans to do more as time is available.

When keystone asked for feedback from us, virtually all the comments I had are incorporated in the 298RE. the must be listening to customers. drawers under the couch, change the orientation of the dinette to keep from banging knees, add a real hitch for bikes, add provisions for rear ladder, add a slide to the Bedroom. were the major things I suggested. Guess what.... things they have added many across the lineup.

Check out outbackers.com
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:58 AM   #3
Bob Landry
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When I ordered mu Outback at the Houston show, I talked to th Keystone Rep. The model we looked at had the Russet color scheme which we liked. The colors and design went with our existing towels, linens, and pillows. Not a bi deal, but we just didn't like Paisley. I told him if I couldn't have one in Russet, I wasn't interested. He said he would make it happen and it's being built now. I'll pick it up in two weeks. To me, all three of the new color schemes are ugly. I'm just trying to figure out why they have two paisley schemes just in different colors. Come on, Keystone.. This isn't 1970.

That said, we ordered the 277RL. I went through it as well as I could for people walking all over a demo, and it does look like a pretty well built trailer. I'm going to have to do some creative loading to shift a little of the hitch weight, but it's doable and that's the one DW liked the best.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
ktmracer
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Originally Posted by Bob Landry View Post
When I ordered mu Outback at the Houston show, I talked to th Keystone Rep. The model we looked at had the Russet color scheme which we liked. The colors and design went with our existing towels, linens, and pillows. Not a bi deal, but we just didn't like Paisley. I told him if I couldn't have one in Russet, I wasn't interested. He said he would make it happen and it's being built now. I'll pick it up in two weeks. To me, all three of the new color schemes are ugly. I'm just trying to figure out why they have two paisley schemes just in different colors. Come on, Keystone.. This isn't 1970.

That said, we ordered the 277RE. I went through it as well as I could for people walking all over a demo, and it does look like a pretty well built trailer. I'm going to have to do some creative loading to shift a little of the hitch weight, but it's doable and that's the one DW liked the best.
we ended up with Russett as well. ya, color schemes really weren't to our liking either. But then, it isn't just keystone with IMHO some pretty bad color schemes.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
chuck&gail
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Outback 230RS

Happy with our little Outback toyhauler so far, but only had it a year.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
Berick
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Good to hear so far! I went with the "moonlight" interior. I hope it looks as good in person as it did in the flyer! lol Hard to tell from a little picture. Will have it at the end of April.
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
ftwildernessguy
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We have a 2009 outback 210rs. I have no complaints. The quality of construction is better than most TT's I have seen and owned. I did have an issue with my pump, but that was Sureflo's problem, not Keystone. Overall, the trailer is very comfortable, and we like the small size of our 210 - easy to tow and gets into tight campsites pretty easily.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:50 AM   #8
Bob Landry
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I think quality in a lot of cases is pretty subjective. I just picked up my Outback and pulled it home(150 miles) after spending a "shakedown night" in it in Houston. When I got home, one of the drawers was partially pulled out and would not close. I found that keystone had used pieces of 1/8" luan(scrap) for backing and attachment plates. The plywood is thin so if the screws are over tightened, the bond is stripped and they can back out. Things like this are minor to me, but I'm capable of fixing about anything that goes wrong barring a structure or frame failure
You have to remember that these are production units and a lot of the workers on the production lines are unskilled. Also, it cost more money to stop the line to replace a piece of split wood than to let the dealer(or owner) deal take care of the minor stuff. This is my second trailer and what I have looked for both times is fit, finish, how well the cabinets are secured to the walls, are the doors properly hung, etc.

All that being said and in answer to your oruginal question, I think the Outbacks are built as well as any medium pricepoint production trailer. I'm not sure you get much better quality in a high dollor unit than you do with these, they just look a little shinier. Enjoy it..
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
Nevada Camper
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268rl

I have a 2010 Outback purchased new. We had a badly installed dinette window which caused leakage. The two entry door windows leaked. Hinge on under bed storage ripped out. Fridge condensation drain was plugged. Door adjustments needed on bath and storage doors. Two storage doors laminated joints broke free.

All fixed under warrantee.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
Johnnyfry
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Quality

Bob is correct. IMHO most of the RVs are built under similar conditions and constraints at the factory, possibly excepting some of the really high $$$$ class As.

Pay more and you get Corian counters, side by side fridge and nicer furnishings, but the basic construction is probably similar. I think we all find things to fix along the way and am occasional real warranty item. I think people tend to expect too much, after all, you can't really compare a portable house on wheels that gets shaken to death every time you take it out with a stick house on a concrete foundation.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
Berick
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Well..... it's been just over 2 years since I wrote this post originally and I thought I would do a quick review of what we like/dislike about this trailer.

On the plus side.... we love the floorplan and think it's a fantastic layout. It's great on a rainy day if you want to visit inside with friends or family. I found the cabinetry to be top-notch compared to the crap we had in the Travelaire and I suspect it will last a long time and won't fall off the walls (such as the cabinets in the Travelaire unit we had). The Outback 298RE offered us tons of internal storage. The carpet and flooring is holding out very well. We live in Canada so the weather can get a bit chilly. That being said, with the Travelaire we had... it went through one winter and the linoleum all cracked and curled along the edges. The Outback is heading into it's third winter and so far so good! We also love the way this trailer tows.... it is very smooth and straight with the equalizer bars on. For a trailer this long, even with equalizer bars... there is usually a lot more sway! The ground clearance is also a huge plus!

For the negatives.... We had a leak from factory that was quickly remedied by the dealer under warranty and it has not come back since. Whoever installs the internal panelling on these trailers should be fired or the company needs to come up with a new method of mounting. This year the roof panel on the dinette slide came down by the light fixture. They had not mounted the edge of the panel to an aluminum stud and had just covered over the seam with a piece of trim. When the technician went to fix it, he also said the majority of the panelling (if not all of it) was held on with adhesive only. This was a nice little $600.00 fix-it bill that I believe was completely unnecessary! To top it off.... the wood panels in the bedroom under the bed that mount to the aluminum frame were all "stapled" and are working themselves off and away from the structure. Not sure who thought it would be a smart idea to staple panels into aluminum with a flat edged staple but it's an easy fix for me to screw a few screws in there to keep it secure. Not sure why they couldn't have at least used a spiral staple, ring nails or screws to keep panels mounted in place. I think it's kind of a no-brainer what happens to a flat edged staple that's put into aluminum??? The steps on this trailer are also another negative. The steps on our trailer seem very flimsy and week. The Travelaire had great steps and out of all the folks we go camping with I can honestly say ours are probably the worst for giving you that "secure" feeling. The water pump is also located in a fairly obnoxious location (on the slide side beside the bed). To winterize this thing you need to be able to contort yourself like Harry Houdini! It's near impossible to switch lines to winterize with RV antifreeze. I tried to instal a winterizing kit and had to give up because I just could not fit my hands and arms in there with tools. We had to take it to a technician and pay them to put a little 150lb guy in there to instal the kit. Another gripe is the flow-through storage at the front of the trailer..... why did they make the opening so small? The camp barbecue we have won't even fit through the opening and there is plenty of room to make this a bit larger. The power awning is a bit sketchy as well..... it does not take small breezes very well at all. A regular awning is way more secure than this particular setup and because of it's design I do not believe there are too many ways to help secure it (we tried anchoring lines from the corners to the ground but it seems a bit hard on the awning arms).

I know this sounds like a pretty hefty complaint list but this was not a cheap bottom grade trailer and the items mentioned are not something that should be coming with this kind of a price tag.

Keystone, if you read this forum all you need to do is;

1) SECURELY mount your paneling better.
2) Instal some BEEFIER STEPS
3) INCLUDE a winterizing antifreeze bypass kit installed in the trailer.
4) Make the opening to the flow-through storage a touch bigger (you have the room).
5) IMPROVE the awning.

These are the only real complaints I have on this unit. The panelling if it continues to keep falling apart is going to cost a small fortune to repair in the future so I hope they get that issue fixed asap.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:12 PM   #12
villui
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Thumbs up love my 301BQ- lack of knowledge has been our problems

For the most part, I think the trailer is a good product for the money and will last us many years . everything about trailer is just fine. agree with the knees getting banged up but that's minor. Had some "how to" "what do I do" issues that were resolved with help from this site and repair by the dealer.
The décor is not my style (dark wood/moonlight interior but the white kitchen cabinets help offset that for me.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:56 PM   #13
Mark TC
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I bought the Outback back in October and love so far


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Old 03-28-2014, 05:30 AM   #14
GAGirl
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Quality of Outbacks

We ordered Outback Terrain 273TRL in October 13 and took delivery in February 2014 - have been out on two trips - 1 long and 1 short - unit performed beautifully - only two small warranty issues - 1 light and slight door adjustment - dealer Camping World in Pooler GA handled those great! - thanks Mustafa! In short - we could not be happier with this unit and look forward to using it for many trips and have 3 scheduled soon! I love the décor, the quality of the cabinets and feel that the unit is all Keystone promised and more......
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:58 AM   #15
paulzar1
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Originally Posted by chuck&gail View Post
Happy with our little Outback toyhauler so far, but only had it a year.
We are looking at at 2014 230RS Outback (not Terrain) and curious if those of you that have or have had this model still pleased. We like it due to light weight and size. We know it might get cramped with 3 kids but expect we will be outside most of the time anyway.

thanks for input
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #16
Marcusjolaine
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We've owned ours for a couple of months and have been out on a couple of trips. It seems to be holding up pretty good. Just took it in for leaking fresh water and was told the tank was split. We'll see how good the parts availability.
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:22 PM   #17
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Purchased our Outback 298RE (2013 model) in September 2013. We've had it for 14 months now and have traveled quite a bit with it. So far, absolutely NO issues at all. Everything working as nice as the day we bought it. No mechanical failures, no flaws, everything good. It's now past the 1 year initial warranty. Walnut Ridge RV (New Castle, Indiana), did the 1 year re-inspection (in the 10th month) and found only some trim that needed tightening down. That was it. So far, it's been a GREAT camper. Love it. Love the layout. Tows wonderful with my 2014 Chevy diesel dully. Going to Florida from Indiana over Christmas (2014) this year. This will be it's second Florida winter trip! Very happy. Good product so far.
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:32 AM   #18
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We love our Outback it is a 2014


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