Need Advice Please

Hi All

My wife and I are considering taking the plunge into the world of the 5th wheel. As most of you probably have, we have looked at hundredes of different models. We have settled on the 29' rear lounge style and would like some advice on two particular models. We have narrowed the selection down to the Montana 2955RL and the Cougar 295 EFS. Both are made by Keystone RV company.

Question - All things being equal what advice would you give me on the selection of one of these models.

About the truck. 2003 Dodge 3/4 ton Long Bed Diesel.

Thanks in Advance.


Gary B

Senior Member
Need Advice Please

Hi Neil, welcome to the forum, my opinion is that they are both nice trailers, of course the Montana is up the scale from the Cougar, but theres nothing wrong with the Cougars. We were very very close to puchasing a 2003 Cougar 285EFS, but found a very nice Hitchhiker II at a price we couldn't pass up so thats route we went.You have an excellent tow truck no problems that way, we also like the rear lounge models. My advice go with the one you feel comforable with money wise, everyone figures their only going to buy once, but very few ever do, we have gone from 5th wheels to class a's back to a 5th wheel. Good luck. :) :bleh:
Need Advice Please

Thanks Gary

We also looked at the HitchHiker. What a beautiful trailer. One more question for you. Someone told me to subtract 15% from the sticker and make an offer. Is that about right? And how willing are these RV dealers to deal?

Thanks again


Senior Member
Need Advice Please

I don't remember what the figure is, but I think it was more than 15%. What with the poor economy, I'll bet many dealers are desperate for sales. I'd try 25% or even more and see where it got me. Remember the number 1 rule in bargaining: Once you make an offer, there are only 3 acceptable responses - yes, a counter offer, or 'get out of here'. If you don't get one of the first 2 responses, WALK OUT. If they actually let you get out the door, try them again in a few days, weeks, a month (depending on how far apart the last 2 offers were). Often coming up a little bit, when they know you will actually walk, can do the trick. My trailer, they were 'below our cost' and were still 1200 over my last offer was at an impasse, and they let me walk. A month later, they had 'advertising money available from the manufacturer' and accepted a deal which was $200 over my previous offer (and $1000 under the amount they were 'losing money' on)...

And the other number 1 rule of bargaining, know how much you should pay before you even start to negotiate. And do not go over the amount under any circumstances. Remember, the people are PAID to squeeze as much money out of you as they can, and they have lots of tricks to do it. You have only resolve (and that they need you more than you need them) on your side.

If you go for last years model, you can, with sharp dealing, get it for it's used value. This years model, well expect to eat some depreciation; your goal is to keep it at a minimum.

I find that if you do all your dealing in 'out the door price', then you don't have to try to figure out how much you are spending, and, perhaps more importantly, they can't slip any additional fees in on you. The most annoying was the $89 paperwork fee I would have had to shell out if I didn't already have it included. Especially since there were typos in my information and in the trailer information (including the VIN).

Before buying at any dealer, check out their service department. No matter how good a deal you get, it they have crummy warrenty service, you will be a sad camper (or even non-camper maybe).

Perhaps any even better place to drop money is in the post sales office. There they will attempt to sell you Lo-Jack, finish packages, extended warrenties and the like at 2, 3 or more times what they are worth. Read the fine print, in many cases these are worthless. Sometimes they are worth while, but never at the price asked. Know how much each of these things are worth before you get there, and don't feel any shame on offering 50% or 65% off the asking price.

I didn't know what it was worth and so was real proud of getting Lo-Jack in my truck for only $512 (asking price $900) until I found out that Lo-Jack considers $495 to be the list price...

When you do arrive at a deal on a trailer, it is better not to pay more than a down payment until you have actually seen the trailer, in the condition you want to receive it. While you have the money, you have the power. Once they have the money, you get what they feel like giving you, when they feel like giving it to you. This is of particular importance if you are ordering something; if it is a floor model, with nothing obvious wrong with it, than you may be ok.

Gary B

Senior Member
Need Advice Please

Hi Neil, I have to disagree slightly with John about the economy, (yes in general its less than it could be) but rv dealers are having the best sales ever, and most are offering interest rate of 4.7% to 5.8% on new units, all the dealers we talked to and delt with this spring were doing great, and I tend to agree with them, when you see the turn over on their lots. The real problem with getting more than 15% off is what is the real dealer cost/price. You need the real dealer invoice to determind if your really getting x amount off. One can either subscribe to and check the Dealer version of NADA guide book, or check with 2/3/4 dealers of the same product and compare the prices. As John said sometimes / most times a good dealer is better than a savings of a few dollars. One of the biggest complaints I hear is: I got a really good deal from dealer X but its 125 miles one way to his place and I've had my rig there a coulpe of time and am sick of going that far. According to RV News this is a banner year for RV deliveries from all factories and for just about all makes & models. Good luck in the search. :) :bleh: :approve: