The Grand Design Solitude vs Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel RV
The RV world is full of high-quality brands. Two of the most popular manufacturers are Grand Design RV and Keystone RV. Within these brands, the Grand Design Solitude and the Keystone Montana are some of the best sellers every year.
These models are both fifth wheels, and they share several similarities. As a result, customers often have a difficult time choosing between one or the other. In addition, each of these brands offers a huge variety of floor plans, so you sometimes need to compare individual models instead of the entire lineup.
Choosing the right fifth wheel for your needs isn’t easy. You’ll have to account for several factors, such as the number of people you travel with, your storage needs, your comfort level, and the overall construction quality. It’s a multi-faceted process, but we’ll compare the Grand Design Solitude and Keystone Montana so you can choose the model that best fits your lifestyle.
Grand Design Solitude
“If more room is what you desire, Solitude is the most spacious Extended Stay Fifth Wheel ever built! The Solitude RV delivers taller ceilings, taller, deeper cabinets, larger scenic window areas, a full 6′ 8″ tall slideout, and a body width that measures a full 101 inches!”granddesignrv.com
1. Luxury design and amenities
One of the most appealing things about a Grand Design Solitude is the level of comfort. These are specifically designed to provide a luxurious experience, and every aspect reflects this goal. All fifth wheels are fairly comfortable and spacious, but the Solitude takes things to a new level.
Each model has multiple slideouts, and these are typically larger than their Keystone counterparts. They’re also equipped with the latest and greatest technology. It’s like a mansion on wheels!
2. Increased storage capacity
Grand Design models are typically quite large (although some are comparable to Keystone RVs). In addition to the larger layout, they also have a greater storage capacity. Full-time RVers enjoy this feature because it enables them to take all their possessions on the road.
This fact also applies to the water storage capacity. A Grand Design Solitude can generally carry about 90 gallons of fresh water, while a similar Keystone model might only have 60 gallons. The more water you have, the more campground options you have! You can also go long periods between refilling your tanks.
3. Great customer service
Grand Design is owned by Winnebago, which is one of the oldest RV brands in the country. However, the Grand Design Solitude is a fairly recent addition to the industry. As such, they made a point to distinguish themselves with stellar customer service.
If you run into problems with your RV, you can always call the company for help. They’re qualified to answer questions, put you in touch with professionals, and provide helpful suggestions. Grand Design scores much higher than Keystone in terms of public approval.
4. Year-round capabilities
Many people who invest in fifth wheels want to use them all year long. This is great news for Grand Design customers because each model is equipped with a four-season package. They have superior insulation, heated tanks, and powerful heating/AC systems.
1. Less customization
Although the four-season package is appealing to most customers, others might not want it. The downside of a Grand Design Solitude is that customers don’t have a lot of customization options when they buy one. Most packages come pre-installed, and there isn’t an opportunity to opt-out.
2. Heavier build
Fifth wheels are generally quite large and heavy, but the Grand Design definitely weighs in on the heavier end of the scale. It’s well-made, but the materials are fairly dense. In addition, the larger floor plans and increased carrying capacity add to the bulk.
A heavy build isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but you’ll have to consider how powerful your tow vehicle is. If your current truck isn’t strong enough, you might have to invest in a more powerful upgrade. This is an expensive process, so make sure you consider the level of weight you can handle.
Keystone Montana RV
“NORTH AMERICA’S #1 SELLING LUXURY FIFTH WHEEL: Guided by insights from more than 100,000 owners, Montana sets the standard for luxury fifth wheels.”keystonerv.com
1. Lighter build
In contrast with the Grand Design Solitude, most Keystone Montana models are relatively lightweight. They are constructed with welded aluminum frames, which are both strong and light. With these lighter frames, they can be towed by a variety of trucks.
2. Superior construction
It’s hard to compare the construction quality of these two brands because both of them put emphasis on quality. However, if we had to choose one as the winner, Keystone RV just barely wins out. These vehicles are sturdy and designed to travel long distances.
In addition, they have several user-friendly features. Each model has color-coded wiring so you can easily identify a problem when it occurs. They also have laminated sidewalls. Their lightweight build also puts less pressure on the frame, so there’s a lower chance of elements warping or breaking.
3. Optional packages for greater customization
Finally, the Keystone Montana is popular because customers can choose which packages to include or ignore. A few features are included in every model, but others allow users to add solar panels, four-season features, exterior paint jobs, and more. There are also interior design options, so you can select the style that best fits you.
1. Subpar customer service
Keystone RV has been in the game for many years. Although it’s the #1 best-selling fifth wheel in North America, the customer service leaves something to be desired. Everyone has a different experience, but many people have reported that they didn’t get the support they needed.
It’s important to have dependable customer service, so this might be a drawback for anyone who’s considering buying a Keystone RV.
2. Less carrying capacity and smaller water tanks
In contrast to the large storage capacity of the Grand Design Solitude, Montana models are a bit smaller and lighter. Therefore, they cannot carry the same amount of cargo. Their water tanks are also smaller, so you may run out of water more quickly.
Each model still offers a decent carrying capacity, but it doesn’t compare to the Grand Design. So if you need more space, you may want to avoid a Keystone RV.
Before we wrap up, let’s quickly cover a few similarities between these two brands. For starters, they both offer a three-year limited structural warranty. This provides peace of mind and should cover any manufacturing flaws.
In addition, the price point of these vehicles is similar. Obviously, there are models that are more or less expensive, but you can generally afford either option if you have a $100,000 budget. They both provide a comfortable, high-quality living space.
Generally speaking, you might prefer a Grand Design Solitude if you want a fifth wheel that’s extra large and luxurious. It’s also ideal for year-round camping.
On the other hand, Keystone Montana models are better for travelers due to their lightweight design. They also provide more customization options, so you can make it feel like home.
The Grand Design Solitude and Keystone Montana both have plenty of loyal fans. There’s no way to definitively say which one is better, but you should carefully compare the pros and cons. Look at specific floor plans as you make your decision.
Get tips from other RV owners
Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.